About John Campbell

I live in London working in SEO at Steak Digital, I'm a huge Blackpool FC fan and a keen traveller.

A little test, recent changes with Google Street view allow you to report a problem with images.  While on the location with a problem there’s a little link at the bottom to “report a problem”.

After that you explain what is the problem and you fill in a form. You’ll get a email and a couple of days later the image is gone. I tested this out last week and today the intersection near to the local chippy now is a black screen.

The point is that there is no control over me deleting images in front of businesses. Many business such as hotels and restaurants will be getting extra trade from people being able to ‘check out’ the location before hand. This report an problem has created a free for all allowing competition to literally wipe you off the map.

Infographics are the ‘in’ thing to produce at the moment for link baiting. If you haven’t come across one they can be summed up as

Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly[1], such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education. – Wikipedia

A few examples can be seen at Infographics directory site www.infographicsshowcase.com. The best infographics are gennerally ones based on a subject matter of current interest, so this week could be a on the Ashes with England going over to Australia or about Cargo planes after the bomb scare.

In order to make infographic you need some raw data, and here’s a list of 5 sites which can supply you with the vital data.

1. UK National Statistics http://www.statistics.gov.uk/hub/

The Publication Hub at the UK National Statistics is a first port of call for all those seeking the latest statistics from government departments in the UK. It is the central website for hosting all first releases of National Statistics. New data is released daily on whole range of subjects from Taxation, Wars, Education, Hospitals, Business and growth etc etc. All free to download and there’s a release calendar of up and coming reports.

URL : http://www.statistics.gov.uk/hub/

2. Guardian Data Store http://www.guardian.co.uk/data-store

Lots of different types of data in different areas. There’s also some on going data generation on the War in Afganistan, Swine Flu etc. There’s a list of Applications, a API to grab data directly. Keep up to data with new data via the twitter account. You should also look at how the Guardian use the data in their  news stories producing graphs, flash animations etc.

URL : http://www.guardian.co.uk/data-store

3. BBC Backstage http://ideas.welcomebackstage.com/

At the moment it looks like it’s been shut down but some of the data and feeds are being kept live. There’s data in the form of RSS, API’s, a music API etc all that can be downloaded sorted and then visualised. Similar to the Guardian the BBC create some great info infographics in articles and features on the site, recently the reporting of the July 7th enquiry and the Chilean miners generated some brilliant pages of information which generated plenty of links.

URL : http://ideas.welcomebackstage.com/data

4. London Data Store http://data.london.gov.uk/

There are other places in the UK than London but the London Data Store has some great information on transport, education results, crime, emergency services etc. It’s a pretty new site but there is more and more data being added on a regular basis as well as a growing community.

URL : http://data.london.gov.uk/datasets

5. Data.Gov.UK http://data.gov.uk/

Probably the most well known from this list. The official Government site for UK has lots of data, help and a great community behind it. There’s an ideas section where people are submitting ideas for the release of data and then what to do with the data once it’s available. A selection of apps also show what has been created so far e.g. mash up maps, iphone aps etc. You may be able to use one of the existing apps to find data for your infographic.

URL : http://data.gov.uk/

Bonus 6. Data.Gov http://www.data.gov/

Similar to Data.Gov.UK but for the United states of America. Again plenty of information often country wide but also organised by state which can lead to som interesting data. Many infographics have been created as a result of the data generated out of Data.Gov

URl : http://www.data.gov

On Friday it was the #MancSEO Mini Conference at the Hive Building in the Northern Quater. A free event thanks to sponsorship from the Eword and Manual Link Building organised by Pete Young. Four speakers in total all with some interesting views and data to share.

There’s a few blog posts with reviews of the presentations on other blogs so I’m not going to write another one. Drinks after at The Warlus bar were free for a bit thanks to the Eword. Overall a great afternoon and evening!

Another day and another new product from Google launched. This change had been on the cards for some time, as long as six months ago screen shots of “the map on the right” have been posted on various SEO blogs.

Surveying some results I’ve noticed problems with the results on certain key phrases. For example

Hotels in Blackpool” returned some affiliate sites one being www.blackpoolhotels.com. Here’s the old listing with that site ranking at position 3.

In the new listings with Google Place Search live, Google have taken the listing for www.blackpoolhotels.com and added to the map – Map Icon B

For the average user, they would assume that the maps points are different hotels located in Blackpool. You wouldn’t want to stay at the hotel at Map Icon B, it’s at the end of the runway at Blackpool Airport.

It looks like Google have done this due to www.blackpoolhotel.com listing their address in the footer of everypage.

This problem could happen for directory sites, affiliates for any type of local business, bloggers, etc anyone who had a physical address on the page and end up with some very confused people turning up at affiliates houses.

Paul over at the Dave Naylor blog noted a similar problem with Late Rooms, who’s head office is in Manchester. Google is using that as the hotel location.

Here’s a neat solution to find the Page Rank score for multiple domains / pages. Using Google docs you can use an addon script to pull out page rank. Made by dr.nailz all you do is reference the cell that contains the domain


The iferror just displays a N/A if there is no returned result.

Just head over to this public spreadsheet to try it out

>> Multiple Domain Page Rank Checking Tool >>

If you fancy a PR 7 site here’s three simple steps to achieve a PR 7 site.

1) Make some popular wordpress plugins such as these

2) Make your plugin link back to your site using a hidden link so the person who installs the plugin doesn’t know about the link.

3) Sit and watch the PR come in http://www.sterling-adventures.co.uk/blog/ and then sell links to argos and confussed.com

Big respect the guy / gal who did this!

It looks like the dust is starting to settle after yesterday’s  announcement of Google Instant. As ever PR people decided to pronounce the death of SEO.  After looking over a number of blogs today, testing out several queries two main points stick out to me.

1. Suggest has been around for a while

Google has been funnelling people into a certain key phrase since summer 2009. Google Suggest which was a Google labs project (99% sure it was) was rolled out and at the time many predicted that the long tail would reduce as users would be shifted to searching for the phrases they were suggested.

I don’t remember there being any major shifts in traffic on any the sites I worked on.

The difference this time is the results are being displayed to the user, this could have more of effect on the user being guided into a suggested search.  That all depends on if the user is looking at the screen while typing. Gut feeling is that the majority of users do look at their keyboard while typing so they are oblivious to the changing serps and will type their full query regardless of what is happening on the screen.

So what people search for will remain the same, long tail quieres will still be conducted, all depends on if they keep their head up!

2.  Being Good at SEO is even more important

Gaining a top position is even more important, e.g. an organic ranking not in the top 3 is useless. Two reasons, one the layout suggests people will instantly look at the number one ranking as the page changes (PPC if present unless the organic rank has sitelinks). This should happen as its the shortest distance from where your eyes were focused e.g. the search box. This means people are not going to look at the ads on the right hand side and results lower down the page. An eye tracking study on the new interface and old with the same key phrases would be very interesting.

Also with the other suggestions being displayed below the search box this physically pushes one or two organic ranks below the fold (depending on the size of your monitor). So if your not getting your clients rankings in the top three positions you beter get link building.  take this example.

Old style Google has 7 Full organic listings

For Google instant you have 5 listing and just the title of the 6th listing

So some interesting changes to have to take into consideration when predicting CTR . Whatever the outcome for PPC and SEO campaigns I’m sure one thing is certain, Google will be making more money out of this!

If you want to get rich snippets listed in Google for your site you need to get your code marked up thats the simple bit. Some information can be found here and here. But thats only part one. You also need to register you site something I didn’t know.

There’s no guarantee that your site will show the rich snippets in the serps, but it’s work it for the higher CTR.

WordCamp UK 2010 Manchester

So it’s Sunday evening after a great weekend at WordCamp UK 2010 in Manchester. For £20 it’s a bargin and really entertaining two days, providing your interested in WordPress. There were some great examples of successful sites built in WordPress and plenty of help for all.

It looks like a list of presentation will be on the wiki http://wiki.wordcampuk.tonyscott.org.uk/2010_presentation_slides

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