Blogging SEO Creativity SEO Discussion

How big should blog posts be to rank on Google?


The time when it was all about targeted keyword rich, short form content,  crank out a few hundred words, has long gone. Creating long form, well researched content is expensive, time consuming and hard work.

But what is the evidence that we should create long form content? How do we answer the question, “What size of content will help me rank in Google?”

Brian Dean

Evidence that Longform content is best recently did a massive study of 1 million Google search results, published on January 21st, 2016

It’s findings regarding size of content were:

” Based on SERP data from SEMRush, we found that longer content tends to rank higher in Google’s search results. The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.”


Steve Rayson over at bloggged, “Content, Share and Links: Insights from analyzing 1 million articles”, you can download his 31 page pdf here

Steve Rayson
The analysis was the result of teaming up with

Deep research and opinions matter :

“There are, however, specific content types that do have a strong positive correlation of shares and links. This includes research backed content and opinion forming journalism. We found these content formats achieve both higher shares and significantly more links.”

On the length of content with regards to social sharing:

“…long form content of over 1,000 words consistently receives more shares and links than shorter form content.”

On the type of content shared

 “List posts and videos achieve much higher shares on average than other content formats. However, in terms of achieving links, list posts and why posts achieve a higher number of referring domain links than other content formats on average. While we may love to hate them, list posts remain a powerful content format.”

It seems the much hated listicle is not only getting the shares, but the links too. Gathering anecdotal evidence for this article, people would role their eyes at the idea that listicles get the most attention. This may be due to that fact that people who are in the web publishing business see more of them and are not in “reader mode”, but are in publishing mode. It may also be pure snobbery, the fact that we want people to think we are more sophisticated than we actually are.

The article goes on to say that most content receives few social shares and even fewer links. This would indicate that content is being dumped on a massive scale into a vase and empty space with no one reading, sharing or linking to it.

The research indicates that longer form content in excess of 2k is more likely to be successful. Thus time spent creating 3 x blog posts 1,000 words long could be wasted, whilst time spent creating 1 blog post 3,000 words long returns rewards.

The study goes on to look at the type of content that is being shared and linked to, analysing around 70k webpages with articles from , The Atlantic, New Republic, the and indicates that it is well researched opinion pieces that are most popular.


How Important is Content Length? Why Data-Driven SEO Trumps Guru Opinions
Analysis was performed of the top 10 results in Google in 2012, using 20,000 keywords and discovered a direct correlation of long content to higher results in Google.


“As you can see, there is a drop in content length as we move from first to tenth position. On average, 10th position pages have 400 less words on the page than first position pages. This does point to the trend that higher ranked sites have more content, but keep in mind that this graph is not segmented in any way – this is just a graph of all of the SERPs we’ve analyzed.”

More evidence from

In another study from Moz, by John Doherty, it “found a direct correlation between the number of back links…and the overall length of the content itself.”

Below is a chart of 500 posts on the x-axis and the number of words on the y-axis

Moz graphic

If we take the chart above and overlay with the number of links each post acquired has been recorded, we can clearly see a correlation between length of post and number of links the post gets.
John Doherty states, ” if we visualize the links that these posts have gained, there seems to be a correlation between longer content and links:”

moz graphic 2

OKSUMO and Buzzsumo research
Why Content Goes Viral: What Analyzing 100 Million Articles Taught Us

“We’ve analyzed the social share counts of over 100 million articles in the past 8 months.”

“If you look at the chart below, the longer the content, the more shares it gets, with 3000-10000 word pieces getting the most average shares (8859 total average shares). Not surprisingly, there was a lot more short-form content being written. How much more? There were 16 times more content with less than 1000 words than there were content with 2000+ words.”


It is quite clear from this graph that you are more likely to have your content shared on Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter, and Google+ if you content is over 3,000 words, rather than 1,000 words or less.

This flies in the face of common thought that we are only motivated to share, short, snacksized bits of content. It is not what the data is telling us.

“As you can see in the graph, 3000+ word articles get more social shares on Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter and Google+.”
The Backlinking Strategy That Works
Patt Flynn has also noticed a relationship between shares and content length.



5 Things That Will Change Your Mind About Long Form Content Marketing

In Garrett Moon’s research for he found that content with a higher number of words ranked higher in Google.


“Yes, it’s true. Long-form content ranks higher on average than shorter pages. In my results, the pages in the top five (1-5) averaged more than 2,000 words per page. In the bottom half (6-10), the posts only averaged 1,400 words. Long-form content was absolutely weighted to the top of the list.”


Neil Patel
Neil Patel of Kissmetrics and Crazy Egg likes to get data driven answers in this blog post investigating the merits of long form content, Why you need to create evergreen, long form content

Neil Patel

“I took the 327 blog posts I have written on Quick Sprout and broke them down into two buckets. The first bucket contained blog posts that were fewer than 1,500 words, and the second contained posts that were greater than 1,500 words. I then analyzed how many tweets and Facebook likes each post got.

Posts that were under 1,500 words, on average received 174.6 tweets and 59.3 Facebook likes. Posts that were over 1,500 words, on average received 293.5 tweets and 72.7 Facebook likes.”



A word about causation. We are not stating that long content causes more links and higher ranking, but we are suggesting that there is a correlation between the two, it has been my belief that this has been for case for a number of years.

However, we have a number of factors at work here, the main one is the person who actually reads the content and then reacts. Something is happening to cause them to be more likely to socially share the content or link, size of the content may be a factor, but the content must be coherent and resonate with the reader. It must engage.

Semantic footprint vs the keyword

Spock and Bones

Google introduced a new algorithm called, Hummingbird in 2013. Danny Sullivan of said,

“Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.”

That Google is using the “meaning” of the whole article rather than a specific searched for keyword means that more semantically relevant content is going to help Google determine the relevance of that search term for your content.

It’s not as simple as “more is better”. It’s that more relevant, useful content is better.

If we look at it simplistically, what does a 500 word post have that a 3,000 word post does not? The answer is ease of consumption, it’s quick for the reader. But speed of reading is not the objective of the publisher, we want to produce a reaction. If a reader’s objective is to read and consume a blog post quickly, then they are quickly on to the next thing.

The problem is, most publishers see their content in isolation rather than a sequence of content from numerous other publishers.

Each piece of content consumed by the reader is battling for time in the consciousness, ready for downloading into the subconscious.

Which brand do you think is going to stick more, the brand of the content that took 2 mins to read or the brand which had the content that took two 15 minute sessions to get through?

The thing is, it’s hard to create long content. We get distracted, Netflix, Facebook, Linkedin upates, yada yada yada. And when you create something great at 1,000 words that PUBLISH button starts pulsing. Right now I’m at 809 words and I think I have something interesting for people.

But there are a few other points I want to cover on this issue, and hopefully it takes this particular piece of content from good to great, but that is your call not mine.

We now know content has to be big and thus requires more investment

SEO Discussion

SEO is not dead, it’s just no longer fashionable which is a good thing



When was the last time you went to an SEO conference and they taught you to, “Make sure your keyword is in the title tag”, or “make sure your keywords are in text and not hidden in a graphic.”

Probably not for a long time, and there are a number of reasons why we no longer see the basics of SEO taught at SEO conferences.

  • Conferences are about new, cutting edge practices
  • We have had over a decade to learn the basics of SEO
  • There are a huge amount of fantastic, free content pieces that teach SEO
  • Many more methods of getting customers to your website can be employed these days.

When I started out performing SEO, it was a massive thing because there wasn’t a Twitter, there wasn’t a Facebook or a Youtube. The implementation of good SEO was crucial, it represented huge amounts of traffic relative to other methods.

But SEO is still crucial to any online marketing strategy. A good SEO is still worth their weight in gold and a bad SEO can take down your business.

There is also the fact that the mob always wants the new, shiny shortcut. The thing that means they can automate their marketing and scale it to the Moon, whilst they sit next to a swimming pool and drink a cool beverage.

Because there is this rabid crowd that are seeking new stuff there is a temptation to dress up old techniques as new and give it a new jargon term. Yes Inbound marketers I am looking at you 😉

We can safely ignore mentions that SEO is dead, it clearly is not. Search engines do have more competition, but an optimised website is essential and will deliver a brilliant ROI


Image source

SEO Discussion

Brand will soon be everything in the Avocado Update

Avocado update

I sense a change in the search-space continuum.

I think something big is afoot.

Something that will play out over a period of the next 12 months.

I think search optimisation will change as we know it.

It already has grown men weeping into their pot noodle after their 1,000th disavow submission.

The SEO is now a glorified clerical worker.
Bad link yes.
Bad link no.
Send off disavow file.

What is the name of the business you are trying to get traffic for?
Are people searching for the name of that business?
Are they talking about it on social media?

If not, the business is probably not worth ranking.
It’s probably a shell of a website wrapped around a keyword.
And that used to work so well.

Now we have to develop emotional relationships between our brand and ADD, caffeine fulled, sheeple who represent the human race on the internet.
And that’s OK for some of us, I for one have always said it’s people you get links from, not websites.
Now it’s going to be “the Conversation” which is going to decide who ranks.
Why should Google count links to decide what people want to rank for?
You do realise that Panda and Penguin were declarations of failure of that system, don’t you?
Don’t you?
They are hacks, pure and simple.

But change is coming, it’s in the wind, can’t you smell it.
It hangs in the air like the silence in an empty hall after a big show.

Are you ready for it?

Change is the only thing we can be sure of, and the change is getting faster.

The other day my iPad pinged me with a notification that someone was making a live video of a Waitrose avacado, using Periscope.
Lets leave aside the psychology of why someone would do this.
It wasn’t an avacado, it was a Waitrose avacado.
Do you really think something like that is not going to get sucked up and noted.
And in some massive computer somewhere the relationship between the brand keyword, Waitrose and an avacado has changed ever so slightly in the positive.
If search was to be accurate, or even improved this notice of a human being communicating evidence of sharing a branded avacado should make a difference.

So where does that leave marketers, influencer and persuaders?
Well it’s actually quite tasty for those of us who like to persuade people to do stuff.
Some of us like the hustle and the inter=play between the crowd and the promotion of thoughts that end up in their head.

The Avacado Update

I present no objective proof to support this.
Merely my thoughts on where this is all going and what I am seeing and what I feel.
It may take a few years, but all Google needs to know is everything the human race says in real time and the ability to process language in a correct semantic context which takes account of culture.

Why would you need links if you had that?

The age of the storyteller is about to begin.

You can call it content marketing if you so wish, it really makes no difference.

So what should you do?
Do you need a content strategy?


We are way beyond that.

You need a vision.

Not a goal, a vision.

It is those who have the vision who will tell the brightest, strongest stories.
The technology will be background noise.
A wrapper.
A device to enable the most wonderful of stories to be told and it will be those stories that people will talk about and it’s those stories that will build the content, that will connect the emotions of the crowd and the brand.

And the crowd shall be so fanatical and to hurtle down the hill with their credit cards brandished like weapons as if they were Iceni tribe were on a day outing in Rome.

In fact, this fanatical behaviour is already happening.

It makes perfect sense that these waves of discourse will drive the search of the future.

It really is not as simple as “get people to talk about your brand”.

The skillset needed will by that of not just a storyteller, but a creator with a deep understanding of the human condition and real time cultural knowledge.

If you can get a few million people to believe a 13 year old stole his Dad’s credit card to buy hookers, then you shouldn’t have a problem.

Now, who do you know who can do that?

Image source

SEO Discussion

How is Link Building Doing?

A few charts from Google Trends over regarding a few search terms within the industry

Past 12 months of searches for “link building”.

link building

Looks pretty stable.
What about over a longer time period?

link building

Looks like it peaked in 2012, and now back to 2009. Seems stable the last 12 months though.

Content marketing seems to be the latest buzzword, but surely that’s a word only the gurus use?

link building

But whatever happened to “social media marketing”, surely that’s old stuff right now and no one searches for it?

link building

Nope! Social media marketing is kicking link building’s ass. But don’t they know that links = higher rankings in the Google results page. Well perhaps people have a perception that social media is far more important than ranking in Google. That may or may not be the case, but for what people are actually searching for. For “social media marketing”, computer says yes.

So does that mean the fragrant and effervescent social media department are crushing the Ben Sherman shirt wearing SEO types?

link building

SEO for the terms of these charts still beats all the other terms into the ground? Does this mean that it’s not dead. Of course it does, but you never thought that anyway, did you?
Does this mean that you should pile everything into SEO and let the social media marketing department more time to play on Snapchat? Probably not, there may be an issue with SEO being highly definable whilst numerous other terms could be used for social media marketing and content marketing.

What I think it does mean is that the SEO engineer should be secure in their employment, ensuring them to invest further in their wardrobe of Ben Sherman shirts.

SEO Discussion

Should going Whitehat be an ethical decision or a Business decision?

White hat SEO
First published 2011

To Go White Hat or Black Hat SEO is not an ethical decision it’s a business decision

The aim of the white hat seo is to unnaturally manipulate the Google results page in their favour. The aim of the black hat seo is exactly the same.

Where it differs is the white hat keeps within the Google guidelines and the black hat does not.

Therefore it is inaccurate to call the black hat unethical as it is absurd to allow an American Corporation whose legal obligation is to its share holders to define what is ethical and what is not ethical behaviour.

It is not an ethical decision to employ black hat techniques, or white hat. It is a business decision.

Sometimes I use what is erroneously called black hat techniques, sometimes I use white hat. I use what works.

What works is defined by how Google works.

I would have no problem being 100% whitehat if blackhat made little business sense.

When I realised that many seo agencies who publicly said they were whitehat but were ranking by employing blackhat techniques I realised it wasn’t about slavishly following what Matt Cutts told us to do, in fact in some niches if you follow the Google guidelines you will lose.

When well known newspapers sell links for thousands of pounds with impunity you have to ask, what exactly is going on here?

I don’t do paid links as I have other skills which I can use. But I have to compete against sites which do buy links. I have no problem with that per se, but why doesn’t Google level the playing field.

Unload the dice and make the buying of links in line with the Terms of Service. Because right now it’s the big boys which can get away with buying links whilst the small guy is terrified of getting caught.

Now that is what I call unethical.

Image source

SEO Discussion

Truro Local SEO is sometimes not that Local you mean Cornwall or Nova Scotia

Truro Cathedral
Truro Cathedral, in Cornwall, not Nova Scotia.

With all it’s shed loads of Phd genius hordes and mountains of tax avoided cash stashed in Caribbean Island, banks. It still cannot tell that I like in Truro, Cornwall, UK, rather than Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada.



A quick search for Wolf of Wall St. revealed it thinks I would be interested in watching the movie on a different continent, thousands of miles away. I am sure Novia Scotia has fine cinemas, but the travel costs may negate any pleasure I get from the movie. Although considering the topic, perhaps it would be in keeping if I dropped a grand to go watch a movie.

I have given Google lots of clues. my G+ account is Cornwall, my blog, which my G+ account is tied with has Cornwall in the domain name, my emails are laden with keywords about Cornwall and I know they are looking at my emails (OK the bot is) as they track my advertising delivery.

I understand the technology in place is not yet sophisticated enough to understand I don’t need to see a cinema listing located thousands of miles away and that the argument may be there is just not any other content worthy of my attention regarding these keywords. But I don’t buy that.

If you are going to track then track correctly. I am not one of the tin foil hat wearers who is worried about Google tracking me, I am only worried that they are not explicit about how they are tracking me and their intentions. But I know others are worried about an American corporation with possible links to the NSA.

I’m not worried, as they can’t even figure out which continent I live on.

More info on local seo:
Google Updates Local Search Algorithm With Stronger Ties To Web Search Signals
Listing Management: The Required Foundation for Local SEO
The 5 Local SEO Factors That Matter Most
How To Better Your Local SEO Results

SEO Discussion

SEO Success is more about Communication Strategy

Picture source

This is a response to Eric Enge’s post
Why Is It So Hard to Increase Your Search Rankings By One Spot?

So the way to be perceived as the best is, in fact, to be the best. In today’s web world that doesn’t simply mean having the best product or service, but also the best plan for actively communicating that on the web.

Blogs and social media sites give you a way to do that in a non-commercial manner, and actively engage with communities, peers, influencers, and potential customers. These actions may not drive revenue directly, but they will help build up your brand.

Bold added

I’ve found that a simple answer confuses most people, or at least a lot of people who ask me how to rank their website in Google.

To echo Eric Enge, the answer is to be the best and to be perceived as the best. The perception part is important and is something that a lot of people struggle with when building businesses on the web.

Your offering can be the best whilst it is not perceived to be the best.

Perception is crucial.

It does not matter what you think about your stuff, it matters what other people think.


“It does not matter what you say it matters what people think you say.”

I see mediocre blog posts being tweeted more than brilliant blog posts all the time. Why, because the perception is that a specific blog post must be better because it’s published on a certain blog or by a certain author. It is not always the specific blog post that triggers such shares, rather it is the perception that this blog post must be worth sharing because of other factors.

Even when it might not be worth sharing.

Conversely, if the perception of a blog or blogger is low and yet they sometimes produce gold, it is liable to not get shared. This perception could be interpreted as branding of both the author and the website or blog.

It ties into what Eric was talking about because if something is perceived as being good, then the author must have some skills in communication and Google wants to send people to websites that can communicate well.

The ability to communicate must be pervasive, not only on the website but on other websites who link to website. The communication footprint which is sent out must be of a certain quality and usefulness.

You can think of it as branding if you like, but that’s oversimplifying. How communication is done has an effect on branding, but it is not branding.

It’s how you communicate, rather than “what your content is like”, that is more important.

Your content is merely a vehicle for your communication.

Most clients who come to me do not have a communication strategy, or even a social media or content strategy. That needs to be fixed, you need all the communication output to tie together and work towards specific goals. One bit of linkbait is not going to do this.

The most useful thing I offer clients is to create a Content Marketing strategy, or if you will a communication strategy. It’s not cheap and it goes deep into the problem and it’s also not cheap to implement. But having a road map such as this save a huge amount of time and money in the long run and it also gives you the ability to get where you are going more effectively.

In conclusion, it’s important to remember that SEO is not just about Excel spreadsheets and keyword data, etc. It’s about communicating to other human beings on a mass and yet intimate level. It requires a deep level of understanding about how human beings communicate and how their behavior can be infulenced by such communication.

SEO Discussion

Is Content Marketing Crushing SEO?

As they say, it’s all in the data.

I guess SEO is not dead quite yet.

What does this tell us?
Difficult to say and different people with different prejudices will see different things.

I think SEO has successfully ingested different methodologies and retained public awareness of its importance. And it’s also become shorthand for ranking in Google.

“How is your SEO?”

“Oh I rank at number 3.”

It may not be right, but this is how people are communicating. It’s no longer about optimising a website so that Google can crawl it effectively. You may not think that if you are in the industry, but it’s how normal, regular people refer to it. And so if we want to communicate with non seo people we need to use their language.

I wont be performing a 301 on this site to my Spread Betting site just yet.

SEO Discussion

When seo no longer works what will you do?

You know that seo article that seems to pop up every month, usually under the guise of “seo is dead”?

Well, what if you could no longer manipulate the search engine results pages?

What if Google decided to serve up different but relevant results on a seven day cycle?

There would be chaos in the seo World (again).

If you are in the seo industry step back for one moment and ask yourself a question. Do you think it’s sensible to build your business dependent on the whims of another company? A company who does not rely on you for it’s bread, and in many ways thinks you are scum?

But the thing is, as I write this, seo works. Even with Panda, Penguin and the not often talked about, Polar Bear – crappy links work, paid links work, even Xrummer blasts still works.

And whilst they work they will still be used.

It would be nuts not to take advantage of that.

Such practices are regarded by some as snake oil, but with snake oil there are zero results.

However, the positive effect that these practices give could be gone tomorrow. But you always knew that didn’t you.

Surely you have a back up plan?

Surely you didn’t think it would be the same forever?

Ed Dale thinks that Winter is coming.

Usually I take little notice of articles on this theme as it is overused and sensationalised. Most people who do the “seo is dead” article tend to be those who don’t get linkbait.

But Ed gets linkbait.

And he has announced winter is coming more than once.

When someone like Ed says stuff like this, I listen.

Don’t bother looking for this stuff on seo blogs, you really think they are going to pronounce the death of their business?

Own your traffic source

This website has ironically never really bothered much about Google rankings, this is because people who buy my services tend to connect over Twitter or chat to me after a conference presentation or hear about me on the grapevine.

Social media brings in the bread, so why bother with Google?

Linkbait interests me because linkbait is fundamentally about attracting people, engaging them and causing reaction, the fact is we slap a label on it and call it linkbait and use it to get links. But the skills and techniques you learn as a linkbaiter can easily be used for other purposes.

  • Sales pages
  • Branding
  • Pre sell
  • Advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Blogging


You don’t have to rely on Google if:

  • If you are into creating apps for the iPhone
  • You have an email list
  • You are a market leader
  • If you have a membership site
  • If when you Tweet enough people listen
  • If you pwn Facebook
  • You make the best donuts on the block


I have no idea when things will change. But they will.

Prepare! For winter is about to fall and the dead will roam the land.

SEO Discussion

If you do Both INbound and OUTbound marketing does that make you an Absolute Bounder?

“I say old chap, what an absolute bounder.”

Absolute Bounder
Absolute Bounder
SEO Discussion

Google Targeting Public Linking Networks

The news is Google have nuked another public linking network. These are systems where a few thousand blogs will host one of your articles with a link back to your sites. You know the drill.

Problem is, these networks are massive and so show up on the radar.

Two big hitters have sunk so far:

Interesting AMA says, “It’s not some BS like “demand was so high OMG WE GOTTA CLOSE!”. It’s simple. AMA still works. Google are targeting networks which confirms one thing. Networks work. And they work too well. But this targeting, it’s being done by manual intervention.”

I know more than one agency who has used these systems. Why? Because they work, but obviously they are not long term, but all that means is that there is an added cost. It doesn’t mean they don’t work.

Whilst you rank, you earn. And the cash doesn’t go away unless you spend it on donuts.

But Linkbait and Infographics work too, hint. So do Web 2.0 links.

We are continuing this convo in a little more detail on and the subject of how to build your own private domain network. This obviously comes with a big fat, red lettered warning. But we are all grown ups.

So, all good stuff, what Google Giveth, Google can take away.

Ooops! Correction, AMA have not been hit, yet. But have closed their doors to new members.

SEO Discussion

SEO Content Executive London

Take a job role and add the term “executive” to it and it adds more gravitas to the role.

Or does it?

What is an executive anyway? Probably something dreamed up by recruitment (executives 😉

“Grunt”, would probably be a more accurate term.

SEO Content Grunts wanted

Would that get a better class of application? I don’t know, but it would let people know that the company hiring is different and does not bullshit.

Content grunts are valued at Cornwallseo, they are the bods that make the machine move. Without them there are nothing. Our content grunts are well looked after. I’m getting the feeling that you lot who have executive after your name may feel a tad used and abused. I don’t know.

Do you think the term “executive” really changes anything?

Does the boss feed you free donuts daily?

When we hire for a post we treat it the same way as we would a bit of linkbait or infographic. We need to attract people who are highly creative and want to make a mark, and have a twinkle in their eye.

We are not hiring just yet, in Cornwall or London. But when we do we want to win “The Most Creative Job Advert” award at the next BAFTA’s.

If you are looking to work with one of the most Zarjaz and Froody outfits in online marketing, keep a look out on this blog, sign up to the email, RSS feed, Twitter feed etc.

More about this later.

SEO Discussion

Using Google+ to Aid Your SEO

Over the last few days Google have launched a potential game changer into the search world. ‘Search plus Your World’ has set up a firm foundation for Google to move into becoming a social search engine in an effort to make its search results more personalised and relevant to the individual user, allowing them to have more access to information and content from people they know or from within their own online sphere.

One of the main changes brought in through this update is the way that Google+ accounts, pages and information have become even more deeply intertwined with search results. Information shared on Google+ is becoming even more prominent in today’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page), out ranking rival social networks in search rankings and set to play a deeper role in personal searches. This is why any current SEO Training should include information about the way we currently use Google+ and guidelines about using it as a tool to help get your content, and message, across.


Keeping organised groups of experts, pages and enthusiasts of different subjects is a great way to filter and view new content and comments around one topic. Building your own directory of large circles not only opens up your network to a wider audience it also helps to build internal links.

When your content appears on other users’ streams it is indexed by the web crawlers and the more a piece of content is crawled the more importance search engines place upon it.

So the more people you share your content with the better chance you have of achieving a high search ranking, as well as improving your odds of receiving more shares, +1’s and comments.

Google + Circles

We have put together a few Google+ circles for you to add to your own profiles, so you can get a start on growing your network:

  • SEO: Here is a circle of SEO experts profiles and pages which will give you the latest and up-to-date information from the world of SEO
  • Social Media: A circle of the movers and shakers in Social Media
  • Project Management: Includes experienced project managers, project management methodologies and pages offering project management tips
  • Software Testing: Pages and profiles offering insight and tips on software testing
  • Photoshop: Adobe Photoshop enthusiasts and professionals who share their knowledge of how to best use the photo editing software.

Make sure you add more profiles and pages to these circles expand your reach.

Google+ Authorship


Google have been including author information into their search results for a while now, displaying a thumbnail photo and link to the author’s Google+ account within search results. However, now they have made it easier for Google+ users to lay claim to their online content without having to link your content to your profile using HTML author tags.

By adding the sites you contribute content to in your profile’s ‘Contributor to’ box and by making sure your email address is added to the ‘Work’ box all on your profile, Google will include your image and G+ account details to its indexed links; as long as the original post includes your name and ideally your email address.

This is a great tool to allow you to stake claim to your work and direct readers to your own account, as well as being potentially a great way of cracking down on people copying your work rather than sharing it.

Take a look at Google’s content guidelines to find out more about including your author information in search results.

The Profile

Google+ Authorship

Your profile is your online you. Google+ has set itself apart from other social media sites such as Facebook by making public profile pages far more searchable to search engines by default, indexing information such as:

  • Your Biography
  • All text from any publicly shared posts
  • Anything you have +1’d, be it on Google+ or on an external site
  • All of your photos
  • Links to anyone who has added you in one of their own circles

A lot of information can be extracted from this, which is why you can use your profile as a tool to connect everything you have done online, making it searchable in personal searches and Search Plus Your World queries. Luckily, Google do make it easy for you to manage what information you do and don’t want shared and indexed, so spending that extra bit of time sorting out your privacy settings is a must.


Sharing on G+

Due to its keyword rich and easily web bot readable set up, shared content on Google+ has a tendency to do very well in search results. While some say this is due to Google favouring its own products a lot of it is due to the way they optimise their pages, which include long and descriptive title tags which hold more valuable information for crawlers to use in order to accurately index the page.

Also, using your circles you can easily specify who you share your content with, so you can easily target your audience with relevant content they would be interested in. This will mark the post as “Limited” on your shared post, which when clicked will show who you have selected to be privy to the post. Combine this with tagging people using a “+” or “@” before typing their name to really give a sense of personalisation, thus highly increasing the odds of your content being viewed by the people you really want to see it.

We have recently published a post giving the low-down on ‘Search plus Your World’ and its potential threat to SEO and online marketing, so be sure to give it a read to find out more about how the new development could affect your SEO efforts.

From what we’ve seen personal search is here to stay, so the time is now to adopt techniques to get your content found or risk falling off of the search map forever.

Written for Cornwall SEO by Silicon Beach Training providers of SEO Training, PRINCE2 Training, Business, Management, Programming and Mobile Development Workshops.


SEO Discussion

Is Panda Crushing your Website

Did searchers complain when Google dropped low quality content in their Panda update? Or was it mostly owners of low quality websites who got body slammed by Google, no, they did not take to the streets in a popular uprising. In fact, most regular searchers have probably not noticed the difference.

But what about owners of websites who Google thinks delivers low quality content. I say “thinks”, as some quality sites were hit and some low quality sites untouched.

For example, do a search for “petrol engine” and result number 5 is a mobile phone company. Talktalk – who sent rather rude door to door salesmen to my house a while back so screw them – have decided to throw up a ton of low level content in the guise of encyclopedic knowledge.

Does Google mind?

Doesn’t seem to, after all they are ranking 5th for Petrol Engine. You would think Rolls Royce, Museum of Transport, Imperial College, even – check out their Wankle – would rank for “petrol engine”, but no, Google has decided that a mobile phone company should.

Yeah I know, they offer broadband as well, but that’s still nowhere near the German invention which changed the world. Who invented the Petrol Engine

I write about this to give you a quick example that low content crap can work for your website, you just have to do it a certain way.

Cyrus Shepard, writing for SEOmoz, has listed ‘Five deadly content sins’, which, if committed, will see your site penalised by Google’s Panda Update very quickly

On SeOMoZ, Cyrus Shepard wrote about Panda and the, “Five deadly content sins”, which may harm your website. are reporting from SES San Francisco that

“The key to SEO in the post-Panda searchscape, say SES experts, is creating compelling content pages that site visitors will engage.”

Not sure if the “experts” have been searching for petrol engines recently. Of course, I am searching from Cornwall, UK. So using the Cornish search index which is heavily weighted to Cornish pasties. OK, maybe Google doesn’t have a “Cornish index” yet, I am using the UK bit of Google.

The evidence is clearly that you can put up low quality content and get away with it, you simply have to get Google to view you a certain way. What are these “SES experts” not telling us?

Search for “who invented the petrol engine” and you get an page.

And what you get is utter garbage. You get a page where the actual information is less that a quarter of the page above the fold. The page is actually taken up by the notorious “tip of the belly” adverts. Which allegedly use fake news to promote their diet aid, the acai berry.

In fact some blogs are even calling the tip of the belly marketing technique as a blog scam.

Google seems to hate it when you use fake news to get links, but doesn’t see to mind when promoting sites like which carry these adverts.

So, what can we learn from this?

Is Google really penalising low content sites or is it only certain sites, whilst others are untouched?

From the evidence, it seems the model and are the kind of low level content sites you should be building.

It’s a shame that Google, once a highly ethical company seems to have no problem with sites who aggressively advertise dodgy diet adverts, in fact they give such sites authority and hold them as an example of quality.

The Bounce Factor

You search for something on Google, click through to it, don’t like what you see so you go back to Google and search again.

Google measures this, clicking the back button is the sign of a low quality site. Seems fair enough. But what if that low quality page has a killer advert for a diet aid. Wow, must click though and get some easy diet pill. And thus NO BACK BUTTON IS CLICKED


Is it quality? No of course not. It’s an SEO trick – although I doubt as a trick it’s being talked about at San Francisco SES – negate the bounce rate by getting the searcher to click through to an offer they cannot refuse, or at least 10% – 17% cannot.

Quality content is a nonsense phrase. Because it’s relative, you need content that works. Quality content is beat by low level content constantly, at least from the POV of Google and that’s what we are talking about right? You simply have to look at the search results page to see this truth.

If we are talking about branding and marketing to specific segments of the market I would go for quality content all the time. But for SEO, for Google. Naaaaaah!

“They”, will tell you to go for quality content, but what you really should be going for is content that works and we see with our own own eyes the empirical evidence that clearly states you do not need to quality content to rank, you simply need to create pages of low quality content in specific ways.

Those of you who disagree, please note I am presenting the evidence and pointing to it, if you wish to present evidence of SERPS that present quality, interesting, useful content then please do.

Also, note that the searches done here are based in the UK and may look different to where you are sitting.

SEO Discussion

Blogging the Topical Miasma

This post is the 4th in a series.

The others are:

They are part of an SEO experiment. I love being in the lab, it’s the best part of SEO I think, tinkering in the lab with stuff and discovering what happens if you put this and this together and give it a twist of this.

So, three posts, pulled from topical news from my feed reader. Written quickly and with a conversational style. Giving useful, actionable information and mostly focussed on SEO, social media or tech.

Pluck out a newsy topic, write some stuff quickly and then publish. It’s actually a quite common technique which focusses on the power of the title tag and the authority of a website/blog. These terms are topical and so get searched for, although it’s mostly used by sites who make money from displaying adverts but it can be useful for other business models.

The trick is, you have to write well and have an attractive style. You also have to know a little about what you’re talking about. Not a lot, it doesn’t have to have depth, but it needs to have a wide surface area and you need to know how to communicate that in a way that is pithy and makes sense.

Oh yeah, it also helps with your writing if you know a few uncommon words which you can include here and there, it makes people think you are more brainy than you actually are. I’m a lover of words and have a book shelf full of books on words, so it flows out when I need it.

How does this help you if you have an affiliate blog selling model trains online?

Best to outsource if this to your team members. What do you mean you don’t have a team and you do everything on your own? Hmmm, that’s for another post.

Hire poets to write your blog posts, they are the fastest and most exciting bloggers, if you can get them to stop smoking weed for a few mins. Don’t hire copywriters, the art of the word is beaten out of these people from birth. You want to rise above the swamp, not add to its moist, fecund mass.

And there is another reason for this series, I love to write this kinda stuff.

And you really should do what you love.