Author Archives: Sara

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 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 Analytics Tips – Setting up Annotations

Being a rather forgetful person myself I always find it’s useful to make notes, lists and illegible scribbles of reminders, (if I had my way the whole office stationery budget would be spent on post-its!).

Thankfully other Analytics users are just as forgetful as me, thus 3 years ago Google felt the must support their less brainally retentive user base with a great feature Annotations.

These are basically just little comments you can add to dates on your reports. Great for marking what may have caused peaks or drops in traffic, page views, goals, etc. where the cause isn’t instantly apparent, for example Email Campaigns, Temporary adwords Campaigns, any offline advertising or maybe your site was down for half a day!

Here’s how you add annotations to your Google Analytics reports.

Assumed Knowledge:

  • Your Google Analytics Login (if you don’t have this don’t even bother reading on).
  • Basic Google Analytics Knowledge.
  • Minimal Amount of Computer Literacy.

How to add Analytics Annotations

  1. Open the report you want to annotate in Google Analytics.
  2. Double Click on the date you want to add an annotation to.
  3. Put your annotation text in the text box that appears (max 160 characters).
  4. Click the save button, simples!

Congratulations you’ve made your first ever annotation! You’ll notice that a small speech bubble icon appears under the date on the report timeline.

Google Analytics Report Annotations

You can also add annotations by clicking the small down arrow that appears under a report then click the “+ Create new annotation” link.

Other settings you can fiddle with are whether the annotation is private (only visible to your account) or shared (visible to all users who can access that report).

But what do annotations look like in reports? I hear you ask. Short answer, not much. In PDFs the speech bubble icon appears under the date on the timeline but you can’t see the annotation text :(

Facebook Timeline Becoming Mandatory (How to Opt Out)

Facebook Timeline becoming compulsoryLast year we posted about the brand new Facebook profile layout “Timeline”. Back then it was an opt-in feature however, in the next few weeks it will become a mandatory update. If you don’t like it you can opt-out by sending a request to delete your Facebook profile.

As much as everyone complains about new Facebook updates and layouts I’d have to say this is one of the worst. It’s not just a small change it’s a whole new profile design and if you use it to its full potential, a new way for Facebook to gain more information about you. It also means that some unwanted or purposefully forgotten updates could reappear.

What do you think? Will you be boycotting Facebook, or have you found a real opt-out?

Let us know in the comments ( :

Keyword Tool shows up as Untitled in Google SERP

If you Google Keyword Tool today instead of the usual “Google AdWords: Keyword Tool” title showing up in the SERPs a less helpful and informative “Untitled” appears.

Keyword Tool shows up as untitled in SERP
Google Keyword Tool Title
Going to the page reveals that the page title is not blank or set to untitled.

Any ideas why this would happen? Let us know in the comments!

I found another!

While search in for “diamond football international” I found the title “nbsp; |   &nbsp – Diamond Football International”. I now think Google is changing the way results appear in the SERPs, instead of just the content from the title tag appearing as the result title it take content from other sources including the H1 tag of the page and content from other pages.

Google SERP Titles Changed


Nominate Your Favourite Twitter Personalities in the Shorty Awards

2012 marks the 4th anniversary for the Shorty Awards, the only awards that honour producers of short content on social media.

There are some 55 Featured categories and over 4,000 community created categories so pretty much anything on twitter can be voted for from Food Trucks to Comedians to Travel.

Voting is very easy as well and it uses, you guessed it…  Twitter!

Just tweet saying “I nominate @Username for a Shorty Award in #category because…”

You need to fill in the username, category and reason for your nomination or your vote wont count.

Shorty Award Topdeck Travel Nominations

If you vote twice in the same category only the most recent vote will count, so be careful if you re-tweet other votes!

The winners are decided after nominations close on 17 February 2012. The top 6 relevant nominees will then be short listed and a winner will be chosen by the judges in the Real-Time Academy. The most nominated user in each category will also receive a Shorty Vox Populi (popular vote) distinction.

At a short awards ceremony in New York some of the winners will be announced and winner will get to make their 140 character speeches.


So what are you waiting for, there’s only one month left to vote! Let the people you follow know you think they’re cool!


Let Facebook have your Whole Life Story with Timeline!

In the coming week Facebook will be launching a new feature “Timeline” to their 800 million user base.

It works a a visual news feed of your time on face book (and before if you want to add that).

There are 3 main parts of your Timeline; Cover, Stories and Apps.

The Cover is a big space at the top that allows you to put a big  image at the top, then all your details are below it.

Stories are pretty much the same as what would normally appear in your News Feed. This is where you can tell the world your entire life story. Including when you were born, adding baby and childhood photos, moving house, siblings born and anything else your friends probably already know about you (and don’t really care about).

If you go to your activity log which features everything you’ve ever done on Facebook EVER, you can choose what you want to feature, allow and hide on your timeline.

Apps are… apps, they appear on your timeline and show info about the app you used, eg. the Spotify app will show you top album, or song and anyone who sees your timeline can play that song in the app.

When you get timeline on your profile you have 7 days to adjust it before it’s put live, so you can hide all those embarrassing photos and Farmville updates :P

For more info about the Timeline check out Facebook’s Timeline Page.

Are you getting / have you got a timeline on your profile? Let us know about it in the comments!

New YouTube Layout

It seems like Google is giving most of it’s services a fresh new look this week.

New YouTube Layout

Click for larger Screenshot

When you log in you can see recommended videos, recent activity and subscriptions.

The list on the left shows some of your channel subscriptions if you go into see all subscriptions you can pin up to 10 channels to the top of your YouTube home page.

Another interesting feature is social network connections, if you’ve connected your Facebook, twitter, Google+ or Myspace (do people still use that) accounts you can see a feed of recent video activity and send and receive updates whenever you or your friends upload, favourite, like or comment on a video.

It all looks pretty cool, bringing a really social aspect to youtube, I now also have another way to spam all my friends with the stuff I like!

The World Waves Goodbye to Google Wave

Google Wave is DeadGoogle has now officially announced the end of Google Wave. Google has sent out emails to all users informing them that as of 31 January 2012 Google Wave will be read only and it will be turned off on 30 April 2012. If you want to continue using Wave there is an open source project called Walkaround that allows you to import all your waves from Google.

It was announced back in August 2010 that due to it’s lack of user adoption, mainly because Google tried to replace two perfectly good products that don’t need to be merged or improved, e-mail and instant messenger. While it was a useful messenger meeting tool I’m led to believe most users just played games and shared memes with it!

Now Google is preparing for the wave of the future Google+!






New Webmaster Tools Layout

Yesterday Google announced on their Webmaster Central Blog that a new Webmaster Tool Homepage layout was available for accounts that have less than 100 sites (verified or unverified).

New Google Webmaster Tools layout

The new layout shows users a brief health check for every site on their account as well as a small screenshot of the homepage.

There are currently only 3 issues reported:

  1. Malware detected on the site
  2. Whether any important pages have been removed by the URL removal tool.
  3. Whether any important pages have been blocked by the robots.txt file.
Right now, that’s not really much, but it leaves a lot of room to expand. Sowing any HTML or crawl errors could be helpful, or just have a small overview of no. of search queries, clicks and links if there are no errors to report.

New Bigger Google Sitelinks!

Google announced last Tuesday on the Webmaster Tools blog that some changes had been made to sitelinks.

Instead of appearing as two columns containing just links to the site in slightly smaller text.

Google site links own the SERPs
The updated version shows the links in full size text with the destination URL below and an excerpt of the meta description which is about 35 characters long.

The maximum number of sitelinks has also increased from 8 to 12.

These new updates are great for sites with a good enough page or link structure for Google to create sitelinks for them, however if a site isn’t structured well enough for sitelinks to appear it could look like your site is pushed further down the SERP due to the sheer size of the new sitelinks.

The average height of the old style of sitelinks was about 150px high, the new style takes up about 450px!

To put this into perspective on a SERP which contains no ads at the top or sites with sitelinks I can see 9 different results, whereas on a SERP which has a result with sitelinks at the top I can only see 5.

There are still 10 results on the page, but I’m even less inclined to click the ones further down (I’m quite lazy).

The lesson for today? Get your site structure sorted!

URLs should reflect the hierarchy of that page in your site and what category or categories (depending on the complexity of your site) it relates to.

Link structure is probably one of the biggest factors in ensuring you get sitelinks (it’s the only specific factor mentioned on the Webmaster Toools blog post).

The two most important rules of good link structure:

  1. Every page on your site should be accessible within 3 clicks.
  2. Ensure there are no orphaned pages on your site (unless you don’t want them indexed).
What do you think of the new sitelinks? Has your site been affected for the better or worse?