New Project: A Yorkshire Home

So it’s been a while since I have posted any updates here and may be a while after this one. Why? I hear you ask. The reason is my very good lady and I have purchased our very first home together….can we live in it…..Nope.

The house is a complete renovation project, so much so that we’ve started a blog about it called A Yorkshire Home. Hop on over, have a read and leave us some comments.

What’s the link worth of Wil Reynolds’ ‘How do they make money’ content?

So I attended Searchlove in London yesterday and @wilreynolds talked about his interactive infographic on how some of the top companies in the world make money, which was a test to get his clients to buy into this sort of marketing approach – have a look here to see it.

@heatherhealy presented an interesting approach to measuring the link value of this type of activity so I thought I’d give it a go to see if I could put a value to Wil’s activity.

In a nutshell – I estimate it has driven him links to the value of £76k / $122k!


  1. Downloaded all of the links to seerinteractive from MajesticSEO’s fresh index (as it was a recent piece of activity)
  2. Reduced the list down to either links to the page or links to other pages that referenced the content of the infographic
  3. Reduced that list to unique URLs – this requires a bit of guesswork but I basically used the page people had actually written some content about/embedded the infographic as the qualifier and removed any other links from that domain. The only time I didn’t do this was for platforms like Google plus links which are same domain, but different users (this is why my link count is slightly different to Majestics)
  4. I grouped these sites by Citation Flow score and applied Heathers financial matching to each group which is shown below.


What was really interesting is that some of Wil’s best links didn’t even go to the page with the content. He got a link from Mashable which had a link to his homepage. Talk about something money can’t buy!

Additionally if we assume an old style link builder can acquire 1 link per hour then they would need to work flat out for 12 working weeks to get the same amount of links this content has already driven – a great resource efficiency.

Closing thoughts: A fantastic piece of content, seeded well socially has driven massive commercial link value and efficiencies in resource. I don’t think Wil is going to have any problems getting client sign off for creative content in future.

What are your thoughts – any enhancements to the methodology? – sound off in the comments below.

Blog Interviews: Great unique content that drives links

It’s all well and good having a great blog that you find interesting, but if nobody knows about it you may as well call it a day. The life blood of blogs is third-party exposure and one of the best ways to do this is by creating interviews as blog posts.

Blog Interviews: The Method

There is a reason why blog interviews work well. They are usually interesting pieces of content that as a minimum are shared by the person you are interviewing on all their channels e.g. twitter, G+ etc all of which are quality back links. They have the additional benefit that anyone who is interested in the person you are interviewing (if you get an interesting quote) will likely share it as well. All of these links help you ranked for long tail keywords which gets you more traffic, which it self drives more links. The hardest part is getting started.

The Key to Blog Interviews: Pick an Expert

Everybody would love to interview Britney or Bieber but it’s just not gonna happen – they are ruled by their agent and in reality you are wasting your time. Your blog will most likely be on a specific subject. Take that subject and research the experts in that space. The key: look for experts who are slightly past their peak! Think about it, the head of Disney Parks today is unlikely to give you the time of day, but the head of Disney Parks from 1990 will likely be open to an interview about ‘theme park design’ and the information he has in his head is as valuable as it gets to your user base….and Google. A good place to find experts is to use the ‘expert’ search on

Approaching an Expert

You’ve found your expert; try not to waste that research by mucking up the approach. The best way I have found is a simple, highly personalised email with the subject ‘Interview Request’ (I wouldn’t ignore that if it landed in my inbox). Write about how you found them, why you are interested in them and what you’d like to do. Usually, even if you have to follow-up a few times you will get a high success rate.

Getting buy in for your Blog Interview

So you’ve got the interview and written it up / posted a video, don’t forget the last and most simple step. Share it on your own channels e.g. Twitter but also let the person you’ve interviewed know that it is live and send them a link. Before you know it, they’ll be sharing it with their circles and you’ll have a great bit of content that has been endorsed by some back links from related sources that Google can pick up on.

Enjoy – if you have any other top tips please feel free to post them in the comments.

Approaching Integrated Marketing

Just attended the keynote panel on day 3 of SES San Francisco about Integrated Marketing featuring;

  • Michael Kahn, Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Global Accounts,
  • Mark Huffman, Integrated Production Manager, Procter & Gamble
  • Corey Kahn, Group Search Director, Ogilvy
  • Giovanni Rodriguez, Co-Founder and CEO, SocialxDesign

The panel discussed a holistic approach that can be used to underpin integrated marketing for any business or agency.


  1. Define a clear idea first that you want your audience to embrace
  2. Define the goal that you want to achieve and map out all of the touch points that your audience will be using that you can engage with them on
  3. Start to map out a strategy for each one of those touch points, remembering your goal. Drag in experts from each area of your business/agency at this stage if needed
  4. Set up a single data view to measure the overall performance of your integrated marketing approach, making sure that the data can tell you how each touch point contributes to the overall success.
  5. Deploy and measure

Sounds pretty simple right but it’s amazing how many people start at looking at single silo touch points to start and then measure performance of that deployment only And that means your marketing is never going to be as effective as it could be. The panel then went on to say their single top tip on how to get the ball rolling on Integrated Marketing.

Top tips for getting integrated marketing rolling

  • Giovanni Rodriguez: Start to think about how search & social work holistically. Search is a discovery channel and Social is a connecting channel. Looking how they come together is key
  • Mark Huffman: Find a Integrated Marketing Champion. Look in your company or agency for the risk takers who adopt a ‘learn by doing’ approach. These people given the approach above will drive integrated marketing forward for your business
  • Corey Kahn: Corey agreed with Mark but added that it was essential to break down silo’s. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your channel experts internally or at your agency to ask them what they are doing to force the issue and see how you can work together
  • Michael Kahn: Take a step back at the beginning and ensure that you ask yourself or your agency; Have we considered what our goal is and all the touch points of our audience?

Overall a session I really enjoyed and something I’ll be taking back and enhancing our own integrated marketing approach at Stickyeyes in the UK.

If you have any additions for making a success of integrated marketing for your business please add them in the comments below.

Top Takeaways from The UK Search Conference 2012

Yesterday I attended this conference, set up by @dontpanicevents, chaired by Richard Gregory (@SmartRich) and sponsored by Manual Link Building (@search_magician). The aim was for anybody who won an award at the #searchawardsgave a quick presentation of why they won.

It was slightly strange to start as you are presenting mainly to your own competitors, but it is one of the most interesting and insightful conferences I have been to in a long time. Everyone got in the spirit with loads of questions flying around (encouraged by the round table seating rather than cinema style row seating) and generally it was excellent.

I’d thought I’d do a quick post on some of the key takeaways that came out of today for me (along with a credit for people who mentioned them).

1. Google Plus is more amazing than I thought

It also has a growing impact on the research phase of any purchasing decision through its ability to easily share content from multiple sources. Check out the amazing and funny video below for an example:


Now see how far that has ‘rippled’ in Google Plus and who drove that. Imagine that for the research phase of any product purchase.

Google Plus Ripple Reach2. Websites need to work for, not against the user

The video below shows how most companies websites would work if they were real world shops and how ultimately this loses you loads of customers (insightful and funny).

Both takeaway ‘s driven by @mattjbush

3. Just get started

Don’t over think an idea to the point of not doing anything. The SEOptimise blog started as a very simple idea back in 2005 and is now one of ‘the’ blogs in the industry with over 400k visits a year.

Takeaway via @kevgibbo

4. Big Brother really is watching

An oldie but always a goodie. Google & Facebook really know everything about you. You’d think you need to sign up to these services to provide them personal data, but any website page that has a Google + 1 or Facebook Like button on it is sending information about your internet browsing habits back to each company. In short, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that avoiding Chrome will keep you from Google’s date capture.

5. True ‘Social Search’ is on the way

But its in baby little steps designed to make you not realise it’s happening. Soon enough your Google results will probably be personal to you and only you, and heavily influenced by the authority subjects of people you ‘trust’ aka engage with in social/email.

6. Authority rank for individuals will become an increasingly commoditisable entity

As individuals that are heavily followed across channels, start influencing search results by what they are talking about, they will become authority hubs that companies want to leverage. In short, they can sell their influence to the highest bidder. Celeb’s of Search anyone?

Three takeaways via @basvandenbeld

7. PPC click-through tactics in SERP meta descriptions

Smiley’s in your META description can/may give a bit of organic search standout to try and boost click-through rate (see left).

Takeaway via @Koozai_Ollie

8. Keyword (selection) is still king

Using the ‘rising stars’ lists within Google Insights for Search can provide lower cost, high converting keywords that are still relatively un-competitive initially.

9. Vanity vs. Sanity Keywords

Clients can have a set of vanity keywords they want to be visible in PPC or SEO for, but it’s important as an agency to balance these with sanity keywords that drive performance.

Both takeaways via @tomsmith1984


10. Links are still important, but start thinking about/acting on other signals

Linking is still an important factor in ranking well in search engines, but without getting the right mix that combines these with other ranking signals such as social (e.g. facebook interactions) & on-site engagement then sustainable, high rankings will either still elude you or if you already have them; drop off over time.

Takeaway by me @paulhuggett

Once again a big thank you has to go to all those involved in setting up the conference – an excellent event.

For the takeaways I missed please help out and ‘sound off’ in the comments section (give credit where applicable).