Tom Anthony's Posts



An introduction to HTTP/2 for SEOs

In the mid 90s there was a famous incident where an email administrator at a US University fielded a phone call from a professor who was complaining his department could only send emails 500 miles. The professor explained that whenever they tried to email anyone farther away their emails failed — it sounded like nonsense, but it turned out to actually be happening. To understand why, you need to realise that the speed of light actually has more impact on how the internet works than you may think. In the email case, the timeout for connections was set to about 6 milliseconds - if you do the maths that is about the time it takes for light to travel 500 miles.

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One Year in: DistilledODN by the Numbers

DistilledODN is coming up on its 1st birthday. We ran our original public pilot in February and March 2016, before launching in April. We now do more requests every few hours than we did during that pilot period! We thought it might be interesting to highlight some of the numbers that tell the story of that growth. Read on for the low-down, or skip to the end for the story of a split-test that added £100,000 in revenue per month.

Requests per month

We don’t have detailed statistics for the earliest days, but we know that in June we were handling about 5 million requests a week. We have grown steadily since then, and in September we shared a traffic milestone:

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Apple WWDC Announcements - What Siri on Mac and Apple Pay for Web mean for SEO

Whether you’re a true Apple fan or just a dedicated tech enthusiast, the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is one of the year’s biggest events in the technology industry.

Announcements were made on all kinds of hardware and software (not least a new desktop OS), but there were two announcements that stood out for me as potentially very important for the SEO industry.

This post will look at exactly what’s being introduced and how that will affect the landscape of search.

Siri for Mac - the rise of ambient search

Siri has been around for several years now on iPhones, and on Android people have the Google app for voice searches, and there is Cortana for Windows phone. Since their rollout, these intelligent personal assistant apps have started to gain traction, and increasing numbers of people are doing voice searches.

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Local Search in 2016: Wearables, Beacons, and Machine Learning

Right now, we are nearing a point whereby the convergence of several related technologies, combined with their improving accessibility (infrastructure and cost) means we are not far away from some big disruptions in local search. People will be expecting search results far more specific to their current context than ever before... and they’ll be getting them. I’ve put together a simple and relatively typical story to illustrate some of the technologies (see section after the story).

A Search Story

Imagine someone who needs to pick up a gift for a friend of hers; she is wandering through London and searches for ‘jewellery shop’ via her phone as she walks. She gets a bunch of results for stores nearby, but isn’t happy and so refines her original voice search by simply speaking ‘show those with 4 stars or more’, and gets a subset of her original results a moment later. She is still unsure, so jumps on a rental bike and heads towards Oxford Street.

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Linkgex: Tool to Get Links to Specific Subsets of Pages

Recently I have found myself fairly frequently wanting to get links that are linking to a certain sub-section of a website (i.e. links to only certain pages on the domain). Reasons why this might come about:

  • to know how many links my product / job listing / category pages etc. are getting.
  • to find links to pages that mention a something in the url.
  • to find links to only certain language sections.
  • to exclude links to certain pages.
I tend to use a mix of OpenSiteExplorer, Majestic, and Ahrefs when I get backlinks, but currently none of these services actually allow me to get backlinks in such a fashion. OSE does allow a ‘to this subfolder’ in the advanced reports section which sometimes does the trick, but otherwise I’m left to download all the links and filter them myself.

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