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Alec Sharratt

Alec Sharratt

Alec Sharratt will be writing about his passion; the technical aspects of search. Well experienced within the IT industry, Alec has bags of knowledge on everything technical from simple spreadsheets that will save you hours right up to news and tips to make search that little bit easier.

Blog Posts, Videos and More

  • Alec Sharratt

    The title of this post is intended to be a little tongue in cheek; clearly you will almost certainly not want to get your website kicked out of Google – although it is surprising how many website owners do seem to achieve this goal anyway. So in order to save this minority of people some time, I have decided to write a guide on how best to go about getting your site booted out of the world’s most used search engine. This is the fast track guide and spares no time for ethical tactics that will not get you banned or wiped from their index.

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  • Alec Sharratt

    If you are practising SEO at home or you are new to SEO and want to get the inside scoop on what tools to use to make your workflow more efficient, then this post should help you out. My colleagues and I all work in a very professional environment, using the best tools that we can find but these tools often cost hundreds or thousands of £’s. When I work at home on my own personal projects I find that I need a comparable set of tools – albeit on a significantly reduced budget.

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  • Alec Sharratt

    How to Resolve the Canonical Issue on Your Website

    What is the canonical issue?

    A canonical issue arises when 301 redirects are not properly in place. This means that your website can be accessed by search engines from several different URLs. This means that search engines can then potentially index your site under different URLs, meaning that it will look like a site of duplicated content.

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  • Alec Sharratt

    Despite the action packed title this is a very serious topic, malicious attacks on websites are nothing new, and are certainly something Sony are very familiar this week. Botnets for example have been used in the past by hackers and programmers to create distributed computer networks in order to cause denial of service attacks on websites. Often a denial of service attack would be used to blackmail or threaten a company into giving the website assassin money in exchange for ceasing the attack.

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  • Alec Sharratt

    As many of you will have heard, in just a few weeks (25th May) the giant nanny state of Europe is to cough forth a law on the use of cookies, one of 3,000 laws generated each year by the EU. If you use Pay Per Click advertising or if you use Google Analytics you will fall under the jurisdiction of this new law, in fact nearly all European websites will be effected. In fact anyone who advertises in Europe will be affected by them.

    So what is it?

    Well the new directive stipulates that explicit consent must be gained from every site visitor in order to install cookies on the visitor’s computer. That is being interpreted by most people as requiring some sort of pop up style consent form that asks visitors if they agree to allow specific cookies to be installed.

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  • Alec Sharratt

    The debate

    It was a beautiful day in sunny Brighton, one of my favourite places, as a full house of 250 search professionals, hobbyists and practitioners were seated in a theatre at Brighton University for the conference. The day kicked off with a deliberately provocative debate titled “Is SEO doomed?” This instantly sparked hot and, in some cases, furious comments from both the rather candid speakers and the audience.

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  • Alec Sharratt
    Enabling Gzip Compression

    Enabling Gzip compression is commonly suggested by Google and many other sources as being an important step in reducing website load times. For me personally it is a mandatory step in either the website construction or the Search Engine Optimisation process. You can detect whether Gzip compression has been enabled on the server by visiting the following website GidNetwork.

    Like image optimisation this is a topic unto itself and does require some coding, fortunately like most code you can copy and paste it without having to understand it!

    Gzip compression will compress certain file types; HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It will not compress images, video or music; this should be compressed using another method or tool. We discuss these in other articles.

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  • Alec Sharratt

    Images are nearly always the largest item on a page and if you have icons for “contact us” and “home”, a company logo, ticks or crosses, background images etc; all of a sudden you can have an overweight website, rather than a toned athletic one!

    • Reduce Image Size: there are a number of ways of doing this, if you are using a more advanced piece of software there is likely a “save for web” option in the file menu which will usually reduce file size significantly. Trimming the height and width of images will naturally reduce the image size. Some programs will actually attach software specific data to images hen you save them; opening and then saving an image file with Paint for example will strip this information away reducing file size by as much as 25% in some cases.

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  • Alec Sharratt
    How to Speed Up Your Website

    The speed that your website loads is the proverbial first impression that many web developers and website owners often neglect. It is easy to miss-gauge the speed that your website loads at because your internet browser will likely have cached the pages and images on the site.

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  • Alec Sharratt

    What is a negative keyword in essence? I have a mathematical mind and to me a negative keyword is in essence a filter. So what is a filter? A filter is a device or tool or substance that removes something from that which passes through it. A filter does not change or add anything it only removes or reduces.

    We all know how useful negative keywords are in an AdWords campaign. Often when a new client comes onboard with an existing PPC campaign it’s possible to reduce cost, increase CTR (Click through Rate) and ultimately the conversion rate by simply adding a few thousand well researched negative keywords. Read More

  • Alec Sharratt
    How to Make Negative Keyword Research Easier

    There is no avoiding the fact that Negative keyword research is a vital component of any PPC campaign using broad or phrase match keywords. It is also one of the most labour intensive tasks in the process and involves some painstaking diligence.

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