Mobile Roadblocks

I just bought a book, Making Ideas Happen, from my local Waterstone’s bookshop. However it was £9.99 and a whole penny shy of their £10 limit to get a loyalty card stamped I missed out on getting a stamp closer to a ten pound token.

Slightly aggrieved, and perhaps with some buyers remorse as I sat down to read a chapter from the book in the local park with an ice cream I wondered how much it would have been be online. I fired up barcode scanner and was soon at Google Books where I saw that Waterstone’s own online bookshop was selling the book three pound cheaper at £6.99. As some shops do a collect in store service, I thought I’d visit the site and see how easy it would be to order online on my phone and then pick up in the local shop so next time I can support my local bookshop, but still benefit from a discounted price.
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How Long Till the Death of Organic SERPs?

Inc. magazine have just reported on How Google Is Killing Organic Search.

That lead me to the excellent graphic by Wordstream, Google Ads and the War on Free Click. Like many infographics it’s too wide to reproduce comfortably here but it is worth looking through.

The war on organic search has been going on a while, and it’s going to get worse for small business.

  • The agressive placement of ads on above content on a search itself
  • Colour of the background of ads to look the same as the content for most screen types – on a LCD screen it’s often nearly impossible to see the pink / orange background of the adverts unless you adjust the screen angle
  • The cannibalisation of the SERPs to promote their own properties
  • Removal of search data from referrals so sites need to purchase more adwords
  • No customer service for organic problems
  • Apparently arbitrary bans, filters and penalties with no debate or warning
  • Promotion of “big brand” over niche in Organic leading to greater adword bidding by niche sites

How long will it be until there aren’t any organic results on the first page?

Introducting Online Sales Webmaster Tools

Online Sales Webmaster Tools

Over the many years I’ve been developing websites and working in Search Engine Optimisation I’ve developed a number of scripts, tools and bookmarklets.

Inspired by Small business advice from Jason Fried 37signals, then reading Getting Real and with a pricing structure influenced by
Pinboard I decided to release the Online Sales Webmaster Tools as monthly paid subscription.

I’ve already got more than 50 tools and bookmarklets in the offering and I have many more to publish. The price increases with each new subscriber so it pays to get in early.

These tools are forged in the “less is more” mold, so if you find you outgrow them and need more, consider the SEObook Community & Tools or Raven SEO.

In the meantime, the Online Sales Tools will do pretty much all you need as a webmaster at a low monthly cost. Note that the annual fee is less than the cost it would take to pay a programmer to develop just one or two of these tools.

Get your subscription here: Online Sales Webmaster Tools

Google Reaction to Accidentally Expired Domain

Well, it wasn’t much of an accident. I took a domain that was several years old, and a PR3, but I hadn’t done much with it for months. The domain was to expire on 19th of January 2011. I let it. A few days later the site stopped resolving and was replaced by a parked page.

On the 28th of February I was sent the message that the domain was to be deleted that day. I still waited and on the 1st of March I renewed the domain.

As of the 3rd of March Google reported the domain as grey PR (using the SEO Book toolbar) and no cache date. Searching for the domain name (which is a unique phrase) and my domain wasn’t returned.

Now it’s the end of the month, and I’ve searched again. The domain is returned as the second result and the Page Rank now appears as PR1 with a cache date of 3 weeks ago.

The domain remained a PR3 after the January Google Page Rank update so the drop unfortunate and looks like it was recalculated after the expiry. As regards the cache, as the domain still gets no content love from me so the date is reasonable.

Web Strategies for Small Businesses eBook

Web Strategies for Small Businesses

I was absolutely delighted to be included in a fantastic free eBook “Web Strategies for Small Businesses“. The book is a compilation of small business tips focusing on multiple Internet strategies. I provided the “Building Web Success – Optimizing Online Conversions”, but there’s good stuff there too!

  • Getting Ahead on the Web – Strategies To Make More Of Your Time Online, featuring comments from Aaron Wall of SEO book.
  • Understanding the Basics of Local Search – Optimizing Your Local Business Listings with Vedran Tomic.
  • Should My Business be More Social Online? – The Role of Social Media in Your Small Business – Aaron Wall
  • Visual Communication through Web Design – Strategy and Psychology of Web Design with Melvin Ram from Web Design Company Net.
  • Strategic Linking for Success – 3 Things to Know About Linking from Debra Mastaler of Alliance-Link.
  • Drive Net-New Sales Revenue – Don’t Overlook Paid Search Marketing by Geordie Carswell from PPC Blog.

The eBook is free for download to visitors of, a leading merchant cash advance provider in the United States.