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Malcolm Coles
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Next question. Why is my author picture no longer showing up for my articles when I search for them (those at

If you're using the g+ app, what's the best way to share a URL? Just copy and paste it?! Is there way for the app to extract titles, a thumbnail etc?

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The ban is from 22nd June to 31st October by the way ...
Locog's Olympic jackboot has fallen on London's main cycling artery.

Confirming fears ( that a large section of national cycle route 1 will be closed during the Olympics, presumably in case some rogue commuters cycle past the Olympic village drinking a can of Pepsi or carrying a verboten MasterCard, a crappy bureaucratic notice has been laminated and stuck on a gate in such a way as to ensure it's unreadable.

It's the only sign I could find - and confirms the towpath along the canal is to be shut for months before and after the White Elephant Finals.

So this is the Olympic legacy. A ban on cycling to, past or from the games for 4 months.
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The Guardian is reporting that "In an updated version of its advice for websites on how to use cookies ... the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said that websites can assume that users have consented to their use of them." A link to the new guidance is below.

Everyone seems to be rejoicing ... (although it's not really a last minute conversion as claimed - EG see this from April:

I don't think it's quite that simple though - people seem to be interpreting that article as saying they don't need to do anything after all. I don't agree.

The new guidance says things like:
"Implied consent is certainly a valid form of consent but those who seek to rely on it should not see it as an easy way out or use the term as a euphemism for “doing nothing”. In many cases, to create a situation in which implied consent is acceptable to subscribers, users and the regulator it would still be necessary to follow the steps set out in the Information Commissioner’s existing guidance."

"For implied consent to work there has to be some action taken by the consenting individual from which their consent can be inferred. This might for example be visiting a website, moving from one page to another or clicking on a particular button. The key point, however, is that when taking this action the individual has to have a reasonable understanding that by doing so they are agreeing to cookies being set."

"It has been suggested that the fact that a visitor has arrived at a webpage should be sufficient evidence that they consent to cookies being set or information being accessed on their device. The key here is that the visitor should understand that this is the case. It is important to note that it would be extremely difficult to demonstrate compliance simply by showing that a user visited a particular site or was served a particular advertisement unless it could also be demonstrated that they were aware this would result in cookies being set.... This remains the case if information is provided to the user but only as part of a privacy notice that is hard to find, difficult to understand or rarely read. This is why the “do nothing” approach is not enough."

"To rely on implied consent for cookies, then, it is important that the person seeking consent can satisfy themselves that the user’s actions are not only an explicit request for content or services but also an indirect expression of the user’s agreement that in addition to providing such content or services the provider may store or access information on the user’s device.

"To be confident in this regard the provider must ensure that clear and relevant information is readily available to users explaining what is likely to happen while the user is accessing the site and what choices the user has in terms of controlling what happens."
"An example might be that the user is given a clear and unavoidable notice that cookies will be used and on that basis decides to click through and continue to use the site. Without such a clear notice it is difficult for the person seeking consent to interpret the user’s actions as being any meaningful indication that the user was happy for cookies to be set."

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If you're creating SEO copy like either of these two firms, you are an idiot.

First up, Cash Genie Loans. After they were criticised for encouraging students to use expensive credit to pay for booze, they took down their page at (HTML title: Student Loans - Short Term Cash Loan For Students - Cash Genie Loans UK)

Their response? "The content was solely used for search engine optimisation. Cash Genie does not ... actively target students." (Source:

What is the point of targeting content at people who you don't want as customers?

It's not even as if it's any good for link building. According to Open Site Explorer
they only link ito that page s from which provides "the best human edited and quality Web Links that help your website gain higher search engine results."

Ahem. Of course it does.

Wonga got busted for the same thing (as Ben Gough-Cooper pointed out to me

A page headed ‘student loans’ claimed that there is “a totally new way of borrowing money to see you through until your next cheque and it’s called Wonga”.

The site, which said that its student loans can be used for things such as holidays to the Canary Islands, charges APRs of up to 4,214%.

Their response?

"We do not actively target students in any way and our marketing is all mainstream, such as on TV and radio. The two web pages in question are examples of the many search engine optimisation pages on our site, which is essentially content covering all aspects of credit.”

If your SEO company tells you to create SEO content that won't earn you links and isn't going to attract people you can convert to customers, then you are wasting your money.

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The definitive guide to headlines and SEO - and how to not suck the life out of them ...

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Anyone else seen this? Can't imagine news sites will be pleased ...

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