General

The Lanzarote Society

Today we got spammed – nothing new about that in Lanzarote, or anywhere else with the address lanzarotesociety-dot-com… We also had some complaints, and questions from clients – relating mostly to the fact that they had used the address elle@ as their Playa Blanca contact. Our clients were questioning whether we were involved in any way. We decided to do some digging.

Before I go any further with the results of that digging, let me state categorically we have not, will not, and will not ever have any dealings with the site or those behind it.

Apart from being a really shabbily designed website, it;

  • gives no indication of its owners
  • is selling membership to unwitting tourists who might want to ‘feel part of the island’
  • it claims to be non-profit making (sic!)
  • offers people the opportunity to work for them for the investment of £2000
  • the whole thing stinks…

The whole site and its related domains are written in a style of language many reading this will be familiar with… It includes the phrase “Simon says” throughout…

Yes, you guessed it. It’s an old favourite – it’s the inimitable Simon Harris again. Simon and Jenny Harris and Quills Wills may be down and unable to trade here (his words on the Gazette forum as I recall), but it seems they are not out.

The evidence?

The name of the domain owner – Melanie Ross (click on her name for the Google search which demonstrates clear link)

Companies House information…

LANZAROTE SOCIETY MANAGEMENT LIMITED
HARBRO HOUSE
CROWN LANE
DENBIGH
LL16 3SY
Company No. 06661107

and…..

THE QUILL GROUP (1986) LLP
HARBRO HOUSE
CROWN LANE
DENBIGH
DENBIGHSHIRE
LL16 3SY
Company No. OC328567

The same address is also the Registered Office of… THE QUILL GROUP COMPANY SECRETARY LLP
and THE QUILL GROUP TREASURER LLP

There’s plenty more where that came from – but I think you’ll agree it’s pretty clear as to who is pulling the strings on this baby! Of course, I have emailed and asked that any links they have included on there to our sites be removed – we have absolutely NO association with this venture.

The really worrying thing is that on the site it says that one of their aims is to represent the island and it businesses… Think about that one!

A note to tourists who may be reading this at this point – there are many good sites in addition to our own Lanzarote Nightlife if you are looking for information on the island – just Google, you’ll find plenty. And you certainly don’t have to pay to feel a part of the community – you are always welcome on sites like our own forum at Canary Nightlife, the forums on Discover Lanzarote and at the Gazette.

Now, of course, I’m not saying Simon Harris is a conman – I do however have an opinion based on all I’ve seen and read about him. What I would strongly urge anyone who is reading this – if you are thinking about doing business with him, or any of his companies, make sure you do thorough research – hopefully there’s enough in this post to get you started. That research may end up saving you thousands…

Caveat Emptor….

Typos can be good!

A few days ago we stumbled on a number one position on Google for one of our sites. More by good luck than planning in this case, the number one position was for a phrase very relevant to the site in question – but it was a typo – and a VERY common misspelling…

Should you find this at any time – don’t fix it – this is a good thing. Your site will no doubt have your search terms duplicated elsewhere, so no need to worry.

Don’t be afraid also to include common misspellings within you keywords and descriptions. Find a really common one and it can work very well for you…

Press articles

Spain magazineHaving previously owned a PR company and being in the marketing business for many years, I still get a joy out of seeing stuff in print! In this digital age some might see it as a little ‘old fashioned’ – but there’s still nothing like holding a paper magazine sometimes…

This recent article about us was in the April edition of ‘Spain’ magazine back in the UK.

There are of course business benefits to us from press articles…

  • they add credibility
  • they have the potential to bring in business (this one brought us an SEO client)
  • they may create additional website traffic – the Canary Nightlife and Gandy-Draper sites saw additional traffic throughout the circulation period
  • our clients see that actively marketing ourselves and our sites s in turn driving traffic to their advertising with us and their own websites

We were approached to do this article after an article about Elle in the expat section of ‘The Sun’ website.

Watch this space – we may have another on coming up soon…

Google AdSense – how closely targetted is it?

On a lighter note than usual – it brought a smile to my face recently when I was working on a domain of ours which includes the word EARTH…

In adding some AdSense to the site and whilst testing without any content up on the right hand side pops something like… “Visiting Earth – For all you need to know visit Trip Advisor for everything you need to know about Earth”.

Perhaps they see the advantage of targetting any aliens about to visit and looking for reviews of hotels they can rest up in before the invasion? 🙂

What is Google Page Rank

Many people confuse Google Page Rank with the ranking their site has in Google search results.

The two are very different animals however, and do not always match each other. For example – you may have a Google Page Rank of 4 or 5 (it goes 0 to 10 – with 10 being the highest) but you still do not come up at the number one spot for their chosen search term in Google results.

Google says that Google Page rank is determined by a high number of factors… but are reticent about listing them all. One of the most deciding factors however, is the number of backlinks from external websites referring to a particular page. The rank is always allocated to a page, rather than the whole website… so you will usually have a higher page rank on your home page, than to an internal page – this is usually because people will usually point to your home page when referencing your website.

Recently our guide to moving to Lanzarote achieved a Google Page rank of 4. This tells us that Google views the site as beneficial to readers, because there are so many links pointing towards it.

Our nightlife website Canary Nightlife has a page rank of 3. However, some of its internal pages also rank well… such as the Island pages and town pages inside the website.

So how do you raise your page rank? The first place to start is by getting lots of people to link to your website – or to a particular page. You can do this by a variety of methods… such as reciprocal linking, article writing, posting on message boards and much more. Ensure that your content is engaging, and of interest to lots of different people. You might think that you have written a masterpiece – but if nobody else shares your interest… then it’s not a lot of use. Aim to get your link listed on pages that already have a good rank themselves, as their “vote” is respected more highly by Google.

Be wary of websites that email you for a reciprocal link – claiming that they have a high page rank… but then shove your link onto a page on their site that isn’t even acknowledged by Google. This doesn’t help you – and only benefits them.

One thing to always remember though – is that content is vital for the health of your website. Keep it current… keep it fresh… keep it relevant… keep it updated!

To check the Google Page Rank of your own website – either install the Google Toolbar direct from Google… or you can enter your site address into this tool below.

Check Page Rank of any web site pages instantly:
This free page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

Both options are free of course.

Cheap calls to Lanzarote

Ever wondered how you can get cheaper calls from the UK to Lanzarote using a regular phone rather than Skype or similar on-line services?

We can now help using numbers diverted from the UK and obtaining your number is FREE!

Continue reading

Affiliate link for Spanish websites

We came across The Tapas Lunch Company recently, who have an established site selling Spanish produce and brands in the UK. We thought it a great idea.

Even though the food here for me personally doesn’t cut it and I’d give my eye teeth to have an Asda around the corner – it’s easy to see the possibilities for the market amongst the British public who might love their Spanish food after holidays or living as ex-pats.

It’s a great link for just about any Spanish themed website or blog. From a site owners point of view as well as providing useful content you can link through their affiliate scheme and make 10% on any sales you generate.

Click here to sign up for The Tapas Lunch Company affiliate scheme.

Interested in finding out about other affiliate programs? Take a look at the affiliate marketing category.

Changing Windows Vista from Spanish to English

Thanks to my son for this one…! He recently bought a laptop on the island with the Spanish version of Vista installed. Before he bought it he did a bit of research and found ‘Vistalizator’ – a pretty nifty tool for switching to an English language pack.

So many people on the island seem a bit wary of buying locally because of the language. No need with this – it was installed in a few minutes and seems to work perfectly…. Even better than that – it’s free!

As with anything do read the instructions and requirements on the website before you think about installing.

Click on the link to visit the Vistalizator website and change Vista from Spanish to English.

We practice what we preach…

As web designers, and marketing professionals we don’t rest on our laurels. It’s important to us to prove to our clients that we can deliver the kind of results they are looking for. How better to do this than to establish some decent web properties of our own. Since moving to Lanzarote we have established a couple of hugely successful sites. Without divulging our statistics it is safe to say that both sites generate a lot of hits.

CanaryNightlife.net

Canary Nightlife (launched in February 06) – is a site promoting bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants in the Canary Islands. It’s a very busy site (hits are measured in the many hundreds of thousands every month) which we have proven delivers business to our clients at a very reasonable cost. It also includes a busy forum.

Lanzarote Relocation (launched September 07) – is our guide to moving to Lanzarote. It’s simply a blog of our own experiences of emigrating, our musings about life on the  on the island and other general Lanzarote information, including guest articles. As far as we know this is the only independent site of its type. Again this is a very busy website and features well in Google searches.

lrAs we have written about elsewhere both sites have been imitated – more than once  – as is so often the case with many businesses on Lanzarote. But, we’re confident in our ability to stay ahead of the game – after all this is what we do for a living, we’re not doing this as a hobby or as an after thought! 🙂

Cue more insults from our friend “Bob in Cyprus”!

We currently have a number of other projects in the making – watch this space!

New computer shop in Playa Blanca

I went into the newly opened computer shop in Playa Blanca – Beep. Not expecting much as walking in they didn’t appear to have much stock.

We were looking for a joystick, when I asked  – there were none in stock. However, the girl at the desk was extremely helpful and  showed us the available range on her screen and said it could be ordered in fairly quickly. I was impressed.

Though not really looking like much – the range available on the Beep website is excellent. It might look a little unassuming as you pass by – but to all intents and purpose we now have access to the kind of range of products you’d expect from the likes of PC World in the UK.

The shop is on the back road between the German supermarket and Correos.