A Random Instant Message Conversation

[03:07] random person: hello
[03:08] me: ?
[03:08] random person: how u?
[03:09] me: bot or person?
[03:09] random person: person
[03:09] random person: u?
[03:09] me: bot
[03:09] random person: :)
[03:09] random person: work?
[03:10] me: ?
[03:10] random person: do u work
[03:10] me: all bots do
[03:10] random person: no i mean do you have a job
[03:11] me: yes
[03:11] me: arbitrary question really right
[03:11] me: i mean if you didnt know that then why message me
[03:11] random person: just wondered if you had ever been involved in network marketing
[03:12] me: i market on the largest networks
[03:12] me: google, yahoo, msn, ebay, etc etc etc
[03:13] random person: doin well?
[03:13] me: again. arbitrary question
[03:13] me: well enough
[03:14] me: what do you do to where you IM random people
[03:15] random person: i dont im random people you are on my contact list and have been for a while
[03:15] me: hehehe
[03:15] me: well ur not on mine and I have been up for a long time
[03:15] me: my URL http://www.seobook.com
[03:16] random person: ill check it out
[03:18] random person: my URL'S [multi level marketing useless spam shit]

and so our conversation abruptly ended. I am sure it will pick up again in a few months.

Ten Years of Alertbox & Various Ways to Say Marketing

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox celebrates 10 years. An interesting excerpt:

In 1997, I wrote the "Do Websites Have Increasing Returns?" column, discussing the relative value of big and small websites. I predicted that small sites would generate 75% of the Web's total value because they can be more targeted than big sites. ...

Most current discussions of the long tail underestimate the non-hits and assume that each point on the curve has the same value. But on the Web, being small means that you can better target your content and thus provide higher value per unit than more generic services.

Jakob also mentions a few of his hits and misses and points out some of his Alertbox articles which he feels deserve far more traffic than they get.

I have a bit of a hard time balancing self worth and ego, but it is interesting to think that hundreds of thousands of people could read your not well received work and still view it as deserving of more attention.

It seems to me that whether a person calls something usability, long tail, conversion marketing, SEO, story telling, brand building, or whatever, the end goal is to create enough value to extract profits while serving customers needs.

Usually most of the tips and information can be generic in nature (ex: track results or increase usability) - or deeply specific using some random vocabulary set (ex: Use location based keyword modifiers and bid for third position on Overture for expensive terms. Daypart your bid prices or ad display times to match the optimal point on the profit elasticity curve.) - because most of these terms and ideas are geared toward creating websites or systems which specifically target the needs of a small group of people. It is easy to fill the needs and desires of a small group of people.

It also makes me wonder if I should broaden or shift some of my interests (and more importantly, the way I market them) to a label other than SEO.

When in the UK I asked a ton of questions about demographics, law enforcement, power generation, social services, transportation, and the like. I find it fascinating to watch how some systems scale. It will be amazing if / when people figure out something that can beat out AdWords. MSN's new product may offer more data, but it may be confusing and just a bit ahead of its time.

Corey Rudl Died, Free AdSense Widget

Corey Rudl:
The well known internet marketer died in a car wreck. That sorta makes me feel old, because he was not that much older than I am.

Free Widget for AdSense Ad Buyers:
Track Google Contextual Advertising. Spotted by AussieWebmaster

Cool Name:

Domain Name Tool:
sure there are a bunch of these on the market, but a friend sent me a link to this one

Yahoo! Australia:
getting greedy. dominates their search results page with internal links and ads.

Celine Dion singing Michael Jackson's "Bad"

Forging an anti-terrorism search tool

The government is counting on new search technology to sniff out terrorists.

The Federal Aviation Administration are investing in a new search engine being developed at the University of Buffalo to do some of their more sensitive detective work. ...

For example, the engine might find an association between John Smith, who belongs to an association that sponsors radical right-wing discussions, and company B. Company B owns a subsidiary that is the same organization that sponsors the discussions. The search engine would find the link automatically.

Shite SEO Press Releases: a Case Study

I have wrote a few bollocks press releases myself, but this one takes the biscuit for pure pants.

Why is filling a press release site with incorrect rubbish more above board than boosting ones rankings in the search results?

If you ask me he is three stops down from Plaistow.

Google Hijacked in their own Search Results

Google Hijacked in Google:
Official Google AdSense site bit by a meta refresh. hmm. Low quality site? more at ThreadWatch

For those who spin all the ethics stuff, do you think Google knew of the problem and was lying when they said it was no big deal? If so, is it ethical for them to tell blatent lies? If not, how is it that SEOs know more about their search engine than they do and they generally disocunt the whole concept of SEO?

Yahoo! Q Challenge:
whats up with a $5,000 prize - that surely is not much payout for the value they could create with that contest. I might need to create a similar marketing program for myself. hehehe

Michael Nguyen posts about some of their search features.

Novice Spam Tool:
I have not tried it, but someone promoted this site http://searchpr.info/test.php, via forum spam of course.

Yahoo! Public Site Match:
Nothing more than a PR stunt? It sure smells the part. A while ago they promoted that program a good bit, but it sure is hard to find information about it nowadays.

Masochistic Behavior:
reading IHY forums. I don't know anywhere else where a single comment can return pages about what a horrible person you are. SEO is doomed. We are all evil. hehehe

Lots of good ones in that rant thread, but one of my all time favorite Doug quote:

Most journalists I know of at least fall on one side or the other.

Another scary thing with that thread is I find myself agreeing with Glengara!

Open Source Rank Checker:
I have not tried it, but a friend pointed me to this software. I am not sure how it plays with Google, since they have been blocking some automated software.

OPD Should Close Shop?
Danny Sullivan weighs in on the ODP's recent site submission status closure.

Black Market Porn:
UK bans selling porn DVDs over the web. UK prostitution market to soar ;)

There is a website that qualifies you and prints out your ordained ministor certification in under a minute. A person today tried to justify me giving away my business model to them because they spent the minute to print one out.

Evolution of Yahoo! Search:
article about Yahoo! creating their search service. thnx to RC

SEO Inc Back In Google, Somewhat

Not that it is huge news for the average SEO, but when SEO Inc was removed from Google the story got so much negative coverage and the SEO Inc PR department botched the issue that it was just a really bad thing for them.

Another great example of how you reacting to something being more important than what actually happens.

Right now I am not getting SEO Inc to show up for their site name and the like, but their home page was cached in Google 2 days ago and is showing up under Search Engine Marketing Firm.

Congrats for getting back in SEO Inc.

Lee Odden mentioned it in SEW forums.

Affiliate Marketing Doomed

The Motley Fool wrote an article about the death of affiliate marketing, talking about how AdSense text ads were better at selling than typical banner ads. Of course he is right, banners are generally useless compared to what can be done in affiliate marketing because they scream "I am an ad. Please ignore me."

Yesterday I had one fairly well targeted visual AdSense group display a couple thousands visual ads, and it had a zero percent clickthrough rate. People do not want to click on banners.

While some of the affiliate marketing companies may have stocks that will continue to falter, that in no way means that affiliate marketing as a whole is dead.

Many smart affiliates create testimonials, or factual looking review based content with affiliate links embedded in it.

The two highly successful affiliate techniques I know of are:

  • Creating useless spam sites chuck full of affiliate links or AdSense. Make the sites so ugly that people have to quickly click on something. On these sites AdSense might work better, and since Google does not enforce any legitimate publisher quality standards you can create tons of these sites.

  • Create smaller sites that review most every product in an industry. If a page only makes a hundred or few hundred a month and you have 10 to 50 pages of useful related unique content per site then it does not take long to build a few revenue streams that can make you well over $100,000 per year.

Just yesterday I got a random check in the mail for unknown reasons, which tells me that bad affiliate marketing probably still has a while left, let alone good affiliate marketing, which will only get better as time passes.

More ranting on just how wrong the Motley Fool is at ThreadWatch.

Search Spam, Marketing, Artificial Intelligence & Search Query Refinement

Search Engine Spam Workshop:
List of some of the presented papers. I will likely review some of those pretty soon.

What Every Good Marketer Knows:

People are selfish, lazy, uninformed and impatient. Start with that and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

more from Seth

Mobile Social Software:
Google buys Dodgeball.com. see also: The Significance of "Social Software"

New Google PR Blog:
Marrissa Mayer's blog

If Search Engines Could Read Your Mind:
an interesting article by Chris Sherman. here is an exerpt:

We'd much rather waste time scanning results and clicking back and forth among less-than-useful pages than craft a really good query or use search refinement tools.

But while we're doing this, the search engines are observing our behavior, and learning from our fumbling activities.

SEO Press Releases:
a fun one :)

The relevance of "relevance":

Yahoo! Music:

Visitors to Yahoo's Music Unlimited will pay $6.99 a month for access to Yahoo's 1-million-song library. That's less than half what Napster and Real Networks' Rhapsody charge for similar services that permit the transfer of songs to portable music players. source

down to $4.30 per share. other small search providers continue to hurt as well.

outgrowing coolness and forgetting their core products?

War a theme for everything?
New UK based search blog by Neutralize: Search Engine War. BTW, the new Legos Star Wars video game is amazing.

Time Management:
Creative Commons flash file

SEO Multitool:
GoLexa (sorta like a combination of Google & Alexa data with links to other stuff like WhoIs & IP Address) from Fantomaster

Hosting Content Articles... ____ Business Model

Recently Andy Baio noticed another powerful site hosting off topic high margin content.

It looks as though Google has already banned Syndic8. The comments are looking like they might be somewhat interesting.