Saturday, February 28, 2009

When Everyday Is Saturday, You Still Need A Saturday

Good Saturday morning! My wife informed me that this morning was indeed Saturday as sometimes I need reminders as I lose track of what day it is. I am very blessed that what I do for a living is not time specific. Everyday is indeed Saturday for me even though I do put in on average 12-14 hours a day. I do not consider it work. I can not wait to get to the computer in the morning just as soon as I get that first cup of coffee in my hand. All this said, I still have to force myself to get away from it. A typical Saturday for me begins like any other day with coffee and a trip through the BANS forum and then my RSS reader and then about an hour going through and answering over night emails. We usually head off to run errands, go to the bank and then lunch and ice cream. You have to understand, I hate leaving the house unless I am going somewhere that has a casino attached, but i indulge my wife anyway. When I get home, it is back on the computer for an hour or so and then I take an hour or so nap. Yes, i do take one nap a week and look forward to it. when I awake it is back to the computer until bed time. that is enough free time for me, but it does break things up once a week.

In closing, what I am trying to emphasize is as much as you want to work and make money, you still need to get away from it at least once a week. It will recharge you and give you some since of balance. If I did not do this the little that I do, I would end up like Howard Hughes and lock myself up inside a hotel room, complete with long hair and beard.

Now get gone and go enjoy your Saturday! :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hunting & Attacking Hot Items With Bids

Hopefully you are visiting eBay at least once a week to see what is going on with your niches. Items can get hot really quick with no notice what so ever. I search eBay in my niches to show only items that have bids. I go broad and narrow. I look for any visible trends I can spot. Mostly it will be by a model number, sub item or brand name that gets hot and it usually is a longer tail phrase in the listing title as well. The more of this you do, the better you will get. If people are bidding on them, then there is a want for it, whatever it is.

If you use Wordpress, you can target that brand, model or sub item in a post or page and SEO up the post title and a good 100 or so words of content. Using the PHPBay plugin, you can zero right on in on that target product and show 3-5 items in that post as well. You will have a much better chance to rank and compete in a hurry if you target more SPECIFIC items within your niche, even if it is just a few. Give it a try on a few post and see how you do and always be on the look out for the low hanging fruits like this.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

MaxBlogPress Optin Form Adder Wordpress Plugin

I have been playing with this optin subscription form plugin for a while and find it very useful as I have started to dabble in email marketing on a few of my sites. With this plugin you can now create optin forms to match your blog’s look and feel in just 4 easy steps. You can use your optin form code, which you get from your auto responder/mailing list provide such as aweber, which I use. If you have been thinking about doing direct email marketing through subscriber list, then this is a must have plugin.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Making The Unnatural Appear More Natural

Link directories, social bookmarking sites, blog commenting and article directories are not new by any means. While Google seems to on the surface seems to be devaluing some of them, they all still have a place in backlink building. The two most common abuses would be to flood them too quickly and not changing up the anchor text used in the links. Both of these practices are just unnatural. If 100 people were to voluntarily link to your site from their own site, they all would probably use different anchor text in the link back to your site. Now tons of backlinks to one page COULD all show up in a matter of days, especially if it was a viral blog post or article, but flooding the social bookmark sites using the same username is just too easy to spot.

When using anchor text for any of these processes of backlinking, make sure to rotate through a set of three or four different sets of anchor text. Your page you are backlinking too should easily be targeted around three or four variations of keyword phrases. If I were to backlink this site, I would choose: Build A Niche Store Blog - BANS Blog - Niche Building Blog or even Niche Store Blog. See how simple that is? The more you can make the unnatural backlinking building process appear more natural, the better chance you have to not raise red flags and also rank for more than more keyword or phrase. Always ask yourself if it seems natural in what you doing in the link building process.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nice Simple & Clean with a Ton Of Backlinks

One of the refrigerators in one of my rental units needs a replacement rack bar in it, so I decided to locate it and order it online. I order almost everything I can online so as to avoid leaving the house. Anyways I typed in Kenmore parts in Google and the first result was Not an overly flashy site, but it is indeed clean, well organized, easy to navigate and on the surface seems SEO optimized just fine. I went and checked the backlinks in Yahoo site explorer and as you can imagine, it has a ton. From all different types of sites as well. As you can imagine, this site probably does very well for an e commerce site and the site is not even three and a half years old. As you can see, backlinks play a huge part in this sites ranking ability and you should spend some time chasing down it's backlinks and the strategy it has used. the layout is a simple 3 column template with no flash. Browse around the site pages and have a good look at the meta tags as well. You really can learn a ton by researching a strong hold of a site as this is. Now I am off to order that part.

Monday, February 23, 2009

EBay Changing Current Search Engine In April

Jeff King, eBay's Senior Director of Finding, has confirmed through eBay's Announcements page that the current eBay search engine on eBay will be retired in April of 2009. A new search engine that King says will be "faster and easier" will be implemeted.

"In a nutshell, it looks at a multitude of details in listings to deliver more of the results you want," said King. "It makes it easy to browse and narrow your selection, and lets you choose how you want to see the results. The new auto-complete feature will attempt to anticipate what you're typing in the search area."

King said suggestions from eBay users helped contribute to the new search feature. "The response from the community to the new finding has been great," he added. "We've incorporated a lot of these suggestions already, and in the coming months we'll be introducing more new features and enhancements to make it even faster and easier."

Recently, eBay buyers and sellers have been given an option of using the new or old search engine. As more and more registered users adopted the new technology - 90 percent, according to King - eBay is now ready to take the permanent leap to the improved model. Those who are still using the original search-engine technology will receive messages during their searches to remind them that the changeover will occur in April.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pepperjam Ebay Text Ads Are Fantastic

Peppejam InText Ads are linked to a relevant keyword appearing in the online content which is matched to the advertiser's ad. In the case of Pepperjam InText Ads rolling over a "hot" hyperlinked keyword results in a product advertisement from eBay being shown. This lets surfers hover over a highlighted word and a small preview window shows ebay items.

There are a few ways to show ads:

White List - "White List" refers to keywords that you supply that you want converted to InText advertisements, as well as keywords from our "Auto Generate" default feature. For instance, if you have a cellular phone Web site, you may want to add keywords such as "phone," "accessory," and "Cingular" to your White List.

Black List - "Black List" refers to keywords that you definitely do not want converted to InText advertisements, while showing keywords from our "Auto Generate" default feature. For instance, you may want to add keywords like "buy," discount," and "search" to your Black List.

Auto Generate - "Auto Generate" happens automatically if you do not designate any White List or Black List keywords. Use this option if you'd like Pepperjam's system to automatically highlight keywords from our inventory of millions of e-commerce related keywords.

Exclusive White List - "Exclusive White List" refers to keywords you supply that you definitely want displayed WITHOUT keywords from our "Auto Generate" default feature.

I myself have been using the Exclusive White List feature thus far and love it and it converts great. You pick the text you want highlighted and your eBay ads are matched. This feature is in beta and should improve greatly over time. All you do is throw in the generated javascript code into the page content you want the ads on. Get to Pepperjam and check them out!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Good Practices To Prevent Hacking

Feeling a little under the weather today, so this post will be short and sweet. Most do not worry about being hacked until they are already hacked. It is good to be as preventive as possibly when it comes to your sites safety. Google Webmaster blog has a great post up on the best practices to prevent hacking. The post also offers up some ways to identify the hacking of your site or sites.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Google Adsense Offers New Fonts

Google has now reported that Google Adsense publishers will have even more control over the look of the Adsense ads showing on their sites. Adsense publishers can now select the font of text to show in the ad units in pages. Font choices include Arial, Times and Verdana. There are two different ways now for Adsense publishers to set their own fonts. One choice is to set a custom font as the default font for all Adsense content units within the Ad Display Preference section of the account settings page. The other choice is to set a custom font for individual units for individual pages. When you create new adsense unit, all that is needed is to select the type font you want from the fonts drop-down menu. If you change the default font for all Adsense units it will affect all ad units on all of your websites.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Number Sign # Hashmark In Twitter

If you have been using using Twitter a lot you sometimes see people who post a tweet using a hash symbol (#) before a few words and might have wondered what it means and the purpose of it. The hash mark number sign (#) before a word in a post allows you to tag that post for that word much like tagging a post in Wordpress. In order to get tracked via a hash tag number sign, follow user. Once you’re following them, every time you make a post in Twitter and tag it with a hash mark it will then show up as a real-time post on If you visit, you can click on any tag and it will show you all of the posts that have been tagged with that keyword. You can also subscribe to any twitter updates that contain a tag keyword by posting “follow #keywordtag” (without the quotes) in Twitter. Twitter only allows you to post 140 characters in a post so you should be pretty selective when using the hash mark number sign for keywords mostly associated with the post.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Micro Niche Finder How To Video

Mark Mason recently did a video on how he uses Micro Niche Finder and I thought I would share it with you. Only a couple of things I disagree with in the video, the first is the use of hyphens in the domain name which in a round about way, he agrees and second the use of the trademark BMW in the domain name. Other than that the video is pretty thorough. He discusses using the PHPBay plugin with Wordpress as well, but you can adept this to BANS, just as easy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Orange Watermelon Lighter Fluid Just Will Not Sale

What a great title of a blog post! I used it to prove a point though. Although in a few days this post will likely rank good in Google for the term Orange Watermelon Lighter Fluid, nobody is searching for it. This is half the problem I see with people who want me to evaluate their BANS sites. They are usually not optimized or optimized for all the wrong things. On the flip side, if I would of titled this post Lighter Fluid, people would be searching for it, but the page would not rank because the competition is heavy and I have not optimized this post or gotten important optimized backlinks pointing to this post. On top of everything else, the content in this post is not relevant to lighter fluid.

Doing your keyword research and competition research in getting ANY website to rank, not just BANS sites is important. Are you over your head in aiming for a keyword or phrase you are shooting to rank for? Have you researched who else is ranking for your keyword and their stronghold in the SERPS with backlinks and anchor text? The best onsite optimized site is only as good as what it is optimized for and around. If you use Micro Niche Finder, it will do tons of the leg work for you. You can see how tough the competition is along with search numbers and various other information as well.

Finding and optimizing is still only half the job, you still need to get backlinks pointing to your optimized page with your targeted keywords or phrases in the backlink anchor text. If I had a page optimized around Lighter Fluid, but had anchor text in backlinks reading Click Here or Dave's Site or Soggy Web Page, this would do me no good.

There is a balance somewhere in between, especially for someone new to site building and ranking. Try to pick off the lower hanging fruit first, meaning lesser searched for terms, but not as low as Orange Watermelon Lighter Fluid. Learn to rank a site for a term first and then increase the competition level. Once you learn the HOW, then all that is different is the work involved in competing for tougher more searched for keywords.

To those surfers that visited this page looking for Orange Watermelon Lighter Fluid, I apologize, I am fresh out, but you may be interested in some Orange Watermelon Micro Niche Finder.

Monday, February 16, 2009

2009 Best SEO Semmy Award Winning Post

Came across the 2009 first place SEO Semmy award winning post today, while making my blog rounds and thought I would recognize it. The Semmy awards is an annual award honoring the best articles and blog posts from the search marketing industry, as voted by the industry. The 2009 SEO Winner was a post by Gyutae Park of Search Engine Journal. His winning post was entitled, 12 Steps to Complete Search Engine Domination - From Zero to Hero in Just 6 Months. It is a very thorough post and one that should be bookmarked and referred to on occasion. It would also benefit you to browse around the Semmy site and look at the winners and runner ups in all of the categories.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Canonical URL Links Wordpress Plugin

To tag on to yesterdays post I did about the new canonical link tag, there is now a new canonical Wordpress plugin available for this from Joost de Valk. There is a great example and overview of the benefits of this plugin done in this post here. If you use Wordpress, I highly suggest you look into this plugin and see if you can indeed benefit from it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Google Supports New Canonical Tag

Google has announced that they now support a new format canonical tag that allows you to publicly specify which preferred version of a URL you want. If your site has identical or vastly similar content that's accessible through multiple URL strings, this new format provides you with more control over the URL returned in search results. It also helps to make sure that properties such as link popularity are consolidated to your preferred version. Now, you can simply add the new link tag to specify your preferred version of a URL. The new tag goes inside the section of the duplicate content page.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wrapping Your Head Around The Headspace Wordpress Plugin

Once again I am late to the dance on this one, but sometimes I just do not fix what is not broken until I am sure I can fix it better. In this case I am talking about the Headspace Wordpress plugin. This plugin can pretty much do everything the All In One SEO plugin can do and more. Before you go rush off and download and install it, you better know EXACTLY how it should be used and the benefits of it. If you are a newbie to all of this, you may want to wait a while until you better understand SEO and the benefits of this plugin. While I have had this downloaded for quite a while, I never have REALLY looked into it and studied it until recently. Boy am I glad I did... Below are two great articles on Headspace and properly using it.

HeadSpace Part 1
HeadSpace Part 2

A little quick search on Google will give more views and tutorials on this fantastic plugin as well. My suggestion is for you to use it on a lower traffic or test Wordpress site until you FULLY get ALL aspects of it. Write down the settings you use for future use so as to make it easy when implementing it in on your other sites.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Each Page Or Post Is A Door To Your Site

When attempting to make money online, most people only build out a few pages of content. If they go farther, it is likely through the use of automation of some sorts. What most online marketers miss, is that every page or blog post that you add to your site is a doorway in and every door needs to attract a certain type of visitor. I am not a huge fan of content automation. Normally it is just regurgitated copy and paste stuff. I do use aggregated headlines on some sites, but merely as food to keep a surfer coming back. Every page or post you make needs to be treated as it's own website. You never know what door a surfer is going to walk through, so you need to make sure they will find what they are looking for and if not, an easy to find door to take them EXACTLY where they want to go. If a surfer does not find what they are looking for in just a few clicks, they will leave as fast as they came. Think about this on the next page of content or the next blog post you make. Are your doors only cracked open? Are they open for the right visitor?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

WordPress SEO Video By Joost de Valk

Here is a great video of Joost de Valk as he discusses WordPress SEO & Optimization strategies. This was a speaking engagement he did last year at the A4UExpo in London in 2008. I am a huge Joost fan and read and watch everything of his I can get my hands on. This video is quit lengthy, but well worth the time, especially if you use Wordpress.

WordPress SEO & Optimisation Strategies a4uexpo London 2008 from existem on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

So Many Toys, So Little Time...

There are tons of new toys released every week for webmasters. Either keyword research, Wordpress plugins, Wordpress themes or backlink submitters. You name it and it will be in your face every week. This is both good and bad. It is good for a webmaster that can rank well after well done research and proper link building, it is bad for newbies or inexperienced webmasters as they are easily distracted.

Which boat are you sitting in? If you can't rank or do not understand the concept of how to rank, all the toys in the world will not help you. Before you play, you have to pay. I mean that in a helpful way. If you can not take an out of the box BANS site or standard Wordpress site and load it with original content and get it backlinked properly to rank, you need to go back to basics. Do some plugins make it easier? Sure, the All in One SEO plugin is an example. Do you HAVE to have this plugin? Not if you do not know how to use right and know exactly what it does. Can you rank well without it? Absolutely.

Toys and tools do break up the monotonous day to day drudgery, but do not get so wrapped up in them that you lose sight of the overall goal, which is to rank and make money.

Monday, February 9, 2009

WP Super Cache Saved My A$$

A week ago, I had a blog post go viral, I mean really viral. the traffic was coming from every direction and the site was starting to crash. I had the WP Super Cache Wordpress plugin downloaded, but never have gotten around to actually using it on a regular basis. I sure needed it on that day and it performed perfectly. The server stopped hiccuping and as the traffic continued to increase, I saw absolutely no problems. Basically what the plugin does is serves a static html page of your post, instead of taxing the database with every page load. It keeps the page in cache for a determined time by you. HTML page load much easier than PHP pages under heavy traffic instances. This plugin is not really needed for regular traffic days, but when you do need it, you will be glad you had it. It really saved my a$$ and allowed me to convert sales on an extremely busy couple of days.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

200 Plus Words

What a weird title for a blog post, but it tells it all. You should always be striving for 200 words or more on every page of content or blog post you make. This tip goes back as far as the famous forum post made by Brett Tabke, owner of Webmaster World. 200 words gives the SERPS enough info to get an exact idea what the page or post is about. Now this does not mean a page or post with less words will not rank, but it does seem in looking over a few of my own sites pages that rank number one in Google for their target phrase, that everyone of them have 200 or more words of unique content.

I also try to mix in semantically related words when possible as this gives the SERPS a truer understanding on what the page is really about and when you think about it, it is very hard to get an exact point or story across in fewer than 200 words. Are the SERPS using a word count on your pages? I highly doubt it, but it surely could figure in the algorithm of ranking. The thicker the page, the more for the SERPS to chew on and that is always a good thing.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I Sure Hope You Are Using Twitter

I have posted in the past on how I use Twitter to gain traffic, I hope you are not behind the eight ball on this. Twitter is everywhere. All major networks use Twitter along with Fortune 500 companies as well. If you have not explored it yet, here is 450 Tips Tricks and How To Twitter. This will keep you busy for a while. Do not be scared, you will not break it and it may take a while to discover it's usefulness, especially in gaining targeted traffic, but you need to start now if you haven't already.

My Twitter page is here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Nofollow Means NoVote

When the tag nofollow came was introduced it was sorely misnamed. The correct name for the tag should of been noVote or IDoNotVoucheForThisLink. There remains a contant misunderstanding about this tag. For starters you would think that adding a nofollow tag to a link would mean that the major SERPS would just fly right past it, that is the furthest thing from the truth. It has been proven that both Google and Yahoo will indeed crawl the link and the jury is still out on exact proof that MSN Live crawls it.

With Google, you do not help your rank with a link tagged with nofollow, that has been known for sometime. Google does follow the link, but does not index the linked-to page, unless it was in Google's index already.

With Yahoo, you also do not get link juice or help yourself in the rankings as it excludes it from their ranking calculation. Yahoo will follow it and even index the resulting page if it is not indexed.

With MSN they thus far respect the nofollow tag as in not counting the link in their ranking as well, but it is not proven whether or not MSN truly follows the link or not.

So thus the fact that it should have been named noVote or IDoNotVoucheForThisLink as all 3 major SERPS claim no improvement in rank if a link is tagged with nofollow.

Here is a great interview I had bookmarked. It is a recent interview with Yahoo's own Priyank Garg. Garg is the director of product management for Yahoo Search Technology, YST is the team responsible for the functionality of Yahoo’s Web search engine that includes crawling, indexing, ranking, summarizing and spelling Web search functions along with products for webmasters, such as Site Explorer. Make sure to read it twice as it is specific to the way Yahoo treats the nofollow tag.

I hope this clears up the misconception of what the nofollow tag does and does not do.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Getting Backlinks From Blogspot Blogs

Another good source of acquiring solid backlinks is from blogs on the blogspot blogger network. You would be surprised how many high PR blogspot blogs are out there. Mostly people who run them on the network are not so much money affiliate hungry than those who own self hosted blogs.

using our GI Joe example from yesterday as a niche, just type the below statement in google.

gi joe

Look around and surf the results to see if any are toy related and either comment on the blog asking for a link trade or if the blog owner has an email address, contact them that way. MOST of the blogger blogs are dofollow in the blogroll on the sidebar. You would be surprised at the results you get. You can also use the Google search parameters to narrow down even more if you like.

Now go get those backlinks.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Using Site Explorer & SEO Quake To Find Strong Backlinks

I am constantly on the lookout for the perfect site related backlinks to my BANS sites and non BANS sites. As of late I have been using Yahoo Site Explorer while using the SEO Quake browser plug in. I usually start in Site Explorer with the manufactures website. Let's say I have a site focused on GI Joe. I would plug in the URL of into site explorer because I want to see sites linking to that website. USUALLY sites that link there will be toy related or even GI Joe specific which are sites I want links from to my site. SEO Quake comes into the equation, because while having it enabled, it will show the sites page rank, age, backlinks, whois and etc. I then make a list of the sites with PR 2 or higher and then go about researching the sites to see first if it is indeed a good candidate to trade links with, second that their links page is indeed dofollow. After compiling that list, I go about sending out my emails to the site owners informing them that I have added a link to their site on my links page and kindly ask for a reciprocal link. I usually like to do about 20 sites at a time and then give them a week or two to add me or decline. I then remove the links that have not answered or declined and then go to the next batch. If you come up with your own system doing this, you will slowly gain great backlinks from like sites and should slowly move up in rankings assuming your SEO and good content is in place as well.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Also Work To Disprove The Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle also known as the 80/20 rule is one of my favorite business principles. In a nutshell and how I apply to BANS is simple. I do not want 20% of my sites producing 80% of my income. I am always striving to get 50% of my sites producing 50% of my income. That of course would mean the other 50% is producing the other 50% of my income. As of the end of January, 35% of my sites produce around 65% of my income. This is about as low as I try to be. When one sector starts dropping, I always try to dedicate more time to get it back where it belongs. I consider myself the guy in the circus that tries to keep the ten plates all spinning on the sticks at one time. I try to rush over to keep spinning the plate that most looks like it is about to fall off the stick. The further away you can keep from the Pareto Principle, the more security you will have in case a catastrophe were to happen. At all times, you should know where these figures are and work in the sectors that need the most help. Now by no means am I advocating 100 sites, but if 100% of your income comes from just one site, you might want to investigate a few more niches. Whatever you can handle and manage correctly.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Starting Your First BlogTutorials

I am still trying to recover from a bleeding ulcer following last night's Super Bowl game. My nerves and head are none to good today so I thought I would point you to a recent post done by This post is an all encompassed tutorial on starting your first blog. It is entitled... Starting Your First Blog? 29 Tips, Tutorials and Resources for New Bloggers

This post is very informative and great as even a refresher course. Make sure to bookmark it.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Analyze The Super Bowl Commercials & Websites

Today is Super Bowl Sunday in case you did not know. One thing to do after all the commercials have run, is to re watch them online and get yourself some marketing ideas. Also go to the advertisers websites and see if you can pick up any marketing techniques, layouts, SEO or any other aspects to help you in your own business. These will be easy to see on the internet, via Youtube or a quick search on Google. Have fun and GO STEELERS!!!


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