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Jim Banks
Works at Cheapflights
Attended Island School
Lives in London, United Kingdom
6,450 followers|153,973 views


Jim Banks

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Time To Say Goodbye

Hi, Hope you are well.

I hate to have to write this post, I wish there was another way I could do this......


I have decided I need to close this Google+ account down.

I’ve been on Google+ since a few days after it launched and I have had the misfortune of having to merge three Google Apps accounts together, transfer my original Google+ account from one Apps email address to another Apps account and then try to switch it back, to the original account I had. 

In the process of doing those things I think I might have broken Google+ as it is telling me that all the people that follow me are migrated to the new account (which was my original account), but they are still showing in this account.

Rather than waiting for Google to try to fix it (and thanks +Jaana Nyström  for trying to help me in the Google+ Help community), I thought I'd have one final attempt to move all of my followers in one block with a final post over here.

Once it's done I can then close down the account that is no longer going to be used to avoid confusion.

If you are reading this message it means you are a follower of mine and I would love for you to remain that way before I close down the account.

I’d be really grateful if you can do a couple of things for me.

1. Can you go to and add me to your circles wherever you might have me now.

2. Remove me from your circles on this account. 

It’s no big deal if you don’t remove me as I’m going to be closing the account anyway and the “relationship” we have now will end then anyway but I would hate for us to part this way, and I'll probably repeat this message a few times and I would hate to annoy/spam you.

Nothing else has changed, in tandem with trying to get the followers moved I’m also trying to move the people I follow, the communities I'm in and the details of my profile. It is no easy task to do manually.

I’m going to close the redundant account (this one) at the end of this month (May), so hopefully you can spare a few seconds to click the link in 1. above and do 2. as well.

Thanks for taking the time to read the message and I look forward to re-connecting at my old/new/old Google+ account.

Joshua Berg's profile photoJim Banks's profile photoRichard Hoefer's profile photoJim Banks's profile photo
Yes still very active +Richard Hoefer and you tagged the right one this time around.

Hope you are well. 
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Jim Banks

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Expect his follower count to rocket....

Congratulations +Dave Besbris and thanks for your time in charge of the baton +Vic Gundotra
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Now this is very cool....

Now you can grab words from memes, quotes from images.

Made by +Kevin Kwok and a big h/t to +Ilya Grigorik who always uncovers cool things so we don't have to.
Naptha automatically applies state-of-the-art computer vision algorithms on every image you see while browsing the web: - aka, seamless OCR right in Chrome! Love it.
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New features for +Majestic SEO 

You can read all about these new features at

The article says :

This is a huge leap forward for outreach and inbound marketers, advertising strategists, PR professionals, business analysts, SEOs

Completely agree, looking forward to checking it out while everyone else is at #brightonseo  

I'm sure that this was carefully planned by +Dixon Jones he's such a great spin doctor.

#seo   #majesticseo    
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Google Adwords - New And Improved?

I watched the livecast earlier today in eager anticipation of some new features to make life easier.

The lead was all about Apps and how they have become ubiquitous in most people's everyday lives.

If you want to let Google control everything, then you can.

Since Google bought Admob I have been waiting for them to unleash some of the benefits that advertisers and publishers gleaned in a pre-Google world and I think these new features are getting things closer.

It's about discovery, re-engagment and tracking and bringing together the power of Google, Youtube and Admob.

I do like the fact they will give you help with keyword research, but that will only drive the CPC's higher for those advertisers who have been able to work things out themselves, Google are just going to share the information with anyone who wants to advertise.

The drag and drop reports looked useful, but I think they might fail the so what test for big data driven advertisers, and although they seemed to be pitching this at enterprise advertisers I can't see many rushing to get their hands on them, at the moment, other than out of curiosity.

It's caused there to be blurred lines for the future of Adwords Editor and the timescale for launch is over several months 

All in all I was left a little underwhelmed, and still unraveling everything. I wish Google spent more time on the detail and less time on the PR.

What about you? Like the new stuff? Are you meh?

#adwords   #stepinsideadwords   #ppcchat  
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New Adwords Features

Starting now...

Ian Bowland's profile photoDavid Iwanow's profile photoJim Banks's profile photoWening Cintron's profile photo
drag and drop chars look great. App ads - meh
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Have him in circles
6,450 people

Jim Banks

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Here's confirmation that +Dave Besbris is taking over as head of Google plus.

Thanks +Danny Sullivan for breaking the news.
Google makes it official. The new head of +Google+ will be its VP of engineering +Dave Besbris, taking over from +Vic Gundotra. 
The head of Google+ and Google’s social efforts, Vic Gundotra, announced that he’s stepping down today. Google has confirmed that his replacement will be, as Re/code sources speculated, the current vice president of engineering for Google+, David Besbris. Re/code broke the news of Besbris taking over according to its sources, but Google itself didn’t confirm […]
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Jim Banks

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What startup investors have bad reputations?

An informative look into the sorts of things bad investors and VC's do.

This answer on +Quora is from +Jason Lemkin partner at Storm Ventures and the former CEO and co-founder of Echosign comes from experience of over 150 pitches.

Interesting that the founders and VC's seem to partake in questionable tactics in equal measures.

From my own experiences, if you don't like the people when you meet them, before you discuss your idea then chances are you will not like them after the pitch.

I nearly pulled out of a deal that had taken 9 months to make an hour before the deal because the guy who was signing the deal to buy my company was over 3 hours late because he had gone to buy some bespoke shirts in London, completely belittling the deal from my side of the things, to the point I was ready to walk away, it was only someone talking me off the ledge that meant the deal actually happened.

it's a good read for you if you are running, or thinking of running a #startup
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Sharing the original post that +Dixon Jones wrote just for the plus.

I think this will be useful to put in Google+ URL's so you can see what Site Explorer thinks you write about and then see if you think the same.

Sobering results I am sure.

Nice one +Dixon Jones +Majestic SEO 

#seo   #majesticseo   #siteexplorer  
Today Majestic has launched a new version of Site Explorer, which has categorized the whole web into about 800 categories.  That’s about 700 billion pages right now, with our full historic index to follow when we can.

Rather than totally repeat the announcement over at (thanks +Bas van den Beld ) I thought I’d talk a little bit on G+ about how we have done it… without giving away the whole secret sauce of course.
Any object on the web can be categorized… not just traditional web pages. Here’s +John Mueller 's Google+ profile shows that he is primarily all about Computers / Internet / Web Design and Development and secondarily about Computers / Internet / Searching for example. Hope that’s a fair assessment of you John? Check out a few friends while you are here! J
When we started looking at categorizing the web, I have to confess that I was mildly skeptical as to whether (a) we would pull it off and (b) whether the data would hold up to scrutiny and (c) whether people would care. Fortunately for us, +Matt Cutts  did a spiffing video on the 2nd April about “Topical Pagerank”. Thanks Matt! I am glad that we have been able to get this out before Google’s topic update though – at least we can show that we worked this all out ourselves and not using third party data.
Actually – that is not entirely true. One of the first things we looked at was what topics we should use to categorize the web. Options on the table included Dublin Core and some sort of tag based system, but in the end we decided that the Open Directory Project has an open source categorization structure and if it was good enough for AOL it was not a bad place for us to start. That said, we found the categories slightly problematic – especially when it came to (say) electronics maufacturers in the UK vs Electronics manufactures in the US… when companies get large, localization only serves to disrupt categorization. So we took the ODP categories as a framework, but then changed them for the sake of our algorithms.
The next step was the actual categorization part. This was really interesting and I can’t say too much, but we decided that one of the biggest weaknesses of human edited directories was that two pages n the same site could be about totally different topics. Some sites are very specialist… others very generalized. So we decided that the only solution was to categorize pages, and then do some roll up calculations to help give an overview at a subdomain or root domain level. This is something we are now quite practiced at, so that part was OK. The part that IS technically challenging is that many of these categories overlap dramatically semantically and differentiated between categories is really hard to do, because finding patterns for one category that differentiate from a lower or parallel subcategory is not at all easy. We have spoken with a number of researchers, practitioners, university lecturers and all manner of people about this and we did not find a useable solution on a plate. I guess that explains why it has never been openly attempted before. I know Google have Topical PageRank, but they don’t share that knowledge and neither would I if I was them. Also challenging… with a little under 1000 categories, we have to score every web page against all 800 to know which categories are most important.
So our Fresh index has about 700 billion URLs.
Multiply that by nearly 1000 categories to see the scale of the challenge.
Now do that on every Fresh Index update (daily if we can).
That’s quite a calculation. Excel won’t cut it… and it is also one of the major reasons why we take a little longer than some to show new links. We think the extra day’s wait is well worth the extra insight we can bring.
Once we have scored every URL against all the categories, we maintain the top few for the index. Not every page has a Topical Trust Flow for every category of course and this manes that the resulting table would have lots of blank cells if it was on a massive spreadsheet, so we are able to reduce this data down a lot.
The reason for doing all this every day is really so that we do not have to try and calculate all this for you on the fly every time. I would imagine that it is possible to come up with a clunky “categorization algorithm” which can start churning on demand, but it really is unlikely to be effective at the URL level and at the domain level we have already seen that this is not granular enough to be useful.
I’m pretty excited that we have categorized the whole web and would love this news to go a bit more mainstream than the SEO community… so if anyone knows any reporters on mainstream papers or TV news programs that thinks this might be a little bit more that “just another SEO Tool” I’d love to hear from them.
In the meantime – if you get a chance to publicly talk about what we’ve achieved, I would really like the exposure.
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What a great idea. A shared circle of all the very best in SEO at #brightonseo  

I wish I was going to be there now, but struggling to get away, so will follow online and watch for the comments and shared decks on +SlideShare 

That +Kelvin Newman always puts on an amazing event.
Just to prove that Shared Circles can be useful, here is a Google+ shared circle of (nearly) all of the speakers at Thursday's #brightonseo   .

Add it to your circles for instant search goodness in your feed.  

I'm still missing a couple. Can anyone help me out with  any of the following?

Shaun Russell 
Carolyn Jones 
Neha Gupta 
Matt Evans 
Julia Ogden 
In this Circle:
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Jim Banks

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Say hi to +Google Webmasters 

They will be your go to source for :

Official webmaster related news and announcements
How to handle 404's correctly
They will have Q & A office hours
And the most exciting thing for me :

Adventures with Googlebot 

I'm hoping that Googlebot and +Mr. Jingles form a formidable double act.
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I posted this over Easter, you might have missed it, so thought I would share it again.

Seriously, READ IT!!

5200 words of pure gold for getting Google+ from +Dan Petrovic of +Dejan SEO 
Dive Deep Into Advanced Google+
#googleplustips   #googleplus  
A detailed analysis of Google+ platform with case studies, actionable tips, statistics and a visual guide to little-known features.
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Have him in circles
6,450 people
Global Head of Biddable Media
PPC, Affiliate Marketing, Display Advertising, Retrgeting
  • Cheapflights
    Global Head of Biddable Media, 2013 - present
    Responsible for delivering outstanding results from all types of biddable media (the new name for PPC, display media, social media advertising, mobile advertising, affiliate marketing, retargeting).
  • Spades Media
    CEO, 2010 - 2013
    Performance marketing strategy, PPC media buying including Google Adwords, Adwords Express, Bing Ads and other forms of media.
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
London, United Kingdom
Glasgow, Scotland - Lapta, Cyprus - Hong Kong
Entrepreneur, PPC Ninja

Work Related Stuff

Responsible for buying biddable media globally for one of the UK's leading travel marketing companies Cheapflights.

I am a regular speaker at industry events around the world, including Pubcon.

Personal Stuff

I live in the suburbs of Surrey in a village called Sunbury-on-Thames.

Bragging rights
Self-funded, grew and sold three companies since 2006.
  • Island School
Basic Information
Looking for
Friends, Networking
Jim Banks's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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