HookedOnMedia directors Andrew and Stewart have recently become regulars on the new Pirate2 Business Hub. The team will be offering advice once a fortnight to Cornish Businesses who want to increase their online presence in SEO, PPC, Social media and content.

Preparing your ecommerce site for Christmas

Have you  prepared your website for Christmas?

If the answer is no then now is the time to start planning. It’s important to run these campaigns and to, at least plan ahead 3-4 months in advance because there is an increase in competition during this period.

From September onwards you should be thinking about the festive period as there will be a number of high conversion searches, which can make or break an online retailers year, as quite a lot of the company’s revenue is generated during the festive season. You should find product opportunities to gain competitor advantage.

If you are unsure on which products to focus on, look at last year’s key phrases such as ipads. If ipads was in your top searches and you sold more of these during the Christmas period than you should probably focus on these.

* Take a look at Google Trends and drill down your regional data. You can view phrases that are trending such as ‘breakout phrases’ egIphone 6 / Xbox One

*In Google Keyword Planner search for keyword volumes and add keyphrases for other ideas. Make sure you include some broad related phrases such as Nexus 7 or ipad mini.

* Keep an eye out for product mentions on tweet deck and set up some custom searches using the # hash tag these are all free tools.

You can promote your website this Xmas through the following channels:


For fast immediate results make sure you take advantage of high converting traffic.

  • Ideally have you will already have an existing profitable campaign in place, so you have accumulated data on high converting terms for your site.
  • Adwords ads & also the Google Merchant centre to appear in Google shopping.
  • You will need to be on-top of data especially at Xmas time when products sell out; you will need to pause the ad.
  • Competitors will drop prices so you will need to update the ad text with new price to compete.
  • Check the site uptime because servers can buckle under pressure.


To help improve your SEO you can write press releases on products run competitions on your own website or on a well known magazine website for example “win an Ipad or a Xmas break or write some interesting blog posts on your products. You can get ideas from Google Trends.

To find out more listen here

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What Is A Penalty?

Have you ever heard of Google penalties and how you can recover from them if your website is penalised?

A Google penalty is when the search engine de-ranks a page or website within its index for the following reasons which could be down to


Page Level

Keyword Specific

Without resolving the penalty, your  ranking will remain lower down pages and as a result of this will be more difficult for your consumers to find.

There are several types of penalties that Google can impose on websites which include the following:

The Manual Penalty which been around for years – Reviewers Employed by Google – trawl through ranking sites to spot any misuse or sites not following Google set of guidelines – hidden text – keyword stuffing – General Black-hat techniques, old school seo The first PANDA update was released February 2011, to cut out the number of low quality, thin content pages on websites. The latest Panda 4 update has filtered out thin content from top ranking sites such as eBay. 7.5% of queries are affected on English sites.

Penguin was released April 24 2012

This update is based on link quality and this algorithm affects: – Link Farms – Link types – Footer, Site wide, Anchor Text, Relevancy

– New Penguin 3.0 likely during 2014

Examples of penalties include: BMW were hit by a penalty in 2006.

Google removed BMW German site from index. In this particular case, BMW were using doorway pages. This is a type of redirect, landing page stuffed with keywords. Google webmaster guidelines: state “Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as ‘cloaking’,” Removed manipulate search results. BMW was one of the 1st major bands to be removed which sent waves through the SEO community.

Ebay saw a recent drop with 120K plus pages losing rankings. Possible causes could have been thin and duplicated content. One of the largest online retailers witnessed a $200 million dollars drop for the year financial estimate call in July, and UK traffic could have dropped by half as a result of this.

Large sites gain good press (backlinks from a Penalty) and NORMALLY come back stronger – Small businesses sometimes never regain rankings and in the end often go bust! – We have worked on a few sites that have had linking penalties and have recommended different strategies depending on how bad the penalty is.

Here are some of the Services that you can do to help your business recover from a penalty:

Negative SEO Service

Make sure that you Investigate when a Penalty has occurred and look at your Analytics,  Google Updates  and Check Google Webmaster Tools for Messages. Pinpoint the type of Penalty and manually check the content . Use  Copyscape to detect any duplicated content , Run backlink Audits, review link quality and backlink to domain ratio.

Email the webmaster to change, delete, nofollow links  and Upload links for Google To Ignore or submit a Disavow Request if necessary and Re-inclusion request- then wait for this to be approved.

Before jumping to conclusions make sure that it’s definitely a penalty as in some cases it might not be a penalty?

It could be done to the following: Competitors doing more work NoIndex tag left by developer A Good link has been lost.

Are you aware that a Google Penalty could also ruin your Reputation As well As Rankings?

  • Yes, other businesses can bad mouth the business who obtained a penalty and could go Viral!
  • Need to Stem or Manage This With Reputation Management?

What is Reputation Management?

  • Controlling your brands ‘voice’ over the web
  • Managing and replying to customer comments
  • Monitoring Review Sites – system in place to ensure regular reviews are going live.
  • Monitoring Social Media
  • Monitoring Video – Youtube
  • Responding in a positive manner

Replies show that a business cares, and demonstrates willingness to change or overcome potential problems.

If you don’t yet have a keyword ranking there’s no need to panic, as there is still time.

If you missed the show, you can listen here [wonderplugin_audio id=”5″]