Why Google is pushing business through Google Doodles to questionable Search Result Pages?

And how this impacts later search results and AdWords performance of these websites? Today’s Google Doodle is a nice animated graphic of Tomato throwing festival in Buñol – nice work. Opposite to San Fermin, I love this festival. La Tomatina Animated Graphic Screenshot Google Doodle I was surprised when I clicked through, and I noticed SERP is for the keyword “La Tomatina” and on the top of the results I can see an organic listing – a microsite made for SEO purposes! La Tomatina SERP   I know this market quite well, and I used to compete with PPTravel, The company behind this particular microsite (That’s my connection with this SERP for you). Guys from PPT are seasonal spenders (PPC, Contextual, etc.) and heavy SEO focused lot. Ages ago they created a lot of landing pages and microsites to deals with all the events they have in their annually repeating portfolio (very simple and sensible solution in my opinion). For all of you interested my former client is no longer in the top section of the search results for this term after they changed their approach to the online marketing and priorities.

Coming back to  the point I know how hard is to fight for the top spots in this area and I know what money are generated for the next year bookings from all of these people who missed on the event this year. I wonder how such exposure will work for PPT in the long term (try to imagine re-marketing audience alone). Their “Made for SEO” microsite that is created to increase PPT’s main website search footprint.

It was earlier this year I came across a Google’s Search Quality team post about Doorway Pages (Sites) post. Pretty much this website from PPT does not represent unique content and you are diverted to the main website with this same content to close the deal and book tours or read again this same text ;-) – so…

After viewing “La Tomatina” SERP to which Google Doodle sends today millions of users I wonder:

1) When your “Made for SEO” microsite is legitimised? The moment it has over 5K likes on Facebook? The moment Google Doodle leads you to this page?

2) Should Google team send traffic from Doodle to such a business critical search results or should links from Doodle be limited to some non business critical (unless charity) to assure things like today’s “accidental” exposure do not happen? How about sending people to publishing based SERP “70th Anniversary of La Tomatina” instead of “La Tomatina”?

I don’t know, but this would be my choice of link for Google to consider for their La Tomatina Doodle

Please note I strongly believe product pages, microsites that allow us to pitch different elements to different audiences are a great way to segment our online marketing efforts. Whatever is the “dream” search output Google expects the duplication of content is unavoidable but what I am asking here is related to power of links like Google Doodle. With high profile links and traffic – is Google in right to promote SERPs that are questionable?

Email Marketing Mishap (Chelsea FC)

As an avid Chelsea fan, I didn’t have a very good Sunday as the team I support lost out to rivals Manchester City in a crushing 3-0 defeat. However, I had only a short time to recollect my thoughts after the game, when to my surprise I was sent a marketing email.

This wasn’t just any ordinary marketing email it was an e-newsletter from Chelsea. Originally I thought this might have been a commiserations email or something to do with the match as I had received this a few minutes after the final whistle.

But it was an email to buy training equipment from Chelsea, with an offer of free delivery on orders over £60! As it was sent so soon after the defeat this made me seriously question the timing (as surely they wouldn’t knowingly send out the email after a crushing defeat).

Although I have considered the following cases which may be how this e-marketing mishap occurred. The first is that they may have scheduled the email completely sure of a victory, so fans may purchase, after a victory over their rivals. With the only other alternative being that they sent the email without even considering the match timing.

In the first case the newsletter creator could perhaps be perceived as naive, in the second case it would be an unfortunate blunder where the timing, of all things, should be highly important. Both cases are more likely to annoy fans, rather than encourage them to buy.

From my knowledge of working in the e-marketing field, to stop this type of mishap happening in the future, I would set-up two email campaign’s, one for each possible result. With someone monitoring how the match result went (in the case of a draw, the most relevant newsletter could be sent) and then sending the relevant campaign, this may mean fans get the newsletter slightly later after the match, but it would be better than the campaign sent out Sunday immediately after a defeat.

Another way to have this completely avoided is to send the newsletter before the game. As this would make the newsletter relevant at the time of sending. Through either of the methods I have mentioned, the newsletter will most likely gain more and have a more positive impact on the fans.

To summarise, the situation for these emails being sent out immediately after the match needs careful review by the Chelsea marketing team, as their e-newsletters are wholly dependant on how the football team are doing and therefore the newsletter sending schedule must be entirely focused around this (especially for the UK Subscriber Base).

How to check Google Mobile Search update impact on your website?

Having access to several commercial websites that are not optimised for mobile, we decided to conduct few experiments to measure the impact of the recent Google Mobile Search Algorithm changes on these websites. Is still early days to see some bigger picture but since Google announcement about rolling mobile search changes from 21st April 2015 (just nine days ago) everyone was looking forward to the first signs of this implementation. Earlier this week we noticed the first signs of impact and now want to share with you solutions how to measure this impact on your website’s traffic. No matter how big or small your website is, you can start diagnose it now.

As changes just started to be introduced there is not yet chance to do full analysis (if you reading this after September 2015 you can perhaps see some bigger figures but for now we will see just some difficult to summarise traffic changes).

We thought we will share with you Google Analytics Dashboard solution that will allow you to check quickly what is going on your website with this pesky Google Mobile traffic.

5 Steps to check your mobile traffic condition after Googles Mobile Search changes implementation:

1) Log in to your Google Analytics panel: http://www.google.com/analytics/

2) Apply Google Analytics Solution

When you are logged in go to Analytics Solution: https://www.google.com/analytics/web/template?uid=MMRbXUA-QVqCP5vEqeOU-w

3) Select View

YouGooglE Analytics Mobile Traffic Tracker will be presented with simillar screen

From the drop down pick up view that you want to analyse for example “All Website Traffic” and click “Create”.

4) View dashboard

You will be now presented with 4 Widget Dashboard (2 Session Graphs and 2 Tables containing figures of your mobile traffic).

Mobile Traffic Widgets Google Mobile Algorithm Update

The Green circle and arrow shows widget with Google Mobile referral traffic (all) we pull all assuming if you have a website not optimised for mobile, you should not promote it on mobile in any special way.

The Purple circle shows overall Mobile traffic (all sources)

5) Adjust Dates

What you see at this particular moment is not yet very informative unless you know your traffic figures by heart ;-). To see an impact of Google’s change you need to:

a) Scroll up to the top of your Google Analytics panel to see dates selection drop down


b) Select dates

Think here about 21st Apr 2015 as a border date for now. From this day, Google is rolling out Mobile Search Update, which will affect all not optimised for mobile websites. Please remember this is not necessary the day from which your website is affected. You may see no impact for another few weeks or even months but you may also see the immediate difference from 22nd Apr. This article and our dashboard are created to help you identify this moment.

To find out, you need to play with dates on your panel. You can pick up compare this year to last year but this may not work as there would be a natural difference between these two periods. You can also do “current period” to “previous period” like we did for this example below with the border day 21st Apr. We would advise to do all checks and monitor your website every few days using different dates values. See below:

Select date for mobile trafffic check 21st apr 2015

1 – select date based on 21st April as the central date this period should be placed entirely after 21st April (for example May 2015).

2 – tick “compare to” box and pick up from the drop down corresponding period or

3 – set up one yourself using dates entries below – make sure they are comparable Month to month, etc. – This period should be entirely set before 21st Apr 2015 (before Google started rolling its mobile search changes.

4 – Click “Apply” and watch what is happening to your widgets.

If you could not optimiseMobile not optimised website your website, you are very likely to see a lot of “red” indicators with some sharp changes like these:









However if your webNo Impact from Google Mobile Friendlines Algorithm Changesite passed Google mobile friendliness tests before 21st April 2015 you should see something closer to these stats. You are very likely to see no movement at all or some various not sharp movements. Of course, this depends on your other activities in both selected periods – mobile campaigns, etc. The example above shows a drop in referrals from Mobile Google but this drop is insignificant. At this same time, local mobile focused campaign pushed overall mobile traffic up. It will be a typical situation when you for example sending an email campaign, etc.



From the above examples, you can see picking up periods to compare results creates very important part of your analysis. It can be only done by someone who understands what was happening during the particular time on a particular website. In general the solution above is for those of you who could not change their websites to mobile friendly on approach to 21st April. You can in this case at least check the impact on visits from Google mobile search and try to identify the moment when this happened. Of course, if your website is not fully optimised for mobile do not try to promote it on mobile at this moment. Concentrate on changes first and there are plenty of solutions available.

If you think about fixes for mobile you can check our “Web Mobilisation” pages.

if you used Absowebly’s Google Analytics dashboard solution, you can rate it here on Google Analytics gallery

You worked so hard you deserved now 100 sec of fun with flags! ;-)


Is EU law simply naive – right to be forgotten? – Blog Commentators stay Anonymous!

Excellent! It looks like after years of looking for nothing more than money Google is doing something fun now and uses its PR power to hit back useless regulators.

So here it is – we have Merrill Lynch’s Stan O’Neal responsible for a lot of mess in the past. His organisation had to be rescued by Bank of America to avoid total collapse.
In general one of these guys, you want to make sure you do not want to deal with and broadly believed to be responsible for …irresponsible bank management.

Couple of mainstream media including BBC published not very favorable articles about Mr O’Neal back in 2007. One of these journalists involved was Robert Peston.

But how many people commented on these articles – thousands!

Robert Peston BBC Economics editor decided to post information about removal earlier this month and track what is happening understanding there are possible comments to blame (02/07/2014)


In effect, the number of documents about Merrill Lynch’s Stan O’Neal is going to easily triple by the end of this month thanks to the vibrant reaction from the online community. However if this is not about Mr O’Neal but one of his employees who commented under article what the whole fuss about? Maybe this person is a banker now? A chairmen of some financial institution? Certainly several names from this list of commentators like Peter Dragomer or Robert Marshall become one hour celebrities and few articles about them also popped up where online marketing professionals try to investigate who’s name was responsible for Google message.

This is good warning for blog commentators. If you want to stay anonymus stay this way. Mention your first name Bob or Peter and post what you think. Self-censor your appearance. Just do not create censorship rules and make sure if you become in the future public interest person no matter if EU law works or not you won’t be forgotten.

This way or another censorship the EU way does not work. All gentlemens will be still featured in searches unless they remove all these pages that people created about them during last 24h. Reverse effect warning for any future attempts (so maybe as Robert Peston says this was not a removal filed by mr O’Neal – maybe this is part of some bigger game). This is how Google looks like today:



I just wonder how many visits this webpage from 2007 received over last few days – not forgotten at all?

We can understand this EU law can work for private cases, tragic and difficult life situations for people who are not involved in public life where some searches show things that can hurt or upset them & their families. However in respect of public figures responsible for our lives and money this law is a ridiculous censorship law. You can clearly see Lawmakers are still in the dark ages not knowing how internet works.


On the other side if Google would be able to react to these private cases earlier there would be no stupid law in place after all self-regulation is the best way to keep censors away from the Internet. Regulation on porn advertising from yesterday is a good sample of this type of self-regulation.

Say no to censorship if this is about public life and post your notifications of removal online with comments exactly this same way as Robert Peston did. Let others to know and share with #righttoberemembered

World Cup 2014 In Brazil on Google

With microbloging social media tools like Twitter it looks like Google is loosing field when it goes to live events. Simply news is there posted by people on the stadiums and other venues – not on Google!

However search giant reinvented themselves to stay in a play for the internet users. Company decided to go with live updates but not just that, they connected situation on the pitch to their interactive doodles.

World Cup 2014 Update Live - Timeline

I reckon it works as for a search engine but it proves Google should never enter Social Media battle using G+. They should embrace social media movement by feeding a lot of social media functionality to their search but they should avoid going in to the battle for supremacy in a the social media world. This same way as Microsoft failed to invade successfully their search field they failed to do this to Facebook, Twitter or even LinkedIn.


Approved (limited) – Human form and contact in Travel

Little quiz for everyone – picture below has been marked based on Google Policy Approved (Limited) Human form and contact - current bullet point 6 (the last one). Is this correct?

Based On Skin - Approved Limited

Approved (Limited) – Skin Exposure?

The policy states:

“Image ads showing tight clothing or exposed skin in areas including, but not limited to, midriff, thighs, and shoulders will be marked “Approved (limited).” Affected ads include ones that show real people or cartoons/animations with exposed skin or tight clothing that give an indication of breasts, buttocks, or genitalia, and ads in which adult human forms are in bodily contact. These ads won’t show on certain Display Network sites if publishers opt out of showing such ads.”

These especially words: “areas including, but not limited to”, create situation in which if Google wants Google can put any image ad with human being into this category. At this point publishers, bloggers may consider it “dangerous” and not allow to publish on their blogs. If you run religious portal about pilgrimage, you may not like kissing people in swimsuits on your website. Of course, you do not want to give space to any explicit content but… would you object to an ad like this? If you’re a regular travel blogger your approach might be the same. You do not want to have “sexually suggestive” content, but you want some money. After all you’re writing about Hawaii travel adverts on your blog.

Another view is that someone simply does not want some smiling people with open mouth, and white teeth on their website (fair enough) and I can also understand this but at this point Google’s own policy is a bit of a sham. The policy effectively classifies my guy on a bike as “sexually explicit” by putting him into one category with “Affected ads include ones that show… exposed skin or tight clothing that give an indication of breasts, buttocks, or genitalia”.

Is my guy offending anyone? Perhaps yes, but should he be in this same category as picture of tight clothing that exposes genitalia? Not that I can guarantee his jaw-drop is not a naked photographer and his hands are not on the handles of a bicycle but somewhere else ;-) but this I will leave to your imagination. Drilling this further you can arrive with another thought – maybe in this case Google tries to “Approve (Limit)” our imagination 0-(*)!?

Oh, Google if you create rules make sure they are precise as now we have a clear indication that you can moderate not only your natural algorithm, but limit advertising of companies by placing their ads into statuses that are not necessary clear to explain.

Of course what can you do when you’re up against mighty Google – we allow a company to expand to the size where only some anti-corporate regulation could break it up into pieces that would stop them effectively creating their own ineffective and sometimes very poor focused on revenues “laws”.

Let’s not forget travel industry itself which uses a lot of human bodies in their advertising. It is the industry that contributes plenty of money to Google’s revenue. We also know Google is after this market with their attempts to introduce flight search and other vertical travel searches. Is this one of the steps to take a bite from Expedia-like companies? Or they were threatened with legal action by religious groups?

For some reason, we do not believe they are afraid of excommunication after 15 years of ”Don’t be evil” policy :-P .

Let us know if you have more interesting info or pictures of undeserved statuses. Also if, you’re publisher within the Google Display Network you can shed some light on this from your perspective?

SEO Rescue: Avoid Google Penalties

Avoid Google PenaltiesWith all the new Google algorithm updates. SEO players have to respond using the correct Google guidelines. The biggest three updates that Google have produced over the past year are the Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird.

These updates have required SEO experts to ensure they’re using reputable search engine optimisation techniques. Don’t believe me just ask Rap Genius, who were caught spamming links back to their site and were subsequently punished for it.

The first update Panda was made to make sure that quality content was produced and if you were linking sites to a page that had no relevant information on it Google would penalise you for it. The Penguin update was all about back-links which of course was the update that affected Rap Genius. The final update released recently is Hummingbird which picks up conversational concepts and is again built to help show quality content.

A trend which has arisen from these updates is for Google search recovery services. These will help anyone who has bad SEO or been penalised by Google to get back on track using the latest Ethical SEO techniques and re-building a positive relationship with Google.

Our top 5 techniques to avoid being penalised by Google are:

  1. Quality Content – This is key to good SEO and a positive relationship with Google.
  2. Good Linking – The links to your site need to be referred from genuine users and sources and not spammed on either your site or others.
  3. Up to date SEO – Ensure you know what the latest Google guidelines are (normally you’re fine but we think it’s better to be safe than sorry).
  4. White Hat techniques – You may be wanting more visits but if your site is good enough people will come (Don’t attempt any black hat SEO techniques as Google will flag these pretty quickly and may take your site out of their search results).
  5. Don’t Dilute Keywords – We all know keywords are a good way to guide users to your site. However, over use of keywords in page titles, meta descriptions and content can cause your site to rank lower in Google. Repeated offences can cause Google to penalise you.

Stick by these and you should be fine (while improving web content at the same time). If you feel you have been penalised by Google and need help with your SEO take a look at our SEO rescue service.

New Rules for Domain WHOIS Contact Verification


New rules from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) have come into place regarding verification of WHOIS data on some domain extensions.

These rules covered under the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) mean that registrars take reasonable steps to investigate and correct inaccurate Whois data.

How does the RAA affect my domain?

If you hold a domain with one of the extensions listed below you will need to verify your WHOIS contact details or risk having your domain suspended until you verify your details. This would cause your website, email and any other services associated with this domain to go down.

How can I prepare for this?

Ensuring your WHOIS contact email address is up to date, as this is how you’ll be contacted to verify your WHOIS data.

You should be able to view and change your WHOIS contact details by logging into your domain registrar control panel.

You can also see your current WHOIS contact details at http://who.is by searching for your domain name.
NOTE: If you have privacy protection enabled on your domain you won’t be able to see your contact details here.

Affected Domain Extensions:

  • .aero
  • .asia
  • .biz
  • .cat
  • .com
  • .coop
  • .info
  • .jobs
  • .mobi
  • .museum
  • .name
  • .net
  • .org
  • .pro
  • .tel
  • .travel

Google, Google Everywhere…

It looks like we’ve had a lot of celebrations in September mainly due to the 15th birthday of our global search giant. Although looks like even Google was confused as to when their actual day of birth was, as nicely pointed by Andrea Peterson in her recent post.

As I write this article the last candles on Google 15th birthday cake have already melted icing and I suppose this is good sign to start looking forward to see where we go from here.
From pretty basic search engine which delivered results to Yahoo! in last century Google Inc. changed into formidable powerhouse of technology and data.

The question we are facing is Googlenet a day to day reality?
We do not “search it” any more we “Google it”. Google’s presence is so strong in our society we have mainstream media delivering information about the Hummingbird update making it more relevant for “BBC Hummingbird” query than some of David’s Attenborough videos actually featuring bird itself  (I won’t mention cakes results).

Of course there was a moment in our history when the only “hoover” we could buy was a Hoover and the only “kleenex” was from Kleenex but we’ve long forgotten about these times. It is a huge marketing success of any brand to deliver this linguistic change but times change and when we now proudly announce after coming back from shopping that we purchased a Dyson hoover, however this does not produce money for Hoover. Google of course is in the same situation Hoover was 60 years ago. We know there is a limited time you can carry on buying platforms and blocking technology. It is just matter of time. Who will be next?

At this moment Google, the seemingly invincible search giant looks to have taken over the world, but we believe a race to deliver more profit will create first slips in their iron-like grip of the world’s information delivery system. We move from services people used to love to infantilization and full commercialism. The Google graveyard grows bigger and bigger while at the same very poor money orientated services make their way online and top Google results. But touching someone’s business may create reverse industry actions. What interest have for example comparison websites to spend millions with Google AdWords  if Google decides to open its own comparison service?

Google Comparison Services

Moto X – Made in USA – Google to win US Taxpayer – Why?

Moto X factory in USA

source: Motorola

The news hit markets just six days after purchase of the Motorola Mobility by Google was completed.
The story is here and it is potentially big one for many reasons:
a) Google can make Android restricted for other users this will create bipolar market iPhone vs AndroMoto (ultimate Google Phone)
b) Moto X was announced to be the first phone to return to US production line – This is proper Wow! If you imagine the number of currently used phones in US that have been assembled in US.
We are waiting for trend here!
With horse meat in food, faulty extinguishers, poisonous plastic toys and other surprises from the market making us more aware about supplier chains. You no longer have a clue where the things you use come from. What is the real standard of items around you.
On the top of this we have the speed at which response to market changes and needs factory under your control gives you more flexibility and quicker response times. Google and Motorola decided to cut out the middleman and produce Moto X in an old Nokia factory in the US, this is faster and better from product cycle point of view. On the top of that PR connected to this assembly line will bring them an extra weapon against Apple.
If during next few months we will hear about more production lines coming back to US it might be not comfortable situation for China. Traditional producers of electronic accessories from Taiwan, Japan, Korea will stay untouched but Chinese assembly lines may disappear very quickly especially as standards in South America go up due to time zones and proximity to US companies see more advantages in working with Brazil than the Far East.
c) We have now proper Google “Big Brother” vision.  Motorola Mobility with all its assets including 17000 patents related to mobile technology holds enormous potentials for expansion. Google looks in to the bright future.

We will posts more about Moto X later the year as it will have significant impact on direct customer marketing. We will also look in to future of Android as open source platform.