James Royal-Lawson


For your reading pleasure… (week 7, 2010)

Study: Ages of social network users

Compiled using estimated data dragged out of Google Ad Planner rather than a survey of actual users. Nevertheless it’s an interesting post and although the specific figures should be used with care, general comparisons and trends can be noted.

3 Models That Will Guide Your Brand Into The Social Media Landscape

Another article to file in your collection of resources. Johan has produced a thoughtful guide which is seriously useful for any organisation thinking of diving in to social media.

Social Media Optimization: SMO is the New SEO – Part 1

The term SMO is popping up increasingly often as thought-leaders and search-gurus start to learn, realise, and understand how to tweak your social media efforts.

Using a Pre-Launch Checklist for your Website

Our web-world would be a better place if more web project managers made better use of check-lists. This checklist by Smashing Magazine is a resource to bookmark and build upon.

Google’s Enterprise and Mobile Plans: Killer Buzz or Buzzkill?

A look into Google Buzz and it’s possible uses within businesses. Google needs to get Buzz launched for Google Apps before anything serious can happen though.

Custom variables are frosting on your web analytics cake

Some good ideas and recommendations as to what you could measure using custom variables within Google Analytics.

Who cares what language you use?

Your web site is written in Swedish, but hosted in Germany, and uses a international TLD. How do you tell all the search engines what they need to know about the language and targeted country for you site?

Unfortunately, as you probably guessed, All the major search engines deal with this issue slightly differently. Which means you, as a web manager, need to keep your fingers crossed even if you do follow the appropriate web standards.


Google ignores, for ranking purposes, most of the meta data tags on a web page, including the language meta tag. At the time of writing, Google only takes note of 7 specific meta tags.

If you have a country-neutral top level domain (such as .com) then you need to geo-target your website within Google webmaster tools.


In contrast to Google, Bing does use a number of meta tags when indexing pages.
One of those tags is the Content-language meta tag. Without a Content-language meta tag, Bing presumes that the geo-located IP address of your web-host provider is the country you are targeting your site towards. So if your site is hosted in a different country, you need the language meta tag to correct this.


Yahoo isn’t as straight talking as Google and Bing. They say they do look at the Content-language meta tag, but that they don’t always trust it. Which isn’t the most concrete answer to the question: How to Correct the Default Language Which Yahoo! Search Detects for Your Site.

Web standards

The best you can do as a web manager is to make sure that all of your pages follow three web standards: Doctype, <html> lang attribute, and the content-language meta tag. If all your pages make correct use of these components of your markup, then not only do you help certain search engines correctly assess the language of your content, but you also make your site more accessable to visitors using screen readers.


Some people get confused about the doctype declaration at the very start of your markup. You should never change the language of the doctype to reflext the content of your page. The language indicated in the doctype declaration is always the language the DTD is written in.

Lang attribute

Setting the lang attribute of the <html> tag in your markup is important from an accessability and web standards viewpoint. It is, for example, the lang attribute that ensures that screen readers read your content in the correct language.

Remember to always add the lang attribute to any tags that surround content in your markup that differs in language from the language that you declared in the <html> tag.

Content-language Meta tag

Finnally, the language meta tag which Bing uses and Yahoo kind of uses. Make sure you place the meta tag in the <head> section of your page. Make sure you choose the correct ISO region and language combination.

Here is an example in XHTML for British English.

<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en-gb" />

is a freelance web manager and strategist based in Stockholm Sweden.

For your reading pleasure (week 3, 2010)

How Google ranks Tweets

A little bit of an insight into how Google ranks tweets on Twitter from a Google Engineer.

The Case Against Vertical Navigation

Yet another detailed and well argued article from Smashing Magazine. This time covering the use of (left hand side) vertical navigation menus on web sites, and arguing the case for horizontal menus instead.

Öppna länkar i nytt fönster?

A request to have pages opening up in new windows (or tabs) came up yet again this week from a client. This is a useful page covering many arguments – not all of them against. Although in almost all situations, I am.

Preventing Spam in Form Submissions without Using a CAPTCHA

A clearly written guide to how you can do almost the same job as a CAPTCHA, but without using a CAPTCHA and all of the problems it causes people.

Social and Mobile Lead in Nielsen Annual Intranet Report

Bill Ives gives a summary of Nielsen’s latest Intranet report. The tipping point for mobile web, could tip over into Intranets too during 2010.

Färdiga SEO-paketlösningar rekommenderas inte

Niklas Lindh explains why you should use SEO consultants rather than throw money at pre-packaged SEO services./

A Brief History of Eye-Tracking

UX Booth provide us with a nice read about the history of eye tracking, without getting to the whole love/hate eye tracking debate.

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