Year: 2007

70,000 people searched for a new job online over Christmas

By Dave Haygarth   December 29, 2007  
Reported in The Guardian, 28 Dec 2007: A study by jobsite.co.uk found that more than 70,000 people spent part of Christmas Day or Boxing Day searching for a new job using the web. Most were looking for vacancies in retail or customer support.If your recruitment website does not have a job board you could be missing out on attracting candidates to your site, and are probably paying a lot to the big job sites to list your jobs for you.With people increasingly using search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN to find what they are looking for, a search engine optimised job database and search is a very cost-effective way of getting your jobs in the search results. We have built search engine optimised job boards for many recruiters. Contact us if this is of interest to you.

What Kind of Online Shopper Are You?

By Dave Haygarth   December 20, 2007  
Interesting report from Comet on different types of online shoppers -- I think I'm a sniffer!

Page Rank and the endless contradiction that is Google

By Dave Haygarth   December 14, 2007  
I'm having a little rant... forgive me... but first, as a reminder, Page Rank is a Google-specific measure of a website - a vote, by all the other pages on the Web, about how important a page is (by linking to that page). A link to a page counts as a vote of support. If there's no link there's no support (but it's an abstention from voting - you can't vote 'against' a web page).Ever since its introduction, many years ago now, SEOs have struggled to some extent with the concept of Page Rank.  Link Building was the answer, and specialists sprung up around the globe who would find 'directory' sites happy to put a link in to the 'target' site.Some of these were, and still are, 'paid' links.  I'm going to brush over this for a while... it's not really relevant - all you need to think is that there are 'good quality' and 'bad quality' links.Google uses a (necessarily) secret algorithm to determine how many sites link to another site, and then calculates the Page Rank.  It discounts 'bad' links, even penalises and reduces Page Rank for sites with xx number of 'bad' links.The conundrum: A 'bad' link to your site won't help towards boosting your page rank, it'll actually result in Google penalising you in the search results.  Bummer.But this is the root of the problem... who decides what is a bad link and what is a good link?  Can it be automated?  No, I'd argue, it can't.  And as soon as complex algorithms require human intervention, they become pretty useless.And if Page Rank is meant to see the web as being democratic, Google's blacklistring of paid link sites and link farms is intervention in that democracy - skewing the vote - albeit with some strange worthy intent, but still skewing it.  And with not much success, as Matt Cutts demonstrates here.Search engines should endeavour to provide the most relevant websites in response to a particular keyword or phrase. In manipulating how a search engine ranks a website, the easiest way is always going to be ensuring the website is as relevant as possible to that keyword or phrase.Our job, as SEOs, is to help a website display it's best potential to the search engines  and hence the customers.Page Rank's had its day.  Every effort of the search engine spidering technique development MUST get into truly understanding PAGE CONTENT.  As long as it tries to give some weight to inbound links, people will try to subvert that through link building.  Can you blame people for wanting to get up the Google rankings?  After all, Google's Adwords are not democratic - they favour those who can afford it.  Organic search should simply favour good, relevant content - a level playing field.

e-Commerce comes of age

By Dave Haygarth   December 11, 2007  
Online spending hit a high at 1.09pm yesterday, as shoppers spent £767,500 over the internet in a single minute. The figure has broken the record for the most money spent online by UK shoppers in 60 seconds, a payment processing company said. This is over twice the amount spent than on the second Monday of December last year.Read the story in full detail here: Web shoppers splash £700k in 60 seconds (The Guardian)

Crayon Physics

By Dave Haygarth   December 1, 2007  
I saw this on Robert Scoble's blog and thought it was just fantastic, so pinched it to put here.Crayon Physics is a game that uses child-like crayon-drawings to understand the basics of physics.

Coming Soon: The Wind-Up Web Machine

By Dave Haygarth   November 30, 2007  
In case you missed it in the Guardian last week, Stephen Fry's new gadget column was about "Eco" - a wind-up media player from Trevor Baylis, inventor of such great devices as the wind up radio.It features a 1.8" screen, and 2 gigabytes of internal memory, which holds around 500 songs, and this can be expanded by adding an SD Memory Card. It's "Dual Power system" uses an Internal Lithium Ion battery that can be recharged from a PC's USB port. The "ECO-Dynamo system" provides approx 40 minutes audio play time for each 1 minute of winding up.Looks wise it does not beat the iPod, but what a great (and green) idea. It has a host of other features, from file storage, misc and video players as well as being able to charge up your phone and incorporating a torch :)How long before he produces a device with a web browser on it, so we can wind up and browse?

Google searches for cheap green fuel

By Dave Haygarth   November 28, 2007  
An interesting development from a huge global company with little or no reliance on the oil indeustry - a rare thing!Google aims to develop cheap and clean sources of energy to replace polluting fossil fuels and tackle global warming. The company said last night it would invest "hundreds of millions" of dollars in the project.Google will focus initially on solar thermal power, wind power, geothermal systems and other "potential breakthrough" technologies. It wants to find cheaper, less polluting ways to supply its own demand for energy, as well as accelerate the replacement of fossil fuels for worldwide electricity generation.Read more here...Google to pour millions into search for cheap green fuel | Environment | The Guardian

What if Google had to follow its own guidelines?

By Dave Haygarth   November 27, 2007  
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the reason that so many familiar sites have common features we're just used to seeing...So what would happen if Google, with their famously minimalist and uber-useful search page, had to redesign that page to be read by the Googlebot? Something like this.If you're as geeky as us, you'll giggle at it...

Getting the best from online recruitment

By Dave Haygarth   November 22, 2007  
We spend a great deal of our time on recruitment website design and build, and also a good deal of time reviewing many more of them. If there was one single bit of advice on getting the most out of your online recruitment, we'd almost always say 'let the job board do the talking' - get the content of the job board out there and accessible - both to site users and to search engines.In a great article on the OnRec website, Steve Crosbie goes through the details of how to use your website properly - as the marketing tool it is - covering lots of angles well. Read the full article here.

(Christmas) Email Marketing Campaign Tips

By Dave Haygarth   November 12, 2007  
The excellent e-consultancy have published a great guide: 12 tips for Xmas Email Campaigns -- and these are not just relevant to christmas.Want help with your email marketing? Let us know - we have email marketing software and have been running successful email marketing campaigns for clients for a number of years.

Online Retailers Set for a Happy Christmas

By Dave Haygarth   November 12, 2007  
BBC News is today reporting stats from Forrester Research predicting sales of £13.8 Billion - an increase of 42% on last year. This is great news for online retailers who, according to Uswitch are looking at their best year ever, with sales totaling up to £40 Billion for 2007.It's evident by the number of TV ads already encouraging shopping online, that many will be avoiding the queues and staying at home to do their christmas shopping. I know I will be!