Report Scraper Sites! The Big G Gets Reported as an Example

Publish quality content. That has always been Google’s mantra. Don’t build links… build quality content that people will link to.


Any “good” site that publishes “quality” content gets victimized by scrapers and that’s just a simple fact.

Unsavoury characters who want content on which they can sell advertising, basically rip your content, lift it and publish it as their own.

Now, depending on how good they are and how, er, not so good you are, those scraper sites can rank higher than you for your own content.

This is not the post to go into the ins and outs. I will do that next week, but our favourite Googler, Matt Cutts, tweeted that there was a new way for you to report if scraped content was outranking the original content.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! Enter Mr Dan Barker Continue reading “Report Scraper Sites! The Big G Gets Reported as an Example”

Classing It Up Like It Actually IS Your Job

Being a proper Southern lady (which I totally am so just ask anyone who’s never met me in person please, as otherwise this charade won’t go on for much longer) I am always very impressed when someone takes the time to say thank you, but when they take the time to actually do something to indicate their thanks? I’m devoted to them forever.

There’s too little of this in the world today as simple gratitude keeps getting replaced by more and more entitlement. For example, I am a big door holder. I don’t mean that I hold big doors, although I would, but if I have the chance to hold the door for someone even if this person is 50 feet behind me, I’ll do it. The other day I held the door for some total bleached blonde cow with a baby carriage and she pushed past me, smugly staring me down without saying a word. She’s lucky I had my daughter with me or I’d have gone into a hillbilly rage where the Muzak suddenly turned into the music that played on The Dukes Of Hazzard when there was a fight scene. Why couldn’t she just say “thank you” and not make me wish I’d brought my cast iron skillet with me as I shopped? (I usually do.)

thank you Continue reading “Classing It Up Like It Actually IS Your Job”

Social Media is as Important as Any Other Aspect of Your Business

I read an article on DigiDay this morning about big brand social media managers, and how they feel their jobs are viewed. It seems slightly ridiculous that there are still companies out there who don’t even consider social media when they put together a marketing strategy, especially when Facebook has just celebrated its 10th birthday and every social platform out there just keeps on growing.

OK, fair enough, if you’re a one man electrician business, it’s not necessarily going to be the first thing on your list, but if you’re a brand that is looking to connect with relevant customers in order to drive sales, you really need to look at having some sort of social media strategy, at the very least.

Social Media Management is NOT Messing Around on the Internet

A massive misconception that many people believe is that managing social media accounts and putting together social media strategy is the same as managing and updating your own social media accounts. You’ll get a lot of “Oh, so you just sit on Facebook and Twitter all day?” when you tell people what you do. Yeah, that and the rest. But how many videos ideas have you seen through to completion which have then gone on to have hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube? I’ll bet that the last status you posted about your child’s potty training didn’t go viral. Continue reading “Social Media is as Important as Any Other Aspect of Your Business”

Why NekNominations are Causing Me to Lose Faith in Society

Unless you’ve been living on Mars for the past few weeks (which, frankly, I wish I had been) you’ll have seen the NekNomination craze that has been taking Facebook by storm.

This involves people downing alcoholic drinks and then nominating someone else to do the same, possibly by going one better than their nominator. The ‘hilarious’ japes are filmed and posted onto their Facebook timeline, so all of their friends can see how much of a lad they are. Fun huh?


It has been reported that the craze started off in Australia, and that it only reached the UK a few weeks ago. It’s obviously a universal fact that drinking is ‘cool’ and the more alcohol your can drink, the cooler you are. Continue reading “Why NekNominations are Causing Me to Lose Faith in Society”

WordPress AutoUpdates – Why Not?

It seems that my recent article about the WordPress AutoUpdate feature has garnered some feedback from another author at this site.   I feel compelled to respond to some of the points that Rhys has made.

Minor Update…

Rhys said:

WordPress’ automatic updates are only activated for minor releases. Minor releases are when you go – for example – from 3.8 to 3.8.1 (which was the latest update). Major releases will be when WordPress goes from – say – 3.8.1 to 3.9.

My contribution to this site was by personal request from a site owner here.  As the request was spontaneous, it wasn’t my intention to write a complete tutorial on the WordPress AutoUpdate feature. That being said, I read a lot of this sort of thing at the thread I started on the forum.  For me, that argument fell flat.

None of the software that I’ve written, nor the sites that I own or am obligated to maintain, failed with this update or any other update.  I’ve always done regular backups beyond the backup done at the time of the update and not having the opportunity to do that snapshot backup prior to the rollout of the update was disturbing.

Should Not Break…

Rhys said: Continue reading “WordPress AutoUpdates – Why Not?”

Common Sense Isn’t Common Enough Today

I promised myself that I would stay away from this topic… that there were already enough regurgitated posts about guest blogging. But it proves to provide a perfect segue to a mini-rant. And those that know me are well aware of my weakness for such opportunities.


Hornets nestMatt Cutts seems to have stirred up a hornet’s nest the other day, when he blogged about The decay and fall of guest blogging. As someone that has stirred his share of hornet’s nests over the years, I can imagine him muttering as he did a classic facepalm and shook his head in dismay. Been there, done that, Matt!

One couldn’t help but get the impression that Matt may have been a little fed up when he penned that post. I’ve been following pretty much every word out his avatar’s mouth for several years, and he’s rarely been quite so explicit in his statements. The ‘tude was showing, man.

But then, if I was tasked with running Google’s spam team, I’m betting I’d totally redefine the term jaded.  And I’ve got a ‘tude on, even when I’m in good mood!

His blog,, hasn’t been starved for either views or comments for quite a while, but the velocity at which comments piled up in the wake of his statement was still notable. Some applauded his announcement that guest blogging would be getting some “special” attention (I’m in that camp). Some just jumped in to spew hate and others were wont to defend guest blogging. Continue reading “Common Sense Isn’t Common Enough Today”

Yes – Leave WordPress Automatic Updates Switched On, It’s For Your Own Good

secure vaultSo I read with interest Marj Wyatt’s post recently on this very site where she spoke of her dislike of the WordPress Automatic Updates. For those of you who are unaware – WordPress as of 3.7 (which was launched at the end of October) now automatically upgrades WordPress should a release be available. The post highlighted a discussion topic featuring a number of viewpoints on this subject, many of them were against the opt-out format of automatic updates, and Marj herself was against it.

As a WordPress evangelist, and somebody fascinated by it’s ecosystem, I thought it’d be a good idea to post a rebuttal, clear up a few misconceptions, and also try to explain some functionality behind it. I should point out that – besides sharing the odd conference room and beers with the odd core contributor – I am an outsider looking in, so don’t know exactly why things are done that way.

Automatic Upgrades Are Only For Minor Releases

Here is the thing first of all. WordPress’ automatic updates are only activated for minor releases. Minor releases are when you go – for example – from 3.8 to 3.8.1 (which was the latest update). Major releases will be when WordPress goes from – say – 3.8.1 to 3.9. The minor releases – whilst minor – are important, as they often fix security issues and bugs that have arisen. These minor releases should not break any functionality of themes and plugins, as no functionality is ever removed or changed, but rather to fix bugs. Whilst Marj’s post did seem to suggest that minor updates had broken functionality, I cannot recall a time when such an issue arose (in fact, the only issue I could remember from my 8 years in using the software was when functionality changed that broke a lot of lazy coding – and yes, it broke some of my plugins too). The only issue I could see with minor upgrades causing grief would be when core files (everything that isn’t in the WP-Content folder) would be changed. Continue reading “Yes – Leave WordPress Automatic Updates Switched On, It’s For Your Own Good”

Custom Dashboards to make your life a little easier

Google Analytics gives us key insights to the traffic to our sites.

Google Analytics not only lets you measure sales and conversions, but also gives you fresh insights into how visitors use your site, how they arrived on your site and how you can keep them coming back.

Queue the barrage of NOT PROVIDED comments.

The argument is mute, get over it.

Some of the people who read this will be at the start of their digital marketing journey, others will be more experienced.

This post is one in a series. If you are not using Google Analytics, you should be!

If the thought of Google Analytics frightens you, fear not.

There are a few awesome dashboards which have been put together that can help you get started on your analytical path.

It is imperative you understand how users engage with your site, so you can continually iterate and ensure a return on your investments.

Custom reports can always help you extract value, especially when you set them to email you regularly (and read them, use them!) this is until you become an analytics junkie and the first thing you do in the morning is log in!

Custom reports allow you to view key metrics at a glance and better yet, the more experience you build, the more you can tailor them to your specific needs.

So to make life a little easier for you, we have complied a list of some of the best custom dashboards readily available for a one click install. Continue reading “Custom Dashboards to make your life a little easier”

Carloan4u Penalty – and a Warning to the Rest

Search in for a well known Car Loans company, carloan4u , notice anything odd?

Capture brand search

They don’t rank for their brand!

A quick look in Searchmetrics…

Capture - carloans 4u

Visibility is reportedly, allegedly gone.

I had a quick look at a new tool, website penalty indicator, using SEM Rush data

Capture website penalty indicator

This shows an uplift in reported organic traffic, while Searchmetrics shows a drop in reported visibility. The URL does not rank for a brand search, so something is going on.

So CognotiveSEO next and the fresh explorer

Let’s take a little look at the Anchors. Continue reading “Carloan4u Penalty – and a Warning to the Rest”

Two Thousand and Late – 10 Online Habits That Should Remain in the Digital Past

People have so many annoying online habits, but a lot of the time, it’s things that can be stopped. We’ve all done them in the past, but we’re into 2014. Add these bad boys to your New Year’s resolution list. It’s no longer 2005, no-one is going to think you’re cool.

N.B. This article could coincide with the fact that I’m getting old. I no longer want to spend every Saturday morning waking up with a colossal hangover, and I no longer want my whole life broadcast across social media. So either these things really are well and truly dead, or I’m just past it.

That's annoying!1. Fictional Names

Apart from on Twitter, where a made up name is almost mandatory because someone in China who never tweets has taken yours, there’s no need to make up a name. Don’t add a ‘quirky’ middle name to your Facebook profile. We all know your real middle name is Alan, and that your real surname is Smith, not Smithington-Brown III.

The only time this is acceptable is if you’re under the age of 18 and you don’t know better.

2. Photos from Every Night Out

The novelty of uploading photos on Facebook has seriously worn off. No-one wants to see every single photo that you took of you and your three other friends on a night out. How have you had time to take 203 pictures anyway? Shouldn’t you just concentrate on having a good time? Continue reading “Two Thousand and Late – 10 Online Habits That Should Remain in the Digital Past”