Google Webmaster proves the spammers wrong!

27 February, 2009 at 10:54 am | Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

A (spam) email arrived the other day, telling me that our website has broken links and other problems, and offering to sort them out for us – for a fee of course! I was pretty sure that their analysis was wrong, especially as it says we don’t have a robots.txt file when we’ve had one since 2006! Still, I did wonder…

Fortunately I have a Google Webmaster account, so I checked it this morning. The Overview of the site shows no errors, either in links or in crawl.Better still, it’s found a couple of pages with duplicate or short meta descriptions/title tags which I can easily sort out.So Google Webmaster gives peace of mind and useful data – all for free!


Learning about SEO…

20 February, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

I was looking at our site statistics on Google Analytics, and I spotted that the page which comes second in the list of top landing pages is – not the home page, or one of the ones referenced from our AdWords ads. So how come?

Turns out it’s a graphic that’s been indexed! If you Google “gantt chart”, 4 pictures are shown and the second one links to that page on our website. If you do the same thing on Google Images, it’s picture number 3. Search on “critical path” on Google Images and our picture is number 4.

The moral of this is: make sure you have keyword-rich “<alt>” tags on your pictures!

How can I help?

18 February, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

As one of my passions is reading, and my hobby-horse is spelling/grammar/punctuation, I volunteered as a helper on adult literacy classes in 2000, but had to give up after a couple of years.

Over the Christmas break I decided to see if I could get back into it again in the New Year. So I’m now helping on two “Essential English” classes, and thoroughly enjoying meeting people from widely differing backgrounds and education levels, who just want to improve their reading and writing skills.

The education system has let so many people down over the years: these are intelligent people, held back by their low level of literacy and resulting lack of confidence. Some of the written work they are now producing is very moving: a recent class exercise was to write an account of the plane crash into the Hudson River in New York, as if you were a passenger. One lady wrote a moving piece that had the whole class spellbound – and this was someone who left school with no qualifications.

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.