Archive for Search Engine Optimisation

This is why people will come to our stall. The banner will probably help too.

We’ll be at StudyWorld London 2009 from the 7th to the 9th of September this year, spreading the good word of SEO to language schools across the world. You can find more information on the event here (PDF).

Alex can’t wait to see you there!



Is PR the new PR?

Or, more accurately, is PR (as in Public Relations) the new PR (as in PageRank)?

The world of SEO has been all aflutter in the last month as Google’s “Vince” update arrived on these shores and shook up search results in many competitive industries.

The effect on search results has marked a big shift in SEO and online selling. Predictably, this has been at the expense of the little guy and in favour of the bigger fish out there. To cut a long story short, Google now gives more weighting to bigger brands for generic searches like Personal Loans, Hotels, Insurance, etc, etc.

The changes also appear to be filtering down to a wider range of industries.

This printout from Google Analytics shows the effect of the update for one of our own clients, a fashion retailer:

The graph shows volume of traffic generated by high value, generic industry keywords. Notice the expected increase as a result of our SEO work, followed by the explosive spike in early July, soon after the update.

There has been a lot of debate about how Google determines what constitutes a brand and how they calculate this algorithmically. We, as a good SEO company, are running a number of tests at the moment to help smaller brands compete in the new landscape and, of course, to help our larger clients capitalise.

Everyone knows that Google loves links, but they seem to be just one of a number of factors involved in determining what does and what doesn’t pass their brand test. Mentions on social sites are a likely factor, as is brand buzz around the web. This means that more power than ever has been passed to the PR team and means more co-operation than ever between PR and SEO people, which I, for one, welcome.

What do you reckon? Is PR the new PR?

Has the age of link building been and gone?

(If so, will someone please tell the spammers? The flood of SEO company emails in my outlook inbox is reaching epic proportions!)


Article in The Argus Business Section

My article about marketing through the bad times was published is the local paid daily paper on Tuesday July 14th:


“In these uncertain economic times…”

Are you fed up with hearing that yet? There is nothing uncertain about it; we are in a recession.

So, is it time to chop your marketing budget, or to invest more in marketing to strengthen your claim to the business that is out there to be won?

I am a marketing guy and therefore you can probably guess what my opinion will be. But I do have evidence… honest! At Upstream Connections (the SEO and Internet Marketing company where I work), we have not stopped growing in the last 12 months and let me tell you how: marketing. And, of course, being great at what we do.

The big buzzword of the moment is “engagement” (thank goodness; “synergy” was getting tired) and “engagement” is a great place to start thinking about how to market your company in a recession. On a local level, networking groups are a great way to meet real life human beings and boost your profile. We are repeatedly told that the best kind of engagement is “a conversation with your prospects”. Imagine having a real conversation; that’s what networking groups like the BHCC and CADIA offer.

Digitally, the equivalent is business networking sites like LinkedIn and Ecademy, where you can spread your net much further afield. One great benefit of finding people through these sites is that there is no travelling involved and the time commitment is smaller. The downside is that you often don’t meet your prospect face to face.

By networking, you will make yourself visible to a small batch of people at a time. At Upstream Connections, we firmly believe that you should be visible to as many people as possible, all of the time and Search Engine Optimisation is the best way to make that happen. By ranking well in Google for the searches that reflect your business you give your prospects a quick and easy way to find you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are worried that your website itself isn’t up to scratch, we provide all SEO clients with a free, review of their website in the first month of work. For most businesses, basic is best.

These are hard times for sure, but there is still plenty of new business to be had. The best way to get those enquiries is to push your marketing in the most cost-effective way possible and forge the relationships that will see your business blossom when times are better.


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