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The new SEO: Search Engine Optimisation or Cauterisation?

The new SEO: Search Engine Optimisation or Cauterisation?

The new SEO: Search Engine Optimisation or Cauterisation?

It's not exactly the sort of thing you'd expect to read in the red tops but the subject of SEO (dressed up admittedly in more reader friendly terminology such as 'online profiling') snuck its way into the Sunday Mirror at the weekend. It is reported that supermodel Kate Moss has supposedly had her past 'cleaned up' on Google so that, when you search for the star's name, 'glowing profiles' and links to her business concerns appear on the first page of results. And as we all know, relatively few people go further than Google's first page. Search Engine Optimisation is now a multi-million dollar 'industry', with all sorts of people trying to make a buck off the back of getting your page to 'rank' higher than your competitors'; but the basic principles are the same as they ever were.  Simply put, if you make website content 'relevant' to the terms being searched for, then Google will rank you higher. If Ms Moss has really been tidying up her Google results then she's had a crack team busily at it, covering content at sites such as Wikipedia, Internet Movie Database and YouTube as well as her own. One can't help but wonder whether this story is more likely to be a case of sour grapes at the Mirror - has their own article been out-SEO'd to page 2?

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Newbie
However, Google is very powerful - could this story by Cory Doctorow come true? http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-09-17-n72.html (Quite short, well worth a read :-) )
Community Veteran
SEO is something I think PlusNet needs to invest a little more professionalism in to. Pale grey text just stuck at the bottom of the page, presumably to make it easy to not notice, really does look silly. The worst example of this that I've seen is on the webcams page, where it says the following: 'PlusNet webcams provide regularly updated live webcams with views of our Sheffield office day and night. Watch us working hard at PlusNet and have a unique wwwcam insight into our office live on our portal with our live and uncensored office cam. As an ISP with a long held reputation for openness and honesty – we are giving you live and uncensored access to our Sheffield office regularly updated webcams. See live just how hard we are working, every day and night, to make your Internet service the best there is.' [Emphasis mine.] Come on... 'live and uncensored' being mentioned twice? It's obvious what kinds of Google searches you're trying to catch there, and frankly, it looks rather desperate.
Plusnet Staff
TBH that's probably poor copywriting rather than a deliberate attempt at 'optimising' the page for page rank.. Whoops! Update: I've just had a look at that page (http://portal.plus.net/webcams/) and you're quite right (and I hadn't noticed it either). That is a very misguided attempt at so-called SEO and yes it is embarrassing. That'll be going in the morning then. That whole greyed-out text scene is so 2004..
Community Gaffer
I'd never spotted that. How embarassing!
Grafter
"live and uncensored office cam" Ha Ha Ha! I too have never spotted that! How bad is that! Task being raised as we speak, to get it changed Cheesy
Grafter
on the subject of the homepage - cheers for posting up. We're going to rework our homepage to have better natural searchability. If we don't do this in March it will come in April. Why so long? We're currently working on a minisite and the business product pages - but I agree! :-) We're due an update. HTH
Plusnet Staff
..the subject of Be3G's post was the webcams page Wink Anyway, what do we think of the 'cleaning up Google' story? I thought it was an interesting slant on SEO. I wonder how much professional snake-oil peddling is aimed at reputation-grooming rather than improving the 'bottom-line'?
Grafter
"she’s had a crack team busily at it"
Hehe ;-) The twelfth result for "Kate Moss" is "EXCLUSIVE: COCAINE KATE - Mirror.co.uk". I reckon if the Mirror changed it to "EXCLUSIVE: COCAINE KATE MOSS - Mirror.co.uk" they would jump up a few places. Shuffle the query string around in the URL to put the relevant terms before all the meaningless numeric IDs and they'd definitely have a place in the top 10!
Community Veteran
Phil/Peter - my post was about the homepage as well, as it too uses the weird pale grey text at the bottom. I just picked the webcam page as an example because that was the worst what with the 'live and uncensored'. Glad it's being looked in to though... now you just have to ask yourselves how it even got there in the first place. Tongue
Plusnet Staff
The ahem.. embarassing copy on the webcams page is being replaced later today. The 'front of house' copy isn't too bad and will be reviewed at a later date; besides 'that' is actually working for us from a page rank perspective. Back on the subject of Kate Moss and SEO, if you type 'Kate Moss SEO' into Google right now (as of 10am on Thurs 28th Feb 200Cool this very page ranks second. Pretty good I'm sure you'd agree - second only to http://www.creativesuit.co.uk/blog/2008/02/26/is-kate-moss-using-seo/ Creativesuit's use of Kate's name in the page title would tell Google's algorithms that the page was likely to be more relevant to the search terms. Next time you're searching for a page in Google, have a think. How are the pages coming up first (barring the paid-for placings) doing that? 'That's' SEO.
Plusnet Staff
How fascinating.. presumably Google has spidered this page overnight and seen that the key words have been used in additional content, its algorithms determining that some 'funny business' is afoot and it has dropped the page from its results. It'll be interesting to see what happens over the next week or so.
Plusnet Staff
Well I never. This page now ranks no.1 for the search term described two posts above.
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[...] also been busy publishing blog articles over the last day or so, including a look at SEO, the proliferation of “emoticons” and an interesting look at PlusNet’s [...]