How Google Direct Answer stole 1k+ hits a day


FrustrationBack in July 2006 I decided to set up my website, a purchased a domain name and some hosting from Free Virtual Servers. I soon started to work my way up through their hosting packages, as I published more and more content and attracted more and more hits. Through nothing but organic growth my website soon started attracted more than 1000 unique hits every day. This meant shared hosting was not really an option, so I upgraded to my very own VPS!

VPS’s (Virtual Private Servers) are not cheap, and as the site is more of a hobby then I business I needed help to balance the costs. I reached out to Google, and signed up for advertising for my site.. I dislike adverts on websites as much as the next guy, however on impression adds helped me carry on with my hobby for a good two years!

Then out of the blue, my hit count fell through the floor, my ads where no longer bringing me much if any revenue. So I started to investigate it and soon realise Google had introduced a service called “Google Direct Answer”. This essentially tries to answer your googled question without you having to browse to any sites. Now, the premise is great. It’s a great time saver, and it does make Google stand out from the rest. However as a blog poster, I rely heavily on the traffic to help pay the bills! Seeing the hit count drop lower and lower meant a call for action…

Even though the site was already costing money, I decided the best thing I could do was reach out to SEO experts, and try to bring in some more much-needed traffic. I decided to get in touch with Free Virtual Servers sister company 123-Ranking we are now working together to help me help more people with my posts, and hopefully reverse some of the damage Direct Answer has caused. 123-Ranking have written a post which you can find here on Direct Answer and how it’s hurting many other sites just like mine.

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Google decide to drop Authorship from search results

Seemingly as is always the way when I buy into something that google punts out Wave, Buzz, Latitude and now authorship – they have now decided to no longer display Authorship information in the search results..

Earlier today John Mueller posted on Google+ that they don’t feel the authorship information contributes to the usefulness of search results.

I can understand the logic behind the decision, however I for one will be sad to see it go. It took me a while to craft my author details on the search results.. An was the flood gate opening for all of my rich snippets work! I also like to see who’s responsible for the posts at a glance, an feel if they’ve gone to the effort of sorting out the snippets then the sites worth visiting.

I hope John is right when he says

removing authorship generally does not seem to reduce traffic to sites.

Authorship was born around the same time as the Google+ network, and believed to be a way of promoting the Google+ network. Webmaster required G+ profiles in order to have their details along side there sites in the search results. Ultimately meaning the network gained more users overnight as people flocked to fulfil the rich snippets requirement.

I can cope with loosing Authorship, and all the other products i grew to know and love… However I seriously hope they leave Waze alone…

RIP Authorship

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Are google really giving away ranking upgrades…


GoogleAre google really giving away ranking upgrades for security savvy webmasters? In all honest, it is somewhat of an unknown. Although there has been recent articles on tech sites, suggesting that Google are looking at promoting sites which are https secure in search engine rankings.

Although this doesn’t automatically guarantee an improved search engine position for your sites keywords, it is rumored to contribute to your overall SEO score.

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, has long since been talking about this internet utopia, where all sites, no matter what their content may be would be secure.

Even if the site you are visiting is not handling sensitive information, there is still the possibility of the site being comprised an you being redirected if the site has not yet implemented an SSL certificate. In light of this Google are supposedly rewarding SSL secure sites with extra kudos.

This may sound like it’s favoring the “big sites” however in reality this is not actually the case. The cost of SSL certificates has plummeted in the last few years, meaning even ‘not for profit’ sites can bag one with little outlay.

There has been no official news release from Google to suggest this is in fact planned for the future.. But if you are conscious about your SEO rankings and your visitors security then its time to invest!

It’s also worth pointing out that the days of SSL slowing down a websites response time is a thing of the past. The overheads of processing an SSL nowadays is minimal.

I’ve already implemented an SSL certificate here at and I’m now working on switching the other sites I manage over. Will you be switching?

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Apple told to remove ‘Secret’ or face fine


SecretA Brazilian Judge from Victoria Paulo Cesar de Carvelho, has called for the social networking application named Secret to be completely removed from the AppStore and all devices it’s currently installed on.

The app has been featured in The New York Times, Wired, BBC, The Guardian and more. It’s essentially an anonymous social network. We’re friends can post and reply without the world knowing who’s doing the posting.

The whole concept of the app opens up the potential for cyber bullying, as previous seen with the popular site

It’s currently unclear as to whether the demand for removal of the app is focused solely on Brazilian based devices or if the action would include devices owned by visitors to Brazil.

In potentially a first of it’s kind action Apple would also have to add the app to the AppStore blacklist, which iOS devices periodically poll. This would mean that any device trying to run the app would fail to launch it, rendering the app useless.

This court ruling was heard on Tuesday, with a note that should Apple not remove the app they will face fines of approximately $8,860 per day that the application is still in service.

The application is also available on Windows and Android devices, so both Microsoft and Google have also been told to remove the application from their stores.

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LOGIK 7″ Google Nexus Starter Kit Review

LOGIK 7" Google Nexus 2 Starter Kit

LOGIK 7" Google Nexus 2 Starter KitWith my recent acquisition of a Google Nexus 7 (which you can read my review of here) the obvious next purchase was of course a protective case for the tablet. Now, although tablet design and construction has come on leaps and bounds since the very early market contenders. I am still a fan of looking after my tech, and keeping its resale value as high as possible.

Cases like these seem to divide the masses, some completely disagreeing with them and not seeing the need, others seeing them as an essential purchase.

Unlike my iPad I didn’t really want a bulky keyboard case, just something to help prevent knocks and scrapes. Scouring the market there’s a whole host of designs and builds, some starting for as little as £2.. (Which I’d personally avoid..) After a little shopping trip in my local city, I settled on the LOGIK 7″ Google Nexus Starter Kit.


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