The Affiliate List... an Interesting Thread

Jul 9th

So a while ago NickW GrayWolf posted a thread about the affiliate list, which is a list of information related to top affiliate marketers.

The post in and of itself is not that interesting, but the conversation below it is. Nick GrayWolf threw something out there that might have been good or might have been bad, and the audience decided. From that thread it appears some of the things surrounding the affiliate list are a bit dodgy. Hate threads always suck (and I have been the featured guest of many of them), but this thread is prettymuch a how to guide on piss poor word of mouth marketing.

Jeff Molander, the creator of the Affiliate List, jumped in the thread to try to defend his product, but berates anyone who does not see eye to eye with his position. Some people on the list want off it and Jeff does not appear keen on letting them off. In escence he is selling contact data about people who stated they do not want to be contacted.

Jeff appears to be forgetting the memory of the web. At one point in time he talks of gaining access to proprietary data

If it remains a mystery as to where I've seen the data (that allows me to pass judgment on retail focused affiliates) after helping found an affiliate network, lead the sales effort at the leading affiliate data services provider and manage dozens of programs as an outsourced services provider to marketers

and soon he acts as though those words were never wrote.

There are many other contridictions in the thread, but the whole point is that if you are angering a large group of people you should know your words are going to be held against you. The best thing to do is either not participate in the thread, or be accepting of some of the feedback it offers.

You rarely are going to get criticised for playing new, naive, or empanthy cards; typing things like "well I guess I never looked at it that way" or "that's a good point" or "yeah, I probably should fix that. thanks for the great feedback". Whenever you lay the "you are all dumb and this is a bogus hate thread" card it is hard to win over supporters. It becomes hard to see your point of view.

Another important issue Lots0 raised in the thread is that if people have a legitimate opportunity for you then you should be able to seek it out. You shouldn't be ready, willing, and excited to work with most of the people who email or call you up with a deal out of the blue.

Affiliates and marketers should usually chose their products rather than letting affiliate program managers try to chose you. If someone has a great opportunity it is only a matter of time until you should run into it if you are truely interested in the topic.

More than any thread I have read in a long time that thread demonstrates how web conversations are different from other conversations, as the people in the thread gain knowledge and better perspective from each additional post. Jeff is trying to invoke Nick into butchering the thread, but I hope Nick sees past Jeff's juvenile attempts.

Evil SEO Business Models: Hate Site Networks & Mafia Styled Ranking Manipulation

Jul 4th

So like Google's motto, usually I try not to be evil. Sometimes I think of random evil thoughts though. I can't help it, sometimes I forget to wear the tinfoil hat... ;)

I have been contacted by an increasing number of corporations who want me to bury negative websites. Some general feedback sites with good root authority have inner pages which are ranking for a wide variety of business names.

What would happen if a person set up a network of sites to collect feedback about various companies, knowing that they would get mostly negative responses? Throw in a dash of promotion and a link to us reminders and you are ranking for many business names.

Have someone else inform people of the hate sites and maybe there is a subscription SEO business model burying the bad news. If they stop paying for your services you go about removing links for some sites and build a few for the negative site.

Of course if the businesses are too well connected and some stuff is sold in the wrong way I think it could be extortion or something, so I am not trying to promote that.

There has to be a way to make money leveraging the ability to bury bad news. Then again, depending on what bad news you were trying to bury that could be evil too.

Marketing is a Scam Part 38 - Renewing Wedding Vows

Jul 2nd

Looking through keyword research databases it is funny to see how much more volume there is for wedding vows than there are for people renewing their weddings.

People sell weddings as being the perfect day, even though most of them end in divorce.

Normally I wouldn't look at that sort of data, but an old client wants me to rewrite their meta tags. A total waste of time, but if it makes them happy, oh well...Meta tags? I do.

hehehe

On another funny note, I have a strange desire to put gay wedding vows next to Christian wedding vows in their meta keywords tags...but I resisted.

Yahoo! Search DMCA, Copywriting Advice, Google AdSense Supports Warez Sites

Yahoo! DMCA Policy:
bogus, removing sites without ANY sort of notification. They really ought to work on that. (from TW)

Bad Copywriting Advice:

You can also use copy from the site (no links), like the section where it says, "The only current SEO Book on the planet. Buy the industry standard #1 ranked SEO Book. What do the search engines think?" Etc.

Especially copy on this page:
http://www.seobook.com/buy-now.shtml

How can a copywriting professional offer such advice on an open forum?

Google AdSense Feedback:
Questions for AdSense...

  • Why are many WAREZ sites use AdSense as a business model?

  • Is it proper to use the AdSense spam report feature on WAREZ sites?
  • What if Google ignores that feedback?
  • Is Google telling webmasters that stealing is fine, and they support fraud?
  • Do they want people to run clickbots on their system to get them to actually accept feedback?
  • Are clickbots and other scam software products the only way to force quality into the AdSense program?

The One Campaign

Jun 26th

A friend of mine emailed me about a campaign aimed at erradicating debt, poverty, and hunger in many of the poorest nations. Official sites:

Some musicians are also supporting the campaign with free concerts. In a week, during the G8 meeting, there are going to be 5 free concerts around the globe. Another friend said Pink Floyd is getting back together for the concert in Hyde Park London.

Legitimate Guerilla Marketing Forum Advertising Threads - Google Site Targeting and Forums for Viral Advertising Success

Jun 18th

Another idea as an extension of creative ways to use the new site targeted AdSense idea...

Go to a forum and participate for at least a few days to make it seem like you want to participate in the community. Make a few friends, and maybe ask them what they think of your new tool, product, idea, or offering.

When the pump is primed:

  • Have one of your new friends post about your new tool on the forums or community site.

  • Create an advertisement that looks like it is from the forum site owner that does not look like an ad. Using good tact you could almost make the ad look like an endoresement without offending the site owner.
  • Link that ad at the thread about your new product.
  • Collect feedback and participate in the thread with a few friends to guide that thread along to a happy ending.

Ads that do not look like ads...taking it one step further :)

Google Site Targeted AdSense - Killer Market Research Data

Jun 18th

So some of my site targeted ads started running today.

Within the targeting there will be biases of the audience personality, and the bias of how well people know you or the product you advertise, but right now with the site targeting not having a ton of competition I can get a glimpse into how effective various AdSense formats and ad positions are, creating my own real world tested AdSense heat map.

Although I should, I do not have many AdSense sites yet. I have been pouring most of my time into this one.

Some markets are absurdly expensive in search, but poor in content.

Mesothelioma is a term which is so expensive that people joke about it, yet when you look at content pricing people end up making little off it. Why? Because many people want those large ad dollars, so there is a ton of junk mesothelioma sites, and limited ad spend to go around them, combined with a fear of click fraud.

If you create scraper sites then there is little sense spending time and money to test the markets. You can just put up a site and see how it works. If you are debating creating legitimate long term content sites the new site targeted ads is an excellent way to see how well certain niches pay.

Simply join an affiliate program or two, run a few ads, and see how much they cost you per impression.

Great Thank You Page

Jun 16th

So you might be a geek if you are excited about a DVD documentary on Bulletin Board Systems.

All doubt is removed when the purchase thank you page is so great that you have to blog about it.

I think that is the best thank you page I have ever seen. Great marketing.

Blowhard Clients & Bad SEO Leads

Jun 15th

Bad clients will waste your time and destroy your business. Since SEO can deliever such cheap marketing sometimes it is easy to sell yourself short, taking on bad clients.

The worst prospects I have ever encountered are:

  • those burned by SEOs who have no trust left

  • those who used to rank well, feel they deserve free top rankings, and are unwilling to change with the algorithms
  • those who think SEO should be free marketing

A person recently emailed me, telling me they were having a rough situation, wanting me to commit to them, but not wanting to pay anything before their problems are guaranteed to be solved. Sometimes even analyzing a situation can take hours, and you would be a nut case to do that work free unless it was for a cause you believed in.

Eventually they even thought they were going to taunt me into fixing their problems for them:

Having read your blog I had thought you were up for a challenge to put right what is not only an unfair penalty, but potentially one that shows that Yahoo applies one set of rules for its 'channel' partners and another to its 'channel' partner's competitors.

If you are at all serious about what you do, check out this search and tell me if Yahoo should be penalizing this website.

This person assumes that there is a hidden agenda, where the search engine is out to get them, unwilling to look in the mirror to see if he is providing the search engine with something they would like.

As far as that want a challenge bit goes, there are many challenges in life:

Sometimes it is easy to feel too important, but you can only do so much, and there is no reason to spend your life helping someone who wants guaranteed results who pushes blame on others. Last time I had a lead like that I blew them off. A friend later worked for them, and is still regretting it.

If you bronze a turd it is still a turd. Any decent SEO knows that they can't make the search engine listen if it does not want to. Even if I could find a way to make a search engine eat itself, taking on a client who is only interested in pushing risk and blame is still not a gamble I would want to take. Most SEO leads are not worth much.

Keyword Ranking Getting No Love Over at Virtual Promote

Jun 13th

Andy Beal is a JimGuide, and yet there is a thread over at VirtualPromote ripping up his SEO firm?

Now a bunch of what you read in the forums is rubbish, but there are some strong alligations about Keyword Ranking in that thread:

They go after small companies, persistient sales force who promises everything, once you sign you find out that for the money you pay them YOU do all the work.... it's like hiring someone to read you a book on SEO. They provide generic canned reports, basically "find and replace" company name, no specific analysis to your site, only what you provide to them they take an reformat into another useless report.

and

Keywordranking has a shoddy record with the BBB.

Visit the website of the Better Business Bureau and search for "keywordranking" under the section "Check It Out". The BBB report on Keywordranking / Websourced states "The Bureau has processed 22 complaints about this company in the last 36 months concerning unfulfilled contract and refund and credit issues. Eighteen of those were processed in the last 12 months"

Can you find any other large SEO company with such a bad BBB record? I couldn't!

Also check out Alexa/Amazon for Keywordranking.com the reviews. Out of 11 current reviews, 8 reviews are very negative.

bhartzer, a fellow JimGuide, even worked Traffic Power into the thread!

I am sure I am going to get some hate for this post, but at what point should large SEO companies also have people who work the forums, and not just the phones?

Clearly they have many bright marketers over there, some of the best in the industry, and yet they are getting torn up on forums where they moderate at.

On another front, that thread is over 5 months old. You would think a company trying to position themselves as a cutting edge marketing firm would track what the major channels say about them at least a few times a year, wouldn't you?

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