Do Keywords Have a Future?

With SEO taking a dramatic change of direction over the past year (Panda, Venice and Penguin), we’ve seen endless articles ruminating over just about everything under the sun – except the impact the updates have had on keywords!  The apparent significance of keywords has slipped dramatically, which begs the obvious question: what is the future for keywords? In the past I’m sure you can remember some of the simplistic keyword techniques that were used to boost web page rankings. It was simply a matter of doing some keyword research, following the keyword density rule, inserting the magic words in the meta tags, title tags etc – and job done! Things have changed.  In a post-Penguin world, it looks like keywords may have slipped down the pecking order (if you’ll pardon the pun!). For a while now, it’s been clear that keywords are less of a ranking factor with Google.   The search engine has in fact stated that they no longer require keyword indicators. This has led many industry experts to believe context is now king. Another example of this can be seen in the recent Penguin update which has resulted in  penalising the over-optimisation of anchor text links. In other words, anchor text links using blatant, unnatural keywords have been made void and many sites have seen a dip in rankings because of this.     With ‘context’ now taking precedence, what are the alternatives? Put simply, all the copy on your site needs to be ‘natural’.    You really shouldn’t try to tailor your copy to suit Google’s algorithms.  It should be written in a ‘natural’ style where your carefully-researched... Read more...
The Evolution of Social Media

The Evolution of Social Media

Back in 2005, the social media landscape looked very different.  The two main players back then were Bebo and MySpace.  They had a three-year run of basically zero competition. MySpace relied heavily on its “portal strategy” of building an audience around entertainment and music – but, in the end, it failed because it failed to innovate. In 2008, both Bebo and MySpace fell victim to the Facebook disease and their users flocked to Facebook! Although all of this is well documented, many people forget that in 2007 MySpace was in theory worth $12billion (if the recent Facebook valuation methodology had been applied!).  Amazingly, by the following year, Facebook had overtaken MySpace as the world’s leading social network. If nothing else, this demonstrates the fragility of social networks and the promiscuous behaviour that users are capable of if they’re given a better offer.  So will Facebook become victim to the evolution of social media? The answer to this question depends on Facebook. If Facebook fails to attract a younger audience, and competitors like Google-plus and Twitter capitalise on new markets, then Facebook may be left in a difficult position. We can already see trends appearing in America that suggest this is already happening. Facebook still remains the most popular social network among young people in America. But plenty of young people in their early to mid-teens are turning their attention elsewhere. They’re checking out new mobile apps, hanging out on Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest – or simply sending plain, old text messages from their phones. Their goal is to communicate with smaller circles of friends and share their thoughts and... Read more...

Euro 2012 SEO Special – What Kind of SEO Are You?

With the Euro 2012 tournament kicking off today, we thought we would put an SEO spin on the tournament. SEO is all about getting to number one, winning on the SERPs and becoming the best in your industry.  The similarities with the Euros are uncanny (well not quite!) but we feel SEO and football have a lot to learn from each other. So what we have done is set out the top seven teams in Europe today (according to UEFA – but we can’t understand why Portugal isn’t in this top seven), and we’ve discovered numerous links between SEO and football nations. So what kind of SEO are you? France You will have a sense of arrogance in the way you conduct your SEO. Your strategy will take little notice of what industry thought leaders say, and you still use strategies that were reminiscent of the 2000 glory days when you won the Euros e.g. keyword stuffing and bolding your keywords… Although you get by quite nicely, you will never reach that number one position. Stop looking back and get with the times. You might actually end up seeing results! Russia The secretive SEO type, you have a strategy that you share behind your iron curtain of secrecy. You can be partial to dirty tricks like masking and spammy blog commenting (grey hat). You rely heavily on spying on competitors, using competitor link analysis as your main link building technique. England You are great at sticking to best practice. Constantly playing it safe with your SEO techniques, but you refuse to think outside of the box. You still produce... Read more...
Why I’m not going to buy “shares” in Facebook

Why I’m not going to buy “shares” in Facebook

It’s nearly two weeks since Facebook was floated on Nasdaq. Things started so bright for Mark Zuckerberg and his “beloved” Facebook, with share prices starting off at $38 a pop catapulting Zuckerberg into the world’s rich list, valuing Facebook at $104bn. Since May 18th (the date Facebook was floated) there have been numerous events that don’t bode well for the future of Facebook. It started with GM (General Motors) dropping their Facebook advertising campaign, followed by Facebook share prices dropping on a daily basis to an all-time low of $29 yesterday (May 29th). Is Facebook Really worth $104bn? Personally, all the hype surrounding the Facebook flotation never got me excited. The obvious question is: How can Facebook be valued at $104bn? Despite the company’s attempts to generate profit from “Facebook ads”, it can’t be enough to justify the $104bn price tag placed on the company. I mean, do people actually click on Facebook ads? Developing countries don’t even use Facebook! Well not quite, but developing countries don’t seem to favour Facebook. Instead, they opt for what, to us, seem like obscure social networks. For example, in India we see that Orkut is the market leader in social networks; in China a little-known (to us in the West) social network called Qzone has over 388 million users; and again, in Brazil, we see Orkut dominating. These are three of the world’s fastest developing countries and judging from this evidence, Facebook has failed to capitalise on this. There are now serious competitors to Facebook out there Only a couple of years ago Facebook was a operating in a monopolistic market.  MySpace was... Read more...
Pinterest – Is it over before it began?

Pinterest – Is it over before it began?

    “10 Pinterest marketing strategies” “Six great ways to become a Pinterest expert” Does this sound familiar? For the past six months I’ve been receiving weekly articles and blogs on my RSS feeds relating to this wonder network entitled Pinterest. Naturally curiosity got the better of me and I registered to Pinterest. When I finally completed the Pinterest registration I was genuinely impressed. Everything seemed creative, fun and fresh. It was a breath of fresh air from the stale Facebook formula and something much more content driven and fun than Twitter. So then I started creating boards and adding pins, a following was generated and Pinterest started to become Pinteresting! Anyway, fast forward a few months and Pinterest has now become a global sensation (It’s now the third most popular social network in America). This all sounds great but one thing is noticeable with Pinterest and that is the number of blatant spammy, SEO types who are infesting this creative (almost innocent) social networking utopia. Pinterest has become a social networking sensation due to its originality. Although this has happened organically, you can’t help but draw comparisons with Google-plus. At present, Google- plus is simply a platform for marketers, marketing to marketers (a similar concept to Eskimos selling more snow to Eskimos). SEO companies and marketers are still not getting the message, social networks are social! If these so-called social media marketing gurus stopped labelling every social network that walked “The next big thing” (i.e. Pinterest) we may see them flourish because users enjoy the content and experience. Pinterest has recently employed the “no follow” tag to all... Read more...