I’m Naming My Baby After Rand Fishkin

** Ok ok, so this was an April Fool’s. We’re not calling him Rand Fishkin Morgan. At the moment we’re going with Rory Jack Morgan… **

For those of you who are unaware, my wife and I are expecting our first child in early May (which is sadly the reason that I won’t be able to attend BrightonSEO in late April – too close to the due date).

When we found out that we’re having a boy, we discussed what we were going to name him. At first, we liked Noah, but it’s suddenly become an extremely popular name, so we decided against it. Then we were thinking of Rory, but we were still a little undecided. And then it hit me: what about Rand?

There are two Rands (or Randals) that I admire. The first is Randal Graves from Clerks. Admittedly, perhaps not an obvious role model (note: extremely NSFW clip, unless you have headphones…), but I love the name. And then of course, there’s the Wizard of Moz:* Rand Fishkin.

* Genuine job title, by the way. Awesome.

Wait, it gets better. I even managed to convince Emma that we should keep Fishkin as a middle name. In other words, we’re naming our son: Rand Fishkin Morgan.

We’re very excited that we’ve come up with the perfect name for our son! But what do you think? Please leave a comment below!

Baby Rand photo
[Kudos to Roslyn of CopyTyper for her photoshopping skills; the original can be found here - Phyllis Buchanan - under the Creative Commons Adapt licence]

SEOno News ,

The Anatomy Of An (Accidental) Monster Post – One Year On

Monster/laptop image
Just over one year ago, on 6th March 2013, I published How To Remove Slanderous Google Reviews – A Case Study. It’s the story of how I managed to remove a fake 1-star review from my parents’ business’ Google Places account.

At the time, that’s all it was: a story. Events unfolded and I decided to write about them, as I thought that my experience might be helpful to others. Beyond that, I thought nothing of it. Even as an SEO, I didn’t expect the post to be big – but over the year, it took off. Majorly.

One year on, I wanted to look back at the stats in Google Analytics and suggest what I think may be behind its success.

The data

From 6th March 2013 to 5th March 2014, my blog had over 15k unique visits and over 22k unique pageviews. The post had over 7,000 unique pageviews – a third of all pageviews to the entire 150+ page blog

GA Top 5 Pages screenshot

(Click to enlarge)

It’s also been viewed twice as many times as my homepage. The blog’s second most popular post during that time received a seventh of the views of the main post (just shy of 1,000 unique pageviews)… In other words, it makes the rest of my content look crap in comparison, haha!

Interestingly, when looking at the Top Pages section in Open Site Explorer, things are different. From a Page Authority point of view, it’s the blog’s fifth most popular page:

OSE Top 5 Pages screenshot

(Click to enlarge)

Less links and less shares compared to a couple of other posts and pages.

So what’s attributed to its success, if social shares and links aren’t behind it? Organic search.

Click to read more!

SEO , , ,

Google-Friendly Link Building Tactics For Online Sellers: My Online Seller Wales Talk

On Thursday 20th February, I gave a talk at Online Seller Wales, for their Cardiff event (#OSWCardiff) in Porter’s Bar’s cinema room. I’ve spoken in the venue’s cinema room before for my Cardiff Internet talk (and I’ve also spoken on their main room’s stage for my Ignite Cardiff talk) – it’s a great venue.

The talk title? Google-Friendly Link Building Tactics For Online Sellers. In other words, white-hat link building and link earning tips primarily aimed at eCommerce businesses. I also talk about Google’s stance on link building (what with things like Google Penguin, Manual Actions and the disavow tool) and also give advice on anchor text etiquette in 2014 and beyond.

Here are the slides:

I’d like to say a big thank you to Gaz Copeland of Stoked SEO (@StokedSEO) for giving me advice and feedback on my slides when I was working on them.

And here is the audio, which I recorded myself using my iPhone. It includes some Q&A at the end with some of the audience. I’ve used Audibase to host it (who are based in the same building as me – Welsh ICE in Caerphilly, just outside Cardiff):

Click to read more!

Events, SEO , , ,

How To Change Your Profile Pic On A Google+ Local Page

Plus sign imageChanging the profile pic on a Google+ (personal) profile is easy. Changing it on a Google+ Brand page is easy. But changing it on a Google+ Local page? I spent a good while trying to figure out how to do it, and seeing as a Google search on the topic yielded no helpful results (other than an article on Google+ Help, which wasn’t even the 1st result), I thought I’d blog about it.

It’s easy once you know (really easy), but what makes things confusing is the fact that your page may already have a profile pic – via Google Places. But if you actively start using the Google+ element of your Google Places/Google+ Local page (i.e. writing posts in the ‘Posts’ section), that section might have a default blue icon that Google shows when you don’t have an avatar…

So in other words, if you have a profile pic on the Google Places side of things (in the top section) of your listing, but not on the Google+ side of it (bottom half of the ‘Posts’ section, each time you submit a new post), then here’s the fix…

And nope, you can’t click the avatar in the top-right of the screen – that won’t work this time…

Google+ profile vs. Google+ Local screenshot
…Trust me, I tried.

Click to read more!

Social Media , ,

2-3 WordPress Plugins For Reducing Comment Spam (From 100s To <10 Per Day)

Want to know how I reduced WordPress blog comment spam significantly, using just 2-3 plugins, with no need for a CAPTCHA? Then keep reading, friend…

STOP imagePeople who know me well (especially on Twitter) will know that blog comment spam has been a major bugbear of mine for a while. I’ve tried multiple solutions, including CAPTCHAs (such as Animal Captcha, Sweet Captcha, Math Captcha, other more normal CAPTCHAs…) but experienced no joy. I also followed the steps in this guide, downloaded the plugins that were recommended and followed its instructions, but found that it just didn’t have the desired effect…

Unfortunately it’s not simply a case of purging the Spam section in one go without checking it. I get a lot of false positives (genuine comments that get filtered into the Spam section by accident), so I have to trawl through it all. One. By. One. Bearing in mind that I used to get about 100-200 spam comments everyday. Ouch. I also help to manage Cardiff Blogs (also built on WordPress) and while they don’t get as many spam comments as SEOno does, if left unchecked for a few weeks, I’ll have to filter through a few hundred…

Desperate for a solution, I stumbled upon 2 plugins and thought that I’d give them a go. The number of spam comments I receive now has reduced dramatically: from 100-200 per day to about 10. Much more manageable.

Click to read more!

Blogging , , ,