Extra Hours of Design

No complaints so please don’t read this as a moan just a vent 😉

Is it a by-product of design in the modern age that’s watered down by online bidding and overseas outsourcing, but margins are less and clients are looking to pay a lot less for a lot more so when constant contract work is available you take it especially in the current economic climate.

Getting the contract work on a guaranteed long term scale is great but then when new clients and old all come online at the same time wanting work yesterday it means working evenings and the scorn of the wife :-O

Mustn’t grumble it’s all good just thought I’d blog for a change rather than tweet.

http://www.designvent.co.uk

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SEO is great but not at the expense of the Brand?

Okay, to cut a long story short I’m a designer, I specialise in design predominantly branding but also over the years now code, build content managed websites along with the more traditional marketing. I also offer full SEO solutions.

In a conversation the other day with an SEO ‘specialist’ I was interested by his approach? To gloss over a situation he works in-house for a web company who predominantly run in-house projects but he does get involved with the odd customer but never delves into any other form of marketing but online.

The opinion was that the only thing that should be considered at the start of a web project is the SEO and all other elements should fit that.

My argument being that if that were so we would end up with a design industry comparable to a template era as there would be a finite design layout that Google liked the most, that be the layout that has the largest SEO footprint, the result being the one that everyone would use.

I then brought up the what about design question to which it was simple you just make that fit the SEO, okay I can see his thinking but that’s okay if you work inside a bubble of a brand that has been built that way from its conception?

So I broached the question … A large corporate comes along with a strong internationally recognised brand accompanied by it strict brand bible wanting a new website, good accessibility, and of course great SEO, me being a designer sees this as simple, I produce the design to the best of my ability within the brief taking into account elements of Optimisation with the SEO being added to its upmost once the design is signed off.

His opinion was no, start with the SEO and do the design as best you can within the optimisation framework as that’s what’s important?

Brand > Design > Optimisation

Optimisation > Design > Brand

Just a quick summary of an interesting chat which I’m sure happens a lot these day but it does raise interesting questions?

Who is right? I would argue myself but in a rapidly changing online landscape is the SEO Guru the man to lead?

Walking down the high street now seeing empty shops in still busy towns I agree with some is a sign of e commerce and online savings, I know shop owners who have closed down as they could not compete online or off with web wholesalers.

Getting you products online is key to success now, getting found is a fundamental part of this, but once there the design has to engage, and is a brand that in the past stuck so rigidly to its brand bible now okay to be forced to be flexible?

John Whalvin
Creative Director

http://www.designvent.co.uk

Will Social SEO? Be the end of Social Networking as we know it?

Facebook? It’s been around for what seems forever with a true stranglehold on the social network environment, it basically wrote the hook on how to do it, the problem I see is in what happens next. Recently in the news there was a story about how pupils were looking up teachers to see what they had been up to over the weekend and getting ammunition for the week ahead, okay you could argue that the teachers should know better and there are safeguards in place to stop this happening but this is the tip of the iceberg. It’s a guarantee that since it’s conception users have looked up ex-girlfriends, ex-wife’s, work colleagues, the boss, the girl or guy at work, the list goes on but but it leads to is a far tighter and far more strict level of anonymity that is required and that exists if you want it. I can log onto Facebook, I can adjust my settings so only friends can see my albums, I can pretty much hide myself so I cannot be found unless I want to be but then where does that leave the social media advertising?

The app, yes I expect 80% of my usage is via my phone as it’s convenient but every time I click that little blue button I first have to wade through the ‘insert company name’ is now friends with followed by on average about 10 profile pics and there is usually about 6 to 7 of these before I even get to anything remotely interesting. I can’t see that its just me who gets this and it’s not really an issue as it’s quick to scroll past, the problem I see is the anonymity?

I only share what I want with friends and I’m certainly no ‘friend collector’. I’m guilty of regular culls to keep that online list guarded but at the same time I also have a couple of pages and groups running which I have invited people to join as part of the promotion of events but here lies the problem, everytime a request to join a company or event or group happens it bring strangers one step closer? Okay I know they are only members of a group and not ‘friends’ but is this truly understood by users and ‘friend collectors’ and the trail between strangers and friends and what everyone can see or access?

I use Facebook, more for entertainment and these days I have more strangers than friends on my list. These are mainly from the VW community for which I use it to promote a business site and an owners club, I also have the usual business page for my agency which I’m guilty of neglecting on a day to day basis but I certainly do not chase fans or members of these. It’s getting to the point that unless you employ a Facebook guru to administrator your setup and day to day it’s nigh impossible to keep track of developments.

I still have friends and family on my friends list and from time to time post images of ‘family time’ for the relatives abroad to see hence regular culls to the list so I know who is seeing the info but how many people do this, I recently saw a user with over 2000 friends, nobody can manage this and this was his profile not his company, group or page and this is common place yet if you are on his list and not licked down it’s so easy for others to browse your goings on?

If everyone locked down tighter than Fort Knox would the online world be a safer place? or would it just be a boring one with no communication and ‘networking’ grinding to a halt and the main question the rambling post is unsure of is amongst all the confusion, tightening of access and anonymity where does the increase in social media advertising see it future?

John Whalvin
Director
www.Designvent.co.uk

There’s No Rhyme Or Reason To PageRank

Taken from Seo-news.com

No, when I use the term PageRank, I’m referring to the algorithm – one of the more than 200 signals Google uses to rank web pages. Personally, I’ve always thought that the importance of PageRank was overrated, and not nearly as important to rankings as it’s perceived to be by many.

Why do I feel that way? Because, whenever I do searches, I constantly see lower-PR URL’s ranked higher than higher-PR URL’s – constantly! Figure that one out. Also, I’ve seen my own PageRank decrease, while my traffic and sales continue to increase. That sealed the deal for me.

Besides, you can’t control your PageRank, so why worry about it? There’s absolutely no rhyme or reason to it. It’s been my experience that the best way to improve your rankings is to play by the rules, and use common sense practices. That includes making sure your content is relevant to your keywords, and your keywords are relevant to the overall theme of your site.

Also, have a fast loading, user-friendly site, continually build up your site’s content, acquire as many quality, relevant backlinks as you possibly can, then let the proverbial chips fall where they may.

Now, let me state for the record, I am NOT an SEO expert, nor do I claim to be one. Unfortunately, neither are a bunch of other folks who write articles discussing PageRank like they know what they’re talking about. I can assure you, many of them DON’T. They’re simply parroting what they’ve heard elsewhere – often dispensing misinformation.

That’s why I decided to write this article – to give you the “true” facts about PageRank – not speculation or hearsay. All of the pertinent information presented in this article was gleaned from highly respected and acknowledged sources, top level SEO professionals and Google insiders – people who know what they’re talking about.

So, what do the experts think about PageRank and its importance – or lack thereof? Continue reading and see for yourself.

http://www.sitepronews.com/2011/06/01/google-pagerank-seo-treasure-or-fools-gold-what-the-experts-say/

http://www.designvent.co.uk

 

What Google Thinks About PageRank

Taken from Seo-news.com

Let’s get started by going straight to the horse’s mouth. This is what Google itself says about PageRank:

“Don’t bother thinking about it [PageRank]. We only update the PageRank displayed in Google Toolbar a few times a year; this is our respectful hint for you to worry less about PageRank, which is just one of over 200 signals that can affect how your site is crawled, indexed and ranked. PageRank is an easy metric to focus on, but just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s useful for you as a site owner. If you’re looking for metrics, we’d encourage you to check out Analytics, think about conversion rates, ROI (return on investment), relevancy, or other metrics that actually correlate to meaningful gains for your website or business.” (Source: Google Webmaster Central FAQ)

Google’s Director of Research, Peter Norvig, said that PageRank is overhyped and probably needs a new name. Norvig went onto say that the public’s focus on PageRank is misguided and it may be time for a new name.

“One thing that I think is still overhyped is PageRank. People think, yeah, you do this computation on the web graph and then you just order all the pages by that [PageRank]. Yes, that computation is important but it’s just one of many things. And people say, “Oh, well you’re stuck if you don’t have that.” We never felt that way. We never felt that it was such a big factor. It’s got the catchy name and the name recognition, but we’ve always looked at all the available data.” (Source: Search Engine Land)

http://www.sitepronews.com/2011/06/01/google-pagerank-seo-treasure-or-fools-gold-what-the-experts-say/

http://www.designvent.co.uk