Archive for the ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 23, 2006

Category: Search Engine Optimisation

Have you seen this? The Scum are so hungry for search traffic that they’re pissing away money on AdWords by bidding for the name of almost every MP on the books (with the notable exception of Tony Blair):

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 18, 2006

Category: Search Engine Optimisation, The Political Weblog Movement, Tony 'King Blair

Guardian – Ignore bloggers at your peril, say researchers: Bloggers and internet pundits are exerting a “disproportionately large influence” on society, according to a report by a technology research company. Its study suggests that although “active” web users make up only a small proportion of Europe’s online population, they are increasingly dominating public conversations and creating business trends. More than half of the internet users on the continent are passive and do not contribute to the web at all, while a further 23% only respond when prompted. But the remainder who do engage with the net – through messageboards, websites and blogs – are helping change the national conversation, say researchers.

One major reason that we have this influence can be seen below the fold.


Posted by Tim Ireland at March 16, 2006

Category: Search Engine Optimisation

A bit of work for you, folks: – Sofa Search 2006

The upshot for British bloggers:

Blog about your sofa – or perhaps someone else’s – and you would win a sofa… a pretty nifty one, at that (you get to choose your own size, style, colour and fabric).

Pretty straightforward, yes?

Have fun…. and good luck.

(Note – Those of you sitting in the cheap seats may choose to submit an entry via email.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 13, 2006

Category: Search Engine Optimisation

This is why I don’t bother writing letters to newspapers any more:

Adam Sherwin search result

So, should I tell SEO ‘expert’ Adam Sherwin about this, or wait until he next goes ego-surfing?

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 10, 2006

Category: Search Engine Optimisation

The Times – Shady tactics in battle for internet hits: The top result of a Google search for “liar” is now Tony Blair’s biography on the official Downing Street website. This happened after anti-war “Google-bombers” set up hundreds of sites establishing a link. They exploited Google’s policy of looking at not just the content of a page but also on how often a site is linked to others and with what words.

I think if Adam Sherwin actually bothered to do some research on this, he would have found that the websites involved are all genuine, personal websites… and that the ‘liar’ links involved are based on the genuine, personal opinion(s) held by the people who run these sites.

Grouping this meme with the BMW story (which involves gateway pages) makes no sense whatsoever… unless you’re a witless point-scoring hack with no personal web space of your own and/or no real understanding of search engine optimisation.

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 26, 2006

Category: Search Engine Optimisation – BigDaddy Means Big Changes at Google: One of the most popular forms of exercise among many search engine optimizers – both the third-party firms that do it for others and the advertisers who spiff up their own Web pages for better natural search rankings – is a periodic workout called “chasing the algorithm”. The race begins when Google or Yahoo! updates some portion of the software that determines how they look at Web pages and decide which are most relevant and valuable to a searcher. The engine makes that change; Web operators see their rankings rise or fall as a result; and they, or their outside search engine optimization (SEO) firm, scramble to get back the old rank by providing the new elements the search engine now needs. After a few months, the engines make another change, and it’s off to the races again.

I don’t participate in this sport much, to be honest. I generally take a longer (and marketing-focused) view and stick to the principles behind Google, knowing that any technical updates (in Google or in any new/popular search engines) will mostly be in keeping with these principles. There’s stuff I did 5-6 years ago that’s still working, which is great for clients… but not so great for my bank balance.

update – Ah, yes; almost forgot… principles.

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 20, 2006

Category: Search Engine Optimisation

MatGB, now at a new location, has some thoughts on his new location (and that of every other LiveJournal user). There’s another opinion here.

Discussions about inconvenience I leave to LiveJournal users. On the subject of PageRank; yes, there is a potential advantage to controlling your own sub-domain but – over time – it is much, much better to control your own domain name.

Posted by Tim Ireland at November 25, 2005

Category: Search Engine Optimisation

Go to MSN Search today and search for ‘leo blair’…


[NOTE – In Google, The World According To Leo Blair is currently 11th for this same search query. Yahoo has yet to respond.]

UPDATE – Woo! The World According To Leo Blair made the B3ta newsletter (which also features this magnificent – if NSFW – Bush/Blair swear-off).

UPDATE (26 Nov) – Video is 8th in Google for ‘leo blair’ this morning. In Yahoo, (not the video or the relevant post) has entered at No. 9…

UPDATE (27 Nov) – 6th in Google today.

UPDATE (29 Nov) – 5th in Google today. And we still own the zone in MSN Search. Over the last two days, has slipped out of the Top 10 in Yahoo – to 12th then 24th – but the launch post has made an entry at 22. The latter is surely a relevance issue (the relevant info is no longer at the top of the page at, and Yahoo has yet to index the actual video at

UPDATE (2 Dec) – Video now 4th in Google, with the relevant blog entry at 5th.

Posted by Tim Ireland at November 4, 2005

Category: Search Engine Optimisation

Ha! I just took a peek at my referral stats for yesterday and there’s a new search query at the top of the chart; ‘rebekah wade’

2,126* visitors in one afternoon, all seeking the same thing.

Hello, if this is you.


(*This figure does not include the 14 people seeking ‘rebekah wade nude’…)

UPDATE – Ahahahahahahahaha! By sheer coincidence, 14 page-loads can be attributed to the IP address (which tracks back to News International). Hello if *this* is you.

The violence must end. We’re here to help.

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 17, 2005

Category: Search Engine Optimisation

SEOmoz – Google’s Patent: Information Retrieval Based on Historical Data: This report has been prepared to help SEOs understand the concepts and practical applications contained in Google’s US Patent Application #20050071741 – Information Retrieval Based on Historical Data. My own advice and interpretation is offered throughout this paper – please conduct your own research before acting on the recommendations.

It’s a hefty read for the novice, and a lot of other people are chatting and theorising about Patent Application #20050071741, but here’s where I stand:

18 months ago, I ran a number of seminars on SEO and held the position that automated link farming was worthless. What sites really needed in order to perform was an organic link-generation programme. Earning genuine, unsolicited links from real members of the online community. This kind of investment seems speculative to most novices (sadly, these are often the people who sign the cheques) but it is worth it for three reasons:

1. Google became Teh Daddy for a *reason*. I predicted that Yahoo and MSN would develop their new databases along Google’s lines, because it made economic sense for them to do so. And I was right. So…. Then: it would work in Google now and in the future, and in Yahoo and MSN not far into the future. Now: it should work in Google, Yahoo and MSN now and in the future.

2. Google *remembers*. There are important aspects to the algorithm that remember past links, past updates, and possibly past click-through behaviour. That is, if you work to get ahead of your competitors (in a sensible and sustainable way) then they will have trouble catching up to you without a time machine. A lot of the details in this patent confirm Google’s interest in a site’s past history.

3. Forget the technical aspects. These will continue to change. But they will continue to change with a *purpose that will not vary*. What you need to do is keep your eye on this purpose. Google is working to provide their users with quality information that has gained a valid reputation. Any site that works honestly to live up to these expectations – with little to no jiggery-pokery beyond simple robot-accessibility (time/focus that used to be spent on playing catch-up over small technical matters should instead be spent improving the site’s reputation) – will start to perform and continue to perform over time. And, of course, the longer they perform in this way… (see: 2)

Genuine content. Ongoing inbound link activity.

There are some interesting nuggets here, but nothing to change my methodology apart from a very clear need to register a domain well before launch and/or place a *slightly* greater value in an existing domain (even if it may not be ideal in terms of keyword strategy or branding).

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