Tag Archives: Tools

Index status. New in Google’s webmaster central

Google have just released another new toy inside their webmaster tools. As many of these tools they provide shapes that you need to read [like tarot cards] in context to what you have done onsite.

You can find the tool under Health and then Index Status.

I use the screen grab of this personal blog. I can see that since February Panda (coincidence?) that more of my pages have been found. I definitely haven’t produced that much extra content!

Index status inside GWMC tools

Index status inside GWMC tools

I remember the days when we would manually log this figure using the site: command in the search box.

There is an advanced view too – see screengrab below for the buttons location.

Index status - Advanced view

Index status – Advanced view

Here you will see the breakdown. Showing how many unique pages that have been crawled, how many have been taken into their database, how many not selected and how many you are blocking by robots. So, if you made a change you can see it take affect.

Lets see if it becomes useful overtime. I hope they join the data to other sections of crawl stats and more importantly crawl errors.

Sifting for nuggets in tedium – SMX Advanced London 2010

SMX Advanced London 2010

Today was a hard and long day sifting through mediocre, lack-luster, single tracked ?Advanced? SEO at SMX advanced. The overall score was <50% of the speakers I would says were either good/enthusiastic or insightful.  I am afraid that I think the organisers should vet the speakers and their presentations before they charge a lot of money for this event.

I will be putting this on the formal feedback form too, so don’t worry I am not just blogging for my own ego and not prepared to give real feedback.  Today was just tired.  At least one of the presenters had references to the last time they presented the same deck which was quite a while ago ! To be able to speak at a conference and be an expert amongst peers should be a joy and not (by some of the faces & delivery) a chore!  It is easy to whinge – I guess one I day I should volunteer and put myself out there to be ridiculed.

But, to also give credit where credit is due, there were some nuggets.  And half way through SMX Advanced London 2010, I am still confident on what we are doing with the day job and have a few inspired extension ideas and things to do when I get back to office.

So, what was good?

The Day 1 keynote from Barack Berkowitz from Wolfram|Alpha was right-up-there to spark my inner geek.  I had seen and used Wolfram literally on its launch but not since. It is definitely going places. The idea of a fact engine, who has the ambition of “democratising knowledge” and providing answers must be a good thing.  And in the long term, I genuinely believe services like this will be a game changer.  There were some concerns/comments from the audience regarding where they get their data from and how they will monetise its service in the future.  Berkowitz answered the questions fully, which is refreshing from a speaker these days.  That much of the data is “curetted”, which he defined as chosen/verified by a team of scientists, academics or subject matter experts. That much of this is public information, obtained from official sources such as governments and some licensed from ‘expert’ sites e.g. weather services.  The monetisation question was explained as their next challenge and may include paid listings e.g. answers provided by advertisers and/or that the user could buy additional information behind their query.  So effectively micro-data buys rather than whole data set buying that is normally out of reach of the average individual/student. I am going to be looking out for their widgets which are coming soon. The data geek in me loved the way they dynamically charted traditionally non comparable metrics or something simple by charting comparisons e.g. life expectancy in UK versus France.

In the SEO ranking factors in 2010 session, Rand from SEOMoz referred to the patent granted to Google about the “the Random Surfer Versus the Reasonable surfer” as excellently written up last week by Bill Slawski on SEOBook’s blog.

This re-inforced the view that I and many others I know have had that not all links are treated equally. It makes perfect sense, and the equal distribution of “rank” or “link juice” which we have observed and tested is in their thought process too.

The other question posed publicly was whether the audience thought that social media affected the SERPS.  Eventually a conscensus that I can subscribe to was proposed that it does.  That a trending topic may affect the settings, the ones on the search bar where you can choose freshness over established ranking.  So, a trending topic, may play with these filters and you will find that established text based listings may be replaced temportarily by references that have no history or inbound links; but may be from a site that has still has domain rank.

It is always good to Andrew Girdwood go on a rank about “link building” and how this was wrong and how it should be “building links . The whole panel agreed that building relationships with sites was the future of ethical link building, and people who are just doing link building were doing it wrong !

There were a few cheeky little tips on how to automate spam by a few of the speakers.  Who obviously supplemented those comments that it was a bad thing to do.

I hope day 2 is a bit better.

You should plan your campaigns around holidays!

Do you need excuses for why trading was bad or just to plan your campaigns properly.

Seasonality plays a big part of a campaigns success or failure so knowing when there is a public, religious or even a school holiday is essential.

One of the challenges my marketing colleagues have is that they run remote markets. They may be from that country, lived there for many years but I bet they don’t have a encyclopedic memory!

Choose your country from a drop down menu on Time and Date for a (ugly) list.  You can look up individual events by destination or country on What’s on When, a Frommer’s company. You can try to be clever and use Google squared, see this UK Holidays example.

But my current favourite, mainly as it is very clear and I like grids is International holiday calendar (this link goes to UK focus, year = 2010) calendar from Swiss Post.

International Holiday Calendar

Screen grab of International Holiday Calendar

If you have any others let me know and I will add them here.

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 articles 2009-03-05


An article by Steve Johnston’s consultancy on whether Affiliate links are or are not a paid link from Google’s position.  A bit old, from Oct 08, but came across this, this week.  So, lets not worry is the advice and run your affiliate programme and hopefully, maybe in the short term, you are adding links – on top of the normal justification for an affiliate programme.

This article on the new Econsultancy site is a very brave and overly honest casestudy of a domain migration.  You can see the story to-date here.

Going old-skool.  I have been making some robots.txt adjustments this week and have been re-using a classic.  Never forget Robotstxt.org for all your bot needs.

Another oldy-but-a-goodie on Link Bait.  An article I can across again this week during some research for a forthcoming cunning plan in social media.  Its amazing how simple solid articles stay the course of time.  See the Link Bait article.

A techcrunch article talking about the slow down in domain registrations.  I was actually also suprised by the number of .net registrations.  I maybe stupidly assumed that dot net was spammers.  The large dot cn probably are though.

This article shows a list of search engines and their employees who are using Twitter and giving another (if it needed any more help) push to the main stream for early adoptors.  See the original list on SELand.

Useful Mozilla plug-ins

MozillaTo do my job I relie on a whole series of tools.  Here are my personal favourites.
  • Rank Checker by seobook.com for ranking spot checks
  • Live HTTP header for seeing what’s going on in the background.
  • Speeddial – allows you to set up to 9 pretty bookmarks (Chrome ripped it off), comes with Page Info which tells you the top level info all in one place.
  • Stumbleupon toolbar for when you get bored with the net and see something new!
  • CookieWatcher – show value of cookie in statusbar (i.e. SESSID)
  • Download Statusbar – screen real estate efficient download status indicator 
  • Firebug + Firecookie for working out how things are actually working and mocking up changes
  • PDF Download – provides more control over what happens when you click on a link for a PDF
  • User Agent Switcher – quick switch to different user agents
  • Web Developer – oldy but goody
  • FoxClocks – show time from various time zones
  • Tiny Menu – customise menu bars. Mine is a single menu that opens to reveal all of the standard Firefox menus
Can you think of any others?