Manchester SEO SAScon Mini Conference – My Brief Summary

As per my previous post about the Manchester SEO SAScon Mini Conference, here is a brief overview of the conference with links to the slides to follow:

2:10 – 2:55 Nichola Stott – The Business of Search: An Insider Perspective on the Search Engine Business and How This Shapes Our Approach

Mainly talked about estimating RPM for Google, lot’s of calculations, the slides do all the talking as my brain got a bit fried, main takeaway point was Google are looking likely to break the $1 billion revenue figure from the UK.

3:00 – 3:45 Barry Adams – Optimising for Google News

Barry talked about how to optimise websites for placement in Google News. Place target keyphrases in the news story, headline so the story can appear in search results for up to three days in the news results on less competitive terms.

3:50 – 4:35 Kevin Newman – The psychology of successful link building

Applied mainly for industries that are thought leadership and information sharing led. E.g. get links for SEO related sites.

4:40 – 5:25 Neil Walker – Forecasting for SEO

Neil declared himself as a self-confessed Excel enthusiast, nice use of spreadsheets and pivot tables using client data, he explained for SEO forecasting that gives a general benchmark for forecasting client revenue, visits etc for a top 10 result in Google. There were themes that could be taken from the presentation that may help to improve SEO forecasting.

All in all a good conference with good point to take away from all talks.

Manchester SEO SAScon Mini Conference – Programme & Speakers

Currently on train back from London and wanted to share the programme and profiles of todays #mancseo mini conference at the Hive in Manchester.

1400 – Welcome to Manchester SEO by Pete Young
1410 – The Business of Search: An Insider Perspective on the Search – Nichola Stott
1500 – Optimising for Google News – Barry Adams
1550 – The Psychology of Successful Link Building – Kelvin Newman
1640 – Forecasting for SEO – Neil Walker


Nichola Stott: theMediaFlow

Nichola has over a decade of experience in online marketing and has worked for some of the worlds’ largest digital media and communications companies, including PR Newswire and most recently Yahoo! where she was head of commercial search partnerships (UK). Nichola left Yahoo! in 2009 to found theMediaFlow, a Hampshire based search and social media agency. Nichola is passionate about SEO and has a regular column at SearchEngineWatch, SEO-Chicks, State of Search and also contributes to Econsultancy blog.

Nichola’s Twitter: @NicholaStott

Barry Adams: Pierce Communications

Barry Adams is the Senior Internet Marketer for Search at Pierce Communications in Belfast, where he works for a wide range of clients including some of Northern Ireland’s biggest brands. Starting out his career in the mid-’90s in all things online as an intranet content manager, Barry has worked in a wide variety of positions, including corporate webmaster, in-house SEO specialist for a large regional newspaper, and web consultant for SMEs.

He is an avid blogger and regular contributor to leading search blogs State of Search and Search News Central, and in the past has written for Search Engine People, Searchcowboys, and the WordStream blog.

Barry’s Twitter: @badams

Kelvin Newman: SiteVisibility

Kelvin Newman, Creative Director at SiteVisibility, specialises in SEO research and development and producing link-worthy online content; working with a variety of brands including Gumtree, FindaProperty, Gala Casinos & uSwitch.

In addition to this experience and client work Kelvin, is a lead contributor to the UK’s most popular internet marketing podcast on iTunes (Which is #2 in the States) and has been published in number of widely read online marketing blogs.

Kelvin also regularly produces popular search and digital marketing strategy whitepapers for the Recruitment, eCommerce and Publishing sectors. He also delivered sessions at industry events including SMX London, the UKs leading search conference, arranges #brightonseo mini-conferences and is a regular contributor to Econsultancy and State of Search.

Before joining SV, Kelvin worked for Emap consumer media working across high profile magazine titles & websites including Zoo, Arena & Empire with a period spent blogging about gadgets & technology for Zoo. In the past, he has also written for a number of offline publications & websites including the NME.

Kelvin’s Twitter: @kelvinnewman

Neil Walker: SEO MAD

Neil joined Just Search when it was founded in 2003 and has seen the business grow from a team of five to its current size of 62. He began his career as an SEO manager and was responsible for a small team and positioning the Just Search website as number one under search engine optimisation (SEO) and search marketing related keywords. Successfully achieved, Neil was promoted to head of SEO in 2006 to oversee the whole search engine optimisation team and develop the implementation and deployment of Just Search’s technological offering. In this role, Neil was responsible for helping clients achieve top search engine results and positioning Just Search as a leader in the industry.

After just one year and great success in the role, Neil was promoted to chief technical officer, where he currently oversees SEO, pay-per-click (PPC), and research and development. A specialist in internet marketing strategies, Neil is responsible for a team of 26 technicians, content editors and link builders, to develop technologies and delivery of the company’s products.

Neil’s Twitter: @TheUKSEO

The event is being sponsored by Manual Link Building end The E Word

Apple iPad iOS4 Coming Soon, Well November | iPad Review

Ok so I recently splashed put an an iPad. I thought about which model to get and weighed up the pro’s and cons between the wifi an the wifi+3G option.

I had already decided on. 32gb model at this point.

Firstly I considered the 3G model for the web browsing, it would be good on the road at friends houses with no wifi etc but i also thought is it worth an additional £100?

I the looked into the cost of getting mobile broadband but not many options to connect to the iPad without wifi. After my research I found a mifi option with Three mobile for £69 with 3gb of data usage over 3 months. And £10 per 1gb to top up thereafter.

So decision was made get the 32gb wifi iPad and the mifi modem to surf the web. Saving me £21 and also a 3% cashback via quidco.

So after waiting for the iPad to arrive of course the courier service used left a calling card “sorry we missed you blah blah…..” so a trip to UPS Eccles to collect followed that evening.

So now I am the owner of a shiny new 32gb iPad, let the fun begin!

The OS of current models is 3.1 so no multitasking, folders et al at present but Apple have announced iOS 4.2 is coming in November and developers have already got their hands on it.

Ciao for now

Google Instant Search Now Live – A Layman's View

Ok so all the latest noise on Twitter and around the web is about the new Google Instant search results now live as of yesterday.

So i thought why not add to all the noise with another post.

On a more serious note, as an SEO i have tinkered with the new interface and to be honest didn’t help me with the SERP’s i was looking for as i tend to know what i want to see, however i have asked my wife to try it out as a general day to day user.

Her findings are quite interesting and as follows:

Just used it to search for ‘ghost walks in Edinburgh’ and then added ‘need to pre book’.

  • it was much the same as the predictive search box, if you see something come up at the top that is what you want you can click that and save time searching
  • above only useful if you are a good touch typer as otherwise you have typed your search looking at the keyboard and not whilst looking at the screen so no different than normal Google by then!
  • would be good if you’re randomly searching the internet in free time as something interesting may catch your eye but otherwise i can’t see it being much more useful than the predictive search box?

Didn’t seem to save me any time getting to what i wanted, i still typed in full search term.

Also just noticed that some of the things it suggested e.g. when i searched for ‘hen do’ it came up with Henry (hoover) before i typed the whole phrase, these are now on my history as if that is what I’ve searched for! Could be dangerous if something dodgy came up at the top of the search?!

Here is the new search function in action:

Interesting thoughts, i would welcome any other users input on the new toy from Google.

Ciao for now!

Google Advanced Search Querystrings

May not be teaching old dogs new tricks, but here is a quick post about utilising the querystring parameters in Google search. The Google search url is made up of a number of parameters, the & symbol is used to add parameters as shown in the following example:

  • hl=en – this defines the language. en is for English.
  • q=football+world+cup – this is the search query, the + is to replace spaces
  • btnG=Search – the ‘Google Search’ button was clicked to start the search

These are very basic parameter strings, now let’s take a look at how we can manipulate the result set coming back:

  • &num=100 – this will show the top 100 results instead of the default 10
  • &start=100 – this will allow the results to start from a particular position in the SERP’s

Now for a few advanced querystrings: as_qdr=x – Replace the x to one of the following to show when files had been first indexed:

  • d – last 24 hours
  • w – last 7 days
  • m – last month
  • y –  last year
  • m2 – last number of months. m2 wlast 2 months m3, m4 etc etc

So just a few ways to manipulate the results in the Google, for a full list visit the SEOmoz ultimate guide.

Google May Day Update Affects Long Tail Search Queries

A new algorithmic change has been implemented by Google, affectionately know as the May Day update as it happened around 1st May 2010. Matt Cutts explains that the change is not temporary and the update is looking to improve the quality of the SERP’s that is effecting long tail terms opposed to the head of searches.

Cutts explains that this update is independent to Google Caffeine which is preceding at pace. The update is assessing which sites are the best match for long tail queries. No human involvement in this update and it is purely algorithmic.

Is your SEO affected?

Think about your site, do you have a high quality site, good content and make sure that your site can be viewed as an authority for the search query so not matching off topic queries.

Watch the full video below:

Google "kaffein" Caffeine now live, or just an April fool?

Call me a cynic but after all the excitement of Google Caffeine update last year is this now live or an April fools joke?

The online world is buzzing about the renamed update going live, kaffein, the German spelling of caffeine, renamed due to Mormons dietry requirements this caused a little bit of upset back in ’09 as Search Engine Roundtable posted.

So with the update now “live” what are SEO’s seeing today?

There are over 100k results and you may notice Google’s search results pages use some interesting units of measurements to estimate how long it took them to obtain your search query: femtogalactic years was used in my search for Google kaffein.

My sceptic mind thinks this is a good old April fool’s joke but i will be watching on to see if it is or not.

Ciao for now!

Google Webmaster Verification Now Made Easier!

Google have now made the Webmaster Verification process a lot simpler. If you own a site and want multiple people to be able to view the WMT information of your site, you would have had to add multiple html files or multiple meta tags which would make the process quite a lengthy one and also more difficult to manage.

Google are now sharing the verification love which allows Webmaster to simply add a user to the WMT account to view the profile, this has to be a Google account email addres.

Simply login to your webmaster tools account and select the verification details link.

Then click add user and enter the Google verified email address of who you wish to grant access to the WMT account for the domain:

The long and short of it means less hassle for Webmasters!

Google Product Search – Testing Links again?

Has anyone noticed that the product results in Google have been showing images and not directly linkg through to the site?

A post from the Head of SEO  at Latitude, Andy Heaps posted back in December about how Latitude joke about Google’s money making levers – “if profits are down or shareholders unhappy they pick a money generating lever and pull it” highlighted this, and now seems that the same is going on again.

Only today have Google displayed both links and none in their product listings here is the latest of my searches:

Google Products - No links

Google Products - No links

So does this mean that Google are “pulling the levers” again or trying to improve the users exprerience?