Sunday, May 31, 2009

Matt Cutts WordCamp Slide Presentation

Google guru Matt Cutts gave a talk at WordCamp San Francisco 2009 recently and has posted the slide presentation on his blog. There will likely be a video of the talk released soon, but there is plenty of great information in the slide presentation alone. I highly suggest you go through them all and make sure you fully understand everything he is discussing.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Around The Web May 30th

I think now on Saturdays, I will post a round up of interesting items I have found around the week, but failed to post about. So much happens during the week that I find interesting, but never get a chance to post about as there is always something new happening. So here are a few items of interest from around the web that I found worth reading.

40 Exceptional CMS Enabling WordPress Plugins is another compilation post about great Wordpress plugins. Many I have mentioned before on this blog and many I have not. It is a great selection and great descriptions.

Aaron Wall of joined Shoemoney this week on his radio show to talk about a recent blog post on The Search Taxonomy. They go all over the place and touch on many topics, but it is a good listen while you get some other work done.

Creator of Market Samurai, Brent Hodgson, did a great post on Using Market Samurai for Semantic Site Structuring. Market Samurai is turning into a must have tool.

Search Engine Land has a great post on New Google Advances In The Searchability of JavaScript and Flash. Most of the info comes from the Google IO conference. Might be over the head of some, but if you grasp it, it is well worth the read.

Let me know if you like this Saturday post format...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Information Overload And Where To Start

I received an email from a new BANS user saying that they are suffering from information overload. She is new to online marketing and website creation and has been trying to read a ton of everything to get up to speed. This is a very dangerous thing to do for both newbie and veteran alike. You can get so bogged down and pulled in so many directions that nothing will ever be done. Below are a few guidelines on what every newbie should be focusing on and the order they should do it in.

1. Know Your Platform: It does not matter if you use BANS, Wordpress with PHPBay, Blogger or straight HTML, you have to understand how to use the platform correctly and make it dance on command. This should come as second nature before you move on to anything else. You do not need to be a code guru by any means, but knowing how to use the platform is the cornerstone of which your foundation will be built on. I see several veterans in the business who use it wrong and I guarantee they suffer because of it. I have suggested in the past that one should have a test domain setup to practice using whatever platform they are using. Do not advance to number two until you master this.

2. Understanding Onsite SEO: Search engine optimization of your website is crucial if you intend to get any traffic from the search engines. From meta tags, to keyword usage to site structure. You must learn it if you want to succeed. There are various free sites and information on this very blog that will help you learn it quickly.

3. Niche & Keyword Selection: Before you tackle any site you need to know if the niche is profitable and what keywords you intend to target. Targeting a niche too wide early on is a common mistake made by newbies. The tighter the niche and the longer the keyword phrase you target, the more likely you can penetrate the niche in the early stages of your development of an online marketer. There are plenty of free and paid tools to help in this process. Most noticeable, Traffic Travis. Regardless of the tool you decide on, it is important to understand how to use it as well.

4. Onsite Original Content: The days of the thin affiliate doorway site are long gone unless you are buying targeted traffic. Even then, a surfer now wants and expects to be engaged before throwing their hard earned money around. You need original content and lots of it. This should be targeted as well keyword wise and goes hand and hand with onsite SEO. The thicker the site is content wise, the more doors into your site you will have for getting some organic traffic. If you can't write content yourself, pay for it. It is well worth the money spent up front and it is yours forever. If you choose to copy and paste, be prepared not to get any love from the search engines.

5. Traffic Generation: If you have confidently mastered steps 1-4, you are now ready to generate traffic to your site. This is perhaps the hardest process to learn and stay dedicated to. Learn how to build targeted backlinks to your site through article marketing, link trading, social networks and the other various ways of building backlinks. Great onsite content will build links naturally, but you must know how to and understand how to build your own traffic as well. There are tons of free traffic building articles and techniques to learn all over the web, but none should be tackled until your site is ready for the traffic.

6. Continued Learning: The online marketing business is always growing and changing. You should always be reading your favorite and trusted sources for learning more about online marketing, but do not let it eat up all of your time. All learning with no action is worthless. Do not get off on tangents. Learn what you are trying to learn and then implement it. Getting pulled in too many directions at one time is a certain death blow for online marketers.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

SEO Checklist Cheat Sheet

I came across one of the better SEO cheat sheets in PDF format this afternoon while reading a post on SEO Moz blog. This is a must have for newbies and veterans alike. Make sure to print it out for quick reference. On a related note, a new post has shown up on the ebay partner network blog. It is part 2 of a 3 part SEO series by Wil Reynolds, founder of Seer Interactive, an industry leading SEO consulting firm.

Technorati Profile

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Video On Using The Google SKtool To Categorize Keywords

Was browsing Twitter today and came across a great post on Noble Samurai. It covers some Latent Semantic Indexing talk and also the use of the Google SK tool to categorize keywords. Definitely worth a read and a watch.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Breaking Down The Awesome Backlinks

I was going back over some Whiteboard Friday Videos from Rand Fishkin and came across one I must of missed. It is called "How to Get Awesome Links" and Fishkin does an excellent job as usual explaining the different types of links and more importantly how to get them. As you see it is not earth shattering revelations, but when he diagrams and goes over each one, it is put in easier and learnable terms for those new to business. Watch it and know it.

SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday - How to Get Awesome Links from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Save 15% On Best Of The Web Submissions

I’m a firm believer in using BOTW. BOTW stands for Best of the Web and they currently have a 15% off promotion running which will save you nearly 40 bucks if you purchase a year long link submission. BOTW is a trusted directory that will indeed help improve your rankings as I use it myself. Use the code below when ordering and you’ll get your discount. This current offer expires after May 31st so there is not many more days left. Follow the submission rules closely when submitting.

15% Off Coupon Code: MAYDAY

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New TwitVid Video Hosting For Twitter

If you have every used TwitPic before, you will love TwitVid. TwitVid is a free application to upload videos on that works as a nice compliment to Twitter. The site is still very new and has already picked up a ton of following with the twitter crowd. TwitVid has just enabled mobile uploads and some new features will be rolled out soon as well.

Also if you are not yet following me on Twitter, you can do so here. I get lonely on there.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

How Many Words Should Good Content Have?

Received an email from a reader asking how many words should the ideal piece of content or article be. Really that is an impossible question to answer, but I will tell you what I shoot for. On articles or information pieces I try to stay around 400-600 words and I try to break it up in three or four paragraphs to break it up for the reader. For blog post, they can be as short as 100 words or as long as about 500 words, depends on what I am trying to cover. If you look at this blog's post, I would say the average is probably around 200 words. I like to get my post point across in a short and sweet matter. No need to bore you.

If you have longer pieces, you may see if you can break them up into another content page, but this is not always possible. Just try to make it flow and at least paragraphed as to make it easier to read. The biggest aspect I think is the fact you are adding original content as tons of people can't get to fact it is necessary. You will learn as you go how to break it up and organize it as you go.

Oh, this post was 211 words and 2 paragraphs.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Build Your Own Widget

Widgets are an excellent freebie to give away to promote your website. In general, widgets are mini, portable-applications that can be added to any web page and serve two important goals. The first being to add dynamic content to your site and the second being to reach new users across the web. Widgets can consist of games, pictures, rss feeds, videos and the list goes on and on. You offer a widget in hopes that others will use it on their site and provide a backlink and a source of traffic. Widgetbox offers are free service to get your feet wet in widget building. Use your imagination and see what type of widget you can build.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Wife Loves The Moonlight

I have been heavily involved with the internet for a long long time. Even before I started being a webmaster, I was enthralled with it for information. My wife on the other hand could always take or leave the internet or computers in general. That was until this year. She has been captivated by a TV show called Moonlight. Evidently it is now a canceled show, but has a huge cult following. She has found the usefulness of Youtube, forums and blogs to stimulate her obsession with this show. She never post to any of the sites, but does read everything she can get her hands on. Oh and she buys too. UPS shows up almost daily at my house and most stuff she buys through an affiliate link I provide her if I have one available or can find one quickly. The other day a DVD box set of the Moonlight series found it's way into the house. I asked her where she bought it from and she said some Moonlight blog. well I tracked down the culprit, here is that Moonlight blog. Just a plain old blogger blog, but good enough to get my money. Now obviously this blog could be monetized a bit better, but it made some money.

The lesson I am trying to get across here is that whatever your main obsession is, you should capitalize on it. We all have something or somethings that we are very knowledgeable and passionate about and that knowledge and passion of the same thing you share with others. No matter how good or bad you are at building sites, doing SEO or building backlinks, you owe it to your self and others to share that same passion. Your passion will get you by and earn you a little money while you learn the other aspects of making the site better and more optimized. Even if you have to use a free blogger platform like blogger to start with, it still has the ability to earn money, even money from my household.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Google Can See Your Private Domain Registration

Google sees everything and I mean everything. I was asked via email whether using private domain registration will hide your info from everyone, Google more importantly. In a short answer, no. You see, Google actually is a Domain Registrar. (see #895) While Google is partnered with to actually sale domain registration. Being a registrar themselves, lets them peak behind the curtain whenever they feel like it. Now private domain registration does offer some protection from your everyday snooper and spammer, do not think you can get away with anything out of the ordinary because of it. In my opinion you are not penalized for private registration in the eyes of Google, but you will still be held to the same standards as a public registered domain. So file this in your FYI folder.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why I Stopped Giving Earnings Updates

I was asked the question by email this morning of why I no longer talk about my earnings and give updates. It is an easy question to answer. I have nothing to gain by posting my earnings and only bad things happen when I do. There are some incredibly weird people that read this blog and the forums that I visit. They make up for not being able to make their own living online by attempting to sabotage others that do. More than once I have caught well known BANS users IP addresses attempting to knock on a few of my servers doors. Also I have had to alert EPN several times when people have tried to sabotage an EPN account of mine. Luckily they are good people at EPN and placed my notices on file and no harm was done. It just makes good business sense for me to continue to teach what I try to teach and help others achieve what I have without giving out earnings. If you have to be driven by a number, you are being driven by the wrong thing. You need to first enjoy what you are doing, then learn to master it and the money will follow. Make financial goals and achieve them. It is sad to see so many new people come into the affiliate marketing field because they think it is so easy and quick money. Trust me when I say, it takes some work and takes making mistakes. I still make mistakes myself except not so many and not so often and not so crucial in nature. When the light comes on in your head and everything starts making sense, it opens up the financial doors even wider. I still get emails from readers wondering what the secret is, the truth is, you are sitting on the secret. Do not let my earnings drive you, let your own earnings and abilities drive you. Do not live vicariously through me, live vicariously through yourself as I do with myself. I love being so empowered, I highly suggest you empower yourself as there is no greater feeling in the world. Now get busy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Google Webmaster Tools Updated

Google webmaster tools has a fresh updated look. Rather than rehashing everything, I really suggest you read the review that Aaron Wall from SEO Book. He goes through all of the features of the new layout and does an excellent job explaining each facet of it. If you are not using Google webmaster tools, you should be, as it truly can give you an inside look of your site and will better help you understand several factors related to it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wordpress 2.8 Beta Available

For those of you wanting to see and try Wordpress 2.8, the new 2.8 beta version is available for download. I suggest using this on a lower volume site and back up all of your databases and files before hand. These beta versions are pretty reliable, but you never know what you might get.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

In Search Of The Perfect Domain Name

I use to waste a ton of time looking for the perfect domain name. Perhaps you have too. I use to want it stuffed with my keywords thinking it would give me that extra edge in the SERPs. Domain names do have a role in rankings, but not enough in my honest opinion to risk trademark infringement or looking ultra spammy.

Lets look at the keyword phrase: ford repair manual
Using the Google keyword tool and using match type exact, we see it has a 2,400 Global Monthly Search Volume.

Now look at the Google results for the phrase: ford repair manual

As you can see there are tons of different domain names in the results, the neatest being:

When searching for a domain, do not get so caught up in it having all of your keywords in it. Think in terms of LSI, brand ability and easy to remember. Ranking a site in Google goes much much further than a domain name. On and off site SEO, backlinks, anchor text and content are what you really should be concerned about. Sure you might get some type in traffic for a keyword filled domain name, but not enough to make it a priority. So stop wasting time looking for that perfect domain name as any one you choose can indeed be perfect.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Using the Ahhhhhhh Factor

Depending on your niche, you may be at a lost to what type of content to add or blog about. Perhaps you own a dog niche site or a cat niche site. Do you post pictures everyday of cute little dogs or cats, with a witty little summation or quote. this is easy content to find with Google or even Flickr. Let's say today's blog post is about the Dachshunds breed. You could post a blog post with a couple of cute pictures a funny quote and then list about 5 items with the PHPBay plugin. Do this daily and you will get the Ahhhhhh followers who visit daily. You will condition them. Now this is a very broad example, but can be adapted for nearly every niche, especially those geared towards women. Now go get your Ahhhhhhh factor turned on.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Amazon To Pay Bloggers

Came across a great story on the Wall Street Journal about the new Amazon beta program that pays bloggers for Kindle subscriptions to their posts. The Kindle e-book reader is apparently picking up steam and is a very hot item right now. It also comes with an experimental Web browser that allows readers to surf the web as well. The new blogger program will pay approved bloggers 30% of its subscription fee. There is no cost to join the program, you just have to register with Amazon, and give the company information on where to send the check to. Should be an interesting program to watch, especially if the Kindle makes it through the Christmas season.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Creativity Alive And Well - A Success Story

From the "In case you missed it" category, Shoemoney had a guest poster named Chris Hedgecock who recapped his very successful eBay affiliate store called, Cars For A Grand. Hedgecock bought a car on eBay for under a thousand dollars and drove it coast to coast. He garnered tons of media attention along with driving almost half a million visitors to the site in just three weeks.

This just goes to show, that a creative marketing plow can pad your wallet. The idea has since spawned off various knock off sites. Now I am not advocating a knock off site, but use your own twist on this with your own niche and reap the rewards.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

There Is More To Niche Traffic Than Just Google

Google is the king of search engines, but that is like saying the sky is blue. We already know it to be fact and do not need daily reminders of it. However most niche site builders are TOO reliant on Google and can have huge swings in traffic with every algorithm shift. Google should be the by product of hard work and a bonus, but it is not the only source of traffic out there. Using social sites like Facebook, Linkden and various others, can get you just as much in touch with your target market as Google can.

If you were to put your house on the market, would you be 100% reliant on Google? Not yet, but perhaps one day Google will play a bigger role in that, but as of right now you or your realtor would promote your home through various other means. The same should go for your niche sites. Where does your target buyer surf or hangout related to your niche? Can you market to them through articles or advertise on forums related to the niche? Open up your mind and get in touch with your target buyer. Not every buyer finds useful websites to buy from through Google. It is not the end all, do all as a source for traffic.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ebay Partner Network Updates

Wanted to use this post to address some new things concerning the eBay Partner Network updates.

EPN has received many questions in regards to our the new Link Generator Tool they released and have compiled some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the tool. In addition the post has some detailed explanations about the tool itself.

PartnerCentric announced at the end of last month that they have partnered with the eBay Partner Network to help support the EPN affiliate program in the United States. PartnerCentric will also work closely with eBay’s in-house team to recruit new ebay affiliates and work directly with current affiliates to make those partnerships more profitable.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Keyword Stuffing Is So 2007

The search engines are getting smarter by the day as is the surfer. Just 2 short years ago, you were able to give yourself a little boost in the rankings for mentioning your keyword several unnatural times in your content and bold it. I am sure we have all seen examples of this in action. although keyword use does still hold a place in ranking, unnatural keyword stuffing will certainly not help. One way to test your content, is to have someone read it with no web or SEO background. ask them if the content sounds natural or weird. You can get your keyword use across effectively without stuffing and without bolding every instance of it. You can also use several free tools like SEO quake to examine not only your keyword density, but your competitors as well. Take a good look at the top 10 results for a keyword phrase in Google and do a keyword density check of each of the results. You should clearly see how dead stuffing keywords really is.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Video Of Matt Cutts Explaining Link Command

Here is a great video of Google great Matt Cutts discussing why Google only shows a small backlink selection with the link operator command and also explains that you can see your true backlinks in Google Webmasters tools.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Convert Spreadsheet Data To Tables

If you use Excel or another spreadsheet application, you might run into a situation where you want to format that info in the spreadsheet into a table to post on a content page. if you were to merely copy and paste from excel into a BANS or Wordpress content page, you will surely run into conflicts. There is a tool called the TABLEIZER, that makes it quite easy to take that data and turn it into a nicely formatted table. I have posted this on the BANS forum before, but forgot to post on the blog about it for those that may have missed it. Great tool and be sure to bookmark it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How Many eBay Products To Show On Your Niche Sites?

While this is pretty open ended question, it is one I do get from time to time. To say that there is one fool proof answer to the question is impossible, but I can give you a few suggestions. First your eBay links are ads and should be surrounded with content related to those ads. At least 200-250 words. Using either PHPBay or BANS, you should be able to whittle down by search operator exactly the product you are wanting to show. Perhaps it is a specific brand or model number of golf ball. You want to show exactly the product the surfer is expecting to find when they visit the page. Also being as the links are nofollow, I would suggest no more than 9-10 product listings on a page. The great thing about PHPBay is the ability to quickly mix in 3-5 products in a blog post, but a content page on BANS can serve the same purpose. I try to give a small selection of exactly what the surfer is looking for and get them to click through as soon as possible. I also feel that having an excessive list of products with nofollow links is a clear warning sign to Google. The key factor regardless of the number of listings you choose to show, is tailoring the products exactly. My perfect page would show 3-9 products, but once again this is not scientific at this point.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Do Your Backlinks Suck In Quality?

Here is a great whiteboard video from Rand Fishkin from SEO Moz convering the different types of backlinks webmasters acquire. He covers the 4 categories of backlinks. Hopefully you are not in the blog commenting, guestbook, link farm spammy category. Although guestbooks and link farms are pretty much dead, there is still a ton of people that go on blog commenting rampages and you have to ask yourself if it is worth the effort. I think not. So do your backlinks suck or are they in the the better two categories?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Free Traffic Travis SEO Tool

I love keyword and SEO tools and always look at nearly everything that comes down the pike. I came across Traffic Travis which is a desktop application made to help website owners boost their website traffic. Traffic Travis is an all-in-one desktop tool for keyword research, search engine optimization, pay-per-click research and website monitoring, and general site analysis. It has user friendly tools suitable for beginner and experienced webmasters alike.

The free version of the software is slightly restricted in regards to how many projects you can have, and in a few other minor ways and the Pro version of is completely unrestricted. Either way you should try the free version and see how it fits your needs. Website Magazine made it their Editor's Choice in a recent article on SEO tools.

Monday, May 4, 2009

No, BANS Is Not Dead

I have received a few emails over the last week from readers who are saying that they heard that BANS is dead and that they should not use it anymore. This is the furthest thing from the truth. I will say though that if you just put up an out of the box BANS site with little to no content, default category settings and default meta tags, be prepared to fail and get deindexed etc. etc.

I have mentioned several times that ebay listings are like ads. If you set up a plain html site with nothing but 20 outgoing ads on a multiple pages, you would likely suffer the same fate. The BANS platform is just that, a platform. It is what you do with the platform that makes a difference. BANS just makes it incredibly easy for someone with little to no technical knowledge to get started in online marketing and at the same time it makes it incredibly easy to put up a site that will fail miserably.

Do I still build straight BANS sites? No, not in a while, primarily because I use either straight Wordpress or a combination of BANS & Wordpress together. However I still have a full stable of straight BANS sites that perform well. I also have been playing with the free Blogger platform lately on some newer sites. This does not mean I do not trust BANS, I have just graduated off it because of my skill set and diversification, but it does not make it any less effective, especially for someone who is new to online marketing. If you have not graduated from it, rest easy, as you can still earn a fantastic living with it and it only if you build the way you are suppose to. The biggest thing you should concentrate on is building content thick, highly authoritative, engaging sites. But you should be doing that anyway regardless if you build with notepad, Front Page, Wordpress or whatever CMS you have chosen to use.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ezine Articles Now Providing Keyword Data

If you are a Platinum or Premium Ezinearticle member, you are now getting a monthly email with some critical data on your live articles. The data included in the email is as follows:

1. Total Monthly Article Views
2. New Live Articles Submitted In The Previous Month
3. Total Number Of Live Articles
4. Total Lifetime Article Views
5. Top 3 Performing Articles with top 5 keyword phrases used to find them

These are great stats to have, especially the keyword phrases. Ezinearticles is also requesting feedback on these new features in this blog post and I highly suggest you chime in with any improvements.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Old Interview With Google's Matt Cutts

Came across a great interview with Matt Cutts by Stephan Spencer. This interview was conducted at the 2007 Pubcon, so it is not really that OLD. In the interview, Cutts answers questions about the Google algorithm, link neighborhoods, social bookmark links, nofollow tags and other items such as number of links per page. All in all it is a very long, but very insightful interview and hopefully will clear a few things up in your head.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Some Friday Links To Read

Came across some good reading today, so I thought I would dedicate a post to it. First is a post from Website Magazine entitled Men vs. Women: Website Optimization Usability Study. Basically it is a quick look at the surfing habit differences between the sexes.

Next is A Guide To Qualifying Link Prospects For Relevance, Value & Potentiality by Search Engine Land. The post also features a neat little Link Building Worksheet as well. Very worth the read.

Lastly is a Newbie Guide written by Nicky Cakes. some good stuff on landing pages and setting up t.racking


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