Monthly Archives: February 2012

How to delete your Google Browsing History before new policy kicks in

Seen a few references to the new Google privacy policy today. According to a few websites, in a weeks times, Google is changing to its new privacy policy that allows it to gather, store and use historical and future personal information. Therefore we the users have one last chance to delete their Google Browsing History, along with any secrets/scandal/work research/previous employment usage etc etc.

How to delete your Google Browsing History

      1. Go to the google homepage and sign into your account. Or when you are just logged into another service
      2. Click the dropdown menu next to your name in the upper-right hand corner of your screen.
      3. Click “accounts settings”
      4. Scroll down and find the “Services section”
      5. Under “Services” there is a sub-section that reads “View, enable, disable web history.” Click the link next to it that reads: “Go to Web History.”
      6. Click on “Remove all Web History”

Quick link to settings section.

Should you do it?

Well, many depends. Personalisation has been getting more personal over time, including more verticals and data services, and you don’t even need to log in anymore.

Generally speaking they are quite good and we do enjoy their SERPs and services. You should take take a look at your history. Mine goes back to 2005 and is really odd to see that far back. Mine is especially wierd as I am an SEO, I have a lot of work in there for a number of companies.

I am a little scared that my future Google experience wont be that good if I do this. But, I am still going to press that button.

Thought for the day – Brand

Just my humble thought for the day…

“Delivery on the brand is more important than just broadcasting what the brand is”

As I am getting older and progressively more cynical, I do get very annoyed when many people just talk about Brand and what brand means and I dont necessarily agree with them. Maybe I am old school, and believe that Brand is not just what you broadcast, what the brand means to you. I mean most people assume that Brand is a logo, a song, a colour, a strap line etc etc. But is it?

I think they are all methods of identifying a brand, maybe a folder to append your thoughts, experiences or the wisdom of people you trust to inform your judgement. But a Brand is a subjective concept. Sometimes, a collection of ideas generally shared or it can be very personal. Some marketers have suggested that you cant identify a brand until you have had an emotional connection. I kind of subscribe to this. You generally use ‘feeling’ words to describe your brand perception e.g. “I hate XX, their customer service sucks”, “I love my [insert product name]”.

I think that a Brand is a collection of ideas, values, experiences, thoughts of your own or borrowed ones. And if that is the case, you need to see/feel/experience the Brand in action to form that opinion. You it may be suggested to you in an advert, but if you take that chance and it fails flat, you have a worse time and will tell others.

Some case-studies

  • You go to a coffee shop on the way into work. You have the same order every day, and every day you get a consistent product at a consistent price – you build TRUST in delivery
  • Your friend has used a holiday company, they had a good experience, it sounds ilke that is what you think service is – you buy based on Trusting your friends judgement
  • You find out that the product you love is actually using modern day slavery in China to produce it, you turn your love to hate (unless you are really shallow)

If you open yourself up via a broadcast or a recommendation, unless it actually delivers then you won’t make an emotional connection and become a Brand advocate.

If you concentrate on delivery, being the best you can be at customer service, best at product quality, best at consistency, customers will love you, and you deliver on your brand promise. And if you have a nice jingle – then it will remind people of their love when they hear it. If you are going to do a brand relaunch/push – please check to see what your customers think you should doing and what they expect.

ACTA infographic – the source of SOPA?

As most of the SEO/Blogger/mainstream news communities seemed to instantly want to shout about the draft USA legislation of SOPA/PIPA, it seems that there isn’t much noise about ACTA. Like all of these topics, you generally only get 2 sides. 1) The people proposing the laws, who can hide behind bureaucracy and press statements, and 2) The extreme opposition.

If you read the EU papers, and you can via their site, it suggests it is quite light and doesn’t impact anything (then why do it?). And seems all very believable. However if you read other sources such as La Quadrature it picks up on the punitive measures and the risks to the internet as we know it. So, the officials spell out the objectives and the critique-rs looks at the punishments. This obviously leads to a place where people can get confused and choose to ignore the topic.

The trouble is that investigative journalists who should be without an agenda to review and present in the mainstream media haven’t picked this one up. EU / MEP work doesn’t seem to be a headline grabber unless it is about making us have straight bananas.

In some other against articles it suggests that ACTA was the inspiration for SOPA/PIPA. And that only in the recent edits in the last 6 months it has been toned down.

I am confused, and to be fair a little bit scared.

Well only one side has produced an infographic on the topic, and everyone loves a good old-fashioned picture. I guess we will just watch this space.

How to slow down a robot

There is a flipant answer here about turning it off/remove batteries etc.

But, what do you do if you are having some server troubles or a bot is hitting you really hard. There are 2 obvious options open to you.

  1. Use your verified Google/Bing webmaster tools account and press the buttons, or
  2. To use an entry in your Robots.txt file

Option 1 is straightforward, so for the rest of this short post, lets focus on option 2. You can find some more details on the Bing community site. In short all (reputable) engines have signed up to the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP). So…

How to set the crawl delay parameter

In the robots.txt file, within the generic user agent section, add the crawl-delay directive as shown in the example below:

User-agent: *
Crawl-delay: 1

and replace as necessary if you want to apply to any specific bot e.g. msnbot/googlebot etcetera.

User-agent: msnbot
Crawl-delay: 1

What speed should I set?

They suggest no slower than 10, or it could affect their ability to stay on your site.

Crawl-delay setting

Index refresh speed

No crawl delay set





Very slow


Extremely slow

Good luck and happy bot management.