Search Engine Optimisation the Science and Sales of Search Results

Recently Google has been encrypting it’s search terms meaning that it’s harder to see what interests people that visit your website. One of the reasons behind this move is to make it harder for SEO’s who want to corrupt search results by putting their clients ‘top of the list’. For a blogger like me this is a bit annoying as my site statistics used to be understandable seeing words like ‘disco’ or ‘festivals’ tells me what people were looking for before clicking on my website. Since the change my stats now say ‘Unknown search terms’ or words to that effect.

Quite how all this jiggery-pokery works is beyond me but I do know that for less than £100 a year WordPress.com gives a satisfactory website that’s simple and easy to use, decent search rankings, blog, email and statistics even without the recently omitted search terms. It just works and works well enough not to go looking elsewhere. In fact if you use wordpress and millions do you will quite often recognise their sites or blogs around the web on a daily basis.

Also Google has shifted it’s attention away from providing Search Results to providing Answers. Next time you do a Google search you may notice you have to scroll down beneath the Answers and Adverts to find your Search Results. Could this signify the end of SEO’s altogether? Obviously not because today after advertising for FREE on the website Gumtree an SEO company rang me up. The conversation went a bit like this:

Him “Hi is that You?”
Me “Yes”
Him “The guy who’s advertising the SPMD?”
Me “Yes that’s me”
Him “ What would you say if I said we could put your site on the front page of Google for your business?”
Me “Well, I use wordpress.com and they already do a very good job thank you”
Him “We can do this, that and the other for you…. blah blah”
Me (guessing) “I already am the top page of Google if you search SPMD that’s me”
Him “Hmm, yeah I see what you mean. OK thanks bye”

Of course once he hung-up I had to check Google it to see if I was right, thankfully I was. In fact I owned the front page of search results thanks to my presence on Social Media, Gumtree and WordPress. After feeling rather smug with myself I was not prepared to rest on my laurels so I also checked Google.com, Google.es and Goole.nl (USA, Spain and Netherlands). Guess what I was also top of them too. So now I am feeling rather proud maybe it’s because I have been going since 2007 that Google gives me credit as there must be others like me?

I guess the purpose of this article is to give you some background to SEOs and prepare you for responding to that phone call or email. One things for sure they are an unscrupulous lot and are only going to sell their services to your competitors whether you’ve placed an order or not. In my rather unscientific and ill-informed opinion if you want to drive traffic to your website or blog it’s not going to cost you a lot of money. You have to use social media and provide some original ideas or insight, such as this article, that’ll make your product and know-how stand-out.

That’s why I am going to be blogging a bit more in 2014 because I was not happy with my WordPress annual report last year and think I can do better :)

South Wessex Waste Minimisation Group demonstration

The following edited text is taken from the SWWMG website

DJ Dynamo works as the assistant manager at the Bulky Household Waste Site in Dorset and has over the last few years developed his ‘Tip of the Pops’ solar powered disco that is transported in a wheel barrow – called Earwig!

DJ Dynamo promotes recycling and energy recovery with his disco which operates using renewable energy and he plays old vinyl records collected from the CA site. DJ Dynamo covers many events for schools, weddings, green events, festivals and fundays. He is attending the Shambala festival, near Northampton, during the August bank holiday weekend which won the Greener Festival Award in 2011. He is also playing at an event at Moors Valley Country Park during Easter.

  •     DJ Dynamo summarised his background and experience and how he has developed his understanding of renewable technologies.
  •     In 2008 he secured £3000 funding from UNLTD – a charity that supports social entrepreneurs.
  •     In the 5 years since he has operated the disco he has had 10,000 website views.
  •     DJ Dynamo then gave a demonstration of his creation!

BIG shout out to staff at the South West Regional Assessment Centre & Environment Agency for giving me this gig at the Crown Hotel in Blandford. I managed to give a presentation, show a video and spin some tunes in 25 minutes to a group of 50 or more local business people.

Tip of the Pops is a lot of fun but it is also an opportunity to engage with topics such as waste, recycling and renewable energy. Given my background and experience I am equally at home in classrooms, lecture theatres and now business lunches talking to all ages about such issues. If you have an idea for an event or collaboration and want to discuss possible uses for Tip of the Pops please contact me info[at]creativedynamo.net

Creative Dynamo dot Net website 2011 in review

I mentioned detailed website statistics in my annual review and Best of that appeared on FaceBook recently. Now… as if by magic WordPress.com have conjured up this funky review on my behalf. Although WordPress is actually a blogging service and refers to blogs (web logs) it’s easy enough to create and publish a website like mine with minimal cost. WordPress was recommended to me by the Internationale at an event hosted by The Media Trust in 2007.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Letter of Recommendation

Tip of the Pops came in during our activities week and put on his mobile disco for a day in our Learning Support Centre. The group, in here on this day consisted of eight students who were unable to participate in the activities with the rest of the school.

He stayed for the whole day, had a very good manner with the students and got them involved in setting up, choosing the music and DJ’ing. This was one of the most successful events of the week and certainly the most successful with this group of students.

I would heartily recommend hiring Tip of the Pops to any other school.

ASHDOWN TECHNOLOGY COLLEGE
POOLE, Dorset

July 2008

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Funding Application ‘Community Benefits’

I have just applied for funding to help with marketing, production and learning activites for Tip of the Pops. Here is a sample of what I wrote…

Community Benefits

We are all potential beneficiaries of this project economically, environmentally and socially. My services will be aimed at the public, commercial and voluntary / community sector and each event will be catering for approximately 30 – 300 members of the general public.

Economically

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle – We are all consumers of energy, goods and services. I will gather together information and present it in ways that show how we can actually save money by helping the environment. As well as being able to demonstrate how some of our current activities are actually causing more damage than they are worth.

Environmentally

I will be educating people and organisations about climate change. Encouraging and empowering them to take action in their homes and community to reduce energy consumption and create a better place to live / work. I will be giving demonstrations of renewable energy and show examples of best practice tailored to each particular audience.

Socially

Each event will act as a catalyst for bringing people together and raising the profile of their organisation. I will use my project as a way to engage local media, maximise publicity and build-up an environmental network linking these groups. One aspect of the project is to engage cross-culturally by continuing to work with other artists using renewable energy, the ‘creative dynamo network’.

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Festival Application Form

Performance Details

Name

Tip of the Pops Solar Powered Wheelbarrow Disco

Overview

Experimental mobile disco made from waste reclaimed by dumpmiester DJ Dirty-Ali Disco. Spinning classic 7 inch vinyl and spanning 5 decades of dance. Earwig (the ‘barra’) is a self-sufficient tried and tested party generator with serious environmental credentials. All of the equipment and music was once waste including the digital camera, recording, editing and PC suite used for updating the blog and audio.

Because Tip of the Pops is wheely-mobile it can join in with parades and other on-site activities even do a mini-tour.  We can set-up in a tiny space and at short notice to fill-in wherever necessary. Other people can use the equipment for DJ’ing workshops,  youth-work and beatbox etc.  At the Earthwise gathering and Boscombe Communty fair Tip of the Pops provided childrens entertainment as well as all of the above!

Hours of Operation

Earwig can go for 6 hours without recharge. I would prefer to do various ‘themed’ 2 hour sets in different locations throughout the festival a sort of mini-tour. The themes can include but are not limited to love, war, green etc. or contact me with ideas for a theme. I will guarantee to do 6 gigs in 4 days (including workshops). One on Thursday and Sunday, two on Friday and Saturday. It’s possible to do more (or less) as required and they can be either impromptu, solo or collaborated with other artists / venues.

Production (nuts-n-bolts)

Tip of the Pops is totally self-sufficient although at busy times it is useful to have a festival steward at hand for crowd control / assistance. I have a campervan with awning which acts as my workshop. I need this in a secure place to camp and return to throughout the festival in-between performances.  I come prepared to play outside and I do not bring a venue / marquee / canopy.  If the weather is bad I cannot perform unless there is some undercover space provided e.g a cafe, art gallery, band stand.

A Roaming or Static Performance?

As I am mainly playing vinyl I cannot be mobile and play music unless it’s a Cassette, Mini-Disc, CD or MP3.  As I will only use equipment from the dump I can bring all of these players with me in case someone else would like to use Earwig on the move e.g. a parade.  I normally wheel around everything I need for the performance to the right spot then set-up in aproximately 5 minutes.  If you need a mobile public address system for a particular activty like dance or making announcements I can do that too. At the Boscombe Community fair my barrotheque was used in the arena for playing music and public announcements.

What does the Audience Gain?

Tip of the Pops is about engaging people socially and environmentally with a healthy dose of comedy. Great slabs of irony are provided by dancing around listening to rubbish, it’s also a satirical swipe at DJ-club culture and a form of activism highlighting a wasteful society. Using recycling and renewable energy Tip of the Pops is showing how to make the best use of available resources whilst raising awareness of environmental issues in a practical and social situation. This social learning is achieved by empowering people to reflect on their own lifestyles without delivering a hard-line or scientific message that could otherwise patronise, intimidate or put-off people interested in being ‘green’.

In summary, a good time without harming the environment ‘a disco with no carbon footprint’

Performer / Instructor Details

How many people are involved?

Two, one performer / DJ and one assistant /  MC

Do you have any relevant experience

Prior to Tip of the Pops I ran a voluntary arts organisation in Boscombe, Dorset. We turned empty shops into art galleries and took art galleries to festivals along with other projects like a newsletter, a website and artist studios with varying degrees of success. 2004 was my first renewable gig at the Earthwise festival and a Zia solar powered art gallery. Tip of the Pops is my first solo creative environmental project and debuted at the Big Green Gathering in 2007. The first ‘system’ consisted a car battery, ghetto blaster, some old records in a wheelbarrow and a blanket! Since the first gig and some excellent feedback in 2008 Earwig has undergone development, I have collected 100’s more records, 60 plus members on facebook and an average 300 hits per month on my blog. I am health and safety, first aid trained and qualified in waste management (recycling) NVQ Level 2.

Estimate of Financial Support

Please pay my travel cost (£1 per mile from Wimborne in Dorset, UK) and a donation to the Butterfly Foundation raising awareness of domestic violence see here

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Boscombe Community Fayre Greenfield proposal

Over the years Boscombe Community fair has become more and more music orientated and now it’s time for a change. During this time we have seen the IFSOM arts tent develop into an alternative venue to rival anything the music scene has to offer. BUT with two music stages and 45 PLUS bands the festival is still awash with noise. Drowning out some of the best alternative talent, campaigns and activities on offer.

the childrens parade

In 2008 we would like to counter-act this by including Healing, Theatre, Kids area, Arena, Site Office, Renewable energy and Recycling in to a Green Field attraction. Last year was the first to use renewable energy on-site and provide power to various community groups. This year there will be more information about renewable energy and climate change PLUS a new marquee / venue for the theatre.

fashion show theatre

The green field will be an important development for BCF given its social and environmental objectives. The green field will also widen the festivals appeal to families, new audiences and the local media. Thanks to the success of BCF there are now too many similar local festivals but developing a green area, like this one, will once again establish BCF as a ‘first of it’s kind’.

Please contact us if you would like to get involved with the green field at this years festival. We want to work with individuals and groups locally to showcase the best that Boscombe has to offer. The green field requires workshops, healers, entertainers, stalls, campaigns and absolutely anything else with a green feel to it. For instance I have heard of a student project that incorporated wave power into the legs of Boscombe Pier! Or perhaps you have your own ideas about how to clean-up the environment and inspire local people.

The 13th Annual Boscombe Community Fair is on the 5-7th September 2008

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