Nick Wilsdon

Nick Wilsdon is the Head of Content and Media at iProspect UK, part of the Densu Aegis Network. He manages online campaigns for the UK's leading telecom, finance and FMCG brands.

Google Launches New Google Partners with Free Exams

google partner logo 300x108 Google Launches New Google Partners with Free ExamsFrom September 30th Google will replace the Google Certification Program, introduced in 2010 with a new Google Partners program. Partners will include improvements that make it more meaningful for agencies to get certified in Google advertising solutions like Adwords. According to the email Google have just sent me, the key points are:

How this will affect certified professionals

  • Beginning September 30, 2013, access to your GCP account will be read-only.
  • You’ll need a Google Partners account to take exams and get certified.
  • Taking exams and getting certified will be free. (Currently $50 USD per exam).
  • Your GCP exam history and AdWords certification status will transfer to Partners when you join using the same Google account.
  • Certifications earned through GCP will remain valid through the expiration date.

How this will affect Google Certified Partner companies

  • Beginning September 30, 2013, a Google Partners account will be required to manage your company’s profile on Google Partner Search. You’ll be able to manage both your individual certifications and company profile using the same Partners account.
  • Certified Partner companies will remain listed on Google Partner Search until November 13, 2013.
  • To continue being listed on Google Partner Search after November 13, a company must qualify for the new Google Partner badge.
  • Current Certified Partners will not automatically qualify for the new Partner badge.
  • Use of the old ‘AdWords Certified Partner’ badge for promotional or other purposes won’t be permitted after November 13.

So apart from some re-branding, little seems to have changed with the eligibility criteria. Partners are still required to have a minimum spend of $10k in at least 60 of the last 90 days and one qualified individual to maintain their listing. I agreed with Brad, when he suggested that it would have been good to provide some differentiation between agency tiers. No sign of that with this change.

The update making the headlines will be Google dropping the $50 exam fee for individual qualification. There’s no reason now why clients can’t demand certification from the professionals working on their accounts, let alone at agency level. Anything that makes the online industry more professional is a good thing.

Other interest will be around Google’s new partner search section, which will provide free advertising for agencies, with an enhanced listings page. At time of writing, only are only 5 UK agencies listed there; iCrossing, Marin Software, eSearchVision The Search Agency and Forward3D. United States only lists Marin Software, Finch UK, ROI Revolution Inc. and iProspect.

google partner search Google Launches New Google Partners with Free Exams

Planning Blog Posts with the New Google Analytics App

Top marks to the Google Analytics team on their recent update to the GA Android App. The interface has been completely reworked and they have substantially increased the data available. One of my favourite features is the Content widget showing page view frequency by day/hour.

GA page views by hour Planning Blog Posts with the New Google Analytics AppThere have been many studies on the best day/time to publish material across social networks, and common sense would suggest mid-week content releases are more likely to be read.

Looking at my data over at three month period (screenshot on the right), the smart move would be to push out blog posts on a Tuesday and Thursday before lunchtime. Admittedly you could be causing these results by publishing regularly on these times, however my posting has been anything but regular so I’m inclined to believe these represent the peak times for my traffic.

Have a look at your own data and find the patterns, it’s a good insight to share with client teams when putting together your content calendars. If you are using WordPress, I’d recommend using the Editorial Calendar plugin, so you can easily pre-plan releases and adopt an optimised publishing schedule.

Places Available For Free SEO Seminar 6th June in London

arenamedia logo Places Available For Free SEO Seminar 6th June in LondonArena Media/Havas will be running a free SEO Seminar on 6th June in London, at the Soho Hotel entitled, “How SEO Can Fuel And Be Fueled By All Your Other Marketing Activities“. I’ll be speaking along with Ian Bowden (Arena Media), Kevin Thiele (SearchMetrics) and Richard Bettinson (Three).

There are a couple of places left, so if you are in London on the 6th and want to come long, RSVP for an invitation. Click the invitation image below for more details (or click here).


seo seminar invite 161x300 Places Available For Free SEO Seminar 6th June in London
8:45 Registration and coffee

9:35 Ian Bowden, SEO Director Arena Media, “Enterprise Level SEO Measurement

10:00 Kevin Thiele, Client Director SearchMetrics, “The Role of Big Data Tools in SEO

10:30 Richard Bettinson, Three Mobile, “Unlocking the Potential of SEO – How Organic Search Became A Lead Digital Channel at Three

11:00 Nick Wilsdon, Head of SEO & Content Marketing Arena Media, “How to Future Proof Your Performance with SEO Content Marketing“.

11:25 Panel Discussion

12:00 Event Over

Consumers Turn On Amazon Over UK Tax Avoidance

Amazon, Starbucks and Google are hitting the press this week again for their UK tax arrangements. Amazon UK pays £2.4m tax on total annual sales of £4.2bn, which accounts for 25% of all books and 90% of all e-books sold in the UK.

In a time of austerity, this hasn’t gone down well. Not least because Amazon also recieved £2.5m in government grants for the same period, slightly more than their actual tax payment. A petition led by local bookstores has attracted nearly 170,000 signatures.

This negative campaign has also spilled out across the web and noticeably within their customer forum. An advanced search on Google shows 33,400 results. There have been ~100 new comments in the last week alone. Even Google search trends suggests this is a subject that growing in popularity.

amazon tax search trends Consumers Turn On Amazon Over UK Tax Avoidance

Even more worrying though for Amazon, is the way this issue has spilled into their product reviews, referencing the tax issue and pointing users to local alternatives.

amazon tax review Consumers Turn On Amazon Over UK Tax Avoidance

In 2010, Amazon was reported as being the largest single source of Internet consumer reviews. User generated content is a key pillar of their success. Empowered users have turned this feature on Amazon very effectively.

who cares wins 192x300 Consumers Turn On Amazon Over UK Tax Avoidance Consumer revolts are becoming more common. According to David Jones, author of Who Cares Wins, that is a consequence of poor corporate social responsibility (CSR).

We are now entering an age where businesses that are not socially responsible will suffer damage as a result of this failure. Consumers now know more about companies and expect more of them. Not only that, they will now act against those that do not come up to this standard.

It will be interesting to see if David is proved right in this case. Amazon are rapidly becoming the most convenient provider for products as well as content (film, e-books and music). This campaign would need to grow substantially to hit their bottom line. As Lucy Tobin recently wrote in the Evening Standard.

The fact is, we like buying things cheaply or online because — even if the retailer is irresponsible or morally reprehensible — that’s what we can afford, or most easily access.

But yes Lucy, I agree, that doesn’t make it any better.

Using Google Sets To Generate Blogger Lists

Google Labs Logo.png Using Google Sets To Generate Blogger ListsUnfortunately I missed the Google’s Sets Project, one of the first outputs from Google Labs that helped build sets based on a few key values. For instance, a set of “red, green, yellow” would yield more colours. The project was discontinued in 2011 but luckily it still lives on as a function in Google spreadsheets.

Open a new Google spreadsheet and simply input a couple of values. Then highlight them and drag down to expand the column while holding ctrl key down. Google will then try to fill in the list of values, based on the data associations from the Sets project.

That’s fun for lists of cars, countries and types of cheeses but I wondered how this would work for sets of bloggers. My quick test on a few key fashion blogs gave some interesting results, see the image below. Although there were duplications, my initial set of 14 names (in blue) generated over 50 new suggestions in a couple of minutes.

fashion bloggers1 Using Google Sets To Generate Blogger Lists

A few side notes to this technique. Firstly, now that the Sets project has closed down these data associations are not pulled from current index. However if you’re looking for seasoned bloggers that may not be such a bad thing. Secondly bloggers need to have impacted Google’s index sufficiently to have these associations. Small or unknown names will not generate any results. Again, this this may suit your purposes but something to keep in mind.

Lastly, it’s worth mixing and matching the pairs to generate different lists. As with most tools, the quality of data you put in will determine the quality of the data you get out.