Monday, August 10, 2009

The View from my Office

UK Birds: Great Tit

When I first came to the UK and used to work in London, I had an in-house joke with some friends where we would email each other photos of the 'views from our office', just to prove how dull our jobs were!

Now, I am lucky enough to be able to work from home and whilst it does have many benefits, there are also many distractions, especially if you are like me and enjoy wildlife photography.

On a few of the sunny days this spring and summer, I have often taken my laptop along with my camera, to do a little work outside.

I have seen plenty of birds, including the usual common UK birds and have also managed to spot two of the three woodpeckers that you get in the UK, the Green woodpecker and the lesser spotted woodpecker.

As well as the birds, I have seen plenty of butterflies, a Grass Snake (Natrix natrix) who lives in my compost heap, the occasional sighting of a pair of Monkjack Deer and a young fox who has taken to stealing my shoes and planting them in my vegetable garden!

Whilst I still miss all the wildlife from back home, I am really enjoying the wonderful nature that has taken to visiting my urban garden here in the UK this summer.

Monday, August 03, 2009

My Love Hate Relationship wih Google

Recently Google decided that it no longer liked my Best Binoculars & Binocular Reviews website and keywords that I was previously ranking in the first 5 places for, were now down to the tenth page or worse.

I was totally gutted, because I have been doing a lot of work on this website for many months now and it was slowly starting to pay off with the traffic to it, steadily increasing and as such so has to has my income

So what I had done to incur the wrath of Google?

In my opinion nothing, because I am looking at this site as a long term project I am purposely keeping away from any shady ways to improve my search engine rankings and producing quality unique contenet that I feel is genuinely useful should you be looking for advice on binoculars.

I did wonder if I may have too many internal links on the homepage, Google's own Webmaster Guidelines recommend that you keep it to less than a hundred and mine is pretty close to that, but surely this is not the worst crime in SEO?

After racking my brains and not coming up with anything and as a last resort, I submitted a Reconsideration Request from my Google Webmaster Tools account. This was done in frustration more than anything else as I have written to 'Big Brother' in the past and never received a reply and so was not expecting much.

Five days later
Yeagh \o/ - all my rankings have now returned and I even have a very generic reply from Google that says:


We've processed your reconsideration request for July 30, 2009

We received a request from a site owner to reconsider how we index the following site:

We've now reviewed your site. When we review a site, we check to see if it's in violation of our Webmaster Guidelines. If we don't find any problems, we'll reconsider our indexing of your site. If your site still doesn't appear in our search results, check our Help Center for steps you can take.

I still do not know what (if anything) I did was wrong, but at least now I now once again have people visiting my website although I have a horrible feeling it may happen again.

So if someone in the reads this from the Google Search team reads this, thanks guys, but to improve it, why not tell us why it happened, this would help people who are genuinely not trying to trick you to to produce better websites for your search engine and for the billions of people who use it.