Author Archive » Alan

Alan Alan Cairns+ is an SEO copywriter at SiteVisibility. Writing on and offsite copy for a number of key clients and working on SEO and social media campaigns. Read more of Alan's posts here

AI Digital Cricket Squad 2009

Posted by in News on June 12th, 2009 4 Comments

Following on from England’s success against Pakistan, and swiftly forgetting about the Netherlands drubbing, we are appealing for volunteers to help complete our AI Digital/SiteVisibility Cricket Squad.Just have a look at how we did last year.

pyramid AI Digital Cricket Squad 2009

It should be a fun early evening battle against ROCC Software Systems at Braypool, Brighton from 5pm on Thursday, June 18th. Hopefully we’ll be enjoying some sunshine as well as a bit of a barbecue and a few beverages.

Don’t worry if you’re not a seasoned pro – this is more about having fun than hitting sixes and bowling perfect overs. If it takes your fancy, please get in touch

Google map ‘Braypool’ –

The Sitevisibility SEO-Themed Spotify Playlist

Posted by in Search Marketing (SEO) on April 24th, 2009 0 Comments

Most of us here in the production office are fans of Spotify. It’s an “online jukebox” which ,unlike Last.FM, allows users to create playlists of artists material, listen to a whole albums or even entire discographies. It’s great for finding collaborations, similar artists and brief biographies, and the amount of music instantly available on it is astounding.

There’s a great function which allows users to share playlists with each other by simply sharing a short text link. We’ve used this to create all sorts of collaborative playlists in the office, but we decided if we were going to share one it should be SEO-related. So here is the Site Visibility SEO Playlist.

Google Eyes – The Nashville Teens

Uptown Top Ranking – Althea and Donna

Search & Destroy – The Stooges

Rise & Fall – Craid David (featuring Sting)

The Only Way is Up – Yazz

Good Bait – Nina Simone

Links 2-3-4 – Rammstein

Take Me to The Top – Motley Crew

On Top – The Killers

Nuthin’ but a G Thang – Snoop Dogg

Click Click Boom – Saliva

Yahoo! – Erasure

Searching – China Black

Black Hat – The Sun Harbour’s Chorus

Zelda’s Theme – Perez Prado

Traffic – Lloyd Cole and The Commotions

Crosstown Traffic – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Searching High & Low – Thee Mighty Caesars

Spotify can accomodate all this free streaming of music by playing audio adverts to listeners every ten tracks or so, and the head of Spotify remains optimistic about the future of the music industry online. Currently the adverts are a little bit ropey and annoying, but we hope that they will get better. Recently the film ‘The Boat That Rocked’ advertised on Spotify, urging users to check out playlists created by the characters from the film, which we thought was quite interesting. We’re getting quite sick of the Spotify adverts urging us to subscribe to the premium account, so much so that we’re actually considering paying the £9.99 subscription just so that we don’t have to listen to them, so I guess it’s working.

SiteVisibility loves Spotify.

Monsters versus Aliens SEO Strategy – Stupidity or Genius?

Posted by in General Marketing, Pay Per Click (PPC), Search Marketing (SEO) on April 7th, 2009 5 Comments

You’d be hard-pressed to have missed Paramount’s new ‘Monsters versus Aliens’ movie advert. It contains a suggested search keyword instead of a website address, advising viewers to “search for mva” to find more information on the new film about a girl who is hit by a meteorite, turns into a big monster, gets captured by the government and acquainted with a gang of monsters, and inevitably ends up saving the world from aliens.

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Anyway, as Adam on One Idea pointed out, upon searching Google for ‘mva’, the film’s website is completely absent from the top natural search results. There is a pay-per-click ad at the top of the search results, with a messy url and ‘mva’ in the link text. Read on

Writing For Search Engines

Posted by in Search Marketing (SEO) on March 17th, 2009 0 Comments

Last time I wrote about the basics of writing content to suit both readers and the search engines. Same again I’m afraid, with some new things related to writing and optimising content for search.


One thing that was pointed out at the SES conference in February was the importance of news headlines. While cunning puns, abbreviations and euphemisms may be standard fare for newspapers, search engines will find your article much more easily if your titles are clear and contain the type of keywords users are likely to use to try to find you.

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For example, yesterday the Sun published a story about Florent Malouda, the French Chelsea winger, commenting on Michael Essien’s return to the team. The title reads “Flo: Michael is Essential for us”. The problem with this title is that it doesn’t include any of the keywords which people searching for this story are likely to use, i.e “Florent Malouda”, “Essien” or “Chelsea”.

Read on

Measuring the success of SEO campaigns – Email interview with Enquisite’s Exquisite Richard Zwicky

Posted by in Search Marketing (SEO), Training, Working In Search on February 16th, 2009 2 Comments

Richard Zwicky has been involved in search marketing for a decade, starting in the late 90s. In 2000 he co-founded Metamend, a leading search marketing firm with a very large client base in 60 countries around the world, including managing campaigns for top Fortune 500 sites.

In 2006 he founded Enquisite, a software company which develops advanced search analytics packages, offering SEO and SEMs in depth insight into search page ranking and visitor behaviour, from organic and pay-per-click search traffic.

At the Search Engine Strategies conference in London next week, Richard is participating on an Orion panel session ‘Measuring success in a 2.0 World’, which promises to explore classic and cutting-edge techniques for measuring search engine marketing campaigns, and assess which statistical information is important when evaluating a website and its optimisation.

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Richard kindly agreed to answer a few questions for Apple Pie & Custard, and here are his responses.

Read on

Writing Compelling Articles that Readers and Search Engines Will Love

Posted by in Search Marketing (SEO) on August 6th, 2008 5 Comments

Writing can sometimes be tricky. I thought I’d share with you a few simple tips on how to write clearly and draw reader’s attention. The structure and ordering of the article can make a big impact on the ease and pleasure with which it can be read.

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Opening Paragraphs

An opening paragraph should encompass the story, as well as telling the reader why the issue is of importance. Whilst opening paragraphs should generally contain these most important pieces of information, it’s also important that they are colourful and draws reader’s attention. Read on