• Saw the famous 18th hole before saying goodbye to st andrews. #
  • On the train back to edinburgh, lovely afternoon to exploretie city before flight back to ldn. #
  • Exploring the edinburgh castle. Cool! #
  • Amazing view of the city from the top of the castle. #
  • Really great castle tour but still have 2 hours to kill and not sure where to go next. #
  • Why the tartan weaving mill tour of course, haha! #
  • In a beautiful park overlooking the city and sea, eating ice cream in glorious sunshine. Aaah. #
  • On the bus headed back to edinburgh airport. This weekend definitely was not long enough. #
  • Went to scotland, got sunburned. How is that even possible? #
  • Back in londontown. Whew! Whirlwill weekend but great to visit scotland. Can’t wait to in back! #

  • Quite a bit of fun doing traditional scotish dancing! Looking forward to exploring st andrews in the am #
  • Scones, tea and a they of the castle for breakfast, now off to explore st andrews. #
  • Beautiful ruins of the cathedral and castle, they must have looked amazing in their heyday. #
  • Local barbar offers free whiskey with every haircut 🙂 #
  • Going to be a parade in honor of st andrew soon and can hear the bagpipes all over town. #
  • Procession through the town of people dressed as famous st andrews grads through history. #
  • Quite knackered after a long day walking around the town, off to dinner and drinks with old and new friends soon. Haggis?? You never know… #
  • Went with the beef and guinness pie over haggis. I’m s food wimp 😉 #

  • Is running late already, time to race to the airport! #
  • Airport security stole my toothpaste! But made it in plenty of time for my flight. #
  • Wow got off plane to see a guy in a kilt. This really is scotland! #
  • On the train heading to st. Andrews. Already feeling that clean scotland air clearing out the last of my cold. #
  • Off to a ball. How very posh. #

This evening I attended a regular London event called Open Soho – so named for the area of town (Soho) in which it occurs.  Tonight marked the 6th Open Soho and the event is self-described as

Devised by PopJam’s Alex Tew and Irish opportunist Paul Walsh, OpenSoho has helped create a community of like-minded followers through its Facebook group and Twitter page, causing a clamber for tickets each time they’re made available. With a sponsored bar and late-night dancefloor, OpenSoho is a highly acclaimed night on the tiles for those currently causing waves and shaping the future of the UK digital, media and advertising scene. These folk work hard and play harder, come join in the fun.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect as I entered the venue, located on the second floor of a rather posh-looking restaurant.  As has been the case for many of the meetups I attend, I went alone.  Generally speaking, attending events solo is difficult but for something so based on networking I didn’t expect to have any problem and was right to think so.  What a charming, social, friendly group of people! I’m fortunate to have a story (“I moved to London with no job, no place to live and not knowing a soul!”) that gets people interested but I think even without a tag line I would have had some incredibly interesting comversations.

I’ve had some trouble nailing down a focus for this blog, as I’m sure many of my regular readers have noticed.  London, of course, plays a prominate role but so does technology and the two subjects have not come together very often.  Open Soho has, for me, combined the best of both with Londoners truly excited about their startups and businesses all meeting together in one of the best parts of the city, while sharing their technological and internet-related thoughts and ideas.  I met part of the webteam that runs What’s On Stage, a London theatre website hoping to meet some techies instead of just more theatre critics; someone who seemed to be taking advantage of the fact that London is a fashion capital with his upcoming Facebook app focused on the modeling industry; a fellow American in London looking for ways to get people jobs and many more besides.  Plus there were a couple of familiar faces from previous meetups I’ve attended.

Tomorrow morning I’m off to Scotland for the weekend but I’m very glad I got one final push for tech, business and networking in this week before I switch to the polar opposite, rural setting.  All in all it was a great event and I very much look forward to the next one.

I should give a plug to the sponsors of this evening’s bar and Open Soho event, the endlessly cheerful and sugary sweet I Like U Coz, the site that lets you tell anyone in the world exactly why you like them.  Go check it out!

About two weeks ago, Google completed an update of their algorithm and listings. While this is something they do every few months (you can see a great recap of when these updates have occurred in the past here: Google PageRank Updates) it still causes a massive shakeup in the SEO world every time. For me, this update was well worth paying attention to for a number of reasons.

1. Learn Page Rank changes

As I have mentioned in the past, the Page Rank that Google assigns to any given web page is often reflective of how important it is to Google and how highly it will rank in Google search results. When Google does one of these big updates, it often modifies the PR of different web sites and pages to reflect changes since the last update. Generally speaking, if you’ve increased traffic, backlinks and content by enough, PR will go up. In my case, I went from a PR3 to a PR2 – this decrease is probably due to the fact that it was not within the last three months, but the three months before that in which I wrote an article that got on the front page of digg, temporarily bringing me a huge increase in traffic and backlinks. I care when Google does an update because I can see how my site’s value has changed in Google’s eyes through change in PR.

2. See if SEO has been working

Search Engine Optimisation is tricky for me as it is often difficult to gauge results. I can optimise my text, no-follow the right links, and build backlinks to The Top Floor Flat, but generally speaking, it takes a few months to see any impact and it’s all but impossible to attribute any change in search engine rankings to any one action or event. When Google does an update, it’s a chance to see where rankings have improved, where they have fallen, and compare that to overall improvements in the site. For example, I’ve seen an increase in my ranking for the term “Reposado restaurant” – the Palo Alto restaurant I reviewed a while back.

3. Gauge competitor’s SEO
Google updates its algorithms across the board, not just for your site so of course you see how things are looking for all web players after the shakeout. Upon doing a search for your key search terms, are you seeing your competitors more often? Perhaps they’ve got a new SEO strategy and you need to make sure that you are staying up to date with your own SEO goals. Have the PRs of your competitors increased? Maybe they are getting more backlinks – take a look at who’s linking to them.

For anyone heavily involved in SEO, it’s difficult to miss a Google update (the Twitter and Blog chatter on the subject during the update was a clear indication of how important a subject it is) but for someone just learning about SEO who might not have seen an update before, as was the case for me, it might be easy to miss, or questionable why an update is so important. For me, seeing a change in page rank, a change in actual search listing results and the changes in my competitor’s SEO is an indication of whether or not I’m on the right track in my own SEO attempts. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled in about three months for Google’s next major update.  Want to learn more about Google? Check out this interesting interview with Google employees.