Thursday 31 December 2009

Ping Goat is Not Down

It seemed at first that Ping Goat, the blog pinging service, was down, which would be a real shame.

But it isn't really.

I think they basically got a little fed up with users simply copying and pasting the 'very long' URL, saving this as a bookmark and then once a week giving it a click, without paying any attention to their site - they do have tools!

Therefore you can fortunately still use Ping Goat to ping all your familiar sites: Technorati, Icerocket, weblogs &c. All you need to do is go to:

Notice it's a .net and not .com site now.

Simply fill in your blog details like you did first time you used this excellent pinging service and hey-presto your blogs just been pinged.

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Fetch as Googlebot - Not Just a Gimmick

When I first seen the 'labs' button and 'Fetch as Googlebot' in Webmaster tools, I thought to myself what good is this? I can render pages in SERPs if I need to see if they're working or not - or can I?

By entering the page you want to check and clicking 'Fetch', if your page is available on the net Google will return a green tick and 'success'.

fetch as googlebot

But that's not all - there may be something hidden.

By clicking on the 'success', you get a full blown view of exactly what the Googlebot sees when he visits your page.

fetch as googlebot code

Not very interesting if there's nothing to hide, but if something somehow got into your code, which you didn't intentionally put there, well, it could just save you, not only a headache, but also a little time in Google jail.

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Val Martello - Number 5

val martello sud tirol

Driving made fun again through the Val Martello.

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Yahoo Site Explorer - 'Domain' Changes

Yahoo has always been great for counting the real amount of back-links that point to your website or blog.

It was easy, you simply went to Yahoo search and typed in:

But, this has all changed in the last few weeks. No longer is it as easy to ascertain the amount of these useful links. Yes Google has a facility for counting back-links in their Webmaster Tools, but I feel this is a Google selection.

When you are link-building, you need a benchmark to give you a true appraisal of your success and this is where Yahoo stepped in.

But help is at hand, I have a found an URL which does just this job. If you type the following into your address bar:

Of course replacing the YOURWEBSITE.COM with your own URL.

This link gives you exactly the same results that the previous 'domain' prefix gave.

So get stuck into your link-building and monitor the real results again.

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Verisfied & Not Verified in Google Webmaster Tools

Since Google changed its Webmaster Tools interface and all its internal workings I haven't been able to change my preferred domain settings.

That's till today, when I eventually got around to solving the conundrum.

You see previously in Webmaster Tools, once you'd verified your site, that was it, you could go into your settings and chose the domain you prefer: i.e. with the 'www' or without - it's all to do with canonicalisation; meaning you only want Google to index one of your domains and the usual choice is with the 'www'.

Not so of late, because once you chose a different domain preference Webmaster Tools informs you that you first need to verify your site...

Fortunately I've found a solution. To change to your preferred domain within the settings interface, all you need to do is add both of your domains to Webmaster Tools, i.e.:

That's it problem solved, go back to settings and make your choice.

Thursday 24 September 2009

Cornwall, Czech & New York Photography Show

Roaming far from the beaten track in the Czech Republic, for instance, provided him with the inspiration for Beneath Pravcicka Brana, one of a number of black and white compositions with eerie overtones taken, as he says, "when the early morning mist conjured up a glorious sombreness you could normally only wish for... Frank Ruhrmund's full article

Monday 14 September 2009

Penzance Motif

This is a secret little motif that's found in Penzance.

Thursday 3 September 2009

Umbelliferae or Apiaceae

From the Umbelliferae or Apiaceae family, this is one of 300 genera and more than 3,000 species; found just above the Men-an-Tol in West Penwith, Cornwall.

Friday 28 August 2009

Redirect Using Friendly 301

The .htaccess file can seem daunting, especially when it comes to implementing 301 search engine friendly permanent redirects.

Not any longer.

Why implement them in the first place, well it's better to have your website indexed under one canonical name than two or even three.

How does this come about? In your root folder the homepage is normally labelled 'index.html, index.php &c, so what happens is this, when you click on the homepage link of your website instead of reading:, you get:; Google also sees this and actually indexes the two differently, even though they are exactly the same pages. This isn't so bad until your back-links start to get affected - there's nothing worse than having the /index.html page hogging more of the links than the .com only page.

But that's not all, it never would be with the web; what about sites having two TLDs (top level domain), for example: & .com, you want the search engines to index both of these the same don't you? Likewise when someone links back to your site without the 'www', I presume you want these also to count under your one chosen TLD

Now I'm no programmer, but I have managed to implement the said 301 redirects using a really simple bit of code that you pop into your .htaccess file. I say simple, all three use 'regular expressions', but you don't really have to do the tutorial, just copy and paste.

But as with all changes to your root folder, do ensure you've saved the lot before you carry out any changes;-)

301 redirect to .com

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^mywebsite\$
RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L]

You only have to type in the 'RewriteEngine On' once.

301 redirect non www to www

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L]

301 redirect index.html to just the domain:

RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^.*\/index\.html?
RewriteRule ^(.*)index\.html?$$1 [R=301,L]

Remember to replace the 'mywebsite' with the name of your website.

End product, after implementing all three 301 permanent redirects, you've a website rendering under one roof that has nothing to confuse the search engine spiders or your potential customers with.

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Bing 'o' with a Difference

The new face of Bing 'o' (couldn't resist the pun) in the South West.

Friday 21 August 2009

Bing Frustrating

To ensure in Bing, that one of my UK based .com sites gets indexed as a UK site I added the following Meta Data:

meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en-gb"

Excellent I thought, not so.

On checking keyword ranking in Bing SERP I find that for some pages the site ranks highly in 'show all', and not at all in 'Only from the United Kingdom', and other pages vice versa.

This problem has been on going with MSN for some time now and really it's about time they sorted it out, just like Google has in its Webmaster Tools.

Thursday 20 August 2009

PageRank of 6 & Never Indexed

How can a site:, have a PageRank of 6, yet never been indexed by Google.

I've carried out some checks, meaning does the page have this code:

/* insert a cloaking script here to detect whether the visitor is
Googlebot */
if (Googlebot) {
echo '‘;
else {
echo “

My PR10 page!


No, it doesn't. So how can a site generate such a wonderful PageRank yet never have had the pleasure of Google's bots? - Answers please.

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Půjčovna Šlapadel

Ah, swimming in the rain with not a thought of anything except a půjčovna šlapadel!!

Friday 7 August 2009

Excessive JavaScript and Computer Meltdown

Home users are the people that really suffer when your website has an excessive amount of JavaScript include files, this is when it is internally called: i.e. client side loading.

Is there a solution to halting this meltdown of someone’s computer as it staggeringly attempts to take in all those lovely new media APIs.

Yes, of course there is, but alas there aren’t many designers either willing to or able to implement the changes.

So what do you need to do? Simply convert as many of the include JavaScript files to externally called JavaScript files, this will solve a lot of the meltdown, but it definitely won’t solve all of it.

Next step, you need to condense these externally called JavaScript files into as few amounts of fetches as possible. This is the tricky bit, but below I will offer some code you can experiment with.

Basically what I say to explain this in simple terms is: imagine you’re out for a walk with your dog and you’ve a great big bag of sticks, if you make the dog collect every stick individually, after you’ve thrown them, well, it could take some while and the dog’s going to get mighty tired, but, if you were to put so many sticks into, say two or three bags and throw them for the dog, well, the bags may individually take a little longer to fetch, but I can assure you, no way near as long as gathering them all when thrown individually.

So wrap up your 21 files of JavaScript into a few neat packages and improve your potential customers’ experience of your website, and who knows you may even get a few more sales or sign-ups.

Okay here’s the test code, but do remember it is test code, so use with care and tell me how you get on.

And credit where credit is due, this isn’t my code it's from a clever chap called Niels Leenheer, he calls it the ‘CSS and Javascript Combinator 0.5’ and it was copyrighted in 2006.


$cache = true;
$cachedir = dirname(__FILE__) . '/cache';
$cssdir = dirname(__FILE__) . '/css';
$jsdir = dirname(__FILE__) . '/javascript';

// Determine the directory and type we should use
switch ($_GET['type']) {
case 'css':
$base = realpath($cssdir);
case 'javascript':
$base = realpath($jsdir);
header ("HTTP/1.0 503 Not Implemented");

$type = $_GET['type'];
$elements = explode(',', $_GET['files']);

// Determine last modification date of the files
$lastmodified = 0;
while (list(,$element) = each($elements)) {
$path = realpath($base . '/' . $element);

if (($type == 'javascript' && substr($path, -3) != '.js') ||
($type == 'css' && substr($path, -4) != '.css')) {
header ("HTTP/1.0 403 Forbidden");

if (substr($path, 0, strlen($base)) != $base || !file_exists($path)) {
header ("HTTP/1.0 404 Not Found");

$lastmodified = max($lastmodified, filemtime($path));

// Send Etag hash
$hash = $lastmodified . '-' . md5($_GET['files']);
header ("Etag: \"" . $hash . "\"");

if (isset($_SERVER['HTTP_IF_NONE_MATCH']) &&
stripslashes($_SERVER['HTTP_IF_NONE_MATCH']) == '"' . $hash . '"')
// Return visit and no modifications, so do not send anything
header ("HTTP/1.0 304 Not Modified");
header ('Content-Length: 0');
// First time visit or files were modified
if ($cache)
// Determine supported compression method
$gzip = strstr($_SERVER['HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING'], 'gzip');
$deflate = strstr($_SERVER['HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING'], 'deflate');

// Determine used compression method
$encoding = $gzip ? 'gzip' : ($deflate ? 'deflate' : 'none');

// Check for buggy versions of Internet Explorer
if (!strstr($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'Opera') &&
preg_match('/^Mozilla\/4\.0 \(compatible; MSIE ([0-9]\.[0-9])/i', $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], $matches)) {
$version = floatval($matches[1]);

if ($version < 6)
$encoding = 'none';

if ($version == 6 && !strstr($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'EV1'))
$encoding = 'none';

// Try the cache first to see if the combined files were already generated
$cachefile = 'cache-' . $hash . '.' . $type . ($encoding != 'none' ? '.' . $encoding : '');

if (file_exists($cachedir . '/' . $cachefile)) {
if ($fp = fopen($cachedir . '/' . $cachefile, 'rb')) {

if ($encoding != 'none') {
header ("Content-Encoding: " . $encoding);

header ("Content-Type: text/" . $type);
header ("Content-Length: " . filesize($cachedir . '/' . $cachefile));


// Get contents of the files
$contents = '';
while (list(,$element) = each($elements)) {
$path = realpath($base . '/' . $element);
$contents .= "\n\n" . file_get_contents($path);

// Send Content-Type
header ("Content-Type: text/" . $type);

if (isset($encoding) && $encoding != 'none')
// Send compressed contents
$contents = gzencode($contents, 9, $gzip ? FORCE_GZIP : FORCE_DEFLATE);
header ("Content-Encoding: " . $encoding);
header ('Content-Length: ' . strlen($contents));
echo $contents;
// Send regular contents
header ('Content-Length: ' . strlen($contents));
echo $contents;

// Store cache
if ($cache) {
if ($fp = fopen($cachedir . '/' . $cachefile, 'wb')) {
fwrite($fp, $contents);

There you go then, all done.

Tuesday 28 July 2009

The Decline of Zámeček

A heavenly find just before the převoz na pramicich in the Divoká soutĕska.

Thursday 9 July 2009

Pravčická Brána in the České Švýcarsko National Park

Pravčická brána in the Czech republic České Švýcarsko National Park
The Pravčická brána is the deserved treat at the end of a stupendous walk through the České Švýcarsko National Park - or Bohemian Switzerland.

Monday 15 June 2009

False Entrepreneurs Bring Us Down

Websites are what I look after, not the economy, so what gives me the right to voice my opinion out of my area of expertise?

From keeping my eyes and ears open I've noticed that, people don't seem to be buying new houses; they're doing-up the ones they already have. People aren't glibly looking for the next best job; they're using recruitment agencies to get them a job now they're unemployed. Businesses don't have a website for prestige: they want the site to do what it was meant to do in the first place, generate an income.

Back to the first point, have you ever seen as much scaffolding festooning our streets, surely in the not so long past, this work would not have taken place, no one had time to notice the damaged roof, guttering or flaky paint job, they were too busy sorting out their new buy to let, or moving on to a bigger and of course more expensive property.

Now jobs, there seemed to be a time when everyone thought it was there right to flit between jobs, moving onwards and upwards. Recruitment agencies were often looked at with derision, not now, they have become a necessity, they seem to be pulling jobs out of thin air; but of course now we're finding there's not many qualified to do these jobs, how did we manage before?

Finally websites, for far too long the web optimiser, usability expert, and copywriter had been asked what it is they actually do. Admittedly the industry is in its infancy so heaven knows what it will bring us in the future, but in this infancy there's been a set of rules, be these rules a little confusing and arguable at times, to help websites climb to the top of the search engines: i.e. Google, Yahoo!, Ask, Bing &c, by optimising the coding, making a site easy to use and ensuring sites have useful and well written content.

It was here that all the problems arose; no one was going to pay to have someone carry out work they didn't understand on their website they'd ‘almost' forgotten about, were they?

This has all changed now, and we can understand why, it's not just small websites which are completely off the search engine radar, major company websites are in this dilemma too, and they want fixing and fixing today. Unfortunately as with every time there's a seeming abundance of work for the well trained, new marketers' pop-up to offer their services.

This brings me back to my earlier points and sums up the point of this article; everyone was an entrepreneur when it came to the property market, that next job wasn't really from the frying and into the fire, and of course I've read the books, got some tools, I'm now a fully fledged website guru.

There are specialists in all fields, it's just a pity everyone doesn't appreciate this until it's too late.

Friday 12 June 2009

Viaduc de Morlaix - Finistère, Bretagne

This fantastic structure, the Viaduct in Morlaix, Brittany, is my excuse for a celebration after my blog survived a suspected spam attack.

Viaduc de Morlaix in Finistère Bretagne France

Monday 8 June 2009

Cornish Tractor

It's surprising what you find down a lane in Cornwall.

Cornish tractor down a lane in Cornwall

Tuesday 26 May 2009

When You should Fire Your Website Designer

I had to add this article to the Blog, its not mine, but it covers a lot of what I think about websites...

Your online business is not a wild crazy idea, but a source of your income. Trust the right people to design your website. Your 17 year old nephew may be able to create your website or you can get a free one from several services…they might even be kind of pretty. In my research and experience, less than 2% of businesses that have websites have planted the seeds to online success. Many of them are your competitors.

The problem is web designer’s focus on the technical aspects of the site. They don’t have a clue how to build a website that makes you a ton of money, drives floods of traffic, and gets you top placement on search engines.

Why Do You Have a Website?

The reason you have a website for your business, no matter what business you are in, is you want to rake in bundles of cash. May be not now but definitely later it should be bringing returns on the investment. .

Your Website is Like Your Business.

Make sure that your web designer owes a successful online business and knows about how to run it.

Your sole purpose in having a website should be to use it as a marketing and communications tool. It is not there to be pretty. It should not be there to win awards. It is there to make you money. Even if you have a better product or service than your competition, the one who attracts more prospects and customers - wins! Being the best at marketing is all that matters.

Online Marketing Is Completely Different Than Marketing Offline

All of the tools, techniques, communication, etc. in the online world are different than those offline. A very common mistake is to think because it works offline you can just put it on the website! It’s important to realize the reader of offline thinks and processes information in a different way than someone reading online copy. What works offline may be a complete flop online.

They are two different worlds. For example, online marketing REQUIRES you to know how to get your site ranked high, very high, in the search engines like Google and Yahoo….so you routinely appear on the first page for the optimal search terms for your business.

Of course, this assumes you know how to find the optimal words for your business, your marketplace, your niche, etc. Just so you know, the “include all words” strategy has proven to be a total failure.

And, most designers and businesses do not know that SEO (search engine optimization) is not SEM (search engine marketing). If you do one and not the other you will probably be very disappointed with your results.

Studies have shown that you need to be on the first page of search engine results to get enough people coming to your site. SEO and SEM are not optional for online success - they are mandatory!

Increase your ROI: Only Work with People Who Know Website and Online Marketing.

When you are planning your financial future, you hire a financial planner or an attorney who specializes in that area of law. When you want plastic surgery you don’t go to a podiatrist, unless you want to end up with your nose looking like a foot.

Did you know that 99% of web design companies don’t know how to devise online sites that actually market your products or services?

You need people who can help you with how to create “hot” products or services that your customers really want.

You need people who make it possible for you to have a “money tree” business. People who can produce money like it grow on trees. People who have the communication skills you need to capture the attention and “cash the order” with your customers. Online or offline. (That means using multiple marketing channels and starting with the lowest cost = online!)

You need people with real world experience as well as online experience that can combine the two for the benefit of…YOU.

No one has the time to learn everything about their business, the internet, marketing, copywriting, finances and so on. That is why…

“The price of ignorance is paid forever!”

Successful entrepreneurs value all the real-world experience they can get. Where do they get it? By surrounding themselves to a team of experts, who can provide the knowledge, guidance and successful experience for a wide variety of businesses.

Always Remember Your Website is your Marketing Machine

It is all about driving people to your website. This is more than “being found” for the right search terms. This is about having a comprehensive strategy that links your offline and online marketing together to create leverage for your business and get maximum results.

You need to be sure your online partner can:

* Create a site that entices visitors to convert from information seekers to paying customers
* Generate a stream of online and offline leads
* Show you what functions of your business can be automated to save you money…and put that savings to good use…getting more customers
* Show you the secrets of capturing information and how to utilize it for easy access and follow up
* Show you how to make more sales with your existing customers
* Help you set up marketing campaigns that get real results and build customer loyalty
* Help you use email marketing ethically and effectively

Seriously, if your web designer/dungeon master/graphic Zulu cannot do ALL of these things and more, FIRE them now. You are wasting time and money! And time is often worth more than money!

Test, Test, and Test Some More & Collaborate Results and Changes

If you really want online success, or even offline success, then you must understand the importance of successful marketing testing. It is Crucial.

Businesses that are wildly successful with their offline and online strategies are always rabid about testing and knowing how and what to test.

Track and Measure…Correctly

You want to know everything that is happening on your website, or not happening. All of that testing will do you no good if you are not measuring and tracking all of the data associated with it.

Here are some of the tracking measures you should be talking to your web designer/builder about. In fact, they should be talking to you about these things. If you have to bring them up you are already in trouble, with a capital T.

* How many visitors are coming to the site
* How many of the visitors aren’t visitors (i.e. spiders, crawlers, etc. from search engines)
* How many visitors are new vs. old
* How long does each visitor stay on your site
* What does each visitor look at
* What graphics, words, pictures, etc are generating the most responses
* Which search engines are getting you the best prospects
* Where else are your customers coming from
* How many pages does the visitor look at
* What are your website rankings
* How much money have you made from the average visitor
* Who are your biggest money-making customers
* If you use PPC is it working and paying for itself
* Which links are bringing your visitors and are they converting to customers
* And so on

This is not a comprehensive listing, rather, it gives you an idea of how many things you could or should be tracking when it comes to your online marketing.

If you are like most people, you are thinking “there is no way I could remember all of that, much less do it.” You would be right. Remember, that is why we all need a team of experts around us to do the things we either don’t know or don’t have time for.

But, if you use these kinds of tools and tracking you will join the 1-2% of successful online businesses. You do want to make money with your website, right?

It is simple; your website should bring in more money than it costs to maintain it!

Some Final Thoughts

Today, you must be ONLINE with a WEBSITE to be successful. Research has shown that people are abandoning the yellow pages and many other ‘traditional’ forms of advertising. The internet is the #1 SOURCE for information on virtually every topic or subject you can imagine…and still growing rapidly.

It is as it has always been - survival of the fittest. Those businesses which combine their offline and online strategies to maximize their effectiveness are going to survive and thrive. The others will die. And in these times there will be more deaths than usual. You see it, the ‘for lease’ signs appearing everywhere, the ‘announcement’ each week of another big business failure, the empty spaces in office buildings.

The key to lasting success is to create lasting value. Turn transactions into relationships. In fact, the last sentence may be the most important and valuable one you read.

Article Source:
Ajay Prasad is founder of Global Marketing Resources LLC a Orange County Website Design company that aims to develop an overall website strategy for your site.

Thursday 21 May 2009

Social Media Not Understood By Marketers

According to an industry survey, two-thirds of marketing experts have said they still do not understand social media in spite of it being a huge medium in online marketing.

The Social Media survey, conducted by McCann Erickson Bristol, found that 86% of marketing professionals appreciated that social media was more than 'just a fad'. Yet, 65.6% of them confessed to not knowing how to use it for the purpose of marketing.

With the social networking sites, the most popular with marketers remain to be Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with 72.8%, 42.4% and 40.2% have a presence on them. And yet, around half of those surveyed announced that their IT departments had blocked access to these social media sites, again blocking the ability of marketers to monitor these sites in regards to what is happening with their brand.

Of the businesses that do use social media, over half are used with the aim of profile raising or PR, 48% for networking and 30% for advertising.

Head of PR at McCann Erickson Bristol, Joanna Randall, said: "This study highlights that some of the UK's major businesses are ignoring social media channels - but they do so at their peril."

"Word of mouth is now more powerful than ever - opinions can be shared with a global audience at the click of a button."

"We all have the ability to influence, both positively and negatively, and therefore as marketing professionals we should be considering how best to harness the power of social media."

Chris Crawford of BD Recruitment, the home of marketing recruitment.

Wednesday 6 May 2009

BBC Executives Move to Manchester

I liked this article, particularly after reading the following quoted by Mark E Smith in the Observer on Sunday 3rd May 2009:

You can spot the BBC employees who move to Manchester. They walk in the corner shop, these children's TV presenters in stripey jumpers: "Oh, you're Mark E Smith, my brother had one of your records, I've just moved up here and it's wonderful!" They soon Learn.

BBC executives, who include controller of CBeebies, Michael Carrington, and the Head of the BBC TV Sport, Philip Bernie, have announced they are to move to Salford when the BBC relocates the five departments from London in 2011.

From the five selected departments which are set to move, half of the senior executives have decided to relocate. Those choosing not to make the move to Salford, Manchester, include the CBBC controller, Anne Gilchrist. Others who have announced their choice not to make the relocation to Manchester are Liz Cleaver, the BBC controller of learning, James Porter, the Head of Sports News, Gordon Turnbull, the Head of BBC Radio Sport and Marney Shears, the Head of Production. Dave Gordon, the Head of Major Sports Events, will also stay in London where he will be best placed to handle the 2012 Olympics.

The newly appointed Director of BBC North, Peter Salmon, said: "I am pleased by the response we have had and the calibre of the people who will be coming on the journey to BBC North. The acceptance rate is higher than had initially been planned and I am told by the relocation experts that 47% is a high percentage for a move of this size."

Article Source:
Chris Crawford is MD of BD Recruitment a digital marketing specialist for recruitment in Manchester, with plenty of seo jobs and media planner jobs.

Friday 1 May 2009

Limited Searches in Yahoo!

What's going on here? I was busily carrying out some keyword reporting in Yahoo when I was rudely interrupted by this page (apologies for the poor image):

Now this isn't the first time this has happened to me with Yahoo, but normally the page is generated around the 25th search not 20th.

I suppose this takes me back to my previous post: MSN & Yahoo! Search Musters 3.23% Between Them, and pushes me that little bit closer to ditching these peripheral search engines.

Monday 20 April 2009

MSN & Yahoo! Search Musters 3.23% between Them

When it comes to keyword reports for SERPs (search engine result pages), I don’t like carrying out unnecessary work.

There was a time when my clients keyword reports for SERPs included, but their figures fell by the wayside and became so insignificant that I decided to drop them and concentrate on the remaining big three players: Google, Yahoo! & MSN.

For a while it seemed this was to be the status quo; but alas for quite some time now the MSN & Yahoo figures have also dropped into insignificance and are starting to waste my time.

You see I carry out manual keyword SERP reports, this is because; firstly I really don’t trust the automated reports, their results always seem so far off my manual reports, that I just can’t them. Secondly I like to analyse my clients competitors during the report process, be it monthly or weekly, a close-up inspection of why another site has jumped above mine, or I’ve leap-frogged a competitor, helps me understand my clients site’s strengths and weaknesses.

But this isn’t just analysis, there is also graft involved, time consuming graft, and to ensure my clients get the most for their money I am considering something I never thought I would consider and that is abandoning my reporting of the MSN and Yahoo keyword SERP reports.

I’ve already noted in a previous post: Live Search – Up & Down Like Bride’s Nightie, how frustrated I am with Live/ MSN search. But what I’m discussing here isn’t only about that, it’s about the miniscule amount of visitors my clients sites are getting per week/ month from either MSN or Yahoo. Compared with the behemoth that is Google.

The frustrating thing is why? By all understanding Yahoo particularly, has a bit of muscle when it comes to search, otherwise MSN wouldn’t be so keen on trying to buy them. But this doesn’t come across when I delve into my analytic pack; all I get is a measly return on my investment. It’s also not as if all the sites I work on are of the same ilk, or for that matter it’s my workings, because all of them are giving out tiny MSN and Yahoo results long before I came on the scene.

I wonder how many other website managers are left with this dilemma. Because on the face of it, it seems an easy option, drop them both, but what happens if there’s resurgence and I’ve missed all the statistics in between? Damned if I do damned…

Article Source:
For freelance website managers who now want the comfort of an employer, take a look at the plethora of jobs this marketing recruitment company has to offer.

Thursday 9 April 2009

BD Recruitment - Great Service

Even during this employment downturn BD Recruitment manage to find jobs for candidates eager to get back to work.

I like to keep an eye on employment opportunities within the internet industry, be it jobs for developers, designers or marketeers. It lets me know as a freelancer how the market is shaping up, should I turn down that awkward job or should I just get on with it because there's nothing around the corner.

This is where recruitment agencies like BD Recruitment come into their own, over the last few months they have been posting a continuous stream of jobs on their website, a real plethora of jobs to be true, and this is every day, not once a week or month.

So when some agencies are falling by the wayside, why are BD Recruitment succeeding, basically because they know what they're doing and they do that very well, anyone who's been in contact with the team will vouch for this. One of their specialities is to assess your CV, you probably believe you're employment options are quite narrow, after a CV appraisal you'll probably be surprised how they've broadened.

Agencies aren't just there to find you a job when you've lost you're last one, or when you want a new one, they're also there to inform you of better prospects on offer, or new prospects which could be occurring in the future, because since their last discussion with you they haven't simply ticked you off their list because they found you a position, no they'll keep their eye out for you and if you're still posting your CV, well it's a pretty good sign you're not happy where you are.

Recruitment agencies are so important now; how, fifteen years ago would you have known about a job in Leeds if you lived in Sheffield?

So with companies like BD Recruitment looking out for your job prospects, you're in safe hands, particularly if your prospects are in the internet or new media industries.

Tuesday 7 April 2009

Working Time '48 Hours' Opt Out

Warning, this article may wind you up.

Ahead of a conciliation committee meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned of the risk to the working time opt-out.

Currently the working time opt-out permits people to choose to work more than 48 hours a week. The CBI says that it could damage career aspirations and affect overtime at a time when workers want to help support their families. At present the removal of the working time opt-out is being backed by Socialist MEP’s.

CBI Deputy Director-General, John Cridland says: "Who should choose your working hours, you or politicians in Brussels? We think people can make up their own minds about the hours they want to work."

"The legislation proposed by some politicians would impose a ban on working longer hours, and not take into account individual circumstances and ambitions."

"Some people want to work longer hours and some do not. We think the solution is to give people a choice, as they have at the moment. Some MEPs think the solution should be a stop sign, and if you want to keep working, tough luck."

"A common position was agreed last year by member states, and these attempts by some MEPs to shift that position should be resisted."

Article Source:
Chris Crawford MD of BD Recruitment is a specialist recruiter for the search marketing recruitment sector, with a plethora of technical IT jobs and creative jobs.

Thursday 2 April 2009

Live Search - Up & Down Like a Bride's Nightie

This just has to be said: Live Search is rubbish. For over a year now I’ve been saying this to myself and I think it’s about time I got it off my chest.

The reason I use such blunt language, is that over this past year I have been monitoring my clients sites in the search engines, and in Google and Yahoo the rankings are consistent, meaning for a particular keyword/ phrase the rankings don’t sway from number 1 spot one week to not even listed the next week.

So why is that this is exactly what is occurring in Live Search, I literally rank in number 1 spot one week for a specific keyword/ phrase, and the following week I can’t even find the site for the same keyword/ phrase in the top 10 pages.

I have a Windows Live account for all the sites I manage, and in the Webmaster Center each site is acknowledged as having X amount of pages listed in Live Search and that there are no problems with the sites.

I think I could accept it if I wasn’t listed at all, because then I would carry out some investigating into why this is occurring, but to have such massive sways with the rankings, well, is it any wonder that when I actually want to find something myself, I don’t tend to use Live Search.

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Olympic Games Design Causes Controversy

Oh boy oh boy, we Brits do it again, please read on...

Creative designers from around the country were left with shattered hopes yesterday. After months of hard work preparing creative designs for the 2012 Olympics, they were given the news that designs studios are to be selected at random to work on the London Games.

In February, the Olympic Delivery Authority advertised for design and print services via CompeteFor. Agencies were asked to submit its portfolio, which could only consist of three images and to fill out a questionnaire. The response was apparently overwhelming with the adjudicators having to make a short list. Design agency Sparks came out with a score of 94% but were told that they were unsuccessful due to the majority scoring 100%. The adjudicators have now decided that the short list will be made up of suppliers chosen randomly from the highest scoring applications.

It seems that designers' suitability for working on one of the most high-profile projects in UK history rests more on sheer luck than on creative ability.

Sparks' Michael Gough said, "It’s the most expedient way to get a shortlist, but this is the first time it’s been a random selection. It’s an absurd process for selecting suppliers."

Article Source:
Chris Crawford is MD of BD Recruitment, a specialist recruiter for the internet recruitment sector, with a plethora of creative design jobs and seo jobs.

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Faster Broadband For Manchester

Manchester City Council announces its intention to make Manchester a "Next Generation City".

Later this month, the Oxford Road area of the city, can expect to see “next generation” open network broadband become available to them.

It is hoped Universities, colleges, businesses and community groups will benefit from the new proposals which will see their internet access become up to 1,000 times faster than most of the services currently received. The council are hoping that this will help in the creation of new jobs, new training opportunities and new services.

Executive Member for Environment, Councillor Neil Swannick, said “If Manchester's economy is to continue to grow then it is vital that we have accessible and affordable super-fast broadband, based on the proven state-of-the-art capabilities of fibre and advanced wireless; this is what the Next Generation Digital City project aims to do.

"We know that other European cities which are competing directly with us, such as Amsterdam and Paris, are providing fibre directly into businesses and the home, at a fraction of the cost of anywhere in the UK. Consumers and businesses then benefit by having reliable broadband at anything up to 1,000 times the speeds that are currently offered here. We believe that this will soon become a major competitive threat to Manchester and the UK as a whole."

"This year we're celebrating the 60th anniversary of the world's first real computer being invented here in Manchester, and I can't think of a better way to prepare ourselves for the technological challenges of the next 60 years, than with these Next Generation Digital City proposals."

Article Source:
Chris Crawford is MD of BD Recruitment, a specialist recruiter for the internet recruitment sector, with a gamut of creative jobs and SE jobs.

Tuesday 3 March 2009

Do Web Designers Love Free Pitching?

First, the sour grapes. Last year we entered a tender process with Defra for a new website contract for the Committee on Climate Change. We had created a logo and brand style, it was a cause we believed in, and we hoped designing and building the website would be a great portfolio piece for us. The process involved a tedious and time sapping questionnaire, a design element and a presentation to various members of the tender team including procurement and communications. We were given a timescale to prepare that included just 2 days to pull together an in-depth presentation AND designs.

Our final 'score' was 68.34% - and the winning supplier scored 68.58%.

We were, naturally, bitterly disappointed, not least by the actual process (which included sending 4 printed copies - over 20 pages in each, a bizarre practice for a body so concerned with the depletion of our natural resources), the time scales, the nature of the presentation, the 'scoring system' etc.

Would I be so upset had we won the contract? In all honesty - yes. I had already decided that I would voice my concerns following the tender, even had we been given the project.

I have since visited the final site, for various reasons: 1. out of curiosity, 2. to see if any of the designs we had submitted were used in any way, and 3. to see how the competition interpreted the brief, and used our initial branding.

The site is: Committee on Climate Change and here is a direct quote from the brief:

'The website should use the latest digital technologies to ensure that it is interactive, dynamic and accessible for all audiences. It needs to look fresh, vibrant and creative.'

In no way am I here to judge another agency's work, in fact I'd welcome their feedback on the process. I just have to ask how creativity and service driven work can be judged on a scoring system such as Defra's.

Free pitching is, and always will be a hot topic in the industry. Agencies will continue to do it, and clients will always insist on it. It's a vicious circle. The problem is that because it is SO ingrained in our culture, clients are dumbfounded when you refuse to do it. When large government agencies and global corporations insist on it, the notion trickles down through every level of business. We were recently approached by a prospective client looking to set up a one-man-band estate agency. He insisted on free pitching. I explained we couldn't do that as it costs us time and money, and would not get the best out of our studio. To illustrate the point in his own sector, I asked him if he would ask 3 builders to build 3 different houses, and at the end of the process choose one, change it around a bit and tell the other two they could just knock theirs down. His reply? "Let's just say I have not seen any buildings that you or the other agencies have built which amaze me." Incredible - I would have to ask why you would approach an agency whose 'houses' you didn't like in the first place!

My point here is that it is inherent in every level of business we encounter. Is it possible to stop it? I don't think so. But maybe we're just not shouting loudly enough about it. Maybe we could take a stand as an industry. The next time you're in a 5-way pitch, try to find out who else is involved, perhaps the 5 agencies agree on submitting nothing but agency credentials and past case studies. The issue will always be that in a competitive industry such as ours, you're always looking for an edge, and if that means submitting ideas when no-one else will, then it's inevitable this will continue.

Perhaps we can make some effort though, and so I'm putting the case forward for a No Free Pitching Month. Every agency across the land should stand, shoulder to shoulder and refuse (for a month at least) to do any free pitches. Would it work? I don't know. But it's worth a try! If we can educate our clients, even a small degree, about the negative aspects of the practice, then we will have done some good.

Now, where's the sugar for those grapes.....

Article Source:
Simon Harmer is Creative Director of Marmalade on Toast a creative web design company based in London and Winchester.

Monday 23 February 2009

There's more to Optimisation than Just SEO

What surprises me with the relentless pursuit of SEO is that everyone seems to believe it is the be all and end all of a website's presence, it is very important, but it is definitely not all there is to running a successful website.

The whole gamut of skills required to run a website are acquired through years of learning and then putting that learning into practice. There is of course the basic SEO that is in books, or handy tips on-line including many versions of top ten essential SEO tips. These are all very well and good, but, don't answer all the nitty-gritty day to day questions: reliable hosting, quality of content on the page, quality of products to sell or to sign-up for, ease of navigation &c.

An SEO agency will often write a long-winded optimisation report, which the client, on the whole, won’t understand, this report will be in minutia detail about the technical optimising of the website, this is great of course for those with rather large pockets of money. If there is the cash to spend on completely rebuilding a site from the bottom up, there is a good chance you will reach the first page of Google, because naturally the agency will have sold you a linking package as well.

The problem arises when your site does reach the pinnacle of Google's search, if it still possesses all that terrible original content, then it will just develop a bad case of bounce rate, Google will notice this and then slowly but surely allow your lovely, newly developed site to slide back down the rankings, this is partly due to most agencies not having the time of day for usability, if you read Jacob Nielsen you will know all about the importance of usability.

What am I saying; well basically websites are not compartmentalised, for SEO to work, then a site needs to meet high usability standards, the content has to be useful, not necessarily for everyone, but at least for those people who have an interest in its field.

I suppose what really surprises is that someone believes they can optimise a website without having the slightest nonce of business acumen, so for the next seo job, don't just concentrate on the Webmaster accounts, which by the way are incredibly important (how else will you know when the sitemaps done a bunk or someone's accidentally updated a page with incorrect URLs), but also take a look at the site your going to work on, check out what they really want to do and apply your trade towards that.

Tuesday 17 February 2009 Account goes to the Search Works has appointed The Search Works to handle all its pay-per-click requirements. They won the account after a competitive battle involving five unnamed agencies. is an on on-line site that specialises in insurance, money and utilities comparisons and since their launch in 2002 they have generated more than one million quotes per month. Their off-line media, planning and buying requirements worth £20m are also apparently being reviewed.

Tom Bennet, Marketing Director at, said: "When it came to choosing an agency, not only did we require a specialist to handle our search strategy, we were also looking for an extension of our in-house marketing team that would push our campaigns to the next level."

So who did miss out?

Article Source:
Chris Crawford is MD of BD Recruitment, a specialist recruiter for the internet jobs sector, with a flurry of graphic design jobs and IT recruitment.

Friday 13 February 2009

Is Rene Descartes’ View of the Mind Correct?

Before Descartes could even begin to structure his argument around his view of the mind he had to literally wipe the slate clean of everything he believed beforehand. He wanted to ensure that he would only be dealing in certain absolutely true facts. To do this he followed a couple of Greek examples, firstly Euclid’s book on geometry the Thirteen Elements, here Euclid uses absolute definitions to explain certain facts, Euclid (1956), p.155) “if equals be added to equals, the wholes are equal”, and Archimedes, Descartes (Haldane and Ross 1931, cited in Wilkinson, 2002), p.160) “in order that he might draw the celestial globe out of its place, and transport it elsewhere, demanded only that one point should be fixed an immovable.” By categorically stating the method for his arguments Descartes was attempting to ensure that no stone would be left unturned when constructing his mind body argument.

For Descartes to un-assume that he existed (for this was his starting point) he had to start by stating that he didn’t exist, to do this he came up with the theory that he had an evil genius that tricked him into assuming that he and the heavens and earth only existed in his imagination. But then he came to the realisation that for him to think that an evil genius existed, then he must also exist, because he thought, and to Descartes to think is to exist - cogito ergo sum.

Even though Descartes wanted to ensure that the facts were stated absolutely, he did have a tendency to miss out certain premises, creating enthymematic arguments, this was due to his reliance on his reader’s axiomatic belief, for example Descartes cogito, here Descartes says I think, then I exist, but this according to Thomas Hobbes causes a dilemma, because what Hobbes says in his objections, Hobbes, (Haldane and Ross 1931, cited in Wilkinson, 2002), p.29) “…it is not by another thought that I infer what I think… we cannot think that we are thinking… For this would entail the repetition of the question an infinite number of times…” Because of these fallacies in Descartes initial premises already we can see that his conclusions are on unsteady ground.

What Descartes is leading up to is that the mind and the body are two different types of substance, Wilkinson, (2002), p.37) “ The mind is mental substance, a continuously existing subject of experiences which exist in time but not in space, and whose essence is thought. The material universe, the universe of bodies, is composed of material substance whose essence is extension.” But just because the mind and body are two different kinds of substance doesn’t mean that they can’t coexist. The next step in Descartes argument is to explain how these two different substances coexist.

To argue how the two substances are different Descartes uses the argument that the mind is not divisible, but the body is divisible. To explain this argument Descartes explains that when a body loses a limb, it has actually lost a limb, there is still no loss taking place with the mind. This brings us around once again to extension. Descartes is arguing that the mind is not extended, but the body is extended, hence it is divisible. The mind according to Descartes is the substance that makes him aware that he exists; this is his conclusion from his cogito. He then goes on to add a premise that nothing else pertains to his essence except thinking, and it is here that he once again states his argument as an enthymeme. Here an objection is raised by one of Descartes contemporaries Antoine Arnauld, where he argues, Arnauld (Haldane and Ross 1931, cited in Wilkinson, 2002), p.44) “The problem is: how it follows, from the fact that one is unaware that anything else belongs to one’s essence, that nothing else really belongs to one’s essence.” What we are starting to see here is the way in which Descartes is manipulating his argument to fit his purpose. Because what Arnauld is saying and what many other philosophers have said is, how can we know that nothing else pertains to our essence except thinking, for all we know there may be lots of other things which pertain to our essence. This naturally causes most of the conclusions to break down. To depend on invalid premises in an argument, shows that the developing argument will be unsound.

Descartes whole argument really gains ground once he has stated that “I am a thing which thinks” – sum res cogitans. It seems like once he has jumped this hurdle all his other premises will fit smoothly into place, but we are finding that they won’t. Immanuel Kant in his first edition of his Critique of Pure Reason (1781) objects to Descartes argument because he argues that Descartes is assuming and not proving that there is only one I. Kant is arguing that there could be more than one I, and each I with its own illusory memories. He argues that Descartes hasn’t proved categorically that only one I exists, and that all he has proved is that something sometimes thinks.

So Descartes has concluded so far that he is sum res cogitants, or to be more precise his mind is sum res cogitants. He still hasn’t explained how this mind interacts (if it does at all) with the body. This is the next step of his argument.

Up to now Descartes is still imagining that his mind is in space, it exists because it thinks. He now construes a way of bringing about his body to also exist. He does this by explaining his imagination. With imagination he means things which he sees in his minds eye, and what Descartes discovered whilst looking through his minds eye, was that things were different to how they actually were: i.e. things he imagined were some times not as they actually were when visualized. For example the picture in your minds eye of an Alison Kirk Chrysanthemum, is quite different from the actual Alison Kirk Chrysanthemum, this is because in your minds eye there is know way of visualising all the many petals which the chrysanthemum possesses. What this made Descartes believe was that there must actually be a real object, because otherwise he would have imagined the real object exactly as it is in his minds eye.

So now Descartes mind has a body, but how do the two interact? We are still remembering that these two substances are different. Descartes explains it by saying the mind is like a pilot in the body’s vessel (this is a little like Stephen Dawkins ‘Survival Machines’ (Dawkins, (1976), pp.14ff), where genes use Gigantic Lumbering Robots (ibid., p.21) as vassals). This is because the mind does feel what the body feels; when the body stubs its toe the mind feels this also. So even though these two substances are different they intercommunicate with each other, how does Descartes explain this? He argues that in the brain there is a gland (we now know to be the pineal gland) which receives data from the animal spirits from the body which then (through this gland) passes the data to the mind. Here we find Descartes on very weak ground. This theory of intercommunication between the mind and the body was never really explained by Descartes and even when asked later in his life by Burman about the affect of the soul on the body and vice versa, Descartes replied, (Cottingham, cited in Wilkinson, 2002), p.50) “This is very difficult to explain; but here our experience is sufficient, since it is clear on this point that it is just cannot be gainsaid. This is evident in the case of feelings and so on.” I totally agree with Leibniz here when he states, Leibniz, (Leibniz, New System etc, cited in Wilkinson, 2002), p.50) “Descartes had given up the game on that point, so far as we can know from his writings.”

There are of course objections to the pineal gland theory but before I go to them I would like to sum up Descartes view of the mind by Cartesian Dualism. We are made up of mental substance and material substance, a substance doesn’t need anything else to exist, a substance is made-up of qualities, qualities have to be qualities of something, they don’t exist on their own. A mental substances essence is thought, whereas a material substance is extension. Mental substance exists in time only and not space, whereas material substance exists in both time and space.

We now have a clear view of Descartes view of the mind and how it communicates with the body, but of course there are objections, firstly regarding the pineal gland. Pierre Gassendi in his objections V, (Haldane and Ross 1931, cited in Wilkinson, 2002), p.49) “…we cannot grasp how you impress a motion upon [the animal spirits] …unless you really are a body …How can there be contact apart from the body, when (as is so clear by the natural light) ‘Apart from body, naught touches or is touched’.” This is clearly correct as Descartes states himself that the two parts (substances) are spatial and non spatial, which means they simply can’t, or shouldn’t be able to interact.

So we have three strong objections to Descartes view of the mind, these are: the mind body interaction, which we have discussed above and covers the causation of the mind to the body and vice versa; the negative characterization of mental substance, this is according to Descartes that mental substance does not exist in space; the unity of mind and body, where I explained through the pineal gland example.

These objections pick-up on Descartes ability brush over important aspects of his argument, because of this the argument not only misses premises, but because of this it therefore creates unsound conclusions.

Therefore to answer the initial question: ‘is Descartes’ view of the mind correct?’ I am inclined with the evidence I have assembled with clearly stated objections made by Hobbes, Kant, Gissendi, Arnauld &c, to the premises and conclusions within his argument, and due to the lack of neuroscience available to Descartes in the 17th century, that Descartes’ view of the mind is not correct. But, and this is important, I am not stating that his contemporaries are correct, because to this day we are still unaware of how, exactly, the mind does work.

Euclid, (1956), 2nd edition, The Thirteen Books of the Elements, Dover Publications.
Haldane, E.S. & Ross G.R.T. (1931) The Philosophical Works of Descartes, 2 vols, Cambridge University Press. Corrected edition.
Wilkinson, R. (2002) Minds and Bodies, The open University, Alden Press.
Dawkins, R, (1976) The Selfish Gene, Oxford University Press.

Monday 9 February 2009

Markets Thriving Despite Fresh Helping Of Bad News

Analysis of nearly 20 million job applications has revealed that some sectors are holding up well despite last week's announcement that Britain is in recession.

Broadbean technology's data shows that while several industries are inundated with applicants, some are in fact desperate to attract new talent this year.

Despite media reports that candidates are flocking from the private to public sector in order to shield themselves from unemployment, Broadbean's data shows that applications for Social Care, for example, are even lower (just under four applications per advert) than they were last year.
Applications for teaching and education roles have dropped 13% over the last year in spite of the 'Turn your Talent to Teaching' campaign that advertises a '41k (inner London)' salary.

Trends for the insurance and legal industries are incredibly optimistic showing a healthy level of applicants with little change from last year.

Pharmaceuticals, travel and jobs in the Arts all appear to be stable too.

It has been suggested that unemployment will soon reach 2 million in the UK and job application trends in some industries, such as Building and Construction and Customer Service, would reflect this worrying prediction.

However, the good news is that for every industry sector that is flooded with candidates, there is one that is stable and markets that traditionally get a low response to adverts are cleaning up in these hard times.

The Army for example, will be pleased to see that defence applications have increased by 280 % since early 2008, supporting reports that MOD Recruitment will be one winner during this time of turmoil.

Stuart Passmore, Financial Director at Broadbean comments,
"Our data provides an indicator of movement within markets as we carry jobs for thousands of employers both in the UK and abroad. Our stats show there are still opportunities out there depending on where you want to work."

"Of course, there are clear indications that competition is stiff for some roles. Recruiters in some sectors are receiving up to four times more CVs than they did this time last year, but that's not necessarily a terrible thing. More applications mean more choice and ultimately, better placements, provided recruiters have technology in place to deal with the influx."

Article Source:
Chris Crawford is MD of BD Recruitment, a specialist recruiter for the internet jobs sector, with a flurry of graphic design jobs and IT recruitment.

Tuesday 27 January 2009

5,000 Job Cuts at Microsoft

Is it just me, or is this crunch becoming more of a purge, please read on...

Microsoft announced that it will cut 5,000 jobs as it published its second-quarter results for 2008. They revealed that their profits had declined by 11% on the previous year when they had made a staggering $4.17 billion.

The 5,000 jobs being cut include staff in the HR Department which amounts to approximately 5.5% of its global workforce. 1,400 jobs will be cut immediately with the rest happening over the next 18 months.

Chris Liddell, Chief financial officer said; "Economic activity and IT spend slowed beyond our expectations in the quarter, and we acted quickly to reduce our cost structure and mitigate its impact. We are planning for economic uncertainty to continue through the remainder of the fiscal year, almost certainly leading to lower revenue and earnings for the second half relative to the previous year. In this environment, we will focus on outperforming our competitors and addressing our cost structure."

Article Source:
Chris Crawford, BD Recruitment Manchester

Tuesday 20 January 2009

Back-links & News Articles

An excellent source of back-links to a website is through articles written by the website owners, because, the website owners can give detailed, succinct & informative information, from their point of view, about their particular industry.

This is achieved by using links.

When an article is written it should be pertinent to your industry, therefore ensuring a strong connection between the article and your site. So firstly a well formulated article is to be written, the article must not only be spell checked, but proof read, nothing looks worse than grammatically incorrect articles posted on a site. Once the article is written you need to assess if there are keywords used in the article which could be used in links back to your site: i.e. 4mm blue widgets, these links need to be directed to their relevant page, not the homepage. By using keyword specific anchor tags in the link you are instantly improving the importance and relevance of the link.

It is pretty important to have a news category within your website which is JavaScript free, this ensures easy crawling by the search engine spiders, it also ensures no difficulties in book-marking the page, or linking to the page (some users don’t enable their JavaScript).

Ideally the title of the article you’ve written will act as a link back to the original page of the article on your site (this is how most Blogs operate), all the links are kept active, it is surprising how many news article sites strip the links out of your text, then to complete your articles optimisation add an author bio, it is usually acceptable to add two links back to your site within the bio.

Once your site builds up enough credibility as a genuine source of useful, informative and unprejudiced information, not only can you expect a little extra traffic, your submission in to Google News may at last be accepted.

Monday 12 January 2009

5 Million Employees Worked Unpaid Overtime in 2008

According to an analysis of official statistics by the TUC, more than five million people worked unpaid overtime in 2008. This brings the total value across the UK to a record £26.9 billion.

The TUC has calculated that 5.24 million people across the UK worked unpaid overtime in 2008 – the highest number since records began in 1992. The previous record was five million in 2001.

Employees who work unpaid would receive an extra £5,139 a year if they were paid for the additional hours they are putting in. The average amount of unpaid overtime is seven hours and six minutes – the same amount as last year.

The biggest increases in unpaid overtime have taken place in London (+79,000), the East Midlands (+61,000) and Eastern England (+53,000). The number of people working unpaid overtime fell in the South East (-26,000) and Scotland (-11,000).

The TUC has calculated that if everyone who works unpaid overtime did all their unpaid work at the start of the year, the first day they would get paid would be Friday 27 February. The TUC traditionally declares this 'Work Your Proper Hours Day' and makes a light-hearted call for staff to work their proper hours for at least one day a year and for employers to thank their staff for regularly putting in the extra hours at work.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "After years of progress, the numbers doing unpaid overtime has increased for the second year in a row. This is disappointing."

"But while some of this is due to the longs-hours culture that still dogs too many British workplaces, the recession will now be making many people scared of losing their job in the year ahead and joining the ever-growing dole-queue."

"Inevitably people will be putting in extra hours if they think it can help protect against redundancy or keep their employer in business."

"This is not the year therefore for our usual light-hearted 'Work Your Proper Hours Day'. But this does not mean people should ignore excessive working. Friday 27 February should still be used to think through working hours. Long hours are bad for people's health, and employers should never forget that each extra hour worked makes people less productive once they are over a sensible working week."

"The recession should instead provide a spur to make workplaces more productive, and for managers to get staff to work together, not compete for who can stay the latest."

Article Source:
BD Recruitment are a specialist recruiter for the internet marketing jobs sector, with a flurry of graphic design recruitment in Manchester and IT jobs in Leeds.