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SEO Job Vacancies (UK)

Monday, March 17th, 2008

As a lot of you know, apart from doing my own sexy thing, I work as the Online Marketing Manager at Further. To be honest, I’ve never been much of a “career” person and I’ve had a pretty diverse set of jobs from bowling alleys to solicitors to network administrating. In my mere 24 (25 soon!) years on this planet, I’ve discovered some things about work and myself:

1) I get tend to get bored with jobs. Fast.

2) Generally speaking, the people who get “promoted” in jobs aren’t the most talented people. They’re the people that kiss the most arse, sell themselves well and generally fuckwit themselves through life.

3) Office politics makes me sick to guts and the way people are managed normally gives rise to different social groups within a company, much like a school playground.

4) Large companies (generally speaking) = beaucracy = nothing ever gets done, the old is recycled and new ideas have the creativity squeezed out of them.

5) Money doesn’t bother me overly. If I thought I’d be happier working on an Emu farm in Nong Pu, I’d probably give it a go.

6) It doesn’t really matter how much you earn – your lifestyle has a scary way of adjusting and eating up and spare notes you might find yourself in possession. I look at extra money as potential free time, not numbers on a screen.

This all sounds quite hippocritical as I work very hard to make money and I’m always talking about making money on the Internet. The fact is, I think the best thing is the process – taking this vast network of people on the end of screens all around the world, working out what they’re looking for, how they do it and building business models around it. All from your own humble computer, creating something that millions of people can read, use, watch and interact with. The money is a bonus, but it’s the process, which is challenging, ever evolving and infinitely rewarding that keeps me doing it.

All of those rather cynical things I’ve said about employment (which I’m sure a psychologist would put down to underlying personality defects), drove me to learn enough to become financially self-supporting if needs be. However, last year I got interested in Further because of what I’d heard about them from people who worked there. Working from home has its benefits, but long term can be very isolated (especially when all your friends are at work during the day!) and can lead to stagnation as you can get trapped into only learning what you need to, rather than a broader holisitic view of the web.

So, I applied and was quite impressed and after a couple of months of e-mailing, I joined the Further team and never looked back.

Here’s some things I enjoy about working at Further:

-> There’s a really nice “open” office environment, which means there aren’t any “no talking” signs or clock watching. This means we get a healthy flow of ideas around the office and a smattering of interesting conversations/debates.

-> The current team/staff/people are great. Everyone is interested in what everyone else is doing and how they do it. Understanding what everyone else in a company is doing helps things run really smoothly and helps everyone develop their skills naturally.

-> New ideas are encouraged and the company is prepared to invest time/resources into internal projects. So if you think you’ve got the next big thing in your grey matter, Further will help you make it a reality.

-> There’s a brilliant balance of company strategy and flexibility. Everyone knows what we’re trying to achieve and how we’re going to get there, but there’s no reason it can’t be fun.

-> There’s great staff packages and free tea and coffee.

-> I’ve learnt more in the past few months from colleagues than I ever would have on my own. Whether it’s them telling me something, watching how the Further chiefs go about business or I’ve been inspired to close a knowledge gap.

As you hopefully guessed by the post title, we’re looking to expand our family and hire some SEO gurus and SEO juniors. It’s an office based role, so you’ll need to be within commuting distance of Norwich – or be prepared to move. (Our latest new induction, Ryan moved all the way from Wales to come and join us!)

So, if this sound like your bag, here’s what’s on offer:

Search Engine Marketing Specialists £20K+ DOE

Working as part of the fast expanding Search Engine Marketing Team, the successful candidates will be responsible for the execution of internal and client marketing campaigns. They will undertake integrated marketing projects, bringing their skills of organic search engine optimisation to the mix.

Currently 2 positions available.

Key skills required:

* 1yr+ Experience in search engine marketing experience with designing search engine friendly infrastructure
* Excellent knowledge of on and off-site optimisation experience and creativity with link building practises
* Track record of achieving good rankings in major search engines Analytical skills and experience using stat tracking packages
* Good understanding of HTML/CSS

Also any experience in the following would be favourable:

* Paid search platforms
* Monetisation strategies & platforms (CPC, CPA, CPM)
* Client/server-side programming (e.g. JavaScript, PHP, .Net)
* Web copywriting experience
* Marketing experience
* Viral / Social Media Optimisation experience
* Sense of humour

Search Engine Marketing Junior – up to £16K

Further is looking to expand its Search Engine Marketing Team with an entry-level search engine marketer. The successful candidate will receive full training in both paid and organic search practises and “hands on” client experience.

Key skills required:

* Basic knowledge of HTML/CSS
* Excellent English
* Good analytical/organisational skills
* Marketing & Business minded
* Creative thinker
* An interest in web technologies & search engines
* Sense of humour

You can see our full vacancies here or pop me an e-mail to: [email protected]

Posted in Black Hat, Digerati News, Google, Grey Hat, Marketing Insights, Microsoft, Research & Analytics, Search Engine Optimisation, Social Marketing, White Hat, Yahoo | 9 Comments »

Digerati Forums Launched & Competition

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

I’ve been putting together a fairly simple forum, to gather feedback and promote discussion on the SEO Tools. However, it occurred to me, I get a whole bunch of e-mails asking me about SEO, or explaining something specific in one of my posts, so I thought – why not make forums for everyone?

I’m pleased to launch the Digerati SEO Forum

I’m looking to get a whole bunch of you clever SEO people in one place and really push what we can come up with together. I’ll of course, be browsing around on a daily basis, so if you have a question for me, have mercy on my inbox and post it in the forum! (:

If you’re a Digerati Tools Subscriber then PM me on the forums (MarkDigerati) and I’ll add you to the Digerati group, which will give you access to hidden forums for SEO Tools members.

You say something about a competition?
Indeed, competition time! I will giving away a 3 month free subscription to the Digerati SEO Tools for whoever is the most helpful and active poster on the forums between now and the end of February.

Well, why not sign up and introduce yourself? :)

P.S. The signature links are followed, so feel free to get some extra link juice to your sites.

P.P.S Did I mention I posted a thread on how to easily get PR3,4,5 links to your site?

Posted in Black Hat, Digerati News, Grey Hat, Search Engine Optimisation | 11 Comments »

Interesting SEO Tools side effect

Friday, January 18th, 2008

As you can imagine, with the current roll out of my SEO Tools, I am keeping a close eye on their progress and how well they are working in different niches and on different sites.

I noticed an interesting side effect of the Link Backrub tool that we made. One of the tasks Link Backrub has to do is profile your inbound links, which means it has to use all sorts of techniques to work out where you have links from. One of the methods it uses to do this, is by tracking referrer data. If a visitor lands on your website, the Link Backrub bot will scuttle off to the referring site, check that it links to you and does a few health checks, making sure the link is followed and not present in the robots.txt file.

Once it has confirmed you have a valid inbound link, it will check that this page is indexed in Google, if not it will put it in a queue to get Google to look at it. Here’s what takes the biscuit though…

For my regular readers you would have seen my post on getting search pages indexed and dominating rankings. Now, obviously a lot of people find some of my sites via things like the Tesco Search. Imagine my surprise, when for one of my niche search terms I have my site listed #1, then at #2 a Tesco’s search page featuring my site as well!

Basically, the Tesco’s authority and having the keyword all over the search page outranked my ocmpetitors’ sites and gave me extra precious SERP space!

Posted in Digerati News, Grey Hat, Search Engine Optimisation | 1 Comment »

Get an authority link from Slashdot

Friday, January 18th, 2008

Howdy, guys! Hope you’re all having a profitable (and fun) January! I’d like to share with you a little tip I picked up on how to get authority links from sites such as Slashdot.

Credit where it’s due. My good friend, Andrew, from Dirty Melon shared this with me, so he’s been kind enough to do a guest post and share the wealth with us all….

Over to Andrew:

“If you’re anything like me you hunt for links like Sherlock Holmes on speed. And if you love a good trick, try this slice of BlackHat Forest Gateau:

1. Fire up a browser and get yourself over to Slashdot’s story submission page.

2. Bash your keyboard until you’ve spammed the form enough, whilst dropping a link into the “scoop” field which features your keywords.

3. Grab something like the Firefox Web Dev toolbar and convert the form methods from POST to GET.

4. Hit the button which says “Preview story”

5. Bookmark the url with something like del.ico.us, stumbleupon or onlywire (Note from Mark: basically drop links anywhere to it, to get it indexed)

Voila! You have a link from Slashdot – Now run along and chase your tail in the yard, until the happiness wears off and you’re ready to find 20 other sites, with similar submit pages to exploit!”

Pretty neat trick, huh? Now yes, before someone cries, “but that page won’t have PR9 like the homepage!”, it doesn’t matter. There is a different between getting links from high link equity pages and getting links from trusted domains, they are both important. Authority links are an excellent way to get a new website trusted in Google and get you off to a flying start to rank quickly.

As Andrew points out, there are actually a whole bunch of high authority sites you can use with this technique. We’ll let you figure that part out (:

Posted in Black Hat, Search Engine Optimisation | 31 Comments »

Star Wars SEO Link Building For Padawans

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Okay, there’s a Star Wars week on the TV at the moment, so I thought I’d examine who those damn Jedi (and Sith) would do SEO if there was a Google a long time ago in a galaxy far away.

Darth Sidious (The Emperor)

Sith Lord | Stealth Blackhat | Cloaked Linkbait & Reciprocals

As in the films, Darth Sidious will look like a nice chap to the casual observer, giving the people what they want while beavering away working to achieve his own goals. His techniques and naughtiness will go unnoticed until he suddenly outranks you. Or forms a galactic empire and enslaves your entire planet.

I imagine if Darth Sidious was link building, he’d do something like this:

Cloaked Linkbait

1) Write a brilliant link bait article and upload it to a new domain.

2) Submit the linkbait to Digg and then buy Diggs with Subvert & Profit

3) Revel in the glory of being on the first page of Digg and receiving hundreds of links for his article.

4) All the time he was secretly 301′ing the URL (only to spiders, googlebots and the like) to his dirty porn and pills site.

The Sith Lord’s porn and pills site just got a bunch of new links! Oh, well if it gets caught – you’re going down with him, Google thinks you just linked to a bad neighborhood!

Cloaked Reciprocals

Well, the Dark Lord does like taking advantage of the weak and ignorant. There’s a whole lot of juicy links to be had from noob webmasters on their geocities sites and such. So, if Darth Sidious was too busy interrogating Ewoks to write link bait, I imagine he might:

1) Set up a well worded e-mail, requesting a reciprocal link exchange to his website.

2) Use an e-mail harvester program to collect addresses of similar content websites.

3) Spam requests to 1000s of these websites.

4) Auto-generate a links page to anyone who links to his site.

5) When a Googlebot comes along to check out the site, show “rel=nofollow” on all of the links going to the links page.

6) Do an evil laugh because he just got hundreds of “one-way” backlinks to his site.

7) Force lightening the cat to celebrate.

Dangerous people these stealth blackhats. Their link footprints look fairly natural and they don’t get anyones back up with overt tactics, this makes them generally have a long life and do a lot of damage.

Darth Vader

Sith Apprentice | Aggressive Blackhat | Link Insertion & Spamming

Vader’s a dangerous one. Behind that shiny suit is an aggressive little blackhatter that will stop at nothing to get what he wants and he wants: YOUR search positions!

Not quite as subtle as master blackhatter, Vader isn’t scared to crash right in with some link insertion and some aggressive spamming. The aggressive blackhat, sometimes over confident of their technical abilities will use techniques such as using exploits to grab 60,000 links. Who cares what the cost is? Vader achieves his goal by inflicting his evil onto the web at the cost of others. Want a mantra? Think “Fuck Alderaan“. Do what you need to do to get the job done!

Jabba The Hutt

Fat Slug Thing | Social Cashhat | Social Cartels & Link Buying

Jabba The Hutt is a cash rich gangster, he’ll use his assets to get him ahead of the game and usually does his dirty work through other people. Jabba The Hutt in the SEO game would likely have close ties to networks such as TextLinkAds, PayPerPost and BuyBlogComments.

Jabba would be your guy on the web who has already made some money and can invest resources and cash onto these networks to get quick returns, suck it dry, then move on. There’s a lot of Jabbas on the web and they can do pretty well. Like all crime bosses, they’ll enjoy their time at the top, get busted (or taken down by another gangster with more power) and replaced by someone else. You’ll find it hard to take them out completely as they normally have their sluggy fingers in a lot of pies all over the place.

Luke Skywalker

Grey Jedi | Effective Greyhat | Link Laundering

I’m sure some Star Wars buff will shoot me down on this, but I remember a conversation at school about 8 years ago when a guy was explaining to me that Luke Skywalker wasn’t a “Light” Jedi because he used Force Choke in the novels or something. So, for this instance, I’m going to put him in the Grey Hat category.

I think young Skywalker would have an interesting approach to link building, not restricted to the tight code of your typical Whitehat, yet not the destructive path of the Blackhat which will lead to eventual banning.

I would imagine Luke would be using highly effective techniques such as link laundering to build a good cross-section of links. Not exactly what you’d call “white hat”, yet not really breaking any rules. A highly effective and somewhat unique technique.

Link laundering can be done with image hosting sites that link back to your site, tools such as the old school webcounter that links back to its source, or more recently there’s a whole bunch of social network applications and widgets I’ve seen providing links for their creators. WordPress templates are another source of inbound links I think Lukey boy might look into.

Strange little bastard, isn’t he?

Han Solo

Smuggler | Tech Whiz | Database & Longtail Exploitation

Solo was a bit of a tech whiz in all the films, hydro-spannering hyper-drives and giving mechanics kicks to bits of hardware. Not really in touch with the force, but enough knowledge to work his way out of most situations and into some profit.

I would see Han Solo, going to somewhere like Seocracy and buying a bunch of databases (possible borrowing money from a Hutt first). Using some technical wizardry, it is quite easy to set up a couple of pages that will dynamically pull out all of the content from the database and organise it into static pages. Voila, in a very down and dirty Han Solo style you have a potential money making site.

By channeling link equity effectively around the site, using nofollows it is possible to pour a lot of link juice into your long-tail targeted pages automatically. You’d be surprised how much link juice is inside a million page website.

While a Solo can get by on his own, he generally won’t get rich until he has a Skywalker help him out to get all those pages indexed.


Jedi Master | Guru Whitehat | Knowledge Spreader

Never using the link building force in aggression, Yoda is a content creator and the “go to” Jedi when you need advice. A Yoda will invest their time producing tons of high quality content, which padawans can learn from. Always kind enough to share, the Yoda will be omni-present on social networking sites in all niches, letting people know they can come to him for both great and helpful advice.

Think someone like Rand Fishkin, he has become quite the sought guru and looking at his blog, he spends a great deal of time just answering e-mail. The helpful nature, the content he produces and his constant presence over different forums and social networks sees him gain thousands of links.

Do remember though, even in the films, Yoda was hundreds of years old and to get to this kind of status and level. It can seem to take that long in the SEO world too! Oh, I guess Rand was redeemed from the Darkside a few years ago too – but we won’t mention that (:

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Jedi Knight | Bog Standard Whitehat | Social gnat

Did you notice how Obi-Wan’s ghost was everywhere after he “became one with the Force”? He was everywhere! Poor old Luke couldn’t have a dump in peace without Obi appearing to tell him how to wipe his arse.

Obi-Wans are pretty experienced SEOers, but they’re stuck in a bad place. They know not to travel down the path of the blackhat, however they don’t have the spirit to invest them self fully into social media and other channels which seem essential to being a “successful” whitehat (apparently there is such a thing).

Obi-Wans will set their site up search engine friendly, try mediocre content, not get many links and try and get involved in the SEO community in a number of ways. I would imagine Obi-Wan would be the kind of person who spends most of their time reading blogs and commenting, gaining referral traffic and the odd “followed” link, helping him in the SERPs, when the post is relevant.

A bad thing? No, not at all. If you’re ever going evolve into a Dark Lord or Jedi Master, you need to spend a hell of a lot of your time reading. Reading. Reading. Reading. Still reading? Learn everything, Whitehat, Blackhat, everything between and what all the industry leaders and creative speakers think about different tactics. Only then can you go blade to blade with a Vader and cut down Jabbas with ease.

If you don’t evolve in time, you’ll get cut down by a Vader and nobody cares what you think, because they’re too busy talking to Yoda.

Jar Jar Binks

General Fool | BumbleHat | Hangs out at DigitalPoint

Lastly, we have Jar Jar Binks. The person, um, “thing” that gives Star Wars a bad name. There’s a whole bunch of these in the SEO community. Unfortunately, I see a lot of them on Digital Point, posting on the hour, every hour, asking when the next PR update is. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some really cool people on Digital Point and some quality posts, however I seem to have to trawl through the “noise” of hundreds of yabbering Jar Jars to get near any posts.

A typical Jar Jar will spend most of his time on forums, asking for reciprocal links and asking incredibly detailed questions about PageRank, such as “precisely how many PR2 links is a PR5 link worth?” and asking life-reflecting questions such as “If I had a choice between 100 PR1 links or 1 PR2 link, which should I choose?”. They tend to also sign posts with “when is the next PageRank update???!”.

More interesting is how the others in the group interact with Jar Jars. Dark Lords will tend to trick Jar Jars into linking to them and exploiting any value their geocities sites have, while the Yodas of the SEO world will spend time helping the Jar Jars and training them, forming long term relationships. Which are you?

Who is the Force with?
The last interesting Star Warsy parallel I’d like to draw is between black and white hat. In the films, the Darkside (blackhats) crash about and cause a massive impact on the galaxy (web). They tend to get what they want to, governments fall, people die and the Darkside is pretty successful for a while. However, all of these techniques lead to destruction (banning in Google) and the “slow but steady” whitehats (Jedi), end up on top again. (Even though most of them were dead at one point).

Well, there you have it. If you want to get better at SEO, watch Star Wars.

Posted in Black Hat, Grey Hat, Search Engine Optimisation, White Hat | 31 Comments »