now has Google site links

You may have seen Google’s site links? They’re detailed page links that appear underneath the #1 listing for some websites when you make a search. For example, Just Search have had site links for about a year now, which you can see here. Google picks sites it thinks are worthy enough and generates these links, which you can have some control over using Google’s Webmaster Tools.

Now I’m pleased to say that has attained some site links from Google.

Mr Daz Site Links

This means that Google considers this website important enough to have site links, which is nice. Shame they still have a PageRank penalty on me then eh?

It’s not my only site to have site links either, my Transformers website and the Cardiff Devils site have also attained the prestige of site links.

Thanks Google!

If you’re wondering how your site can get site links such as this, you’ll need to keep adding your content and building up those back links naturally. Google only rewards high quality sites that are updated regularly with site links.

Yes it’s true, I crashed my car on Friday

Anyone who’s seen my Facebook status or has seen me in person since Friday will know that yes, on Friday night I managed to plough my car into a roundabout at something approaching 70mph.

When I say plough into, it was more hit, catch some serious air and then smack into the curb the other side. It was dark, it was very wet and I was… going too fast. I managed to blow out ALL FOUR tyres at the same time, wreck two of my alloys, damage my bumper, lose a light and dislodge some bodywork.

Probably shouldn’t have tried to take the roundabout at that speed then. To those who said my Z3 was cursed, yeah, it is.

I had three new tyres and the spare put on the next morning, but the front drivers side wheel scrapes the wheel arch when it turns full lock. This is bad. It could be because the garage have fitted the wrong tyres, which I hope is the case. It could be the bodywork is a little out of place, which would be bad. It could be because the chassis or the axle is bent, which would be very bad.

I’ll find out this weekend when I take my car for a service.

Oh the joys of driving too fast in the rain.

Interview with Revolution Magazine

Following on from the piece in Precision Marketing, I also did this quick interview with Revolution Magazine about the trends of search and the importance of content.

Though Google denies it, for instance, there is a widespread suspicion that investing in paid search will improve a company’s organic ranking. Easier to prove is the notion that frequent content updates represent one of the most powerful ways to promote a site.

Fresh and new
“It has become apparent lately that Google is favouring new sites a lot, and sites with new content,” says Darren Jamieson, content editor at Manchester-based Just Search. “If you have got a site that does car leasing, and someone is looking for something on the new Audi R8, a site that hasn’t been updated for three months won’t come up, even if it has a page on the R8.”

Google itself, while cagey about its methods, is happy to confirm this much. “We always say, build things for the people you want visiting your site, and that is what we try to reflect with our ranking,” says Google spokesman Anthony House. “It is not about trying to trick your way into the highest results.”

Indeed, Google’s advice for improving a company’s organic ranking all relates to the kind of housekeeping that makes a website visitable in the first place.

You can see the excerpt from the magazine here.

Public Transport fails me for the last time

Right, Saturday night I left my car at the pub and intended to get the train back to pick it up Sunday morning. I even checked the times online the night before to make sure there was a train. Sure enough, every hour and roughly 20 minutes past the hour there’s a train due from Heald Green to East Didsbury.

Sorted. I’ll do that then.

Naturally you can’t trust public transport, and my first foray into using it for some months proved my suspicions correct. The train never showed up. It wasn’t late, it just didn’t turn up.

I gave public transport one chance, one chance to prove it could work. One chance to show that I can use it as a viable alternative to my car… and it failed. It failed by not even showing up.

I’ve later learned that other people know about this. Seems the timetable at the train station, and the timetable online are both wrong. There are no trains on the Sunday, at all.

This has seriously pissed me off. What’s the point in public transport? The timetables are bollocks and public transport doesn’t work. So Mr Brown, rather than pissing on the motorist by increasing fuel tax, road tax, congestion charges and any other fucking charges you can think of to get motorists to leave their cars behind and consider using public transport, why not actually make some fucking public transport that works?

I tried your trains and they didn’t fucking show up.

Stick your fucking trains up your fat Scottish arse you twat.

Brainstorm at SES New York

Just Search and parent company Getupdated are attending SES New York this month, March 17th – 20th, to offer business owners the benefit of their combined experience. Rather than talk about SEO (because let’s face it, at a Search Engine Strategies conference everyone will be talking about SEO) Getupdated are running a BrainStorming Booth where business owners can talk to James Welch, the head of Research and Development at Just Search, Paul Yates, the founder of Just Search and Mattias Kaneteg, CEO of Getupdated to benefit from their experience on anything related to their website.

The BrainStorming Booth will be completely free and anyone with an interest in improving their online presence can enter and pick the brains of James, Paul and Mattias.

SES New York

So if you’re attending SES New York this month pop into the booth and get some free advice on how your website can improve its ranking and what more you can be doing to get that extra step ahead.

SES New York isn’t just about SEO…

BT rescind my £20 charge

It seems BT have seen sense and have rescinded the £20 charge they sneaked into my bill without telling me.

From: Online Billing []
Sent: 01 March 2008 04:51
To: Daz
Subject: RE: Thank you for your email dated 28/2/08 regarding Bills and Payments. (KMM43421884I24871L0KM)

Dear Mr Jamieson,

Thank you for your e-mail dated 29/2/08 regarding the charges on your bill.

Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying to you and for any inconvenience this may have caused.

With response to your email, I am sorry to hear that you were not notified regarding the reconnection charges. However, I have gone ahead and refunded the reconnection charges of £20.00.

Further regarding the payment processing fee of £4.50, on May 1st 2007 we reduced the price of monthly line rental by £1.00 and broadband by £1.00 for customers who don’t pay by Direct Debit. At the same time, a separate payment processing fee of £1.50 a month was introduced. This is not a penalty charge but a separate fee for methods of payment which cost us more to process.

So the net effect is only 50p a month more for anyone who just has a phone line with us, but anyone who takes broadband as well will be 50p a month better off.

I would like to remind you that as part of your terms and conditions you are required to pay your bill in full when you receive it.

BT’s fee for non-Direct Debit payments is amongst the lowest around. For example, Virgin Media charge £5 a month. Many companies, such as Carphone Warehouse, will only accept customers who agree to pay by Direct Debit

The email then went into a massive sales pitch for the benefit of Direct Debits. I wasn’t interested. I replied with this.

Thank you for refunding the £20. When I see that displayed on my online bill I shall pay it.

Your assurances over the safety of Direct Debit however are false. I was debited twice in August and it took me over a month to get the money back. Any queries I have sent as a result of incorrect amounts have taken over a month to get a response, which has obviously resulted in a further Direct Debit.

My experience has shown that BT are unable to process Direct Debits without mistakes and are unable to rectify those mistakes promptly.

I will continue with my service and pay online as I have been doing, so long as the bill is correct.

Let me know when the correct bill is available for me to pay.

Oh yes, and as for your reminding me that I am required to pay my bill when I receive it as part of BT’s terms and conditions, I’ll remind you once again that I was lied to twice over the amounts I would be paying. I will also remind you that I have both of these calls recorded and I will remind you further that these calls are available for download on my website, so you can listen to them yourself if you like.

Darren Jamieson

So complaining about hidden charges does actually work? Everyone should remember that, don’t take hidden charges laying down. Stand up for your rights and speak out if you feel you’ve been treated unfairly.

Of course, having every correspondence broadcast on a high traffic website does help matters!