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Engage Web » 2010 » April

Flash! A-ah – Stopper of the SEO

Posted on April 30, 2010

Flash Gordon Stops SEOAltogether now… Flash a-ah – Saviour of the Universe!

Ah, Flash Gordon. One of the best comic book movies ever made (and we’ll have words with anyone that says otherwise) but while Flash may have been able to score touchdowns for fun, defeat the mighty Ming the Merciless and save the earth, he was never that good at SEO.

Yes, the hunky New York Jets quarterback was a hero, but when it comes to getting your website found in Google, Flash just lets you down – badly.

You see, Flash looks good (as we can see clearly) and he’s very interactive, with lots of moving parts and buttons to press, but Google doesn’t even know he’s there.

We are of course talking about Macromedia Flash (or Adobe Flash now, thanks to the great takeovers) and its use on websites. Flash is very popular among some web designers because their really are no (more…)

Posted by Cheryl Mathews

Is your website’s content easy to read?

Posted on April 29, 2010

Every industry has its fair share of jargon, the sort of business buzzwords that people from outside of the industry probably wouldn’t understand. The SEO industry for example is famous for jargon, with phrases such as SMO, SEM, Linkbait and PageRank constantly cropping up on the pages of SEO blogs and websites.

However, whenever phrases such as these are mentioned it’s important that they are mentioned within context, and it’s vital (absolutely vital) that whatever you write on your company’s website that it’s made perfectly clear what your company actually does.

Nothing will lose a visitor faster than a website that says a lot, while telling nothing. Yet – you’d be surprised how often people (more…)

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

Are you scared of success?

Posted on April 28, 2010

This week I watched a TV program on unemployment in the UK, Panorama on BBC 1, that followed the fortunes of four unemployed teenagers over the period of a few years. Two of the teenagers looked for manual work, and didn’t want any interaction with the general public because they didn’t feel comfortable with it. They were low achievers, but seemed to genuinely want to work. By the end of the show, after a few years, they were both doing well in jobs – one of which was working behind the bar at a Wetherspoon’s pub – contrary to what he’d originally wanted.

The other two teenagers however were clearly more intelligent and had something about them. One came from a well off family, a family of high achievers, and both were well spoken and articulate. However, despite their advantages they were still unemployed at the end of the program, and had both given up on looking for work, branding it as pointless.

Were they afraid of failing to find work, or were they afraid of actually finding work?

Internet entrepreneur John Chow wrote a post recently about a similar thing, where he explained how two competitions run by him and Shoemoney (another Internet guru) only received a handful of entries, despite the prizes being worth thousands of dollars each.

John commented on his post:

“I had a friend who once said, “The person who least needs it is always (more…)

Posted by Matt Jones

Message in a bottle? Facebook’s much quicker!

Posted on April 27, 2010

There’s something romantic about sending a message in a bottle. You entrust an important message, usually when you are shipwrecked and stranded on an island, to a small bottle and cast into the vast oceans, hoping that it somehow finds its way to land, and your salvation.

Olivier Vandevalle did just that over 30 years ago – only he wasn’t shipwrecked, he was sailing with his dad when he was just 14 years old. Now, 30 years later, his message in a bottle has been found – but the medium of reply was not what he expected. Rather than use the postal address that he placed on his message, the finder of the bottle used Facebook to track him down and contact him.

Belgian born Olivier launched his message in a bottle in 1977 – the year Star Wars was first released, and now in 2010 he has received a reply.

Lorraine Yates, from Dorset, found the bottle on the beach and decided to look on Facebook for Olivier, and the pair are now Facebook friends.

Olivier Vandevalle, now 47 years old and with two children of his own, commented:

It was so, so long ago that my first reaction when she contacted me was to say “it wasn’t me.”

Then I remembered.

There were 12 of us on the boat that day and we were (more…)

Posted by Cheryl Mathews

Who Dares Wins at SEO

Posted on April 26, 2010

Viewers of primetime Saturday night TV in the UK will be familiar with ‘Who Dares Wins’. No, we’re not talking about the classic SAS movie starring Lewis Collins (Bodie from the Professionals) where they stormed an embassy while shouting ‘move it’ repeatedly, we’re talking about the gameshow sandwiched around the Lottery draw, hosted by Nick Knowles.

So what does this gameshow have to do with SEO? Quite a lot actually. The idea of the gameshow is that contestants are given a question where there are multiple answers, and they have to bid against each other to see who can name the most. For example, the question might be: ‘Name official James Bond movies up to 2009’ – and the two teams of contestants then have to say how many they can name. If they think they can’t name more than the other team, they challenge them to ‘name them’ – and the other team has to name as many on the list as they’ve bid. If they (more…)

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

Nice SEO, shame about the website

Posted on April 25, 2010

This week I was searching the Internet for a suitable locksmith, and Googled such phrases as ‘locksmiths in Manchester’. SEO competition for this phrase, and related phrases, was quiet fierce and some of the sites that ranked near the top of Google had obviously spent a fair amount of money on their search engine optimisation campaigns.

However, after searching through three or four websites, I decided instead to visit yell.com and look for a local locksmith there. Why I hear you ask, especially when, as our business is SEO, we should at least use websites that rank within Google’s natural SERPs and support businesses that engage in search engine optimisation.

Simply put, the websites that ranked near the top of Google were all poorly designed and laid out. They had spent an awful lot of time and effort on getting to the top of Google, but hadn’t bothered too much with their actual (more…)

Posted by Cheryl Mathews

How to get rid of nasty slugs

Posted on April 24, 2010

As we head towards the summer, one of the biggest problems facing people in the UK is slugs. If left to their own devices, slugs can invade your nice new patch and undo all of your good efforts – leaving you with a real mess when you were perhaps expecting a lush green landscape.

No – we haven’t gone all Alan Titchmarsh on you, and we’re not talking about gardening; we’re talking about slugs on your website, and their impact on your SEO. A slug is the name given to the page name of a dynamic URL when it is rewritten by a CMS such as WordPress, and it is usually a very search engine friendly thing indeed.

For example, instead of /p=1929 as the name of a post on your website, your post might be something like /latest-seo-advice.html – the search engine friendly slug contains keywords relating to your post, making it (more…)

Posted by Matt Jones

Run the London Marathon… on Google Street View

Posted on April 23, 2010

This Sunday sees the London Marathon being held in the capital, and thanks to unpronounceable Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, many of the top athletes from around the world who were hoping to take part are having more difficulties reaching the starting line, than the finishing line.

As ever, Google has weighed in with a solution offering people the chance to run the London Marathon from the comfort of their armchairs, beds, sofas or wherever else they may be relaxing – anything is better than painfully plodding the streets of London. With the below video you’re able to follow the London Marathon course, courtesy of Google Street View, and in a world record 4 minutes 27 seconds.

With a time like that, it doesn’t matter if the organisers successfully fly in the (more…)

Posted by Carl Hopkinson
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