Author: Julian Grainger

Julian Grainger

Since 1996 I've been through supply, client and agency roles of various disciplines while managing to keep up with the rapid change that has been the norm in the last 17 years.

Now at Unique (part of the syzygy group), I work with some of the smartest digital media and creative people in the UK. We are fast growing agency servicing leading global brands. 

I'm part of a strategy and planning team that looks at all media and tactical creative options at unique and supports our creative agencies syzygy and HiRes with amazing digital media. 

AbuseRank: reputation monitoring takes centre stage in SEO

I've just picked up the latest improvement to Google's algorithm and thought 'oh dear!'. Online reputation monitoring just took centre stage in SEO once again.


Google Instant means linear targeting of search results

As an SEO, my fear is that some cunning paid search guru is going to steal my clients' business before searchers get to my handiwork. So now I have to optimise earlier words. The early word gets the worm?

What this means is targeting across the keystrokes in linear fashion from first letter until the search is either complete or a relevant result set presented. With everyone flapping about the who's and why's of Google Instant there are some of us thinking about how to game the system.


Lifting Google rank using social conversations

You can manipulate a website's rank on Google during a social media campaign using conversations that do not contain links. Whether this is an intentional ranking factor by Google, or just a quirk, it moves social media well and truly into the SEO space.

Some of the best things are discovered by accident. This happy accident discovered in Google’s ranking system has the potential to change how we use social media for search engine optimisation (SEO).


A Wikipedia page for SEO? Not always

About six months ago I was trying to figure out how to get a client past Wikipedia for the term 'spread betting'.

Most people know that taking on Wikipedia for rank can be difficult because the website carries so much topic authority and a lot of people link to it. So much so that Wikipedia’s authority can trump a very popular, useful website.

In fact, one of the main rules of SEO is get a page on Wikipedia. This shows a level of Authority because you are significant enough to be listed.


How Google detects language

There were some very good discussions late last year about geo-targeting neutral domains, focusing around pointing Google Webmasters at multiple XML sitemaps and country specific folders.

The next problem is how to target multiple languages in the same country for a multi-lingual website. I think I have found the answer...


Black Hat is back

While carrying out competitor analysis for clients I am increasingly coming across blatant black hat SEO practices that were once banned from the index.

Normally the process on discovery is clear. You report it to the web spam team and it disappears. However, lately the web spam submission form appears to be a black hole.

So is web spam, hidden text and cloaking now okay? Where has the web spam team gone?


Has the internet made it easier to hide from adverts?

This is important. As someone working in advertising naturally I try to avoid it at every turn. So are your customers. So how are they doing it and what can you do to thwart it?

Has the internet made it easier to hide from adverts?

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Don't close the door on the way out

Recently looking for contracts and jobs here (a long, long story) I noticed the very heavy competition for my viewing eyes from job boards. To differentiate they all had the best email list or an RSS feed for my favourite harvester.

This process has given me a clear path into which sites I'd use again. Those sites are definitely not the ones I'm still trying to get rid of now. So why does this matter? Brand, recommendation, customer experience.


Corporate blogs and other bad habits

"We need to be on Twitter," cries the CEO. But for how long, and what will it do to the brand long term?

The consistent cry from boards and management interested in the Internet is the always 'the latest thing'. Today, it's Twitter. But the Internet has bad habits. It keeps check of what you do. It crawls, catalogues and communicates all the past 'latest things'.

That's right. Those things. Those 'not latest' things. The things you were doing yesterday. They are still there.

See, social media isn't a campaign. It's a habit.