Welcome to The Ever Expanding Pit of Possibilities

OK, in the early days of search engines an understanding of Boolean searches was useful. Nowadays things have moved on greatly and search engines provide increasingly complex ways of refining searches. How useful these are is debatable if people are unaware of them or don’t understand how to use them?

Are We Human?

It constantly amazes me when I am working with people the amount of apparently technologically adept people who use the Google entry field as the browser address bar. Doh…

Some basics,

  • Website names such as are called URLs. These are like pointers to the website that you are looking for.
  • Search engines are tools to help you find suitable URLs
  • Search engines are generally used if you don’t know the URL
  • If you do know the URL you may as well type it into the address bar at the top of the browser window.
  • Most of the time you won’t need to type in the ‘www’ bit or even the ‘http://’ for that matter

Very occasionally you may be trying to access a page that Google (or another search engine) doesn’t actually know about. If you type this page’s address into Google you won’t find it although it actually exists.

But the bottom line is that we are human, we use things in a way that wasn’t intended and being human lots of people do fundamentally similar human things. This then leads me to the advanced search capabilities of search engines.

“UOK” “Yeah GR8″

Most schools use a Proxy Server to protect our little sweethearts from the evils of the interweb and most of the evil little sweethearts know how to get round the Proxy Servers mainly to access mind-numbingly dull games or to engage in fascinatingly tedious little conversations across a classroom.

I have walked into a class full of angels searching in Russian, and why is this you may ask. Well in Somerset the darlings were protected from the evils of Google Image searches but only the UK Google site was blocked, so the students would “Поиск в Google” by entering the search into

However few of these treasures would really know how to do an advanced search in spite of my interventions and to that extent I failed to engage them further.

The Ever Expanding Pit of Possibilities

Recently both Yahoo and Google have added tools to aid searches. Yahoo has a Search Assist box that appears in near-real-time giving you alternative search suggestions to that which you have entered. You may be forgiven for thinking that far from refining your ability to find something you may be tempted into the ever expanding Pit of Possibilities, who am I to comment?

Google on the other hand offer a range of tools that help you to refine your search. This appears on the left hand of the browser window.

Perhaps the first of these options that we should examine in the UK at least is the UK option. If we are looking for a UK based product or service it may worth filtering out the rest of the world.

What about if I had managed to miss Wimbledon altogether and wanted to find out who won the Men’s finals yesterday. Maybe looking for search results in the last 24hrs would help and that is exactly what Google offers here.

You get the idea I am sure.

What Worries Me Is…

Many years ago as a psychology student a friend designed a blindingly simple memory experiment, asking people to say what was on the back of a 50p piece (the side not represented by royalty). Remarkably few people could say what was there, the theory was that (being human) they had habituated to it and filtered it out.

So for me there is an awkward question to be answered. Are these search tools made for run of the mill humans? Are they understood, are they even seen (or do we habituate to them).

I ride motorbikes, my leathers have knee sliders to help me go round corners better. In my dreams the only time I will ‘get me knee down’ is just before ‘getting knicked but the police.

The reality is that the only time I ‘get me knee down’ is just before I ‘fall off me bike’.

Great Google SEO Results For Nest Interiors

Exeter design company Design Credo is extremely pleased with the initial performance of the WordPress website that they have created on behalf of Topsham’s Nest interiors. The site has well and truly hit the ground running with large numbers of visitors already viewing the site on a daily basis.

The built-in capabilities of this WordPress site enable us to see that within days of going live the site is getting extremely good viewing figures. This is like having hundreds of extra people looking around the shop on a daily basis.

The website is based on the WordPress platform but has been designed to give a strong visual appeal. DesignCredo have undertaken photography for Nest Interiors to strengthen their existing stock of images. The site aims to capture and convey the rich visual appeal of the Nest Interiors shop.

Great SEO results

A great website is of little value unless it can be found. Of course searching on the company’s name puts it top but more relevant search strings such as ‘new + england + style + furniture + devon’ perform extremely well, less than a week from the site being live. Further to this simple search strings such as “Lexington + Devon” provide first page Google results with more detailed searches such as “Lexington + Chesapeake + Cushion” giving a position 1 on a worldwide Google search.

This is extremely important for a company selling quality brand items such as those from Lexington. Putting it simply Nest interiors although based in Topsham near Exeter in the South-West of England are able to create national and international interest.

Add to this the inclusion of PubSubHubbub technology to ensure almost immediate submission of website developments to Google and we have a very search engine friendly site.

However, this is just the start. Design Credo will use various collectable data to monitor where site-traffic comes from and will continue to develop content that will create a good hit with Google searches.

iPad in Exeter, Cool not Flash?

No Flash

No Flash Here

I know, I think it is some sort of hip ’60s place for cool guys to live in, probably split level and open plan. Maybe Chelsea or possibly off Wardour St. Yes, on occasions an iPad would be a great place to crash out but who needs a home when there is a life to be had?

Well I’ve just been to the Apple shop in Exeter, you know, the place with the impromptu Post Office style queuing area outside? All the more incongruous for it’s lack of waiting people other than the gaggle of previously imprinted pensioners with their paperwork at the ready.

A sudden moment of awkwardness as I attempt to enter the shop, is it invitation only? Oh god, the public shame of not being invited again. From the door, in spite of the “T-shirted One’s” interjection, I could see my quarry, the iPad. There was one free, it was mine to iNvestigate.
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Words are The Key

Keyword visual metaphorOK so I have spent a lot of time talking about search engine marketing and its various aspects. However this is all of limited use unless we understand the value and importance of text, particularly keywords.

Let me make it clear from the start when I say keywords, I am referring to text that appears in the

  1. Page Titles (Meta Tag)
  2. H1 tags
  3. Body text (in particular text toward the page top)
  4. Meta Tag Keywords
  5. Meta Tag Descriptions

At Design Credo we have a number of hats available to wear, graphic design, photography, website design and of increasingly greater prominence SEO or search engine optimisation particularly for companies in Exeter, Devon and the South West. So, when we write for our own websites we need to mention these creative skills.

In essence we are trying to pre-judge what our potential clients might type on when using a search engine, particularly Google, when looking to access the services that we provide. Google still has the strongest market share but this doesn’t mean that we are oblivious to the likes of Bing and Yahoo though.
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What is PubSubHubbub?

Geeks Get Funny

An overview of PubSubHubbub, a simple, open, web-hook-based pubsub protocol & open source reference implementation. Brett Slatkin and Brad Fitzpatrick demonstrate what PubSubHubbub is and how it works. For more information, visit

This is a genuinely amusing video explaining some incredibly useful technology.

PS: OK, cut to the chase. I have published this article 4 minutes ago and I can reverse search it on Google…nuff said?

PubSubHubbub What it is, how it works | Design Credo’s WordPress …

23:2210 Apr 2010 …

An overview of PubSubHubbub, a simple, open, web-hook-based pubsub protocol & open source reference implementation.…/what-is-pubsubhubbub/?…pubsubhubbub – 6 minutes ago

(It took two minutes to write this)

PPS: In addition if I Google ‘PubSubHubbub + exeter’ Design Credo is numero-uno. This is hopefully getting the point across that Google rank and organic search engine marketing is far from static. The background conditions are constantly changing, the challenge is to make best advantage of it.

Getting Your WordPress Blog Seen by Google

This is a development of the reply that I made the other day about getting a good Google response to your blog.

Search Engine Marketing is a must if you are to going to get people to view any website. Nowadays everyone seems to be an SEO specialist, at least they do in Exeter and Devon, I imagine it is the same throughout he UK.

I am more aware of the abilities of WordPress than other blogging platforms so this is what I will use as my reference point. I have to say that I am totally enamoured with WordPress, I think it is great, but first a bit of general knowledge.

WordPress comes in two distinct flavours

  1. .com Most people start with a free WordPress blog which you can start straight away and I would recommend you to go and sign up. If you blog a for a while and chose to migrate to self-hosted this can be easily done.
  2. .org If you have access to hosting then self-hosted blogs open up a world of possibilities. You will need hosting with a database which is necessary to store all of the posts, images, comments and information about the site. My hosting supplier now throws one in with even the starter hosting package. You don’t really need to understand about databases (MySQL) but it can be quite interesting looking around, seeing how all of the data and information is organised.

WordPress can be thought of as a modular entity.

  1. Core
    The site itself, everything that is needed to make it work. This includes a user friendly interface that will allow you to update the site without knowing about web deign.
  2. Themes
    There are a huge number of available themes that make the basic WP blog look different (1 column, 2 column, colours styling etc.)
  3. Plugins
    These add to the functionality of the blog, they make it do more things, (display images in galleries, add contact forms, etc. )

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