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Show Me Money…Not Link Exchanges

Posted on: November 10, 2008 I Written By

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Am I the only one that gets a link exchange request and just cringes? Seriously, I hate link exchanges. The only exception is when I get a link exchange request from TV Guide, Buddy TV or some other major TV website that wants to exchange with my TV Blog network. That link exchange is worthwhile, because those websites are the websites when it comes to TV and I’ll be happy to share the love with them since they can offer some major love in return. Otherwise, I don’t want to exchange links with some spam site.

So, if you want to exchange links with me, then don’t bother me unless you’re internet royalty in your space. However, I do accept money for those really interested in having their link on my site. It’s amazing how loud cash speaks. I love to hear it talk and the larger it is the more profound an impact it has.

Honestly, I wonder how much value a link exchange has in search engines. My guess is that Google takes a link exchange (ie. both sites link to each other on some spammy looking webpage full of links) and discounts the value of those links to basically nothing. Compare that to a link that someone puts on a page because they think something you created is valuable, interesting or a good resource for that topic. Now that’s a link that has probably 100 times more value in the site of Google than some link exchange.

One other thought is maybe I’ll just reply to each of the people requesting a link exchange and ask them to link to my site before I link to there site. Then, I’ll never actually add their link. I wonder how many of these people asking for a link exchange really come back to see if the links there. My guess is that a ton of them don’t. I’ll just call their link the cost of me having to read their link exchange email spam (which most of them are).

I wonder if Matt Cutts would be willing to comment on the value or lack thereof of link exchanges. My money’s on a graph showing the value of link exchanges approaching zero.

Google Adsense Most Valuable Keywords

Posted on: December 18, 2007 I Written By

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I love when someone finds various charts online that show where someone got paid $80 for a keyword like “DUI lawyers las vegas.” I really think it is great to be able to find a blog that can make $80 a click. I would love to have one myself. However, I think the best lesson for Google Adsense users is to avoid the dumbest adsense mistake.

The basic concept is that an $80 click through that happens once a year is not as good as a $1 click through that happens every day. I’ve personally found that most click throughs are valued down in the 1-10 cent range. So, if you find a popular keyword that pays $1 a click, then see how much traffic you can generate around that keyword. It hasn’t made me rich yet, but it has given me a check every month from Google.

Strategic Planning Thoughts Website

Posted on: February 17, 2007 I Written By

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Entrepreneurship and business are two of my latest passions. I’ve recently blogged about venture capitalist extraordinaire Dan Rua. I just really love so many facets of business.

However, the one I think wraps everything else together is strategic planning. Strategic Planning Thoughts is a blog dedicated to the subject of strategic planning. I really like the site because it has some great insights on strategic planning. In one post, Robert Bradford does an analysis of the various types of ways that a business in Ann Arbor obtains customers. Of course word of mouth and Repeat! customers were the highest. However, most of their money was being spent on the least productive customer finding methods, location and advertising. Of course he points out that we should focus more on the other finding methods.

My biggest complaint about the blog post is that he doesn’t really talk about how you generate more word of mouth customers. Sure, it’s a noble idea that you should generate more word of mouth customers, but how do you actually accomplish that goal?

I’ve thought about similar things on one of my websites. We’ve accomplished it by scraping people’s email contact list to gain referrals. Of course we have a refer a friend on the website. These type of tools really help produce what Robert Bradford talks about on his blog.

Here’s a nice tip from his latest post:

Tip Number One – Be Disciplined in Your Strategic Planning

Reminds me of a conversation I had recently about a company being ADHD and changing their direction every other day. I guess that’s the discipline he’s talking about.

More Banter on PayPerPost’s Acquisition of Performancing.com

Posted on: December 31, 2006 I Written By

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You can imagine how happy I was when I logged into PayPerPost to realize that I could have been paid for my previous post about Performancing.com being acquired by PayPerPost. Oh well, I have plenty more to say about this acquisition.

I sent Ted my previous post about performancing.com and blogs and his only response was him agreeing that they do need a way to keep up the good content at performancing.com. He said they were looking for good people that could be featured on performancing.com and he wondered if I was interested. What would you say?

My response to Ted was very business like. Performancing.com is a business that I assume Ted wants to use to generate a lot of income. Otherwise, why would he have purchased the company? Since that’s the case, I told Ted that I was interested in doing it, but I wanted to know what type of return I would get for investing my time in Performancing.com What incentive is there for me contributing? This is a tough question, but will be an important question that Ted will have to answer for Performancing.com to go anywhere.

In the end, I’m not sure that much should be done with the product line available at Performancing.com. Instead, PayPerPost should leverage their large list of bloggers to sell more advertisers. PayPerPost could improve Performancing’s statistics program so that it gives even more data and also so that PayPerPost can use that statistical data to better serve their advertisers. Essentially do like Google has been doing with Google Analytics and adwords. Find a way to integrate opportunities with a blog’s statistics and you have a powerful product for advertisers.

That’s all. Should be simple enough. Could I have it on my desk by Monday? Wait, that’s New Years. Let’s make it Tuesday.

SEO, PPC, MSN, Google, Yahoo – Is that English?

Posted on: September 25, 2006 I Written By

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If you don’t know what the following mean: SEO, PPC, MSN, Google, Yahoo then stop reading and go visit my contract management software post. Those are English and very important English at that.

If you know what those mean and love to learn more about what’s going on with those terms, then check out the Apogee SEO Blog. While I don’t personally like the green, brown, yellow color scheme of Apogee, the guys at Apogee search know how to get things done.

Their comment on Yahoo allowing advertisers on only Facebook and not all of Yahoo’s other spammerspartners is dead on. Yes, that of course does depend on Yahoo purchasing Facebook.

My Favorite Blog Stats

Posted on: September 19, 2006 I Written By

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Most stat packages have a slew of stats. I’ve looked over everything, but here are a few of my favorite stats.

Referring Pages
I love to see what pages have links to my websites. More importantly, I like to see how many people other blogs and websites have sent to my page. This is checked daily and often hourly. Yes, I’m an admitted stat addict.

Search Engine Referrals
This is almost the same as the first, but I love to see what people are searching in order to find my site. It’s also interesting to see which search engines like me. I’ve found that Google is definitely the most popular, but MSN gives words more credit and links aren’t as essential for MSN as they are for Google. Also, for some reason Canadian Google loves my blog.

Visitors
I love to see how many people actually visited my website. I can’t look at pageviews because Googlebot looks at my pages so much that it skews pageviews. However, I do a search of unique O/S and it gives me a pretty good number of visitors to my site.

Most Visited Page
I do like to take a look at which pages on my website people are visiting. It’s a perfect way to know which topics visitors (and search engines) like. Remember that much of this could be influenced by being Dugg, Reddit or other link pimping.

Visit Duration
Awstats has a really interesting statistic that shows how long visitors to your site remain on your site. Google Analytics has something similar. I’ve been amazed how long some people stay on my website. It also doesn’t surprise me that many of my websites have people who leave quickly. That’s how I visit most webpages.

Bandwidth
This is just important to make sure that I don’t have to pay for extra bandwidth from my host.

Google Adsense Channels
I don’t know if this quite fits into this post, but I look at them as much as anything else. Other affiliate or advertising packages could be listed here also. I love to see which of my blogs are performing. I tried the Google email of my stats, but it just wasn’t enough. I like to check regularly how much my blogs are making and more importantly, which ads are making me the most money. These stats might be the most important stats you could check.

Of course each one of these needs to have the ability to change the time frame. Being able to change the time frame is very important to be able to see the trends over time. In fact, WordPress.com has a great built in stats package with a graph of your pageviews. It gives you a really nice visual of how quickly your blog is growing.

Any other stats that I missed and should be looking at?

Keyword Search Tool

Posted on: September 14, 2006 I Written By

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This is an oldie, but a goodie. For those people wanting to learn to optimize their website or blog to be seen in search engines, you need to check out the keywork search tool by overture. You put in a few keywords and then you’ll see how many times that keyword and related keywords are searched.

One other secret I’ll tell you is that just because it has 1 million searches doesn’t mean it’s the best keyword for the site. Mortgage is searched a lot on the internet. However, if you can get to the top of Google for the keywork mortgage then you don’t need to be reading my blog. For most people you want to find a keyword that is searched enough to get you traffic, but not so much that the web is saturated with websites on the subject.

Regionalized Search Engine Marketing

Posted on: September 11, 2006 I Written By

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Everyone has been talking about Web 2.0 and all the various services that it provides. However, it seems to me that when you talk about search engine marketing or SEO then it becomes very regionalized.

Here’s an example of a company that takes care of Search Engine Marketing in Austin. You can read on their website all about what they take care of. They work in every facet of online marketing such as affilliate marketing, paid search advertising, natural search engine optimization, pay per call management, search engine marketing training and search engine marketing analysis.

For all those users that need search engine marketing in Austin, you should get ahold of this company. It is the largest search engine marketing firm in Austin, and the fastest growing in Texas. If you’re from Texas, you know that everything is bigger in Texas. I guess that applies to search engine marketing too.

Affiliate Marketing for Businesses

Posted on: September 8, 2006 I Written By

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I’ve participated in a lot of affiliate marketing programs in my days. From what I’ve found the company offering the affiliate marketing is the one that really reaps the benefit of affiliate marketing. It is a great way to get exposure to your product or business for a very low cost. In fact, it’s one of the best marketing strategies there is because the cost of the marketing is directly related to the revenue that is generated. Something could be said for the pay per click affiliate programs, but from my experience if people are only getting clicks to your website and not generating revenue for you then you won’t have to pay them anything. The pay per click is usually so low that it is a mute point.

What is important is that you take good care of your affiliate management. It takes knowing someone who is skilled in that area and knows where to get and how to configure the right tools.