In the past I did not write in my ebook about somethings I did not care for much. I never really mentioned Alexa because I did not view it as a big deal. An epiphany hit me that I should state why I did not care much for Alexa stats.
If you looked at my actual server logs you would see that traffic has been fairly constant over the past week with only a small uptick in traffic of about 5 percent. Why the huge increase in Alexa rankings then? More new webmasters using the Alexa browser finding my site. The three things that helped boost the number of new webmasters reading this site are:
my site ranking for Corey Rudl's death, and his friends recently putting out a newsletter saying he died
About.com WebSearch recently listing my blog as a top SEO blog
Many new webmasters get information from each of those channels. Just a few people from each browsing my site with an Alexa toolbar caused the rankings to nearly double, which is a huge change on a logarithmic scale for a site in the top 10,000.
Traffic has not changed much, sales are about the same, and if you looked just at Alexa things would look a bit brighter than they really are.
Here is what I recently wrote in my ebook:
Alexa is widely tooted as a must use tool by many marketing gurus. The problems with Alexa are:
Alexa does not get much direct traffic and has a limited reach with itâ€™s toolbar
a small change in site visitors can represent a huge change in Alexa rating
Alexa is biased toward webmaster traffic
many times new webmasters are only tracking themselves visiting their own site
Why do many marketing hucksters heavily promote Alexa? Usually one of the following reasons:
if you install the Alexa toolbar and then watch your own Alexa rating quickly rise as you surf your own site it is easy for me to tell you that you are learning quickly and seeing great results, thus it is easy to sell my customers results as being some of the best on the market
if many people who visit my site about marketing install the Alexa toolbar then my Alexa rating would go exceptionally high
the marketers may associate their own rise in success with their increasing Alexa ranking although it happens to be more of a coincidence than a direct correlation
A lower Alexa number means a greater level of traffic, and the traffic drops off logarithmically. You can fake a good Alexa score using various techniques, but if it shows your rankings in the millions then your site likely has next to no traffic.
Alexa by itself does not mean that much, but it simply provides a rough snapshot of what is going on. It can be spammed, but if a site has a ranking in the millions then it likely has little traffic. It is also hard to compare sites in different industries. For example, if I created a site about weight loss there would be many more people searching for it than a site about knitting. Also, you shouldnâ€™t forget the webmaster bias the tool has, which means my site will have a higher Alexa rating than it should.
Russia's leading internet portal floats on the Alternative Investment Market on Wednesday in a stock market debut that will value the company at more than $150 million.
Rambler Media - the closest the country has to Google - hopes to become the latest in a series of sought-after Russian stocks listing in London. It plans to offer 3.9 million shares priced at $10.25, and use the $40m raised to help it take advantage of Russia's rapid increase in internet usage.
Interesting that many Russian companies are floating stock in other countries, and it shows how important a stable currency and political structure are.
I am not sure what the search engine distribution breakdown is like over in Siberia, but a friend told me that its fookin cold there.
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
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.
SEO Conferences to become the new SEO forum? SEO Chat is thinking about holding an SEO conference. I can't see the conference medium becoming as saturated as the forum medium with all the associated costs and constraints, but there surely are a good number of conferences.
Search a Bunch of Sites:
GigaBlast allows you to create a custom topic search engine which searches up to two hundred of your favorite domains.
Taking Bets: Sebastian reviews 2004, and bets that SEO firms will drop like flies in 2005. I have grown to know a good number of SEOs over the past year or so (and chat with many daily). Many come from bright business backgrounds, but it also seems to me that many of us also had exceptionally low points in our lives and looked to the web for something to do when other things did not make sense (I am definentally part of that second group).
I would not bet against the resiliency of internet marketers, especially with how fast and cheaply the web provides feedback. No matter how much search advances people will still make money off SEO services. Some SEOs will always be able to manipulate most any search results, while others will move on to other business roles.
I think niche SEO services (knowing everything about an industry or link building or directory registration or keyword research), more sophisticated SEO services (those who can instantly rank anything or know how to get around any technical problem), and more personalized SEO services (working exceptionally closely with just a few clients) will spread.
General broad SEO services for some random set fee to tons of clients will be a business model that provides less and less value as time passes and search advances.
More clients means more data, but understanding social networks and finding the key things that various web based businesses need to do to succeed longterm is not something that can scale out to work well with thousands and thousands of clients. Most base level salary workers can not do the deep analytical stuff and there is only so much that you can automate or mass produce before it loses value.
Some of the best SEOs work for a limited number of clients and share profit with companies that they help make successful. In the long run it is much more valuable to forge a few strong relationships than to spread too thin. From my experiences usually those who demand the cheapest rates also are the most likely to be bad customers in many many many other areas.
If customer SEO fees and service structure are not customly designed around what their sites need then they are:
paying for a package they may or may not need; &
probably are not getting the individual attention their business needs to succeed longterm.
Even selling things like directory registration or consulting I have fees listed on my website, but in my mind the numbers are arbitrary guidelines to qualify prospects...really nothing more. In my opinion no legit service price can be given for full quality SEO services without first extensively chatting and feeling each other out.
SEO in and of itself will not go away anytime soon, though many of the people doing it may create interesting new business models and ideas or have job positions that go by some other official name.
Then again I could be wrong ;-)
Do you think SEO is going away anytime soon? How will it evolve? Will customers learn to pay in jars of peanut butter?
You heard it here folks, MSN Ebay is here! Buy and Sell within social network, also list wants and share recommendations. List items you want to sell, things you are looking for, and your recommendations. Your buddies notice new items you’ve listed when they login. They can either buy, sell or refer you to one of their buddies. It is like eBay except with people that you already know and trust directly (or a few degrees out). source (via Greg Gilden)
Favorite SEO Quote of the Day:
"Some people have tried to say that Google gives less weight to unreleated content, but this is a load of shit." - Snowblind
The 6: Myths of Creativity... Few people are creative ...not true. Placing arbitrary awards or other distractions in people's minds makes them more creative...obviously not true. (found on ThreadWatch)
Christmas Site Tips: The Twelve Tips of Christmas, by Christine Churchill, who recently stated she will be stepping down from SEMPO's board.
On the Transparency Concept:
Likely one of the hardest parts with search today is the branding. Part of what makes Google so powerful is the concept that they branded PageRank to equate to democracy...which it really doesn't. They did a damn good job of branding the concept though. The transparency of SNAP is perhaps another step in that democratically branded direction.
Many searchers probably still do not think of the business models of the search engines (I know a few years ago I did not). I am wondering if in making revenues totally transparent SNAP will make people question the legitimacy of the results and help people realize just how open search engines are to manipulation. How much partnering will SNAP need to do with charities to show the good the technology causes or do they expect searchers to think it is cool to see the profits they make that company in real time?
MosDex is a new open source search site which is powered from the Nutch core.
Why MosDex (in their own words)?
"Search engines are free to use like television is free to watch, but, like television programming, search results are subject to manipulation by the interests that control them. The only way one can be certain that search results are unbiased is if the technology which computes them is public. mozDex seeks to make high-quality search technology freely available. We also express concern about recent consolidation and termination of search engines out there and feel this is the best opportunity to bring an open search index based on open technologies to light."
Where does MozDex data come from?
MozDex.com was seeded from dmoz.org data.
It is becoming more and more apparent that free only goes so far. It takes a bunch of effert to build quality comprehensive products. They provide a more rapid refresh for sites that donate at least $5. I was the 73RD donor so far. If you would like to donate to support the project you may at http://www.mozdex.com/en/donate.html. In addition they are accepting equipment and other donations.
It seems to me that the ads are not well targeted yet, as if they have yet to have a substantial number of advertisers, or sometimes they are chosing to hurt their own ad clickthrough rate and relevance by allowing untargeted ads to list above targeted ads. The top ad for 5 HTP was a hosting ad. It was followed by a couple 5 HTP ads...
MozDex Search Review
The results are a bit slow and the algorithm has a long way to go to find relevance. One of the interesting things is that they have a link which shows the inbound anchor text and another which shows the page scoring. Here is an example explaination for the top listing 5 HTP site. I believe it would be extremely beneficial if they provided links which explained each of the numbers a bit better...For example, most people do not know that idf stands for inverse document frequency, or what that even means. Currently you would be hard pressed to learn what idf was from their search results.