Category Archives: Ian Hopkinson

The 80/20 rule: A Digital Marketers reflections on the Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle has had an honored place in management theory since the 1960’s

In the early 20th Century, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto noticed something peculiar about the world that he lived in . 80% of the land in his country was owned by only 20% of its inhabitants. Similarly, only 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained some 80% of the peas. In 1941, Joseph Juran read Pareto’s work and expanded on it, realizing that in many situations 80% of the output was contributed by only 20% of the input. Calling what he termed the “vital few and the trivial many” the “Pareto Principle”.

The Pareto Principle has had an honored place in management theory since the 1960’s, with many seemingly strange correlations being noted. For example, it has been observed that 80% of decisions come from only 20% of meeting time, and that 20% of a sales force will produce 80% of the sales. Similarly, when applied to other areas of life the 80/20 principle still seems to hold. For example, anyone thinking back to school may recall that about 80% of the trouble in classrooms comes from only about 20% of the students.


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The Pareto Principle can also be thought of as applying to our personal lives as well. If we think about the people we know, it is often 20% of them that are giving us 80% of the most grief, while another 20% are giving us 80% of the most joy.

This has been extrapolated into the work day, where it is often said that only 20% of what you do will produce 80% of your results, so that when faced with multiple things to do, one should focus on those tasks and people that will the greatest benefit for the least input.

This means that we need to focus on what our goals are and how we can best move towards achieving those goals. Within many business settings, our goals will be fairly well defined by certain Key Performance Indicators, or by sales and production figures. Unfortunately a large number of small businesses don’t seem to have any goal beyond “stay financial” and as such, much time is wasted trying to do to much with too little. For example, in starting up a new restaurant, it is not sufficient to say that you want “everyone” to be your clients. Rather, you need to identify a niche and tailor your menu and marketing towards attracting that type of client.

Much of what passes as our work day is often taken up by fluff and things that aren’t really that important. Do your pens and paper clips really need to each have their own colour co-ordinated paper box on your desk? Or would you be better off spending the time getting on top of your accounts?

The key here is that we all need to identify those things that you can do and those things that other people can do and to focus everybody’s efforts on those tasks that value add, while putting those that don’t lower on the priority list.

We often can get caught up in trying to do everything ourselves, but need to remember we have been hired for a designated role, specifically for the unique skills that we bring to the equation. As such, we are often going to be at our most productive when we are engaged in those tasks that utilise our special skills and we would be better off delegating tasks that require lower levels of competancy. (Just don’t do what the US developer from Verizon did, I don’t recommend this approach.)

For example, the Australian Army once had all of its soldiers do work in the various messes. Given that your average tank soldier has no training in cookery, the jobs that they would do in the kitchens were unskilled and menial. This was an absolute waste of resources. Given that the Australian Army had spent tens of thousands of dollars training soldiers to crew armored vehicles, and pays them very well, it effectively had the most expensive bottle washers in the country doing work that they presented. Eventually, common sense prevailed and civilians were bought in on the award wage, thereby freeing hundreds of soldiers around the country to to what they were actually trained to do and saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.

One of the best ways of implementing the 80/20 principle in the workplace Continue reading

Local SEO – Introduction to SEO for Business

Over the last couple of years, Local SEO has grown considerably, especially provided the growing popularity of smartphones and much better connectivity while being out and about. Nevertheless, it has a lot in common with organic Search Engine Optimization, but its ultimately very different.

The objective of Local SEO is to offer outcomes that are as relevant as possible to the searcher based upon their location. If you searched ‘best restaurant’ on your computer right now, Google would supply you with results that are near to you. However, if you made the exact same search on your smartphone, it would provide you with results depending on where you are at the time.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss what Local SEO is all about and how it can affect your local business.


Part 3 How to Avoid Digital Marketing and SEO Rip-Offs

Setup fees and guaranteed results are next on our list of digital marketing and SEO ripoffs. The reason these two fall under the digital marketing and SEO rip offs category is because cannot guarantee anyone first-page results because they do not control Google or your competitors. If a company or individual promises you that, they are either completely naive or just an outright liar.

Don’t fall for the promising to waive setup fees trick either. Deceptive salespeople usually say that to make you think that by signing the contract then and there, you will save a lot of money in set-up fees.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss yet another way not to get ripped off when contracting an SEO company for your website.


We Are Busy Enough to Worry About More Traffic-SEO Myths Debunked

Someone said to us recently when we said to them that they need more traffic to their website, “we have enough traffic so we are busy enough”! This one you don’t hear very often!

Lucky them! But, what they fail to realize is that while they may be busy at the moment, what happens when business slows down? This is when you need your websites traffic to be consistent as much as possible all year ’round.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss the SEO Myth about having enough website traffic.


The Mobile Age of Telephone Throwing – Art or Sport?

Ian and Andrew here discuss the quirky sport of telephone throwing in Finland. Apart from throwing his own phone, Ian along with Andrew talk about the infamous incident when Russell Crowe threw a phone in the hotel suite, resulting in being arrested.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss the phenomenon of throwing mobile phones.


Does Google Adsense Make Sense or Just Cents?

A 19 year old French Moroccan entrepreneur set up a website to let people text their friends for free. He set up Google Adsense on his site and made a total of $46,416.28 in Google Adsense commission.

However, when it was time for Google to send him his cheque, they cancelled his account with no reasons given only to say that he had breached their Adsense programs guidelines. This decision was made only 2 weeks after Google praised him for his efforts and wanted to talk to him about how to optimise his site further.

Does Google have a secret agenda to ban anyone who makes more than $5000 in commissions through their Adsense program as the conspiracy theorists suggest, or is there something else going on?


Ian: Google AdSense! Does it make sense or just sense?

Andrew: What the hell are you talking about? That’s the most ridiculous title you have ever come up with.

Ian: There is kind of a point to it! The point is it sound nonsensical. So that we can then talk about Google AdSense. Now the AdSense platform, as some of you may know, is the program where you actually are putting ads onto your own website in order to earn money through your website. And you can earn some cents. With a C!Or many dollars!

Andrew: However in this case we will talk about a lot of cents. Well I don’t know how much it is in cents but it is $46k. Forty six grand!

Ian: That is 460,000 cents..

Andrew: No.. Oh, god this isn’t making much sense already! This 19 year old had a website and what he did: He set up a website that offered free texting.

Ian: This is the story from Business Insight, yeah?

Andrew: Yep, and he made his money through the AdSense program which is putting ads on the sidebar of his website.If you click on it he gets paid however much that is.

Ian: He made $46,000!

Andrew: Yeah, 46,000 and this really ticked me off!

Ian: Rocked you to the core!

Andrew: Rocked me to the core! Because this guy was doing really well! Mes Textos, or however it is pronounced… The problem was that he was doing really well. He was due to be payed those 46 grand, like I said. Then all of a sudden Google Chopped him. They deleted his AdSense account.

Ian: Is it true that 13 days before they blocked him and he was due for this payout that Google was encouraging him and wanted to help him?

Andrew: Yes, and they wanted to work with him and help him make more money. Obviously they could make more money, which is fine! As a matter of fact here is the email and it basically says -and it was not automated either- it is a real person typing this: “We would like to schedule a call with you next week to discuss some potential optimization on the AdSense performance on your site. While reviewing your account I saw that -Oh my, the english is bad…- seen recent changes that had positive effects on click through rate and has improved your AdSense revenue. Can you share with me via email what changes you did? So that I build and accurate optimization text report for you. Thanks a lot and looking forward to talking to you soon!”
So basically Google is saying we wanna work with you! We wanna help you to optimize your site even better so you can make even more.

Ian: That email is that the one that is supposed to come from Dublin? It sounds like it is coming from a non english speaking country.

Andrew: So, seven days later he got this this notification, in french, it is a french website. Basically saying, I cannot pronounce the french but I will give you a translation: “We have deactivated your AdSense account. Your block is final. We have blocked payment on your corresponding balance.”
Which in this case was 46 000 dollars. However, he kicked up a big stink about it!

Ian: No wonder!

Andrew: In kind to him Now Google would not comment about this specific instance. But they say that we always send a note to the publisher explaining which policy was in question and in many cases giving them a chance to make changes in order to keep the account in good standing. Publishers are also given the opportunity to appeal policy of decisions. Well, Google! This is what really ticked me off! Because this same scenario happened to me back in 2006. I was new to the whole thing. …making some decent money. Not 46,000 but still. Then bang! One day I got that same email notification through that AdSense platform saying that I have been banned for “violating our guideline policies”. And I thought ok?! What have I done wrong? So I emailed them back saying: “What policy did I violate?” No response! So I kept emailing them and even. And finally I got an email back (which I think I still got on one of  my old Gmail accounts saying): “Do not contact us again. You have been banned and the decision is final. That’s it do not call us ever again.)

Ian: How did you know what policy you had breached?

Andrew: I have NO idea what i did wrong!!

Ian: Is this just an example of a Google platform just being so big they just cannot deal with everybody.

Andrew: Yep.

Ian: They don’t wanna deal with everybody.

Andrew: How do you go from sending a guy an email of praise for doing so well and then 13 days or so later banning the guy!  He is clearly not talking to the other departments, so I don’t know what went on.  He is obviously suing Google, Google is being sued in the U.S for these exact type issues as well.  We did a video the other week for “the ridiculous reasons people sue Google” this is not one of them.  This I think is a genuine reason to sue google.

Ian:  Yeah I love Google but I would sue Google for this.

Andrew:  This is a little guy, this isn’t some giant corporation who can afford to lose 46 grand.

Ian:  I really want to see how this turns out, I want to see the details.  Once this gets through the court, what the result is, what Google says about this because this is

Andrew:  We should follow it.

Ian:  As you know I am usually jumping around praising Google but this is ridiculous. I mean if you are going to do that great but give a reason, a legitimate reason, communicate with people.  This is one of my pet peeves.

Andrew:  He was just banned, just like that.  Even on their own admission they always tell you what you did wrong.  I didn’t get one, he obviously didn’t get one.  He didn’t get the chance to fix something that he did against their guidelines.  Do you think guy who earns… who knows he is going to get a cheque $46000 is going to screw things up by going against Google guidelines, of course he wouldn’t.

Ian:  Wow I don’t think you’ve got this wound up on any of our hangouts about Google.

Andrew:  This… I feel sorry for this guy because he is not a huge corporation.

Ian:  Now Google has a partner program which they’ve really been wanting us to be active members in and it’s a fantastic program.  Perhaps the only way that he could have been in better standing or got a better response from Google is if he was part of the program.  Maybe the partner program and then he would of been more of a “friendly,” I don’t know.  You have to spend 10 thousand dollars on Adwords to become an official partner.

Andrew:  Maybe if they were to pay him his 46 thousand dollars, he would of been able to spend his 10 thousand dollars and then he could be heard.

Ian:  Touche

Andrew:  There you go.

Ian:  Touche!

Andrew:  We will not stand for this Google! I’m sorry.

Ian:  My god, this guy is like 19.  This is his introduction to the online world, his first business idea that he comes up with.  You know, excited, entrepreneur, bang! this is what Google does to him.

Andrew:  Yeah

Ian:  He is going to spend his life probably no matter what the result. jaded by the biggest search engine

Andrew:  He could spend more than 46 thousand dollars hiring a lawyer to fight this and it could stretch out for decades.

Ian:  Who knows what business this guy is going to come up with after this?  Is he going to want to work with Google?  Is he going to want to… I mean this not good for Google or the reputation of their partner program.

Andrew:  Just on that there is a theory going around about this sort of thing saying that if any advertiser makes for than 5 thousand dollars Google will automatically ban you and they won’t even tell you about it.  Now this is the conspiracy theory which is going around which sounds a little bit far fetched.

Ian:  It sounds absolutely ridiculous.

Andrew:  Google don’t get paid unless people click on the ad.  Advertisers don’t pay Google unless they get the clicks.  So why would Google? It is just chopping, what is that saying… cutting off your nose.

Ian:  Cutting off your nose to spite your face.  My mother used to love saying that and she would be saying this right now if she understood what Google was.

Andrew: *laughs*

Ian:  Sorry mum you know what Google is but you don’t know what Google adsense is and quite frankly I don’t think anybody does.  Even if they lay out some sort of guidelines who knows what hidden guidelines are going on behind the scenes?  What communication breakdowns are going on?

Andrew:  Everybody has seen Adsense ads… these little sidebar ads, little fixed ads in the side of a website.  They aren’t in your face like Adwords ads are.  Everyone would of seen them but you may not have noticed them.

Ian:  Well this will have to go in the playlist Google bashing.

Andrew:  Google Bashing!

Ian:  For real this time, normally we are defending you Google but with the facts we have here from business insider, we can’t do it.

Andrew:  Not this time sorry fellas

Ian: We will follow this up with more information because this has obviously got under our craw.  Is that what you say?

Andrew:  Yeah, your mum probably didn’t say that.

Ian:  My mum didn’t say that no, she said a lot of other things but.

Andrew:  Maybe we should shut up now.

Ian:  Oh man we haven’t been this wound up in ages.

Andrew:  We haven’t.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss how Google sometimes moves in mysterious ways and its negative impact.

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How Google Works – SEO

Have you been wondering how the whole world of Google actually works? We all know that it is the number one global search engine, but many don’t know just how Google finds your webpage.

Don’t stress, Ian and Andrew discuss what it is that makes Google the powerhouse it is, and how we can help improve your site ranking.

Discussed in this video are:

1. Google Bots / Web Crawlers

Crawling the World Wide Web and bringing all of the information back to Google.

2. Google Indexing

Result of the Google Bots crawling information on World Wide Web

3. Google Signals

Google’s relevancy program

4. Robot TXT Files

Files that prohibit Google crawling your website

5. On-Page SEO

Using SEO tools and knowledge to improve your page ranking

We have covered this in many other videos before so be sure to give some of our other videos a watch after viewing this one.



3 Tips For SEO & Web Dev’s – Let’s All Get Along

After 274 days of absence, we are back. After successfully taking on another nine months of interesting corporate clients, we have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience that we are dying to share with you.

There are always departments in every business who butt heads with differing views occasionally, but it is how you deal with these instances to reach that common goal that is so important. In the last nine months, we have experienced occasions like this with a number of our clients where they believed they knew how to perform SEO because they knew the backend of the website.

However, this can have detrimental results, as there is a very distinct difference between someone ‘thinking’ they know how to conduct SEO, compared to agencies such as us, Mad Scientists, with years of experience and R&D under our belts who can really make a difference to your brand.
In this hangout Ian and Andrew share with you their 3 tips of how SEO and web developers can work better together. We will be discussing:

  • Park the ego
    • Listen and learn from each other to work towards the same common goal for the business
  • We ‘Mad Scientists’ are specialists
    • We have always been big on constant research and development and with many years of doing so along with our experience – we like to consider ourselves as very knowledgeable in what we do.
  • Explain to the client:
    • Why what we do is different to other digital agencies and why we get the results.