Tim Ireland – the Man and the Genius of His Work

Here is a brief plug for my friend and colleague, Tim Ireland.

Tim was born in Australia and spent 10 years as a nightclub DJ creating a show based on music video and other forms of multimedia. He claims that this is where he learned the basics of marketing. He soon accidentally stumbled upon the internet, where he has chosen to dwell ever since. In 1998 he moved to the UK and took part in the ‘dotcom’ era. His most notable successes resulted from his participation in the development of Tesco.net and Tesco.com.

He is now best described as a marketing consultant/guru and his main focus is Search Engine Optimisation, particularly in Google. As an SEO engineer his main job is to research and compile sets of keywords and make recommendations to the relevant design team about placement.


He got into weblogs because it helped with SEO and his involvement into politics stemmed from his interest in communities: “I found a voice and quite a few things to give a damn about”.

About Blogs: Tim feels they are not for campaigning alone – they are for communication. The more MPs there are who blog for the right reasons, the better this system will work.

His aims for the future and vision: He would like there to be increased engagement between MPs, constituents and the general public that would – rather than being a drain on resources – actually benefit any given MP and democracy in general.

So, over to Tim and his latest report on our performance in search engines – see link

OK, here’s how it works:
2-7% of web users have their own website or weblog. Due to the influence of link popularity, it is this 2-7% that largely determines what major search engines like Google present as their search results. (That may not sound very democratic, but there’s a level of community-led accountability built in and if you have a problem with the whole thing, perhaps you should start a weblog of your own.)
Not a lot of people know that there is also a historical aspect to Google’s ranking algorithm. Sites that take control of certain top search results for a long period of time are difficult to unseat quickly without some serious inbound link activity and/or a lack of updates on these dominating sites.
So, for the first 6 months of operation, Boris’s weblog climbed no higher than the 3rd search result in Google for ‘boris johnson’ – largely because the Boris Johnson Fan Club and Boris Watch had been in operation longer.
But no longer.
From today, Boris is the top search result for ‘boris johnson’ in Google and the new MSN database. Yahoo is still pending.
But wait… there’s more.
I have this little example I like to use in business meetings when trying to show clients or potential clients the difference between creating something of interest to the weblog community and integrating fully with it. That example is Tom Watson.
I begin by explaining that when Tom first came online, his site didn’t appear on the front page of any search engine for his name, because there was a golfer by the same name with a 20-year career under his belt. Profile, news and tribute pages for this individual dominated the search results.
So I then show them the weblog and how it works. I pop over to Technorati and show them the ‘buzz’ around his weblog. I show them the difference between static links (such as a blogroll link) and transient links (such as a individual posts) and make it very clear that the former is much harder to earn than the latter.
Then we go to Google and search for ‘tom watson’… this is the point when most people get it. Because of his integration with the weblog community, Tom Watson the MP is seen to be the most relevant ‘tom watson’ there is. He is the Tom Watson that is more accessible and whose website is the most highly regarded.
Then we search for ‘labour mp’… this is the point when most people see the potential. Because of his integration with the weblog community, Tom Watson the MP is seen to be the most relevant ‘labour mp’ there is. He is the Labour MP that is more accessible and whose website is the most highly regarded.
I guess you know what’s coming…
Yes, while it may come and go in the first few days (as many fresh results do), today was also the first time that Boris Johnson acheived the top search result in Google for ‘conservative mp’
Boris Johnson – the first Tory MP with a weblog – has the more dynamic and most accessible site. His site is more highly regarded than the websites of other Conservative MPs. He is therefore the most relevant ‘conservative mp’ there is. At least, according to Google he is. MSN and Yahoo will take a while to catch up.

23 thoughts on “Tim Ireland – the Man and the Genius of His Work”

  1. Of course it works both ways, you can google bomb as well

    So if we all linked “Melissa’s boss” to here, then a search on “Melissa’s boss” would have this site at the top.

    SEO is not just for good 🙂

  2. How fascinating Barry – quite radical this ‘google bombing’ idea

    btw please allow for a little extra turbulence over the next week on this site as I shall be bashing the snowy slopes of Slovenia – not sure about the internet facilities up on the mountain. [Simon Holledge and Nick – my !! you were quick off the mark to spot the empty ‘test’ posting !!! no flies on YOU]

  3. If I type in “conservative mp”, I get:

    “MP suspended over ‘cash for Commons tours’ scandal”

    Oh, wait, you didn’t mean “Google News”. 🙂

  4. This could be the start of a new series:

    Vicus Scurra – the Man and the Genius of His Work
    Barry Dorrans – the Man and the Genius of His Work
    Wifey – the Woman and the Genius of Her Work
    The Count – the Man and the Genius of His Work
    Hannah – the Woman and the Genius of Her Work
    Jozef Imrich – the Man and the Genius of His Work
    Nick – the Man and the Genius of His Work
    Monkey – the Man and the Genius of His Work
    etc etc. and, of course,

    Simon Holledge- the Man and the Genius of His Work

  5. You’ve got the idea Simon !

    I couldn’t agree more – in time you should all receive the recognition you richly deserve … You truly are the geniuses that give this site any credence and prominence

    The Boris Johnson site collects the best bloggers/contributors – I’m dead proud of that. You’re fantastically good – couldn’t be better

  6. Barry –

    Gifts? Well, I know what Peter J would say: sweeties … Wifey and Hannah would like: tea, Nick would choose: Slovene pom poms, Vicus: something with a love + peace motif, Simon: some mountaineering implement to help him in his hike up Mt Kilimanjaro… etc etc for Jozef(quote book) Michael (something clever) Mark G (something bookish) Ken (something for Nanny) Aaron (a multimedia gadget) Lori (non-melt snowball!) but I really don’t know about you – you’re a toughie that’s for sure – Bill Gates’s genie in a bottle? – a squashed foreign ID card? a pc to show your friends in Henley? not sure …

  7. It is all so easy. If one were, for whatever reason, to type ‘”Leon Brittan” + engorged’ into Google, one would be directed to the web log of England’s foremost village.
    I would counsel readers not to add impish comments linking the owner of this blog to anything distasteful, so that we do not get any unwanted traffic here.
    Oh no.

  8. Have fun Melissa. The nicecupoftea team spent last week skiing in France – the conditions were perfect (if a tad cold)

    Don’t break anything!

  9. How many nationalities do you have in the office Australian, Welsh, even Scottish (is Ireland part Irish? and responsible for the blogging results … voting early and often and all that (smile)

    BTW, Slivovica is the only word you need to remember if you want to stay warm in Slovenia or Slovakia for that matter, Melissa.

    Next year consider the High Tatra Mountains in Slovakia 😉

    Ach, PC Magazine exploits the Real Google Number Crunchers:
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1036468,00.asp

  10. Disclaimer: the author Mr Dvorak is not related to the composer of the Czech National Anthem. Even though he is related to Imrich family there is no direct conflict of interest…

  11. Don’t I get a pressie? Wotcha gonna bring me? Gluvine? Gluwein? Oh well Richard Armitage naked and wanting will have to do. If you find him on the slopes, wrap him carefully won’t you? Bubble wrap is so moreish!
    Have a good one Melissa.

  12. Anti-Labour Tactical Voting – Again

    We’ve had the anti-Labour tactical-voting Save the Scottish Regiments campaign, as reported by Independence blog here. Now we have the anti-Labour tactical-voting Backing Blair campaign, as reported by The Inside Of My Head blog here:
    Over at Blogg…

  13. The Blair Backlash begins here!

    All I am saying is that here is something you won’t found linked to elsewhere – a video-clip about Blair that wasn’t produced by Tim…

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