Changing Jobs

November 8th, 2015

When I returned to Scotland one of the first things an employer asked me to do was to back them up in argument with the recruitment agency that I had gone through for the position. They were looking for ways to get out of paying the fee. They wanted to argue that the recruitment agency had not done enough to justify their fee. I actually thought sometimes the recruitment agency had done ‘a little too much work’, I was not convinced it needed that many phone calls and questions. My new boss did eventually back down and paid the fee is full. Older and wiser now I should have read his behaviour then as a warning sign, I know better now. There are still agencies that try to utilise the tactic.

I recently heard of a digital agency that had been contacting candidates direct after the initial interview. I wont name them, but the roles are still unfilled almost six months on. Ok, the company has a reputation as a place you would not want to work but falling out with all the local agencies will not have helped them.

I wonder how candidates would feel if the digital agency offered to split the recruitment agency fee with them, a kind of Bosman for the SEO world? It might tempt some I imagine.

I realise now several years on how important it is to have a good relationship with recruitment agencies. A lot of the best jobs go through agencies, can you see them putting forward someone who has stabbed them in the back on a previous occasion?

I have had some horror experiences with recruitment agencies. I could easily produce 50 blogs posts on one individual who I will not name who I am glad to say for everyone has moved out of the world of recruitment. Maybe one day I will write these articles and maybe even name them.

Credit where credit is due, I owe a big thanks to all at New Town Partnership, a new Edinburgh based executive recruitment search agency for my new job. I cannot sing their praises loudly enough. Good luck to everyone there and a big thank you from me for putting me a job that has given me back my passion for SEO and all things digital.

PS If you have not already worked it out, I have changed jobs

Best link bait campaign?

June 30th, 2008

At the end of last week I went for linch with a couple of friends, all SEO’s with different companies.  We caught up on what each of had been up to in the last couple of weeks, we chatted about what the new season has in store for Hibs and then we talked about work.

One of the conservations was about what was the most successful piece of link baiting that we used as well as what the most innovative piece of link baiting that we had devised.

It was the third answer that got me. 

The answer – getting the site banned in Google. 

Apparently the amount of incoming links in discussion groups, news sites and blogs made it all very worthwile.

Not only did people link to the banned site but apparently competitors wanting to put the boot in linked to the SEO company site as well.

After a couple of days exchanging emails with Google the site was back in the index with a seriously increased link strength. The website of the company also enjoyed a serious boost in its rankings positions.

Did they set out with the plan to get the site banned? I never got straight answer.

The three of us wind each other up, do I think that he is winding me up this time? Strangely enough I dont.

Can SEO improve your sex life?

May 30th, 2008

There have been many claims about the benefits of SEO but a friend’s claim that you could use it to improve your love life was a new one by me. His master plan is to run a brand reputation management campaign in reverse against a certain well know fashion house. This should be enough in his mind to impress an activist he met while she was on a picket. He develops an online activism strategy and she will fall for him. Is he cunning like a fox or even more deluded than normal?


Google bombs are funny for a day or two and they also show that the perpetrators are intelligent. The main drawback with Google bombs is now people really type in miserable failure as a search? His idea is that you go for the brand term and rip their reputation to shreds on that. You use similar tactics to Google bombing but you also post a shed load of articles and reviews that are malicious to say the least.


Nobody worked out what the value of online sales is to this company or even considered what damaging their reputation could mean in financial terms to this company. He has not even worked out how much work is going to be involved. His main, alright only KPI was getting a date with this activist.


My first thought on the whole thing was negative, no offence to him but she is way out of his league. Second thought is that it is going to be interesting to see if how much damage he can do and how the company will respond. They spend a lot of money online but that is on fancy Flash designed sites and banner adverts on a few selected sites. If he is successful I don’t think they will have any quick responses to combat it available to them. If that is the case and it does enough damage will they bow to pressure? If he is successful should I step in and offer them a full social reputation management campaign? The most likely outcome is that like most other things he starts that the whole thing will never see fruition, likely because he meets another woman that he has a crush on.


Since I agree with their cause, the group’s website in case anybody is wondering is Edinburgh Fur Free City. I will post back next week if anyone knows if the tactic was successful, with the girl, the online activism will take a bit longer to work.

Why am I not No 1 in the search listings?

May 29th, 2008

I am just off the phone from a client who wondered why they are not number 1 for every keyword related to their industry in Google, Yahoo and MSN. They are genuinely angry that they are not the top of rankings for every term imaginable.


What explanation do you give a client when they are screaming abuse down the phone at you about their lack of top positions?


Firstly I tried to point out that I did not guarantee them number 1 positions for every term.


I tried to explain that it has been less than two month since the site went up, they operate in a very competitive market place and it might just take a bit longer to get to some good SERPs.


I asked them if they had implemented any of the changes to the site that I had recommended to them. They told me that they had read to what I had to say and that they had chosen to ignore the advice that I had given them. In their words, the flash navigation looked cool and adding some alternative links would ruin the look of the site. Fair enough, I thought, a problem, but I can live with the challenge.


Apparently all I need to do is to buy enough links and hey presto, they will be monopolising the results pages of all the major engines. We had a discussion about this and apparently where I have been going wrong is not outsourcing my link building to companies in India.


I asked them if they wanted me to concentrate on this at the expense of the rest of the SEO campaign. They told me that this is the way the wanted to go with their SEO campaign. I asked them if they could make a couple of small changes to the site that might help if we are going down this route. They enquired about the size and time these changes would make. Not long I said. They said they would consider these changes. They asked what would be the most important change to make. I had to think about this. I guess the best thing would be to make a change to the Robots.txt file, would they stop blocking all the engines from indexing the site? They have agreed to ask their IT department if they will be happy to make this change.


I know that this is going to be the start of a beautiful working relationship.

With our ‘blog’ thoughts, we make the World!

April 24th, 2008

Elemantal forces caused the egg to hatch, from it then came a stone Monkey. The nature of Monkey was irrepressable!” “Born from an egg on a mountain top,

I imagine that when the so called wise men were inventing the internet and wondering about how it would transform our lifes they never realised that they were giving a platform for people like me to disseminate our thoughts and ramblings to a greater audience. I guess its true then that with intelligence does not come knowledge.