Converting files into a list

Recently I wanted to be able to list all my ebooks into an editable list in Excel. The only way I could see to do it was to type the titles out by hand – not really practical when you have thousands of the damn things! Continue reading

Is my site banned by Google?

In order for your website to be found via a search on the internet, it needs to first be accepted by the search engines. However, if it contravenes any of the search engine’s rules – then it may get banned… resulting in it not showing up in those important results.

For the purposes of this article, we shall concentrate on Google – after all, it is the biggest!

We are very proud to say that we have NEVER had a site banned by Google. Not any of ours, nor any of our clients. However, a couple of years ago we did buy a domain that had been registered by someone else (who no longer lives on the Island) and found out very quickly that they must have broken some criteria laid down by Google had resulted in the domain being banned. This banned domain was Lanzarote Business

Getting a site unbanned by Google is not particularly easy. First of all, Google won’t tell you why a specific site has been banned. However, it does give you some ways to ensure that a site doesn’t get banned in the first place, so going through these step by step can help you to check that you are following best procedures, then leaving you to approach Google and ask for reconsideration.

So how do I know if my site is banned by Google?

There are a couple of ways to try.  Start by going to Google and typing in site: followed by your domain name, minus the www. For example:


If it gives you search results… then all’s well, and your site is not banned. If it returns no search results, then it is not listed in their archives. If this is the case, then do a search for “Google banned checker tool” – there are plenty of free ones out there – and here is a link to just one of them: Google Banned Checker Tool

What could have caused it?

Getting a site banned by Google isn’t that common really – so you must have done something pretty bad if that has happened. There are a number of reasons why Google may have banned your website, and here are just three of them:

  • Using Black Hat SEO techniques
  • Linking to”bad” sites, such as gambling, pronographic or link farms
  • Duplicate content. Copying another website’s content can definitely harm you, which is one of the reasons we take plagiarism very seriously indeed.

How can I fix it?

The best way is to open a Google Webmaster Tools account. It is free, and only takes a couple of minutes. Then you submit your website, validate it by placing a small piece of code in your website, and you can start using the tools that Google has provided. There is a tool in there that can resubmit your site to Google, and offer it for reconsideration.

The offending site that we had was looked at in less than a week, and is already commanding many useful search terms… all on page one of Google results. We simply proved to Google that we were new owners, and that the site was full of useful content – and Bob’s your auntie’s husband.

Don’t risk getting your site banned, by urilising bad practice – and do certainly be careful who you get to build your website!

What is Google Page Rank

Many people confuse Google Page Rank with the ranking their site has in Google search results.

The two are very different animals however, and do not always match each other. For example – you may have a Google Page Rank of 4 or 5 (it goes 0 to 10 – with 10 being the highest) but you still do not come up at the number one spot for their chosen search term in Google results.

Google says that Google Page rank is determined by a high number of factors… but are reticent about listing them all. One of the most deciding factors however, is the number of backlinks from external websites referring to a particular page. The rank is always allocated to a page, rather than the whole website… so you will usually have a higher page rank on your home page, than to an internal page – this is usually because people will usually point to your home page when referencing your website.

Recently our guide to moving to Lanzarote achieved a Google Page rank of 4. This tells us that Google views the site as beneficial to readers, because there are so many links pointing towards it.

Our nightlife website Canary Nightlife has a page rank of 3. However, some of its internal pages also rank well… such as the Island pages and town pages inside the website.

So how do you raise your page rank? The first place to start is by getting lots of people to link to your website – or to a particular page. You can do this by a variety of methods… such as reciprocal linking, article writing, posting on message boards and much more. Ensure that your content is engaging, and of interest to lots of different people. You might think that you have written a masterpiece – but if nobody else shares your interest… then it’s not a lot of use. Aim to get your link listed on pages that already have a good rank themselves, as their “vote” is respected more highly by Google.

Be wary of websites that email you for a reciprocal link – claiming that they have a high page rank… but then shove your link onto a page on their site that isn’t even acknowledged by Google. This doesn’t help you – and only benefits them.

One thing to always remember though – is that content is vital for the health of your website. Keep it current… keep it fresh… keep it relevant… keep it updated!

To check the Google Page Rank of your own website – either install the Google Toolbar direct from Google… or you can enter your site address into this tool below.

Check Page Rank of any web site pages instantly:
This free page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

Both options are free of course.

Revamp that website!

Why should you bring your website up to date?

When you buy a car, you don’t necessarily buy exactly the same model, age, and colour, that you did last time would you? Why? Because technologies, tastes, and features have moved on. What your old car used to do for you was fine at the time… but now the demands are different. Continue reading

Does my company really need a website?

The easy and simple answer is “Yes – without a doubt!” But why? Here are just three reasons why a website is a must for any serious business.

You know what it’s like. You’ve been at work all day, or you’ve been taxi-ing the kids around to and from school, footie lessons, friends’ houses etc – and before you know it, you’re back at home and it’s far too late to visit a shop, or talk to a call centre (if you even wanted to). So you click on the computer, and start surfing to see what you can find. A website ensures that your business is available to prospective customers at all times – even if you personally are not. In a short time, your prospective customers can have found out all about you, your services, how to get more information, dropped you an enquiry, or even bought your products – all while you snooze in front of the telly… or are sipping wine with friends on the terrace.

Customers will speak to YOU!
How many times have you searched through an online directory, looking for something specific, and then are faced with rows of telephone numbers. Then a supplier with a website is in the list – human nature dictates that you will click on that because straight away you can find out more information without having to pick up a phone, or drive to their premises. Well, you’re not alone… Don’t you think your customers would do the same?

Increase your customer base
No matter whether you are doing business on a local level, or gaining clients internationally, a website can help you reach out to more people. It would be lovely if we had enough money to advertise in every publication in the world, flypost every flat surface in every country, or have your logo emblazoned on every vehicle ever driven, have our image blasting on every television channel ever broadcasting – but life just isn’t like that. And hey, if you had enough money to do that, you’d be retiring to yout luxury yacht and supping margheritas. What a website can do for you is the next best thing. With the internet, there are no national borders, no geographical limitaions – you’re are simply in the place caled “online”. Perhaps you have a new offer coming up – get it on your website, and you are automatically advertising worldwide. Planning a new range? Then your website can display that for you across all the compass points.

Of course there are many many more reasons to have a website – but even with just these… can you afford not to?

Search Engine Results Page

The search engine results page or SERP is the page(s) of website listings that a search engine shows you in response to submitting a search to that specific engine. Here in Lanzarote, we hear “Google” shouted from the rooftops… and as this is the most widely used search engine, we will concentrate on that one. Continue reading

Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEOIt is suggested that the terms “Black Hat” and “White Hat” originates back to the early Western movies… where the bad guys wore black hats – and the good guys wore… yes you’ve guessed it, white hats.

As with most things, if there’s a faster or easier way of achieving something… then people will want to try it – that’s what Black Hat SEO is. I’ll happily microwave scrambled eggs rather than take the time in the saucepan, and then have that joy of scraping off cooked egg! But this Black Hat methodology goes back to when Search Engines were a lot less sophisticated than they are today. Continue reading

Choosing a Domain Name – 6 Tips

Choosing the right domain name is vital for your success on the internet. Get it right – and the world is your oyster. Get it wrong – and your business may struggle to recover. Here are just 6 easy tips to help you on that path. Continue reading