How to: Automate Reciprocal Link Exchanges

Sep 29th

How to: Automate Reciprocal Link Exchanges
I am not normally a fan of automating link exchange contact emails, but Doug Heil (also known as Ihelpyouservices) points out a "refreshing" link exchange request email that did a good job of fooling him. Arelis is one of the more popular reciprocal link exchange software programs.

Ineedhits.com Search Readiness Report

Sep 28th

I need better img alt tags & more on topic inbound links!!! please link to this site ;)

I got my Search Readiness Report PDF report back from Ineedhits.com

$30 is not a ton to spend for individualized report so I did not expect to get a ton out of the report. I would say if you are new to the web it might be well worth spending $30 on the report. They really only need to find one thing wrong or teach you one good tip to make the report worth its price. One thing I would recommend to improve the report is to give 1 to 10 type scores for each element of the report versus yes or no results.

GoogEdit - New Free Google AdWords Keyword Variation Formatting Tool

Sep 12th

What is Goog Edit?
Goog Edit is an extremely useful simple program which makes managing Google AdWords campaigns easier...for free.

What does Goog Edit do?
Taking in a keywords list, it cleans it up for use in Google AdWords campaigns:

  • Removes invalid characters (quotes and brackets, leading, trailing, and doubled spaces).

  • Removes duplicates.
  • Makes all entries lower case.
  • Sorts the list.

From there, it then applies several Google keyword rules to better help you track traffic & conversions:

  • Multiword phrases are duplicated, and quotes are placed around (Google's 'phrase match').

  • All entries are duplicated, and brackets are placed around ('exact match').
  • All entries are also used as entered without quotes or brackets ("broad match").

Goog Edit's Other Useful Features
Additionally this tool is great for doing many other features with AdWords. Added useful features include:

  • Optional Number Stripper: If you copy data from a keyword research tool such as the Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool or the Digital Point's Keyword Suggestion Tool you now can easily strip search volumes out of your keyword list.

  • Phrase Remover: Many times stored data has useless charaters of some sort in it. You can easily remove these using the Goog Edit phrase remover.
  • Word List Combiner: You can add identifiers or various word combinations in sequenced lists and use this tool to create a list of all combinations and format it for Google AdWords.

One of my favorite parts about this blog is finding cool new programs and helping programmers make their software even cooler. David is willing to add other features if you can think of any. Download Goog Edit Today

Thanks for making the cool software David :)

  • Over 100 training modules, covering topics like: keyword research, link building, site architecture, website monetization, pay per click ads, tracking results, and more.
  • An exclusive interactive community forum
  • Members only videos and tools
  • Additional bonuses - like data spreadsheets, and money saving tips
We love our customers, but more importantly

Our customers love us!

Price Points, Branding, & Comodification

Sep 11th

This does not have much to do with SEO, but has a ton to do with marketing any business.

All too often online businesses use the "cheap price" branding / sales angle. There will always be someone else who is cheaper. Cheap is not an effective longterm business strategy for most businesses... especially online.

I have been pricing my ebook at $40 because I wanted to make it cheap and affordable to a maximum number of people. While my sales have well exceeded my expectation many of my friends have been telling me that it is the wrong price point.

Example:
I could try to sell my ebook for $10, but likely most people would not buy it because at that price most people would think it is garbage.

I do understand the concept that it is better to push value than price... I am not really doing anyone a favor if a low price is turning people off. The price is arbitrary. It is the value that is important. A higher price may give a higher perceived value.

A couple other SEO ebooks are selling at higher price points ($67 or $97). A bunch of my friends stated that I should price my ebook at $67 and a few think I should charge $97 and an ongoing subscription fee.

I will likely raise the price of my ebook soon, but I am going to wait until after I talk to that cool cat NFFC from SEO Roadshow.

A couple good threads / articles / books on the concept of branding and / or price points:

Cheap AdWords & AdSense ads / the Proper Spelling of Aaron Wall

Sep 11th

One of the best ways to get lots of cheap traffic is to appear on AdSense ads for many people writing articles in your industry. One technique to help acquire this traffic is to bid on some of the names of various article authors.

Some people are not a fan of this and some are.

I have gotten a wide variety of responses:

  • "I am honored you are bidding on my name."

  • Tell me the search volume you are getting and I will give you a free $100 gift.
  • I have also got a phone call, a cease and decist letter, and a copyright violation notice.
  • Recently I noticed the following ad:
    Haystack in a Needle runs ads with my name spelled incorrectly.
    running on AdWords for "SEO Book" and "Aaron Wahl." If one wants to use my name as a marketing / brand strategy you would think that they would take the time to spell it correctly? It is a good idea to use misspelled words to pick up additional traffic, but the incorrect spelling & targeting means the ad will likely get limited distribution and makes it lack credibility.

You should be aware of local trademark / copyright laws before bidding on competitors names. If they ask you to stop then I usually suggest doing so unless you are trying to push the envelope.

My goal is not to piss people off, but to:

  • extend my distribution;

  • build more link popularity;
  • build business partnerships;
  • and sell more ebooks.

Some of the responses you will get from other businesses will be positive...some will be negative. The good thing is that you are getting responses.

  • Running these ads helps you open the doors to some future business partnerships.

  • Running these ads helps you glimpse the motives and thought processes of others in your field.
  • Running these ads also help you view some of the relative branding strength of various businesses / personalities in your industry.

Beware of 1P.com: Traffic Power now 1P.com

Sep 10th

SEO Consultants reports that they believe Traffic Power has purchased the rights to and is now using 1P.com...Just in case you are wonder who Traffic Power is, here is a prior post titled Traffic Power & Cold Call SEO.

The original Traffic Power brand has a good bit of tarnish to it...I was wondering when they would adopt a new name.

SEO Roadshow

Sep 10th

Just a reminder to everyone about the upcoming SEO Roadshow conference in London. It is free, but by invite only.

If you can make it to London next week, need an invite, and are super cool just send me an email and I will see if I can invite a few more people.

The 80 / 20 rule
Well sort of... ComScore search results for July show that 20% of searchers do 68% of the searching.

Branded Search ROI
Google exec David Scacco spoke at the ChannelAdvisor summit. Among Andy Beal's notes of his speech were the following #s

28% of Google searches are for a "product name", 9% are for a "brand name" and 5% are searches for a "company name". "Brand" keywords also have a 8x higher ROI than generic keywords

Google Adwords and the Lost Art of Copywriting

Tens of thousands of businesses, large and small, use Google Adwords and Overture Match (from Yahoo!) to advertise their products and services on the Internet. ... There are many variables, but SEM professionals have focused heavily on the importance of "keywords" – to the extent that entire sub-industries have sprung up to show clients how to create lists of keywords! What has been overlooked, in our estimation, is the good old art of copywriting itself – how you write the ad. ... After all, an ad is an ad whether it appears in a newspaper, a magazine, or on Google or Overture. You've got space for a short headline and a brief description – briefer on Google than Overture, but at least Google doesn't truncate your listing, as Overture does. Given how little space you get to work with, and the fact that you have no visual opportunity, it is crucial to create compelling, snappy ads. Unfortunately, the vast majority are nothing of the sort. Most of them look like badly written classified ads – and that's the main reason most of them will deliver poor click through rates and disappointing results. source: BusinessKnowledgeSource.com

Frequently direct ads that are focused on the customers needs and wants use easy to understand language and are the best performing ads. Many classified ads are tested over and over again...against the rain, the day of the week, the season, etc. and they continue to reappear because they provide exactly what the consumer wants. Most flashy magazine or TV type ads are not tested anywhere near as deeply...if they were, more of them would become the boring ads that speak directly to the consumer.

Danny Sullivan Resigns from SEMPO Advisory Board

Sep 9th

SEMPO is Driven
If people had to say one positive thing about SEMPO it would be that they are driven toward a goal...they will not let petty feedback get in the way of that goal.

The problem is: nobody knows what that particular goal is?

The New SEMPO Weblog Press Release Collection
SEMPO recently created a press release weblog.

After thinking "what the hell is this?" I tried to post a comment into their blog. Unfortunately their comments are pre moderated. You will likely never read the comment I left. My comment did have a link to http://www.cluetrain.com/ though.

So much for that open feedback loop that makes the web great.

Danny Sullivan on SEMPO
Danny Sullivan just released a lengthy article titled Reflections on SEMPO, where he reviews many of the problems SEMPO has faced and announced he and Chris Sherman are resigning from the SEMPO advisory board.

Support for SEMPO seems to dwindle a bit more with each passing day.

SEMPO-Tahoe Press Release
Organizational leadership through press releases...oh how the web connects us.
Compare: SEMPO Press Release vs SEMPO-Tahoe Press Release

Similar, yet different. SEMPO-Tahoe is already up to #3 in Google when you search for SEMPO (only one more site to pass).

ThreadWatch
NickW recently created a new blog to track SEO forums. ThreadWatch posts about many of the often higher level & more interesting or elequent threads...including topics such as Guerilla Marketing, Kung Fu, and Vintage Mike Grehan QuotesTM.

Triangular Linking Info
At Cre8aSite Black Knight talks about the future of linking and triangular linking schemes.

Automated AdWords Relevancy Checker

Sep 9th

When setting up a Google AdWords campaign today I noticed that Google ran it through some sort of relevancy checker. At SEW Forums AdWords Advisor stated this new automatic review feature is aimed at streamlining the review process and helping ads get listed quicker.

Free Directory Software: Why Not Put in a few Programming Eggs?

Sep 6th

Because it is pretty damn bogus.

[update: Javier has removed the database access egg from his script.]

Tons of new directories are springing up using the Free PHP Directory Script created by Javier García Esteban (of Directory-Search or Biz-Directory). While his download page states "the script runs without known bugs with PHP4 and MySQL3," the script also ran with known eggs put in the programming.

Anyone who puts eggs in their software so they can have backdoor access to anyone using it does not have the best intentions for their users.

The two eggs I have been told about are:

The first egg is harmless. It only identifies new installations. The second egg gave Javier access to your database.

The eggs are not hard to remove from the directory script. If you have an old version of the script you may want to remove the eggs.

  • You can replace the image in the first egg with your own image or just delete that line of code. That first egg really is no big deal.

  • The second egg is complete crap. [added: The second egg gives Javier backdoor access to the script. After I posted this Javier stated that he removed that egg. It is a shame that it was ever there in the first place.]

    To remove the second egg you need to remove that above part on line 60 (scroll way to the right) of include.php and replace it with:
    if ($pass) {
    $rand = md5(time());
    $access = fopen ("p=$rand","r");
    $access = fread($access,4);
    if ($access == "true") {
    session_start();
    $HTTP_SESSION_VARS['admin'] = true;
    header("Location: {$dir}admin_edit.php");
    };
    };
    (at least this is what I did)
    I also changed my PHPmyAdmin panel login password after I changed the script. Javier stated that the password was never sent even when the egg was there...he just was using it for backdoor access...as he states in his comment below. He also stated the place which was sent the database access is now a 404 error.

Thanks to MarketingLady at V7N forums. More info about the Free PHP Directory Script Backdoor.

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