Category Archives: Ego

We have gone all patriotic!

Since I am not a company in the UK or non-geographically a company I have decided not to use my ccTLD or TLD and just be in the UK.

Plus, my previous site had gotton out of control, needed major updates, maintenance, and since I had never done any link building but had comment (legitimately) on many sites, [IMHO] was unfairly hit by Google.

In short, ditched the site, annually more expensive hosting and finally moved the site.

A future speaking engagement

etailconferenceLater this month I will be doing a slot at the eTail. You can see a full list of speakers who range from all the major names from travel to retailing.

I am at 3:35pm on Track B on the main conference day 2, the 26th of June, here in London, UK.

Been working on my on deck, on-and-off this week and will be sharing around a holistic SEO/inbound marketing strategy, but also the halfway through results on a big attention grabbing campaign.



Talking about social effects on SERPs visibility

eyefortravelEarlier today an interview I did for EyeforTravel was published. It is in their Social Media and Marketing section.

I am talking, quite tactically how social media activities can impact your visibility in the SERPs.

This follows some recent posts I have done here about, my presentation at Traverse conference and a some thoughts about the future of SEO.

I know how to use Google search!

I actually found this course a good refresher and also learnt a few new things that I had seen but not really used in any meaningful way. I have recommended this to a number of colleagues. You can register via their inside search blog.

My certificate from Google

My certificate from Google

If you are in the SEO or digi-marketing trade it may be worth doing, even if you think it is beneath you as some of the recent changes, the ones listed in the monthly updates they publish etc make more sense when you see how some of the things are used and the the presenters vocab!

Leaving a travel giant and joining MyDestination

I am now in my first week at my new role. After 18 [long & hard] months I have left the Thomas Cook Group and joined My Destination Info.

In that time at TCG I have had the pleasure to work with some very talented people and faced some genuinely challenging SEO topics. I was working across 8 EU markets for an established set of brands servicing many niches and mainstream holiday products & services. They included everything from package holidays, cruises, luxury holidays, party holidays through to activities holidays like skiing.

I am most proud of building an in-house SEO team, installing best practices, a genuine knowledge resource and a team spirit to take on any challenge. Taking on >30 websites across the EU in differing stages of maturity, on different platforms, with differing levels of on-site optimisation, and current performance. Working with many internal teams, to understand, plan, forecast and monitor the turn-around performance to achieve aggressive target. And in the background making hundreds of millions just in SEO considering all the challenges, internal and macro-level trading conditions.

There were a number of projects worth mentioning from agency selection process, multiple platform migrations and a very public project of on which was replacing circa 500 landing pages, with a system to produce 17k new landing pages, with a system to maintain, control and workflow content production. Here is an example of page for Turkey holidays. This was a fascinating project as it brought the site up to ‘modern’ standards and was ready to act as the foundations for the groups non-brand SEO strategy: and the bedrock for continuous improvements including MVTs, UI & design.

But after joining that new business unit right at the beginning and making those [very, oh so very] hard yards it was my time to move on. I had been talking with the guys at MyDestination for many months through mutual acquaintances, and then the question was posed about joining the team. They were, are doing many fantastic things. From the business model, that is really scalable, to their locally curated travel guides, virtual tours, video assets, mobile platforms, blogging, social media. The openness and accessibility of the two founders Neil Waller and James Street, and their management team is infectious and being selfish, I wanted in. So, here I am. The challenge I have is to look after SEO, their paid search and social activities.

So, I am expecting exciting and challenging days ahead in a [relatively] small and agile business, that I personally feel is on the edge of greatness.

My new role at MyDestination

My new role at MyDestination

My only Front page – back in 2002

My Revolution Magazine front cover - 2002

My Revolution Magazine front cover - 2002

As an egoistical kind of guy and deeply insecure, whenever I am asked to get involved in the trade press such as NMA, or others I generally agree. Maybe its my deep seated need to be liked 🙂 or to prove to others I may actually know something. Its definately not because I am photogenic.

Anyway I found these old pictures on a CD-ROM (remember those?) from my only cover shoot ! It actually dates back to July 2002 on a magazine called Revolution. Which is part of Haymarket and their site has closed and is now pointed to BrandRepublic.

If I don’t put them here – they may be lost!

Oh, I was working at Linguaphone, which was/is a language education publisher. There they stupidly let me own their digital channel. So this article was talking about selling on the internet (me part) and the company was launching into online learning via the internet which was properly revolutionary at the time.

Here is the inside spread. If you wanted to read the article I have just found it on their really old archive.

Revolution magazine - inside spread

Revolution magazine - inside spread

Nomined for a Travolution 2009 award

As I sat at my table for the Travolution awards 2009 flicking through the programme of events I was suprised to see my name.  After a double take, it was me and I was nominated for the “Rising star of the year” award.  I am not sure what the criteria was/is (still don’t), but nice to be nominated anyway.

So, got a bit excited.  Talked myself out of it, then with all the winning that one of my agencies (BigMouthMedia) did for another one of their clients !! (Where was our nomination by the way?) I got a bit excited and actually thought I could win.

But no……. The winner was Alex Gisbert.  And at least we are in the same stable of brands.  Well done Alex.

Here for my own reminiscing is a screen capture of the nomination.

Travolution Awards 2009

Travolution Awards 2009