The Triumphant Return of Real-time Search

Here’s a snippet from a post which I wrote for iCrossing’s “Connect” Blog:

On February 5th, Bloomberg Business posted an article stating that Google has managed to secure a deal with social giant Twitter in order to procure its lucrative real time tweet-feed.

This is one of the biggest things to happen in SEO throughout the 2014 / early-2015 period…

Click to Read the Full Post

iCrossing Connect Blog Re-Post: The Triumphant Return of Real-time Search

This is a Stitch-Up


Getting pretty tired of this one. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to advertise on niche-blogger’s sites because shady sharks keep stitching up our creative and literate web-kin. I know a lot of you are going to comment that guest-posting isn’t what it used to be as an SEO-technique. Very true! But let’s put that to one side for a moment; imagine you’re building ‘no-followed’ links – not for SEO benefit but instead to drive relevant referral traffic to your website (mad idea right!?)

You’re likely to be met with resistance when proposing a potential link-relationship of this or any other kind. Why? Because too many of us have been exploiting good-natured authors for too long. Maybe you haven’t paid your bloggers or have rolled back transactions hoping that they wouldn’t notice. Maybe you pay them late or use ‘caveat’ language in order to ‘get out’ of paying the agreed amount.

Shame on you. If you’ve learned one thing so far it should be this:


… and you know what else? They talk to each other. If you flout good faith for too long your short-term success will soon translate into long-term ostracisation and one less iron in the fire when it comes to link-building.

Being one of the known and trusted marketers when it comes to guest-posting is distinctly beneficial. Bloggers who think something positive of you will share their friend’s blogs with you, helping to expand your ability to supply your clients with superior rankings and referral traffic. Some blogs actually get decent traffic through their main feeds so you can certainly consider using blog-networks as an alternative traffic source to Google (as long as you no-follow the links to avoid penalties).

A blogger I was working with recently had this to say on his distrust of many online marketers:

A large U.K. company offered me a good amount of money for a guest post that dealt with classic cars. It was a good article, and I posted it shortly after I received the e-mail with the article attached. When I sent an e-mail with the live link and asking for payment, I got a prompt response saying they’d need to pay me the first week of the following month, because their finance department always paid at a certain time each month, and that time had passed.

It made sense to me, because I know of numerous companies that operate this way. A second e-mail the following month was met with an apology, and then the next 3-4 were never responded to… I took the article down about 3 months after. I lost out on a lot of money, which obviously was a pain as a website owner. Luckily, about a year later the company e-mailed me asking to re-up the guest post deal, only to apologize and send me funds immediately for a new deal. Not surprisingly, the other gentleman had been fired and a new guy was brought in to straighten out their advertising deals.

(Don’t worry! I asked his permission to post this story here…)

We don’t have these kinds of problems where I work and we take our marketing relationships very seriously. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Don’t promise more than your budget allows

Keep an eye on your budget. If things like changing conversion charges take you over budget regularly, pay only in your native currency. You can work out an adequate conversion with your bloggers pre-payment.

  • Don’t promise more budget than you can give just to ‘close a deal’

If you do this to ‘lock-in’ bloggers then you’re a huge jerk. Huge jerks don’t succeed in an industry which mainly concerns relationships and the rapid online transfer of critical information. You will be exposed and you will lose out.

  • Know what you’re agreeing to before you pay for it

Don’t like the post which the blogger has created for you? Have a problem with the feed it’s displayed in? Don’t think the type of hyperlink you’re getting is worth the dosh? This is simple stuff you should have agreed on beforehand. Don’t whine afterwards if you haven’t properly specified the needs of your client. It’s your fault – don’t push the blame onto others.

I know it’s frowned upon to go all ‘white-knight’ on the modern internet, but this is something that needs saying!


Stop Stitching-Up Bloggers

“Stealth Boats to Starships”

Sounds a bit ambitious doesn’t it? But there’s no doubt in my mind they’ll get there eventually! I’m doing a homepage re-design for and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s not every day you’re offered the chance to do some design work for the “World Solar Navigation Challenge”.  I’m a huge Sci-Fi geek and this is right up my street. I highly recommend you check out all their great work. There are some pretty fancy photos of boats that look like they came right out of Lords of the Starship or Star Trek (bit of a TNG fan myself).

Here’s an image of how their homepage currently looks:

(click above to view a larger image)

And here’s a ‘work in progress’ image of what I’m putting together:

(click above to view a larger image)

Obviously there’s a lot left to do. I still have to replace the images specified at the sides of the page (used for navigation). I’m really enthusiastic though and I think it’s going well so far…

That’s all for now!

– James

Homepage Design (WIP) for Solar Navigator