Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Greg Beale on the Use of the Old Testament in the New

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has a series of three lectures by Greg Beale on various aspects on the New Testament's use of the Old. They are available both in audio and video formats on this page.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Baptist Quarterly now available online up to Volume 38

I am pleased to announce that the planned digitisation of The Baptist Quarterly is nearly complete with issues 1-38 now being available for download in PDF. The journal contains a wealth of rare material on Baptist history, missions and ecclesiology, and includes many articles on such notable figures as William Carey, John Bunyan, Charles H. Spurgeon and Richard Baxter. It is planned to place the journal online up to and including Volume 40.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Google update reduces visitor numbers by 1,000 a day

In common with 12% of websites visitor numbers on biblicalstudies.org.uk were adversely effected by changes to Google's search algorithm on 1st April this year. The update was successful in downgrading sites, known as "link farms" that are loaded with repeated content in order to score more highly in search engine results. Unfortunately being a bibliographic website biblicalstudies.org.uk's content is superficially similar to these link farms and the new algorithm cannot tell the difference. The unfortunate result is that visitor numbers have dropped from almost 60,000 to just under 40,000, with corresponding drops in revenue from Google ads and Amazon affiliate links that pay for my web hosting. It is as if two years growth has disappeared overnight. Read more about this change on the SEO Desk blog.

All is not lost however, as the fall in visitors has caused me to undertake a crash-course in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques. The best advice, represented by such sites as Seobook.com, is that it is extremely unwise to rely solely on the vagueries of Google for the vast majority of your visitors. The key is building quality links from similar sites. It is also clear from my logs that most of my visitors brought in by search engine results "bounced" off the site straight away. Visitors arriving through links from sites of similar content/subject matter are more likely to stay.

What you can do to help

There are a number of ways that my regular readers can help to restore my ranking.

1) Add a link to the site on your websites and blogs where relevant. When adding a link the highlighted text is important as it tells the search engine the subject matter that is to be found on the site being linked to. For example:

The article on the book of Daniel by Rob Bradshaw is worth consulting and can be found here.

is not as valuable as:

The article on the book of Daniel  by Rob Bradshaw is worth consulting.

because the linking text "here" is not relevant.

2) I have added Google "+1" button on all the pages on the website in the left hand sidebar. You can use this to vote for the site to receive additional attention in Google's rankings. Because these are "organic" recommendations +1 is expected to be an important innovation

3) Recommend the site and individual pages on Twitter and Facebook as opportunity arises.

4) Feel free to make other suggestions in the comments section.

Thanks for your ongoing support.