Self Publishing, Writing Articles, When is it worth Optimizing?

Transparent Business Model:
About.com overlapping ads. Ads actually cover the words in the articles. How annoying. And worthless.

The average surfer is not going to be able to read that article. The average webmaster is not going to link to that content. Who the hell is that article for?

Self Publishing:

Gmail Feeds?
Evehead noticed a feed in his Gmail.

Google Hype:
Google founders only take $1 in pay this year.

No Mamma NO!!!
Copernick says no to being purchased by Mamma.com due to government probes. Mamma.com has become a day trading favorite and is currently out of season on prettymuch all ends.

Ranking a New Site in Google?
can suck.

Not Worth Optimizing:
another article talking about why it is not worth performing SEO services for many people.
also covered here here and here

As a person who gets many inqueries I see many many many prospective clients want $100,000 of results on a $300 spend. If that opportunity was worth doing it would be just as easy to become an affiliate of a competing site, spend $1,000 to throw up your own site, and make $5,000 a month on the same work without needing to deal with clients.

Marketing SEO Services:
Many SEOs who sell SEO services remain somewhat faceless on the web, which is a huge mistake IMHO. I have yet to find a single type of marketing which worked as fast at driving SEO sales as writing and syndicating an article can.

The trick to doing well is to simply be a good salesmen on the phone and ensure your audience is more ignorant than you are. While Stuntdubl thinks it is a solid article, he also points out that DG shows the other side of the coin.

The main portion of my current business model banks on the fact that the misleading confusion of various outdated or incorrect articles, blog post, and / or forum posts will lead some people to want to buy an up to date linear guide about SEO and related topics.

If you do sell SEO services I can't stress enough how well writing articles works. The more you learn about SEO the more you see that many of the branded experts are only experts because they have a strong brand. Articles are a cheap way to building brand. Many businesses outside of SEO could use this technique far more often as well.

Automated Content:
becomes academic. hehehe

Audio:
The Architecture of Participation

Google AdWords Launches Budget Optimizer

What's the Google Budget Optimizer(TM) tool?

The Google Budget Optimizerâ„¢ campaign management tool automatically adjusts your keyword Max CPCs on your behalf. All you need to do is set a target budget, and the Budget Optimizer will actively seek out the most clicks possible within that budget.

The Budget Optimizer helps you reach your target spend every month without requiring a lot of work on your part. You can save time, eliminate the guesswork related to setting your CPCs, and enhance your return on investment.

(Please note that the goal of the Budget Optimizer is simply to help you receive the highest number of clicks possible within your budget. The Budget Optimizer will not help you achieve a specific ad position.)

They certainly are going out of their way to make the ads as "self serve" as they possibly can. I do not manage many AdWords campaigns so I probably am not the best person to test this out, but it would be interesting to hear what effect this tool actually has on ROI.

With how far off Google is with day to day search volume / ad clickthrough suggestions it is interesting that they think people will trust a system which automatically adjusts bids for them based on a metric other than ROI. Of course some marketers do not want to share ROI data with Google.

I also believe that if a campaign is self funding there is no reason to put an arbitrary budget cap on it. Buy as many ads as you profitably can.

I am guessing that if you enable this feature you will want to enable it in ad groups where the keyword max CPCs and lead values are similar.

Mikkel spoke out against the use of budgeting tools recently (as older ones overspent on CPC), so it will be interesting to see if this one actually delivers on its claims.

A while back Danny Sullivan said search engines want to sell traffic on a per lead basis more than a per term basis, and clearly this is a step in that direction.

Blog & SEO Business Models: Hosting Content Spam

SEOs Are Scum:
For a long time many bloggers have stated that SEOs are scum, as said best by Anil Dash.

I've always had a pretty low opinion of the Search Engine Optimization industry. Though there are of course legitimate experts in the field, it seems chock full of people who are barely above spammers, and they taint the image of the whole group.

Content Spam:
Blog comment spam is one common type that bloggers know all too well, but creating tons of rubbish content is another type of spam.

HotNacho hires writers to write low quality articles for $3 each. The articles, being of low quality, have little value by themselves. However, if you can get an authoritative site to host the articles you can make a ton of money from advertising.

Affordable Quality Hosting:
WordPress - an open sourced blog software make which is part of the anti spam brigade - hosted over 100,000 HotNacho spam pages, linking to them from the home page using a negative div.

Hmm... manipulating search results for personal gain by posting complete crap to a hidden section on your site.

What makes that action more ethical / better than actions of the average SEO?

Is this the type of openness we should expect from open source software? Where is the transparency? hehehe.

Google Funds Web Pollution, Again:
Google is funding that web pollution with their AdSense program.

If the stuff is bad enough that it needs kicked out of Google's index then how were they displaying ads on over 100,000 pages on that site without noticing the problem. Why are the ads still there?

I think this is the real story that everyone is missing. Google's AdSense quality control is a complete joke.

Advertisers and content publishers should be disappointed in Google's lousy policing of their AdSense program. Much web pollution would not exist if Google did not lucratively fund it.

The WordPress moto has never been more true:
Code is poetry!!!

Happy Easter, Ads, & Gluttony

Happy Easter all.

I just got back from eating way too much food :(

While digesting it...

I thought about looking up how to spell gluttony and noticed that Google only shows two ads for the proper spelling and no ads for glutony.

Overture only appears to have one ad.

Does this term have any value to various dieting products or services? Maybe. Maybe not.

Kinda weird to see the fact that almost nobody is currently testing the market though, eh?

The No S Diet is advertising on Google AdWords and looks cool.

Its kinda funny that the site does not have much of a business model since thier advice is free and

Google policy does not permit the advertisement of websites that contain "the solicitation of funds and do not display tax-exempt status".

Various Wonderful Links

NYC SES Pictures:
Stephen Turcotte took some pics. There is a pic of me wearing a FireFox T shirt standing next to AussieWebmaster, and there are lots of other pics.
link looted from PeterD's blog.

Buying the Best:
CGI Holdings snags Mike Grehan. It is unbelievable how many companies they have acquired recently.

Ad Spend:
UK online ad spend increased ~ 50% in 2004. Europe SEM spend is expected to increase 65% in 2005.

MarketingExperiments.com:
Has dropped their subscription fees. Good stuff.

Why VCs Suck:
A Unified Theory of VC Suckage - its how they get paid.

Tension on the Web:
Adam Bosworth riffs about privacy and sloppy folksonomies. He also states breaks make everything more clear when you come back to work.

Seth Interviews:
Hugh email interviews Seth & Clikz does too

Seth also has another seminar coming up soon. If you work at a small company it only costs $400. If you are a charity you might be able to go free.

Our Media:
our media launches. free media storage. cool.

ChrisTools:
new SEO tool site from Chris Ridings. his first tool creates a topical OPML file

You Gotta Love:
how blunt Rob Frankel is

The widespread ignorance of branding is a scourge on the economy

Bogus Disclaimers & Self Promotional Postings

With respect to companies and their home pages showing up as the number one result I would like to point out that large companies who are SEO savvy do not necessarily want to have their home page show up first. Let's take Hewlett-Packard (disclaimer - I work with these guys)

Just found that on a discussion list.

Is it me, or does that lack tact?

At what point do we jump in head first? :)

Vic Johnson

It is sometimes hard rewriting a post when your view of a topic entirely changes.

Vic Johnson and I had a misunderstanding which was quickly resolved. From our conversation he seemed like a swell chap who was willing to do what he could to work things out.

We all make mistakes, and I could have perhaps pursued the issue from a better angle. Thanks to everyone who linked to this post and thanks to Vic for being swift and courteous. If you want to learn more about Vic Johnson click the link to visit his site.

Conferences & Consuming Media: Too Much?

So right now I am up at 8 am on a Monday from the night before. I came back from SES NYC Thursday night and just got done catching up with my 100 or so blogs and half dozen or so forums I track.

While looking through blogs I noticed that I just missed the Online Social Networks conference.

Last night I just bought my ticket and Friday I will be flying out to Austin, TX for the South by Southwest interactive festival. While surfing further I noticed an overlap with O'reilly Emerging Technology conference.

From April 11-12 there is the Search Engine Meeting

From April 25-27 there is Ad Tech

From May 27th - 29th there is ThreadWatch. While there you may want to stay by for SES London on June 1st & 2nd.

From June 21th-24th there is WebmasteWorld

From June 23-25 there is Gnomedex

From August 2nd-5th there is SES San Jose

I was joking with a friend and we figured that there were about 30 conferences you should go to each year, and it seems like soon that will be the reality.

I think some people have traded in their regular jobs to be traveling salesmen / lead generation / speakers at various conferences. I can't see myself ever trying to be too much of a salesman (or a public speaker), but the conferences sure are fun and there are a ton of them.

Someone should write an ebook about working (or optimizing the output from) the conference scene ;)

What conferences do you like?

ACCOONA Search Engine Review

ACCOONA gave away a car at the NYC SES show and since then I have seen multiple forum owners complain about them spamming their forums.

Even if they were not the ones doing it, the complete lack of participation in those conversations is a bad thing for their search engine.

Not to mention that the ads are in the left rail and when I clicked an organic search result link in the right rail it went through Overture. At least I had a good laugh when I saw clicking on a link to my other site sent me to this one and cost me 50 cents.

Whether or not you actively participate in communities if you are above radar people will find a way to create hate threads about you. People tend to look much more credible when they show up than when they ignore them.

You gotta wonder if the $30,000 they spent on the car and booth would have been better spent actively participating in their marketplace. Tim Mayer and Matt Cutts do.

Sleazy Lying Long Nosed Marketing Scum (and other observations)

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