Top 10: Marketese – Marketing words to avoid

Don’t use meaningless marketing words like ‘best’, ‘greatest’ or ‘incredible’. People are smart (mostly), and if not smart then they’re sceptical. When writing for the web (or any marketing copy) using words like ‘the best…’ or ‘amazing’ is a waste of space and damages your keyword ratio.

Twitter Open for Business (and for Dizziness)

Twitter has recently woken up to embracing the B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-customer) community, encouraging C2B (customer-to-business) and C2C (customer-to-customer) relationship building with it’s Twitter for Business 101 pages. In other news below, I am stunned by the use of scrolling text.

How I lost all my images on Google Image search: the perils of default settings

Although I like to consider myself quite well versed in the art of SEO and visibility on the web, I did have a ‘slap-forehead-moment’ a few weeks back. I’d recently reinstalled Drupal (which this site runs on) to the latest version. However, what I failed to remember was that I’d created my own robots.txt and .htaccess files to allow Google Image search to pick up on the 500+ images stored on this site. When I reinstalled Drupal, by default it overwrote the .htaccess and came with its own restrictive robots.txt which hides the photo storage folder. Bang, Google obeyed and removed all the images from its Google Image search database.

Social media outsourcing can be embedded (Reflections on Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox)

The archaic need to keep users on your site and your site only, really isn’t relevant for modern web usage. The latest contribution from Jakob Nielsen ‘Social Media Outsourcing Can Be Risky‘, should certainly not put you off using social media and networks within your business. My argument here goes against his snapshot that social media causes lower usability and less user loyalty. If anything, it increases usability and develops new user loyalties.

Updating a large site

Apologies for not updating the site recently. Lots going on at work has encouraged me to spend less time infront of my PC monitor at home. I’ve been converting thousands of words worth of Word docs into pretty, clean, HTML ready for uploading to Moodle. Then (strangely) converting the tidy formating back into Word to make a book version (it all makes sense really). This ‘basket-weaving’ is a break from the other main project I’ve worked on recently: updating the Department site.

Murdoch charging for online news – seems a bit backward to me

The recent suggestion by Rupert Murdoch that he will be charging for online news provision starting sometime in 2010 goes against all intuition. Here’s my analysis and predictions. I mentioned the story to two people already and they both said ‘Well we’ll use BBC News instead…’ – who will pay for online news or celeb gossip? Not likely the target audience of celeb gossip (think about it).

Compare the meerkat

Compare The Market’s recent (and still current) ‘Compare The Meerkat’ campaign has undoubtedly become engrained in the minds of the UK public. On a recent trip to London Zoo, guess what everyone was saying near the meerkat enclosure? Three months ago, would we have been able to buy meerkat garden ornaments? 

The reason why it’s a success: 

Curve of clarity: Picking the right keywords

Choosing the right words to fill your webpage, or keywords for your ad campaigns can sometimes be hit or miss. Using the ‘curve of clarity’ as an idea, you should be able to choose appropriate keywords to maximise seo efficiency and also the readability and relevance of your site.

Key principles

  1. Words in common usage have high numbers of search engine results.
  2. Words which are specialist have lower numbers of search engine results.
  3. Marketese words, or words which mean one thing but are given a different meaning for marketing, business lingo or general jargon, have high search engine results when searching those terms, but low search engine presence when searching for the term those words actually mean in plain English. (See also: Plain English to help SEO and note that marketese increases bounce rates)


  1. cat: 905,000,000 results.
  2. abyssinian: 985,000 results.
  3. lap warmer: 62,800 results.

Curve of Clarity

 The curve of clarity has an arbitary scale, but you’ll get the general idea:

SEO long tail: use it to your advantage

One of the keys to a successful web presence has nothing to do with search engine optimisation. Though SEO techniques can certainly benefit the exposure of your site, what really counts is making sure the site has direction. Indeed for most websites, paying good money for a SEO consultant would be about as productive as posting junk mail to yourself. Search engine algorithms are being more aware of over-optimised sites and penalising those who attempt black hat strategies. Giving a specific direction, making sure your site stands out will help more than SEO for a generic direction.