Author Archive

Guest Blogging and Duplicate Content

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Something made me chuckle this morning so I thought I would share it on here. Guest blog posting is a great way of building back links to strengthen the SEO of your website, the benefits of that are not up for dispute. Like most things though, there are always some people who just don’t get it.

It’s kind of ironic that the article from this morning was one of the many “anti SEO”, “people try to trick people with SEO”, “rank one in Google blah blah…” type of articles. I read a few lines of this particular article and after seeing how long it was, I got the urge to copy and paste the first paragraph to see how many other sites it would appear on.

Duplicate Content – Exhibit A

Duplicate Content Exhibit A

Duplicate Content – Exhibit B

Duplicate Content Exhibit B

Duplicate Content – Exhibit C

Duplicate Content Exhibit C

If you are going to have guest blog posts on your website then it would certainly be worth checking to see how unique the article is – even if it is from a “good friend”. Duplicate content should always be avoided, it does your site no favours and when done like this is could start to have a negative effect, ie incur a penalty from Google.

Also, while we are on the subject… if you are going to do guest blog posts, two words: anchor text. This is even more lazy than copy and pasting the same articles across numerous websites:

It’s good that Google is slowly starting to de-index more blogs and article websites… they rarely add any value and are generally pointless.

What Should I Do With My Broken Black Apple MacBook?

Friday, March 16th, 2012

This seems like an odd blog post.. but I would like to know how much my broken MacBook might be worth so I can work out what to do with it. I have had the laptop for around 5 years, which seems like a long time, but it has had very, very little use. It’s in great condition for it’s age (apart from being broken), I have seem other peoples MacBooks that look like they have been dragged through a forest and back but still work fine.

Why is it broken?

I’m not completely sure, but a few different “apple experts” have looked at it and they think it’s the logic board. I’ve been through forums online and tried a multitide of keyboard combinations but it still won’t turn on. Also, in my wisdom I put a Snow Leopard disk in it, so this is now stuck in the drive – stuck as in won’t eject, not stuck as in crunch time.

Here are a few pictures:

MacBook Outside

MacBook Open

MacBook Keyboard

If anyone wants bigger or better pictures please let me know.

What should I do with it?

If you could let me know what you think I can do something with it. I have had quotes for a new logic board and they have ranged between £400 to £1000.

Thanks in advance…

iPlayer Parental Controls

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

I spend most of my week working on my own. I think that this is one of the main challenges for any kind of freelancer, at times it can become quite tedious and boring. To get over this I tend to listen to music or watch tv progams on my second screen.

The parental controls on the iplayer make me laugh. Is there really any point to having them on there? It’s not something I know much about, but I do know that if I wasn’t 16 and I wanted to watch the program I would still click the box. It seems a bit pointless.

Some Fishy Pictures

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

For the past few weeks I have been working on one of my own websites. The new site will be a directory of places to fish in the UK.

I was searching through iStock to find some images that I would be able to use and I came across a really odd set of fishy pictures.

lady with fish

lady with carp

lady and fish

I can’t help feeling sorry for the little carp! I didn’t decide to buy any of them…

If you have got any images of fish you have caught or pictures of places you go fishing then I would be happy to use them if you get in touch.

Free £50 Adwords Vouchers

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

So much for an early Christmas present.. I’ve just been to the Post Office to collect a parcel that couldn’t be delivered this week. I thought it was going to be an early Christmas present. It wasn’t.. it was a parcel from Google.

free google adwords vouchers

On the plus side though.. I have got a box full of £50 adwords vouchers that I can give out to people who are looking at creating a new Google AdWords account.

If you’d like one or if you have any questions about them you can get in touch through my contact form or by leaving a comment on this blog post.

Not really a guide to optimising YouTube videos

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

I spend about an hour every day reading blogs about online marketing and search engine optimisation. With an area like this which evolves and changes so quickly it’s the only way to stay up to date with new ways to promote websites online.

It’s funny though.. With such a wealth of how to guides and general advice on what to do/avoid, watching this video on YouTube this morning made me laugh.

Most guides to optimisaing videos for YouTube will tell you things like:

  • use a descriptive and keyword rich title for your video
  • add a useful description and make sure that is keyword rich too
  • add relevant tags

The list could go on for a fair bit more.. but the point is. This video has followed no such guide like this.. and most of the really popular videos on youtube dont either. Just looking at this example:

The video title is “2525835985255_44597.mp4” – like one of the comments on the video says “I am so glad I searched 2525835985255_44597.mp4 – Now my life is complete.”

The description reads “Not sure” – that really adds context and relevance!

The tags that have been used are “ducks”, “unsure”, “Why”, and “WTF” – they aren’t even ducks.. they’re geese.

At the moment, it’s had over 110,000 views in 4 days. That is a lot more than any of the videos I’ve ever put on YouTube. I think it shows: there is a stronger correlation between quality, funny or interesting content and more views than there is between optimising content and views. Optimising content will lead to more views, but the key effort should be put in before or during the video production process, not afterwards.

Adding Google Adwords Conversion Tracking Code – Using Silverstripe Userforms Module

Monday, October 10th, 2011

If you are running a Google Awords campaign it makes sense to start measuring conversions using the conversion tracking code. It something so simple to implement and it provides very insightful information, yet surprisingly many people don’t use it – often because they lack the technical ability to implement it.

If your site has been built using SilverStripe and your contact page uses the User Forms module, then this tutorial is for you!

The first thing to do is create the grab the tracking code from your adwords account:

adwords conversion

It is not possible to simply drop the code into the WYSIWYG editor. Looking through the forum and various sites, it seems that many people have tried to add the conversion code after the “on completion” message which is displayed to users after they have submitted an enquiry. The TinyMCE editor does not recognise the script tags used in the tracking code and will automatically delete most of it out – this will cause display errors on the page and also stop the tracking code from working correctly.If you have tried that, you will have first hand experience of this!

Adwords Tracking Code to the User Forms Module

The easiest and simplest way of adding the code is to drop it into the “” file

The file can be found here: userforms > templates >


When you open the file, it contains just one line of code – this is the command to call in the on completion message that you specify from within the CMS. By dropping in the conversion code, it will be inserted just after the message to your users.

received form submission

After you have inserted the code, upload the file and then flush the cache and then you can start putting through some tests to check that its all working correctly.

New blog!

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Thats right.. The new blog is here! Shame the first post isn’t more interesting!