Entries Tagged 'Google' ↓

Matt Cutts Talks About the Qualities of a Good Site

There’s so much to think about when creating a website – not only from a design and usability point of view, but also in relation to its searchability.

So what should you be thinking about when building your website?

In this video Matt Cutts looks at:

  • Site maps
  • General guidelines for your site’s visibility
  • Why a Dmoz snippet is used even when a valid META description is in place
  • Whether bold or strong tags are better for SEO

Are you ready?

A few things to think about there.

Next up, we’ll be looking at the top 3 to 5 SEO areas where webmasters make the most mistakes.

See you soon.

Sally Ormond

Copywriter @ Briar Copywriting Ltd

Follow me on Twitter and Google+



Can a Non-optimised Site Outrank Yours That is Optimised?

If you need to know anything about SEO (search engine optimisation) there’s only one person to ask, Matt Cutts of Google.

This is the first in a series of posts that looks at various aspects of SEO. This one relates to a phenomenon you may have seen – how an apparently non-optimised website can outrank your site that’s been optimised to the hilt.

This is what Matt Cutts has to say on the matter:


Hmmm, so things aren’t always as they seem. But then again, if achieving top rankings was easy it would make a mockery of the whole search ranking process.

The next instalment will look at the qualities of a good site.

See you soon.


Sally Ormond

Copywriter @ Briar Copywriting Ltd

Follow me on Twitter and Google+



Is There a Future For SEO?

In the aftermath of Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm ‘tweaks’, the fact that we all get search results that relate to our location (yup, you’re no longer seeing country-wide results*) and the prospect of even more changes on the way, is there the future of SEOa future for search engine optimisation?

Let’s face it, small businesses with a national (and international) reach relied heavily on their SEO to get great rankings in the search results. Now, they have no way of knowing who will see their listing because everyone sees different things.

OK, for local search this isn’t too much of an issue, but how are SEO companies dealing with the fact that they can no longer state, with any certainty, where their clients’ websites are ranking?

The changing face of SEO

Once upon a time, SEO could be divided into 2 categories:

  1. Internal SEO – relating to your website’s structure
  2. External SEO – articles, content, blogs, press releases, links etc.

Of course, the reason for Google’s changes comes down to that small minority who couldn’t be bothered to do things properly and had to find short cuts to make money.

These ‘black hat’ SEOers spoilt the party for all the other legitimate businesses who worked hard to get their rankings playing by the rules.

Now many face an uncertain future, or are being forced to rethink their whole marketing strategy because they can no longer reach out to the wider market place.

Search goes social

The focus behind all these changes is for our search results to become more social and therefore (apparently) more relevant.

The relevancy of your website is now to be dictated by the number of followers, comments, views and shares your content gets.

The problem I can see with this, is that it won’t be long before the cowboys work out a way of faking that too.

Where does that leave us?

For most of the big brands out there these algorithmic changes have little or no effect. But for the smaller businesses they can have a devastating impact.

Google claims that if you have followed their SEO rules your website won’t be affected, but thousands and thousands of sites have seen their rankings plummet because of them.

Online marketing is a fast changing environment. Keeping up with these new techniques is proving to be a major headache for many small businesses out there. They don’t have the budgets needed to get an expert on board to help them and so are left floundering in the wake of the might Google’s whims.

Over to you

Are you an SEO company? How are these changes affecting you and your clients?

Are you a small business struggling to keep pace with it all?

Leave a comment below because, whatever your story, we want to hear from you.

*If you want to return to national results, simply go to your Google home page,  click ‘settings’ (bottom right), click ‘Search Settings’, click ‘Location’ and then enter UK in the ‘Where are you?’ box.


Sally Ormond, copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd – blogger, cyclist and mum.

Is Your Google Search Local or National?

Have you noticed a recent change to your search results?National Google search

OK, daft question considering the onslaught of small birds and animals that have been trundling through Google’s algorithms lately – namely Panda and Penguin.

But joking aside, you may have spotted that your search results are focused on your local area rather than nationally.

If you’re looking for a local company then this has to be a good thing, but if you want to widen your choice of potential service providers because their location isn’t an issue (especially for larger companies looking for quality and value over proximity) it does narrow your options somewhat.

Widening the net

To make sure you’re getting the best choice of service provider possible all you have to do is amend your search location.

Simply go to the Google home page, click ‘settings’ (at the bottom of the screen), go to ‘location’ and enter UK (or whichever country or region you want). Now your search results will return a far more comprehensive list of possibilities.

Businesses and rankings

These changes are really annoying when you’re an online business, especially when you’ve always played by Google’s rules.

All those hours you have spent link building and generating great content can go down the tubes in a flash with changes like these.

For many businesses online, a national presence is need, so with a change to local search results as opposed to countrywide ones can have a real impact on your bottom line.

What can be done about?

Not a lot really other than creating location-specific landing pages. But you can and should be hitting the social world hard. Being active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ will help your visibility and get your name out into the wider world.

The face of search is changing and becoming far more social than ever before.

So our advice is, if you want to continue to be seen in the search results, generate great content and be socially active.


Sally Ormond is MD and copywriter at Briar Copywriting Ltd. A keen cyclist, she took on and tamed the Welsh Dragon Ride.

How to Deal With an Unnatural Links Message

Following the aftermath of Penguin, have you received an unnatural link message from Google?

Do you know who to go about finding out which links are causing the problem?

To help you out, here’s a video from Matt Cutts explaining how you can make sure you remove the troublesome links.