‘To Google’ – With Love

‘To Google’ – With Love

Why is everyone so critical of Google? Is it because the company is too big for its boots? Is there a niggling feeling that maybe they’re abusing their monopoly power? The truth is: it’s probably neither. A company that can become a household name across the world in less than 20 years must be doing something right. ‘To Google’ is now a verb for goodness sake! Google has joined the likes of Hoover, Photoshop, Superglue and Velcro where the brand has become a verb. ‘Googling’ is synonymous with using the search engine to solve all your problems. No other company comes close – not even Bing/Microsoft/Yahoo!   AdWords and SEO Collide  So why do so many people want to take a pop at this online behemoth? After all, there are plenty of dynamic companies who monopolise their niches without attracting the same levels of opprobrium as Google. Steve Jobs’ Apple or Richard Branson’s Virgin are two examples that spring to mind. Could it be that Google is a victim of its own ingenuity? No-one could deny that its AdWords cash-cow is a fiendishly clever concept. And it somehow seems churlish to complain that SEO has been made overly difficult for marketing professionals when the system of online organic ranking of website pages is free-at-point-of-entry anyway. What many people forget is that Google has achieved its phenomenal success by doing what every business sets out to do: namely, to provide its customers with the best service possible.   No Such Thing as a Free Lunch!  As a search engine, Google’s primary responsibility is to make sure its search results provide... Read more...

‘A Parade of Penguins’ Tops the Copywriters’ Pecking Order!

With Google’s ‘Penguin Updates’ all around us, could all you copywriters and journalists introduce a new collective noun or two into your articles and blog posts to make it all a little more interesting? It’s not as though you’re limited in the number of options available.  Maybe one reason we don’t see phrases like ‘flocks of Penguin Updates’ could be that no-one’s given it a second thought.  After all, algorithms and SEO don’t naturally invite poetic turns of speech. For the benefit of writer-types everywhere, I’ve cobbled together a few thoughts on Penguin plurality… Apparently, the collective noun for a group of birds of any feather is a ‘flock’.  OK so far.  Look a little more closely and you’ll find the delightfully-named ‘charm of gold-finches’.  Compare and contrast with ‘a deceit’ of lapwings’!  I love the phrase ‘exaltation of larks’ – and there’s something weirdly appropriate about ‘a parliament of owls’! Then there are times when the collective noun changes according to the immediate circumstances of the bird in question.  We’ve all heard about ‘a gaggle of geese’.  This applies when they’re on the ground.  When they’re in flight, however, you must say ‘a skein’.  Likewise with swans.  In flight, they’re ‘a wedge’.  At other times, you’ll get away with ‘a game’ of swans. Back to penguins: if they’re bobbing on the sea surface, the word to use (logically) is ‘a raft’.  If they’re all together, on land, at the South Pole or on a Falkland Island or two, you can say ‘a rookery’ or ‘huddle’. For some reason, there are more ways to describe groups of penguins than... Read more...
SEO Slaves with Stepping Stone Status

SEO Slaves with Stepping Stone Status

It’s important that webmasters and business owners realise that SEO is only part of their strategy for dealing with the bigger marketing picture.  No-one would deny the importance of SEO in today’s online marketing world.  What we should all bear in mind, however, is that SEO is only a stepping stone in the ultimate quest for business profitability. For many companies which invest huge amounts of time and money in SEO, the returns must surely be questionable.  Unless they feature at the top end of results on Page One of Google, the clicks received are too few to translate into what adds up to a respectable return on investment.  And yet, such is the obsession with beating Google at its own game, the pursuit of higher page positions for those all-important keywords runs the risk of obscuring why a business is involved with SEO in the first place. A part of the problem is that SEO is a technique-driven activity and business people are by their very nature competitive animals.  Allowing a bunch of robots with their crazy algorithms to gain the upper hand goes against the natural order – right? Yet this is the brave new marketing world of 2012.  The old order no longer exists.  ‘Old’ now probably means ‘yesterday’.  In the world of SEO, that translates roughly into when did Google make its last tweak to the Panda Update sequence? It’s easy to be sucked into a world of SERPs, algorithms, page ranks and keywords.  The drive to create ‘quality content’ and effective link building runs the risk of developing into a corporate ‘obsessive compulsive disorder’.... Read more...