SEO Cornwall

How do you become an expert SEO?

I was asked to contribute an “expert SEO” quote for one of those “top SEO speak”, type posts.

You know the type of thing.

I get about one of these requests every couple of weeks, sometimes I respond sometimes I do not. I don’t market myself as an “expert SEO”, and so not really bothered about the label one way or another.

Now let’s make clear about these lists, they are not necessarily 100% accurate and people do get on them (including me) who really shouldn’t always be on the list. But they help market your personal brand, help your incoming links and give a quick boost to the ego (not to be taken too seriously) and do help in the wider scheme of things. After all, a link is a link.

Of course, the writer is going for ego-bait, which can be a very powerful marketing tactic when trying to attract influencers. I have written quite a lot about this subject and it led me to study more seriously the neuroscience of web copy and how to influence, but let’s not get distracted from the topic at hand.

I wonder about such lists and whether or not I should even be on such a list, sharing space with people like Rand Fishkin, Barry Schwartz… etc. And that I wasn’t really an “expert SEO”,  or something like that. And I’m fine with that, I don’t think I should be listed next to those people either and wouldn’t ever push myself to be so.

I also don’t regard myself as an SEO, I am more a “get a website customers” type, and use whichever I think to be the best tool. Be it, content, links, social media, content marketing… etc. and of course, SEO.

But then I watched a video where Cal Newport was speaking about “Deep Work” and how for example, Steve Jobs became an expert in Eastern Mysticism on his way to building Apple and that “follow your passion”, is not always the best thing to do. And it got me thinking about what is it which allows you to attach the label of “expert” to yourself.

I first got online in 1996,  and built my first website in 1998.

Back then a domain name was £50.

I remember using a HTML program called Hotdog, later upgrading to a paid version of Dreamweaver, created by Macromedia. I wish I could get my hands on an earlier version of Dreamweaver as the current one is so bloated. I worked at that website for 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, for about 6 months. Completely destroying any social time with friends.

At the time the UK charged for a local call and it would have cost me a fortune, at the time I was a penniless, out of work writer, but one of the ISPs offered a free connection from the hours of 6pm to 7am. And this became my work hours. To keep me company I had purchased a £35 used TV from Portobello Road and the new, BBC rolling news and old movies, the World Service on the radio kept me company in those long hours.

It was a time of Infoseek, Excite, and Altavista. plus other flashes in the pan search engines that came and went quite quickly. One upstart was called, “Google”, I wonder what happened to them?

It was crazy fun doing SEO in those days. You could simply spam the meta tags, a lot did and they did it because it worked.

You could create a page similar to the page ranking ahead of you in the SERPS, tweak it, publish, index, and within an hour the SE would be updated with fresh rankings. This allowed you to make multiple attempts to rank and if focused enough you could rank easily, however it wouldn’t last long.

Those early days of SEO were truly the Wild West and looking back on it now I kinda miss it.

I could talk for hours about this period and places like DMOZ, where if you became an editor you had the ability to hand out links from a highly trusted source. This was where I understood that social skills still mattered when it came to getting a website ranked and that no matter how well you optimised your site with your rad SEO skills there was the site which focused more on greasing the wheels and getting people to link to you. I think that is very much the landscape right now and will always be.

After 6 months of being an utter noob at getting traffic to a website, I think I would get about 10-12 unique visits a day. I was using a stat program called, Urchin, which was very good. So good that Google bought it and relabeled in Google Analytics. I preferred the old Urchin as the new system was more about selling the Adwords system. Which made sense from Google’s POV.

After too long in front of a CRT monitor, I took a month long holiday in San Diego, staying with an arty friend who went on to design the funky stuff you see at the entrance of an outfit called Facebook.

Had a blast, visited the Salton Sea, Grand Canyon, Vegas and fell in love with the desert of South Western USA. Particularly an old mining town called Jerome in Arizona. But, let’s not make this a travel blog.

During the holiday I hung out in the SDSU computer lab and noticed my website was now getting 400 uniques a day. Well, that’s nice.

Back in London, I threw myself back into building my website.

I had great link building wins, for example, the movie, Notting Hill was being made in our street. They covered it in fake snow and the production team gave the residents a bottle of champagne for the disruption. I was able to grab video footage of Julia Roberts and use it to get more links from celebrity sites.

I learned that creating a spectacle and earning links created fantastic ROI.

My website was celebrity based and getting early with the news resulted in good traffic (this method is still powerful).

End of 1999 it was making money via an advertising system (pre Adsense) and was making more money than I knew what to do with. So did what you should do in that situation, head off to San Francisco for two years to hang out. Bagged a primo apartment in Russian Hill.

I had a ton of projects on the good, all pretty much failed.

For example, I bought a domain called, The idea being people could upload video and others would vote on it. An idea that was greeted with, “yeah but what if someone throws themselves off the Golden Gate Bridge, and the video gets uploaded?” The site never happened, mostly because I was not the type of person for such a project and bandwidth meant any video was a thumbnail.

Also, SF was a lot of fun and I didn’t do much work. Yosemite was a drive away and having a British accent could get you a long way with native, female population and so I mostly had too much fun.

Although I do remember the day I arrived in SF. It was exactly the same day the first bubble had burst in the year 2000. I had just taken a 4,000-mile transcontinental drive from Washington D.C. to San Francisco. Only driving on minor roads and eating at non-chain eateries.

It was a journey of a lifetime and learned that in a one-horse town in West Texas, if you pull out $50 in cash you will get told, “oh you must be from the city”. And if you go to Furnace Creek in Death Valley in February, don’t expect heat.

Because of the crash, a lot of time was spent going to auction of bankrupt companies. On Market Street (the main tech strip in downtown SF), expensive desks were dumped on the streets.

The online scene contracted.

But I was still doing ok.

I came back from SF to do a Media Coms course at Lincoln Uni.

Fast forward to 2006 and my site was now doing 30,000 uniques a day.

Not bad for someone who is not an expert in SEO 😉

However, disaster loomed.

I had been deliberately breaking the Google TOS to get traffic, it worked for 6 years but not updating the site with the proper enforcement of the Google TOS meant the site was nuked for traffic from Google. Many sites rank whilst in breach of the Google TOS and a lot of times if you followed the rules you simply didn’t rank.

The site was toast and income stream gone.

Time to pivot.

And so I started to sell services, which quickly pivoted to selling content, links, content marketing training… etc. And local SEO services, a lot of local websites had very bad optimisation as they had been created by a web designer, who typically are more into fonts than they are to improving traffic.

Local SEO was quite easy, (and still is)  it usually takes about 15 mins to assess what was needed, and in that time you can give the advice to increase traffic by 300%+. Implementation can take a little longer but it’s really not that hard to do at the local level.. National and International sites in highly competitive areas, however,  need a different approach, but the basics are the same.

So, does 20 years of building web traffic through optimisation by millions, building optimising hundreds of websites and giving others advice on optimisation, speaking at many SEO conferences, writing about SEO for 10 years on this blog, reading thousands of articles over 20 years regarding online marketing,  make me an SEO expert?

I have no idea.

I would never call myself an SEO expert, but I understand when others do.

Does it mean I shouldn’t be asked to offer a quote to be on a top list?

Maybe, but they keep asking, ironically I got another one a few days ago.


SEO Cornwall

SEO Audit of UK Conservative and Labour Party websites

uk general election seo audit

Websites are tools of communication and persuasion. And as such should be used correctly by political parties to achieve their aims. Following best practice web design and SEO it is relatively simple to create a website that Google will love, which increases your chances of ranking higher in the search engine results pages.

Performing an SEO audit on a website is required to establish whether or not a website is following best practice and is optimised in the most effective and efficient way.

It does take a lot of time and effort to do a full audit, but I thought I would show a few examples of what an audit can pick up. As the UK general election is in full swing I thought it would be interesting to look at the two main political parties.

Due to the amount of time a full audit would have taken, we have only been able to do a partial audit and focus on a few important things

Disclaimer: I have no allegiance to any political party, am a swing voter and have approached the analysis of both websites with a completely open mind.

H1 Tag

No H1 tag exists.
Not good, Google values a H1 tag, I would suggest an H1 tag which echoed the title tag. As it would seem that is the most important keyword for the site

Although there are H2 and H3 tags

<h2>Share The Facts</h2>
<h3>Why we need a general election</h3>

Missing a H1 tag is not best practice, and is an opportunity missed to highlight a specific keyword to Google that the page finds important.
<title>The Conservative Party</title>
Functional and showing what is important, but missing an opportunity to add a slogan which will be seen by many. Missing an opportunity for further communication as the title tag is listed in the search engine results pages and does get scanned. A slogan is perfect for that context.

Meta Description

<meta name=”Descriptioncontent=”The Conservative Party – Building a country that works for everyone” />

Again, very functional, very conservative. A phrase that is all about getting on with the job with little fuss. I think this works for the Conservative brand.


Although tricky to say, canocilization is a technical issue with the URL structure, it should follow a logical and hierachical structure, allowing Google to easily decide which of your pages you have deemed the most important.

It is crucial you are able to tell Google which is the front page to your website, as that is the one it will want to rank.

You must only have one of the following that will show in your browser, if not Google may index the duplicate URL and it will weaken your ranking potential.


The Conservative website has correct canocilization,  is correct, as only is available.

Duplicate content errors
Pages within the folder, “” are throwing up duplicate content errors. Possibly these pages should be non-indexed if not needed to rank or the con. This allows Google to know the exact pages needed to rank. Whilst not a major issue, optimising this will make the site more easier for Google to index the correct pages.

Oh, and something interesting popped up. The meta keywords tag is now redundant and yet the Conservative website has, <meta name=”Keywordscontent=”conservatives, conservative, conservative party, tories, tory, david cameron, centre-right” />

Did you spot the error?

H1 tag

Very bad situation with regards to the Labour parties H1 tags.

<h1 style=”margin-bottom: 0.6em;“>We will build a better, fairer Britain.</h1>

You only ever have one H1 tag, whilst you can have many H2 and h3 tags.
It is how Google knows to structure what is important on the page.
A website is a communication and persuasion tool, it should be constructed along best practice guidelines. It’s actually very simple and logical to do this and getting the H1 tag this wrong is inexcusable.

To a web designer or SEO this is quite shocking as the error is not a simple mistake as it is repeated a number of times. Leading me to question the methodology of those who put this website together.

My questions to the Labour party if they were a client would be:

  • Who is responsible for the oversight of the website?
  • Did the web designer who put this page together raise the bad practice issues?
  • What processes are in place to catch such simple mistakes?

I wouldn’t lay the blame at the person who was tasked to do the actual coding, but would investigate the management and systems that allowed this to happen. As whomever is in charge is doing a very bad job.

Title tag

<title>We are Labour &ndash; The Labour Party</title>

Not quite sure of the purpose of the duplication. “The Labour party – insert slogan here“, would be better. Seems redundant and a waste of a call to action opportunity.

Meta Description

<meta name=”descriptioncontent=”We are a people-powered movement. Be part of it.“>

This tells me that the “movement”, is a movement and not a party, is powered by people. Not sure what else a “movement” would be powered by. “Be part of it”, not sure if this is telling me what to do or asking me. It certainly does not inspire a click through if seen in the search engine results page, which is the purpose of the meta description.


This is a complete mess.



Are both available to the browser.
Yes that is correct, the Labour party website does not yet have a https certificate, which enables data to be encrypted between the browser and the website. It is best practice to have one and Google is saying you should have one and Google uses it as a ranking signal. This is again a basic error which any beginner web designer or SEO would know.

Also, the front page now redirects to, which means there are now 3 front pages. It is important you only have one front page to present to Google as it has to chose which one it is going to rank.

The request for contact details would have been better as being above the fold on the original front page and still have the same URL structure. Still filling the screen, but without messing with the structure of the website and its optimisation.

A quick fix would be to redirect the https page to the http page, as well as to redirect to and get rid of the splash page.

But the best solution is to get a https certificate and then redirect all front pages to

Other UK political parties are:

More information on what is important best practice:
Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide from Google, this is a great starting guide from the people who you really should be listening to.

SEO Cornwall

How to reboot your blog after a long break

Blogging works well when done regularly, however it’s not always easy to keep up the momentum.

As a tool in the online marketing tool box, blogging is still very useful. Not as sexy and trendy as other techniques, but it can really help your SEO, social media and content objectives.

How do you keep up the momentum and blog regularly?

It’s a question on my mind currently as I have taken about a ten month break from regular blogging. I simply lost the taste for it and it no longer did what I wanted it to achieve.

I forgot some of the basic rules of blogging and blogged my way over a cliff.

The idea of tapping out another blog on the keyboard filled me with a loathing and I always found something more interesting to spend my time on.

Looking back over what worked and what did not I learned a few things about my own style and about what does and doesn’t work. We all have a style and it’s important you give room for it as it helps to distinguish you from your competitors.

There are a numbers mistakes I have made and I think they are common as I have seen many other bloggers do them. (I’ve made a lot more than these, but we have to start somewhere)

  • When I write I over think, simplicity is the key in blogging. Complex concepts communicated simply and without fuss
  • I expect others to find things interesting just because I do (no one wants to hear about the Second Punic War)
  • Readers of this blog need solutions quickly and are time poor and I sometimes waffle, not getting to the point quick enough
  • I forget that lessons need to be retaught and just because I wrote about a topic once, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be revisited from a different angle
  • Not everyone has my humour, or my politics or my love of etymology
  • Being useful is far more important than being seen as clever

Most of my failings come from a writers arrogance, I word it like that because it sounds better than “my arrogance”. But before I beat myself up too much, I think it’s quite common when you spend a lot of time studying and working hard in one sector to start to reshape your thinking about that sector.

It’s hard to work in a field for a long time and then realise and admit that you have headed off the path and into the wilderness.

it’s important for me to share, because it may have happened to you and it resonates. Or it may be happening to you right now and it can help you rekindle the fire before the dying embers go cold.

Hopefully you realise everyone goes through this and withe a little help you can keep going, so as able to reach your objective.

The golden time is when coming fresh at a subject.

There are no places not to discover, no rock which you think is not turning over and so you discover more and delight more. This fuels the desire to learn even more and to hone your craft as a blogger.

This post may well be over thinking it, although I like to call it, but hopefully I have simplified the process enough for it to engage and empathise with you the reader and blogger.

Empathy is the new black

Empathy is something I keep reading about. It is crucial in getting your message across and convincing people your words are something worth giving time for. It may be my past blog posts did not empathise enough.

I actually took an empathy test and scored quite low, although not as low as some as my other male friends. And so I now make an overt effort to show empathy in my blogging. Not in some wishy washy, overly emotional way. But in a way that shows I care about the problems of the readers of this blog and  that I am prepared to put the sack of grey mush that resides in my cranial cavity to the task.

The reality strikes me that I am hear to help you solve your problem, and not to create a blog that is for me and my own ego.

The aim is to solve problems around online marketing issues, specifically those of an SEO, social media and content nature.

Now we are here, where do we go?

For me it’s about listening to people and finding problems and attempting to solve them.
Think about doing something similar in your own sector, especially giving thought to how empathy can be integrated into your blogging as most blog posts (mine included) lack this important ingredient.
Showing expertise is as simple as showing empathy, sharing knowledge and helping solve problems that your audience want help with.

My next few blog posts will be covering this area. Come back if you find this stuff interesting.



SEO Cornwall

Social media management essentials for Instagram

My Instagram account passed 1,000 followers in the wee hours of this morning.

I don’t say this to brag, but to highlight that my target has been achieved. This was set out in my Instagram experiment, which I started 14 days ago.

The aim of the experiment is to find out if Instagram is worthy of social media investment. In short, I think it is.

How has this been done?

  • No followers or likes have been bought, I have noticed that some others do employ this tactic but I think it’s something that can hurt in the long term.
  • Very high quality content has been produced that is aligned to my natural skills.
  • Real comments made on influential accounts.
  • Following accounts that resonate with the content I have produced.
  • Strategic linking with other social media accounts, which syncs with my overall content marketing strategy.
  • Have real conversations with people who have influential accounts.
  • Like and follow other accounts that resonate with the content marketing strategy.
  • Defollow those accounts who turn out not to be fruitful.

These essentials can be applied to most social media efforts. Basically it’s produce great content, be yourself, talk to people and help others.

Simple really.

The benefits have been:

  • Increased traffic to my site
  • Increased email subscribers (due also to offering a quick and easy report to download)
  • Connections built with influential people with established followings
  • Ideas generated simply by observing more closely what works and what doesn’t on a new social media platform
  • Content created specifically for Instagram can be used elsewhere and possibly to build links (going to experiment with building links with my graphical quotes this week)

People who have never conducted any Instagram experiment tell me it only works for specific things, like selfies, makeup, food… etc. But I have found this not to be true and discovered countless cases of people making it work for them in niches such as laundry, dentistry, currency exchange and so on. I will cover these case studies in a future post.

It comes back to what I always tell the people I coach; it’s about communication and persuasion. Social media platforms are simply mechanical devices to allow this to happen. You can use any system which helps you reach the crowd to market your brand, products and services, it’s simply down to decoding the means to be successful and doing it.

There is the issue of ROI of course, but the effort I have got to where I am in a couple of weeks is minimal, partly because I have done this a number of times before with other social media platforms and similar techniques and attitudes work across different platforms.

The bad news is that is may not be as easy for you. This is after all my job and I spend a lot of time thinking about the issues and have had years of experience. I am prepared to take on a few clients to help them boost their Instagram efforts though, which allows you to go about building your business and allow my experience and skill to help you with your social.

Get in contact if you wish to get help with your current social media management.

SEO Cornwall

Where to get content ideas for your blog

Content idea

I have now joined the team at which is a service supplying you with great blog post ideas.

Talking to many content clients over the years, coming up with great ideas is usually the first place people get stuck. There is a number of processes to go through when creating content of course and as it has got harder and harder to get attention and engage these days, every little helps.

Where the service really helps is that it keeps supplying content ideas, once you use up your natural reservoir of ideas things get tough. You can of course get in the mindset to be able to be an idea machine, but wouldn’t you rather be working on your business or speeding up the content creation process?

The current price is at an introductory level and will rise as the service fills, I suggest you get in whilst it is still new and hungry for subscribers.

Get ideas for your blog posts and content.

Link building SEO Cornwall

Create Great Content Ask for a Link Be Nice

Yesterday I wrote a post that got carried on, which was very nice of them. Thanks.

It was titled. Have you Tried Asking for a Link and I talked about that fact that sometimes you simply has to ask. However, to be clear and I have had a few emails about this. The post said that you could “Just nicely ask for a link, using your own words in a real way and ask for a link to something good.”

As I find people tend not to ask the right way for a link and others do not ask at all.

The post goes on to say, “I will give you a link for free, from an authority blog, just give me something to link to, ask nice and make me think you will do something nice back in the future.”

Of course, some thought all they needed to do was to ask for a link and they would get one. And that “something”, meant anything. I clearly stated that I wanted to “link to something good”, meaning it has to be good enough to link to.

Perhaps I was not clear as I should have been, and should have outlined what “something good” actually meant as not everyone creates content for links. In my world, “something good” means a specific level of quality. Quality of communication, quality of attractiveness etc.

And so when I got several of the emails asking for link this morning, a few of them didn’t get it. So I wrote an open letter to those people to save time.

Thanks for that [NAME WITHHELD], appreciate it.

Yes I have had a lot of requests.

The point of the “ask for a link”, article is about asking nicely and in a human way. Just asking me after saying hi is missing the point.

Although I do note that you have helped me with pointing out the error on the email link, although I have had plenty of emails this morning, I’m not really that hard to contact.

Would you give a link simply because someone asked?
Of course not, it wouldn’t be good practice.

You need to have something, a piece of linkable content you want to be linked to, I need a reason to link, something specific or something interesting. As I wrote in the article.

It can’t be just the fact that you have a website there has to be a reason for me to link to the website. Something of merit, something to be cited, something different. The whole reason I have links on my blog is to help the reader, either giving them more context or allowing them to explore the subject further. A link has to be of value to the reader within the context of the blog and the blog post.

Obviously people buy links, you cannot buy links on my website, but you can on others and when that happens it is sometimes blatantly obvious, because there is no context to the link being given or that the content being linked to is not worth being linked to. And if a website exhibits a pattern of bought and sold links and Google finds out, Google may ban them.

I don’t want my website to have the hint of bought and sold links because I don’t want my website banned. Not that linking to your website would get my website banned. I just need a reason to link, as I stated in my blog post.

Of course I can give out a non paid link that is not entirely contextual to prove a point, for example the Blue Bar at Porthtowan beach, where I am often found. OK, this is not entirely non-contextual as it’s a place that I love and go to regularly.

But you see the point about simply dropping in links with no context? There has to be a reason to link.

If you want me to further analyse your request further, it didn’t leave me feeling that you were going to do something nice in the future. It simply told me that you saw the request (not sure you read the article) and thought you simply had to ask.

This is not the point of the article, it’s not the correct methodology for effective outreach and it certainly isn’t a nice way for human beings to communicate.

If you are in a pub for example and someone comes up to you and says, “Hi, I’m John, hope you had a great holiday. Your laces are undone. £50 please”.

It’s probably not going to be effective.

And this is the point of the article.

Not that you simply have to ask, using as few words as possible. But that you actually have to connect with another human being and treat them better than a cynical way to get a link.

Don’t get me wrong, my verbose reply is not indicative as anger or even annoyance. It’s more about frustration that opportunities are being lost, simply because people do not connect with others effectively over the Internet.

I don’t say “connect properly“, as that is subjective. I mean “effectively“, as in getting to achieve your goal.

It’s very clear what works in link building and what does not. No one wants to be taken advantage of or thought of as an idiot who will link to anyone.

People tend to link to people who they like, they do not link to websites but to people, as I have said in my blog and at numerous conference talks.

You can clearly see this human effect in action after a conference when people who have met people and like them, link to their blogs afterwards when they would not have linked to them when based just on the website.

Going to conferences and being liked is the best link building technique I have seen. I say “technique” tongue in cheek, because it’s not. It’s a way of being.

And yes, I suppose some people think it tiresome to actually interact with people you have zero interest in, but this is the point. People can easily sense that, even emails have an odour.

The solution is simply to be nice. Take the time, be genuine have something real to share.

This of course takes time, and if you can get away with a quick ask, job done. I totally understand why someone would knock out a crafty email link request between a mocha.

But knocking out a crafty one was not the point of the article.

Being effective by being nice was.

Link building should be looked upon as a tribal act. Look how the tribe of Moz acts, totally tribal. Look how Buzzfeed acts, they feed their tribe daily.

I wont tell you that link building is easy, you have to really work at it. But you have to work harder if you see it as a vending machine, or a cash point machine. Gone are the days of the push linker and I am old enough to remember those days. They were fun times. But it’s better now because great content can now give you a reason to properly ask for links.

My goal is to teach people the effective way of doing things, that was the point of the “Link offer”, blog post and this is the point of this blog post.

Thanks for taking the time to email and reading my blog post. If you do have great piece of content to share with my readers, please do not hesitate to contact and if the content works, and if your website is cool and if you are not a horrible person and if you [Insert here all the obvious stuff that most with a basic understanding of SEO understand] then I will drop you a tasty, contextual link.

Lyndon Antcliff

Too Zen? I don’t think so, this is about what works and what does not work.

It is the sound of a link being built to an idea that does not yet exist.

Link building SEO Cornwall

Have you tried asking for a link

Just nicely ask for a link, using your own words in a real way and ask for a link to something good. It’s a controversial statement I know judging from my email inbox and what doesn’t get talked about on Twitter.

I think I have a pathological aversion to cut and paste emails and cookie cutter content.

I get emails stating, “we are quaility link builders”, good because I always have people looking for those and I am quite liberal in linking out from my own blogs.

But the emails are obviously not written by the sender, but by some dry, crunchy assed, baked in the sun so long it has bleached their soul, copywriter.

I can’t read those emails without feeling my brain trying to escape through my ear.

But I want to link.

I even want to buy links.

Why not talk to me like a Human Being?

I prefer to get links without asking, by crawling inside your head and working the levers mostly. But when I do ask, it is I who am asking, using my own words and sending each request out individually.

Even if it means bleeding into the keyboard, I send link requests out manually.

I will give you a link for free, from an authority blog, just give me something to link to, ask nice and make me think you will do something nice back in the future.

You don’t even have to do a nice thing for me, you only have to make me think you will do a nice thing.

SEO Cornwall

Why SEO Training for Beginners is still needed

School Bus

Admit it.

Do you always roll your eyes when an SEO blogger starts with something like, “I’ve been building websites since….”

I used to, I don’t now.

Because that long view is incredibly valuable, offset of course by dissipation of hunger and passion and a reduction of energy.
I will leave for another blog post, just why it’s valuable to have a couple of grey beards hanging with the 20 something hipster types that form the bulk of people doing SEO.

I’ve been building websites and getting them ranked since 1998, of course this only means something if you keep current.

If an SEO sales person says any of the following. you should kick them out of the door.

  • Your website needs keyword Meta tags
  • You need to nofollow every external link
  • We can submit your website to search engines and not just Google but 1000’s of others
  • You need to have a 2.4% (or any number) of keyword density on your page
  • I’m expert in this great piece of software that can generate 200 links a day on forums

and for more check out the links below.

Yes I realise some of my black hat friends will tell me some of this stuff still works (I wont tell you which) for throwaway websites, but this blog is about helping long term, branded websites get ranked, and a blackhat technique, whilst still valid in certain situations is not valid here.

When you look at something as simple as internal link structure and sites that use drop down menus to facilitate a good flow of link equity with correct anchor text, you notice a lot of sites get this basic stuff wrong, something that,, and the get right. To give just a few examples. It’s interesting to take a random look at a bunch of websites and see who is implementing best practice design and SEO and who is not.

Now I am not saying that for a website to rank it has to have a drop down menu structure that has correct anchor text. But it sure does help and I would argue that for a relatively cheap win a website should look at being designed around this structure. Personally as a user of websites, I love the drop down menu, perhaps a usability expert such as Kim Krause Berg could tell us the impact on usability with this technique.

Even after all this time, certain techniques that died out nearly 10 years ago are still being promoted by people in the industry. I put this down to a mix of laziness and the fact they can get away with it. It’s not the buyers fault of course, but due diligence needs to be done. There are still plenty of SEO sharks out there and you don’t want to become bait.

Training and education are essential to anyone performing SEO and it’s not about reading one book or taking one course, because you need to learn to differentiate between the silver tongued devils telling you the garbage in the above list, compared with the gold in the link below. You need time and a number of occurrences before you can accurately differentiate who is pulling a fast one and who knows their apples

9 Outdated SEO Techniques Still Practiced Today
10 Old SEO Methods You Need to Stop
Five Outdated SEO Tips: How Not to Optimize Your Website
5 outdated SEO practices you should avoid
25 Outdate SEO Terms & Tactics VS Their Modern Alternatives
5 Outdated SEO Tactics You’re Probably Still Using

Image source

SEO Cornwall

How to Increase the Traffic to your website


The New York Times has a great article about viral video.

I found this quote very interesting


It’s written by Natalie Kitroeff, and it’s very good, go read it.

What is interesting is they didn’t say tell the truth, make it more intellectual, or make it be visually stunning.

It’s all about the emotion.

You have to engage emotionally.

The character of Linkbait is all about emotion.

But here’s the thing, most people are proud. People want to appear more intelligent and well read than they actually are and so will ignore the creation of the simple emotional signal for the complex intellectual one. I am guilty of this. It’s not about dumbing down, it’s simply about understanding how the human brain works and how it reacts to some dumb video.

The journalist wants the cat to die, because that is what happens and that is what journalists do, they report the facts.

The viral expert wants the cat to live because a positive emotion is more likely to be shared than a negative one.

Thing is, people will not tell you what they really like, but they will show you by what they react to and what they allow on their screens and into their minds.

Creating website melting traffic is not about intellect, it’s about being savvy about the human mind.

SEO Cornwall

Twitter – Follower of 10

There is a new Twitter movement out there, it’s called “Follower of 10

It simply means reducing the people you follow on Twitter to 10 people.

The point is to increase the signal, decrease the noise.

It’s not for everyone, everyone has their own social media strategy.

I’m taking up this challenge, it’s difficult as I get the feeling I’m missing out or am unable to influence a useful connection. But, there are so many more efficient ways to stay connected. Also, if you are worried that someone will de-follow you simply because you de-follow them, then their follow is probably worth less than you think.

This is not a hippy dippy movement to keep things real and fruity, rather it’s a time management thing.

Increase the signal, decrease the noise.

SEO Cornwall

How to ask for a Retweet

I get asked a lot to retweet. Most of the time I don’t do them as it’s off topic to the market I target on twitter. When it is on target and the content is great I have no problem with retweeting.

The problem is, people don’t ask the right way.

This is the wrong way.
Dude, can you retweet this,

This is the right way.
Dude, can you retweet this. “RT @lyndoman: The great thing about how a child thinks, is that it doesn’t know what can’t be done, so just does it.”

Do you see the difference.

The difference is TIME.

You are not wasting the persons time, as all they have to do is cut and paste.

But, you may think you are a hot-shot-seo-rockstar who thinks people should be grateful that you even would ask them to do something. I don’t know. What I do know is that if you ask people a favour you don’t have to go round the houses to give it to them.

And another thing whilst I’m here, pointing people to a bit of content and asking for a RT is a pain in the arse, and it’s not a Retweet, it’s a tweet. Pedantic? Yes.

In the future, anyone who asks you to RT and gets it wrong, send them to this page and let me have a word with them.

SEO Cornwall

Twitter Killzone leaves 2,000 casualties

I look at the people I was following last week on twitter and thought, “what’s the point”.

It’s a useful question to ask regularly in this ever changing online World. A few months ago it made sense to follow lots of people, becoming a human vacuum cleaner of peoples thoughts. The problem is with that, if you have too many you tend to pick up all kinds of stuff.

So I rolled up my sleeves and manually defollowed about 2,000. I didn’t want to trust a script and wanted to get a real look at who I was following. I don’t think I knew any of those 2k, some straight away defollowed me back which made me think, “why were you following me in the first place?” I follow people who don’t follow me back as I value what they have to say.

I also Anglicised my feed, it’s not that I have been infected with a strain of jingoism, but my online business is mostly aimed at habitants of these ancient Isles.

Anyone who was a “social enthusiast” in somewhere like Topeka who mostly talked about the sexual habits of their cat got dropped. But the UK versions did not. Anyone who claimed to be an expert in their bio got dropped or guru or MLM etc.

Also, I used to rely on Tweetdeck, but then I realised I was missing all what was in my raw feed and there was good stuff. Looking at the raw feed now I don’t really need Tweetdeck to organise groups.

And what happens when Twitter gets bought out and they turn off the api.

Or do you think that could never happen?

Have that in writing do you?

There was a case for having thousands of people following you on twitter which was easy to get, you just followed people you knew would follow back then delete the ones who don’t. Only it’s so easy that it has lost it’s value.

What is of high value now is the ratio of people you follow to who follows you. Plus the quality of the people you follow, you really can learn some stuff from people.

It’s never going to be perfect, but I have made using Twitter a lot more interesting than it was.

So if I follow you now, I really mean it. And if you have the hump because I no longer follow you, it’s not personal, mostly.

If you are worthy find a way to contact me and let me know.

You can defollow me here

SEO Cornwall

Expertly marketing your twitter account is not the same as being an expert in marketing on twitter

I just posted this on twitter, lets see which one gets ranked first.

Expertly marketing your twitter account is not the same as being an expert in marketing on twitter

I’m not linking to the twitter post else that will muddy the water.

But here is my main twitter account

SEO Cornwall

How Chrysula Can Crush the Competition on Twitter

My old Pal Chrysula ask me how to get ahead in Twitter.

A while back she asked me about twitter, I sent off a long reply which never got to her. I of course forgot to send another. I just noticed she is on Twitter with only 34 followers, at least that was what she had before I shouted her out to my feed.

Instead of sending her another email, I’m going to blog the advice. I don’t have a twitter ebook or product to sell, although I do offer a consultation and training service.

SEO Cornwall

Moonfruit Bigger than Jacko

Yesterday a free website builder called Moonfruit became the most twittered about company on the Planet.

Bigger even than Michael Jackson.

Here’s how the front page of Twitter looked today.


They showed how a proper Twitter marketing campaign should be run. Giving a Macbook Pro away each day for 10 days, and all you need to do is to tweet #moonfruit. It still has 9 days to run.

A lot of people don’t understand Twitter, those that do reap the rewards. But it’s not about replicating what has already been done, you have to throw a little imagination at the problem.

Things are moving fast.

As always.

It’s no longer about getting the digg front page, that’s now old school.

Now, right now. Not yesterday, but right now, it’s all about the buzz.

Twitter is merely a tool as is digg. A tool to create buzz, if you don’t get it, you don’t get it.

The real prize these days goes to those who can capture the consciousness of millions of people. The technology enables you to do it, for only a few thousand quid you can…… well. You know the rest.

Watch out for what Moonfruit do in the future, they are a company who have the ability to do grasp the nature of what is happening and take advantage of it.

Those who get it, get it all.


So far they have been mentioned in Brand Republic and Mashable, I am sure that’s just the start.