Monday, September 17, 2012

Sponsored Video: Nominet pitches the TLD

I don't usually post any ads on this blog however it’s in a platform or two which allows me to see the upcoming ads of the week. As a result I noticed this video from Nominet and it’s such a good pitch for the TLD I wanted to show it.

I’ve a host of domains. There are still certainly occasions when getting the right domain is vitally important. Everything Everwhere’s rebranding strategy would have suffered a setback if they’d failed to get at least one ee domain. In the end they got However, for many businesses the combination of social media supporting a good enough domain name is enough to build that important brand aspect.

That’s the domain name itself, though – what about the top level domain? .com or In the past I’ve gone to .com and then gone to (or .net, see above) if that wasn’t available. Here’s Nominet’s pitch.

Firstly, it’s great that they’re using a brand champion for this – kudos to for stepping up to the challenge.

Secondly, I think the argument that sometimes you want to be seen as “domestic” is valid.

Sure, it really helps having a .fr in France and a .ru in Russia – but the UK public is happy enough to see their brands with .com.

The Tregnothan example is a good one because it speaks to their international audience, those shoppers outside the UK, who might be interested in Tregnothan simply because to be British.

As the video says; “It comes down to some subtle details”.

Disclaimer: As noted in the introduction; this is a commercial video! The words and thoughts are all my own but Nominet are sponsoring the conversation.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cloudflare's outages will harm your SEO

I really like Cloudflare and I recommend the service.

They've had a spot of bad luck last week, though. First there was a router fail in London which impacted some sites.

Then there was a bigger issue on Saturday which hit many more sites and made the news.

There will be an SEO burp as a result of this for some sites - but hopefully a short one.

If Google can't access your site's robots.txt then it's cautious about crawling your site at all. As it happens, some sites will have been wrestling with the Cloudflare outages just when Google was trying to access their robots.txt. Some of these sites will now be on Google's watch list. On of my blogs, Geek Native, just got the bad news email from Google.

There's not much that can be done about it other than wait. I've used Fetch as Googlebot on the robots.txt to test and confirm Google is happy now but I doubt that'll hasten the recrawl. It's interesting to note Google uses the double slash in their email between the domain and the robots.txt file name, though, typo?

Note: There could be some other weird reason why Google failed to access robots.txt on the site this week - but there's been no other outages.

A smartphone feature: Removable Battery

I've had a Blackberry and an iPhone. I have an Android and a Lumia. There's the work phone and my personal phone. The biggest decision is my personal phone - the HTC Sensation. I was paying. I wanted a good one.

One of the features that sold the HTC Sensation to me was that you can pop the battery out and replace it with a new one. This means you can carry spare batteries if you need your phone to last a while. It's less faffy and more likely to work than an external power pack. I have two spares and my cradle chargers include a slot for an extra battery.

Sadly, though, I noticed a trend in Android vendors to do without the removable battery and move towards an Apple-like soldered in battery. In fact, I was beginning to suspect that my next Android would suffer from the unmovable.

Perhaps not.

Check out this cheeky ad from Samsung US. It's a head to head of the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy SIII. It won't speak to iPhone fans but some of the features that Samsung claim are interesting (and some, I'm sure, will be debated). The very least selling point for the Samsung Galaxy SIII? A removable battery.

Let's hope removable batteries become a smartphone feature worthy of marketing. That'll help encourage the next generation of Androids to be power management kind and allow swap out batteries.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nintendo on two-screen TV - the TVii

We've heard a lot about the second screen or even three screen strategies and the evolution of the hardware. The thing about the TV screen is that it's big, it's very public and that's why I still think about the battle for the living room but also think that glasses, perhaps even goggles and headsets might play a role.

Nintendo have announced the launch dates for the Wii U in the US and Europe today and pulled the wrappers off a bunch of trailers.

The Nintendo TVii feels more like two-screen TV than second screen TV. The GamePad is a TV controller rather than a second screen to show additional data.

One of the reasons that social TV tends to happen off the TV is that public/private divide. You wouldn't make your family watch you compose a tweet on the big screen while you watched a program. You'd pick up your phone and tweet it. If the GamePad and TVii find traction as a part of a two-screen approach then it'll be very well placed to ride the growth in social TV.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bing, Facebook, frape, Twittersphere & FaceTime added to Collins Dictionary. Trademark blow?

English: A multi-volume Latin dictionary (Egid...
English: A multi-volume Latin dictionary (Egidio Forcellini: Totius Latinitatis Lexicon, 1858–87) in a table in the main reading room of the University Library of Graz. Picture taken and uploaded on 15 Dec 2005 by Dr. Marcus Gossler. Español: Diccionario de latín (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bing, Facebook & FaceTime are among host of new words added on Monday to the Collins Dictionary.

I'm surprised it wasn't already there - but Microsoft's trademark lawyers might not be happy. This sort of thing shows that the word "bing" isn't a trademark but in common usage. Back in 2006 Google blogged to try and avoid a similar fate. Brands like Zipper, Baby Oil and Trampoline have fallen foul of this trap in the past.

I'm certainly surprised to see Facebook in there. FaceTime with a capital T is interesting as well.

We also saw;
I can see some agency favourites in the list too; "verbal diarrohoea", "photobomb", "impactful", "faff" and WPP's "frenemy" too.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Google launches new car insurance engine

Google has launched or is testing (more likely) a new car insurance aggregator today. It'll compete with the likes of Confused (client), GoCompare (not client) and MoneySupermarket (not client) - pretty much directly.

I've been able to recreate this all morning by searching for [compare car insurance].

The interesting thing to note is how the "ad" is presented in Google. This isn't in the AdWords area. This isn't an OneBox result. This is something new. A "Sponsored".

The info button associated with the i icon says;
Based on your search query, we think you are trying to find car insurance. Clicking in this box will take you to our service that can provide you with car insurance quotes from car insurance providers. Our service is free to you but to operate this service, we are compensated by these providers.

Once inside the new finance engine users are presented with a discovery engine. This is far more attractive than Google's previous attempts in the area.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Surge in Blogger crawl errors

My Monday morning mystery is an error rush report from Google. The webmaster console has noticed a spike in 404s from this blog and the graph looks dramatic.

There's a catch, of course. I can't find any broken links. I can't even find matches to the suspect URL in the code. For example, 2009/11/1345695324000 is the 404 and yet I can't even find a mention of 1345695324000 in the HTML or JavaScript.

I suppose Googlebot could have constructed the URL by throwing together more JavaScript than I've looked through today but that's rather odd. I suppose, also, there could have been something going on on at Blogger/Blogspot and that was fixed this morning.

It'll be one to watch.