** I’m sorry to say that this was in fact an April Fool. Sorry Cardiff-based CEOs! See my AFs from 2014 & 2016. **
Since mid-2016, I’ve run 11 SEO meetup events under the name Cardiff SEO Meet.
But… while SEO is good n’ all, I feel though there’s a bigger, better, grander audience I could be running events for.
And then it hit me! Inspired by 1) some numpty who commented on one of the old Periscope videos trying to correct the speaker by saying “CEO, not SEO” (despite it being an SEO talk and – therefore – the speaker was right and the commenter was wrong), and 2) the fact that at least two past venues have referred to it as a CEO meetup, I have decided to rebrand Cardiff SEO Meet as…
I’ll get CEOs to come to the events and talk about all CEOy type things. Who knows… I might even get a CEO to do a talk about SEO! 🤯
And instead of the site review spending 20-30 mins reviewing a website, we’ll do a ‘business review’ instead, where we (the audience) will critique a CEO’s business and business practices.That’s likely to go down so well…! 😃
So there we go. I hope you will join me in celebrating the new vision and direction for the meetup.
Wanna learn more about how the book came to be? Read on…
The story of Anti-Sell
Truth be told, I never thought I’d ever become an author. I love blogging (the fact that SEOno’s been going since 2011 is proof of that!) but I thought books were silly – after all, books can become obsolete (especially SEO books). But then…
A few years ago, I wrote a post on here titled 20 Ways That Freelancers Can Drum Up Sales During Quieter Times. Following on from that, I had a few more ideas of posts around the topic of sales and networking, aimed at freelancers specifically. Given that this is (mostly) an SEO blog, I wasn’t sure how best to proceed… That’s when I realised that the advice is pretty much timeless, and that each separate post idea I had could be a separate chapter in a book instead. That’s when the idea of writing a book – instead of lots of blog posts – became a plan.
* UPDATE – 24th March: it looks as thought 2 of the 3 listings have now come back online, and with their spammy business names (boooo…) *
Google Maps has a spam problem. From seemingly randomly-left reviews to businesses spamming their Google My Business (GMB) listings so heavily that there’s even a dedicated hashtag for it (#stopcraponthemap), the situation becomes further frustrating when you realise that Google doesn’t (or can’t) do much about the situation. Sure, you can ‘suggest edits’ on Google Maps, but in my experience the process is largely pointless, and if you really need to contact Google to do something, you have to (ironically) contact them via Twitter or Facebook. Huh…
It’s starting to feel like it’s getting to boiling point, with the ne’er-do-well spammy types getting away with their efforts and reaping the benefits.
So when Google announced its Business Redressal Complaint Form a few weeks ago, I did a little eye-roll, said “yeah, ok” and reluctantly gave it a go on a couple of a client’s competitors who are notorious GMB listing spammers, expecting the usual to happen: something between ‘very little’ and ‘nothing’.
Boy was I in for a shock.
What’s in a (spammy) name?
I’ll keep the example anonymous but let’s say my client is a family-run, independent widget seller with two shops in South Wales. Their main competitors are UK-wide chains with dozens of locations across the country. One of them has two locations in Cardiff, while another has just the one. While my client uses their business name properly in the Name field (e.g. “Bonafide Widgets”), the competitors have gone with a “Business Name Keyword Location” approach, with the competitor with two Cardiff locations going as far as listing the sub-location as well (e.g. “Widgets-R-Us Cheap Widgets Cardiff”, “SuperWidgets Cheap Widgets Cardiff Central” and “SuperWidgets Cheap Widgets Cardiff North”). Ugh. Tacky. And frustratingly, they’d often rank higher in Google Maps for keywords – suggesting that this dodgy practice was working well for them, too. No fair.
Despite this behaviour being against Google My Business’ guidelines (see Name > Learn more > Service or product / Location information on that link), and despite me regularly using the ‘suggest an edit’ feature on the three listings to ‘correct’ the business names to be more guidelines-compliant, very little would happen. Either nothing would happen (and I’d simply have to try again), or the changes would only last for a day or two, with the original spammy versions returning shortly afterwards. I was about to try the contact-via-Twitter/Facebook method with them when the Redressal Form was introduced.
It’s been a while since my last post on here (over 4 months – yikes!) but I thought I’d quickly put this out there based on a recent private Facebook group interaction. A few people said it was a good tip, so I thought it’d be a good idea to blog about it just in case anyone else encounters the issue as well…
A friend of mine added me to a private SEO group on Facebook and subsequently posted asking the group for advice. His client had just migrated their website from HTTP to HTTPS (something I’ve written about before by the way, if you’re looking for a guide) but unusually the Google Search Console (GSC) profile for the HTTP version (e.g. “http://www.example.com/”) was still showing data in its Search Analytics section and he couldn’t figure out how or why.
Funnily enough, I’d just had this exact issue with a client of mine so I chipped in with my experience. The culprit? That cheeky canonical! *shakes fist*
Short version: if you’re migrating from HTTP to HTTPS, making sure your canonical URLs follow suit, i.e. they all reference HTTPS versions of the URLs, not HTTP versions!
Seems obvious, right? And it might be. But it’s worth double-triple-checking just in case they don’t behave as expected, especially if you have some that have been manually configured in the past (in which case they may not simply auto-update in conjunction with your migration efforts).
For more detailed info, read on…
That pesky canonical tho
First things first, my friend didn’t reveal his client, and I’m under an NDA with my client, so this is going to be an entirely anonymous anecdote. Sorry!
A canonical URL tells search engines that the page you’re serving is the ‘primary’ version of the URL, which is a good way to side-step potential duplicate content issues. There’s a good guide on canonicals over on Moz if you’re new to the concept and want to learn more about it.
What a month July was! On Sunday 8th July I flew to Seattle to attend MozCon 2018, having won a VIP ticket in a competition by Moz. My submission was a short story about Roger MozBot (Moz’s brand mascot) discovering a time machine, visiting various points in Moz’s past and potential future. You can read it here! (FUN FACT: I only know of 3 people so far who have found the story’s Easter egg…)
When I got back I blogged my notes from two of the lunch discussion round-tables for a post on State of Digital.
And you can see all my tweets, notes, pics, etc. of MozCon and Seattle here.
I also did a talk at Welsh ICE (my coworking space) as part of their ICE Breaker series, which is when members of the ICE community do a 20-minute talk during Wednesday lunchtimes (formerly known as Friday ICE, which used to be held – no surprise – on Fridays). The guys at ICE videoed it and published it to Facebook Live, which I’ve embedded below! 👇