Sep 12

In a seemingly never-ending scenario that is played out multiple times on a daily basis, I receive “friendly” requests to spare me the wrath of penalties from Google if I delete any articles with links that point to their websites. It is good to know that there are so many good people on the Internet that truly care about me and my website. Unfortunately, I do not sympathize with these good natured individuals and I do not believe a thing they are saying.

Every single one of these so-called “friends” is trying to get something for nothing. I am absolutely certain that in the past, these people submitted these same articles to multiple article directories in order to get ‘link juice’. Everything was fine until Google said that it was going to clamp down on duplicate content.

An example of the emails I get daily will give you a good feel for what I have to put up with:

“In order to get out of the penalty they have asked me to submit to them all the paid or unnatural links which are currently pointing to our site and in the next 5 days I will be submitting to them this list and unfortunately your site is included.

HOW TO AVOID NEGATIVE ACTION FROM GOOGLE

If you can take the links down to: vvvvvv.com then of course I will be able to leave your site off that list.

I really don’t want to be the cause of a penalty to you, nor report anyone else’s website to Google hence I’m
reaching out to you now, and if you can get that link taken down ASAP then of course I won’t include your site when I report back to them!”

First of all, they created the unnatural links by submitting to so many different article sources at once. I have suffered already from Google’s algorithm changes. My mistake, if any, was accepting articles from these clowns in the first place. Many of these articles are of good quality. There was nothing wrong with them in the first place. I run an article directory and an article directory needs good quality articles to survive.

I have changed our outgoing link structure to nofollow links.Furthermore, all print versions of these articles have a nofollow, noindex metatag which should be respected by Google and other major search engines. However, I still keep getting these annoying, self-serving emails. I wonder why these people keep threatening us with the Google sledgehammer. Is Google that stupid to not know that our resource box links are nofollow? I doubt it.

It is difficult enough trying to approve good articles when there are continual submission of multiple spam articles from dubious sources daily. It is the nature of the beast but fortunately, a lot of good articles do get through as well; otherwise,what would be the point of continuing? Google has always been good to us as far as organic traffic and I’m sure that when the dust clears, they will reward well run, human edited article directories like abcarticledirectory.com. Here is to hoping that that day comes sooner rather than later.

Feb 01

I’m trying to understand the Alexa rating as it pertains to the abcarticledirectory.com. Traffic has remained steady for the past month and has actually risen about 10% on average yet my Alexa rank has gone down from approximately 8,300 to 11,099 today during that time period. Isn’t the number supposed to go down if traffic goes up?

I have always taken the Alexa rating with a grain of salt, however, such a blatant drop without any significant drop in traffic does make one stand up and wonder. According to traffic analysis “Abcarticledirectory.com has a three-month global Alexa traffic rank of 11,099. Visitors to the site view 4.4 unique pages each day on average. About 56% of visitors to this site come from India, where it has attained a traffic rank of 1,051. The fraction of visits to the site referred by search engines is about 7%, and Abcarticledirectory.com has a bounce rate of roughly 31% (i.e., 31% of visits consist of only one pageview).”

Now, I know that in order to register as a visitor, the person going to the site must have the Alexa toolbar or something similar or their visit will not be recorded by Alexa. Since the majority of traffic to abcarticledirectory.com is according to my site monitoring from various sources, from the United States, it can only be surmised that visitors from India place a high value on the Alexa toolbar. The portion of search engine referral traffic is actually around 70-80%….not 7% as Alexa would have someone believe. Continue reading »

Nov 12

 Facebook ads are PPC. BUT they require a very different approach from other PPC avenues like Google AdWords or MSN/Bing Advertising. This is often a hard lesson for many who want to just transfer their campaigns from the search engines over to Facebook. Even if the advertising was wildly successful in the AdWords system, that’s no guarantee of the same in Facebook. Here’s why.

In advertising, context or environment is extremely important. It’s one of the most important factors you must consider for any and all your marketing. Let’s look at AdWords and MSN Advertising first.

THE SEARCH ENGINE PPC ENVIRONMENT EXPLAINED

In AdWords & MSN/Yahoo advertising you are targeting a customer who’s either actively searching for what you sell or at least has the subject on their mind. You’re meeting them on common ground. That commonality being the general product or need they want and you provide.

This is a slightly idealized version of the reality of the system. However, provided that you’re running your search PPC campaign correctly, it’s a fitting description of the mental arena you’re competing within on Google.

One drawback is that your targeting is almost completely done on a basis of keyphrases. In other words, what the searcher types into the search box. You don’t necessarily know a lot about the searcher as an individual. You can probably bet that most people searching for ‘mortgage refinancing’ are over 18 and have a mortgage. Still, you don’t know their age, gender, favorite magazines, political affiliation, etc.

That, in a very small nutshell, is the advantages and disadvantages of search engine PPC. So how and why is the Facebook ad system different? And why should it matter to you? Read on.

THE UNIQUE CHALLENGE OF FACEBOOK PPC ADVERTISING Continue reading »

Aug 17

articlesArticle marketing is one of those topics that always seems to generate a lot of conversation in forums and marketing discussions… Online marketers are generally split into three camps, when it comes to arguing the effectiveness of article marketing as a promotional method…

Camp One swears by article marketing, as an integral and essential part of their online marketing activities… They suggest that the benefits of article marketing are twofold: direct click-through (CTR) traffic from the article that may deliver immediate sales; and improved search rankings that will drive additional search traffic…

Camp Two insists that the only real value of article marketing is for building links and creating link popularity for a website, enabling the website to rank well in Google and other search engines…

Camp Three accuses the first two camps of telling stories and selling a sham…

I am in the first camp… I have made a lot of money online, in the last 10 years, because I use article marketing to promote ALL of my websites…

Some people insist that I have only made money online, because I sell article marketing services… But, the truth is that I have made a lot of money in a variety of niches that are “not related” to online marketing… And, I have made that money in those niches, because I have used article marketing as the primary promotion method for all of my niche websites too…

Measuring The Success Of An Article Marketing Campaign

Those folks in Camp Two measure the success of their article marketing campaigns by the number of back links and Google page one search results that they can achieve…

Those of us, who are in camp One, measure our success by the dollar value of the sales that an individual article can deliver to our businesses… We count our search engine traffic to be only a BONUS benefit of article marketing…

There are four reasons why Camp One should make more sense… Continue reading »

Nov 09

writing figureA phrase is a group of words without a subject and a conjugated verb; some phrases may have a subject or a conjugated verb, but not both. Each phrase contains a “central” or predominant word or words which are often called the ‘head of the phrase.’

Noun phrases function as subjects, direct object, indirect objects, or objects of prepositions:

My canary is sad.
[My canary is a noun phrase functioning as the subject of the sentence.]

My yellow canary hits high Cs.
[Noun preceded by adjective.]

Dr. Sung pulled Mrs. Kim‘s tooth.
[The noun phrases here are proper names.]

The thief stole a computer.
[Nouns preceded by definite and indefinite articles, respectively.]

Our children get along with their teachers.
[Nouns preceded by possessive pronouns.]

The actor with the crooked smile won the Oscar.
[Noun with prepositional phrase.]

Verb phrases include a verb and modifiers and express action or state of being.

Maggie scored the winning goal.
[scored the winning goal is a verb phrase being used as a predicate.]

Your loan has been approved

The economy has tanked.

Adjectival phrases include adjectives that modify a noun or nouns:

Santa Claus wore a dazzling red outfit
[dazzling red are adjectives that modify the noun outfit.] Continue reading »

Oct 27

Google PagerankBeing a full-time SEM (Search Engine Marketer) I have been conditioned like Pavlov’s dog (not a pretty picture) to jump every time Google twitches. Lately Google has been doing a lot of twitching.

Specifically, the rather startling news from Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Susan Moskwa that Google has ditched PageRank from Webmaster Tools.

“We’ve been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it’s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true,” states Moskwa. “We removed it because we felt it was silly to tell people not to think about it, but then to show them the data, implying that they should look at it.” (Source: WebProNews)

Now, for SEO reasons or for ranking in Google’s index, PageRank has long been eunuchified by Google. However, even missing a few dangling bits, history has shown us, eunuchs still wheel tremendous power. PageRank is no different.

Regardless of what Google wants to happen, PageRank is still extremely important to anyone marketing on the web, especially if you’re selling SEO services or operating a web business. Try selling SEO services when that little green bar on your site is pointing to PR0 or worst yet, pointing to a solid gray bar.

Obtaining a high PR7 or PR8 simply means more business and revenues… regardless of how Google is or is not using PageRank. People know how to count and they learned long ago, a ten is a lot more than a big fat zero.

Placed against a PR1 site, a PR8 will win more respect in the eyes of potential clients and can produce enormous profits for the site owner and we won’t even mention the still widely practiced habit of selling links, which Google is desperately trying to stop. Total and full elimination of PageRank would be an honest start but it will still be an uphill, if not an unwinnable battle, for Google to fully eliminate link selling.

Even with my modest sites, I have turned down a small fortune by not selling text links on any of my sites. When I had a PR6 site instead of a PR4 - those link requests were nearly doubled. So one can easily understand Google’s position and the need to downplay PageRank, if they want to put even a small dent in all this link selling and buying, which is still running rampant on today’s web.

PageRank is Google’s creation, and unless they remove it fully from their system and the Google toolbar, then PageRank still Counts. Actually, in the whole scheme of marketing your website on the net, PageRank counts big time. And in more ways than one.

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t count PageRank out. Continue reading »

Oct 09

FacebookLast year, Facebook became the Number 1 social networking site in the world, passing up MySpace. As such, it is used extensively for networking, especially amongst online marketers. I use Facebook, along with Twitter and YouTube, as an important piece of my social media strategy. I have made many great contacts on Facebook, and usually log in a couple of times a day.

Early one Sunday morning, I woke up and sleepily wandered into my home office. I had a few messages on Facebook, so I tried logging in, but was shocked to receive this message…

* “Your Facebook account has been disabled for violation of our Terms of Service. If you feel that your account has been wrongly disabled, please click here.”

WHAT!?

My throat got dry. I started getting sweaty. I had made almost 3,000 friends already. Without an account, I would not be able to direct people to my videos, articles, and press releases. I would not be able to network with my contacts. I wouldn’t be able to joke around with my friends! This was NOT good.

I had to do something…QUICKLY. I started sending emails….first to the dispute center, then to the help desk. Eventually, I received an automated email response:

* “We have received your email. We will review your request and get back to you shortly.”

That’s it? Ouch. Well, at least a glimmer of hope. So, I waited a few days. Nothing. So, I waited another few days. Still nothing. This was really beginning to frustrate me.

After some research on Facebook’s site, doing some searches online, and through friends on Twitter, I learned that mine was not an isolated case. Many of the Social Media sites have been disabling accounts. I recently had some friends…fellow marketers, who had their YouTube accounts shut down. You can read about it here: “Playing Nice With YouTube.” Continue reading »

Sep 16

twitterOK. The title of this article may be a bit tongue in cheek, since I am a tremendous advocate of Twitter but if you don’t use it correctly, well, it can be just a waste of time.

What Do I Mean?

Twitter is now one of the most popular, or possibly the most popular, social networking website on the internet. Millions of people ‘tweet’ each and every day. If all you want is to find out what strangers are doing on almost a minute by minute basis, that’s fine. But if you ask me, and I know you haven’t, that a waste of time.

What you really need to do is figure out ‘the why’ about your use of Twitter. For many people today the only reason to use Twitter is to promote their online or ‘brick and mortar’ business.

Having thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Followers can be a real head trip but for the most part that is all it is. There is no probability that most of these people have any interest in what you’re saying or doing. Locating targeted followers is critical when working with Twitter. There are numerous tools that can hep you find just such a targeted Twitter audience.

If you are marketing to a world wide audience Twitter is an excellent resource. However, just any audience can still be a waste of time. As mentioned, most businesses have a particular target market or audience. If that is the situation with your business than you need to target your Twitter audience in much the same way you would target a local, warm blooded audience. Continue reading »

Sep 11

After shutting down the article submissions page for the Labor Day weekend, the abcarticledirectory.com is back in business with a vengeance. Notices were posted about the shutdown but unfortunately, a few individuals didn’t get the message. There were still a few emails from some members needing reassurances that we had not shut down permanently. Have no fear, we are still here.

It seems that Google blew a fuse or two  for a period of about 36 hours as traffic went crashing down approximately 70% over that period. As of today, search engine traffic levels have gradually risen to average highs and the trend seems to have stabilized. The Labor Day weekend did not do much for traffic levels but then again, I was up in a cottage for three days and didn’t look at a computer screen the whole time.

The article directory continues to rise in popularity as more and more authors sign up to submit their articles in the hope of getting traffic to their own sites. We are currently receiving well over one hundred new signups a day with well over 500 articles daily. Unfortunately, far too few members take the time to read the submission guidelines and have their articles declined.

One of the major reasons for declined articles is the length of the article. Articles must have a minimum of 500 words before they are even looked at. Anything under 500 words is deleted automatically by a script. The next major reasons for article rejection are the odd tendency authors have of embedding links in the body of the article and not submitting titles in “Title Case”.

The latest article has a tag of #557511, which means that there have been 557,511 articles submitted to the directory so far. We have 127,929 approved articles so far. That means that approximately 75% of all articles submitted have been rejected for one reason or another. Author members need to pay attention to detail. There is no point in submitting a bushel full of articles in the hope that one might get approved. It is a complete waste of time. Nobody is going to read a bad article on the abc article directory and go to your site to read more bad articles. A quick look at the amount of traffic that the “most popular articles”  achieve should be a standard for most authors to aspire to duplicate.

We have been tinkering with the site’s html, in an effort to optimize it for faster page loading. This is an ongoing process that should take a couple of days to complete. Hopefully, all our members will reap the rewards of faster page loading and hopefully, more traffic.We have also tweaked a few scripts…removing some…adjusting others.

All in all, things are going very well (knock on wood) and the article directory is definitely a force in the web publishing world. Keep signing up submitting those great articles. Your reward will be higher traffic and recognition as an expert in your field. Remember to complete your profile page. You can upload a picture of yourself, create a bio  and submit up to 5 links.

Sep 03

malwareIBM’s X-Force 2009 Mid-Year Trend and Risk Report says that there has been a tremendous increase of 508% in malicious web links over Internet during first half of 2009. The malicious content was found even on trusted sites, including search engines, blogs, bulletin boards, personal websites, online magazines, and mainstream news sites.

“There is no such thing as safe browsing today and it is no longer the case that only the red light district sites are responsible for malware. We’ve reached a tipping point where every Web site should be viewed as suspicious and every user is at risk. The threat convergence of the Web ecosystem is creating a perfect storm of criminal activity,” says X-Force Director Kris Lamb.

“The trends seem to reveal a fundamental security weakness in the Web ecosystem where interoperability between browsers, plugins, content, and server applications dramatically increase the complexity and risk. Criminals are taking advantage of the fact that there is no such thing as a safe browsing environment and are leveraging insecure Web applications to target legitimate Web site users.”

Highlights of the report include:

Vulnerabilities rate decreases by 8%
The number of new vulnerability disclosures in the first half of 2009 was 3,240, an eight percent decrease over the first half of 2008. This is at the lowest level in the past four years. The number of new, high severity vulnerability disclosures is down by nearly 30 percent in comparison to 2008. Sun replaces Microsoft as the top spot of vendor with the most vulnerability disclosures. When it comes to OS vulnerabilities, Sun Solaris surpassed Apple in terms of new OS disclosures. Continue reading »