December 05, 2008

SEO/web review 2008

ChristmasChristmas approaches. 2008 is drawing to a close. Soon we'll be into a bright, shiny new year. So now is a good time to take stock and look at what hit the headlines in the world of SEO and the Internet over the last 12 months. Here are some of the big stories that caught our eye this year. In no particular order:

Go Compare Blacklisted

The comparison site Go Compare was blacklisted by Google – sinking down and out of Google almost overnight in January. Be afraid! Listen to your SEO people – bad practice has consequences.

Google Trademark Words Policy

Google adwordsOn 5th May Google changed its AdWords policy to allow all-comers to bid on trademarked brand names. You can now set up AdWords that appear when someone types in a protected brand name such as Coca Cola or Adidas or Hoover. Great for search engine marketing.

Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft Talks

This year was dominated by proposed partnerships and take-over bids by the major industry players. Yahoo! had talks with Microsoft and Google had talks with Yahoo! The only people not talking to each other were Microsoft & Google. And the only thing everyone agreed on was that Google is the winner!

No More Fake Reviews

On 26 May, ‘fake' reviews became illegal under UK law punishable by up to two years in jail. So don't even think about making up any customer reviews online or in print and get expert help with the wording for advertorials.

Microsoft Cashback on Live Search

Dollar billsIn May Microsoft launched a cashback incentive scheme that gave US customers rebates on goods purchased from selected retailers via Live Search. Though it's experienced some glitches it has been a success so far.

Louis Vuitton Court Case

Louis Vuitton was not happy about Google's change to their trademarked words policy and promptly took them to court.

Flash Files Now SEO Friendly

In June, Google announced that Abode Flash files would now be crawled by the search engine. Everything contained within Flash files are now read and spidered in the same way as html text – great for SEO!

Google in Trouble over UK Street View

Street View, Google's map feature that allows you to ‘drive' at street level along the actual road, has already caused problems in the US over invasion of privacy. But in Europe there's bigger problems ahead as, because it's in essence a film of a journey, it contravenes the EU Data Protection Directive – oops!

The Great Domain Gold Rush

ICANN announced that from early next year we will all be able to invent our own top level domain names! Goodie!

Google Insight Launched

Google Insight was launched in August giving you the chance to look at detailed worldwide popularity stats for any given search term.

Microsoft Buys Ciao

Microsoft was busy buying e-commerce comparison site Ciao.

Google Separates Search Stats

In October Google added the option to allow AdWords users to view separate statistics for Google search and its Partner Network sites such as and Prior to this, data was only listed for both networks combined.

Yahoo and kelkooYahoo! ditches Kelkoo

Meanwhile Yahoo! was busy offloading their own comparison site, Kelkoo. 

Google Searches Scanned Docs

In October, Google also announced it could now 'read' scanned Adobe PDF documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) – great for SEO!

FacebookFacebook in Top 5

In September, Facebook broke into the Top 5 most visited sites in the UK for the first time, knocking the BBC back to sixth place.

Google Chrome

Google launched its long awaited new browser – Chrome. Faster and more flexible it looks set to become the new standard.

Here at Edgeworks we work hard to keep you up to date with all the latest SEO, search engine marketing and Internet news. Keep an eye on Webfly and we'll make sure you're always the first to know.

November 19, 2008

Google Jump Ship, but what will Yahoo! do next?

YahooGoogle has cancelled its ad deal with Yahoo! due to US government antitrust measures.

The search engines have announced that they no longer plan on working together to allow Google adWords ads to show up on Yahoo! search results.

The partnership which reportedly would have added $250 to $450 million annually to Yahoo will be a blow for the company who were hoping to benefit from the extra revenue following the takeover bid from Microsoft earlier this year.

This now leaves speculation on what Yahoo may do next. One option is for Yahoo to merge with the AOL part of Time Warner, whereas other speculation suggests that Yahoo may now be open to new discussions with Microsoft, with Jerry Yang reportedly saying at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco:

"I don’t think that is a bad idea at all, at the right price whatever that price is. We’re willing to sell the company."

There is still more to come with this story - watch this space!

October 09, 2008

Ad: tech 2008 The Interactive Advertising and Technology Conference


Ad: tech, the interactive advertising and technology conference, took place in London last week. This annual event saw people from across the UK coming together to discuss internet, digital and mobile marketing.

The two day conference featured speeches, seminars and more than 140 exhibitors, all eager to talk about changing trends and their most recent and imaginative online marketing campaigns. Participants included Big Mouth Media, Green Light, Dot Mailer, Latitude and Click Consult.

Seminars from some of the digital industry’s biggest players offered visitors a true insight into everything from how to successfully optimise your website content (David McMurtrie, Double Click’s Optimisation Sales Director) to a Pot Noodle Case Study from AKQA, who spoke about their ‘Tipping Pot’ campaign, which generated more than three million hits creating one of the most successful viral marketing videos to date.

For more details of Ad: techs up and coming events be sure to check out their website.

August 11, 2008

Google Insights hits the streets…

Insights_96693_en_regionNow here's an interesting development! Google launched a new service (yes, yes, another one) last week that could change the way we adapt SEO marketing strategies, certainly in terms of the Google Search Engine. But it has an added and unexpected bonus - it's fun!

Just like the first time you ever sat down in front of the Internet and started putting random search terms in - just for fun - Google Insights for Search gives you that same feeling of adventure!

Basically it shows you graphically:

  • How popular your search term is
  • How its popularity has varied over time
  • How it competes with other terms on the same graph
  • Where your searchers are based in the world and what cities

Which means you can get very curious about why Batman appears to be most popular in Turkey; why the French are more keen on Ikea than anyone else and why George Bush is more popular in Tanzania than he is the US…

Insights_96693_en_timeHow does it work? According to Google: ‘It analyses a portion of worldwide Google web searches from all Google domains to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you've entered, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. It then shows you a graph with the results, indicating interest over time, plotted on a scale from 0 to 100; the totals are indicated next to bars by the search terms.’

Why is it good? Well, now you have the data to back up your decisions on what terms to use where and that's just for starters. You can also drill down in preset categories such as home and garden; industries and health and look at seasonal variations too. Take a look and have a play here.

August 06, 2008

Professional B2B Web and Ad Copywriting – who needs it?

Everyone, obviously. But sometimes you can’t see the point. Why spend money on outside help when you can write, can’t you? And anyway, your products aren’t for sale to the public are they? They’re specialist equipment. And your target audience knows all about your products, don’t they?

The trouble is, even if your products are totally and utterly unique or you have minimal competition, your target audience won’t buy unless you can demonstrate what your, for example, impulse ventilation systems, bridge bearings, apparel branding labels, bottling equipment, excavators, public liability insurance, (…breathe…) surgical instruments, reinforced soil, plastics, PCB tab routers, software, demolition and land remediation or support services can do for them. The key words here are: DO FOR THEM. Not what it physically does. But what it does FOR THEM!

Yes. Yes. You know this, right? Good! So remember: A web picture and a load of technical spec just doesn’t cut it anymore. Your clients are shopping around right now – checking out your competition who may well be selling the benefits and not the features, and that means if you’re not doing the same then you could be in trouble. The current market is a challenge for us all and we all need to be ahead of the game.

So before its too late, talk to us and we can help with specialist writers who DO understand your products, can give you new ideas, fresh words that work and together we can create an SEO strategy that delivers real results.

Who is WebFly?
  • Steve HelsbyWebflyblog is where Steve Helsby of Edgeworks comments on all things web related, with a particular focus on online marketing and technology.
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