SEO and Website Jargon

Your A to Z on SEO and Web jargon.

Black Hat – If you ever hear the words black hat and your website in the same sentence, it is not going to be a good day. Black Hat techniques are simply how not to do things when it comes to SEO. If you are doing it or the SEO company you employ are doing it, it wont be long before you are banned from the engines, so be aware.

Blog – A blog is a web site or a part of a website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions and comments by one or multiple users, adding posts to catagories and assigning tags to each post to explain exactly what the post is about.

Browsers – Browsers are software programs that enable you to view WWW documents. They ‘translate’ HTML-encoded files into the text, images, sounds and other features you see. Microsoft Internet Explorer (called simply IE), Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, and Opera are examples of ‘graphical’ browsers that enable you to view text and images and many other WWW features.

Cache – In browsers, ‘cache’ is used to identify a space where web pages you have visited are stored in your computer. A copy of documents you retrieve is stored in cache. When you use GO, BACK, or any other means to revisit a document, the browser first checks to see if it is in cache and will retrieve it from there because it is much faster than retrieving it from the World Wide Web.

CMS (Content Management System) – Websites are quite often built upon CMS’s these days. They are foundations of a website that give user and admin capabilities to the client after the website has been completed. These are most often connected to sites that have a lot of information that is regularly changing – such as blogs. Some of the more famous CMS systems are WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal. CMS = more updates from the website owner. Regular updates on a website = better SEO, which puts SEO into the hands of the website owner.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – When websites are created, often a set of rules will be created that will be applicable to the entire site. For example, all main titles may need to be large and in a green typeface. In this scenario, the rule would be written in the CSS sheet which is attached to each page. This CSS sheet will be often contain hundreds of rules for the website and are attached to all the pages that are subject to the rules. It’s not abnormal to have more than one CSS file for a website.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – Ability to rapidly transfer entire files from one computer to another, intact, for viewing or other purposes. Often a specific piece of software will be required to use FTP. Some website builders have it built in (such as Adobe Dreamweaver), although most professionals will use a seperate piece of software to manage their FTP. Software such as Filezilla or Cyberduck.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) – A standardised language of computer code, embedded in ‘source’ documents behind all Web documents, containing the textual content, images, links to other documents (and possibly other applications, such as sound or motion) and formatting instructions for display on the screen. HTML5 is the latest standard addition to the code, adding the capacity to use animation and video without the need for extra pieces of software such as Adobe Flash (gradually rendering such softwares obsolete).

ISP (Internet Service Provider) – A company that sells internet connections via modem (examples: aol, Mindspring). There are thousands of ISPs to choose from and they’re not easy to evaluate. Faster, more expensive internet connectivity is available via cable or DSL.

Keyword(s) – A word searched for in a search command. Keywords are searched in any order. Use spaces to separate keywords in simple keyword searching. These can be used in any search box, be that online or on your home machine.

Meta-Search Engine – Search engines that automatically submit your keyword search to several other search tools and retrieve results from all their databases. Convenient time-savers for relatively simple keyword searches (one or two keywords or phrases in ” “).

On-Site Links – On Site links are links on your site pointing or leading to other pages on your site. These are usually the links that you will see on the navigation bar or menu within the site. However, it could also be in the midst of the text. For example… visit our contact page to get in touch.

One Way Links – One way links are pretty much what they say on the tin. It is where Site A links to you, but you offer no link back to them. This is often found with directories and articles or press released.

Optimisation (or Optimization, depending on what part of the world you are from!) – Web site optimization is the process of specifically designing your web pages to rank high in the Search Engines. If you’re serious about your business, optimizing your web pages is a must.

Page Rank – Page rank is the algorithm used by Google to work out the importance of links pointing to your website or any website. It tries to measure the importance of the link pointing to your site and then, taking all of your inbound links into account, assigns a page rank to your website, which ranks from 0 -10. Only a few sites have a page rank of 10, with most established sites having a page rank of between 4 and 6.

PDF (or .pdf or pdf file) – Abbreviation for Portable Document Format, a file format developed by Adobe Systems that is used to capture almost any kind of document with the formatting in the original. Viewing a PDF file requires Acrobat Reader, which is built into most browsers and can be downloaded free from Adobe. PDF’s are now considered the industry standard for viewing documents on the Internet, often in the scenario of terms and conditions or printable forms/documents.

Reciprocal Links – This is often called a link exchange or link swap. It is basically where you link to Site A and they link back to you. If you are doing reciprocal linking, try to make sure the sites you are swapping links with are relevant and have some kind of existence.

SEO – Hopefully after being on this site for a while you will know this, but if not, SEO is the abbreviation for Search Engine Optimisation. It is a combination of doing many things to make sure your website is effecting in the major search engines.

SERP – This stands for Search Engine Results Page and is effectively the pages that are returned as a result of a search. For example, if you search for dining sets, the SERP are the web pages returned by a search engine for that keyword.

Spiders – Computer robot programs, referred to sometimes as ‘crawlers’ or ‘knowledge-bots’ or ‘knowbots’, that are used by search engines to roam the World Wide Web via the Internet. They visit sites and databases and keep the search engine database of web pages up to date. They obtain new pages, update known pages and delete obsolete ones. Their findings are then integrated into the ‘home’ database. Most large search engines operate several spiders all the time. Even so, the web is so enormous that it can take six months for spiders to cover it, resulting in a certain degree of “out-datedness” (link rot) in all the search engines.

Sponsors (of a web page or site) – Many web pages have organisations, businesses, institutions like universities, nonprofit foundations, or other interests, which ‘sponsor’ the page. Frequently you can find a link titled ‘Sponsors’, or an ‘About us’ link, explaining who or what (if anyone) is sponsoring the page. Sometimes the advertisers on the page (banner ads, links, buttons to sites that sell or promote something) are ‘sponsors’. WHY is this important? Sponsors and the funding they provide may, or may not, influence what can be said on the page or site and can bias what you find by excluding some opposing viewpoint or causing some other imbalanced information. A sponsored site is not necessarily bad, but sponsors should alert you to the need to evaluate a page or site very carefully.

Three Way Links – Three way links is a way of reciprocal linking but using a 3rd site for the link back. This is a form of link building which tries to hide the fact that you have entered into a link exchange. So site 1 will link to site 2 on the understanding that site 3 will link back to site 1. On most occasions site 2 and 3 are owned by the same person.

White Hat – White Hat SEO techniques are what we all abide by. These are the things that we do to improve the clients website and serps, in a natural and “proper” way, a way in which the engines both approve of and like. Any decent SEO company will only use white hat techniques to improve your SEO.

Posted in SEO |


Offsite Optimisation

This is easily the most important aspect of SEO as far as I’m concerned. Even with Google moving further down the line of social indicators on which to base it’s results, these are still off-site aspects and should therefore receive the vast majority of your time/resources.

As mentioned earlier, a high ranking results from a combination of relevance and authority and these come almost entirely from other websites.
The ideal scenario would be if you were an authority website such as BBC or Wikipedia who naturally draw inbound links from a wide range of other websites due to their valuable content. If you produce content like this the draws thousands of links per day, you don’t have to worry about working on link-building, but for the rest of us, we have to aim to manipulate Google by simulating the behaviour of external websites linking to valuable content.
The ideal backlink is a text link from a page that is highly relevant to your target keyword phrase on a highly authoritative website that has content focussed mainly on that keyword with anchor text as closely matching the phrase you are trying to rank for as possible.
Unless you are producing amazing content, these types of links are extremely hard to come by so the best thing you can do is make up the authority and relevance separately by creating low-relevance, high authority links and also high-relevance, low authority links.

Posted in Offsite Optimisation, SEO | Tagged , |


Days Out in Yorkshire


Quick links to hundreds of great Yorkshire websites!


Click: Days Out in North Yorkshire

Click: Days Out in East Yorkshire

Click: Days Out in South Yorkshire

Click: Days Out in West Yorkshire


Click: Days Out in Yorkshire


It’s great to relax at weekends, but if you have children then you’ll know that getting out and about more often can be quite important! It can also make a day really special, and build memories that may well last a lifetime. Choosing somewhere to go that will be a success can be a bit daunting, but help is at hand with a selection of great ideas to get you started for days out in Yorkshire:

    A castle is a good place to start, with its outstanding display of Britain’s medieval history. Look out for battle re-enactments and other exciting special events that are often held in the summer.Conisbrough Castle in South Yorkshire, is a perfect expedition for the whole family – with Summer activities taking place on the Castle Grounds.
  • Two-wheeled exploration is next on the list, with many cycle centres available throughout the country. Here you can hire bikes for the whole family and hit the trail on one of many marked cycle tracks or freely explore the local area yourselves. Forests are often great places to hire bikes – natural beauty, tranquility and exercise all rolled into one!Take a look at the South Yorkshire Forest for all of this!
    Ideal for children, model villages never fail to fascinate. Complete with houses, churches, shops and more, the model village is a masterpiece of craftsmanship seen across the country.Visit East Yorkshire for the Bondville Model Village in Bridlington for some spectacular scenes!
  • If it’s wild, action-packed non-stop fun you’re after, then outdoor adventure parks are for you and your children. In the play barns you’ll find drop slides, wavy slides, ball pools and much more, whilst outside there is always lots to do as well, including rides, trampolines and more.Why not visit Lightwater Valley Adventure Park in North Yorkshire?
    Steam Railways are a good place for railway enthusiasts young and old. In addition to heritage train services for visitors, the railways often run special events suitable for all the family, such as a ‘Day out with Thomas’.The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in West Yorkshire is a perfect Day Out in Yorkshire. You could also visit the National Railway Museum in York.
  • Talking of museums, they can provide a treasure trove of items relating to human history, the animal kingdom, science, domestic life, crafts, trades and industries from the ancient to the present day. There are often events, activities and demonstrations on offer, many of them specifically for children.Why not visit the National Media Museum in Bradford for a TV-and-Film-themed Day Out?


If your family manage to visit all these different kinds of attractions this year, you will be doing well. But rest assured, there are plenty more places to go next year…..and the next!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , |


Short URL’s Vs. long URL’s

When it comes to SEO, one of the main things to consider is what people will be typing. Whether that be in the address bar or the search bar.

Search engines, like Google, do look at the way in which the URL is formed. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator and gives an unique address for a given web page. When it comes to SEO, matching up the keywords here becomes essential. Assuming that you have already taken into consideration your website domain (, the pages themselves also need to match the content you are hoping to be found for. For example, I want to promote my Pear website page in search engines. It promotes the sale of Pears in my local community of Shoreham. So some keywords here are pears and Shoreham. Putting this into the URL may look something like this:

Some websites automatically generate the URL’s and some are simply made by naming the appropriate pages in HTML. The danger with automated URL’s is that you can end up with something like: – just take a look at any given youtube video link! So when building a website, and formatting it in an SEO-friendly way – specifying your content within your URL is essential.

The question then becomes, how specific can you be? How about…? Too long, or crammed full of keywords? And that brings us to our key question here: Short URL’s vs. Long URL’s.

The incentives of having a longer URl, means that search engines can pick up more keywords – making your page more likely to be found under specific criteria. But the trouble with this is simply that people will not recognise your page content easily. Many people will look at a URL to see the name of the content on the page as it often reflects the organisation of the website (and in many cases the company!).

A Google representative also stated that two or three words is perfectly normal – but more than that can cause Google to put less value on the words that you are using in your URL. A good amount of characters is 115 (or less!).

So when saving your pages, consider your content and carefully consider your URL. A perfect example of a well-organised business is the Quoakle Graphical Web Directory – which specialises in promoting businesses through SEO within its simple and colourful graphical interface. For example, if you were searching for a good day out in Gloucestershire, their URL for this is: It takes into account the location as well as the content of the page. The whole Quoakle directory is built around a very tidy, releavant and well-optimised approach to SEO and ensures that each URL is carefully utilised for maximum effect.

Length isn’t the only key to good URL’s. Realising that a web browser interprits an underscore (_) as a character helps you realise that if you add them within your URL – you are essentially writing a long word. For example: pears-in-shoreham would be recognised as “pears in shoreham”, whereas, pears_in_shoreham would be recognised as “pearsinshoreham” – which would have significantly less SEO value.

Other things to consider is not having too many subdirectories (eg:, there’s just no point. Also sub-domains (eg. as well as as well as etc etc), this doesn’t assist you in any way – you’d be better off adding it at the end like most other URL’s (at least from an SEO perspective).

Another two brilliant examples of URL’s are: restaurants in gloucestershire ( or home improvements in gloucestershire (

Posted in Onsite Optimisation, SEO, Useful Web Tools |


What is Responsive Website Design?‏

Many technology analysts and website designers have pre-branded 2013 as the “Year of the Responsive Websites”. Interesting. But what does it mean and how important is it for the user, the designer and the business?

The History of Resolution.
Well let’s start at the beginning. When the Internet was invented, it was used for communicating data. As the Internet expanded and more businesses required a web-presence, the look and feel of the this data became more important. Back then, a computer resolution was an average 640×480 pixels. This meant, that programmers could build a website to this specification, knowing that would be the optimal viewing size of the end-user. But technology is an ever-growing machine and over the years, our monitors grew and grew. According to W3Schools, the statistical readings for users in January 2013 showed that a whopping 90% of users were viewing their site through a screen size larger than 1024×768. This indication puts huge pressure on website designers to ensure that their work still looks great on a much larger scale. The trouble is that it doesn’t end there…

The Post-PC Era.
Apple’s clever play on words at their conference last year sums up the age in which we live. No more do users need to wait until they get to the office to check out the website advertised on the bus shelter, they can do it on their mobile devices. Smart-phones and Tablets are a major part of our society now, making the need for versatile website resolutions even more apparent. Each company producing web-enabled devices has multiple screen sizes and resolutions, making the categorisation of screen size almost impossible. Even the steady-design of the Apple iPhone comes in at least three different resolutions as we enter 2013.

The Solution?.
Responsive Website Design. Instead of building a website in photoshop and splicing it up to make the exact look and feel of a website, we live in an age where every element of the website needs to be carefully configured to reflect the screen it’s being viewed on. This is where CMS’s come in handy. For the average Website Designer with a tad of HTML experience, adding in queries to test the screen size can be daunting. So more and more websites are being developed using content management systems, which take care of a lot of the leg-work – so the designers can focus on… well… the design!

This year will no-doubt host an array of new devices from Samsung, Apple, Sony and more. So with the “average screen size” being a thing of the past, it’s time to look to a future that revolves around Responsive Websites.

Posted in SEO, Useful Web Tools |



Last week we talked about how important it is to keep the loading speeds for a website as low as possible – we talked about various methods of ensuring your site loads quickly and easily – but there is one thing we didn’t look at – how to analyse your site to begin with.

If you are building, or have built, a website – sometimes your own loading time can be deceptive. Partly because your browser would have cached some of the images and information before and partly because if you are building a website – chances are, you have a decent connection speed.


So. What to do?


That’s where Pingdom comes in. Pingdom is a free online tool that tests you loading speed and gives you a breakdown of what loads when and how long it takes. Better yet, it does it from random locations around the world, giving you a good cross-section of your viewers. For example, if we type in into Pingdom – it tells us that the website loads in 2.06 seconds and is 68% faster than all websites tested. That’s helpful – but the clever breakdown of the individual elements on the page is extremely helpful for you to analyse what needs changing!

So give it a try – it’s free!


22 Tips To Speed Up WordPress Site Performance –

Improve the loading speed of your blog and increased organic traffic by 39.1% – all within 30 days!

Posted in Onsite Optimisation, SEO, Useful Web Tools |


Days Out in Oxfordshire – Quoakle success as directory reaches Google Rank 4!

Days Out in Oxfordshire Google Rank 4Great news for the Quoakle Team and for Oxfordshire Days Out Businesses as Quoakle’s “Days Out in Oxfordshire” page reaches Google Page Rank 4!
Page rank is the algorithm used by Google to work out the importance of links pointing to your website or any website. It tries to measure the importance of the link pointing to your site and then, taking all of your inbound links into account, assigns a page rank to your website, which ranks from 0 -10. Only a few sites have a page rank of 10, with most established sites having a page rank of between 4 and 6.

Quoakle pages have been climbing up the rankings since the launch in 2006. The Days Out pages for all 64 counties are the top ranking topic on Quoakle. However this is the first time pages on the graphical directory have ranked 4. As well as the Oxfordshire page, Days Out in Wiltshire is also a Page Rank 4 page!

To check the Page Rank yourself upload these pages:

Days Out In Oxfordshire

Days Out in Wiltshire


Great news indeed!

Posted in Offsite Optimisation, SEO, Uncategorized |


Free Advertising Online in the UK


Posted in Offsite Optimisation |


Quoakle’s BIG Idea brings more good news for UK Businesses!

Just as people are beginning to talk about “coming out of the recession”, there is more good news for UK Businesses.  Today, Tuesday November 6th, Gloucester-based Internet Company,, launches its “BIG idea” and begins giving out advertising gifts to scores of local companies!

At the start of its 7th year the Quoakle team wanted to do something a bit special.  Website promotion specialist and boss, Nigel Steele, describes Quoakle’s “BIG idea”. “We’ve enjoyed real success with the directory, getting top positions on Google and we now want to take things to the next level. What better way than by giving something away!”

From this week, Quoakle starts offering FREE advertising for all company websites that fall into Quoakle’s 14 diverse topics – from Restaurants to Gardening Businesses and from Wedding Services to Days Out activities.

Since its launch in 2006, Quoakle’s online directory has enjoyed tremendous growth through its focus on clear, simple page design, removing the clutter of too much text as well as the distraction of off-putting banner adverts. Designed by an unusual Head Teacher-Former Pupil team, Quoakle has become known for its simplicity and ease of use.  As one of its users commented, “…it’s a breath of fresh air!”

UK companies have been pleased with the benefits they have found when signing up to be on Quoakle’s topical pages.
Chris Snell, owner of Garden Landscaping Business, Greenfields, has been advertising with Quoakle for over 5 years, and is very happy with the results.  ” For our website promotion and search engine optimisation, we’ve been using Quoakle and it’s been very successful”

For small companies that don’t have their own website, Quoakle has another simple web solution – the QuoakleCard – which is really a glorified business card with smart design, simple page layout and a unique web address.

And for those businesses nervous about anything that says it’s free, Quoakle’s catchy video clip gives the clear message, “No Cost! No Catch!”



Posted in SEO |


Quoakle’s Big Idea

Businesses across the UK are in for a great surprise as Quoakle’s unique local business directory begins its 7th year.

Quoakle, the quick link to local websites, known for its simplicity and ease of use, has just come up with a BIG idea!

On Tuesday November 6th 2012, everything will be made clear as Quoakle’s Big Idea goes public.

Posted in SEO |


Quoakle on the iPad

One of the more difficult things to get right with web design is the multiple browsers you need to configure for. Some of the layout can be cleverly fixed to interpret the environment that it is being viewed on, but certain other features are browser-specific, which often leads to websites looking slightly different (and/or), displaying errors when on certain devices. One of the ways that is most difficult to get right is one iOS, the mobile operating system for Apple. This features on iPhones along with iPads. Interestingly, these devices have two main web browsers: the default, Apple Safari as well as the optional extra, Google Chrome. There are others, but these make up the majority of the hits from iOS devices.

On both of these browsers, Flash is disabled and so an importance to keep things HTML5 themed is essential – especially when it comes to animation and technical additions. That’s why we have worked so hard to keep Quoakle completely limitless. Whichever browser you use on whichever device, we have worked hard to ensure it not only works, but looks great too. The iPad is the perfect testament to this.

If you visit the Quaokle UK Web Directory on an iPad, you will see the beauty of the site in a very real way. For those unfamiliar with the design and navigation of the iOS, square Apps are selected by touching them, which then open. The nature and design of Quoakle works in a similar way – which makes it fit in nicely with the feel of the iPad experience.

After selecting a location within Quoakle, you are presented with a number of highly-colourful app-like links that correspond to the various topics applicable to that given region. Once you select an option, it opens in a colourful grid of helpful links to help you find the thing you are looking for.

Quoakle is continually working to ensure that the UK Web Directory is up to date with modern technologies. Even with the introduction of the new iPhone screen size with the iPhone 5, the Quaokle website works beautifully. Using the taller screen hasn’t effected the way in

Posted in Useful Web Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , |


WordPress Tutorials

One of the most important things about SEO is knowing how to best use the tools that you have. If you run a WordPress site, you can often achieve a lot from it without paying anything. The first step is to understand the way in which you can edit the content on your own WordPress site. To learn that, our friends at Media Sussex, have produced some short tutorials – teaching the basics of a WordPress site. If you have some spare time, why not take a look at them and learn something new today?

We’ve even embedded the playlist for you, so you can watch them one after the other. The originals can be found here:
WordPress Tutorial: Basics | WordPress Tutorials: Posts | WordPress Tutorial: Pages | WordPress Tutorials: Widgets

Posted in SEO, Useful Web Tools |


Make Your Facebook Page Pop

One thing that is clearly here to stay (at least for the foreseeable future) is Facebook. You would have to work extremely hard to find someone who didn’t know what Facebook was. In one of our prior articles, we discussed the importance of Facebook in the arena of business – and especially websites.

It has become common practice to have a web presence for a business whether you are an Internet based company, or not. But in some cases now, having a website isn’t enough – you need Social Network presence. And you may as well go in at the top. It’s free to use, so why not utilise the Facebook Page tool.

Assuming you already knew all that, and have a fantastic Facebook Page, this article is about making your Facebook Page into something special. Something that really increases the “likes” and the connectivity is simply the way in which the page looks. So here’s a few things to get you started:

1. Use your Facebook Page. Too many people will create a Facebook page for their business and forget about it. It’s easy to do, but there is a lot of missed opportunity in that. Simply talking about something other than your products will go a LONG way. Engage your audience. “Did you see the World Cup Final last night?” or “what would you do if you a couple of million?”. The more people see your icon on their screen, the better reputation you are likely to get. Which brings us to….

2. You Profile picture. Any single teenager will tell you how important the profile picture is. They say first impressions are important, well, in all likelihood, for Facebook – your profile picture is your first impression to someone on Facebook. What to put there, though? To be honest, just be aware of it’s value. Different Pages will obviously suit different profile images. But the safest (and most expected – which is good) is going to be your logo. Not very exciting? Don’t worry – that’s where the next bit come in.

3. Your Facebook Cover. New to Facebook in 2012 was the addition of the timeline cover. This is a giant image about everything else on your profile. This is perfect for decorating your page. There are guidelines as to what you can and cannot put in there. Contact details are out, as are prices and offers. You can get away with logo’s and, of course, a custom image is perfect. Do something that is going to eye-catching and useful. Demonstrate your products through it.

4. Blurbs. Never under-estimate the about paragraph under your profile picture on your page. Sure, the average user may ignore it OR it’s exactly where they go to find contact details and learn exactly what your business is about. Be concise, but be as informative as possible here. Leaving it blank is a massive waste.

5. Carefully pick your tabs. Next to the about blurb are four boxes. These are elements to your page. You can add as many as you like here, but on the selected first four appear in the first view (you can click expand to see the rest). You start out with photos, likes and a few others. These are useful, but you can also add new ones. Including Youtube or even an embedded website (with a little coding knowledge). There are plenty of tutorials on the Internet on how to get additional tabs. But it’s worth checking out, if only to keep things fresh on your Page.

6. Similarly as we said at step 1, there is value in updating your page regularly. One of the great ways to do this is (what they call) milestones. Make the most of this feature. Every time you achieve a company goal or produce a new product, make it a milestone! It enables everyone following you to see it and gives you the chance to stick a great-big image the size of the cover on people’s timeline. Perfect advertising space if you ask me!

7. Pins. No we’re not switching to Pinerest (not in this article, anyway) – but if you are particularly proud of something that has would up on your page timeline, pin it. Pinning it keeps the item at the top of the timeline. You can pin something to the top for a maximum of a week. But if you are REALLY proud of something, you can re-pin the same thing as soon as that week expires. Choose carefully though, as you don’t want people thinking that you haven’t updated your page when they see the first post!!

Hopefully that’s given you a little bit of insight into the possible uses of the Facebook Page. Happy Liking!

Posted in SEO, Useful Web Tools | Tagged , , , , |


Design Trends

While it may not be directly associated with SEO, the design and feel for a website does play a big part in how likely a user is to stay on your site. If the website looks like it was built in the medieval days – people aren’t gonna stick around for long. However, if the website is fashionable and easy to use – then the user is likely to stay… In some cases even when they aren’t necessarily interested in th product you are offering.

We’re over half way through 2012 now (crazy huh?!), so now is a good time to go think over some of the new trends that we have seen this year in web design. Bu the big point of this is to teach us how to identify the ones that are likely to stick from the ones that are fashion statements and will be gone as soon as skinny jeans disappear.

Why is it relevant? Well, whether you are personally designing a site or paying someone else to do it – you need to know what to ask for. You will also need to consider how viable it is to adopt certain trends. For example, the trend of having “tweet this” or “like this” after everything may sound annoying, but it’s key for facilitating easy linkage between your site and your social networking. This is likely to stay forever. Even if the actually social networks change. The swing side to that, is if your business plans to refresh their web presence once every five years, you need to realise that adding the fashion in the style of your website is dangerous. In four years, when the fashion has completely changed, what do you do? Whereas if you are a graphic designer and like to change things each year – then, obviously you are more likely to introduce fashion into what you do.

One of the fashion trends of this year was ribbons and sleeves. Slipping in and out animations were also hot. That’s a special thanks to the increased popularity in HMTL5 users and the accessibility to such animations. Apple kinda pushed the designers in that direction after they brutally murder Macromedia Flash.

The minimalist approach was also fashionable and continues to be. Google played a key part in this, with the introduction of “new feel” Google Plus which carried across all the subsidiary sites. Our guess is that this fashion may stick around a bit longer than the rest. Although that’s just a hunch. Don;t base the next five years on our single statement!!

Then, how could we forget the steep increase in other web fonts. For years, designers have screamed at the screen in frustration when they have done everything they can with the hand-full of classic web-fonts that were the exclusive options for them. Suddenly, with the likes of Google Fonts, a whole new plaine has opened. The freedom of typography online has been set wild. This is more than a trend, this is a development in the field that will only ever expand into more and more web-available fonts.

It may not seem a lot. But it’s worth paying attention to these trends. Things to watch are 1) The big name (Google, Apple, Facebook), see what they do and how they act to changing trends; 2) Read design blogs – designers and techy’s alike all like to share their opinions on what’s hot; 3) Keep your ear to the ground, never forget the need to keep your website fresh and up-to-date with the culture it’s trying to attract!

Posted in SEO, Useful Web Tools |



Symbaloo: Start simple. That’s the tagline for this unsung hero of the web browsing experience.

We love symbaloo, it’s basically a luanch-pad for your web browsing experience. Yes, yes, we know – Google has already bordered this terrain and has held every other technology hostage at the mercy of it’s mighty site. We are aware of that (we’re, of course, talking about Google Dashboard there). But we particularly appreciate symbaloo because of it’s simplicity and the little icons that you can create.

You can essentially create a grid of handy links. Imagine a visual bookmarks system, if you will. We particularly like to the icons on this site – does it remind you of any other website that uses similar icons to help you find what you are looking for? ring any bells? Very cool.

Sure symbaloo doesn’t actually help with any SEO issues, but it does enable fast and easy website navigation – which is an indirect tool to helping your SEO.

So if you are looking for an alternative way to bookmark your favourite sites when you open up our web browser, don’t overlook symbaloo – it may just surprise you! Check it out at:

Posted in SEO, Useful Web Tools |


The Staying Power of Facebook

Accordingly to the population of the planet, divided by the current number of people on Facebook – every one in nine people on the planet is a member. Crazy. That’s a lot of members. And with Facebook’s recent step into a PLC, floating shares on the stock exchange and becoming a hub of media activity – there are questions circulating about its future.

A very interesting article, posted on Wordtracker (viewable here: Article), there is reason to suggest its gradual decline from here. In short, the article clearly illustrates that while Facebook is a great Social Media tool, the one thing it is not built to do – is earn money. The overall profits of Facebook are surprisingly low for a business that has 845 million clients. That said, there are changes a-foot.

Prior to the putting the business into the stock exchange, creator Mark Zuckerberg announced some interesting developments that will undoubtedly change things considerably. Primarily, we are talking about advertising.

As Facebook continues to grow in its empire of social networking, avid fans will have noticed a few developments within the last year or so. Gradually the adverts are becoming more person-specific (nothing too fancy here, you can achieve that through Google too), but more importantly, the adverts link to Facebook Pages. So?

So, this is the markings of a man on a mission. He is trying to re-create the Internet on his terms. For example, did anyone notice you can now literally use Facebook Priviate Messaging as an email address. Including attachments and unique email address. Not just that, but this month (May) saw the release of two new smart phone applications made by Facebook. One is the Facebook Camera (based heavily on the Instagram engine, which was bought out by Facebook earlier this year) – and more importantly, the dedicated Facebook Page manager app. It’s interesting the see the expansion of Facebook, in what could be seen as an intrusion of Google’s land. Take for example advertising, what would mean more to a 20-something year-old? Finding something cool at the top of Google or finding something on Facebook that has 30,000 “likes”? Culture is already pushing people to the latter. The more Facebook “likes” someone or something has, the more popular it is.

Google aren’t stupid (understatement of the century, probably), so they are USING the Facebook likes to determine valuable sites. These valuable sites are pushed further up within Google’s rankings. This adds further value to the pages created and the links that came out from Facebook.

But at the end of the day – where are Facebook going to get increased revenue from?

Will that’s the beauty of it, they already started generating income from the adverts – now imagine that they can successfully demonstrate what I have suggested here. The end result is that a large segment of the money invested into SEO on Google will be shifted into SEO on Facebook. Clever eh?

In closing, the one thing we need to remember about Mark Zuckerberg, he’s not too far short of a genius. Where Myspace and Bebo (that were arguably the better pre-cursers to Facebook) faded and died, Facebook has continued triumphant. How? Evolution. Facebook has constantly evolved with the times – and even, at times, dictated culture shifts. Will Facebook last forever? Probably not. But our guess is that it will be around for a lot lot longer than people are estimating today.

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Other Useful SEO Tips

Here’s a few things that I’ve thought about while writing this that you should take a look over as they’ve all helpful…

Majestic SEO – Backlink research tool (free to use on your own domains and should be used instead of Yahoo Site explorer)

Market Samurai – All-round SEO tool for keyword research, rank tracking, SERPs analysis and more

Google high quality site guidelines 

Posted in SEO | Tagged , , |