Tag Archives: Articles

A typing monkey can produce content

The future of content (as of July 2010)

A typing monkey can produce content

A typing monkey can produce content. Thanks scienceblogs.com for borrowing your monkey

I have read a number of SEO & mainstream publisher articles about the future of content. As someone who has commissioned will known publishers, someone who has paid <£10 a page and written a few bits and pieces myself, I feel I am allowed an opinion on content.

Most people in the traditional publishing believe that Google and friends want quality. And quality will always win. I don’t believe that to be true. I think that they favour Relevancy, more Quality. Quality is an abstract notion anyway. They can be the same thing, but commonly not.

Journalists and professional writers do a great job of writing well constructed arguments. Web content producers do a great job of meeting their brief. So, depending on what you want as a temporary commissioning editor you can brief that way.

Let’s think about online publishing and the internet specifically. So, if English (my preferred language) is used by many, many millions of people. For many it wont be their first language and they also want access to content, access to information and access to answers. Then relevant content is far more important than a abstract notion of Quality.

As a digital marketer and a SEO working in businesses whose objectives are about getting many visitors and conversion, choosing the appropriate level of content is what you need to do.

Maybe journalists could learn from SEO’s and digital marketers as we only produce content that is being demanded. And maybe we could learn from trying to ensure accuracy and minimum standards/consistency etc.

There are more people and with the democratisation of the web there is a progressive demand for all kinds of content.

A few articles have made me aware of the “Internet Content Syndication Council” and their own ambitions for content web standards for the net. They are likely to only read by like minded individuals If you wish to see their site, you’ll understand if I don’t make this a link
www.internetsyndication.org. But, if it does catch on, then if you are commissioning content and you want a minimum standard, someone who can demonstrate the levels of skills demanded is no bad thing.

The future is about companies, journos, writers who embrace the distribution model. Where is your audience? How do they want to read the content? How will you promote it and get it in front of them? As you are a competing with other content publishers. You competed with another daily newspaper, or another publishing house. You have probably been competing with online reading of your content versus the print form.

New services such as Demand Media, Associated Content and many more are satisfying a new demand. For How-to’s, Video and easily accessible volume content. There will be a place for ‘proper’ articles, but it will be in Sunday papers, books (still relevant in 2010, who knows when/if you read this?!).

I think we need them all.
Some related articles that sparked me into life writing these thoughts:

16th June 2010 the Financial Times
6th July 2010 on AdWeek
7th July 2010 on CNet News

Interesting reading 2009-06-26

A huge pile of reading!

A huge pile of reading!

So what from my reading has stood out this week?

My stance on content is to produce helpful, informative and engaging content. That keyword research tools are used to help design the angle of the page, but not to lead the final content. There was a great article on ScienceforSEO which talks exactly about this.

Glenn Murray summarised his approach to content planning as:

  • Do some keyword analysis to identify what customers are searching for;
  • Plan a cluster of pages around each target keyword phrase;
  • Supply the copywriter with a list of topics to write about (preferably one topic per page).

On Social media, there was a standout article on SiteVisibility about what you should measure.

The article suggests a) Clicks per thousand followers, b) Follower velocity, your follow rate, using a 3rd party site such as Twitterholic, c) CTR, clicks vs followers, an indication of what is popular and d) RT’s, how socialable your posts are. Makes sense to me, its an steer on your buzz

Changing tack and looking at some history, Stuntdubl has a easy to follow chart showing the evolution of SEO, check it out when you need a reminder/flash back to the milestones we have all encoutered. See the chart here.

EConsultancy have an article talking about the use of social media by ‘real’ journalists. Here is an extract from their article.

In 2008, 44% were reading feeds regularly; while 19% were reading five or more feeds every day. Use of online video had jumped from 28% to 38%.
This year alone has seen quite a shift: Over 70% of journalists surveyed wanted organizations to provide a page in the online newsroom containing links to every social media environment in which that company participates. 38% of journalists prefer to receive information via company tweets!
28% now say RSS feeds are important, and 62% read them regularly.

It seems in the time pressed world of writing, getting information sent to you helps!

Then on a techie note, on the official Google blog there was an article talking about making the web faster and some of the things that have happened in the past few years. Such improvements in JavaScript speed, code optimisation, server work and the new standard of HTML 5. All of which are currently on my tech wish list for my current employer.

Andrew Girdwood, I think “ranted” (IMHO quite rightly) about the state of the UK SERPs on his personal blog. I won’t even try to paraphrase – take a read.

The future of search (well as of today)

I have just read a fascinating article on the Guardian site.  It talk about an event where Google employees explained their latest products.  And Bobbie Johnson gives his thoughts on the future of search.

Johnson illustrates in this extract from the his article on Guardian Blog examples on Google’s latest thinking and products.

– Google search options; a way to drill down or organise Google results more effectively, such as ordering results by time, by type (eg only reviews, only forum posts)

– Mobile search; this is growing fast, and search will soon be synchronised between your desktop computer and your phone, so that it shares queries and data between the two machines (if you are signed in to your Google account)

– More information in the snippet of information displayed in the search result, such as showing you the relevant bits of reviews through ‘sentiment analysis’, and pulling out metadata (eg a star rating) thanks to support for RDFa and Microformats

– The Wonder Wheel; effectively a “related searches” system, but one that’s displayed as an Ajax-driven spider diagram

– Google Squared; a Labs project that creates on-the-fly research spreadsheets. Type in “small dog” (their example) and it builds a table of breeds, pictures, vital statistics and other information automagically.


The single most interesting paragraph for me was this one

At a very high level, the interesting thing with all of these is really watching the directions that Google is pushing search, and what that means about the company’s ideas. It shows that Google sees potential threats not from Yahoo, Microsoft or Ask (which provide some similar capabilities already) but from the likes of Twitter, which looks ready to pounce in real-time search, and from the yet-to-launch Wolfram Alpha, which is a very powerful data munger.

So, all this innovation in the search space, blended or universal search is leading to more and more information organised as quickly as possible.  In recent months, we have seen new search engines dedicated to content.  Clever mash-ups based on RSS / news and blog results.  Combining maps with all kinds of geography based information.

It is sure getting exciting.

Interesting reading 2009-05-01

Books image on adrianland.co.ukOn a new in my reader is Thats SEO.  Today this post about the role of your IP address in your SEO efforts.  It defines the usual why you need to know where you site is going to reside e.g. “bad neighbourhood” etc etc.  But continues with some explanations of what this actually means.  Too many posts these days, including mine are too brief and dont lay out the context!!  A good read, thank you Raghaven. Oh, and if you want to check to see if your IP is blocked on a number of bad site lists check out what  is my IP address.

If you are ever considering going solo, then reading 10 lessions from a failed start up would be negligent.

On SEOMoz there is some detail, although a pseudo sales pitch, but some interesting facts about what they have seen with their crawl of the web.  Some highlight numbers.  That 2.7% of links are NoFollowed, 73% of these were internal, so site scultping is popular.  I do it.  And 16million pages have the new canonical tag. 

On black hat seo, link to a digest page on recent popular articles, such as “why spam works” ; “How to break captchas”, and more. All in very simple to read articles with a ‘can-do’ attitude.

We all like a good list.  On SEO Optimise they have a non-Google focused list of resources for social meda. Worth checking out.

And as mine are all broken (work ones), its good to look at sitemaps. SEL have published a casestudy. See it here.

Interesting reading 2009-03-26


An expose piece on the Dave Naylor site regarding national newspapers linking for commerical gain. It is implying that the papers and possibly media owners are starting to understand the commerical power of adding links to their articles.

The compete.com blog has a couple of articles that I found interesting this week.  The first is there take on global market share of the main search engines. It seems that Google is clawing back its market share.  The 2nd article is about travel companies and how they can target social media. Compete who obviously aggregate data to show relative positions and importance of sites are suggesting that the social media sites is increasing in absolute terms the amount of referrals to Hotel sites.  Of which I am interested in !  You can see the full article on compete’s blog.

Sticking with social media on SEOOptimise is another social media article asking what is it all about? The term that this and many other speakers, articles are writing about “Conversations” and community building.  It is very simpley laid out article that talks about the hows, wheres and whys.  Seth Godin always has an opinion. EConsultancy’s angle this week is about how social media is now main stream and not for kids.

Interesting articles 2009-03-17

Books image on adrianland.co.ukTrying to keep on top of the rss reader is near on impossible.  I have articles bookmarked and I will get to them.  I hope they are not out of date before I get to them !!

A slightly different tack from my normal straight SEO, but believe it or not I know a fair bit about PPC too.  Jennifer Slegg is showing how to stop your competitor from seeing (for competition reasons) or them burning your budget.  See her post called “How to prevent competitors from seeing your Adword ads“.

Once again the MSN Live people have another quality post.  This time they are talking about considerations international sites. The articles lays out some of the issues people have when doing international. They actually very helpfully spell out their criteria for deciding the intended audience of your site.  They list these in this order.  1) ccTLDs 2) Hosting, server location especially for .com .org etc. 3) the language of the body text on the page, 4) the locale of pages that link to the page.  This fits observations made in Google recently.  Thank you MSN.

On SEO theory is an article about duplicate content, causes and the new canonical url tag.  It lays out some things that I haven spouting for a while and is nice to read.  How duplicate content can dilute inbound link benefit, can ruin onsite search and if you are very unlucky a penalty.  But as we know it is more likely to be ignored.

Yahoo have another article about this canonical URL. Ysearch blog.

There were a couple of posts from Matt Cutts that caught my eye this week.  The first is about paid or sponsored links.  And he lays it out quite clearly that they are bad ! And the 2nd is about the number of links on a page.  There is a brief history lesson of why, when processors stopped around 100kb ! And how the rule-of-thumb should be for usability reasons as too many links are hard for users.  It acknowledges that it may follow more than a hundred (which we know from monitoring spiders onsite) but may not! and you will dilute page rank.

There have been in recent weeks many article about how social media is creeping into every day life and can be form an Twitdiction (trying to coin a phrase) and Business Week’s angle is about time management and how sites such as Twitter can actually help productivity.  Today, I posted a tech question and got an answer before I could leave the site !

We all love a classic what not to do to you site.  Here is one one Marketing Pilgram that is fairly good.  Take a look and enjoy.

Interesting articles 2009-02-18

Books image on adrianland.co.ukA new favourite to the RSS reader is the blog by Will Carling, the ex-England rugby player.  His direct opinion on the games, squads and players is a must for all rugby fans.  And if you are that way inclined he Twitters during the matches in real time.  See Will’s world >>

A straight forward and strangly honest write up on how-to link spam to lazy way. Slightly shady SEO >>

The new canonical link tag from all the main search engines.  So, if you cant sort out your URLs correctly you can use this to indicate to Google, MSN and Yahoo which version of the page is the real one.  I thought they could do this.  Oh well. 
Its on MSNs blog >> &  See the article on Matt Cutts’ blog >>

An interesting piece talking about how Google’s SERPs may be on AJAX to stop scrappers, bid management software etc getting an unfair advantage.  SEOcracy.com >>

The MSN blog is starting to produce some useful and well written practical guides.  Here is a link to part 4 of a series on how to optimise your large sites for search.   MSN Blog article >> 

A new blog from the google team, this time for social media.  This could be good. Take a look at Social Web blog for yourself >>

Blackhat-SEO is also worth a read. There were a couple of articles that I enjoyed this week.  Well done guys.  You should subscribe to this site if you havent already done so.  See Black Hat SEO >>

Interesting articles 2008-11-12

Here are some of the things I have read this week …..

Social Media
This article is spelling out a few home truths about Social Media and some mis comprehensiions.  My personal take on the diggs, stumbles, yahoo buzz and their ilke are good for creating a buzz, to get your page spread wide and put in front a lot of active internet people.  My personal experiences show that if you make your tipping point you can get blog and even main stream coverage.  Its about spreading your idea!

See the original Is social media a waste of time? on SEOBook >>

A picture of the physical internet
Not really sure how I have this on my screen, but thought it was interesting to see the physcial connections of the internet. Anyway check it out. 

See the picture here >> 

How many searches are done?
This article is on an American site citing American data but still interesting to see that overall all searches are actually up.  From the UK perpsective and specifically in travel, we have been told that the volume of searches are generally down!  So, I wonder what sectors or vertical are booming?

See the article on PropelMedia >>

SMX Round ups
There have been many this week, some good, some bad and some alright!  Anyway here is a link to just one.

See this post on SEO Gadget >>

And this one for Day 2 >>

Internet usage stats
Its always good to know your potential opportunity.  The first hurdle we sweep past is that your audience is online and believe it or not, some people in some locations arent even online !  There is some good tabular data on internetworldstats.com.  There are some internet stats and it breaks down in to individual countries.  I didnt realise that just over a quarter of online people are Europe.   And in Europe we are not even at 50% usage penetration in the UK.  

See the article on Internet World Stats >>





Interesting articles 2008-11-07