Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Google's tips for building a search engine friendly mobile tablet experience for users

Google has recently shared some SEO tips for building a search engine friendly mobile tablet experience for users as well as search engines. Google has pointed out these are tips NOT specific “recommendations for building search engine friendly tablet-optimized websites.” Google does at time of writing have guidelines or official recommendations for tablet-optimised web sites but they do now offer some tips based on their official recommendation for smartphone optimised sites: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/recommendations-for-building-smartphone.html .
 
The optimisation tips for tablet devices include:
(1) Unless you offer content specifically optimised for tablets, tablet device users will expect to see your 'normal' desktop site rather than your site’s content optimised for smartphones .
(2) When offering content for tablet devices, use responsive design and test designs on multiple tablet devices.
(3) If you are doing redirects, ensure that you don't redirect tablet users to the site optimised for smartphones too.

(4) Google lists on http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2012/11/giving-tablet-users-full-sized-web.html how you can tell Android phones and tablet devices apart using user-agents.

How to create a RSS feed of all Pinterest pins from a source (site)


There is no easy way to this it seems at present! For the tech savvy, there's a way to do this which involves creating an RSS feed of the Pinterest source URL e.g. http://pinterest.com/source/capuletlondon.com/ with feedmashup.com and then filtering it using pipes.yahoo.com to only include URLs with the following text "pin/" (do not include the inverted commas). This will give you a flitered RSS of the pins you want and should update as new pins are added.


The following is possibly longer but maybe easier for the less tech savvy . These steps without step 5 will give you a list of the URLs of all Pinterest pin URLs from a source (site) but will not update as new pins are added to the source.

It'll only take a minute or two with a little practice.

1. Get the Pinterest  source URL e.g. http://pinterest.com/source/capuletlondon.com/
2. Add the URL to the free Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool: download at www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/ in the
'enter URL to spider' field. Go to the external tab when the report has finished running.
3. On the Filter field select 'Html' and export the list of URLs.
4. Using your spreadsheet program (e.g. Microsoft Excel or the free Libre Office) open the .csv document you have just exported. Go the Data tab from the toolbar at the top of the screen. Then click on the Sort button to sort the list in Column A alphabetically.
Pin URLs have the following format: http://pinterest.com/pin/110056784613392664/ . Copy the list of pins and then paste into Notepad to remove any formatting. Copy the list again.
5. Add the list of pins to http://rssholder.com/ and create the RSS feed!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Google guidelines on mobile search engine optimisation



Google has recently published guidelines on mobile search engine optimisation, which can be summarised as follows:

1. Configuring mobile sites so that they can be indexed accurately
2. Verifying that your mobile site is indexed by Google
3. Verifying that Google can recognize your mobile URLs
4. Redirect mobile users to the mobile version of the site (by switching content based on User-agent)

See pages 24-27 of the recently updated version of Google's SEO Starter Guide for the detail: http://is.gd/fLMi2

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Best Practice Guidelines / Disciplines for Page and Meta Information Content

Best Practice Guidelines / Disciplines for Page and Meta Information Content



Best Practice Guidelines

Make all content 100% compliant (or as near as technically possible) with latest Google SEO guidelines : http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf ). The requirements can be summarised as follows:

1. Improve the structure of your URLs by creating descriptive categories and file names for all of the documents on the website.
2. Make the site easy for humans to navigate.

Disciplines for Page and Meta Information Content
 Meta titles to be no longer than 60 characters, unique and descriptive of page content.
 Use heading tags (e.g. h1) appropriately. Each page's 'on page' page title to be an h1.
Interlink pages on the site using contextual links - links embedded into textual content, like a sentence or paragraph (like on Wikipedia).

 Make each "meta description" tag unique and the maximum meta description length should be 150 characters. The minimum meta description length should be 15 characters.
 Write descriptive link anchor text.
 Optimise use of images by creating descriptive distinct file names (e.g. thoroughbred_horse.jpg) and using "alt" attributes.
Do not use frames – see http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=34445 .

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Best Free SEO / Usability / Site Speed Analysis Tools

The Best Free SEO / Usability / Site Speed Analysis Tools

The Best Free SEO Site Analysis & Optimisation Tools


Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool & Crawler Software


http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html - will give you broken links as well as an export of images missing alt text.

http://try.powermapper.com/demo/sortsite.aspx - there is also a free 30 trial day of a version that will allow you to analyse up to 100 pages from a site.

http://builtwith.com/- Find out the technology behind a website

http://www.analogx.com/contents/download/network/lnkexam/Freeware.htm

www.seo-browser.com

http://suite.searchmetrics.com/en/research - view data on search visibility for a domain and key phrase / domain.

http://www.copyscape.com - Search for copies of your page on the web.

http://www.siteliner.com/ - Explore your site's duplicate content, broken links, XML sitemap, internal page rank, and more...

http://sitebeam.net/ - Sitebeam tells you about a website. Scan 10 pages for spelling mistakes, SEO, load speed, social media, code, W3C, accessibility & more in one tool.

http://www.found.co.uk/seo-tool/ - A free online tool to identify common SEO errors with a webpage including canonicalisation, technical implementation & link lnformation


The Best Free Usability Analysis & Optimisation Tools



http://wave.webaim.org/

http://accessify.com/tools-and-wizards/accessibility-tools/favelets/quick-page-test/

http://www.feedthebot.com/tools/alt/ - Tool to help make sure that your (image) ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.

http://www.contentquality.com - includes an Alternative Text Quality Report.



The Best Free Site Speed Analysis & Mobile Optimisation Tools


pagespeed.googlelabs.com - includes a mobile Site Speed Analysis Tool

http://www.webpagetest.org/- Run a free website speed test from multiple locations around the globe using real browsers (IE and Chrome) and at real consumer connection speeds. You can run simple tests or perform advanced testing including multi-step transactions, video capture, diagnose slow servers ( a time to first byte of  >0.2s), content blocking and much more. Your results will provide rich diagnostic information including resource loading waterfall charts, Page Speed optimization checks and suggestions for improvements.

http://www.howtogomo.com/en-gb/d/test-your-site/ - this tool shows you how your current site looks on a smartphone,

http://www.gtmetrix.com - uses Google Page Speed and Yahoo! YSlow to grade your site's performance.

Czech out http://twitter.com/SEOTipsnTricks for some more free SEO Tips, Tricks, Tools and more...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Afghanistan's First Oil and Gas Licensing Round

Afghanistan's First Oil and Gas Licensing Round



It's amazing the things you learn doing this job - a look at Google News shows this seems to have evaded the mainstream media thus far...

By Martin Clark from oilbarrel.com (requires free registration) - July 28, 2009

If evidence were ever needed as to the resilience of oil companies and their willingness to do business in some of world’s most hostile environments then surely it would be worth drawing on the story of Afghanistan.

The war-torn country is currently in the middle of its first licensing round but has reported brisk interest from international oil companies, both large and small.

The government in Kabul launched its bid round back in March in the hope of stimulating investment in an industry that might one day help the country back on its feet.

A few eyebrows were raised at the time but not among the industry itself, which will always embrace the opening of a new oil frontier and the chance to probe its potential.

And potential there is. Afghanistan already produces about 200 million cubic metres of gas per year, against up to 5 billion cubic metres during the Soviet era.

One of the differentiating points of the oil business, of course, is its ability to operate in such areas, supremely agile and efficient logistically, and very much adept in managing risk in all its various guises.

A bad memory for former Soviet troops and now a war zone to other foreign armies there are those that view Afghanistan with a fresh sense of opportunity.

Remarkably, despite the flood of bad news coming out of the southern Helmand province in recent times, the bid round has gone well since its launch, with Kabul on track to sign contracts with foreign partners by December.

So far, all key dates along the way have been met and most encouragingly, there has been considerable industry interest.

Among the better-known operators pre-qualified to bid for blocks are: Total Exploration & Production, Addax Petroleum – now a target for China’s Sinopec – and another Chinese player, Sinochem Petroleum Exploration & Production.

A further five less well-known names are also pre-qualified: Nations Petroleum, Oil & Gas Development Company Limited, Orient Petroleum International Inc., Redwood Petroleum Co. Ltd, and Turkiye Petrolleri A.O. Genel Mudurlugu (TPAO).

Final bid documents are due to go out in early August, to be returned by mid-September, with an announcement of the bidding results expected to follow in October.

There are three blocks on offer – Jangalikalan, Juma-Bashikurd and Kashkari – all located in the country’s comparatively safer northern regions and close to the border with gas-rich Turkmenistan.

Significantly, all of the blocks have some proven hydrocarbons potential, and some even have a modest history of production.

The Afghan Ministry of Mines, which is leading the round, is naturally talking up prospects, suggesting that substantial oil and gas deposits are on offer.

A Ministry statement said the Juma-Bashikurd block holds natural gas reserves estimated at 33 billion cubic metres (bcm), while the Jangalikalan block holds gas reserves of 19 bcm.

The oil attraction is the Kashkari block with 64 million barrels, which holds the Kaskhari, Angoat, and Aqdarya oilfields, as well as some gas potential.

The Ministry of Mines said it is “quite optimistic the potential figure will be much bigger” citing possible reserves at Kashkari of 144 million barrels.

Angoat is the only field that has been in sustained production, delivering small amounts of oil mainly for local heating purposes.

In the late 1990s, the Kashkari field was also reported to be producing – at levels reaching up to 13,000 barrels per day – though only for a short time.

The Mines Ministry said the oil and gas deposits are all in Cretaceous and Jurassic formations, which were discovered in the 1970s under a Soviet-led exploration campaign.

Indeed, this remains very much frontier territory where little modern-day exploration activity has been allowed to take place. Despite neighbouring Turkmenistan’s proven hydrocarbons potential, Afghanistan is still well off limits for most energy companies.

Mines Minister Mohammad Ibrahim Adel said recently that a US Geological Survey (USGS) report supported its figures for the three blocks and showed that Afghanistan might even hold far greater riches than previously thought.

Adel – who has led international road shows to London, Dubai, Singapore and Houston – said northern Afghanistan could hold 600-700 bcm of gas and 25 million tonnes of oil across four basins, based on the USGS data.

During the bid promotional tour, Adel also met representatives of Shell, BP, Petronas, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, although these giants subsequently declined the offer to participate.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Free Weekly SEO / Internet Marketing Tips and Tricks Newsletter



For a free weekly newsletter full of SEO / Internet Marketing Tips and Tricks to enable you to make the most of online opportunities, including how to create a website quickly and easily at zero cost, all you need to do is send an email to
fobauk-subscribe@yahoogroups.com .

Friday, April 03, 2009

Free SEO Tips and Tricks



Czech out http://twitter.com/SEOTipsnTricks for some Free SEO Tips and Tricks...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Google's Search Engine Optimisation Starter Guide




Google released a document in late 2008 outlining best practices which will make it easier for search engines to both crawl and index a website's content.

The document can be summarised as follows:

1. Create unique and accurate page titles.
2. Use the "description" meta tag.
3. Improve the structure of your URLs by creating descriptive categories and filenames for the documents on your website.
4. Make your site easy for humans to navigate.
5. Write descriptive anchor text.
6. Use heading tags (e.g. h1) appropriately.
7. Optimise your use of images by creating descriptive distinct filenames and "alt" attributes.

www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

U2 Album Discography Available for Free Via Myspace



Recently there has been a controversy over how U2's latest album 'No Line On The Horizon' (currently due for release on the 3rd of March 2008) had leaked to the internet. The leak of major music albums is now a news event and can arguably help drive fans to their computer in search of a free download.

This album is now available for pre-order and at the time of writing the only song streaming on their Myspace social networking music profile is a one minute snippet of their new single 'Get On Your Boots'.

The whole album is currently available online from the usual illicit channels such as peer to peer networks, torrents and on blogs via temporary file hosts.

It is also currently available along with 20 other full albums (including remastered versions) as individual 96 kilobits per second (kps) mp3s for free and easy download from u2's Myspace page (www.myspace.com/u2), but not by directly accessing it via myspace.com.

All you have to is get the full Myspace URL of the profile in question and use a certain online download tool which will work with most audio, video, images and style sheets etc that are used on a web page.

This site can be found easily on search engines and is well known online. The site has been online since at least late 2007 according to the 'Wayback Machine' site snapshot record on archive.org.

It's arguable that these 96 kbps files are of relatively low sound quality, but it's the same bit rate as the mp3s streaming on Myspace (much higher quality than the streaming of most online radio stations). To put this is context up until mid-2007 the best sound quality files available to buy on iTunes were only 128kps. The best feature of this tool is that usually if there are around 20 files or under it will display the original mp3 files that were uploaded as 'High Quality' (anything up to the maximum and best quality 320 kps) as well as the 'Standard Quality' mp3s which Myspace converts from the original if they are above 96kps. To put this in context 64 kbps per second is FM radio quality sound and 128 Kbps is CD Quality Audio

The following U2 albums are available amongst other content at time of writing:

No Line On The Horizon
Under A Blood Red Sky (eAlbum Remastered)
War (Remastered)
October
Boy (Remastered)
War (Deluxe eAlbum - Remastered)
October (Deluxe eAlbum - Remastered)
Boy (Deluxe eAlbum - Remastered)
The Joshua Tree (Remastered)
The Joshua Tree (Deluxe Edition)
U218 Singles
How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
The Best Of (1990-2000)
All That You Can't Leave Behind
The Best Of (1980 - 1990)
Pop
Zooropa
Achtung Baby
The Joshua Tree
The Unforgettable Fire
Rattle And Hum

There are 404 MP3s listed here in total at time of writing– the whole lot downloadable with a couple of clicks using Firefox plug-ins like DownThemAll.

Why are all these albums uploaded to Myspace if they are only currently streaming one song clip only? Presumably because some or all of these tracks have been or are going to be available for streaming on this page at some point in time. Usually artists can only upload a maximum of 6 songs but here special permission has been given.

The site in question does not capture Myspace streams – Firefox browser plug-ins like Download Helper can do that for you but it will only work for individual songs.

The Alexa traffic ranking for the site of this tool places it in the top 15,000 sites on the net, making it arguably one of the most popular sites on the net worldwide.

The Hitwise UK statistics place it in the top 5000 most visited websites for UK Internet users for Feb 2009, having climbed just over 400 places since the previous month.

The long-awaited album Chinese Democracy album by Guns N' Roses' was made available via this method on November 20, 2008 ahead of the release date of the 23rd the same month.

The seeming failure of Myspace to plug this leak in their technology and also to take any (reported) action against this tool suggest a reluctance of News Corporation to play 'whack a mole' (the idea that if they take out one piracy technology, another similar one will pop up right away).

Moreover, the copyright in most of the music material on Myspace is not held by News Corporation: the Corporation only owns one label (MySpace Records, an independent record label started in 2005 to sign musicians who appear on MySpace and is a joint-venture between MySpace and Interscope Records).

It is arguable that Myspace by continuing to 'allow' people to download content such as music 'by the back-door' is cutting their significant bandwidth bill as one of the most popular sites on the internet (some songs are streamed tens of thousands of times daily) and is a reason for people to use Myspace for free downloading as well as music streaming.

I contacted the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and U2's label for comment. Paul Gathercole, the Anti-Piracy Director for Universal Music International (U2's label) was not aware of this technology (though I did not mention it by name). The IFPI have not responded.

The moral of the story may be that one must be aware that there are risks in handing the custodianship of one's intellectual property to a third party.

Postscript: 837 mp3s are available from the official Bob Marley myspace (another discography it seems).


This an unfinished, edited version of an article commissioned (and then decommissioned 24 hours later) by the Guardian UK national newspaper (after the Technology Editor found I had previously contacted Universal Music offering them consultancy work on online intellectual property protection - not relating to this specific issue) as my email requesting comment from the record label on this issue was redirected to the person I had contacted previously. Certain details in the original article have been edited out.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Some Useful SEO Links - Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Surrey, London, Berkshire, Sussex and Hampshire



Google Keyword Research Tool

Ars Technica News & Discussion Forum

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thinspiration?



As someone who has worked in the field of mental health in the UK, it seems there are some gaping voids in online health communication by the NHS. If you type some anorexia-related keyphrases in google.co.uk such as 'thinspiration' there is no pay per click advertising, unlike for phrases such as 'suicide' and 'anorexia'.

I was upset to see that organisations such as the NSPCC's Childline (at least in the ad version I saw) for the keyword 'suicide' did not have a phone number or email / MSN address in the ad text - both of which are permitted by Google Adwords. Use of these in the ads may help cut their adspend whilst still facilitating contacts from those who need help.

I have heard anedcotal evidence from a friend who is a youth worker r.e. some type of health promotion or suchlike targeting adolescents that the most used method of communication (of which there was a variety phone, email etc) by da' yoof was Microsoft's MSN Instant Messenger...

NHS Direct - the 24 hour nurse-led telephone health advice service . Dial 0845 4647.
www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/
The Samaritans provides confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair. 08457 90 90 90
www.samaritans.org

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Custom Google search engine to save energy by using black backgrounds to minimise energy use.



Sian Berry of the Green Party said in the Metro Newspaper in July 2007, "If you have the old style of chunky monitor, having most of the screen black does reduce the amount of energy used. But if you have got a flat screen it won't make any difference." ( source: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=59315&in_page_id=34 )