Monthly Archives: November 2011

Weekend SEO Roundup 19th/20th November 2011

Better late than never, apologies for the delay in getting this out to you – we had a VIC meeting this morning (Very Important Client) which took me away from my desk… but fear not this is what I found over the weekend thats making news in the web marketing world…


Bye Bye Sphinn (it’s closing) – Hellooo Marketing Land

Closing down Sphinn

I hear that Sphinn is being spun into Marketing Land – shame I have always kept an eye on Sphinn to keep up with what was going on in the industry – though the idea behind Marketing Land should not come as a surprise as more and more “SEO” activity is moving into the mainstream (web) marketing arena.


Pinterest Gaining Traction?

I’d not heard of Pinterest until this morning – it seems like its taking the world of social media by storm – though how long it lasts before it gets spammed is anyones guess… still it looks like a lot of fun posting up interesting images, go take a look and let me know if it works for you (probably better for image optimization) – I’d also recommend you make your photos unique as possible…

SEM Clubhouse seems to give it a pretty detailed first look – do go check it out…


Clear up everything you didn’t know about Duplicated Content

I love this post, its highly detailed and really does dig deep into the types of duplicated content us Internet marketers can come across. It’s usually a problem more with large e-commerce sites in my opinion but this timely post by Dr. Pete is one that is likely deemed to become a classic…

Post Panda Duplicate Content

Let me know how you get on with your web marketing this week, any questions feel free to get in touch!

Mirroring the Competition: How to Create “Unique” Content

Mirroring the Competition - How to Create Unique Content

Stuck trying to create unique content for your website to get it ranked and found on search engines?

Desperately trying to think of a way to make yourself stand out from the crowd to get those all important links…?

Thinking you’ll be outed and crucified for even slightly mirroring the competition’s work?


All that negative thinking is making you procrastinate, worry and do nothing whilst your competitors are ranking higher and higher based on content they’re putting up that’s supposedly “unique”  but you know you’ve  seen time and time again in a slightly different guise elsewhere on the web.

Believe us it can be infuriating, depressing and frustrating.

We still see blog posts now dealing with how to write a title tag or how to get creative, high quality links (whilst your competitor in the real world is buying up directory links like there is no tomorrow). You know its stuff that’s been around for years… and you’re thinking I am not going to “lower” myself to that level… but many do coz it helps set them apart as industry leaders… and why is this?

Because your most appreciative audience (newcomers to your world) is hungry for information, desperate to soak up every ounce of knowledge you’re prepared to give away – to help them make a decision.

Don’t let your pride get in the way of writing content you think is far too simplistic – someone somewhere will value it – though if you’re not high enough up your industry’s own foodchain it won’t be receiving the recognition of your peers anytime soon, trust me on that.

Don’t think your competition is generating completely unique content either – likely 98% of them are using others copy for inspiration (or at least their SEO or copywriters are) and a few literally are just scraping, duplicating or spinning someone else’s work. Not that you should do that, you should be rewriting content in your own hand, using your own style, experience, voice and opinion.

This is the way to unique content and that’s what will make you stand out.

Note we’re not advocating you copy everything you see. We’re not.

What we are saying is start mirroring competitors, look at their content, look at their messaging, look at their web design elements, look at their link profiles, work out the best bits, create your own and improve on them.

Before you know it you’ll stumble onto something, really go to town and make it your own, your very own “unique”. It may take you a week, it may take you 20 years but you will, we just know it.  :)

Getting more from Blog comments – the Devil’s in the detail

Commenting on Blogs

A lot of SEO activity is looking for more juicy link building opportunities and one great way to do this is to identify and gain relevant links via comments you leave on niche, well written blogs – the holy grail being “do follow” comment inks though these are increasingly rare due to abuse from link spammers. Commonly once a blog is found to be passing link juice it usually get spammed to death by link spammers. Not surprisingly many blog owners are rather picky at what is left as a valid comment – especially if a link has been set on a keyword rich user name which is linking (conveniently ahem) to an exact match domain.

Unfortunately this also means it’s proving harder to have your genuinely valid comments approved so here’s a way that can work for you!

When looking to get your links accepted in a blog comment it’s the small things that count… and what I mean is carefully read the author’s blog post and using one or two of the following:

  • How…
  • What…
  • Why…
  • Where…
  • Which
  • When…

ask an open ended question that should work to generate a further response from others (and of course allows the blog owner to better show off their own expertise to a potentially wider audience).

Avoid the urge to only post generic comments complimenting the blog post or just agreeing in a buttered up attempt to get your post approved – we get dozens of these types of blog comments here almost everyday and we never post a single one… if the link spammers built up a few comments without links and asked a couple of relevant questions allowing me to respond its likely when they come to dropping in a link down the line then I’ll be much more happier to let it slide i.e. you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours!

Another way is to find a blog in your field and link through using your company name rather than forcing in “Blue Widgets” as the username – this a preferred way to start getting oher people’s attention in your brand, especially useful for smaller companies starting out online.

One of my preferred ways for comments is to look for blogs that predominantly use photographs as blog content, carefully assess the content of the photo and ask questions on the smaller detail in the subject matter – here’s a typical example you could ask about the photo above:

  • Where does that track head to?
  • How did you get the lighting looking so good?
  • What type of camera did you use?
  • Where exactly was the photo taken?
  • What animal is that in the image? (its actually Rex my retriever)

By looking into the photo rather than just looking at it I can quickly ask a few pertinent questions that would display to the blog owner I have spent time looking at their content and compel them to answer – allowing me to comment again… in a non spammy way….

Finally once you have your blog comments accepted it wouldn’t hurt to find out if the blog owner uses twitter – so that you can retweet their content to your social media sphere or email them directly to see if they might accept a relevant, recent guest post… its all a matter of building up trust over time, but carried out this way will likely see more of your blog comments accepted.

Let me know how you get on!

Weekend SEO Roundup 12th/13th November 2011

Fascinating week for us last week! We had a client phone us to advise they no longer ranked for their own company name on Google – we checked and quickly identified someone had been playing around with the robots.txt file and managed to block all the pages to the site… unfortunately for that someone their first response was to blame us…. seeing as we are not allowed direct access to the website very unlikely… so talk about caught out with your hand in the cookie jar… web devs take note, if you make a mistake own up to it, don’t blame the web marketing company!

Thankfully a quick check of GWT (Google Webmaster Tools) had shown us that bots had been blocked from the site – which is odd as when we checked the robots.txt it was not disallowing anything – kind of gave the game away that someone had been tinkering… and then put things back when they realised something had gone AWOL.

Our client was seriously concerned (indeed as were we) that they couldn’t be found on search for their own name so our team swung into action and quickly implemented an Adwords campaign to ensure that if the company name is searched for they at least show up at the top of Google!

So if you do find your website cannot be found on S/E’s then first check there is nothing stopping a bot reaching and crawling your web pages…. for even more info check out the highly authorative links below for more info on Robots.txt and how to deploy it successfully for your site:


Damn, I missed PubCon Vegas baby!

I really would have liked to head out to Vegas last week and spent time at Pubcon Vegas – its where the cream of the SEO industry gather to share information and network… unfortunately with other things happening here there wasn’t enough time to get away and benefit so I can only gather information from whats been coming out since, one of the most useful sites being this one (if you’re looking for SEO tips):

Bugger, I missed PubCon Vegas – get recaps on all the Sessions and keep up to date and stay informed! Oh and check out below too…

Matt Cutts – Googles Head of Spam’s Key Takeaways from Pubcon

Another one to take note of is Key Takeaways from Matt – check them out here

Looks like there was loads going on during PubCon so lets only hope I can make the next one in 2012… though the way the SEO industry is squaring up to Google over its SSL privacy setup leads us to this debate on whether SEO is here to stay or if its gonna die on its arse next year…

Matt Cutts (Googles Head of Spam Team ) has said publicly at PubCon that SEO is not dead (though no mention of the word “yet”) so here’s a roundup of what he said:

Still who else gets the feeling the storm clouds are still gathering?

Weekend SEO Roundup 05th/06th November 2011

We regularly get unsolicited junk emails offering SEO services, telling us how we can improve our ranking etc etc which kinda shows the (poor) levels of SEO investigation into our ranking – obviously some businesses must fall for it which is why everyone still gets so many of these types of emails…. we suggest anyone sending emails out of the blue telling you how great their SEO is should just be ignored, in fact filter their email right into your junk box folder NOW! So the next piece may also be of help to you…

How to detect SEO Buttheads

Ian Lurie of Conversation Marketing also received an email from a self proclaimed “SEO specialist” and has shown how the chap’s claims are wholly unsubstantiated…

Great read, go take a look!

Detecting Butthead SEO in 5 easy steps


Getting More Links (and why it’s not working)

Love this post from! It covers a lot of ground on why your linkbuilding efforts aren’t working… good linkbuilding is not easy, takes time and labour (which costs money) and requires tracking to ensure your links are’t removed or broken

One way to get a link is to telephone someone. Go on, do it now. Pick a local supplier/business ally, give them a call and see if they are happy to link to, not just your site, but a page on your site that’s informative, entertaining or even opinionated!

Thing is too many people have abused link building (as they did the keywords meta tag years ago) so for many a link request from someone they do not know is usually frowned upon (at first glance). Get links from people who like and trust you, if they happily link to your content (not your site) then its likely a wider audience will also enjoy it (so allowing you to promote that content somewhat confidently via social media sites).

Creating Better Link Requests


How to be an Advanced Power User of Google Analytics

I spent last month working with clients SEO and helping them set really good goals to measure the effectiveness of their web marketing campaigns. One of the ways to add value to your SEO work is to become an advanced user of Google Analytics (literally putting the power of GA to use!)  so its important to understand how to use Regular Expressions.

A great site explaining what the following characters can do to help you supercharge your Analytics with regular expressions (or at least look at the data in a new and different way!):

  • Dollar Sign ($)
  • Question Mark (?)
  • Caret (^) (I don’t think many people will have used this symbol)
  • Backslash ()
  • Dot (.)
  • Asterisk (*)
  • Pipeline (|)
  • Parentheses ()
  • Curly Braces {}

… to name but a few…

Check out Regular Expressions for Google Analytics for more info!

And for those who want to see real Regex examples click here


Right I’m heading off for a busy week… and some disturbing news that a client of ours has had an accident (he’s in recovery and out of danger now thankfully)


See you next week (feel free to leave any feedback, we’d really appreciate it)