Sunday, July 30, 2006

New Business

Everywhere I seem to go at the moment I get talking about work. The first thing someone asks me is if they can have a business card.

I'm pleased to say that thanks to the creative expertise of Roy at Virtuaffinity I now have my own set of business cards being made up.

What do you think?

Social bookmarking on another level

At PushON we’ve been playing with some new social bookmarking tools… yet again!

And I really think we’ve stumbled on an amazing tool. Its called Diigo

As a team we like to work collaboratively, often musing over blogs, potential website rebuilds or even relevant articles we’ve seen. What Diigo allows us to do is highlight text, underline whole sections and add our own sticky notes. (if you have the diigo toolbar installed you’ll see some comments I’ve left on this blog)

This is social bookmarking with brains… It will add your bookmarks to furl and, allow you to add tags to Technorati and will let you leave handy reminders on the page.

Have a play and let me know what you think.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Mass Market or a Mass of Niches?

In my last post I commented on how to achieve a solid distribution of product, news and PR by targeting both online and offline distribution channels.

I was reminded earlier by a conversation I had this week with Simon Wharton my MD. He was telling me of his love for obscure bands (having been a rather passionate goth in his younger years). It surprised me to hear that Simon tracks such bands down using mySpace.

I’ve been doing some reading recently on the ‘New economics of culture and commerce’ I’ve been made aware of something that, although its not new to me, it has changed the way I think about search.

Chris Anderson puts it like this A TV Channel directs one show to millions of viewers. The internet however, directs one viewer to millions of shows.

The key is knowing how to use this to your advantage. The bands that Simon listens to are no longer in the Top 40 (I’m not even sure if they ever where) and yet they still have a presence on the internet and still have a fan base. To understand this we probably have to understand our high street stores. HMV could not possibly stock all of the music the internet can; there just isn’t enough shelf space, so they limit themselves to the most recent or bestselling products only. The internet doesn’t do this, so although there maybe millions more competitors, you all start in the same position.

How can I change my position?

Using solid Search Engine Optimisation techniques is a great way to boost your sites performance in search engines results. Some of the ways that you can achieve this is to build your site to WC3 Accessibility Standards and to increase the number of inbound links to your pages by Link Building.

If you implement these techniques well you will soon start to see an increase in traffic and better performance in the search engines.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

From the Blog to the Printed page.

Its common practice in today’s emerging blogosphere to read of blogs going into print. As a fan of .net magazine I am no longer surprised to see a large percentage of its content coming from blogs commenting on the latest conferences, products and industry trends.

Blog literature and poetry are winning international awards and I now own my very first ‘blog in print’ Chris Anderson’s – The Long Tail

It is exciting to think that today’s bloggers are affecting tomorrow’s news articles. I have recently joined the North West Enquirer’s Directory of Bloggers in the North West. Chris and the team are doing a great job in promoting the hard work of my fellow bloggers and featuring them on his site.

I would not be surprised if content written by bloggers starts to find its way into the North West Enquirers Newspaper.

In Digital Marketing it is easy for us to focus on purely ‘online’ activities. After spending sometime with Rob from ArtisanMC I now have a better understanding of PR. It is important to strike a balance between online and offline PR distribution. Both activities target a different type of reader, if you concentrate too much on one you risk damaging the other, at the cost of alienating potential customers. This in any industry is surely a bad thing.

The beauty of the blog is that it makes everyone a journalist, an observer, a commenter. It goes without saying that all blogs vary in quality but nevertheless if used correctly (and used alongside conventional publishing techniques) I believe it will revolutionise the media of tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Age and the Google Sandbox

It is widely recognised in SEO that an important factor to effect your Google Page Rank is age.

Some specialists in the field refer to this as the Google Sandbox or aging delay (Some argue that these are two separate time-related effects but for the purpose of this post we’ll consider them as one.)

The first thing I must point out is that even though we refer to this effect as the ‘Google’ Sandbox, the principles of the effect are widely believed to apply to all the major search engines.

Some believe that when a search engine finds your site they temporarily hold it in the sandbox and won’t rank it highly. I’m personally not of this school of thought, See Roy Wilding’s post on the Restore Foam website he recently built.

There is a wide spread debate about the effects of aging on a Google Page Rank and although many recognise that it has a part to play they don’t consider it to be the overwhelming factor.

As an SEO Specialist it is important for me to consider this in the larger picture and the part that it has to play in providing our clients with an effective SEO solution. The truth about effective SEO is that it is not:
  • a short term solution
  • an off the shelf product
  • a plug-in
Good, solid Search Engine Optimisation needs to be built into your long-term marketing strategy (and your budget). If you do this than you will see fruit from the time that you have invested in good foundations.

Google does not discriminate on the basis of old age; it merely gives older domains more credibility in their search results.

So next time someone tells you that you have no control over time, remember this: the sooner you start your SEO Project the sooner you’ll start to benefit from the ‘positive effects’ of aging in the eye of the major search engines.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

To tag or not to tag!?

Tagging Update

Well this week at PushON we've been playing around with the tagging that I mentioned earlier ... If you tag it... they will come!

...After reading a lot of sources and considering the benefits to the reader and blogger I no longer feel as excited about it as I once did.

It's not that I find tagging too difficult or a hassle, I'm just not seeing much return on my efforts (in subscribers or traffic) and all the time Technorati are having quality inbound links built to their homepage.

I'm looking into some other forms of social bookmarking so I'll keep you up-to-date on my findings.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

My Reading List

I'm going away for a couple of days next week so have decided to get some books to help me pass the time.

I've opted for:As with anything I do, I believe it's always best to take every opportunity to stay as up-to-date as possible. This industry is changing every day, it's vital if you want to be a serious player to stay on top.

I'll let you know how I get on with the books, and I look forward to sharing with you some of the tips I've picked up on the way!


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Keep an eye on what you've said!

I was reading Steve Rubel's half time report for 2006 today and was intrigued by a suggestion he made about comments becoming accessible in search.

coComment are offering a service to track all comments you post and all comments made on your blog. They can even track comments on comments!

This service allows registered users to comment on any blogging platform, news articles, photo galleries (flickr) and many more sites.

I haven’t quite worked out all the options and tools that coComment can offer at the moment (so watch this space...) but it sure looks like the next phase of growth in the blogosphere.

Steve concluded I would bet on coComment to add search to at least all of the comments it is aggregating by year's end.

To read Steve's post Read his 2006 report here.