My new favourite tool that can help with link building

Build links easily in communities related to your niche with the help of this browser extension.

Now that I’ve finished my MA, I’ve started to take on more freelancing projects and have found myself conducting lots of link building of late.  In doing so, I’ve found this good browser extension that I thought I’d share.

A while back I wrote about building links organically by participating in communities that fit around your niche.  I gave several examples on how you can find these niche sites easily.  One of those examples was a website called “Sites Like“!  If you’ve not heard of it yet, allow me to explain.  You simply input a URL and it outputs a list of sites it believes are closely related.  You can see why that’s a handy tool for link builders?

Sites like tool for finding niche websites

Making it even easier:

Although visiting the website and inputting your desired URL is already pretty easy, have got a browser extension too so you can find related communities right from your browser window.  I don’t know whether it’s new, or whether I’ve only just noticed it?  Either way it’s very handy.

How to use it for link building:

So, let’s imagine I’m building links for a website that sells interior design services.  In a backlink profile for a competitor, I find an interior design social network site giving out several links.  I visit it and then click the ‘Sites Like’ button in my browser.  It provides me with 15 examples of similar websites and the opportunity to click the link to visit more in a new tab.

I won’t lie and tell you with every single click I find millions of sites that are utopias for link builders: perfect community-driven social networks where you can easily build a number of links, no.  But I HAVE found one or two gems that have made it worthwhile.

And what about the other non-community sites?  They’re still useful too and they be able to give you plenty of link building fuel.  They must be related to your niche in some way, since this site relies on tagging by topic. Is the recommended site selling the same sorts of products?  Why not run them through a backlink tool? Or are they a resource on your topic?  Maybe contact them and ask to exchange links, or better still, request they link to your content.

I’ve used this method to build links on several different projects recently with reasonable success.  It’s very quick and I have found it to be very useful.  I hope it will be for you too, good luck!

sites like tool

Introducing the Site Report Tool – Review

Yesterday, the lovely people at launched a great new tool that could help you improve your website, gain search engine rankings and attract new traffic.

Introducing the…… drumroll please……..: Site Report!About Us site report

This brand new tool allows you to look at the most important SEO factors of a website and see a report of what’s going right and what’s going wrong.  You can look at your own website, a competitor’s site, or simply a site you admire.

To have a go with the Site Report tool simply type a website address into the tool and wait as the technology evaluates up to 50 pages from your chosen site.  After a couple of minutes, you’ll get a detailed report showing you where your sites lacks in terms of SEO… from missing H1 tags to dodgy meta descriptions.

The Site Report tool is great because…

It’s ideal for small businesses that are new to SEO and want to improve their website/s.  At $9.95 per month, it’s certainly cheaper then hiring an SEO consultant if you just want to start off by making a couple of basic, low-level changes.

The Site Report tool allows you to see what needs changing at a glance, I think this is particularly great for analysing the length of title tags and meta attributes.  Immediately see if any are too long or short without having to spend too much time devising clever ways to count characters en masse!


I think only being able to scan 50 pages is a bit of a problem for larger sites.  With that said, you can delete pages once they’re fixed and then scan new pages.

How to write a ‘lead’ for your blog
(like newspapers do)

Get skim-readers to pay attention to your blog posts.  How?  Start using a ‘lead’, like newspapers do.  This post will tell you why & show you how.

What is a ‘lead’?

A lead is the one-paragraph explanation at the top of an article.  I’ve crafted one at the top of this blog post, in italics, as an example.  (Though it’s not perfect – I’m still learning too!)

The term ‘lead’ comes from the newspaper industry, where a lead is used as a micro-story under the headline to emphasise what made the story ‘newsworthy’ in the first place.  In your blog post, you should use a lead to emphasise what made your story bloggable. Aim to write a short, focused summary that highlights the point of your blog post AND encourages people to read on.

Why you should use a lead:

Newspaper leadYou’ve probably heard time and time again that Internet users have a short attention span, right? Oh, and don’t forget nobody reads anything  anymore – it’s all about skim reading.

So, use a lead to capture attention, to hook users in.

Using a lead will draw in passive skim-readers.  It will encourage people to give your article their full attention.   It will tell people WHY it’s worth reading (i.e. why it was bloggable, or newsworthy in the first place) and why it’s worth their time and effort.

Examples of leads:

Here are some examples of leads from today’s news:

Newspaper lead example Newspaper lead example 2 Newspaper lead example 3

(Click to view the news item on its original site – in a new window)

As you’ll notice, under each headline is a small summary of the story.  The Guardian uses bullet points on its website, which I think is a fantastic idea!

What to put in your lead:

Here are a few basic tips to get you started:

  • Talk about the actor and the action:
    • Who did what?
  • Make sure you include the main event:
    • Hook people in by explaining specifically what is going on where…
  • Tell people what made this worth blogging:
    • Was there unexpected conflict?
    • Were the ‘elite’ involved?  (For example, Google, a footballer or just somebody well known in your niche).
    • What’s the value, is there something in it for people? (E.g. a freebie or a new tip to help make people more money)

EXAMPLE:  Joe Bloggs explains his suprising reasons for cancelling 2011 SEO conference talk in London, just hours before taking to the stage.

We can pretend that, in this example,  Joe Bloggs is an elite character in the industry.  The fact that his reasons are ‘suprising’ and he let people down just ‘hours before taking to the stage’ makes this story newsworthy.  We’re setting the context by including “who, what, where”.

TIP: Pay attention to the leads used in newspapers (or on news websites) to get a sense for what draws you in.  Try and replicate these in your own blog post leads.

TIP: Writing a really lead will come with experience and tweaking.  If you have the time and resources, try running an A/B split test to see if particular leads result in a lower bounce/exit rate and a higher average time on page value.  Then, note which are more successful and work out why.

How to write a good lead for your blog:

  • Make sure it’s packed with information
  • But keep it short – aim for one short paragraph
  • Ensure it’s clear, concise, focused and to the point
  • Emphasise what made the story worth blogging in the first place

QUESTION:  How long should my lead be?

Try and stick to about 30 words.  You have very limited time to capture potential readers’ attention, so help them grasp the meaning very quickly, pulling them in to read the rest of your blog post.

A few weeks ago I was in my news-making class learning about newspaper leads and why they’re important . I thought “we should really apply this to blogging too” so I wrote this post to share with you all.  The ideas come from a chapter in this book: “The Language of News Media (Language in Society)” by Allan Bell, which we read in preparation for the class.

Free social media link booster pack

FREE download of my personal stash of bookmarks: loads of places for link building, neatly organised for you.

Here for the FREE STUFF?

If you’ve come here from Rhys’ fine blog for the free stuff, the wait is over!

(And, if you’ve come here randomly, check out the fab post I wrote about building fantastic quality links by clicking here and then come back and help yourself to the free stuff anyway!)

To access the fantabulously free download, you’ll just need to fill out the form below:

Sign up for the free link booster pack here:


You’ll get:

LOADS of places to build links, all
neatly organised into categories &
100% FREE for you!


Social media bookmarkOnce you’ve confirmed you’re a human (by confirming the link I’ll send you via email) you’ll be able to access the bookmarks download right away.  So what are you waiting for!!!???

As well as the great freebie, you’re signing up for my email newsletter, which I’ll send out approximately once every three months.

I’ll round up some of the most interesting social media developments AND inform you of any new posts on this blog.

Occasionally, I’ll send out freebies like this one too! (Oh yeah and there’ll be no spam, because SPAM SUCKS!)

Enjoy – and any questions/requests/errors?  Add them all in the comments section of this page.  Thank you 🙂

How to write awesome articles
(when you haven’t a clue what you’re writing about)

Want to write REALLY AWESOME articles when you haven’t a clue what to write about? Of course you do…  Help yourself to my article writing tips:

Love it or loathe it, article writing can be hard if you’re clueless about the topic.  It’s difficult to educate people on a product or service if you’ve never used it!  Yet article writing is an integral part of SEO and we all have to do it.

So, if you’re in the latter category and you loathe article writing, here are a few REALLY QUICK tips that will help you learn to love it:

Finding a topic to write about:Google Wonder Wheel for Article Writing

The Google Wonder Wheel:
Struggling to find a good topic for your article? Meet the Google Wonder Wheel.

(Never heard of it? This video explains all!)

Simply type your search term into the Wonder Wheel and click through the various topics.  Note down interesting topics, for example, if you’re keyword is ‘cake decorating’ and you saw the topic ‘basketball cake,’ it could prompt you to write several articles on cake decorating ideas for various sports.

Amazon’s Look Inside Feature:Amazon's look inside feature for article writing
Try searching through Amazon’s books.  Find a book with the ‘look inside’ facility and sneak a peak at the chapter breakdown.  Try researching one or more of the chapters for your article!

Forming a good title for your article:Google 'More' Q&A

Just like I mentioned before, using other people’s experiences can really help you write good copy.  It can help you form great titles for your articles too:

Question and Answer Websites:
Visit Google, type in your topic and then hit the ‘More’ button on the left.  Once the menu drops down, click ‘Discussions’ and then ‘Q&A’ (just like in the image on the right!)

You should now have access to hundreds of questions, which people have asked about your topic.  Go and answer all of those questions in your articles!
Ask Jeeves a question and on the right-hand side he’ll give you a whole selection of other questions too.  Often these make fantastic article titles!

Researching your article:

Now begins the hard part, right?  Wikipedia is obviously a first choice for many, but why regurgitate the same content that hundreds of other webmasters have paraphrased too?

Instead, write something useful by searching for new content in the following places:

  • Google books: Flick through the books in Google’s index to find great material to write about.
  • Google scholar: Find great articles, legal documents and patents from a search.   Dig into this material for interesting facts or points of view to write about!
  • Your local library: If you have the time, go and explore books that your competitors are too lazy to go and find!

Writing your article:Writing your article

Ah, now the even harder part.

Don’t even think about writing your article until you’ve drafted a structure.

Throw a couple of headings down on a piece of paper and work out where all your research fits into these headings.  I like to scribble my research onto paper and then cross them off my notepad as I type up my article.  It’s very satisfying!

Finally, if you’d like to write your article quicker, try this article from Copyblogger: How to write an article in 20 minutes. Enjoy!!!

I hope these quick tips have helped you, let me know in the comments!  And, if you have any tips to share just let me know!

Copywriting S.O.S – does your copy need rescuing?

Use these tips to rescue your web copy once it’s all gone wrong… This article will teach you a couple of methods to fix up what you’ve written:

It’s getting late: you’re on your ninth cup of tea, you’ve read your entire Facebook wall AND you’ve already paced the room three times in the last half hour.

You should have written a good piece of copy by now, but you haven’t.

Copywriting SOSDo you know what you need? You need rescuing.

Or rather, your copy does.

So, here four simple tips that will help you; they’ve helped me out loads over the last couple of years. They’re quick to master and simple to implement, so it wont be long before your copywriting nightmare turns into a copywriting dream!

Most importantly, these tips will help you write better, engage your readers and meet your deadlines.

Tip: I use these four different tips to help me write articles for SEO, copy for websites and press releases. I hope they’ll help you too, whatever copy you’re writing!

So, let’s get started:

1. Make a quick plan:

You’ll be surprised how much a plan will help you retrieve your focus. After all, how can you write if you don’t know WHAT to write about?

Scribble down several headings and decide what you need to talk about in each paragraph. You don’t need to write more than a couple of words for each point, just write out a very general outline.

Next, reorder your copy to fit with your plan. If appropriate, chop and change around different paragraphs, but most importantly, MAKE SURE IT ALL FLOWS!

Struggling to get finished? Your new plan will help you write the rest of your copy too.

2. Have you made your point yet?

What’s your point? The copy you’re writing must have a point. To inform? To teach? To sell?

Sometimes you can carry on writing blindly because you think the article isn’t finished yet, but all that’s really missing is your main point.

So, what is your point and have you made it yet?

If you haven’t made it yet, now’s the time to figure out what it is and state it. State it early on in your copy and reiterate it near the end to reinforce the point to your readers.

3. Simplify complicated paragraphs:

If you’re reading a paragraph and it just *doesn’t* sound right, it’s probably full of long winded sentences and poor grammar. So, strip it back and start again. Readers will easily digest concise writing, so by keeping your writing simple you’ll keep your reader’s attention for longer.  (Which means they’re more likely to do what you need them to do: buy, click or share!)

Copywriting plan

Follow these quick tips to keep your copy concise:

  • Only make one point per sentence
  • Use short, to-the-point sentences
  • Don’t over-complicate sentences with long-winded jargon and technical words
  • Avoid writing in the ‘passive voice.’
  • Take out extra words where possible

I can’t claim credit for these points, any good copy writing book will tell you to follow these basic rules.

But how often do we apply them?

Rarely, right? But they do make all the difference to your writing! After spending ten minutes rewriting a sentence to no avail, you’ll be surprised how quickly you can correct the troublesome wording by applying these rules.

Bonus: Soon, you’ll find yourself applying these tips automatically!

4. Think you’ve finished writing?

Nearly finished, but not sure if it’s good enough yet? Unsure why it’s ‘not quite there‘?

Go and put the kettle on, make your tenth cup of tea and take a breather. Use your ‘fresh eyes’ and give your copy a final read through.

Finished copywriting?

Edit anything that doesn’t sound right and then stop again.  Then read through your work one final time (after your 11th cup of tea!)

It’s really important to check your copy through all in one go after spending all day stopping and starting writing.

And that’s it!

Regularly, stop, breathe and apply these four tips to your writing when you’re struggling to get finished.

I hope they help you like they help me, and feel free to include more tips in the comments section if you have any to share!

Img credits: [SOS] – [Laptop] – [Done]

How to write awesome copy using other peoples’ experiences

This article will help you write copy to sell something, even if you’ve NO IDEA why people would want to buy it in the first place! Read on for some tips:

You’re probably aware that to sell something, your copy HAS to resonate with the reader. You MUST solve your readers’ problems and offer fantastic solutions.

BUT if you have limited knowledge on a subject, problems can occur. If you’re writing about something you don’t personally need it can get tricky, even if you’re an article-writing guru or a copywriting master.

I’ve personally been in this situation. I needed to sell a service but I had never used it. I didn’t even know why people would need to use it!
web copy inspiration

So, what did I do?

I applied my technique, which I’ll share with you now:

How to put others’ experiences in your copy:

This blog post will show you where to find other peoples’ experiences to work them into your own copy. These techniques will allow you to connect your writing to your readers. You’ll be solving their problems, giving them reasons to buy and hopefully closing in on the sale.

So, let’s get started:

Visit Google and type in your keyword, product or thing that identifies your niche. I’m going to do this now, pretending that my problem product is ‘luxury hand cream’.

web copy discussions

Next, visit the left of Google’s page where you’ll see a ‘more’ button. Click this and then a box full of links (like those on the right) will open up. Click on ‘discussions’ to see your search performed in forums and Q&A websites. You can even filter discussion posts by the last hour, day or week to find really topical information. Click ‘all time’ to find the most popular, influential discussions.

Tip: Read as many discussions as you have time for: skim read and note down common problems people are having or questions that are being answered.

Look deep into the discussions for ‘benefits’ to work into your copy. I suggest writing things in a note pad as you’re skimming from post to post.

Now, use these real, human experiences to help you sell!

Here’s what I found about luxury hand cream after a couple of searches:

  • Factors a good cream will have
  • Fragrance, advice on smells of different creams
  • What’s best to use for really dry hands
  • Phrases, language and style used in discussions
  • What’s considered a ‘good’ ingredient / what’s bad
  • Great benefits of using luxury hand creams
  • Common problems experienced by cream-users

By now, you should have a similar list. So, it’s time to work all of these into your web copy or article.

Use the information you’ve just researched to make your copy sell.

How to make your copy sell using your research:

Here are my top three tips, follow these and you’ll notice a difference to your conversions:

  • Take care to use similar language/words to those used in the discussions
  • Make sure you write about how YOUR product solves any common problems you’ve noted
  • Use your research to pin point unique selling points and highlight these in your copy

Follow these and you’ll have a more interesting, engaging piece of copy, geared up for selling.

A few final tips:

Try tapping in keywords about your service/product, and if applicable, any other words like ‘problems’, ‘help’ and ‘ideas’ into Google. Think about what potential buyers would search for. E.g. somebody looking to BUY luxury hand cream may ask for ideas or advice in a forum.

web copy Google

Affiliate bloggers: use these tips to make more money!

I think this is a great method of copy writing that affiliate bloggers/shop owners could really benefit from. If you’re into affiliate marketing, make sure you research your products  using my methods and use your findings to boost your copy!

web copy experiencesSome more places to try:

If you’ve pumped the forums dry, try searching on these websites too:

  • Yahoo Answers (and other Q&A sites)
  • Twitter (and other microblogging sites)
  • Facebook (and other social networks)
  • Online groups and communities
  • Social media websites like Digg, Delicious and Reddit
  • Search blog posts and comments too.

How to find niche communities…

Learn how to find really good niche communities for both link building and networking with these great tips:

I have three tips that I’m going to share with you today, which you can use to build a network of links from niche communities.  Since developing these tips, I’ve managed to find great niche communities for the sites I optimise.  I hope you’ll be able to find at LEAST one niche community to engage with too.
But before I get onto the tips, I’ll answer TWO important questions:

  • Why should I be engaging in niche communities? And:
  • What are the benefits of participating in a niche community?

(Feel free to skip these and jump down to the tips below if you already know why it’s important to post in niche communities as part of your SEO campaign.)

Why should I be engaging in niche communities?

Many SEOs try to fool Google into thinking their sites are important. We push our links onto bookmarking sites, news submission sites and social networks.  And we’re all guilty of creating accounts, dropping links and moving on to the next place very quickly.  I feel that it’s no longer the best technique, and it’s pretty obvious that Google’s on to us, so let’s keep one step ahead of the game and use a method that will benefit us, Google AND our niche market.

Instead, spend your time building quality links organically by engaging in a range of discussions on niche community sites.  Niche communities WILL help your content rank highly.  By participating in a niche community, you’ll build STRONG, relevant links to the site you’re optimising and you’ll give something back to the users of that site.

What are the benefits of participating in a niche community?

Aside from the obvious (a chance to link the site you’re optimising), niche communities provide the following:

  • LuMaxArt FS Collection Orange0052A stream of targeted and interested members, which you can engage with.  Find out what they’re interested in.  Learn about the questions they’re asking, which you can answer and later expand into blog posts (As an aside, I like to browse sections matching my particular niche in Q&A sites for this reason!)
  • Potentially, there’s a chance to bring a stream of targeted traffic to your site.
  • The chance to build trust and authority in your area.
  • The opportunity to network with other niche community members, who also have blogs and websites (think guest posts, blogrolls and comments.)
  • In some cases, PageRank can be passed to the site you’re optimising, which may help you rank better.
  • Think of all that relevant content surrounding YOUR links!

Sounds great doesn’t it?

We just need to find some fantastic niche communities to engage in now!

For the sake of this article, I’m going to look for handmade / crafting niche communities.  Let’s pretend I sell handmade items in the UK, so ideally I’m looking for UK niche communities to engage in.

So let’s get started:

Tip #1:  Find niche communities using Google’s advanced search operators:

How to find a Niche Community on Google

Visit Google (in the country of your choice) and type in the following:

allintitle:social network + craft

Allintitle: searches through the title tags on sites in Google’s index.  It asks Google to return results with ALL the keywords in the title.  Pretty handy if a niche community has named their site something like ‘The Craft Lovers Social Network’.

Next, try:

allinurl:join + craft

Allinurl: does a similar job to allintitle.  It searches for ALL of those words in the URL.  Again, this is handy if somebody has a site with both ‘craft’ and ‘join’ in their URL.

HINT: Try substituting network for ‘community’, ‘forum’ or ‘blog’ and ‘join’ for ’sign up.’

HINT: Try using related words for ‘craft’ too, such as: handmade, jewelery, etc.  And try using both plural and singular options.  Append ‘UK’ (or your country of choice) to find niche communities specifically in that location.

Tip #2: Find niche communities using ‘Sites Like’:

Find sites like those in your niche

If I’ve found one niche community and I’d like to find some similar sites to join, I type the following into Google:

Sites like

Usually, I find a blog post that gives a round up of similar sites to my favourite niche community.

If not, I try inputting the original site’s URL or some key phrases into these websites:

These return similar sites to the URLs you put in.  Very handy!

Tip #3:  Find niche community forums using these tools:

Use boardreaders to find niche sites

Forum participation is a great way to engage with your niche community.  Advice: spend less time worrying about your signature links and more time building relevant, helpful and USEFUL content in the forum and the traffic will follow.

You can easily find niche forums by searching with the following tools:

I found 20+ crafting and handmade communities with those methods, in just 5 minutes, how many did you find for your niche?


Soon, I’ll be posting a guide on engaging with your niche community, giving you my formula for optimal participation. That’ll be up in the next week or so, so please subscribe to my RSS feed.

Finally, if you missed my last post, I shared over 500+ social media websites, which I’ve found on my Internet travels.  Many are categorised by niche, so you may find some great communities in there to get you started 🙂

[Image credit]

500+ social media networks – AND they’re ALL YOURS

Access to over 500+ social media networks for free by using these methods!  Enjoy:

If you’re in the SEO business and you’re looking to create profiles, engage with people and talk about your brand (oh, and of course, get some great backlinks in the process) you’re probably used to searching high and low for different social media websites to sign up to.  And, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably always on the lookout for new places to make your mark, whether these are networks, bookmarking websites or article driven community hubs..

The search is over!  100s of social media networks!

Stop your search and let me share with you my five best kept secrets.  These are five websites that contain hundreds of links to social networking websites.  Some are arranged by niche, others by function.

I promise, these will give you fuel for weeks:

1.  150+ social networks, categorised by niche:

social networkingsocial networking

With over 50 different categories and hundreds of websites listed, you’re sure to find a social networking site that will help you build relevant links and engage with interested people.  Is beer your thing?  There’s a network for that.  What about pets or politics?  Religion? Shopping? Smoking? Sport? Spanish? Real estate? Travel? Education? Yep there are social networks for all those too.  A lot of the niche social networking sites linked ALSO have their own reviews too, conducted by the site’s owner.

Social networks categorised by niche:  Click here to visit.

2. 100 social media websites that pass PageRank:

social mediasocial media

This list IS a little outdated (it’s from 2007) and there are several sites that a) no longer exist and b) have now opted to nofollow links BUT don’t be put off.  There are still LOTS of links on this site that are worth checking out.

100 social media websites that pass PageRank:  Click here to visit.

3. Over 350+ social media networks:

social networking sites

This website was designed for users who’d like to check which social media websites and social networks they can still claim a branded profile on.  For example, I can search ‘SuperCarly’ and see out of the 350+ social media websites which I can then go and still claim!

But how does this help you build networks and profiles?

Well, in the top navigation, KnowEm provides a list of the services they’re currently tracking, all divided up by function.  For example, I can see roughly 30 blogging websites, 47 community sites and around 30 bookmarking sites and there are still a lot of other options to look through.  The site also contains social media networks for specialty niche areas too, like health, design, music, business, travel and news.  KnowEm offer a premium service too, so if you’re too busy, they can secure your brand name across all available social media networks on your behalf.  Bargain.

350+ social media networks:  Click here to visit.

4.  10 image bookmarking websites for backlinks:

image bookmarking
OK, this one will only keep you busy for one hour, but it’s worth it.  I’d never heard of these websites before I found this post.  You can sign up to most of them and create profile links and backlinks to your submissions, though two websites require invites before signing up (though you can email to request these.)  Plus, if you create a really good image and it goes viral, you get lovely free traffic!

A must for all designers and photographers. Businesses – you could get your staff to submit quirky photos to a couple of these sites?  Give them a try!

10 image bookmarking websites for backlinks:  Click here to visit.

5. 30+ social media networks on Ping.Fm

PingFm social networks

I’m going to be honest and assume that a bunch of these websites ARE already contained in the 350+ list KnowEm provides…BUT I will say that I’ve already spotted one or two gems that don‘t appear to be on the KnowEm site, which is pretty useful!

Ping.FM boasts the ability to update a lot of  services from the same place, making your social media networks and social networking portals very easy to manage!

30+ social media networks on Ping.Fm:  Click here to visit.

I hope you’ve found these websites as useful as I have!

A big shout out to the owners who spent a lot of time collating these lists to share with us all.

Lastly, have you any similar resources to share?  I’d really appreciate it 🙂

(Credit:  Icons.) Follow removed from links & exciting new venture have put me on an emotional roller coaster this week (well, not quite – that’s a slight exaggeration!) But there have been two big announcements over the last seven days, one good and the other a little disappointing.
Unfortunately the latter involves’s newly launched ProFollow service, which I blogged about a couple of weeks ago!

ProFollow is NoFollow – but not for long (hopefully!)

On Saturday morning I woke up to a lovely email from’s Kristina, who’d taken time to personally write and send me a message about the company’s decision to temporarily stop giving out free follow links to people who’d taken the time to edit their pages.

She referred me to the official blog post on, which states:

We decided to stop following all external links after discovering that Google may regard our Spotlight article service as a form of link selling. Link selling isn’t normal web advertising. A link seller provides inbound links to a site specifically to manipulate search engine results.

So, there you have it.  No more lovely, free follow links – but is this just for now?

The blog post does continue:

It’s possible we’ll reconsider our decision in the future, and remove the NoFollow attribute on pages edited by AboutUs visitors

Phew!  Let’s hope they do find a way to still reward visitors without Google assuming they’re selling links.  After all, any ‘juice’ being passed from the ProFollow scheme would have been worth nothing if couldn’t maintain a decent PageRank for its content because of ‘link selling’ anyway.

And now for the good news… AboutUs launch new project:

So, still wallowing in the disappointment from the revoked ProFollow scheme, you can imagine my excited little face when I looked at FaceBook and found that had launched a new side project –!

Now we’ve got something new for you: It’s all about the essence of websites, as understood – and conveyed – by different people.

Ooh, very interesting!  It’s essentially a platform that collates your ‘insights’ about websites, written in 120 characters or less.

Somebody has written the obligatory ‘it’s just like Twitter’ comment on the FaceBook page – and I guess it is a little similar to Twitter, yes. (120 character limit, for example.)  But this isn’t yet another microblogging service.  It’s a service to explain what you think is great or rubbish about other websites, which are then all collected and presented together on a page for that particular domain name.

So, naturally, I had to take advantage and put:

Super Carly

But that’s just my opinion.  If you disagree, you may write something different like ‘ is run by a smelly girl that likes smelly dogs’, or something equally as derogatory.  Or if you love my blog, you could write ‘ is run by an amazingly fantastic girl called Carly’, which is more preferential!

You get the point.

Of course, this website could have a more practical application then simply a platform on which to call me names; use it to find out if a website is fraudulent or scammy, search to find the shop with the best reviews or simply use it to find new places to surf.

Fantastic.  Never risk buying overpriced shoes again,  learn which Bingo site is the best and find fun new places to hang out!

Oh and let me know if you sign up to add any insights: simply leave your URL in the comments and I’ll even give you a vote!!

Oh and yes, I did notice that is providing websites with a follow link – I just didn’t want to point it out, jinx it and have them take it away, so shhhh 😀