And learning specifically about Search Engine Marketing with the CIM in Manchester today. The course was lead by Graham Hansell founder of Sitelinks as early as 1996. Graham seems to know everything there is to know about SEO and PPC and teaches this course frequently so it’s clear he is an expert, believing the best trainer’s are also practitioners.

He described how no one is taught how to use the web, which is why people like myself and the others on the course attend such training. He went on to explain how one year is only about 3 months in terms of the internet. Things change so fast and are constantly updated, which is why reactivity is a necessity.

Overall the course was excellent – the information was understandable, but still challenging, and I can’t wait t get back to work and
start planning out a campaign. Also, the meeting room at the Macdonald Hotel was superb and the refreshments and surroundings were unbeatable – just what you need when faced with a full day of learning.

I did already understand the essentials of SEO and PPC, but must admit at times it can be a bit bewildering. I update my company website http://www.playrite.co.uk/ at least once a week with a new blog and maybe even more than once if we have some new case studies and yet some of our competitiors who rarely update their sites do better than us when searching for keywords in Google. I asked Graham why: and without wanting to give too much of the course information away I used some sites in the workshop after the course to compare our website to a few other site in our market. The results in terms of the number of websites linking into these sites were outstanding. I won’t name and shame anyone, but one site had a few hundred links, about 90% of which came from purpose built link directory sites. The other, had closer to over 1000 links from “your beauty supplies”, “cheap internet” “health check” and other bogus sites. The company sell playground equipment. Now tell me how that is ethical? I know it isn’t strictly black hat practice but it does make you wonder – if a company will use such shady techniques in their marketing, what does this say about them as a business?

So that’s one thing I have definitely learnt this week – not everyone plays fair.

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