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Engage Web » 2010 » March

Facebook error costs Wirral councillor

Posted on March 31, 2010

It seems incredible that people, particularly politicians, still make mistakes where the Internet and Facebook is concerned – believing that their comments will go largely unnoticed. The sort of comments that no right minded politician would utter on national television, or in an interview with a journalist, seems to frequent the online domain as though no one will ever see them – which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Thanks to the power of Facebook, and the fact that its profiles and fan pages are now fully indexible, making them ideal for SEO, Wirral councillor Denis Knowles made a monumental gaff this last week when he posted a homophobic comment on his Facebook page. Believing his comments would be seen by just his nearest and dearest, and despite removing them within an hour, they had already been copied and distributed via the medium of the viral.

The comments were posted three days ago and concerned some leaflets that were being handed out in his area by ‘limp wristed’ boys. The Tory councillor commented:

“…an unusual group of boys leafleting in Seacombe this weekend, of the limp wristed variety and definitely NOT local.”

The MP for Wallasey, Angela Eagle, has jumped on the chance to attack the Wirral councillor for his comments. She write to David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, stating:

This statement by Cllr Knowles was nasty, deeply offensive and (more…)

Posted by Cheryl Mathews

Clever wordplay and SEO

Posted on March 30, 2010

Knowing the main keywords for your industry isn’t enough for SEO success. It’s important for the health of your search engine optimisation plan that you know what keywords are related to your main list, and also the variations of your main words.

Here are some examples of things you can do to improve your targeted keywords:

Reordering words: This is one of the more common things that Internet users do when performing searches. Very few searches are performed on single-word keywords these days, and when the results from the usual ordering are not satisfactory, the easiest thing to do is rework the order the words come in.

Adding words: Although very few searches are based on single keywords, adding more terms is one of the first things an Internet user will do when their search hasn’t produced the right results. Usually, the extra words are modifiers, such as colours, months, or locations. Adding in a few specifics to your keywords can (more…)

Posted by Matt Jones

How many keywords should I use in SEO?

Posted on March 29, 2010

Keywords are one of the most important things in SEO – yet sadly they can also be one of the most distracting. While it’s important to know what keywords you should be using in your SEO, and of course in your content, getting to ‘fixed’ on those keywords will have a detrimental effect on your SEO.

The problem is that many website owners get into the mindset that their rankings for specific keywords are the be-all and end-all of search engine optimisation. This isn’t helped by some SEO companies pitching their services based on their success with rankings, showing potential clients previous success stories via Google searches and stating how they can improve your rankings for a limited set of chosen keywords.

The ‘keyword’ there, if you pardon the pun, is ‘limited’. Many SEO companies limit the keywords they optimise your website for, and then just choose to perform their optimisation on the homepage. The keywords are usually restricted to (more…)

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

Why so much about Google?

Posted on March 28, 2010

If you’re new to the idea of search engine optimisation, there are no end of things lying in wait to confuse you. One of the smaller things that can be just as confusing as anything is the seeming interchangeable nature of the words ‘search engine’ and ‘Google.’ With a number of fairly prominent search engines out there, it’s strange that everyone in the SEO community is so obsessed with the G-word.

The reason is simple. For all practical purposes, the only search engine is Google. The search engine is a giant in the industry, a monster, having had a good 70% hold on the market for more than ten years. Although plenty of new search engines have tried to challenge Google’s supremacy, most of them didn’t manage to shift the giant of the industry by even half a point.

Google wasn’t always the front-runner in search, although it seems that way to the search engine optimisation industry. The company only had its beginnings in 1996, and it was close to the new millennium when they gained supremacy over then-favourite, Yahoo!. Many SEO pros were excited about the prospects presented by Microsoft’s release of re-vamped search engine Bing, which did manage to shift Google by a couple of points, but in all the search engine giant is still the giant – with a capital G.

This is actually good news for the average website. Optimising for more than one search engine is a difficult task, especially when search engines often look for opposing things, which is why most search engine optimisation companies don’t bother with the smaller search engines. Google’s supremacy has also meant that the smaller search engines have followed the company’s lead, meaning that if you’re top in Google, you won’t be that far off in Yahoo!.

This situation isn’t guaranteed to remain, however, so it is a good idea for any company or SEO agency to keep tabs on what all search engines are doing.

Posted by Cheryl Mathews

A competitive keyword isn’t always a good one to optimise for

Posted on March 27, 2010

Consider all of the keywords that are at the disposal of your SEO campaign. You have all of the words you and your staff naturally relate to your business. You have the words your competitors handily provide to you through their own websites. You have the words used by your customers, including slang terms and common misspellings. This adds up to a long list of terms, some of them more competitive than others.

Deciding which level of competition to target is far from easy, but most businesses plunge right in to competitive keywords. There are times when being in the middle of tough competition isn’t the best thing for your website.

Search engine optimisation can seem like a technical process, but at times it is as intuitive as any other form of internet marketing. Rushing right into the highest level of competition won’t get results that are as good as those a well-thought-out strategy (more…)

Posted by Matt Jones

French Twitter hacker caught by police

Posted on March 26, 2010

An unemployed Frenchman who hacked into the back end of Twitter has been caught by French police, and interviewed with the American FBI listening in. The man claimed he didn’t do any damage and didn’t intend to make any false posts pretending to be anyone else, he was just curious and felt compelled to do it ‘for the game’.

The man, who is 24 years old and goes by the alias ‘Hacker Croll’, was released on bail by police after being interviewed, and faces a £30,000 fine if found guilty and even a two year prison sentence.

Now, what is really interesting about this story isn’t the story itself, but the way in which it was reported on the Daily Mirror newspaper’s website. Despite the man hacking into Twitter itself, giving him access to every user account on the website (including mine and yours) the Mirror lead with (more…)

Posted by Cheryl Mathews

Friends Reunited is back with a whimper

Posted on March 25, 2010

There was a time when the social networking website Friends Reunited had the UK social networking scene all to itself. If you wanted to catch up with old school friends, or more likely to show off about how well you were doing, you had to use the once valuable site in order to do it.

You even had to pay (yes, pay… cold hard cash) for the privilege of contacting old school friends.

Then came Facebook, and Friends Reunited itself became an old school friend; one that nobody was bothered about contacting anymore. It’s once impressive membership migrated like rats from a sinking ship to the new, shiny, easy to use and FREE Facebook; a website that offered so much more than Friends Reunited, with none of the nasty demands for money.

This caused Friends Reunited to drop in value from the £175 million that ITV paid for it, to the £25 million that they sold it for – and that was over the odds.

But now it’s back. It has new TV adverts, a new layout and finally, after all these years, a (more…)

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

Beware of free content offers

Posted on March 24, 2010

Most people now understand that content is important on the web. Websites that feature unique, regularly updated and interesting content tend to perform better in the SERPs (search engine results pages), often without even having had any SEO at all. When content is married with an effective SEO strategy, a website can reap huge rewards from the search engines.

However, content either takes time to perfect, or costs money. You can’t simply go to an article directory website and copy their free articles onto your own website, because that would be classed as ‘duplicate content’ – and wouldn’t aid your site in the search engines at all. Worse yet, it would have a negative effect on your rankings as your site gets penalised for the duplicate content.

But – what if a website comes to you offering to provide you with content, free of charge? The old adage in business has always been: “if something looks too good to be true, it probably is” – and this couldn’t be more accurate. Even at StuckOn we occasionally receive emails from companies offering SEO services and content services, such as this one we received a few weeks ago. This email offered to provide one of our websites with content, sourced from a bank of content that could be used by any other website.

Have a read:

I just want you to know that your site meets our criteria and we would like to sponsor it. The membership is free but only the top-notch sites are allowed.

What’s in it for you:

- Placement in an exclusive “Best of Content-Oriented Web sites” directory.
- Free content for your site, written around your topics by our in-house writers.
- Promotion of your site across our networks of (more…)

Posted by Matt Jones
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