Is your landing page scaring off potential customers?

Español: Logotipo "Scaring" contra e...
"Scaring" (Photo credit: Wikipedia; CC 3.0 Sharealike)
Over on Empire Avenue this evening - only the second time in 2013 (slaps wrist) - I was inexplicably drawn to the Blogging Community there.

Now, I work on freelance sites and have always shied away from jobs asking to 'review my site' when there's an attached wage.

When people want me to do it for free, I've got no problem.  I'll die skint, but I'll surely go to Heaven.

Such was the case tonight.  A guy named Rahul was obviously experiencing problems with his blog's bounce rate, customer engagement and encouraging clicks, let alone commissions.

Does your blog work hard or work smart?

A lot of work had gone into setting out the blog, a double row of page tabs across the header, drop-down menus and ad placements (lots of ad placements).

All of the work, however, meant a lot of fuss with no real boundaries (word of the day, boundaries - fourth time) to keep the content reigned in:
  • Text from ads seemed to spill over into the article itself
  • A 'you-are-here' path hovered inexplicably between an ad under the fold and above the article title (No shit, Sherlock?)
  • And nothing seemed to begin or end anywhere.
I tried as best as I could to point these errors out gently and hope the gentleman was not offended by the response his plea for help generated:
Jason Darrell: Hi, Rahul. I have a couple of initial thoughts about your blog.
Firstly, the content. You're obviously a guy with a passion for iPad. The majority of users have a passing interest, although they may like to keep up [with the trend] to an extent.
On your front page, the first snippet - or great block - of text you see is:
"Apple just announced their brand new 128GB iPad with Retina display on a press release. The new 128GB iPad was first rumored by 9to5Mac as they saw support for it on iOS 6.1 Beta 5 logs. This is not a redesign or a new model for the iPad. You still get the same A6X Chip..."
That's way over and above most laymen's comprehension of the product/niche and the majority, I suggest, are turned off by that depth of techno detail.
My second observation is the layout of text. Recent studies have confirmed that surfers scan web copy, not read as in the traditional sense of a book or broadsheet newspaper.
Current thinking is that by reducing the size of paragraphs, a page looks more appealing for the average surfer.
Furthermore, text interspersed with H2 & H3 headers and relevant, non-overpowering images will also help to keep your bounce rate down.
An example of what I mean can be found on a new blog I've just started, here.
And tertiary, if I was being ultra-picky, the 'How to start a blog' ad between the fold and the article is extremely confusing.
This is especially true as there are no boundaries to restrain the text, thus retain the reader's attention.
That ad may look better moved to the sidebar and be less obtrusive.
This would allow the article to sit directly beneath the fold/list of tabs across the top of the page.
Likewise, the 'You Are Here' map across the headline - is that necessary, at least where it is?
Perhaps if it was placed beneath the article - when the tabs are out of site - a path would have merit.  But it's in the way at the top.
Why not try getting the tab for the page upon which the surfer resides turn a different colour the others to signify where they are?
Google is very keen on delivering its surfers the goods as soon as they land on a page they've ranked for the search term query.
Your site may be being affected in the rankings due to the amount of code, ads and widgets between the Head and the Body of the article.
I hope this has helped, Rahul; to recap:
  • by speaking in terms consumers can comprehend (dumbing it down),
  • by making clear what is and isn't the article (stright to the article) and
  • by removing all ads between the tabs
then the article, its content and the clear headline will:
  1. reduce bounce rate as customers will feel more at ease on site and
  2. will please Google (lay-out, time on site and possible clicks/shares), subsequently achieving the rise in rankings and availing you of more page views.
Sorry if [the review] sounds harsh, but the solutions to your two queries are really very simple to implement; it's just knowing what the problems are, half of the time, that is the problem itself.
All the very best, bud.
Jason D, aka Zebedeerox  

What on-page barriers are there to customer engagement?

In my eagerness to be first to respond to Rahul, I forgot the most blindingly obvious barrier to engagement and retention within the article itself:
Jason Darrell: Hi, Rahul - sorry bud. One last thing.
The huge ad in the middle of the article. It just screams: "I want to sell to you and earn a commission."
Sure, have a small picture as you do in the article preview.
However, you already have the prices listed beneath the article.
I would consider linking those lines to your sales gateway rather than the picture.
Hot-linking images is yet another frowned-upon activity by Google going on on your blog.
Okay - I'll leave you alone, now.
All the best,
J. xxx
With Google weighting readership more and more, it pays to understand what's expected of a landing page.

Furthermore, ask yourself these three key questions and answer them truthfully:
  • How did your customer find your landing page?  
    • Was it through an optimised link or Search Engine?  
    • Either way, does your post deliver what the breadcrumbs or the anchor text in the link told the customer they were going to get?
  • Can your customer differentiate immediately where the snippet of information is they came looking for compared with everything else on site?
  • What does your call to action say about you?
    •  Does it add further value to your review or article?
    •  Or does it reek of desperation and a none-too-conspicuous sales pitch that would have a customer heading for the door if you were in a car showroom?
I'm no SEO expert, but I have picked up a little along the way.  Writing for the many expert webmasters who've given me a chance in this crazy, molten marketplace has at least made me a little knowledge-rich, if not yet able to retire to Clacton-on-Sea.

For further reading, please feel free to check out the related articles below that go into more depth than my overview on Empire Avenue of Rahul's site.  

Alternatively, drop us a comment with your own thoughts and pop in a link back to your own site in the process.
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Think like the customer to attract long-tail keyword traffic

In the last post, we looked at using broader anchor text as the base for your outbound links and how those links should comprise a whole thought.

The same SEO tactic applies whether you are linking to another of your own articles or to another domain. 

There are, however, other distinct advantages to stretching your links over longer anchor-text.  Firstly, we'll look at long-tail keyword search.

How do you decide what phrases to use for your long-tail keywords?

There are two methods - think like an average Joe customer or be more scientific and use Google's External Keyword Tool.

In this post, we’ll look at your article, what traffic it’s trying to attract and how to think like a customer to attract relevant visitors. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the Keyword Tool.

Before you do either, decide what the keyword(s) for your article are going to be, both primary and secondary. They should be, in all circumstances, what your article is about.
photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc
If you are ranking for a keyword phrase, surfers expect to find answers for their query when they land. Immediately. If your article even looks like going off-topic, they'll 'bounce'.

Ideally, you want one primary (focus keyword), and two or three secondary to support the focus keyword so your post does not look like Spam.

The fewer keywords you use, the more specific your post will be. Don’t try to rank for ten keywords with one post - you ‘dilute’ your page’s strength.

Don't over-complicate long-tail keyword research 

The first option, then: 'think like a customer'. It's probably best if we look at an example, rather than go in and out of Meg's arse for an explanation.

If your article is about the migration of ducks from Iceland to the Indian Subcontinent in winter, make sure the keywords you use are distinct.

You could choose the word 'ducks' as your main keyword and then 'frozen', 'Iceland' and 'Indian' as your secondary keywords.

Logical, Captain? Erm, let's look at the results, Spock, before we corroborate your evidence.

If you put those four words alone into a Google search tool, comma separated, you'll see a list of Iceland stores around the UK that sell Chinese and Indian frozen duck.

English: Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) a...
Find your Ruddy Shelduck, not the nearest Iceland
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Great if you're throwing a last-minute dinner party. Bog useless if your article is about the migration habits of the Ruddy Shelduck or Ring-necked duck.

If, however, you then type in the phrase: “duck migration frozen iceland to indian”, you get a completely different set of SERPs.

And that's purely because your second search is more specific. The insertion of 'migration' ('to' is a stop-word and not indexed) tells Google a completely different story.

This is where the use of long-tail keywords comes into its own. Think of phrases that someone would enter into Google search if they were querying the information your article sets out to explain.

For the above example, you could target: “When do ducks migrate from Iceland to India?” or, ”How long does it take for ducks to migrate from Iceland to the Indian Subcontinent?”

Your anchor text would be “ducks migrate from Iceland to India/the Indian Subcontinent”. Delete as appropriate to the query you target.

Your link should then go to an article on your site relevant to that phrase or an authority site in your niche with similar or more in-depth information.

And there you have the complete ‘think like the customer’ loop:

  • customer search query
  • strong long-tail keywords to match  
  • relevant link to sales/authority page 
  • your reputation enhanced 
  • maybe even a sale 

And that’s all because you’ve provided the customer with what they came for by anticipating how they would be searching for it.

Join us tomorrow when we replace the blue-sky method with the blue chip way of doing things.
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The Tweenies Jimmy Saville episode causes public backlash

"Come along and play with The Tweenies" took on a deep and sinister turn last week. An episode of the popular CBeebies programme was aired depicting Max as serial predator Jimmy Saville.

Facially, Max from The Tweenies bore little resemblance to Jimmy Saville. However, the blonde bob, dripping gold and light-colored Tracksuit combined with the infamous guttural jungle call left viewers in no doubt.

The Tweenies' puppet was indeed a representation of the post-humously shamed DJ and TV host, Jimmy Savile.

The episode in question saw The Tweenies characters dressing up for a disco. The idea of setting the disco to a Top of the Pops background was not such a bad idea, theoretically.

However the choice of Jimmy Saville is a faux pas that set the OFCOM phones ringing, the Twitter stream buzzing and those whose eyes are on Scotland Yard and the Yewtree report hardly believing what they were seeing.

246 complaints about The Tweenies episode

The BBC wasted no time in issuing a frank apology. It seems that Aunty is washing her hands of everything that Jimmy Saville touched and stood for. Guilty of both bank-rolling and covering up for the paedophile as accused, do you think?

That seems to have been the problem in the first place: too busy scurrying around the country covering up for Jimmy Saville's molestations to take action. It makes you wonder how the Beeb kept his criminality under wraps for so long.

The extent of the DJ and TV host's sordid reign is finally coming to light. 28 police forces have now received 450 reports of abuse, 34 of which are rape. More than 200 of those reports have been confirmed.

The extent of depravity of Jimmy Saville's world is shocking. A joint report issued by The Yard and NSPCC suggested that child abuse was Saville's raison d'etre. Moreover, that he spent 'every waking minute' thinking about it.

The apologies seem hollow. For the ill-advised showing of The Tweenies episode, made in 2001 (just to put the record straight), yes, it was insensitive. But for how Jimmy Saville was allowed to get away with everything he did for so long unapprehended is simply unforgivable.

He's beyond retribution in this existence but, if there is a Heaven and Hell, let's hope Jimmy Saville is getting everything he deserves now and for all eternity.

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Rod Stewart autobiography reveals roadie took Rod's driving test

In the world of rock and roll music, it's taken for granted that Head Roadie = Wing Man. For Rod Stewart, Roadie on the occasion of passing his driving test was about as literal as one could get, the only Wing in sight, that one chancing it with a prayer...

[caption id="attachment_44019" align="aligncenter" width="646"]Rod Stewart - Atlantic Crossing Rod Stewart - Atlantic Crossing (c/w Celtic scarf!)[/caption]

The year's 1967, Rod Stewart is making the transition from The Steampacket to The Jeff Beck Group and about to ditch pro-soccer for rock and roll.

Very soon, he'd 'find [him]self a rock and roll band that needs a helping hand' in The Faces, with the summer of love but a few seasons away.

Few rock and roll stars have achieved the continued success - and the opportunities of free love that presented themselves (and probably still do) as a result of fame and fortune - that Rod Stewart has.

At the height of his skin-tight trousered, spiky-boufanted rise to chart-topping success, the women were, by his own admission, in and out of his bed like a production line.

Being a true Scot in every sense of the word, 'wine, women and song' seems to have been a phrase penned for Rod the Mod. Well, swap 'wine' for 'whisky', and you're probably even closer to the mark.

Would Rod Stewart have been eligible to drive in '67?

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="290"]The Jeff Beck Group in 1967. Front: Jeff Beck.... The Jeff Beck Group in 1967. Front: Jeff Beck. Rear (from left): Aynsley Dunbar, Rod Stewart, Ron Wood. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]

Turning up for a driving test reeking of stale perfume and last night's scotch fumes would in no way have enamoured Rod Stewart with any driving instructor.

In Rod Stewart's autobiography, released October 2012, he admits to sending his head honcho, roadie Pete Saunders, to take his driving test in his place.

Pete passed the driving test under Rod's real name and, to this day, the renowned Celtic fan has never taken a driving test in the UK.

To be fair, it was probably not the brainchild of Rod himself.

The autobiography goes on to reveal that it was Roadie Pete - tired of chauffeuring Rod Stewart (and no doubt an endless procession of totty) around London - who suggested the ruse.

London back then was the place to be, with Rod Stewart in demand all over the capital.

Pete had enough on his plate rigging up the sets without having to worry about getting the star of the show from A to B in between performances.  If you now what I mean?

One day, the Wing Man simply strolled into a driving test centre, registered as Roderick Stewart of Highgate, London, took the driving test and passed it there and then on behalf of the man of the moment.

Rod Stewart does, however, now drive legally under his own name. He eventually sat his own driving test following one Atlantic Crossing to The States eight years later in 1975.

Photo Credit: mightymoss via Compfight cc


Stacie Halas ruling: prior porn career does affect ability to teach

Back in March 2012, Stacie Halas was fired from her teaching role. Hitting pupils? Smoking dope in the staffroom? Nope. It was because pupils attending her school discovered her previous profession: a hard-core porn star.

Moral depravity, not illegality, the issue for school board

A statement issued by the school board at the time conceded that no criminal activity had been entered into by Stacie Halas. Or Tiffany Six, as was her chosen screen name.

Their decision had been based on the 'moral depravity' represented by Tiffany Six's graphic film roles. Moreover, that the material was still available online could lead to compromising situations as yet unrealised.

Following the discovery of Stacie Halas' dubious past, the teacher was suspended. A letter was subsequently sent home to parents suggesting they monitor their kids' Internet activity. I bet I know what was trending on Google Local.

[caption id="attachment_44149" align="aligncenter" width="646"]stacie halas original news story Porn Star Teacher - Every Schoolboy's Dream?[/caption]

No doubt concerned fathers conducted extensive study into Halas' background of their own. They had to make sure nothing remained on their kids' hard drive, after all. Any responsible parent would have done the same. Confiscating the laptop for an hour may have been harsh, though.

Stacie Halas appeal rejected by female judge

Based on her understanding of the law, Stacie Halas appealed the school board's decision. Did the previous porn star career affect her abilities to teach? That's a hard one.

The judge presiding over the appeal, Julie Cabos-Owens, had no such difficulty reaching a decision. She agreed with the school board and rejected the appeal without hesitation.

Again, Halas having brought down the curtain on Tiffany Six's porn actress career was a moot point. The general availability of the films online served to undermine the teacher's present and future effectiveness. The school's reputation wouldn't have been up to much, either.

Judge Julie ruled that Stacie Halas would be neither a respected colleague nor an effective teacher, should she be allowed to continue teaching.

Previous online misdemeanours resurfacing will be commonplace

Richard Schwab, Council for Stacie Halas, tried to convince Judge Julie that the former porn star's actions, although ill-advised in hindsight, were akin to that of much of the population.

Millions of YouTube and Vimeo stars upload all manner of personal content daily. Some of it's genuine, but there's also years of video that could come back to bite many a CEO on the arse later in life.

Schwab put it to the appeal committee that we're at the beginning of an era where previous online misdemeanours resurfacing would be commonplace. No matter how true that statement, it didn't wash.

He makes a valid point, in my opinion. Internet heavyweights like Google are striving to ensure we're all using our own names. They cite the attempt to rid the scourge of scammers and spammers as the reason. However, with what we know about NSA, that argument's lost all credibility.

Yet none of this changes the fact that thousands of websites avail us of uploading personal content with little more confirmation of who we are than a:

  • username;

  • password;

  • valid e-mail address.

Beware of personal content you upload anywhere on the Internet

It's been reported that 79% of firms in the UK have used social media to either source new employees or corroborate information provided to them.

Much of that focus was LinkedIn. However, would-be employers, conscious of how people will fit into an existing workplace environment moreso than academia, understand that candidates show more true colours away from the pressure cooker of "The World's Professional Network".

Recruitment agencies are also screening our social media profiles with bespoke search engines to mine potential candidates or enhance CVs we provide. Everything tagged 'public' is fair game.

Would you be comfortable with a future employer accessing your online social media profiles? Like everything you've ever uploaded to the public domain? Makes you think, dunnit?

Okay, we're not suggesting that everyone's a porn star like Stacie Halas (more's the pity). But profanity, suggestive images, reactive comments and even the online company we keep could all count against us if not handled responsibly.

With every item you upload, be it personal content, images, status updates or videos, just ask yourself one thing: "Would I be doing this if I knew Big Brother was watching me?" Because make no mistake, he so is.

Have Your Say:

  • Does the fact that Stacie Halas appeared in porn movies before becoming a teacher have a bearing on her effectiveness to teach?

  • Or are Judge Julie and the school board right to sack her?

Prison yoga brings flexibility for inmates who've bent the rules

First published on FeckTV, 12/1/13, Jason Darrell.

No, you're not reading that incorrectly. Prison yoga is very much on the increase here in the UK.  And, it seems, all across the globe.

[caption id="attachment_40784" align="aligncenter" width="646"]prison yoga delivers happy release prison yoga & meditation brings release for the inmate's mind (CC Sharealike)[/caption]

Prison Yoga delivers a happy release

We've been aware of the spiritual and physical benefits attributed to yoga for some time. But as a way to turn around convicted criminals?

Maybe so, if the latest reports are on the money. More than half of the corrective facilities in the UK and Ireland run one type of yoga or meditation class or another.

Mexican jails, American penal facilities and UK prisons are all adopting various disciplines. Both male and female prisoners alike are being taught yoga's stress-relieving powers.

The positive effect prison yoga and mindful meditation is having on inmates is uniform.  Testimonials from inmates back up the claims of the organisations that provide prison yoga: it works!

Yoga breaks down prison barriers

It's a two-way street, too.  Organisations are using yoga and meditation to help train instructors looking to further their career to incorporate 'at-risk' students.

I don't know about the pupils being at risk.  I wouldn't fancy putting myself before a bunch of inmates with nothing to protect me but a tracksuit and a mat.  But hey-ho.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="112"]Prison Yoga, Kindle Edition Prison Yoga, Kindle Edition[/caption]

Nonetheless, the success is measured.  Last year a study by Oxford University into comparative attitudes post-yoga and meditation courses proves conclusively that combining the two has a mellowing effect.

The premise of combining the art of yoga and meditation for prisoners (some prisons run courses for their staff, too) is to allow inmates freedom through their minds.

How to run a prison yoga workshop

The Prison Phoenix Trust is one of the largest organisations in the UK to provide prison yoga services.

Testimonials from prisoners on their site tell how anger management, violence and addiction problems have all been addressed through such programs.

As well as the physical and psychological benefits of prison yoga, the trust believes it helps strengthen relationships between prison staff and inmates, too.

If you'd like to know more, you can contact the Prison Phoenix Trust about its services. These include yoga workshops, classes, teaching guidelines and how to donate.

There is a current fund-raiser on the BigGive.org.uk site to give you some idea of the cost.  This particular prison yoga project is looking to raise £5,000 for 7 workshops.

Or, if you'd like to read up on the benefits of prison yoga before committing to a program, you can buy Alan Sugar's book, Prison Yoga, on Amazon.co.uk, for Kindle and other e-reader devices.

Have your say:

  • Should prison yoga be afforded to criminals to give them a feeling of freedom?

  • Or is this method of rehabilitation worth the expense, given the proven positive effect and reduced re-offender rates?

Photo Credit: Andrew Kalat via Compfight cc


Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster - Maverick parenting skills?

At the Golden Globes last week, the world was less than shocked when Jodie Foster 'came out'. As moving as her speech was, it was nothing we didn't already know.

Tears glistened in the eyes of Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster's children, Charles and Kit, as her acceptance speech tipped the wink to the three of them. And acknowledged her long-time 'soul sister', but no longer lover, Cindy Mort.

Turns out, Aussie hunk Gibson may have been playing more than just baby-sitter at the star-studded even. If the rumour mill is to be believed, of course.

Jodie and Mel have been much more than friends ever since filming the hilarious Maverick some twenty years ago. But to the extent that he could be the kids' father?

What about the time-scale? Well, it fits. Jodie's relationship with her long-time lesbian-lover-turned-soul-sister, Cindy Mort, dates back to the time Maverick was filmed.

Is it possible that the lesbian couple decided they wanted children and, given the bond Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson developed on- and off-set, the Mad Max actor was first in the firing line?

Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster's relationship goes deeper

Foster said of Gibson that, as soon as she met him, she "would love him the rest of [her] life." Perhaps the on-screen relationship with the father of eight children (that we know to) ended up going deeper than a hand of poker, after all?

[caption id="attachment_44119" align="aligncenter" width="480"]mel gibson, charles, kit and jodie foster - golden globesMaverick family resemblance for Foster kids?[/caption]

The images of Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster (c/o Hollywood and Swine) completing the "one for the family scrap-book" snapshot with 12 year old Kit and 14 year old Charles inadvertently found their way into the hands of an expert genealogist.

According to New York media, said expert is quoted as saying, "the kids look like [Gibson], but blonder"Erm, in what way is that, exactly?

If that expert thinks Charles and Kit are 'blond', I'd instantly dismiss any other evaluation he/she makes.  They're feckin' ginger as long as I've got a hole in my arse.

Foster kids will find out real father at 21

The Foster children have not yet been told who their father is.  That's a surprise Jodie's keeping until they turn 21. So it looks like we'll be kept in the dark for at least another seven years.

On second thoughts, given how flaccid a shock it was to "discover" Jodie's lesbian tendencies at her coming out acceptance speech, the Mel Gibson Father's Jodie Foster's Kids headline may well "leak" a good while sooner.

At least one rumour may be scotched if it turns out that Gibson and Foster came together to become Charles and Kit's biological parents.

It's a long-held common belief that Randy Stone, the casting director, was the sperm donor for the brothers.

If that's true, Randy took the secret with him to the grave in 2007.  As it turns out, it could have been a randy Aussie on the casting couch responsible, instead.

Have your say:

  • Do you think Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster cooked up the kiddie plot between them after filming Maverick?

  • Or is now the time for me to 'come out' and tell the world it was really me?


Link anchor text must be a complete thought

I was just over at QuickSprout, reading another of  +Neil Patel's awesome SEO articles.  The guy becomes more of an authority with every post.  Quality.

The subject on this occasion was: 5 SEO mistakes even experts make.

Whilst some of the points certainly hold true to the title, I wouldn't say that all SEOs make all of the mistakes listed all of the time.

Nonetheless, it was informative as always.  Indeed, any article that encourages the amount of praise and comment instigated by said post has to demonstrate two things:
  1. delivering information customers can actually use
  2. understanding your audience well enough to spark debate or commentary

Make your link's anchor text organic

One of the points alluded to, but not explained (in this article, anyway; no doubt Neil has done so in earlier posts) was how to make links look organic.

As linking is still very much a part of white-hat SEO, making links look organic is key to avoiding any type of Google penalisation.

It's no mean feat, either; especially if you're not writing in your native tongue.  For organic, see relevant; you'll get the picture. 

Too Much, Too Young = too risky

Natural links created or attracted over time now weigh heavier than paid-for links from poor quality sites.  And reduce the risk of being Google-slapped.

As Google algorithms become more refined, they'll be able to identify sites indulging in poor linking strategies easily enough.  So just don't.

Too much, too young, for those who remember, was the first of The Specials' two number one UK hits. The same theory also applies to the way Google appraises sites that grow too many links too quickly.

Thanks Terry, Jerry and the rest of the band for that short interlude.  Back to the point.

The way many of the comments were headed, I thought iterating to his audience the training I'd had on making links look organic was a worthwhile exercise.

An example of an organic linking strategy

It's also worthy of repetition here, for those who are going to join me on the FeckTV SEO journey - should be a bumpy ride, that one.  So, herewith, my comment:
One other point about linking, internally or to domain authority sites, Neil.
Rather than just link the keyword, link a complete thought or phrase.

For example, say I wanted to link to my work site with this sentence: "If you're searching for unbiased articles, features and opinion, start-up global TV network, FeckTV.com reports the news like it is, as it happens, 24/7 from around the globe."

In days of yore, the anchor text would purely have been the brand name, "FeckTV.com".

Too much of that tactic nowadays and, as you point out, your site gets treacherously close to being judged as spam by the web-indexers.

In today's SEO world a more organic looking link would use either "start-up global TV network, FeckTV.com" or "FeckTV.com reports the news" as its anchor text.

Either outbound link demonstrates what I mean by anchor text comprising a whole thought or phrase. 
In the above example, the first link goes to the FeckTV home page, the second to 'category/england/current-affairs'.

Rather than link constantly to the home page, as was so oft the case a year hence, your link should go to an about page, article page - whichever page is most relevant to the phrase that constitutes the anchor text.

Thanks for another brilliant article, Neil - I wasn't aware of the 2,000 word homepage deal with Google.

Guess where I'm off to now... ...anyone else need more copy for their home page, drop me a line in the form through [the Jason Darrell Writing Services] link, above - I'm not free, but am a) brilliant b) totally value for money.

p.s. sorry, Neil - couldn't not get that plug in, the way the comment went, bud.

So there we have it, folks.  How to make your links look organic, as per the Darrelldoo School of SEO.  Thanks for your time.

Please share this with anyone you think would benefit; feel free to comment if you did or even if you disagree.

Also, do take a trip over to QuickSprout if you're a beginner or intermediary blogger.  Neil's advice is diamond.

For more advanced reading, you can check out the BowlerHat take on Anchor Text Ratios and what it all means for page rank and penalisation (or not, hopefully).


Business travel tips from Sir Richard Branson, a chap who knows travel

You can't log onto your Google+ account without a post from Sir Richard Branson floating past in the stream. LinkedIn, his website - the bloke's everywhere online as well as off-line. So when he publishes his top five business travel tips, it's time to take note.  Go get yer pencil...

[caption id="attachment_44125" align="aligncenter" width="646"]branson on virgin business travel flight Branson's business flight acumen is Virgin on the ridiculous[/caption]

1. Make a Travel Plan

My good lady wife likes lists. Got to do two jobs, take the rubbish out and do the washin' up? She'll prioritise it. As it happens, that's good advice for business travel, too. If you know you've an arduous business trip ahead, plan how to fill the time effectively.

Ideally, you'll have a PA to assemble your business travel itinerary. Even if not, get your rough draft(s), background research or seminar speech onto your tablet and hone that baby en route.

2. Are you feeling sleepy?

One downside of not planning your business travel arrangements adequately is loose ends. If your mind's whirring faster than the plane's turbines, you're not going to be settled when you arrive.

Conversely, if you use your flight to get rested, ensure that you're fully versed about your forthcoming appointment before you get to check-in. Clear your inbox, put the cat out, cancel the milk and you'll drift off, no sweat.

3. Don't succumb to 'Fret' Lag

Sir Richard Branson believes that much of the ado about jetlag is the fear of the condition itself. When making your business travel schedule, make sure there's something planned to relieve incumbent executive stress after landing.

If you're looking for type of thing a billionaire gets up to, just follow Sir Richard Branson on Google+. I'm convinced the bloke's retired and just not told anyone.

4. Water, water, everywhere

When you've reached senior management, executive director or CEO level, business travel often involves a jaunt to a coastline (and golf course), somewhere or other.

Take how popular Barcelona, Rome, Monaco, Athens and even London are as convention-hosting cities, for example. There's confirmation of how much business is conducted within a stone's throw of the drink.

But it's the water that's naturally mineralised and subsequently bottled that Sir Richard advises we get used to for business travel purposes. For sure, share a drop of bubbly; but make sure there's some Buxton Spring Water in your hand luggage to dilute the heady effects.

5. Ask to upgrade your business travel reservation

Your PA may not have taken into account the fact that you may actually want to do some work en route. Travelling on expenses, providing your company's in ship-shape Bristol fashion, is the dog's bollocks.  Oh, yes.

Business class seats may not have sold out, meaning upgrades can often be booked at a snip. As Sir Richard states, if you don't ask, you don't get.

When checking in, there's no harm in asking to upgrade. But hold back on that lame excuse explaining why you need that plushy seat; it appears Virgin staff have heard it all.

What constitutes your business travel tip 101?

Do you have an invaluable secret for arriving refreshed and ready to face the competition?  Or worse, the boss?

Or do you have any funny business class travel stories to share? Drop 'em in the comments below and share the love and wisdom with our FeckTV audience.

Have Your Say:

  • Many G+ users think Sir Richard Branson is pretty full of himself - would you say so?
  • And if you had that much cash, would you give a feckin' shite what people thought of you?

Photo Credit: dlprager via Compfight cc


Brazilian wax down under clears up pubic lice, erm, down under

Thanks to the en vogue way of fashioning pubic hair - i.e. getting rid of it - the pestilence formerly known as crabs has almost disappeared. Well, certainly in the Southern Hemisphere, where sporting a Brazilian wax is more common than the bush.

[caption id="attachment_43987" align="aligncenter" width="646"]brazilian wax example on the beach Mohawk or Landing Strip? Bloody cameramen...[/caption]

The Brazilian Wax menu

[caption id="attachment_43943" align="alignleft" width="320"]brazilian-wax-style-waxing-menu Shampoo and set?[/caption]

Pubic lice - or crabs, as they're more commonly known - are almost extinct, down under. According to Sex Clinic doctors, there's not been a treatable outbreak for almost five years.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="160"]Bikini Wax Treatments on Amazon.co.uk Bikini Wax Treatments on Amazon.co.uk[/caption]

The claim is backed up by New South Wales University, too.  Head of Sexual Health, Basil Donovan, confirmed that although pubic lice was once a regular condition down under, 'better grooming' has lead to the parasite's extinction.

When Aussies go to get the job done, we're not just talking your common-or-garden bikini wax.

There are variations on the Brazilian wax theme fashioned to make distinct patterns with the pubic hair.  A bit like hedge-trimming...enough said.

However, the majority of women still punt for the traditional Clean As A Whistle: a splash of talc, hot blanket of wax across the entire bush, then rip, bald as a nectarine in no time (yee-feckin'-ouch!).

The Hollywood is one of the more popular pubic trims. Along with the Landing Strip (or Mohawk, in the top photo, can't quite get my head around it) and Postage Stamp (like a Hitler moustache - ought they call it 'The Clitler'), these are the more conservative tidbits from the Bikini Wax Menu.

The Vajazzle has had its part to play

The Brazilian wax is a relatively new concept in the Northern Hemisphere. But for women hailing from sunnier climes, keeping their muff buff is as natural as painting their nails.

The trend is catching on in Europe, though. The Brazilian wax is stage one of the popular Vajazzle. Swarovski crystal-encrusted privates, brought to prominence by the first series of TOWIE, require a shaven haven to lay their foundation.

You wouldn't build a crystal palace on top of Centre Court, would you? Likewise, the Vajazzle needs a firm, smooth foundation to ensure adhesion.

Even though going to get a Brazilian at the salon is still considered somewhat taboo by the stiff upper lip (sorry, no pun intended) brigade in the UK, there are now so many DIY Brazilian kits on Amazon, there's a good chance crabs could soon be wiped from UK shores, too.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240"]bikini wax kits on Amazon.co.uk bikini wax kits on Amazon.co.uk[/caption]

Crabs, aka pubic lice, were passed between lovers during sexual intercourse, moving in from one pubic patch to another, hence their name.  With the decadence of the late-eighties, they were a genuine pestilence.

As the Brazilian wax removes their natural habitat, those pubic lice have perished in the subsequent wilderness, certainly down under.

Well, let's face it: any Aussie without a bush to retreat to is gonna feel homesick, innit?

Have Your Say:

  • Do you feel cleaner, healthier and sexier after a Brazilian wax?

  • And would you consider a) having a Vajazzle and b) exhibiting it, if you did? Otherwise, what's the point?

Photo Credit: BOMBTWINZ via Compfight cc


Access to Work flagship program expanded for disabled entrepreneurs

There's a bloody huge hole in the UK benefits system that renders disabled people helpless once they're unable to work in the accepted sense. Access to Work looks to address that situation by offering grants to people who may yet have more to offer, despite their physical limitations or mental aptitude.

[caption id="attachment_35967" align="aligncenter" width="646"]access to work, dwp Access to Work - good craic, if you qualify[/caption]

Having read the Government document discerning disability[1] along with the criteria for qualification to the Access to Work grant,[2] it's clear only those with exacting conditions will qualify.

Conditions must be long term; if you've a broken leg that will heal, you'll not be eligible for the Access to Work grant. If you have a degenerative disease like MS or HIV or a condition that, as a result, impedes normal day-to-day activities, then you're in with a shot.

Access to Work for disabled in and out of work

If you are unemployed, you'll need to submit a business plan for your self-employed project that works. It's no use being diagnosed with a long-term condition and thinking you'd like a bit of extra cash.

Access to Work rewards disabled people looking for work - or looking for help within their existing work-based role - who genuinely want to improve their situation.

Many provisions set aside for disabled workers

In an attempt to underline how serious the Government is, there is money and experience set aside to help. If you have a self-employed plan but there are aspects with which you'll need help, you can access a New Enterprise Allowance Mentor[3] through your job centre.

It's worth pointing out that there are exceptions.  If you're already on incapacity benefit, you'll not qualify.  If you're on Jobseekers Allowance and meet the disability criteria, there's a good chance you will.

It's convincing them that you meet the criteria, especially with welfare reform around the corner, where I see the stumbling block for many.  And I do speak with some authority on that point.

Although the money available is termed as a grant it won't need paying back, in most cases. Nor will any additional income you receive towards your entrepreneurial opportunity impact upon the benefit amount to which you're currently entitled.

Access to Work centres in Glasgow, Cardiff and London

There are three centres in the UK:

  • Glasgow

  • Cardiff

  • London

Contact details through the 'qualificant criteria' link, above.  Where you live will determine which one you need to contact. There is a similar scheme in operation in Northern Ireland.

Esther McVey has confirmed that, as of today (14th Jan, '13), providing that disabled people are enrolled in the NEA, they will be eligible for the Access to Work grant.

I say again, and from bitter experience, the hard part will be convincing adjudicating bodies that you meet the disabled criteria. But with half a million disabled people already working for themselves, things may be turning in our favour.

As 2013 is my year of being bold, I'm going to apply for the grant.The DWP can stamp their feet all they like. Reading the 'Cumulative Effects' section in the Disability Guidelines, I know I meet the criteria, despite their almost libelous insistence to the contrary.

I honestly don't know which will be more fun. Qualifying for the grant and starting my own business or shooting the arsey bastards at the DWP down when I refer them to the Cumulative Effects clause outlined within the document.

Have Your Say:

  • Despite your disability, do you feel you still have much to offer to the community and economy?

  • And do you think that the DWP is working to a mandate that refuses issuing disability allowance until a case reaches tribunal?


Helen Flanagan pics see Ultimo deal go tits up!

Bless her cotton socks - Helen Flanagan has boobed again. This time by likening the woes of an abandoned cat to her own status on Twitter.

[caption id="attachment_44053" align="aligncenter" width="646"]Helen+Flanagan+Twitter+photo Helen Flanagan boobs again - Head-F*ck is about right...[/caption]

Having media access to fans can be a PR disaster

Social media has been a boon for many celebrities. Well, those who have a grain of common sense. Their messages and updates can be sent to following fans in an instant.

Such access can prove fatal for celebrities who just don't get it. Helen Flanagan, for instance, seemingly doesn't.

After a host of publicly shared pics have gone horribly wrong for her, she still decided to use the image of an abandoned cat who'd been blighted with skin cancer to highlight the female plight of being left at home by their fellas.

Do she wonder why?  Perhaps her fellas have gone along to watch a Sesame Street Fest in the hope of more adult conversation.

In her defence, Helen Flanagan probably didn't realise that Charlie the Cat, whose likeness she posted to underline her point, had been operated on for skin cancer.

For that, she'd have actually had to have read the Mirror article that accompanied the purloined pusy's photographs.

Helen Flanagan takes down her pussy after complaints

The ex-Corrie star soon took down the picture after pussy-lovers inundated her with complaints of bad taste. That's gotta be a first.

The picture of Charlie the Cat depicted him post-surgery, having had his ears and nose removed to prevent the spread of cancer.

According to Helen Flanagan's spokeswoman, there was no malice behind the actress' actions. Rather, that the cat (likened to Voldemort in an earlier report) 'looked really cute'.

On that basis, Gary Oldman, if you're reading, you and your wand may well be in with a chance with the actress formerly known as Rosie Webster.

Get hold of a copy of Celebrity for Dummies to instigate any stimulating conversation, mind.  As long as it's got pictures...

Ultimo/Helen Flanagan deal goes tits-up

The Charlie the Cat stunt (careful) comes only weeks after she got another publicity stunt arse about face. Not long after the Sandy Nook shooting in the US, Helen Flanagan posed with a firearm pointing at her temple.

Following her appearance in I'm a Celeb, the subsequent images of her smoking and now these two latest faux pas, it does make you wonder whether she's left what little common sense she was born with on The Street.

It also begs the question: How little effort did Helen Flanagan have to put into playing buxom bimbo Rosie Webster? Seemingly, not a lot.

Ultimo have already U-turned on her. The star did have a lucrative £1M deal lined up with the lingerie firm.

However, the Gun-shot (above), taken down from Twitter but still very much available in Helen Flanagan's Lockerz show-reel with the words "Head F**k" beneath, has since seen that deal go tits up, too.

Follow us to keep abreast of the latest news on this story...

Have Your Say:

  • Is there any hope for Helen Flanagan?

  • And would you, anyway?


David Bowie new single, Where are we now?, shocks music press

There were those in the music press who'd written David Bowie off. Or at least his credibility.  They may wanna rethink this premature post-mortem of Bowie's career after the release of his new single, Where are we now?

A 'thanks, but no thanks' response to the London Olympics showcase finale, no new releases for a decade, a heart-attack eight years ago - they did all seem to point to one thing: David Bowie had retired.

And let's dance face it, with Bowie turning 66 last week, who'd blame him if he had?  No matter what creation or persona he's chosen to wear over the years, he's thrilled armies of fans across the globe.

Where are we now? released on Bowie's 66th birthday

[caption id="attachment_44045" align="alignleft" width="339"]Best of Bowie - (new) Album Cover Best of Bowie - updated to reflect another incarnation?[/caption]

David Bowie's not been without his critics. But when you're trying to create rather than go with the flow, you're gonna ruffle a few feathers.

And just when you thought the manifestations were over, along comes the new single.  But isn't that just his style, in an era where Style went out with The Council?

On the stroke of his 66th birthday, on both his website and on the iTunes store, the new single appeared.

No announcement, no manipulation of social media, no great fanfare or furore.  It simply appeared.

It received as much media interest in the aftermath of its release as it may have done had there been the pomp and circumstance of a marketing campaign.

For an artist who's lived most of the last decade out of the public eye, the scenario fits Bowie as perfectly as any of his Manish-festations have done in the past.

No one knew about the Bowie album, either

What really rubbed the music informants up the wrong way was the subsequent news that there was an album, too.

Two years in the making, without so much as a tidbit thrown to the sound-hounds, "The Next Day" will be available on CD for shipping on the 11th March, 2013.

Recorded in New York, the Bowie single Where are we now? is quoted as not being typical of the album.

For me, that's no bad thing.  It's a bit melancholy for my taste but long-time fans of David Bowie will relate to it.

Where are we now? is set as the sixties became the seventies.  The Manish Boys had been and gone, Ziggy Stardust was being conceived and David Bowie was living and working with Iggy Pop in Germany.

The video and lyrics hark back to that time.  No, almost yearn for them as the realisation that youth is not eternal weighs heavy on Bowie's shoulders.

[caption id="attachment_102" align="alignright" width="300"]David Bowie - Best of Bowie album cover Are we yet to see the Best of Bowie?[/caption]

The sound is very latter-day David Bowie; there's no new manifestation waiting to surprise us unlike the updating of the Best of Bowie album depicted in the contrasting covers, above.

Other than perhaps a more mature, reflective aspect to both the vocals and outlook, it's classic Bowie.  And certainly worth a play of the video.

Is this heartfelt reminiscence Bowie's swansong?  A parting gift for the legions of fans who the mega-star has, one would often think, begrudgingly let follow him?

Just in case it is, you can buy the single (MP3) now and/or pre-order the album The Next Day from Amazon (CD, UK, pre-order price £9.00 as at today's rate) through the respective links, above.

I'd love to know what Bowie/Ziggy fans think of the new track.
Drop us a line in the comments, or come sound me out on Google+

Old 'Best of Bowie' Album Cover photo credit: PianoPiano via Flickr under CC 2.0 attribution license

David Bowie new single causes media storm

Journalists have got lazy. Want to report the daily activities of an en vogue celebrity? Check their Twitter, facebook, Instagram or Google+ account and there they are, eating breakfast. So how rude of David Bowie to release his new single without a tweet or poke in sight.

[caption id="attachment_102" align="aligncenter" width="646"]David Bowie - Best of Bowie album cover Have we yet seen the best of David Bowie?[/caption]

There are very few artists manage to maintain their mystique, presence, integrity and cool across a generation. Well, unless they die early, immortalising their legendary status at the age of 27 as so many have.

[Sir] Paul Weller has managed the transition; so did Freddie Mercury. Elton John, Metallica and The Charlatans have likewise seemingly become cooler. These, along with David Bowie, are the few to stand out as ticking all of the above boxes.

David Bowie releases single on 66th birthday

Many thought, after his heart attack in the summer of 2004, the odd one-off performances we've seen since might be it from Bowie. Indeed, rumours concerning his health have been rife. But haven't they always?

It's been almost a decade since David Bowie released anything. Perhaps, then, music journalists can be forgiven for turning off their Ziggy-radars.

Especially considering he was the only star to turn down the opportunity of performing at the closing ceremony of last year's London Olympics. This added more fuel to said health fire.

Then from nowhere, on his 66th birthday, up pops the new David Bowie single, Where are we now? Not just on the David Bowie website, but simultaneously on the iTunes store. If ever there was a case for a musical Drop the Dead Donkey, this was it.

The David Bowie bandwagon was hauled out of the knackers yard. No sooner had the musical obituaries and official discographies been scrapped and "David Bowie for beginners" guides posted, the Ziggy express was ready to run Station to Station again.

Is "Where Are We Now?" any good?

As it turns out, David Bowie has not only been working on his new single, but there'll be an album in March, too (The Next Day - CD released [UK] 11/03/2013 - available on Amazon.co.uk pre-order @ special £9.00 price [price right as @ 13/1/13]). Similarly, this has been done without creating a ripple on the surface.

And it's been recorded in New York, of all places. You fart in public, someone's uploaded the outburst on YouTube a minute later. Your methane is then cast upon the winds of eternity and infamy - that's New York today.

But Bowie's new single is reflective of an earlier era. References to a time when the world was basking in the afterglow of The Summer of Love and Bowie was working with Iggy Pop pock the track.

The mood is sombre, too. Does it mark a change of direction? No. As befits his age, it's a bit of a crooner. Melancholic, yearning for the Golden Years of youth, even.

It will, without a shadow of a doubt, please the patient, frustrated fans. But, irrespective of the David Bowie wikis we might see as a consequence, there'll be few new fans convinced enough to wait another decade for the follow-up, should it not be forthcoming from the new album.

Have Your Say:

  • What do you think of the new single?
  • Is it a reflective swansong or is the best of Bowie yet to come?

photo credit: PianoPiano via Flickr under CC 2.0 attribution license


Mohammed is England's number one name for new-born males

Alf Garnett would be tearing his hair out (had he any). Enoch Powell is sticking his two fingers up at Ted Heath's Government from beyond the grave. Officially, Mohammed is the most popular name for new born males in England.

[caption id="attachment_33856" align="aligncenter" width="646"]Mohammed in Islamic calligraphy Mohammed in Islamic calligraphy; also very much in demand in English[/caption]

Well, not quite officially. If you look at the information presented by the ONS, Oliver holds the title as top choice for new born baby boys' name.

Information gathered by CNN, however, gives the list a whole new complexion. Taking variant spellings (incl. Muhammad and Mohammad) into account, Ollie is demoted to number two whilst Mohammed(s) leapfrogs into the top spot.

Mohammed is revered in the Muslim community

It really is no great surprise. The Muslim community worship the founder of their religion, the Islam Prophet Mohammed. The only profit worshipped under the Union Flag has been monetary for centuries.

Adbdullah al-Hasan explains the situation further. Mohammed, the prophet and founder of Islam (c. 570), has a teaching and wisdom so strongly admired in the Muslim community that parents want to copy Him not only in deed and thought, but in namesake, too.

And let's be blunt; what would happen if all of the Church of England males followed in their founders' footsteps? They'd all die of syphilis and there'd hardly be any women left to bear the next generation.

So is it a surprise that Mohammed, as a religious name, should be top of the new-born name list? Not when you dig deeper into the growing Muslim population inhabiting the UK and Europe.

Muslim population up 70% in 20 years

The Pew Forum on religion and public life puts the number of Muslims in the UK just shy of three million. That's equivalent to just over 4.5% of the population.

That accounts for more than a sixth of all Muslims in Europe, according to the Forum. Over the last two decades the number of European Muslims has shot up to seventeen million.  That's a rise of 70% over the period.

It took thirty years for Ted Heath to concede that Enoch Powell had made valid points in his Rivers of Blood speech. The Tory stalwart belatedly said of the Wolverhampton South-West MP's rhetoric that the "economic burden of immigration" prophesied were "not without prescience."

How understated does that summary seem now?  Especially in light of the UK and Europe's crippled economies under the duress of the growing number of immigrants from all global nations inhabiting our shores...

Have Your Say:

  • Are you surprised that Mohammed is the number one new-born male name in the UK?

  • And is Enoch Powell's prophecy of the "economic burden of immigration" coming to fruition with Europe being crippled financially, as it is?

photo credit: Nevit Dilman via Wikimedia Commons under GNU Free Document license

Triple-dip recession threat for UK economy as GDP shrinks

If investors thought 2013 was the year the market might finally start to turn around, it's time to look for a plan b. Despite the MPC resisting further quantitative easing and keeping the lending base rate at 0.5%, the UK economy faces the very real threat of a triple-dip recession.

[caption id="attachment_33498" align="aligncenter" width="646"]A UK triple-dip recession could genuinely damage your savings A UK triple-dip recession could genuinely damage your savings[/caption]

The UK economy has already seen £375bn flooded into the market as part of the quantitative easing program. The MPC has decided, for the time being, that's quite enough, thank you.  That's despite fears of a triple-dip recession following figures from the final quarter of 2012.

The abatement of extra cash flowing onto the High Street will strike a chord across many sectors. Even worse news is that the Services Sector shrank in December, sounding even greater alarm bells.

Triple-dip recession more than just a threat

In many experts' opinions, it is the Service Sector that's staved off constant recession this last two years. However, with the sector contracting at the end of 2012, triple-dip recession is not just a threat, but a probability.

The CBI Business Group isn't panicking. Yet. In its summary of the latest decision from the Bank of England, however, it didn't completely rule out a change in monetary policy if things got tougher.

"The [UK] economy continues to send out mixed signals", a spokesperson for CBI stated. As such, no change in monetary policy is expected "for the next few months". That is unless there are damning signs that the UK is headed irreversibly towards a triple-dip recession.

Feckin' "negative growth"? GDP shrank, man!

We are only two months away from the fourth anniversary of the all-time base rate low of 0.5%, imposed in March 2009. All things being equal, it's certain the MPC won't adjust it between now and the end of this first quarter.

That milestone, if the Service Sector does not recover, could well be marked with aforementioned triple-dip recession. That's stone-wall guaranteed if this year's first quarter ends similarly to the last of 2012 - achieving negative growth.

The change in fortune in the UK GDP was quite astonishing in December. Autumn saw GDP rise 0.9%, firmly signalling the end of recession.  Hurrah!, thought we.

But by the end of December, that positive reversed (or achieved 'negative growth', as the politicians like to put it), ending down 0.2%. That's a swing in fortune of over a point. To say it was unexpected is something of an understatement.

If you want my advice, if you've got a stash of cash set aside, spend or invest it. While inflation remains so much higher than interest rates, the money you have in savings becomes worth less every single day.

I'll counteract that statement by stating that, with even the Service Sector in contraction, there may not be that much worth investing in. Certainly not in the UK. If you're looking for an offshore investment, however, it's true that writers perform better in sunnier climes...just sayin'!

Have Your Say:

  • Should the Bank of England flood more money into the UK economy to add buoyancy?

  • Or should we just ride the storm out and keep the cash in our coffers for more clement market conditions?

photo credit: @kenteegardin via Flickr under cc 2.0 (sharealike) license


iPotty new tool that teaches your toddlers to go - erm, seriously...

There are, without question, some grave concerns about how much information technology our toddlers are being exposed to.  The iPotty has just about underlined our fascination with getting kids to log on and, well, log out at the same time, all the time.

[caption id="attachment_32398" align="aligncenter" width="646"]iPotty - log on and log out at the same time iPotty - log on and log out at the same time[/caption]

God bless America. Not only have Apple given us toilet-training apps, but now we have the iPotty that holds an iPad as toddlers get to grips with going.

And they say us Brits are the world's worst for toilet humour, but this invention is just taking the piss.

Oh, so you think that's bog awful, do you? Just take a look at this little selection of the 300+ comments this thread posted by Mike Elgan has picked up in the Google+ stream - they run rings around my crack:

Rick Wolff posed the question:
Do you need an I Pee address?

Stig-Ørjan Smelror came up with two crackers - politically correct brigade, look away now:
I guess they can play Angry Turds on it, too...

And there's lot's more toilet humour where that came from.  But of course, with every article of note on Google+, there are the 'those against' arguments.

That's those who totally ignore the 'don't take yourself too seriously' clause in the Google+ guidelines.  This post about the iPotty is, unsurprisingly, no different.

iPotty has its fans and foes

Andy Bisby was a tad more philosophical:
Hopefully this isn't going to create some sort of Pavlov's Dog conditioning. Are we going to create a generation of people who become constipated when their iPad's don't work. Or a generation of people who mess themselves whenever they touch an iPad?

A point with which I totally concurred; the effects of overuse of the iPotty could have lasting damage on joints as well as psyche:
I'm with Andy Bisby - let's hope this fascination doesn't lead to a repetitive strain injury too early in our toddlers' lives...

I think that one went over everyone's head.  Next, Ben Kuhl offers advice that we could all do with harkening, especially if taking the iPood to the bathroom is as unsanitary as some suggest:
It's important as parents we teach our kids to disconnect from technology sometimes.... if you can't d/c in the bathroom, where else would you?

I'm sure Ben's "d/c" is an abbreviation for disconnect, not dump/crap.  But with the reaction the iPotty has received on Google+, little would surprise me.

Unbelievably, there are already toilet training apps available in the iStore.  What's more, according to CNET's original iPotty article from which Mike gleans his information, this contraption is gaining serious credence at the CES 2013.

It comes with

  • a plastic sheet to protect the iPad from any lingering fingertip germs

  • an extra splash guard for little boys

  • and the iPotty comes apart completely for cleaning

I have to say, even without the plumbing, this idea is clean round the bend, even for the US market.  If you've not got a hold of your latest iPad yet, there's a link to all Tablets on Amazon.co.uk through the image, below:

Have your say:

  • Is the iPotty a completely potty idea that ought to be canned?

  • Or is there mileage in teaching your kid to crap using an app?