Did you know your email address on Facebook has been changed?

Facebook seem to be King of making changes and not telling anyone lately (another post about that tomorrow) so no-one should really be surprised at the latest, but it does seem to be taking a bit of a liberty.

When you signed up to Facebook, you gave them your email address. Maybe you used your personal address, or, like me, you used your business address. After all, you want to be sure that if someone wants to get hold of you, they have the correct address, right?

Well apparently not according to Facebook.

In a very quiet move they’ve recently changed everyone’s email address to a special Facebook one that sends emails directly to your Facebook messages.

You can see in the screenshot below that my email address has been changed from nikkipilk@gmail.com to nikkipilkington@facebook.com!

Now, some people are going to be cool with that. It may suit their purposes to have any emails sent to them by people from Facebook direct to their Facebook messages box.

But what about those people who aren’t cool with that?

For example, me.

I don’t want people to email me direct to my FB messages box – that’s what the message button is for.

I want people who choose to send me an email to be sure that that email comes direct to ME. If it’s a business email, I want the whole conversation in MY email so I have a papertrail and don’t have to refer to Facebook all the time to keep up with it.

I want to be able to schedule events from my email directly into my calendar or forward it to my CRM to remind me to do certain things – I can’t do that if it’s in the proprietary messaging system of Facebook.

But that’s not what pisses me off most of all.


Now, I get that facebook is free. I get that they’re providing a platform for me. I get that they expect me to converse with business contacts through my Business Page (you can like it here BTW).

I get all that.

But it still feels like what they’ve done is wrong. They’ve changed something vital about my profile without asking me or even letting me know.

Will it stop me using Facebook? No, I love Facebook. But it does make me think a little less of them (not that they care of course).

However, I’m not 100% miffed with them, because it is possible to change it back, and indeed I have.

In this post on Lifehacker, they tell us exactly how to do this:

  1. Click “About” on your profile and scroll down to your email address. Click “Edit” to change them.
  2. Click on the circle next to your Facebook email address and change its setting to “Hidden From Timeline”.
  3. Click on the circle next to your other email addresses and change their settings to “Shown On Timeline”.
  4. Click the Save button at the bottom of the Edit popup (Don’t forget this step).

There’s a screenshot on that post to help, pop over to read the whole post.

So you can get your default email address back and ignore the Facebook one; that’s a good thing.

Facebook have admitted that they added this facility, but haven’t said why they made it default on everyone’s profiles without telling them; that’s bad.

I’d be interested to know – before you read this or other posts over the last couple of days, did YOU know anything about these chances? Please take a few seconds to let me know in the comments below.

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One of my pet hates about Twitter

I love Twitter – I spend a lot of time on there both for me and for clients, and I love pretty much everything about it. I’ve gained friends, clients, suppliers, support, advice, alternative opinions and more, and I can’t see me giving up on it anytime soon.

But I have to admit that the one thing I really don’t like about Twitter is the trend for auto DM messages that just seems never ending.

You know the ones:

Thanks for following, connect with us on Facebook here

You followed us, you’re fab – make millions by clicking here

Thanks for the follow – download this free ‘make millions from Twitter by auto DMing’ PDF here

The odd one or two of these might not annoy you, but if you follow a lot of people daily, the sheer amount of spammy DMs can mean you miss out on genuine direct messages, as well as being simply annoying.

Want to connect with me once I’ve followed you? Send me a message to @nikkipilkington – it’s much more personal than some automated message you don’t even know has come to me, and shows you’re in this to build relationships and not just making it a numbers game.

Why the sudden ‘rant’? Well, it’s something that I’ve spoken about before, and it’s something that’s bugged me for a while, but this fab image from SocMedSean reminded me of it and made me smile:

Thanks Sean 🙂

Do you auto DM? If so, why? If not, why not? Let me know in the comments below.


Pinterest – stop adding me to your boards people, it’s SPAM!

First it was people adding me to their groups on Facebook.

Now it’s people adding me to their collaborative boards on Pinterest.


It’s nothing short of spam.

If you want me to help you build a board on Pinterest then ask me.

I don’t want to be part of your ‘fab people posting on Pinterest’ board. I don’t care about your ‘people who do well on Empire Avenue’ board.

Adding me to your boards is disrespectful, spammy and downright unprofessional.

I’m at a loss to think why people do it. I’m not going to post anything of interest me, trust me; all I’m going to do is remove myself as fast as possible.

I can only presume that you think that you’ll get lots of followers to your board because people following me on Pinterest will follow your board.

If that’s the case, I’d suggest you make more interesting boards.

Whether you do or not, stop adding me to them – all you’re doing is making me angry, and that’s not helping your cause at all.


Top 10 Fantastic Ways to Annoy Google – a guest post

Angry Talk (Comic Style)

Image via Wikipedia

A guest blog from Andrew Parker of Dreamscape Design

Google SERPs are what all SEO clients will judge you on! Sure, Yahoo and Bing are important, but Google are the leaders. The big cheese, big gun, chief, chieftain, controller, director, dominator, employer, chief exec, executive, online foreman, head honcho, big wig, leader, overseer, the online dons, superintendent, and top dog. Err…to put it simply, in search engine optimisation terms, they are pretty damn untouchable!

Firstly, what is this SEO malarkey? This is the process of getting your website to perform the best it possibly can in Google. Listed below are the 10 best ways to get your site banned or ignored by Google.

  1. Paying for/selling links. This is usually done in bulk, so if you suddenly gain hundreds of links in a short space of time, Google will be onto you like a demented pit-bull on a poodle.
  2. Keyword stuffing basically means sneakily inserting keywords in the meta-tags or the main content on the web pages. This is often used by spammers to incorporate keywords that have no relevance to the actual pages and is used to trick all us lovely and honest people into clicking onto their page. The swines!
  3. Presenting content to search engines which is different to the content being presented to the user (otherwise known as cloaking). This is a filthy, deceptive and cheap trick – on a par with if Silvio Berlusconi started meeting girls online after claiming that he is a 23 year old virgin – that search engines have thankfully become wise to. Doing this is literally a huge big steaming waste of time and should never be done. Err… BTW Berlusconi hasn’t claimed to be a 23 year old virgin. It was just an example.
  4. A collection of freelancers from “content farms” employed to produce specific search engine-friendly content to boost websites in Google, which means more traffic to the website. Google sees this as a big no-no, as the quality of the content suffers as a result. This tactic smells like a farm with high manure production – which Google will easily sniff out.
  5. Avoid sites with spam like the plague! It is like being sneezed on by someone with flu – you will soon come down with the same symptoms.
  6. You certainly shouldn’t do traditional link exchanges anymore. This practice is about as old as they come – and sorry to be ageist, but old people aren’t well known for winning the London Marathon! You won’t finish 1st in Google if you concentrate on this and your website is likely to be (metaphorically) gasping and being helped into the back of an ambulance wearing an oxygen mask. Therefore link building needs to involve clever tactics to gain a one-way links, and ensure you finish your campaign with a gold medal around your neck.
  7. Posting links on comment pages on every website you come across is like being the hopelessly drunk guy in the bar that “hits on” every passing girl. You’ll left with about as much respect as him – but unfortunately, the online stigma is a lot more long lasting than a hangover.
  8. Rewording stuff and claiming them to be your own work is a very dangerous tactic and should be avoided at all costs. Beady Eye may have gotten away with ransacking John Lennon’s back catalogue, but Liam Gallagher didn’t have the mighty Google to deal with. Articles should therefore be researched properly and be original.
  9. Flash and Javascript should be avoided. They have no benefit to SEO and are about as useful as those decorative lumps that sit either side of Alan Sugar. If you do use flash, then make it small and insignificant.
  10. Not a major way to annoy Google (hence it being at No. 10 and it again won’t cause you to be banned) but search engines aren’t too keen on duplicate content, as they only want to rank the same content once – so make every page have unique content.

You will need to avoid these above 10 points if your site is to become the big cheese, big gun, chief, chieftain, controller, director, dominator, employer, chief exec, executive, online foreman, head honcho, big wig, leader, overseer, the online dons, superintendent, and top dog for your niche in the search engines.

Andrew Parker is a Search Engine Optimisation expert at leading web design company Dreamscape Design.

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Please remove me from your email newsletter

A great post today from Chris Brogan – Stop adding me to your email newsletter.

He has a very valid point – just because I’ve swapped emails with you DOESN’T mean you’ve been given my permission to add me to your newsletter list.

By all means, send me an email asking me if I WANT to be added, even send me a sample, but don’t just add me without my permission – it’s unprofessional, it’s underhand and it’s downright spammy.

The reason that most professional email systems (Aweber, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Infusionsoft etc) insist on double opt in is to stop things like this happening – while I accept that not everyone uses a system such as this to send their email newsletters, I would expect everyone to abide by the double opt in principle these days.

Anyway, following Chris’s suggestion, here’s an email you can feel free to send to people who send you their email newsletter when you haven’t asked to receive it. As he says

Share that all you want. Copy it, paste it, reblog it. Whatever. Just let’s get people to stop doing this. Okay?


You evidently mistook access for acceptance. I seem to be subscribed to your email newsletter, and I’m not interested. Now, I realize there’s a click-to-unsubscribe option, but I wanted a moment of your time, seeing as you ate up some of mine by making me go through the process of unsubscribing myself from your mailing list.

I can tell you’re eager to grow your business. It’s clear that you want incredibly smart and engaging people like me to participate in your world. Here’s a hint: blindly adding me to your email list won’t really win you many fans in that regard.

In fact, you know who you get when you use that method? Lazy people who haven’t bothered hitting unsubscribe yet. And if they’re too lazy to opt out (or even report you as spam), how motivated will they be to buy your product or service? Seems like a waste of your database space to me.

So, I’m going to unsubscribe now, and I’m going to wish you the best with your business. You clearly need it, if you think blindly adding me to your lists will ensure your future success.

Thanks and with appreciation,

Why we DON'T offer cheap link building campaigns

Link AssuagedWe get a lot of emails asking us if we offer link building campaigns.

We get even more offering us the chance to outsource our link building activities. Mainly from AOL or Gmail addresses, with no website to back up any claims, and at very low prices.

We also help a lot of clients who have been bitten by these cheap link building campaigns and are penalised in Google, or worse, have been banned. Client who suddenly find that they have unwanted links uploaded to their own sites, and links to their sites from unsavoury places. Clients who don’t even realise anything is wrong until we point it out to them.

While there is no doubt that well placed anchor texted links on sites that search engines see as authoratitive and relevant are good, we believe that these should be built organically and over time. NOT by buying 500 links you have no control over for $20 and risking the reputation of your website.

How can you get good links back to your website? Off the top of my head:

  • Have good content people will want to link to
  • Post on relevant forums and boards without spamming
  • Ask clients if they will allow you to have links on their websites
  • Make sure you’re listed in any relevant directories
  • Blog in various places
  • Comment on relevant blogs without spamming

That’s a good start.

Buying a load of dodgy links that appear in weird places and serve you no purpose isn’t going to help your SEO, it’s going to get you into trouble.

That’s why we don’t offer link building campaigns.

Creative Commons License photo credit: P/UL

"I want a blog that's at the top of Google before I do any work on it – and I want it to be free"

I received the following request this morning:

I am looking to start a blog that is free (or very cheap) to run, is easy to edit and write on and add photos etc.

I want this blog to be fully search engine optimised, so it comes up close to the top of google for all relevant search terms as well.  I also want some ad space on the site so I can start earning straight away.

How much would you charge for this?  I just want to be handed a blog that is at the top of google and is ready to go when you are finished…
I don’t even know where to begin with this one without seeming rude….

This person wants a free or cheap blog that is at the top of Google before they even do any work on it, for all the relevant search terms (without mentioning the niche or search terms they want) and wants to be earning ad money from it.

If anyone is handing these kind of blogs out, let me know please. If you have a spare Johnny Depp, I’ll have that too 🙂

The simple facts are:

– blogs may be free or cheap, but they still need work

– a brand new blog won’t appear at the top of Google for ‘all releveant search terms’ until it has some content

– most ad revenue is earned on affiliate schemes or page views – a new blog needs traffic to provide either revenue

– starting a blog is not an eay way to financial freedom – it’s hard work and requires thought, planning and lots of attention

There are too many blogs languishing around with no visitors and no point – don’t make yours one of them!

Guaranteed Google Listings – why you shouldn't believe the hype!

liarI know, I know, I’ve posted about this before – but it rears its ugly head all the time and it really really bugs me.

This time someone on a forum I participate in tells how they received a sales call from a company purporting to be called ‘Chrome’, who are allegedly a ‘subsidiary of Google’ and can offer GUARANTEED front page Google listings for a tiny amount per month (about £125, small money for the business he’s in). Apparently this is a ‘one off offer’ and ‘only being offered to one company’.

Luckily the person receiving the call knows a bit about online marketing and realised this was rubbish. Even more so when he asked them to email him the info and they refused, saying that they couldn’t email info as it was only open to one person and they didn’t want lots of info going to different people.

O-K….. so let’s look through this properly here:

  • False claim number 1: “We’re a subsidiary of Google called Chrome”

    Google themselves say in their Webmaster Help: “Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google.

    Also, Chrome is the name of the Google browser – I’d say these people are counting on reaching website owners who know Chrome is ‘something to do with Google’ and will fall for their ‘subsdiary’ tactics.

  • False claim number 2: “We offer GUARANTEED front page Google listings”

    A couple of things here really. I covered a lot of the ways in which a guarantee can be made but not quite true in my “When Is A Guarantee Not A Guarantee”:http://www.nikkipilkington.com/internet-marketing-articles/when-is-a-guarantee-not-a-guarantee-nikkipilkingtoncom-internet-marketing-expert-uk article, but Google, as always, get the last word on this one:”

    No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google

    There you have it – from the horse’s mouth.

  • Dubious claim number 1: “We can’t email you info, you have to buy on the phone as this is only offered to one person”

    What sort of a company selling Internet advertising of any kind (and there are many reputable ones out there) would refuse to email information over and insist you buy on the phone without looking into their company? One that has something to hide, maybe?

I could go on, but I’m conscious that all I’ve done recently on this blog is have a moan – there’s plenty to smile about in the SEO and Online Marketing world, so maybe I should lighten up a bit 🙂

I’ll leave it to you the reader to have a look through the rest of the comments Google themselves make about choosing your SEO expert. Just be aware when you’re on the end of a phone call guaranteeing anything and alleging a special relationship with Google, all isn’t necessarily as it seems…

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