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Blog (March 2009)

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Suggest goes mainstream on

Published | 10.19, 31st of March 2009, by Chris van Aurich | SEO

There has been a change on Their Suggest functionality has gone from lab to mainstream. So what is Google Suggest? Simply start typing in the search box and suggestions of relevant search terms will automatically display. The green number next to each suggested query represents the approximate number of results that would return if you select the query.

So what does this mean to us in terms of SEO?. I see this effecting long-tail keyword searches mainly, these are typically searches for 4-6 keywords in length, eg. print design high wycombe. Google is now helping the user make its search decisions and focuses the end user far more on highly competitive and short-tail key phrases.

We will be keeping a close eye on search terms and key phrases used for our clients to see the  real impact of this change.

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My standard CSS resets for default element properties

Published | 16.01, 30th of March 2009, by Jay Vincent | Technical

Whenever I start a new CSS build, I use a pre-made stylesheet and add to it, rather than create one from scratch. There are a few reasons for this:

  • HTML elements have default browser-inherited properties: for example, unstyled text usually display as 16px times new roman.
  • Different browsers may apply slightly different default values. In interner explorer, the h1 tag displays at 300% in relation to its parent element font-size, where as firefox displays at 200%.
  • Re-declaring these values ensures all browsers are using the correct styles and are displaying uniformly and as intended.

Good practise for font-size declarations is to set the size in the body tag using em's or a percentage (not pixels), so a user can over-ride the values using the browser's 'increase text-size' functions. All other font-size declarations should then be made relative to this.


We want to have a font-size of 12px for the body text and h1 tags of 24px:
note: The browser's default font-size setting is 16px, so 75% amounts to 12px.

     font-size: 75%;
     font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;
     color: #000;
     background: #fff;

     font-size: 200%;

There are other values and properties which require attention, most notably element margins of block elements, but the best way to find out what CSS works best for you is thorough mulit-browser testing and a passion for web design and self-improvement :)

No comments | Make a comment (Average rating | 4.67 / 5)

Idle hands and illustrative talent down at BCUC

Published | 12.36, 6th of March 2009, by Jay Vincent | Random

Last night I went down to the student bar at BCUC (the Bucks uni) to check out 'idle hands', a team of street artists and illustrators - one of which is a friend, hence how I ended up there. The setup of the evening involved 6 guys tricking out some 8 x 4 canvases (well, white-washed MDF actually) as envious spectators drank and gawped at their work as it developed, and wow, was I impressed.

One of the artists especially impressed me, going by the name dirty thirty. Below is a picture of his board.

The event had a real positive and creative atmosphere, and I managed to have a chat with a few of the artists as they were working. It just shows what great talent is emerging locally, and I look forward to networking with idle hands more - and hopefully collaborating with them on projects in the not too distant future.


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