MSN Search Beta 2 Open

Oct 1st
posted in
msn

MSN Search Tech Preview
MSN Search Beta is back up now. ...more pages, clean interface, sometimes cluster two results / site together in results, still working on the technology...
(thanks to Gary)

Oooppps...
Andy Beal has more on the fake SEO forums (apparently he gets coppies of some of the messages the "moderators" are not posting)

Debatable
Presidential Bingo...fun way to watch the debates... but be aware the debates have problems. Also for as much money as the canidates are spending you would think they could market in AdWords? I know somebody who is marketing for one of them ;-)

Web Advertising Info.com : Traffic Power & 1P Launch Fake SEO Forums

Fake SEO Forum?
Probably didn't think people would notice them about a week after they created their absolutely fake forum, but I did. Web-Advertising-Info = complete garbage... Web-Advertising-Info.com
It is a fake forum set up to push Traffic Power / 1P SEO services. These are the same SEO services that have got many webmasters banned from the search engines.

Web-Advertising-Info.com Forum Facts:

  • Only list two category sources of seo news (one of which being me)

  • Individually review a bunch of seo websites...as the seo forum categories (not normal)
  • Say that I cold called them offering SEO services...based on how much time I spend reading books and posting in forums and stuff... I don't have time to cold call people. In fact I have even called a bunch of other SEOs asking if I could refer people to them...and even yesterday refered away a repeat client sell to a friend.
  • They reviewed both of my sites as two of about 14 categories
  • Only have categories of sites that have bashed (gave honest feedback out the services of) Traffic Power AND
  • Give positive reviews of Traffic Power AND 1P
  • Their forum is premoderated. When someone tried leaving a message they couldn't.
  • No way that many negative things have been randomly said about me in less than a week in an honest premoderated forum with less than 100 posts.
  • Can you say scam?

Avoid that forum like the plague.

Web-Advertising-Info.com Forum Screenshot:
This image of the forum which promotes 1P & Traffic Power shows how they used two of my site names as their categories (to bash me) and also use one of their categories to promote Traffic Power.

Traffic Power & 1P: Using Deceptive Marketing
The fact that they would go to these lengths to try to market their services shows a few things:

  • They are pathetic.

  • Their services must not be worth using.
  • I was gonna let it slide, but this "SEO forum" went overboard. When Traffic Power cold called me asking to help me promote my website the site they wanted to promote this online shopping mall (look at how bad that site is and see for yourself the bad sites and naive webmasters they are actively trying to work for). The site is complete garbage. I made it before I knew anything about the web, marketing, or SEO. Now I use that site as bait site to see what kind of bad stuff there is on the web.
  • Traffic power is still the only SEO company that has cold called me and they have also cold called multiple friends of mine.
  • On September 23rd Traffic Power cold called another friend of mine. Here is the email he sent me about the cold call:

    guess who I just got off the phone with? A rep from trafficpower!!! She says that paying $3000 will allow me to refer clients to 1p.com and I get like 40% of the service cost. I told her if she is any good, then she should work for herself. I will be in touch with her to see if she has any skill. Just for shits and giggles, I asked her what it would take for her to work for me full time. She said $1000/week. I laughed. She must be getting crumbs over there. If she's worth anything, she's worth ppc management. She seems bright

    ..but she works for crumbs in SEO.

More Placing this Bogus 1P / Traffic Power SEO Forum in Perspective
If you look at the links page on their site:
http://www.web-advertising-info.com/links.php
The second through fifth links on that page point into a site that promotes my ebook on every page of their website and gives it a glowing review.

More Fake SEO Forums Promoting 1P & Traffic Power
Andy Beal just spotted
seo-talk.net &
seo-forum.net

Later someone else noticed
seo-professional-forum.com

All the fake SEO forums promote the same garbage as the other forum I found. On seo-forum.net they ran a poll for my ebook (what real premoderated poles do you know that would use the following language and options)

  • It was a waste of money.

  • Aaron Wall's writes like a preschooler.
  • If this were a real book, I'd wipe my ass with the pages!

The goal of this "clever" advertising bit is to try to make all SEO forums look deceptive and sneaky so that Traffic Power, 1P, and similar companies who had been complained about can be at a level bar with respectable SEO firms.

Basically it is a "our name is in the tank so we want to ruin yours too" type of game...kinda like how politics works. There is something overtly transparent about their forums that would likely turn off any site visitors. They could not have possibly been any more transparent.

Andy Beal has more info about the comment moderation of the fake SEO forums...apparently whoever made the forums was so foolish that they ping Feedster with the hidden moderated comments. Andy has a few of them posted on his blog.

Further Reading on 1P / Traffic Power SEO Services:

Traffic Power Sinks to New Lows :-(
Las Vegas Tribune article...

AdWord Tracker: New Google AdWords Tracking Tool

Sep 30th

New AdWords Tool:
AdWord Tracker is a new tool which compares where some of your competitors ads are placed over time. Analyzing this data can help you find where some of the advertising sweet spots are (it is not always best to rank at #1). Additionally they collect data such as how many estimated impressions each advertiser is making and what words they are advertising for.

Example AdWord Tracker Date
For keyword phrases such as "flat screen TV" AdWord Tracker will give you:

Most of the keywords you may want to track are likely not going to be in the system off the start. You can sign up to add up to two phrases to the system though.

I am not sure how this data is collected or how accurate it is, but if it is anywhere near accurate then it is dirt cheap competitive analysis. I did not see anywhere on the site where it said specifically how / where it collected the data and if/how it could account for other bots and programs like itself which skew traffic numbers.

AdWord Tracker Price
AdWord Tracker will track a couple AdWords keywords for you for free off the start and then charges either $4.99 for 3 months, $14.99/year.

I have to try it out a bit to see how good it will be, but it could be a useful tool. Google may try to make this data harder to collect if they are collecting good data. Cheap keyword research...come and get it ;-)

I am going to ask the owner how he collects that data and whatnot.

  • 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!

More Changes at Google...

Sep 29th

Algorithm Change
Around September 23rd many webmasters stated they lost a bunch of their traffic from Google.

Google to Change Their Way of Rewarding Linkage Data?
DaveN is a fairly well respected SEO who recently made the following statements at the SEW Forums:

the whole PR / Linkage Game has changed. Just be careful how and where you buy PR these days. ... Last time I spoke to my friends from the plex, they where working on the ability to add - positive and negative weight to links depending on how they looked Via there GUI. ... I have never seen the GUI but from what I can gather it will highlight un natural areas on page, think about where most people put there sold links.

How is Google Fighting Artificial Link Manipulation?
A ton of ways...

  • Make SEO itself sound a bit sketchy.

  • Show bunk backlinks.
  • Not update PageRank.
  • Deweighting links from the same C block IP address range. (Google may also use WhoIs lookup data).
  • Manually penalize some sites for buying or selling PageRank...or for being in circles that make it seem like you are doing that.
  • Prevent certain sites from parsing outbound link popularity.
  • Automatically penalize sites for using the same link text too frequently.
  • Now they are potentially going to look for ways to not only devalue links, but also potentially make them have negative value based on abnormal linkage patterns.
  • They are also probably doing a bunch of other things I do not know of or forgot to list.

Anyone who does not believe in the power of link building should ask themselves why Google is putting so much effort into making it harder to do.

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 :)

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.

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