Who Moved My Cheese

If you are not aware already, i am in the process of moving back to the North East with my wife and 5 month old baby girl. This change is one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.

In Manchester we have had two families looking after us for the last 6 years. The great community of friends that took us in and put us forward for jobs. These people don’t need any introduction as they know exactly who they are and we are indebted to them forever for their help. The other side is the companies I have worked for; Just Search (3 Years) and Online Ventures (2 Years 5 Months).

Just Search

This was where I learnt my trade. If i had not worked closely with people like Gary Douglas, Paul Spreadbury and Gemma Neesham. Well I don’t think I would of been able to shine in front of the management at Just Search, and in turn be given the opportunity to work with them at Online Ventures. These three people I owe a lot to and I hope to replay them in any way that I can.

Online Ventures

When I started for Online Ventures I was far from a sparkling online marketer. I was in need of drive and refinement. This is something that both Paul Yates and James Welch were aware of when they gave me my opportunities. They both were their to push me when I need it and to leave me to it when I need the space to create.

I have worked with some of the biggest and most influential minds in the industry and for that I say thank you. In particular I would like to thank

Paul Yates

The most influential businessmen in Manchester. Very soon to be the UK and on towards world domination I have no doubt. I cannot speak any higher of Paul’s business acumen. Many situations have presented themselves, where he has already been prepared for the outcome and been able to proactively acted on it to increase revenue into any business that he is involved with.

James Welch

The best thought leader online full stop. Best and most creative mind in the business with the capability of changing people into being better than they are. He has worked with me closely to help me develop my marketing skills to as we created some of the tools that have changed the industry into what we know it is today.

Apart they would be successful in what ever they do. However together they are a devastating force. If you ever have the opportunity to work with them, jump in with both feet and you will not regret it. All they ask in return is that you strive to be better than the day before.

6 years on from starting a career in online marketing I am now looking at taking these skills and reapplying them in the North East. I went to Manchester as just someone aiming to be welcomed in the online marketing community.

Now all I will do, is better than the day before.

How I See Links

Everyone that you meet in the industry will tell you their thoughts of links profiles. It will be a complex description that will try and overwhelm the best. I on the other hand like to break stuff down into images or diagrams. Basically it means I am one off those simpletons. It makes it easier on me to know how to complete the task at hand.

When I started in the industry i was brought up on links being presented as graphs. See below,


This was a way off life for me as I did not really get involved in the links side of things. I was a on-page-rules sort of guys. This is why the diagram above summed up links for me. You had 50% low quality links, 35% of ok quality and about 15% of high quality. That was it for me, make the order and it would be done. It was all quantity rather than quality links that were sourced. But times have changed and so have I.

The Change

Reading Eric Ward and guidance from James Welch opened my eyes to links in a way that I would never expect. I now look at a link for its potential rather than what it can do to a websites SERPs position. From what position could be achieved from this link, to what potential can this link bring to the website I am pushing. It does not sound much but it is huge.

So rather than look at a quantity of links, I look at placement and connection of links. how can I intertwine these in to a winning formula,

So this is how i see links, in a rectangular box with a number of different size circle within. The size of the circle depends on the potential it has to push my website. As you can see I have collected a number of different links from small to large which is not too dissimilar to the quantity theory, however this time each link works with the others to create a bond that will stand the test of time.

Why Facebook Bought Instagram – The Drug Theory

First of all, Disclaimer. This is only a bit of fun. There is no truth behind the below so please dont think that this is in any way fact.

Dont you find it funny that Facebook have spent a lot of money buying a company that does something that is, A, not unique in the service it provides. 2, has only been about a very short amount of time (13 Months) and finally C, is free?????

Well I have a theory (Darm..Darm…..Darm)

If you are not aware already Facebook has acquired Instagram. They are a small outfit comprising of only 13 employees. The service that they offer is a free app that allows you to share photos. So how much is Facebook spending on this acquisition I hear you ask. Well its the small figure of $1 billion.

Hang on there must be a catch, what are we missing??


Facebook at present have two issues,

1. Mobile Revenue – Did you know that you probably make more money through affiliates than Facebook makes on mobile revenue. I mean the one place where Facebook come into their own and they dont even use it to their advantage.

2. IPO – Facebook want to go public in a aim to turn a $80 billion company to a $1 trillion company. The only way they can do that is to expand and grow. Thus the purchase of Instagram.

The problem for me is that Facebook have bought a company that is probably worth a thousandths of the price that has been spent.

Why Instagram?? Why them?? Why not someone else?? Or the biggest question of all why spend $1 Billion on something that you can create on your own for a fraction of the cost??


Instagram Hidden Business

Instagram are soon to be a lot richer after the take over from Facebook. As I have mentioned previously this is a lot of money to pay. So Why?

Instagram has a hidden business. Apparently from the out set the company has been providing Drugs to the masses. They are able to deliver a gram of substance within a 4 hour period to anyone who uses there free app. Apparently it is a multi-billion pound business. If you dont believe me the proofs in the name. Insta-gram. World Best kept secret. Its right up there with Kaiser Sosa.

I mean think about it how do 13 people who want provide a free service that is not unique turn it into a $1 Billion company in less than 13 months. Not even the best sales guys in the world would be able to sell this company for that much.

Zuckerberg’s Goal

As Facebook now approaches the 800 Million Active Users mark Zuckerberg knows that he needs something that will keep people hooked to Facebook. So why not buy Instagram. This means that Facebook is able to not only hide away an illegal drug trade, run a successful a photo sharing website and also get users hooked on Facebook like never before. 800 Million hooked users would definitely guarantee that he could turn his empire into a $100 billion company.

Remember all, Disclaimer. This is only a bit of fun. There is no truth behind the above so please dont think that this is in any way fact.

Annoyed By Stuart Pearce Talk

Tonight I am really annoyed about the Stuart Pearce talk after the England game.

The England managers position is like the holy grail. Any manager who dares do the job gets slated and any manger who succeeds in the role will get stabbed in the back by the FA.

Again anyway,

I am English and with that I love the England football team. It is very common knowledge that after two foreign managers I (All Of England) want a Englishman in charge. I dont think it is a outrageous request. I mean there are at least 10 British managers who I would put in a shortlist for it. But at present Stuart Pearce is the Caretaker England Manager. And I am happy as I think he will do a brilliant job. He just seems to be getting loads of flack at present.

So how does this relate to SEO?

Well Stuart Pearce is a lot like an normal SEO Campaign….

Before I start here is your key,

England = Website

Fabio Capello = Old SEO Company

Stuart Pearce = New SEO Company

Fans = Owners

England are doing well in the pre stages of a vital period of the year. Everything is ticking over however all of a sudden Fabio Capello makes a balls up and the only solution for England and the fans is to part company.

So England are looking for a new manager and they look to Stuart Pearce. Stuart Pearce has massive boots to fill, even though his CV’s says that he has done this sort of job successfully before. Thus getting the chance to move England forward.

Stuart Pearce knows that the old ways of Fabio Capello cannot go on. He has to bring in new ideas that will not only move this Version of England forward but will allow the future versions to be one step ahead of the competition.

Stuart Pearce’s proven ideas are not liked by the fans as this appears to put England on the back foot. They stumble against one of the best in the industry and lose a little ground. They however fight to the death but it is not good enough in the fans eyes.

Through this transitional stage they have not really lost any ground. They are in a position that means they could move 2 steps ahead of the competition.

The problem that Stuart Pearce is encounters from the outset is that he is always on the back foot. If it was Capello we would just note it down to a unfortunate night as his record with England is outstanding. However the problem is that Stuart Pearce’s first game will always be where he will be judged the most.

If you dont understand that…

Basically it is never going to be smooth sailing moving between SEO companies. It is always recommended to be cautious when looking into the results that you see in the first part of the campaign. Always wait for 3-6 Months to see how the campaign is going before you start complaining about results.

I know nothing….

I was starting, yes starting to think that I had a good knowledge of SEO. Heck I was even adapting to the ever changing world of search, which I thought was pretty good.

In the world of search we need to adapt and change. Sometimes it’s adapting to follow the guidlines and sometimes you need to approach it from a different view point to achieve The same results. Either way putting a smile on the clients face.

Anyway I was going to admit that yeah I was for want of a better world…..settled. I knew that a question would be asked and I had the confidence and knowledge to give a answer that would resolve the issue.

A fews weeks ago I was introduced to James Welch. A urban legend I had heard about at Just Search where he had worked. I had heard that his views on search were from well outside the box.

After the first meeting that I had a small insight into the way that James sees search and I immediately realised that I knew nothing about search.

I know that this is a bold statement but over the course of 2 hours, I learnt more about Search than over the last three years of my SEO career. It made me realise that even though I thought I was thinking outside the box I was mearly just getting close to the inner edge, might even dip one foot outside, now and again but that is it.

Since then I have kept picking at James’ brain. Getting my fix on a bigger and better insight into how I should be approaching search.

The really funny thing is that a lot of the new knowledge that I am learning I already know, but I have not been aware that I have been doing.

The weirdest thing about it is that the new improved skill set i am learning has already forced me to get outside the box and never go back.



Thiis is  a test….


Google SERP’s Change

There has been quite a big change in how the SERPs are shown this week.

It was not me that noticed the change however it was @seorocks. He pointed it out to me yesterday and I thought it was good enough for a blog post.

So here is the new SERPs page,

So what has changed?

Page Previews

As you can see the new listings design does not look that different however it points out the preview section in a more defined way. Before the preview icon was next to the page title where as now it is at the right hand side of the listing. It looks a lot more like the Tablet  version of Google SERP’s.

I personally think this is much better as it is more easily seen. Before the preview button seemed to be more of an after thought than designed well.

New Listing Design

I personally blogged and disapproved of the SERPs change a few weeks a go that saw the site links become bigger and more prominent. Well now I must say that Google has got me back on side by designing a new and better listing;

As you can see above I have taken one of the listings and focused on the main changes. To be honest nothing much has really changed apart from a few little tweaks in the styling to make the list more presentable. I have seen a listing with quite a bit of content and long title tag and the listing is more squared off. To be honest it looks much better even though hardly anything has been changed.


I think that this change in design is much better than previous designs. It identifies clear feature of the SERPs listing such as the preview feature. Google have taken the next step from a new feature being seen in the SERPs to the feature fitting into the SERPs.

Google Site Links

This is just  quick blog post. Today I noticed that Google have changed the way that they show Site Links in the SERPs.

Please See Below.

As you can see the Site Links now appears to have taken over more and more space on the SERP’s page if you are looking for brand. Now dont get me wrong this is a decent change if your trying to point out a big brand, however I dont like it.

It just looks to0 spaced out, before it looked much more structured. I dont know there is something that just does not look right if you know what I mean. Do we really need to link or the meta description?

I dont think so.

Related Searches Feature is Back

Right just a quick post.

Google have been trailing the related search tags that include,


I also know that these trails started last year near the end of October start of November.

As you can see with the image below the first example that I have seen is floor tiles.

First thing I thought was a question, maybe the biggest and simplest answered question.

What is a Brand in Googles eyes?

So, what makes a Brand a Brand?! Is it,

A manual process – I very much doubt that.
A Search Volume – I think this will play a big part in helping google identify a brand.
A Social Aspect – Again yes I think this will have a big effect. The more people talk about a brand the more influence it has.
A presence of offline marketing – I don’t believe so.

These answers sums up how google identifies a brand.

The other relevant tags such as stores and types are very simplistic pieces of codes that identify a store or what colours a product comes in.

Overall I think that this feature is a really good feature and its continued development will be  a good thing for the user experience.

Beware h tag overload

The recent big Google update, ‘Panda’ or ‘Farmer’ update in my eyes been a positive move from google to try and reduce the amount of rubbish on the internet.

To be honest I am surprise my blog is still even in google at all.

But anyway, as I was saying this update is aimed at getting ride of bad content sites. Basically one of the aims is to push relevant sites with good rich unique content higher up the SERP’s.

Well there has been a few people who have noticed that too many of 1 header tag can be a bad thing. This overuse of a header tag can not drop your site straight away but slowly lower your high rankings.


Top tip of the day is spread your h tags better. For example,

H1 tag = 1 keyword
H2 tag = 2/3 keywords
H3 tags = 4 keywords

If you try where possible to achieve the above, google will see you in a more positive light. You have shown there are some of your products or services that are more influential than others.