Google Caffeine – what does it mean for SEO?

Google logo

Google Caffeine Update is Google’s updated web search. Google Caffeine update will be rolled out in the next few months. Watch Mashables’s video on Google Caffiene on how it will affect search engine rankings. To test the Google Caffeine Update, go to and enter your search terms.  Noticed any differences in results from the existing Google homepage? I haven’t yet….

So what are the differences?

  • Real time information and social media (Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook) seem to rank more highly
  • The index – the number of pages that are returned when searching is larger
  • Image or video search listings (called universal search) – are less obvious.  This may be because Caffeine update is still in beta as i can’t image that this is less important
  • It seems to index more individual pages on sites in some searches, less in other searches – again may be because it’s beta.

So, in a nutshell the results aren’t all that different yet and it’s difficult to notice any differences (yet).  What it does imply is that real time information, social media and updated content will be more important. Add to this is the Google’s focus on localised information e.g Google maps and it shows where to focus search engine optimisation energy. Time to start the blog, tweet your heart out and get social.

Google caffiene links

Twitter strategy template for government

marek-sotak-twitterJust been reading the cabinet office digital engagement blog and came across Neil Williams Template Twitter Strategy for Government Departments.

It’s a lot to digest (20 pages) but extremely useful for newbie tweeters, infact anyone who wants to understand the Twitter phenomenon.

It explains how to use Twitter, why you need a corporate Twitter channel, how to measure and evaluate return on your investment,  risks, how to promote  and best practice for producing great Twitter content. It’s got the lot.

I particularly like to simple glossary of terms that make sense to regular tweeters but are a mystery to mere mortals. This is an incredibly useful template that can be adapted and published to help colleagues along on the journey of social media enlightenment. Visit Neil’s blog at

Yammer in Local Government – an experiment in internal social media

We’ve been tryiyammerlogocolorsmallng-out Yammer at work (Brighton & Hove City Council) to experiment with social media internally.

Yammer is a microblogging, social network, discussion board and knowledge base service for organisations. Yammer networks are for organizational use with everyone using the same company e-mail address.  You can access it through your desktop, the Web, e-mail, instant and text messaging, as well as iPhone and Blackberry smartphones. You can find all the details by watching the video introduction or screenshot tour on the Yammer website.

It’s like twitter on steroids but with a business purpose. It has lots of other features like profiles, rss feeds and organisational charts. Unlike twitter you can extend messages beyond 140 characters, attach documents and before you ask, yup it’s secure.

Yammer has the potential to reduce email clutter, boost employee engagement and office communication. It could equally be seen as a distraction, a duplication of email and may create a divide where certain people who use it are ‘in the loop’ and those who do not are left out or don’t ‘get it’.

About the Yammer experiment…

We piloted Yammer with the marketing and web teams who work closely on the web/intranet. The teams are based in different offices. We have a call logging system but it doesn’t really meet the needs of the teams for instant updates or effective two way communication. It’s been useful for quick updates and collaboration on projects in between weekly meets.

The Yammer experiment has recently been opened up to all council staff.  It’s growing rapidly between teams – staff are posting comments and already work groups are forming . Some staff do not understand why they are there, others (those more used to social networking tools) are posting regularly.

What we have learnt so far…

1. Start with a small group of employees to understand and evaluate features

2. Then try to get everyone in an organization on board

3. Use people/workgroups who ‘get it’ to tell others about the benefits

4. Help staff understand the purpose of the tool:-

– tell them its about ‘what are you working on?’ not what’s on the telly tonight
– if used properly it can really enhance collaboration between teams and breakdown ‘silos’
– It reduces the need for group emails
– it’s searchable and you can tag messages to find relevant information easily

5. Give examples of how Yammer could be useful to the organisation for example….

– instant messaging can be used in a crisis to communicate between teams

6. Clarify if social media features can be developed on your existing intranet – avoid duplication, use the tools to test the water and make a business case.

Yammer tips

We have been posting Yammer tips on our network to help staff understand the purpose of company/enterprise micro blogging and  find business uses….

  • Yammer tip no1 : What you are working on?
  • Yammer tip No2 : Unlike email you can choose who you get updates from – it’s called ‘following’.
  • Yammer tip No3 : Did you know you can sync Yammer with Twitter tweets?
  • Yammer tip No4 : Senior Managers – Did you know you can Yammer on your Blackberry?
  • Yammer tip No5 : Use Yammer to brainstorm ideas e.g what do staff think about the new brand, ideas for campaigns or tag lines
  • Yammer tip No6 : You can set up simple sms texts to groups – useful to communicate information in emergencies
  • Yammer tip No7 : You can use Yammer groups as a substitute for company mail lists.

Finally…… wondering what yammer means?

1. (verb) howl, wrawl, yammer, yowl
cry loudly, as of animals
“The coyotes were howling in the desert”

Can Yammer improve productivity by reducing the number of emails? Is Yammer good or bad for actually getting work done? Why do we need this when e-mail and intranet applications do similar things. What does this mean for council internal communications, the intranet? At the moment I’m not sure, but  it’s interesting and exciting to find out.

More about Yammer
BBC Technology news

A huge list of social media and blogging guidelines

There are many social media and blogging guidelines online. While researching I found myself searching back and forth between sites. On this post I have put the most impressive links in one place for reference and hopefully not to re-invent that wheel.

I’m a bit obsessed with social media guidelines having recently come back from the  inspirational, amazing, early morning soiree that was Localgovcamp. I am still buzzing with excitement about what’s happening in the world of local authority social media.

One  policy that really sings to me  is Zappos Twitter policy ‘Be real and use your best judgement’ – that’s it!  Thanks to original posts  listed below  just for reference….

The list

Employee guidelines

Blogging guidelines

Once digested and reviewed i’m working on  a very simple version in plain English using lovely charts….

Blogging and meditation

artistswayJust been meditating on blogging… its incredibly useful  to write down thoughts in the morning to clear my mind and get ready for the day ahead.  A meditation in itself….

I am a big fan of the ‘Artists Way’ but to get the most out of this process you obviously have to do morning pages every morning. That’s quite a committment. Maybe i could blog them… well theres’ a thought!

Welcome from Webyogi…

buda_smWelcome to my blog. I had a blog a long time ago but took it down as i couldn’t  find time to update (that’s what they all say).  After Localgovcamp this weekend i thought JFDI even though as a marketing person  i have no idea what that means. No need to wait to reinstall WordPress and create a fancy wordpress themed site. Just Find the time to Do It 🙂