Friday, 7 March 2008

Jack & Hillary - The Alternative Video

According to the BBC News website, the official Jack Nicholson video has now been viewed over 1.2 million times.

It's therefore, not surprising that a Barack Obama supporter decided to raid his own collection of Jack Nicholson videos to create this parody which is just as good as the original.

Whether either of the videos actually persuades anyone to vote for either of the candidates is yet to be seen.

Shouldn't be long now before someone decides to mashup 24 and Keifer Sutherland to support one of the candidates.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Jack Nicholson Hillary Clinton Endorsement Video

Much as I think Jack is backing the wrong person, this advert is great as

  1. It knows the audience would prefer clips of Jack to Hilary's speaches
  2. Manages to get 7 key messages into the clips
  3. Engages the audiences for probably a full 78 seconds - longer than most political adverts
  4. Has great viral potential - currently viewed 378,000 times on Youtube
  5. Easy to link (as we're doing here)

Google Search in Google Search Results Page

Looks like Google has slyly introduced a new facility that allows you to search the content of a site without having to go it. This isn't new technology and has always been available in the advanced search, but ask most people about advanced search and they'll have never even noticed it.

Enter ebay into Google and you may see the following (I think Google are still experimenting with it and it doesn't always appear.)

What is really sneaky, is that if you are looking for something specific such as a Timberland Boots, Google will then show you the pages that contain the words Timberland boots with PPC adverts on the right hand side, therefore making money for them and reducing the chances of people going to ebay.

Big thanks to Hugh Gage over at Engage Digital for spotting this.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Your brand vs what you offer - whats more important?

Whenever I consult with a client about search engine optimisation we always have a debate about whether their company name should appear at the beginning of the title tag. This is the heading that appears at the top of every page and more importantly, in the search engine results.

The title tag is critical as it allows you to summarise the page and provide the potential visitor with a reason to visit the page.

Normally we say to the client that unless you are a well know company, concentrate on describing what the page does and the value it offers a visitor as your company name will mean nothing to them (yet).

In the example above, our client is number 1 in Google for the phrase microsoft project hints and you can see the title tag clearly tells people what the page does, which results in lots of traffic for our client Project Learning Limited. At this stage, potential visitors are looking for some very specific information, so we need to give them a reason to come to the site.

Jakob Nielson has written a good article on when you should and shouldn't use your company name in the heading and titles on your site.

His tips include:

  • Within your own site, deemphasize your company name
  • Research results and where junk appears, make sure your's are clear
  • Make your title tag obvious so that the benefits are clear.

You can read the whole article at Company Name First in Microcontent? Sometimes!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

What happens when you stop posting to your blog

A quick glance at the blog posts over the last six months, would show you brief bursts of posting activity, followed by weeks where nothing gets posted at all. I mean to post most days, but something else normally gets in the way.

Between the 6th of January and the 28th of Feb, I managed to write absolutely nothing on my blog and Google finally caught up with me.

Taking a look at the graph below. Up until the 25th of Feb, I had a fairly regular 15 to 20 visitors a day and now its down to 5 or so a day.

The stats are from Google Analytics. If you don't already have it on your web site, I suggest adding it today as you get some real insight into how people are interacting with your web site.

Somewhere deep in the Google algorithm, there is no doubt a cut off point that says once a blog has become inactive for more than 7 weeks, reduce the ranking of the previous posts.

I've certainly learnt from this - post more often and regularly.