Monday, November 1, 2010

What's going on with South Africa's search results?

This month and last month have been a constant battle to understand what it is that Google are trying to achieve. With fluctuations in rankings, fluctuations in visual elements and just permanent updates on Google, I'm talking, I'm not quote sure what the SEARCH BEAST is up to...

This morning, I logged onto and I noticed that the search results are now highlighted in a BLUE box, giving us a SNAPSHOT of the website as you hover over a Magnifying lens to the right of the search result: South Africa, starts displaying organic search listings with a difference.
 So, what is this search giant up to?
Why all the sudden changes and dramatic results updates. I thought that Google Caffeine was going to be this big ban roll out but it looks like it's taking a couple of months to start rolling everything out.

Something that's a little more disturbing is the varying organic search engine optimization results we're getting on "The Web" vs. "Pages from South Africa". A very generic search result for "insurance" will give you a good indication of what I mean:

Results for "insurance" search on (The Web)
 And then look at the results we got from "Pages from South Africa", is this reasonable? I mean surely a search in South Africa, is a Search in South Africa, why the heck is Google giving us conflicting search results? search results for "insurance" (pages from South Africa)
 It seems as though Google don't know what they want. Google, we want the old Google back. Isn't there a saying that goes, "If it ain't broke, then don't fix it?".

Friday, October 22, 2010

The proof of Google is in the Traffic!

Well isn't it?

I've had a couple of emails from some online forums giving me stick about referring to the web / search and SEO as Google. In other words, do you want your website optimized for Google? Is what I asked a client...I was referring to South Africa in general BUT I was slammed and quickly...


I'll give you some interesting facts about GOOGLE and website traffic in South Africa.
  • 90% of the traffic coming to localised South African websites (GOOGLE)
  • Bing was starting to generate some traffic, but they removed the localised search portion of their search, so South African sites are now mixed up with GLOBAL sites (ALTERNATIVE, GOOGLE)
  • If we combine ALL of South Africa's search engines, directories and social media sites the combined traffic coming into your site is possibly 4%, if that... Meaning (THERE'S ONLY GOOGLE)
  • 95% of the analytics software used in South Africa is Google Analytics
  • I'd say and this is a guess, 60 - 70% of all online spend on PAID ADS is with (GOOGLE)
Which leads me back to my original saying: The proof of GOOGLE is in the TRAFFIC.
So if you're wanting your website optimized for GOOGLE - YOU know who to call!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Permission Marketing

A couple of years back when I started BLOGGING and working on small sites doing SEO for R300 / month :) I read a book called  "Permission Marketing" by Seth Godin. Firstly, for those of you that don't know who Seth Godin is, have a quick read through his BLOG ( ) and through his Website ( ).

I have to be honest, when I first read this book I never really understood half of what he was talking about. Billboards and banners and website marketing but he kept referring to Permission Marketing...

What Seth Godin was talking about

Well, when the business grew and Trafficfundi starting taking on bigger clients, the pitches and sales started becoming a little more intense. Our strategies had to change and soon I started realising without even trying how the effectiveness of online marketing was taking the world (South Africa especially) by storm. Then, I clicked!!!!!!

The world is so full of clutter, and SPAM that we no longer want out lives to be filled with ADS and advertising. When was the last time you drove on the highway and actually remembered the billboard that you saw or the 1500 posters hanging on Corelett drive advertising over 300 companies?
When was the last time that actually made you stop and think!!!!!

What is permission marketing

Permission marketing is what the WWW (Internet, Web) is all about. It's about "I give you permission to marketing to me". Think about it, when you logon to your pc, and you go to and type in something you're expecting to find the results that you've searched for i.e. you're giving Google permission to give you the results you want!

If I type in "Search engine marketing company in Pretoria". I'm expecting to find a "search engine marketing company in Pretoria". I asked for it, I expect to find it & I will most likely contact that company!! There are obviously other factors at play here such as: Is the AD effective enough on Google to catch my attention, does the website capture my attention etc etc...

BUT this is the essence of Permission based marketing. It's you giving me permission to marketing my business to you because you're actively looking for it, HENCE my conversions will be higher. Of course the other massive advantage online marketing has is that if setup correctly EVERY last link, every last ad you place online is track able right down to a SALE. Show me any other form of marketing that allows you to do this?

For those of you interested in buying Seth Godin's book on permission marketing check out the site.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Google - Directory or Search Engine?

After reading an article on I found myself deep in thought and quite frankly unable to do more work... "not always a bad thing".

According to latest reports Google have been doing some testing on displaying local search results. This left me with some questions that maybe you our readers can help me answer...

1. A bold move?
2. Do people want to use Google as a directory?
3. Are people already using people as a directory?
4. Does this mean the end of SEO?
5. Are Google possibly looking to incorporate a directory type listing into their NEW Google Caffeine look and feel?

We'd really love to hear your thoughts on this and whether you think this is the way forward for Google?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Google Mayday, Caffeine Boost or Total FLOP!

It's been a little over a month now that Google released it's Caffeine update otherwise known as Google "Mayday". Having been a little surprised by some of the search results and updates that were done with this major update to Google's look and feel and it's algorithms, I decided to give it a while before commenting.
Now that the algorithms have settled according to Matt Cutts, I can start telling you why I think this Google update is a total FLOP!

Being an SEO company whose clientel base are mostly South African companies, we've seen a massive drop in search volume across board. The reason being, well Google has decided to take away the "pages from south africa" search option from the home page. WHY??????

Problems with this:
1. Online users in South Africa, still don't follow global search trends. Generic search terms are more widely used, long tail is not wide spread hence this becomes a problem. Why?

a. People when shopping search for "batman dvd box set".
b. People when looking for a service search for "insurance brokers".


This means, without a local search option from the home page, the first search results you will get from Google is a mixture of LOCAL and GLOBALLY (well seo'd) sites.

This is poor show for Google, people will start getting irritated, those that don't mind will either see the "pages from south africa" search on the left side, or advanced users will try something along the lines of a localised search query i.e. "batman dvd box set shopping site south africa".

This once again poses a problem for South African companies and majority of SEO companies in South Africa, actually haven't a clue as to how to SEO, which means corporate companies are going to be paying through their ASSES for SEO and not be found...

And this means South Africans are goign to get CRAP results.
2. People in South Africa when searching for products, services, shopping etc don't want pages that are out of South Africa, why would they?

My first example "batman dvd box set" gives 10 sites - NOT ONE OF WHICH is a South African shopping site?????? This means, that majority of South Africans will follow the process of buying the DVD boxset from an overseas site, wasting their time when they find out they have to pay more for shipping from Amazon than the actual product price itself. (BING, here's your chance to takeover localised search)

So, If you ask me!!! For localised search (which was meant to be the way forward) Google's taken a step backwards. REMEMBER, the rest of the world has not had the search volume or the infrastructure in place to become advanced internet users. I hope Google reads this!!!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Google New Search Index : Caffeine

Today, Google announced the completion of a new web indexing system called Caffeine. Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than their last index, and it's the largest collection of web content they offered. Whether it's a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now find links to relevant content much sooner after it is published than was possible ever before.

Some background for those of you who don't build search engines for a living like Google: when you search Google, you're not searching the live web. Instead you're searching Google's index of the web which, like the list in the back of a book, helps you pinpoint exactly the information you need. (Here's a good explanation of how it all works.) Google indexed the World Wide Web for you to make it easier for you to find things!

So why did they build a new search indexing system? Content on the web is blossoming. It's growing not just in size and numbers but with the advent of video, images, news and real-time updates, the average web page is richer and more complex. In addition, people's expectations for search are higher than they used to be. Searchers want to find the latest relevant content and publishers expect to be found the instant they publish.

To keep up with the evolution of the web and to meet rising user expectations, they built Caffeine. The image below illustrates how the old indexing system worked compared to Google Caffeine:
The old index had several layers, some of which were refreshed at a faster rate than others; the main layer would update every couple of weeks. To refresh a layer of the old index, they would analyze the entire web, which meant there was a significant delay between when Google found a page and made it available to you.

With Caffeine, Google analyze the web in small portions and update our search index on a continuous basis, globally. As Google find new pages, or new information on existing pages, Google can add these straight to the index. That means you can find fresher information than ever before — no matter when or where it was published it now becomes available quicker than ever!.

Caffeine lets Google index web pages on an enormous scale. In fact, every second Caffeine processes hundreds of thousands of pages in parallel. If this were a pile of paper it would grow three miles taller every second. Caffeine takes up nearly 100 million gigabytes of storage in one database and adds new information at a rate of hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day. You would need 625,000 of the largest iPods to store that much information; if these were stacked end-to-end they would go for more than 40 miles.

Google built Caffeine with the future in mind. Not only is it fresher, it's a robust foundation that makes it possible for Google to build an even faster and comprehensive search engine that scales with the growth of information online, and delivers even more relevant search results to you. So stay tuned, and look for more improvements in the months to come!

Original Article By Google

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Why Factor?

An inspiring video was sent to me about the WHY? factor and what makes successful businesses stand out from the rest. The author's name is Simon Sinek, a fantastic speaker. You need to watch this.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Google uses page speed as ranking factor

Excerpt from;

Last Friday, Google announced that they started to use site speed as one of the 200 signals that influence the position of a website in the search results:

"As part of that effort, today we're including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests. [...]

We've decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites."

Will your website rankings drop?

Google's Matt Cutts says that the change will affect only some websites:

"Fewer than 1% of search queries will change as a result of incorporating site speed into our ranking. That means that even fewer search results are affected, since the average search query is returning 10 or so search results on each page.

So please don?t worry that the effect of this change will be huge. In fact, I believe the official blog post mentioned that 'We launched this change a few weeks back after rigorous testing.' The fact that not too many people noticed the change is another reason not to stress out disproportionately over this change."

While 1% does not sound much, it can be a problem if your website belongs to the pages whose rankings will drop. At this time, Google's new site speed signal only applies to visitors searching in English on

How to keep your web pages listed in Google search results

There are several things that you can do to improve the speed of your web pages:

1. Choose a fast and reliable web host with a good connection to the Internet. A "cheap" web host could cause problems.
2. Combine external JavaScript code files into one file. The fewer files the server has to request, the faster your web pages will load.
3. Compress your JavaScript code to make the JavaScript file smaller.
4. Combine external CSS files into one file and compress your CSS files.
5. If your web server supports it, enable gZip compression (your web host can do that for you).
6. Use as few images as possible on your website and compress your images. Most graphic tools enable you to choose the compression rate when saving an image for the web.
7. Put tracking codes and other JavaScript snippets at the end of your web pages.

The faster your web pages load, the more visitors of your website will be able to see the contents of your pages. Web surfers are impatient people. The average web surfer wants immediate results.

Page speed is not Google's most important ranking signal. The end of Google's page speed announcement contains a very important sentence: "While site speed is a new signal, it doesn't carry as much weight as the relevance of a page."
It is important to optimize the speed of your web pages but it's also important to optimize all other elements of your web pages if you want to be listed on Google's first result page. IBP's Top 10 Optimizer analyzes all important ranking elements/signals that lead to high rankings on Google, including page speed and many other factors.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Don't forget the basics of web design when doing SEO

Basics of SEOW3C web standards...
My team of SEO guru's at Traffic Fundi are really good at what they do. I'll go so far as to say that they're some of the best SEO boys in South Africa, but it's amazing how you get so caught up in "SEO'ing" we website that you often forget the basics.

I've been trying to get a website ranking for over a month now. This site has been SEO'd to perfection "so we thought".

What we'd forgotten to check, and it's the basics of basics in web programming and website design is we forgot to check the code. Now this is a first for us, and I didn't realise how much Google could penalise you for having bad or broken code on your website. In fact the penalties were so bad that it's take Google 2 months to come back and re index my website.

How I managed to pick this up was by using the W3C Validator. This great piece of software and Tool that is advertised on almost every online marketing and SEO related website in the world :), picked up that we had META DATA in the header section of the site that was not closed off. Picked up that we had code that was broken and various other small snippets that needed to be fixed.

So, in an attempt to remind everyone about the basics of web design and SEO.
Today's SEO lesson is: Although SEO's may think it's all about back links and content, DON'T FORGET TO CHECK YOUR CODE!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Google And Twitter

Hi Guys

So, have you guys seen the Social Media Revolution video. It’s a must see.
This is the facts.
1. Social Media took over porn as the number 1 activity on the web
2. More people (Businesses) are concern about their social media stats than their ranking on Google .
3. 1 out of 9 couples married in the us last year met via social media!
4. Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months
5. 80% of companies are using LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees
6. Google is now taking Live feeds from Twitter as rankings

You will see in this image:

How Google is pulling live feeds from Twitter. The top post is a post that I made in twitter. Searching in my twitter for SEO Specialist I came across the SEO Specialist list
Made a comment and at the same time I was checking Google to see if I rank for this keyword. This is what I found.

Steven tried this with the budget speech. At it seems like an update that Google made today!

This is just another BIG FOOT down on the internet that social media is no fad and no joke. Even Google trust LIVE social media updates to help people with their searches.

So for most of the very competitive searches there is this live feed now. What you post shows in Google !

You can try it out for yourself.
Search Google for a keyword and see if the life feed is showing. Then go to your twitter account and do the same search, where you will find the conversation. Do you update and go to Google and see your Tweets displaying there.!

NOW the big question comes again!


As from now and very soon in the near future ! You are going to have to like what they say!

This is word of mouth ! this is marketing ! this is Social Media Marketing !

This is wh ere you and me want to be! And every other Company in the world.!!!

This is live marketing !!!

People welcome to the


This is Social Media !

Friday, February 5, 2010

FACEBOOK launches in South Africa

Well, for those of you who made it to the Facebook/Habari Media Ad launch this week at the Venue in Melrose Arch, you'll know what I'm talking about.

It was amazing and inspiring. The fact that we're a part of this ever growing ever evolving online social media revolution is what excites me more than anything else in this world.

Let me just say this! It's the future of online marketing along with SEO, and incase you don't believe me, check out this video.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Google Favourite Places - Will this damage SEO business forever?

A little over a month ago, Google announced that it was sending brick and mortar businesses decals to put on their windows, with bar codes that people can scan with their phones to bring up business listings.

These were made available to the businesses Google deemed "favorite places". Over 10,000 businesses in the US got them right off the bat, and Google will most likely expand that number in the future.

Now what's worrying is how they picked the TOP businesses:

The first hint that this is the case is the manner with which Google decided which companies would receive the decals. Their formula for the top 100,000+ Favorite Places was based largely on user interaction with local listings, including how many people searched for driving directions to a given location.

Some have argued that this may have unintended consequences: certain types of businesses are likely to receive a phone call from potential visitors rather than more-easily tracked user engagement with Google. Or, certain businesses’ clientele may be less keen on using Google Maps for directions. As a result, these businesses are unintentionally penalized by the company’s formula for PlaceRank. Like web search, the structure of the system may be limited in determining the actual popularity, community standing, or other relevant factors in determining the popularity of a given business.

Does this mean that a business with a code that is scanned more frequently will get page result preference for their search terms? Is this not a dangerous move for a "organic" / "non paid" non judgemental company like Google?

We'll have to see. What do you think?

Monday, January 11, 2010

2010 - Google Updates PR


Firstly let me start by wishing you all a happy 2010 and a very successful year to ALL.

To start the year off i thought it would e a good time to let you know about the latest Google PR update.

Just like they did at the start of 2009, Google has gifted website owners with a PageRank update to start the new year – welcome 2010.

For those of you who follow the PR indicator – chances are you’ll have noticed that your PageRank on Google’s toolbar has shifted – hopefully upwards. There was alot of HOOHAA about the the PR update around the middle of December but as of the 31st Dec 2009 – the reports started rolling in.

Whilst the results vary depending on the website and SEO activity over the past few months – “most” forum members seem to have seen some increases! The question we have is, why has their been an increase? Was this a little Christmas present from GOOGLE? And once again, the debate sparks up, DOES PR MEAN ANYTHING?
Funny thing I noticed. I got my send PR 5 site, but my rankings never shifted up. Anyone else see any good signs and changes?

Let us know.