What is Phwittering?

Over the last few days, I’ve been followed by _stuntdubl_ , _rustybrick, and _randfish_ to name just three on Twitter. None of these were the genuine article… as is obvious by the trailing or preceding underscores. They are phishers on Twitter trying to make you think their posts are from people “in the know” (Which I’ve just called Phwittering). The real Twitterers are, by the way, Rustybrick of SE Roundtable fameand Todd from Clientside.

The real giveaway is how many people follow back. I looked at the _RustyBrick Phisher and over 60 people had followed back (out of 2900 that the phisher had started to follow) so even in the world of the informed, a huge percentage are getting sucked in.

The moral? Don’t follow people you don’t know!


Contest to redesign my blog

Would you like to win US$700 in the next few days? I have set up a contest to rebrand my blog on 99designs with this design brief. You don’t have to do the HTML Markup. No offence but I’ve chosen Joost to do that, on the basis that his reputation will be tarnished irrevocably if he didn’t do a good job :).

I decided I really needed something of my own after it was pointed out that Mary Bowling – another SEO – was using the same WP theme. Hers started in December 2007 and mine started a little earlier, in the October, but that’s the trouble with GNU licenses. Anyone can and should use them. I’m not bitter Mary! 🙂 The theme will be all yours soon.

So here’s to hoping someone comes up with a good design. The competition is open for another 6 days… 23 hrs… from the when I posted this.

WIN US$700 for a rebrand of dixonjones.com in a competition at 99designs.com.

Interviewed by Microsoft

I got interviewed by Microsoft on PPC for small businesses and put it in a Podcast. I feel I should put an exclamation mark there… except that there really are far too many exclamation marks on blogs. Still – I hope someone listens to it.

My biggest claim to fame was being on Radio 4’s Breakfast time 25 years ago when I was president of my Students Union and tuition fees. Getting quoted on the BBC Website was pretty cool too (back in 2003). I was also on a quiz show called the “Memory Game” on TVB in Hong Kong when I was about 10.

But now I am a decade into search marketing, I think I better dispense with any MBE ambitions 🙂

Ooh… aso got some more speaking spots, including Iceland again… so I am also updating my Search marketing speaker page.


A Blog Link is worth 5X a Comment Link

Today I managed to work out that for every link that you get in a blog post, you’ll get 478% more conversions than getting a list in the comments following a blog post. I love taking a set or list of data and being able to use it to deduce something new.

Funnily enough, I got the research data after Kevin Gibbons listed 10 UK Search Marketing People You Should Know (on Twiitter). Almost immediately, Rishil added a few other names in the comments. (Rishil is my new best friend for mentioning me). I saw the post pretty early on, before it got well and truly Sphunn and figuring that it would go hot I went through everyone’s twiiter profile to see how many followers they had. Then – just now – I went through the same list 24 hours later and recorded their new follower count. With the exception of one “outlier” listed at the bottom, I could see the difference in sign-ups between those listed in the main post and those listed in the comments. On average – over the 24 hour period – the main posters increased their followers by 43, whilst those in the comments increased their followers by 9. So the post links were nearly 5 times more valuable in terms of “conversions” than the comment links.

Whilst the way of generating this data is a little “off the wall” I think it stands up reasonably well as a way to measure. On its own you couldn’t call it scientific, because during that time people may have followed for other reasons, but that back ground noise will only server to up 478% a little – so rounding still end up with a five times increase.

So now you know – something to tell your clients. Getting cited in a blog post is five times more valuable than being cited in a blog comment – given that the citations are similar in context.

Top UK Search Bloggers on Twitter

Twitter Name Listed Follower Increase Blog URL
http://twitter.com/DaveNaylor 52 http://davidnaylor.co.uk
http://twitter.com/JonDMyers 46 http://jonmyers.co.uk
http://twitter.com/AndrewGirdwood 46 http://blog.arhg.net
http://twitter.com/patrickaltoft 49 http://blogstorm.co.uk
http://twitter.com/ciaranj 41 http://ciarannorris.co.uk
http://twitter.com/kevgibbo 41 [fixed] http://seoptimise.com
http://twitter.com/MelCarson 35 http://melcarson.com
http://twitter.com/willcritchlow 46 http://distilled.co.uk/blog
http://twitter.com/evilgreenmonkey 29 http://evilgreenmonkey.com
      Average Increase 43  
Listed in comments: by http://www.twitter.com/rishil    
http://twitter.com/tomcritchlow 8 http://distilled.co.uk
http://twitter.com/Receptional 13 http://dixonjones.com
http://twitter.com/lyndoman 12 http://cornwallseo.com/search
http://www.twitter.com/andyheaps 6 http://latitudegroup.com
http://twitter.com/robwatts 6 http://yackyack.co.uk
        Average Increase 9  

(List via 10 UK Search Marketing People You Should Know.)

Notes on the analysis:

Excluded from data analysis: http://twitter.com/Jimconnolly who increased by 418 followers, but with 17,513 followers he kinda skewed results! Jim… while I am here… that’s WAY too many.

Free Web Based FTP Tool

Want to FTP some files but you are away from your computer? Or in a company where downloading and FTP program or using port 21 is blocked? Or most likely in an internet cafe (or indeed the WiFi connection at an Internet conference? Well here is a free web based FTP tool that I put up after being caught out one time too many.

To be fair, two clients wanted me to look into it for them… So that’s my New Year’s day sorted 🙂

Anyway – something to add to my growing list of Useful SEO tools.