The OpenSure Free Press 31st May 2011

Well, that was the last long weekend for quite some while; it’ll be tinsel and mince pies when the next one comes round, which is quite a scary thought. In the meantime, let the Free Press take your mind off work.

Small Grey Widgets, and keyword-rich domains
You’re reading this free press via; if we had a keyword-rich domain name instead, it would be along the lines of – you get the idea. There was a mania for keyword-rich domains, and unsurprisingly Google has now acted against them, as this article explains. The nub is this:

This recurring pattern of action and reaction by website owners and Google does raise an interesting question. What will happen when every ranking factor that could be spammed, has been spammed, and Google has de-emphasised all of them? Theoretically we should end up pretty much back where we started, except that the whole web will be stuffed with spam.

And the only answer is good content. If your site is useful, well-written and well-connected, then it will transcend SEO fashions and the whims of Google.

How the Cookie Crumbles
You may well have heard about new cookie legislation. Do you understand how it applies to your site? If you have no advertising on your site then it might not apply at all, but otherwise what it boils down to is more or less this, from a WordPress forum:

If a cookie forms an integral part of a website’s functionality – for example, a shopping basket or the storage of a user’s personal preferences – no consent need be obtained and life, for both the website owner and the user, goes on as normal.

In the meantime, brush up your privacy policy page, ensure that it mentions that WP sets non-tracking cookies and provide user instructions on how to remove them.

This is potentially quite a technical area, and one that it’s important to understand or to be advised on by someone who does understand it, most likely whoever created your website. There’s further reading here.

Open Source for Windows
Are you a Windows user? It’s okay, we’re not prejudiced – in fact some of our best friends are Windows users. Of course we browbeat them about it all the time, and now we can needle them even more by pointing them in the direction of open source applications that can be used on Windows. This article by Jack Wallen for TechRepublic lists 14 applications – some you’ll have heard of, many you won’t – and prefaces the list with this:

The majority of Windows users out there believe if you want good software you have to pay for it. So I decided to highlight the open source projects out there that run on Windows so you could, in turn, help spread the word by using and promoting these tools to your fellow Windows users.

So there’s no excuse now, is there?

Power by OpenSure badgeThe Green Bit
We’re introducing a new section to the Free Press, to cover eco-friendly technology and computing, or just to sing our own praises for the efforts we’re making in conserving energy through the structuring and provision of our services. This week:

  • Our Environmental Policy is now available to download as a PDF
  • We’ve added a Green & Ethical section to our website
  • We’ve signed up to The Prince’s Trust Mayday Network to help with improving the sustainability of our working habits

Other bits and pieces that have caught our eye recently include:

That’s it for this edition of the OpenSure Free Press. Feel free to leave us your thoughts below – is there anything you’d like to see covered? Drop us a line.


The OpenSure Free Press 31st May 2011 — 3 Comments

  1. Hi Heather,

    Whilst low quality/spammy SEO techniques are rarely sustainable, having your keywords in your domain is, I believe always going to help your search results.
    If your url is ‘’ this is always going to help you come up in search results for ‘Green Hosting’. It has to, because if that is the name of your business, then there is a good chance that people typing that into Google are in fact looking for your business. 5 or 6 years ago there was a lot of debate as to whether or not Google penalised domains that used hyphens due to the increasing number of spammy sites which did. In my experience there was no such penalty.

    One of the problems in the belief that large amounts of useful content on a wesbsite help with SEO, is that a lot of SEO practitioners like to talk a lot about what they think works of not. I often find this talk to be little more than talk and not really adding much value.

    Just like the on the TV or at the newsagent, finding good quality content online can be quite difficult, and yet a lot of people are making a lot of money.

    Some great articles here on Cookies and windows open source software.. and well done for completing your Environmental Policy!

  2. Thanks for your comments Robin. I interpreted the original article as making a point about exaggeratedly keyword-rich domains rather than sensible and useful terms in domain names. As in everything, there are those who abuse and so weaken a system that used sensibly pays dividends for everyone.