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Who are you Optimising for with Personal...

Personalised search is definitely a big change as far as most SEOs see Google working. Never before have a user’s actions been (openly) included in the ranking algorithm. It is not surprising that this change sparked a lot of discussion. Optimising for personalised search The theory behind this, to my knowledge, is that if you can get users to click through to your site from a SERP for a “Brand + keyword” search, rather than going direct, that action should help your site rank higher next time they search for a “keyword” search. Generally, it seems that the main...
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Rel=Canonical Doesn’t Solve Internatio...

In what way does the rel=canonical tag solve any international SEO problems? I’m really confused on this one; some SEOs are suggesting that this tag in some way helps with duplicate content issues with same-language content, targeted at different countries. I have heard this at a conference too. The rel=canonical tag states which page, of any number, is the official source of the content. This is great for if there are URLs that sometime have parameters on the end of them, which can cause dupe content issues, or if you publish the same content across a number of domains...
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Why is there no SEO Qualification?...

I was reading a post from SEO Theory (which loses its way in the middle) about SEO Certification which made me think that there needs to be some sort of SEO standards qualification or award in the UK. How have we come so far without it? Marketing, in general, should be treated like any other trade; you can learn it with experience. Digital marketing (and SEO) should be especially examinable – this isn’t “blue sky” jerks sitting in a glass room imagineering a new billboard campaign, this is search engine optimisation. If this is the case, an...
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Is the Twitter buzz over?...

When I first heard about Twitter, I had the common response of: “what, just like FB status updates? sounds rubbish.” But since I have enjoyed using Twitter, mainly for keeping up with SEO stuff which seems to gel with the whole “real-time search” thing. What really frustrated me, when I was still in my sceptic phase, was the sheer volume of people telling me either how great Twitter is, or how to use it, or why I practically must start using it for fear of being so far behind I might never catch up. This led to a lot of people talking about the...
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The UK SERP’s are Fine...

I know that I probably shouldn’t get involved in something that a lot of people are talking about if I think they are barking up the wrong tree – but I am. Here is why I think the UK SERP’s are fine, just fine… Background So, a few UK SEO’s have been talking, at length, and for some time, about the UK SERP’s being “broken”. During this time, they also seem to be getting more and more frustrated that they are not getting any response from Google on the matter. I think there is good reason they are getting no response. An...
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Please don’t start: “In this...

Recently, women’s clothing company Whistles relaunched their site, and Econsultancy did a site review of it. Basically, the site is very “visual” and the navigation is quite a long way from the average eCommerce site. This led to a lot of people wading in, brandishing huge egos, with their opinion of the site, positive and negative – mainly negative. The main talking point seemed to be the comment that the designers made: “We spent a lot of time researching best practice online. We then threw out everything we had learned, and just designed...
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Competitive Yahoo! SERPs are Rubbish...

I don’t regularly monitor many results in Yahoo! – mainly because of the whole market share thing, and the fact that they are really erratic. Its still dissapointing to see this for the ultra-competitive SERP for “credit cards“…. Let me tell you the things I don’t like: There are 14 paid ads and 10 natural results. Not right. Creditcards.co.uk is a basic affiliate site – I reckon it is at #2 purely because of the domain name. Moneygem and AOL on the first page? Really? Do they really give the user that much value? There are only...
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What Are You Reporting On?...

I spend a lot of time putting together, and analysing, SEO performance reports. Any client, internal or external, that you do SEO work for will want some kind of report showing their performance. They will also, if they are in a competitive market, probably want something to show how they are doing in comparison to their competitors. This Data is Important! What you choose to report on can either be the basis of what drives your future actions, or be the thing that sends you off persuing something that isn’t driving any real results. That’s why reporting,...
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Google’s Not Sure – So Move ...

If you are think of optimising for a very generic term, you look at the SERP for that term, and make a call about whether its worth targetting. Yes? It could be full of irrelevant sites (for your purposes), or the term may have a number of meanings – English lesson over. In the same way, if you come across a SERP for a niche term that is equally mixed, or contains results that do not suit your audience, move on. Its now your job to find out the variation of that term that does give the user (a user interested in your site) the best results; a place where they are...
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Vince Update Post, and Others...

Just wanted to give a reference to a great post by my colleagues Dave and Liz on the iCrossing Blog about unlocking the Vince Update. They have done some really thorough analysis of some big SERP’s, so check it out. You might also want to check out another really popular post written by me about links in Google’s snippet...

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