Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top 5 Things That Helped Me Business Wise In 2008

Well here we are on the doorstep of 2009. It has been one of the best years of my life by far. My earnings exploded and I have also expanded my knowledge on many levels and subjects as well. As far as my business side of things, below are my top 5 things that helped me business wise in 2008. These are in no order and each one is as important to me as the next.

1. This Blog - Yes, I have said it many times that my own blog opened my eyes and taught me the true power of how content and the SERPS interact. Dealing with the clunkiness of Blogger taught me a ton as far as some coding as well. Another thing it taught me was being more disciplined towards my sites and being dedicated to posting, even on days when I didn't feel like posting.

2. Understanding Wordpress - I had some bad experiences the first time around with Wordpress, mostly caused by myself. I forged through it and now can't imagine not using it now. Anything from a blog to a regular site content management system. There is a reason Matt Cutts from Google uses it and now I know why.

3. On Site SEO - Everything I thought I knew over the years with SEO was wrong. I literally retaught myself starting in 2007 and continuing on into 2008. A great ranking site starts with onsite SEO and can not be ignored. This is one of the few elements of ranking better that you have full control of.

4. Reading Other Blogs & Books - The sooner you accept that you do not know it all and that you never will, you can open mind and learn from those that know the things you do not know. Make sense? I turned 40 in 2008 and my thirst for knowledge went through the roof. I have read and written more in the past year then I had in my first 39 years on this planet. Open your mind and learn from those that have walked the path you are walking.

5. List & Goal Setting - I am full time in affiliate marketing and work from the time I get out of bed until the time I get back into bed on most days. There still is not enough hours in the day though and by setting goals and making list it ensures I get the things done that need to be done on a given day. Does it work out perfect every day? Absolutely not, but I can not imagine every getting the amount of things done this past year without list and goals. Regardless of the time you have to dedicate to your business, you need to know what you are going to do with that time so as to maximize it.

I look forward to the challenges, setbacks and successes 2009 has to offer. I wish all of you out there reading this much success and joy in this new year.

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pinging Wordpress Plugin

I am enthralled with the BAN Wordpress setup. Even with older sites I have converted over that have nearly no backlinks worth mentioning, I can rank a post near the top of Google when I do proper keyword search. Pinging ping services with new post or pages, helps let them know when you have updated. While Wordpress even in the default mode pings pingomatic. I have found that using the free Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger takes it to the next level of pinging and prevents you from ping spamming. Give it a go, you will be glad you did.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Top 10 Things To Master In 2009

Well here comes 2009. Below is my list of things you should probable have a handle on internet marketing wise for the new year. While most are not earth shattering, these are things you will be behind the eight ball on if not up to speed on.

1. Wordpress - Wordpress is not new by any stretch, but it made even a further leap ahead in the content management market in 2008. New plugins come out daily to make task easier and more effective. It is still free as are most of the plugins that go along with it. More and more people are in tune with blog reading and Wordpress has it down pat. Make it a priority in early 2009, to use it and know the ins and outs of it.

2. Social Networking - Just looking at how Twitter forced itself to the forefront in 2008 alone should be all you need to see. Social Networking was king in 2008 and will explode times ten in 2009. Facebook, Myspace, Kaboodle and the list goes on and on. You can certainly funnel buying traffic through these networks.

3. Google Adwords - Adwords is another form of paid traffic generation which is very under used. It takes some work mastering and getting a good return on your money spent, but when done right will have your targeted customer sitting right in front of the product they are looking to buy. Start small budget wise and read everything you can get your hands on on developeing profitable campaigns. Do not under estimate the power of it.

4. Video - While video is not new, the biggest buzz coming out of PubCon is the future of video and integrating it into your site or generating traffic with it. The best part about it is you do not have to create the videos yourself. Most all the major media sites offer the ability to embed videos into content pages or blog post. Youtube has acres of videos that never see the light of day, because the poster does not know or care how to market it correctly. This is so wide open right now.

5. Product Feeds - All major eCommerce sites now see the need for affiliate marketers. Why? We do it better and get paid after the fact. Pepperjam forged ahead in putting eCommerce sites in touch with online marketers, but several are still scratching the surface and still will insist on using straight datafeeds. There are tons of paid and free pugins and applications available to help integrate several major and minor product lines into your website. It might take a little more effort, but will be well worth the work.

6. RSS Feed Marketing - Sure RSS feeds are not new, but effectively using them to capture sales through still is. Learn how to integrate ads into your RSS feeds and capture the buyer right at point of impact. If your site or blog does not have a RSS feed, get one and I mean yesterday.

7. Anything Attached To Google - While Yahoo and MSN Live made great strides in 2008, they are still way behind Google. Anything that Google usually touches, turns into a must have. Stay on top of them by following along with the Google webmaster blog. Know about new applications and features right when they happen and get a jump on everyone else.

8. Mobile - As prices drop on cell phones, PDAs and the like, more people will be using them to interact with the net. 2009 will be the year to start accomidating these devices. One might even consider developing a .mobi clone of their site to better accommodate the viewing for the surfer as the mobile browsers advance. By the end of 2009 it will be a must for your site to know what device a surfer is using to access your site and direct them to the most compatible version for them.

9. Surfer Generated Content - Unique content will always be king, and while this is not new news, letting the surfer create content is even better. Allowing comments, opening up a forum or product review section is the best way to get surfers interacting with your site and providing their own unique content. Just look at Squidoo and Hubpages. Look for anything that will let the surfer set up his own easy to use mini webspace in relation to your site and niche. Perhaps even reward them by profit sharing in what their content pulls in. Not everyone is tech savvy, but even a six year old can set up their own Myspace page.

10. Analyzation - Tracking of who what when and where has never been easier. As competition on the web increases, the better you will need to be at maximizing every visitor to your site. Get in tune with your server stats and analytics programs and learn how to convert EVERY surfer into some sort of revenue.

Not a Nostradamus post by any measure, but mastering these 10 things along with paying attention to whatever else pops it's head up in 2009 will get you well ahead of your fellow internet marketer.

What trends do you see for 2009?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Monetize Those Parked Domains With Adsense

If you have some parked domains that you have yet to get to to develop, you might want to consider the Adsense for Domains program being offered by Google. Here is the AdSense for Domains Program Policies that are held to strict compliance. Adsense is also starting to crack down on new publishers as well. This is an effort to crack down on the spammers and the old Made for Adsense sites. I would not rely heavily on the program, but it may pick you up a couple of quarters along the way until you are ready to further develop the domain into a full fledged site.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

RSS Post Editor Plugin For Wordpress

If you are looking to add a benefit for RSS feed subscribers to your Wordpress blog to see bonus content the the RSS Post Editor plugin may be for you. This will entice more subscribers to your RSS feed as well. The plugin allows you to add extra content to RSS feed articles so that readers have to subscribe to feeds to view the additional content. Lets say you wrote a post on Christmas decorating ideas that featured 20 decorating tips for Christmas. To increase engagement, you can include say five tips available for public viewing, but include the other 15 tips for subscribers of your blog exclusively. The plugin is very easy to use. Just write your post as you normally would, but wrap the extra content in the [rss][/rss] tags. Pretty simple and a great way to increase the number of blog RSS subscribers.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Start Getting Those 2009 Goals Down On Paper

Well, Christmas is over and next up is the New Year. Now is the time to get those goals down on paper. Yes, pen and paper are required for this exercise. Something magical happens when you write it down, it etches it into your subconscious as well. Do not take goal setting lightly as it is very important in my honest opinion. Set short and long term goals for the year. Earnings goals. The amount of work you want to accomplish during a day and so on. Content goals such as, I will write 7 pages of content a week. Make sure your goals are semi realistic, but at the same time, force you to push yourself. It is more important to focus on task that you can control. Put your earnings down, put focus on the things that will lead to the earnings. Get these together now so as you can start working towards them even before the New Year arrives.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Engaging Like Site Owners For Link Trades

Website owners are bombarded with automated and non automated link trade request all the time. Many just press delete. The best way to initiate a link trade is to first engage the site owner with an open ended question about their niche or site. Do not even mention trading links with your first contact. Try to create dialogue with a few back and forth post and then mention you own a similar site and have added their site to your resource or links section and if they feel up to it, could they possibly link to your site. The niche does not need to be exact put some how loosely related. Say you own a puzzle niche site, linking to a game or hobby site and getting a reciprocal link back still makes a lot of sense on both ends. Now if you have a puzzle niche site, it would not be natural to link to a site that has GPS electronics for sale. Use your head and engage the other webmaster with dialogue first and you will see your link trade rate of success increase.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Make A Wish Challenge

Every Christmas Eve, my wife and I always make a donation to The Make A Wish Foundation to give back to a worthy cause. We have done this for countless years as it is a worth while cause. So on this Christmas Eve, I challenge you to make a donation to them or whatever other organization you feel worthy of making a difference with. Below is a list of other great charities.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Got Me Some Site Links


Well, Google has trusted this blog enough now to give it site links. I linked you a bit of an explanation of what they are. Do we really still know why, how or how helpful it is to get site links? No, not really. Does it make this blog any more useful than other blogs? No, not really. In my eyes, I just consider it more of a trust factor and badge of certification or a at ta boy. A pat on the back, if you will.

I am often criticized by others for continuing to use blogger as the platform for this blog, but I use it because I have always been intrigued by it and the boundaries I can push it to. Has it needed to be modified quite a bit to perform better SERP wise? Yes a little, but not as much as one would think. There are a ton of other hacks I would like to integrate, but they are not high on my priority list. This blog is more of a toy and a tool for it's readers. This blog makes it's fair share of income, but is not my mainstay. I only market products I use and believe in. I might rotate ads out every quarter, but once again it is not high priority. The thing it does provide is a quick outlet for my thoughts. Plain and simple. I also use it as an example that ANYONE can use it to make money online. No matter what your economic status is, blogger is free and joining most affiliate programs is also free. There are limitless possibilities and no excuses to be made that you can't make money.

If you are a newbie or somehow through the magic of the internets, stumbled across this post and have no money to invest in hosting or a domain. Sign up for blogger and you are in business for free. Yes, you can make money with it, it is just up to what you want to do with it.

Will I update this blog to Wordpress one day? Perhaps, not high on the priority list right now. If it continues to perform well and gives others hope maybe not. Who knows, it might get hacked, accidentally deleted, who knows. Any ways, here is to you, blogger. I enjoy you thus far and continue to try to push you to your limits.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Concentrate More On The Cheese & Less On The Mouse Trap

Human nature is for us to always look for better ways to build a better mouse trap, the only problem is the fact that no matter how well built the mouse trap is, it is nothing without the cheese to attract the mouse to it. Now on occasions a mouse will run over a trap with no cheese and get captured, but it does not happen a lot and one should chalk it up to just a stupid, lost or sick mouse. Both BANS and PHPBay are fantastic mouse traps, but do not work well if there is no cheese present. Your cheese is your original content, be it blog post, videos, product reviews or articles. The great Google mousetrap is free and works the best when you provide it the best cheese related to the exact type mouse you are trying to catch. The Google mouse trap does not capture the mouse, but merely sends the mouse to the trap best suited for taking care of the mouse that is looking for a certain type of cheese. So get out there and get to setting your mouse traps with a better quality cheese and you will have the mice lined up to get in your trap. You will also have cats chasing mice your way as well and the big dogs following after the cats.

Yes, this is a cheesy post, but often times the most effective in driving home a point.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

FLV Flash Video Wordpress Plugin

As you get deeper into using Wordpress, you might want to embed FLV flash videos into your post. Often times after watching the video in Explorer, you can view your temporary files and can find the source of the video in there. Here is a FLV Wordpress plugin you can use to embed that video in your post. Just download and read the directions in the plugin to use. Very simple.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Proper SEO Setup For Wordpress

I have been getting tons of Wordpress questions as of late as more and more people are switching to BANS Wordpress templates. The most common is the proper setup of how I set my Wordpress up as. Instead of regurgitating everything, I will send you to a guide I use.

Joost de Valk is the master in my opinion in using Wordpress. Bookmark that page for future reference. I differ on a few things, but you will not go wrong using his guide verbatim.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Google Claus


During the October 31st update, I had a few BANS sites that either got penalized or did not fare well with the Google algorithm shift. I took a good hard look at the situation and concentrated on just one site to work on to see if I could get it back. The highest ranking page, the front page, dropped out of site from page 1 Google. Everything looked great on the site except for the fact I did have product listings on the front page and other pages still had 20 product listings as well. The site has it's fair share of unique content and has some good backlinks as well. The meta tags were fine as well. The changes I made, were to remove the product listings from the front page, changed to closed navigation and changed store pages to show only 9 product listings. That was it and I hurried up and waited. Google has since been back and updated rankings and the site reclaimed its spot in the rankings for quite a few of it's target phrases.

So was this Google Claus rewarding for not having product listings on the front page? Did Google just maybe clamp affiliate sites a bit harder during the Christmas buying phase? Well I do not believe the second question to be true as I have several BANS sites that held great rankings through the shopping season. Some have blogs, some do not. I do think that showing the eBay listings on the front page might have had something to do with it though. I am now running another more exact test on another site that was out of favor to see if indeed there may be a correlation. Remember too that the eBay product listings are ads and are nofollow links as well. Could it be that Google has a thing with nofollow on a home page or maybe a set amount of nofollow links per page. One thing I will be testing is just putting 20 nofollow links on a front page to other like sites, just to see if I can trigger something. The recommendation I feel I can make right now though is to to not show eBay listings on your front page, especially if they page was ranking well before the October 31st update.

Oh, and thank you Google Claus!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Explorer & Firefox Browser Updates

In case you have not heard, there were a few security flaws running around in both Firefox and more notable Internet Explorer. Both have updates now and I highly suggest you get both updated if indeed you use both.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Open Apology To Hostgator

Just because you do a task quite a few times, still does not mean you can't mess it up one of the times. That was the case for me last night as I was working on beefing up security on one set of Hostgator accounts. I made an htaccess change on the master account that resonated to all of the add on domains. I failed to check my results and did not notice until right before bed time. When I found I had massive 404 pages across several sites, I clearly thought it was a Hostgator problem and not one I caused. Hell I even forgot I made changes, so i knew it was Hostgators fault. After a few nasty emails I went to bed and did not sleep well. When I woke up this morning I went over notes of what I wanted to get done yesterday and then found that I made htaccess changes. After looking deeper in to what I changed, I found my mistake. Hear that? My mistake. So let me just say publicly...


I use several host for all of my online marketing and Hostgator's up time is amazing and they are quick to fix any problems that happen to be on their end, which is few and far between. If you are looking for a new host or an additional host, give them a try.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Keep Your Momentum

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to ANY online marketer is the ability to keep momentum. The web is instantaneous in some aspects, while the SERPS for the most part are not. Just because you are not able to see results of your daily work, does not mean that it is not working. Sometimes it can take 120 days to see results for what you do today. You have to keep blind faith in the fact that what you accomplish today is helping you. When you stop momentum, it is very hard to get back going again. It does not matter if you have one or one hundred sites, there is always something that needs to be done or improved on. Mix in a few task during a day or week that do indeed show you instant results, such as making a blog post, creating a video and posting to youtube or several other small task, such as social bookmarking. Internet marketing requires constant learning and improvement. Get yourself a daily schedule of task to accomplish in that day's time allotment and keep your self always moving. It takes less energy to keep a ball rolling than it does starting the ball rolling.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Block Access To Directories

I wanted to address how to block access to directories or folder access on your site. Lets say you have images in a folder named images. You do not want others to be able to view the contents of that directory or folder. To block access to all directories on a site merely copy the code below and add it to your .htaccess file.

Options -Indexes

To double check if it works, merely type into your browser an open directory, take the images folder for example, the url you need to plugin assuming images was a directory under the root, would be...

If you can see the contents of that folder, you did it wrong.

Im off to close up a few holes myself while we are talking about it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Use PHPBay For Those Longer Tail Keyword Phrases

If you have incorporated BANS into a Wordpress blog and haven't tried PHPBay, you might want to start. PHPBay is great for those quick and easy blog post centered around longer keyword tail phrases. I usually like to make a post of around 150-200 words with the long tail I am chasing in the blog post title and then display 3-5 product listings along with it. The click throughs are great on these and you usually can dominate those longer tail phrases very easily. Make sure to use a separate CAMP ID as well so you can track the effectiveness. Wade has done a great job on this plugin and I use it daily.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wordpress 2.7 Available - Upgrade Now

There is an exploit on earlier versions of Wordpress and I highly suggest you get upgraded to the new Wordpress 2.7 version via the automatic upgrade plugin or manual upgrade yourself. You will notice an exciting new control panel that you will want to familiarize yourself with as well. Do not put this off and make sure you have not been exploited already.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pepperjam Site Builder Contest Finalists Posted

In case you missed the email, Pepperjam has announced the finalist for the Store Builder Contest using the new Pepperjam Site Builder feature. Below are the links to the finalist and as you can see, several appear to have used the BANS software in addition to this. Some great work and kudos to all of the finalist. The winner receives $1000.00, just in time for Christmas.

A Taste Of Christmas
Our Grills Direct Store
Garden Accent Resources
Bulova Watches Online
Wireless Cell Accessories
Your Very Own Home

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Looking For Ad Placement Ideas? Check The News!

Newspapers know one thing. Ad placement. Newspapers make their money in print and online by selling and showing ads. If the ads are not clicked, the advertiser will probably not advertise again with the paper. If you are looking for layouts or ad placement ideas for your Pepperjam affiliates you use, look no further than your local newspaper site to start with. While you are at the newspaper site of your choice, do a view source of the page as well and have a look around, look for what they nofollow and use for meta tags. Lots to snoop around and look at. Below are some of the major US newspapers to look at.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Youtube Videos For The Picking

So many people post so many good videos on Youtube, but do not know proper SEO and tagging in order to get them seen. It is not uncommon to be able to take a video related to your niche, tell a short story or recap of it with a blog post or BANS content page and properly SEO the meta tags and get it out rank the original video. Often times finding them related to your niche is tough enough as the original person who posted it has failed at MAKING it easy to find. Be creative in your searches on Youtube and you will find some nuggets on there. watch the video and do some keyword research about the content of the video. It is like pulling low hanging fruit right off of the vine. Very easy to rank quickly, especially with Wordpress blog post.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Story Behind My Twitter Page Background


I have gotten a few emails asking about the logo background on my twitter page, so I thought I would dedicate a post to it. In the summer of 2002 I lost my best friend to colon cancer. Other than my wife he was my only true friend I have had my entire life. I met him my freshmen year of high school and he was a grade ahead of me. Through my reckless teenage, early adult years and onward he was always there for me. I would always put him in tough spots in bars during my drinking years and he would always stand up with me. He was the best man in my wedding and I was his for his wedding. His battle with cancer was not very long. He was diagnosed on Valentines day 2001 and was gone in a year and half. During his eulogy the pastor described him with just one word, "Intense". That he was, always intense. The symbol is a hybrid version of the Kanji symbol for the word "Intense" that I designed. His favorite colors were blood red and black. On the first year anniversary of his death I had it tattooed on my left arm in memory of him as I was his right hand man and he was always on my left hand side. So it is indeed a very sacred symbol to me and I use it to draw intensity into my own life as well. Whenever I feel my self losing drive, all I have to do is look at that symbol and it fires me back up. So now you know the story behind it. One week from today would of been his 41st birthday.

Chris if you read this, I miss you buddy.

Yahoo & MSN Live Getting Their Acts Together

I have noticed quite a few search enhancements over the last week or so with both Yahoo and MSN Live. For starters it seems the search results for a few queries I have done seem to be getting more relevant. Also it seems that both are getting quite a bit better with new site fresh content, especially Wordpress blogs. I posted a little while ago about Yahoo making improvements and indeed it seems they are getting on the right path as are MSN Live. Let us hope they both continue to prosper as much as I like Google, they definitely need competition to keep them honest and from being the Wal-Mart of the internets.

Have you seen improvements in both as well?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Don't Ignore Your Stats

It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day operations of building niche sites, such as content creation, search engine optimization and traffic generation that the results of your work get ignored. Your stats for your sites can really give you a ton of info on what is pulling and from where. Often times I found myself uncovering more fruitful keyword phrase targets just by analyzing how surfers are entering various pages of my sites. Pages with unique content and articles are the big winners organic wise and just because a certain page might not have been targeted for a certain phrase or keyword it can be better sculpted by seeing how that user found that page. There are gems that can be found and often with little or no competition.

Stats can also let you know if you might have missed giving a changed content page URL a 301 redirect or if you are getting any other variety of errors. Just last week I encountered a problem that ended up being a host problem and caught it within a day. Just because your site may appear to be working fine on the outside does not mean that something unseen can be throwing errors.

Sure it does boil down to consuming time, especially for those that are time crunched as it is, but you need to schedule yourself some time at the very least once a week to examine your stats. It is crucial to your learning and good webmastering to boot.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Blogs I Like To Read

I got a request via email the other day to give a list of blogs I read on a daily basis. Well being as I am a little under the weather tonight, I thought this would make for a great no thinking post on my end. So in no particular order from my bookmarks, here is a list of blogs I read on a daily basis.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Head Terms & Tail Terms Explained

Keywords and phrases are usually referred to in two different ways. Head terms and tail terms. Head terms are general short more common keywords such as "gourmet coffee" or just "coffee". Tail terms or long tail terms are of course longer in nature, such as "gourmet coffee gift basket" or "gourmet coffee whole beans". While head terms can generate more traffic if ranked well, tail terms will generate more engaged converting traffic.

Each page of content should be geared around only one or two tail terms and optimized to those searches. Days of trying to optimize around three or more keyword tail terms will get you lost in a bigger crowd as it will dilute your optimization. The Google keyword tool will help you locate these tail terms and do not be afraid to chase lower volume search words. If done in a natural way, these pages can rank and will be likely pages that create natural backlinks as well. Do not get in the trap of making a page try to rank for multiple head and tail terms. The SERPS are getting better at rewarding focused pages around one or two tail terms and doing so with out a ton of backlinks. Plain and simply, if your page promises "gourmet coffee whole beans", then deliver in the form of content and products and then direct off to even longer tail optimized pages such as "gourmet Sumatra coffee whole beans" or "gourmet Ethiopian coffee whole beans".

It has never been easier to give the SERPS and surfer exactly what they want and in turn be rewarded for it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Lots Of New Post On The Google Webmaster Blog

In case you have not noticed as of late, their is some more great info posted on the Google Webmasters blog. First and foremost, Google Friend Connect beta is now ready. Friend connect gives you the ability to make your site more interactive. Next there have been some changes to Webmaster Tools as well. A new look to the Google Webmaster Help Group. Lastly part 2 of date with Google bot, which is both informative and entertaining as well. Make sure to watch the videos in all post as well as Google is great about breaking these new programs down

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Interesting Article With Perhaps Great Niche Ideas


Came across an interesting article today on the the Worlds Oddest Collectibles and their are some interesting ideas as far as niches goes. Airline barf bags as collectibles? Who wudda thunk? Anyhow it is a great little read and may open your mind a bit more as far as niches goes. Just because there might not be a huge selection on eBay of something, does not mean people are still not hunting to purchase that item and as the popularity of that niche grows, so will the availability of those items. If you currently have an airline barf bag niche store built, I apologize for drawing attention to your niche in advance.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Could You Talk To Google Face To Face?

As we close out 2008 and head into 2009 you ought to gear your site building in a manner that would let you answer Google face to face with anything you do to your site. Everything from meta tags to 301 redirects to page file names. You better be prepared to be above board on everything. All of the manipulation, grey hatting and over optimizing to rank better days are ending. Are there loopholes? Absolutely. Every system will have loopholes, but they are closed shut quicker than ever. You truly will be judged more than ever on your onsite building than ever before. You should be concentrating on things YOU can control. Start really looking at your sites now and ask yourself if you would be comfortable explaining every little aspect to Google and how they would react.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Is Google Throwing Your Baby Out With The Bath Water?


BANS has finally hit the big time. Sadly for every great BANS site built that follows the rules of what Google wants, there are 100s that are simply web spam. Over the past few years the Google index has been inundated with crappy BANS sites. I have spent the last 30 days reviewing sites that readers have sent me to examine that have found themselves out of Google and while I still can't say what the exact trigger is, it does appear to be a footprint in certain store setups that is doing it.

Let me continue by saying again that this is conclusive in the fact that it is something in certain product store page set ups. What I can not exactly point out is what it EXACTLY is, I do have some data in test that do support it.

The good news is it is not the templates themselves in my testing. While I have not tested each and everyone, I have tested many of them, especially the older ones and it is not just related to BANS templates but also user built templates as well. What seems to be triggering a Google filter is what is being shown in the product displays. I have seen several instances of the wording "Time left:" in once indexed store pages causing the entire site to get removed. Is this conclusive to this wording? Absolutely not. If your site has or has had this wording in the product listing and is still an indexed page in Google, check and see what the date the page was cached on. I would be interested to hear if the page was cached after November 15th or not and still indexed.

Some things you can do to distance yourself would be to go through the BANS admin setup and show only the picture, price and title description of the item for sale for starters. Secondly you can edit what wording will display by editing the FrontControl.php and index.php files that come with the BANS script. The Time left: wording is on line 4044 of the frontcontrol file and 2430 of the index file. You can also poke around and change other wording as well. Simply do a search in that file for "producttext" and it should stick out like a sore thumb of the text you can change. Also on line 2061 and 1795 is the wording "View more items on eBay" if you feel the need to change that, but as of right now I am not seeing that wording as the trigger.

If your site is full of original content and recently dropped out of Google. Try making these changes and see if it comes back into the index in about 30-45 days. You have nothing to lose. The penalty filter may indeed have a time frame involved.

The biggest thing you want to accomplish, is to distance whatever setup you are using from whatever the default of it is. Amazingly it seems Layout Selection 1 is surviving this Google filter.

Let me close by saying once again my evidence points to it being in the product display of certain layouts. Not the templates, any templates. I still am finishing some testing on a few more layouts that are waiting for the Googlebot one more time. If you have sites that buck my earlier example and have been cached after November 15th, I would be interested in seeing them and more importantly what Layout Selection you are using in the setup.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Facebook And Myspace Pages Becoming A Must

Social networking sites are not new by any means, but they are increasing in popularity daily. Industry leaders Myspace and Facebook lead the way. These sites can be highly configured to promote individual niches as well. Here are a few links to help you understand each a bit more.

Facebook For Newbies

How To Setup A Myspace Page Video

There are a ton of free tutorials and videos on Youtube and the internet if you just search around. Get use to using these social networking sites as they are here to stay and I will be dedicating more time to these in future post.


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