Author: Andrew Girdwood

Andrew Girdwood

Andrew is an experienced digital marketer with more than 15 years in the field. He’s been Head of Search at bigmouthmedia, Media Innovations Director at DigitasLBi and is now Head of Media Technology at Signal.

In his spare time he likes to do more of the same; running his own blogs, trying to be an early adopter and finding time for a cheeky computer game or two.

The ASA will investigate SEO practices

The Advertising Standards Authority in the UK has a wide remit. In March 2011 this remit further expands, with backing from Google, to look at claims and sales practises on websites. It’s already possible for the ASA to investigate PPC campaigns.


Who did Google just smack? Performance cheats or traditional media buyers?

Google will make some important changes to their legal terms and agreements with agencies next year. It will force extra transparency and it is a good thing.

Let's speculate who they're going after...


Will Ask Jeeves be illegal from September?

Some have argued that the stalwart search engine Ask Jeeves could become illegal in the UK after September.

I'm not a lawyer, so I'm not going to offer any legal observations, but there does seem to be an issue with some interesting adverts in the search engine...


Google's official search agency and scammers

It's not widely known, but Google has appointed an official search agency. At least, this search agency works with Google in the United Kingdom, though not globally.

The problem over the last year or so has been that scammers have known about this agency and have made several attempts to impersonate them.


SEO-friendly affiliate links might not be so friendly

Every now and then someone blogs a clever way to turn affiliate links into SEO friendly links and the post always gets some attention. In my experience, though, you might not want to do this.


Three easy to avoid affiliate email mistakes

I'm an affiliate. I've been one for years. I get really frustrated when I get emails from merchants, or worse; their affiliate agency, that are useless. It happens too often and all these mistakes are so easy to avoid.


Free your blog comments from SEO and improve your SEO

This post is intended to be a whirlwind of the three main competing comment communities; Intense Debate, Disqus and the newly rebranded ECHO.

I know from experience people, still, always want to talk SEO when we start to talk comments so let’s tackle that head on...


Analytics fraud for fun and profit

It is ridiculously easy to use Google's personalisation features to 'trick' analytics and bid management packages. If you believe shady folk make money in outsourcing click fraud activity to low wage economies then it's easy to believe the same workforce can be used to make money with this technique.


What will Facebook's acquisition of FriendFeed mean for online reputation management?

Facebook is a little like Las Vegas.  I don't mean that you get pulled in by what seem harmless little games at first, only to become dangerously addicted and then unable to leave the place.


Google's eBook hypocrisy

Google runs the risk of a serious and potentially damaging investigation into monopolistic or anti-competitive practises. The search engine has been careful not to fall foul of the strict American rules but will a careless slip with eBooks cost them dear?

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Challenges from next-generation URL Shorteners

Digg recently released a URL shortener that doesn't take customers to your website. It wraps your website in a Digg frame instead. This presents a number of challenges.


Those websites Google does not like

While discussing the type of sites Google does not like some people may think of the (allegedly) leaked quality rating guidelines that (allegedly) came from the search engine. However, Google does publicly discuss the type of site it dislikes.

There is a document in circulation in the search industry which people claim to be a copy of Google’s 2007 guidelines to their quality testers. Google does use humans to rate the quality of the search results. Google argue they do not use humans to change the search results.