Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category



SEO Thoughts April 2017

Posted on April 8, 2017 under SEO

There’s been a lot of big moves recently in the world of SEO and I’ve been busy with all things Codefixer too. I’ve put together a quick roundup of my thoughts in the last few months.

DMOZ Shutting Down

As of 14th march 2017, DMOZ if officially closed for business. For those seasoned SEO campaigners like myself, this is an end of an era. It was set up back in June 1998 and was popular due to directory links from DMOZ carrying plenty of authority in terms of PageRank.

DMOZ Directory closed
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Learninbound & the future of SEO

Posted on August 2, 2016 under SEO

If you’re involved in Digital Marketing and you haven’t been to Learninbound then you need to put this event in your diary. Learninbound is a super digitial marketing event. The calibre of last week’s speakers was remarkable. Larry Kim responsible for billions of pounds of Google AdWords spend was the highlight.

The line up included 3 speakers included Larry Kim, Backlinko and Joanna Lord. The venue was central dublin in a very cool venue (the Academy) with free bar, and the sound was excellent. DigitalDNA are you listening? Unfortunately/fortunately I was driving so took lots in and didn’t miss a word. Tickets prices were fairly reasonable.
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Summer SEO Thoughts 2016

Posted on July 14, 2016 under PPC, SEO

Some quick thoughts for summer 2016.

DigitalDNA Event

Last month Belfast welcomed the 4th DigitalDNA conference. Great to see digital buzzing in Belfast, with some excellent companies and knowledgeable speakers. Great also to meetup with people within the industry.

Although the event was a great success and I’m sure it’ll continue to go from strength to strength, there was some lessons to be learnt. Two of the talks that I attended, the Google talk and the Loudmouth Media talk you could bearly hear. The speakers were drown out, so well done the speakers as they carried on despite this.

Surprisingly the main hall with some of the big speakers didn’t appear to be as well attended as I would have thought. Maybe there’s a disconnect between some bigger companies and the small businesses that I’m guessing would have made up the majority of the attendees.

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Google Still Has Problems with Javascript

Posted on May 8, 2016 under SEO

SEO isn’t just about high rankings, boosting page rank, getting keyword anchor text links and it’s far from dead despite the onslaught of Google Ads. Site architecture which involves the crawling and indexing of pages isn’t the first thing that springs into a clients mind, though it’s importance for onsite SEO shouldn’t be overlooked.

Recently after another re-development and site migration I was asked to review a site that was experiencing problems. It won’t be the last site to experience a drop in traffic after a redesign, as poor site migrations seem to be standard practice. The client was able to spot an issue fairly quickly, not least because there was a drop in the conversions.

Google Analytics also showed a big drop in traffic year on year, and looking in Google Webmaster Tools there was a noticeable drop in the number of indexed. Some important pages weren’t being indexed.

drop in number of pages indexed in google
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Google’s PPC v SEO War

Posted on February 28, 2016 under PPC, SEO

Last week saw Google remove the text ads from the right hand side of it’s desktop search results. The 8 ads that seemed glued to many search results and appeared on desktop search are no longer appearing.

An additional 4th ad may appear in the search results for ‘highly commercial queries’, something that Google’s been testing for a while. The 4th Ad can benefit from showing all the ad extensions, including site links, call outs and location extensions.

The screenshot below shows 4 ads at the top.
Google introduces a 4th Ad at the top in Google AdWords
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Google My Business Listings Scam

Posted on February 18, 2016 under SEO

Google My Business listings are Free. You can sign up here if you already don’t have one.

If you have someone manage them for you then fair enough you may have to pay a management fee.

However it appears there are companies cold calling claiming to have a ‘special relationship with Google’ and are attempting to charge for the privilege of maintaining and improving your listing, when it’s already there and in many cases performing pretty well.

For those that don’t know, below is a screenshot of what a Google My business listing looks like in the SERPS (Search Engine Ranking Positions).

Google my Business listing

Just ignore any companies that phone out of the blue, claim they have an association with Google, and if you don’t pay an annual subscription your Google My Business listing won’t be renewed.

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SEO Thoughts for February 2016

Posted on January 30, 2016 under SEO

Some quick thoughts to kick off 2016.

Brands & Multiple Listings

Weren’t the days of Google showing 3 results for a website in the SERPS supposedly at an end? Obviously Not! The screenshot below clearly shows 3 listings for Gumtree. It’s annoying to see Gumtree doing so well when the pages are all littered with ads (Google hammered one of my sites for this) and the content similar on all 3 pages. This is an example of Google’s algo favouring a brand and over the last few years, I’ve seen this more and more. No matter how much SEO you do, Google still favours sites like Amazon, Gumtree and Ebay at the expense of smaller independent sites.

multiple listings in the SERPS

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All That Glitters Isn’t SEO Gold

Posted on September 12, 2015 under SEO

This is a cautionary tale for every siteowner thinking of getting their website refreshed or redesigned.

When the designers are called in to refresh the site, and it goes beyond a basic refresh of the skin, you as a site owner should be aware that you can seriously harm the rankings and performance of your website. Proceed with caution.

Remarkably this happens more times than you’d think, new designer comes in, does his magic, rips the site apart and pulls the rug from underneath. It’s gutting to see a site that you’ve worked on be massacred by a design team that have no idea of even the basics in page titles, internal links, site structure, 301 redirects or simple on site SEO.

no google analytics tracking code shows a dip in traffic

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SEO Thoughts July 2015

Posted on July 15, 2015 under SEO

Exact Match Domains

Do Exact Match domains still carry any ranking value in 2015?

I think it’s too simple to say keywords in domains no longer hold value.

I certainly still think they do, they certainly do in folder names and file path, absolutely no doubt about that.

I also still see plenty of keyword rich domains that rank highly, and the keywords are a contributing factor.
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Google My Business Update Goes Wrong

Posted on June 20, 2015 under local search, SEO

This morning I noticed a big big change in a particular Local Business market I would monitor fairly regularly.

Something has happened to the Google My Business local rankings for ‘web design’ related businesses. These have always been a law unto themselves and only recently started to show again after Google had pulled them.

I keep a close eye on the local rankings for ‘web design Belfast’ terms and the 7 pack seems to have changed overnight.

Google My Business update

So from these results here’s how to rank locally:
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Michael Wall

Michael Wall is an experienced web developer based in Belfast N.Ireland currently running his own web design company.

Michael Wall is available for Internet Marketing, Google Adwords PPC and SEO work. Please call Belfast 02890 225729 or use the contact form.

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