Engage Web October 2009 - Engage Web

Google Toolbar PageRank updates, does anyone care?

Posted on October 31, 2009

Once again the law unto themselves that are Google updated the toolbar PR which sparked another frenzy of webmaster and SEO professionals checking their websites and posting on forums as though it were Christmas morning.

“What PR did you get? I got a 4, I got a 6, I got a train set” etc, etc.

This particular update by Google was later than expected, which only served to heighten the media speculation on whether Google would abandon the toolbar PageRank altogether. However they haven’t and it has once again been updated.

This is unfortunate, because toolbar PR has one purpose and one purpose alone; link selling.

The toolbar PR isn’t an accurate portrayal of your actual PageRank, merely an outdated snapshot in time. Therefore, because it’s updated so infrequently it’s of little use in gauging a website’s true PageRank.

Even if the toolbar PR were accurate, it doesn’t have any bearing at all on your ability to rank for (more…)

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

Why writing sales content is bad for your website

Posted on October 30, 2009

When you write content for your website, such as blog posts, articles and website content, the temptation is to use sales focused wording. As you’re talking about your own company, you’ll naturally want to sell your services, talk yourself up and make sure that your readers know how good you are.

However, this kind of web copy doesn’t work very well for website visitors, or for Google.

If your copy is overly gushy, using words like ‘best’, ‘outstanding’ and ‘excellent’ then your website’s visitors will be suspicious of your content. They won’t believe what you’re writing because the tone of your copy is too sales focussed.

For the same reason, Google will mistrust your copy as well. Google wants to see neutral styled content offering useful information. Google wants to see this because it’s exactly what Google’s end users want to see, your customers.

The golden rule with SEO and content is you should do what’s right for your users and it will also end up doing what right for Google. If you fill your website with sales content then you won’t achieve the rankings that you’re searching for and you won’t win any repeat visitors to your website.

Posted by Matt Jones

How important is a hosting company for SEO?

Posted on October 30, 2009

“Wherever I lay my website, that’s my home” – to paraphrase Paul Young. That’s exactly what a hosting company is for a website; your home, or at least your website’s home. Just like any home, it needs to be safe, secure, supply you with the comforts and amenities that you require and it needs to be cheap to run.

However, all too many web hosting companies fall foul of this, with insufficient servers providing poor bandwidth allocation, inadequate customer service and a tendency to cram too many websites on one server, causing your website to become unresponsive.

While this is inconvenient for you, and your customers, it’s also very bad for SEO. If Google indexes your website and finds it, well, doesn’t find it all, then your site will be earmarked for a return visit. If it’s still unresponsive, what do you think Google will do with it?

It certainly won’t keep offering as a result in its SERPs (search engine results pages). No, your website will find itself, well, you get the idea. Nobody will find it at all.

This means that you need a reliable web hosting company to host your website, or all of your SEO efforts will go to waste. Here is a quick checklist of things that you need to keep in mind when looking at a web hosting company.

  1. Your web host needs to be located in the UK. Not just their business address, but their call centre and their physical servers. Many hosting companies ‘claim’ to be UK when they are not.
  2. Your web host needs to (more…)
Posted by Matt Jones

How many keywords should I SEO my website for?

Posted on October 29, 2009

The question of how many keywords you should SEO your website for is one that is faced by SEO companies and SEO professionals every day. Opinion is very much divided on the subject.

Some SEO companies believe that simply optimising the homepage of your website is sufficient. They will offer you no more than six different key phrases and optimise the homepage of your website for those keywords. This form of SEO does work, to a degree. It works in the sense that your website, or rather your homepage, will improve slightly in the rankings for those keyphrases.

However, how much traffic will those (more…)

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

How easy is your content to read?

Posted on October 28, 2009

This may seem like an obvious question, bus is your website’s content easy to read? Before you answer, think about the sort of people who will be reading your content. Think about the sort of people who use the Internet, and look at the words and sentence lengths that you are using.

If you are writing long sentences, with many long words, in large paragraph blocks, then your content will be difficult to get through. If it’s difficult to read, people will give up. If they give up, they will leave your website, and this isn’t what your content is about.

You should also consider that many people in the UK do not have a particularly high reading age. It’s no coincidence that the tabloid newspaper The Sun has the highest circulation, it caters for the lowest common denominator. The Sun is aimed at readers with a reading age of 13, which is why it is so popular.

Now, we’re not saying you should write your content in the same style as the tabloids. However, you should be aware that when you write lengthy, wordy content, your readers may not be able to follow it.

Know your audience. If you’re writing for the average man, you will need to change your writing style from content that is catered towards professionals or graduates.

Who are you writing for?

Posted by Cheryl Mathews

How can SEO help my website?

Posted on October 28, 2009

Many business owners ask this question. How can SEO help your website?

You’ve had your website built by a professional web design agency. You’ve done some business through it, some very good business. You’ve even used the Internet for research to see what changes you can make for SEO purposes. You’ve looked at Meta tags, building links and using keywords; so what can a real SEO agency do for you?

The real question you should be asking yourself is, what else can you do to increase your rankings and your return on investment? That’s the real key, your ROI. If you’re not making sales and generating leads through your website, then it isn’t working for you. No matter how much money you have spent and how much online research you have done into SEO, without your website (more…)

Posted by Cheryl Mathews

Google launches social search

Posted on October 27, 2009

Just when you thought Google couldn’t index any more and provide any more relevant results to your queries, it’s now going to be indexing blogs, tweets, websites and social profiles of your friends and offering those to you as results for your search.

The new experiment is called Social Search and you currently have to opt in to it on the Google Labs website. Once you have done so, when you search on Google for something Google will also index the content written by your friends to see if they have written about it recently.

For example, in this search we looked for Andy Warhol and found a blog that we read regularly had mentioned him.

social

Why Andy Warhol? Because we tried countless other searches beforehand only to (more…)

Posted by Matt Jones

Lily Allen shuns the Internet

Posted on October 26, 2009

Lily Allen shuns the InternetSinger Lily Allen has finally turned her back on the Internet, claiming she’s giving up the Internet for good. Allen has labelled herself a ‘neo-luddite’ as she’s taken an almost Amish approach to technology. Lily has given away her Blackberry and her computer, and has renounced the evils of social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, on which she would spend countless hours each day.

Lily will now just use her landline and her old mobile phone to stay in touch with friends, and she insists she won’t take her mobile out with her when she leaves the house.

Lily came to this life changing decision after her boyfriend complained about the amount of time she was spending online, and in particular on (more…)

Posted by Carl Hopkinson
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