Affiliate marketers are constantly inundated with information on the next, greatest product that is going to make them a millionaire. But if all of these products work, then why aren’t we all millionaires?
Here’s the answer: the problem isn’t always with the programs,most of them are bullshit,stay away of them.

What? “The problem couldn’t possibly be me, could it?” you ask. Well…here’s the thing; there are a lot of scams out there, and there’s also some really good products that actually can help you make money online. But not all people make money using those products. Why is that? Because the greatest system in the world won’t work if someone’s not really putting the effort behind it.

A lot of online marketing systems claim to be able to make you money while you sleep. Those are the ones that you need to stay away from. Those are the ones that are trying to scam you. Making money online, like making money anywhere else, takes time. If you work very hard at it, and are very good at it, then eventually you will have systems set up that will make money for you with little maintenance on your part. But that time is far, far down the road for most of us. And there’s a lot of hard work between now and then.

Not that it isn’t possible, mind you; I’m not trying to discourage you from trying. I’m just trying to dispel the notion that the get-rich-quick schemes work. But with a little old-fashioned elbow grease and a good plan and system to follow, it is very possible to make money online.

Unfortunately, it’s also possible to be trying very, very hard and still failing to make money online (I’m just a bucket of sunshine today, aren’t I?) You need to make sure that you’re working smart, not hard. That way you’ll be making the most of the time you’re putting into your online business.

One of the first mistakes people make is splitting their focus. They’re very enthusiastic, which is great, but they also want to try everything all at once. Pick one area of IM, learn all you can about it, become successful at it, before you move on to the next.

If you try multiple things at once, you won’t be concentrating on any of them, meaning none of them will be successful. You’ll then chalk it up to the fact that the programs don’t work, and that it’s not possible to make money online. It won’t occur to you that you’re the reason you failed.

Make sure you’ve done your homework; find a proven system to help you out. Then when you’ve found the one that works for you, make sure you get the most out of it. Become an active member, help out other people and they’ll help you out in return.

You need to approach making money online the same way you would making money offline: work at it, use the resources available to you, and make sure you dedicate enough time to it for it to succeed. There’s plenty of money to be made online, just make sure you’re one of the success stories!


Google has just announced 2 new improvements to Google Search. The first is an expanded list of related searches, and the second is the addition of longer search result descriptions.

The company says its deploying a new technology that better understands associations and concepts related to searches. Google explains:

...one of its first applications lets us offer you even more useful related searches (the terms found at the bottom, and sometimes at the top, of the search results page).

For example, if you search for [principles of physics], our algorithms understand that "angular momentum," "special relativity," "big bang" and "quantum mechanic" are related terms that could help you find what you need.

Google says its able to target more queries, more languages, and make suggestions more relevant to what users are looking for. We've heard Google talk about wanting to get better with intent-based search, and it looks like they're now doing something about it.

"Additionally, we're now offering refinements for longer queries — something that's usually a challenging task," says a post on the Official Google Blog. "You'll be able to see our new related searches starting today in 37 languages all around the world."

As for the longer snippets, users will see them when they search for longer queries .They will display more text to show more of the keywords used in the query and how they are used on the page.

The longer snippets feature is not exactly delivering more relevant results than before, but it could go a long way toward helping users determine if results in fact are relevant by giving them more info to reach a conclusion.


Ideas Generation Innovation Software

Social productivity startup Spigit, has launched a new version of its idea generation software, InnovationSpigit 2.0, which tries to use social networking to promote innovation with the enterprise space. The software helps businesses and teams contribute ideas, offer feedback and evaluate concepts to streamline idea generation and promote innovation,and make money online.

InnovationSpigit 2.0 uses game-theory reputation and ranking, currency and asset management, trading markets and incentive and rewards platforms to encourage participation among employees. For executives, InnovationSpigit uses algorithms to separate raw data from employees into productive ideas. The software features idea category sorting and discussion forums. Spigit also extracts good ideas from the bad ones, identifying ideas that are relevant to the business and then rewards the employees who contribute the best ideas with a rewards system.

Spigit has had some big-name clients sign on for its software, including IBM, Sun Microsystems, Intel, WebEx, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Southwest Airlines. But while Spigit’s software may be useful and innovative, it isn’t cheap. An annual subscription could run as high as $200,000 for a larger business. Smaller businesses can get the software for close to $25,000 per year.

Jive, another startup who offers social networking software for businesses, is doing similar things but Jive’s software seems to be more horizontal, and focuses on incorporating social business software into multiple parts of the business platform. InnovationSpigit only launched a year ago, so bringing on clients like Southwest Airlines and Walmart is a testament to the product’s utility in promoting innovation within a enterprise.


Hulu jumped two spots to become the fourth largest video site in the U.S. in February, according to the latest data from comScore VideoMetrix. Hulu drew an audience of 34.7 million people who watched 332.5 million video streams. That is a 42 percent increase in unique U.S. visitors, up from 24.5 million in January, and a 33 percent increase in streams, up from and 250.5 million streams.

In a single month, Hulu overtook Viacom and Microsoft in total viewers and video streams (see January data). And Hulu is catching up to No. 3 video site Yahoo, which streamed 353.5 million streams in February. Fox Interactive (MySpace) was No. 2 with 462.6 million streams. And YouTube once again blew everyone else out of the water with 5.3 billion streams.

Hulu is really becoming a major force in online video. Since comScore started measuring last May, Hulu has grown the number of videos it streams by 277 percent, and its audience has grown 410 percent. Nielsen VideoCensus data shows similar growth in streams (see second table below).


Though the initial, pressing Twitter question a while back wasn’t “what are you doing?” but “what’s the point?” people are finding lots of uses for it. In this installment of the ongoing what-Twitter-is-good-for news brigade, i will focus on how people are tweeting their way out of some things and into others. Ready?


How to Tweet Your Way Out of Jury Duty
Twitter Bird
Just as a federal judge in Florida had to declare a high profile drug case a mistrial because the jurors were using their smart phones to do research about the defendant, court officials across the country are discovering jurors are tweeting from the courthouse, discussing the case they’re hearing and giving updates. One Philadelphia juror went all citizen journalist by telling his Facebook friends to stay tuned for a big announcement on Monday. In another case, a lawsuit, one juror tweeted about giving away $12 million of somebody else's money.

So, no need to pretend to be a crazy Star Wars fanatic to get out of jury duty. Just be busily texting the entire selection process. Be sure to text the prosecutor you think tattoos are hot.

How to Tweet Your Way Out of a Job

Ok, I totally stole the title from the I’m Not Actually a Geek blog, where Hutch Carpenter details a couple of observed tweets. Somebody from Cisco was apparently listening when a job applicant tweeted about weighing a “fatty paycheck” against a daily commute and “hating the work.” Though the person deleted the tweet, apparently tweets are in Twitter cache forever.


Meanwhile, one might be surprised George Stephanopoulos still has a job at ABC after conducting an interview with Sen. John McCain via Twitter. After some painful repetition and some digital geezer what-was-that-sons, Stephanopoulos proved it’s probably better to get a politician to say nothing on TV instead.

How to Tweet Your Way Into a Job

Be Nick Douglas. The former Valleywag writer has been chronicling the interesting things people tweet and, according to his former employer, landed a $50,000 advance from HarperCollins to put that tweet collection into book form. His biggest I’m-not-a-sellout challenge is to include only premium tweets of sufficient hilarity,go figure.
Well, it’ll be a good book for those with short attention spans anyway. If HarperCollins doesn’t put out a toilet paper roll version, they’re missing a golden opportunity. If you have a “twitticism” you’d like to contribute or if you just want to make Nick’s editing life hell, you can submit your best tweet to Twitterwit.net.

How to Tweet Your Way Into Filling Up Alotted Presentation Time

To demonstrate Twitter's real-timey feedback awesomeness, 10e20.com's Chris Winfield conducted a survey in front of a PubCon audience, asking followers about ways Twitter has helped them professionally and how to use Twitter to increase traffic. Over the course of an hour, Winfield displayed 165 tweeted responses, most of them serious.

How To Tweet Your Way Into People Not Liking You Anymore
Guy Kawasaki, former Apple evangelist, :P, and entrepreneurial web marketing all star has introduced TwitterHawk, an app that follows the Twitter conversation listening for mentions of things like coffee or shoes and then throws a promotional message at them. TwitterHawk charges five cents per message.

It would seem Kawasaki and company don’t consider this spam because of the great big Report Spam function where TwitterHawk promises to “follow up” with the offender. Is it spam? You be judge.

How to Tweet Your Way Into the Stock Market
StockTwits calls itself a “Bloomberg for the little guy and gal” and promises “not to spam you,” so they got that going for them. This service works like a realtime search engine for stock market information, allowing users to eavesdrop on stock-related tweets. They have a list of recommend Twitters to follow as well.

Speaking of useful Twitter apps, have you tried WebProNews’ Twellow yet? Twellow is a directory of Twitter users, like the yellow pages. Users can search for specific people on Twitter, or search for people in specific categories, or browse by industry. Registered users can claim their profile and add a bio. It’s a great way to find people who share your interests.

Know of any really useful Twitter apps? I would like to hear about it.Or you can just Tweet me..


Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 browser is now generally available. What you may or may not be aware of is that Microsoft has included some accelerators for Live Search within it.

Users can highlight a word and hit the clip_image001 icon and bring up a menu which includes things like "search with Live Search," "shop and save with Live Search Products," etc.

Live Search Accelerators in Internet Explorer 8

You can easily find locations on Live Search Maps by highlighting an address. Click the blue arrow, and select "Map with Live Search" from the accelerator menu. You will then see a map preview, which you can click on to get a more detailed map page.

Maps Accelerator in Internet Explorer 8

A similar funtion allows you to easily translate words or phrases. Highlight the words you want to translate, click the blue arrow, and select "Translate with Live Search" from the accelerator menu. A preview window will come up with the translation. You can easily change languages from there.

Translator Accelerator in Internet Explorer 8

The search accelerators are useful functions that you would expect to come in the form of a plug-in rather than in the browser by default. They could help boost Live search use tremendously if enough people take advantage of them.

Yahoo is offering its own "Yahoo-Optimized" version of IE8. This comes with a feature called the Mail Web slice, which gives signed-in users quick previews of their Mail in a drop-down page within browser.

Yahoo-Optimized IE8

It also includes direct access to other Yahoo products like Yahoo Search, Yahoo Toolbar, and the Yahoo home page as well as visual search suggestions under the search box.


Facebook & iPhone

Remember my previous post on how to make money with iPhone apps, read it.

Facebook Connect on the iPhoneFacebook launched Facebook Connect for the iPhone and iPod Touch at SXSW. Developers area already taking advantage of Facebook Platform APIs to add social features to many iPhone applications.

"Facebook Connect for the iPhone provides the first live social experience for iPhone and iPod Touch applications, as users can now connect with their Facebook friends to play games (whether their friends are at home on a computer, or on their iPhone), and share restaurant reviews on the go, location-based status updates, and more,Users can download any app featuring Facebook Connect and log in with their Facebook account to get access to their Facebook friends. "For instance, you can use Facebook Connect with the Urban Spoon application," explains Joe Hewitt on the Facebook Blog.

"Once connected, you can see which restaurants your friends have reviewed on the iPhone as you are walking to dinner and share your thoughts afterwards."

"With the game, 'Who Has the Biggest Brain' by Playfish, you can connect with Facebook and try to beat your friends? scores, whether they are on their iPhone or their computer," adds Hewitt with another example.

Who Has the Biggest Brain?

Gareth Davis at the Facebook Devleoper blog adds that developers can take advantage of the following benefits:

- Making API calls so your app can access users' profiles and share information on Facebook.

- Publishing to Facebook via Feed forms.

- Asking users for extended permissions, like offline access, so you can still interact with their data when they're offline.


From now on Google is showing AdWords ads above search results in its "free" photo sharing service Picasa. It's hard to imagine people being shocked by this.

Picasa Gets AdWords

Google has been getting more aggressive with adding ads to its products. Only a few weeks ago, Google started adding them to Google News search results after years of not having them.

Ads on Google News search results

AdWords prove to be quite convenient anytime Google needs a quick monetization model for one of its products. The PPC platform has been Google's bread and butter for years, so it only makes sense. If anything it's surprising that more of these products weren't already sporting AdWords - especially Google News.

Of course as Google Operating System's Alex Chitu points out, Google has been pretty straightforward in saying that it would be adding ads to more of its properties. This post from November makes it pretty clear.

"Whenever we make changes like these, we carefully evaluate users' reactions to ensure we're holding true to our basic principles: that ads by Google should always be relevant and useful," Google's Nick Fox said back then. "Of course, these experiments benefit Google because they generate revenue from new sources — but by ensuring that we show the right ads at the right time to the right people, we'll add value for users too."

As long as ads are relevant, there shouldn't be too much complaining. Google users are pretty accustomed to seeing AdWords to the right of their search results. If they pop up in some other Google-owned searches too, it pretty much just makes it feel more like Google.

Imagine how many people using Picasa,imagine that you can somehow directly target Picasa for your adwords ads.....imagine the cash flow ;)


Organic Keyword Research And Selection

Seth Wilde, Search Engine Marketing Manager, uShip, talked about keyword research methods.

Internal Data:
List of products/services
Current organic search queries
Site search box

Third Party Tools
Competitive Intelligence (Hitwise, etc.)
Keyword Research Tools (keyword tracker)

Know how well the search phrases convert to real business
Things to look out for:
Use exact match
Keep your ad on the front page

Use 3-4 keywords per page, but make sure you have content to back up keyword selections. Group keywords that Google sees as similar.

Refine Results
Adjust for growth and competition and do regular keyword research.

Craig Paddock, Managing Partner, Boost Search Marketing
Craig Paddock
Managing Partner
Boost Search Marketing

Craig Paddock, Managing Partner, Boost Search Marketing, said to research with Compete.com and to use Hitwise if you are a larger company.

Defend your brand names/terms
Highest converting
Easiest to rank for

Let your customers decide what your key phrase is by referring to PPC data. Minimize impression for "broad" match terms.

"Your link quality must be similar to top-ranked sites," said Paddock.

Current Ranking:
If you are already getting traffic for a term you can still try and improve it. Take advantage of Google's clustering.

"Keyphrase research is more than looking at keyphrase popularity," said Paddock.

Amanda Watlington, Ph.D., Searching for Profit, offered 10 rules for keyword research.

1.Keyword research is not a done and one process.
2. There are no "Swiss army knife" tools. (could be less, could be more? It just depends on your situation)
3. The tools are only as good as the analyst using them.
4. Boiling the ocean to get the "right keywords" is a waste of time.
5. Capture the head from the tail.
6. Content-centric keyword strategies are win-win solutions.
7. Segment/bin your keywords to sharpen your analysis.
8. Listen to your user feedback. Avidly mind your analytics. ("Listening drives. Your analytics are a gold mine of information.")
9. Take a forward-looking approach to all keyword analysis and research.
10. Build your own keyword list to study the engines

Always be watching for change.

Mark Jackson, President/CEO, VIZION Interactive, Inc., said the initial process for keyword research is brainstorming.

"Try to control CEO-itis. get involved with the marketing department in this process," said Jackson.

Competitive Analysis
Are you sure your site supports the keywords you want to target?
For example do you have content specific to that keyword phrase?

He uses iMarketingManager.com to see the top 10 sites for search phrase.

Know what you want and plan accordingly. You have to look at competitive analysis and have a roadmap to follow.


In this kind of age and fast-moving information and technologies, it is extremely important for businesses to protect online reputations. Currently, that means getting involved with social media and creating social media resume and real-time search.

Jeremy Pepper of Pop! PR Jots Real-time search is what it sounds like - searching for what people are saying now. People are talking at places like Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. "For corporations (or agencies that work with large clients), such real-time search is growing in importance," Jeremy Pepper who writes for the blog Pop! PR Jots

"It gives companies the opportunity to see trends, and potential issues, in a way that is faster than ever before," he explains. "One of the key things, though, is how to judge the "noise" on such venues like Twitter. While everyone is equal on social networks, the amount of followers and following has a great impact on whether one person's complaints will bubble up and become an issue, or if it just someone bitching.

It's not just about listening for what others are saying though. If your business doesn't have some kind of presence of its own, it's going to be hard to counter any negative attention it may be receiving. If your business is not actively involved in the conversation, your reputation will be left up to what others say about it.

David Meerman Scott "Quite literally, 'You ARE what you publish,'" says David M. Scott, author of the books World Wide Rave and the best-selling The New Rules of Marketing and PR. "What I mean by that is whatever your company publishes online (and what others publish about you) IS your reputation. So if you are not in the social media sites, you don't exist. But others are talking about you."

"Real time search is essential for businesses to understand. People are talking about you, your products, and your people right now and you need to know what they are saying," says Scott. "When something is being discussed about your company on Twitter, or blogs, or forums and a big customer calls you or the Wall Street Journal calls the CEO, 'Huh?' is not a savvy answer."

Real-time search is only lately starting to get a massive amount of attention as people realize that the web has turned much more into a web of conversation. What is being said right now is important because more and more people are engaging in these conversations when they sign up for social networks like Facebook or Twitter.

Google and other search engines are certainly still important factors as well.
Google will crawl some sites and blogs as often as every 30 minutes, give or take. These are generally the sites that are updated frequently. That's not exactly real-time, but close enough to not ignore. Just because you Googled your business last month and everything looked fine does not mean the same could be said today.

Another thing to take into consideration is that any blogger or journalist that has a negative opinion about your product or your business in general can easily end up ranking high in search engines (particularly news search) based on the authority that the search engines have deemed them worthy of holding. Even if their information is inaccurate, they can have large readerships and lots of links, and your reputation can quickly spiral out of control.

So what are some ways to deal with this?

- Luckily blog posts/articles often have comments sections where you can attempt to clear your name

- Good old-fashioned SEO tactics - you can try to optimize your own positive stuff for what your negative attention is ranking for. The good news about this is that unless someone has a personal vendetta against you, they will probably not dwell on your business like you would, so in time negative results can possibly be overcome.

- Depending on the case, you can try contacting webmasters or bloggers about removing things if you think you can give them good reason to do so. Don't bother asking Google. They will not remove content.

It's best to nip these things in the bud though, before they get too out of control. This is a very good reason why real-time search will come in handy.

Twitter has recently brought its search feature to the home page, making it more accessible not only for you to monitor what people are saying, but for other people (like potential customers) to see what others are saying about you. It's best to catch things before they do (obviously).

Twitter search box and trends on the front page

Andy Beal

"Twitter is one of the most important channels for any business to monitor," says Andy Beal, creator of the Trackur online reputation management tool and co-author of the book Radically Transparent. "With Twitter Search businesses can listen for almost real-time discussions of their brand and take swift action. As Motrin discovered, Twitter is the place where angst (and complaints) rears its ugly head, develops into a movement, and quickly migrates to blogs and other social media."


There are plenty of tools around that can be used by companies to help manage their online reputations. There is Beal's own Trackur, which keeps track of blogs, news sites, images, and videos. There is a nice list of tools in this article from John Jantsch.

Search is going to be your best friend though. For users of Mozilla's Firefox browser, there is a great extension that lets you add any search engine you like to your search box in the top right-hand corner of your browser. You can add Twitter, Facebook, WhosTalkin.com, etc. and have a nice list of search engines to monitor at any given time. WhosTalkin.com by the way is another useful real-time search tool worth taking a look at.

The Wrap-Up

Online reputation management is often focused on from the perspective of the individual. There is good reason for that too, as plenty of jobs have been lost (or never gotten in the first place) based on what managers have found online about individuals. Mahalo certainly could've been spared a big PR Disaster had it known the online reputation of one of its employees. Fortunately for that employee (unfortunately for Mahalo), they didn't search for his name on Google.

But PR disaster is much more likely to strike when the business itself does not monitor its reputation. Tools are there for you to use. Don't ignore them. Otherwise, it might be your company somebody tweets about having a poor product, leading to all of their followers seeing the negativity and possibly blogging about it which can then be linked to, and so on and so forth. I don't think you want to go down that road. Just watch yourself.


Yahoo Next Move,Lowering Minimum Bids On Keywords

Imagine going to an auction, and instead of witnessing heated bidding wars, seeing many people in the audience refuse to bite at even the opening offers. Yahoo was apparently stuck in a similar situation, so the company is lowering the minimum bids on a great many Sponsored Search keywords as a result.

Yahoo Logo

The process is an ongoing one. Reports started trickling in some time ago, and a new, official announcement confirms that the changes won't stop anytime soon. A likely result is that advertisers will be able to accomplish more with the same amount of money, of course, which should inspire warm, fuzzy feelings.

The post on the Yahoo Search Marketing Blog then relays an additional tidbit about the consequences of all this. Unfortunately, it qualifies as a nuisance factor.

Although you should receive an email if any campaign you're running is affected, the post urges, "Please log in and review your account, as you may find that a number of your keyword bids that used to be below the minimum requirement may now be active if their minimum bids have been lowered. These keywords will automatically reactivate (and start displaying your ads) . . ."

So you may need to run around, switching a few things off, before really reaping any benefits.

Will Google lower their bids,or improve google slap?What you think?


How To Write Articles For Search Engines

SEO (Search Engine Optimization earlier described in 5 posts in this blog),writing, as a distinct style, was born in the Internet era and has matured before our very eyes in a relatively short span of time. Although it is evolving and maturing still, and will continuously do so, we can define some of the tried and tested steps of content optimization to help unique pages place at or near the top of search engine rankings.

Some experts go on to say that the goal of SEO is two-fold, with the first objective to put out the appropriate "bait" for search engine spiders and the second to serve up useful information to people who want and need it. Debates about priorities continue among SEO professionals, but it is never a good idea to devalue the human factors in any success formula. The singular goal, then, would be to develop, position and refine content in such a way as to satisfy all visitors to the page and/or site, both human and bot alike.

Rethinking search engine content terms

"Content is king," goes the old saying – and not only is good content king, it is becoming more important with every passing day. But the term content is best taken in its broadest sense. Content is not simply the written copy placed in a document, assembled on a page, or aggregated at a site. It includes all this, of course, but content actually comprises titles, headings, tags, intra-site links and external links, as well.

All of these components need to work together and form an interconnected whole so that both search engines and humans find the right things, come to the right conclusions and, most importantly, make the right decisions. Good writing is always targeted to the audience, and you are writing for an audience of two readers, human and software. Remember these two components of the audience and find creative ways to reach both of them at the same time.

First things first

Titles are critically important – they are usually the first thing read by both real and virtual visitors. A title is the "primary topical identifier" and, as such, has an invaluable function – again, a dual-purpose one. It must contain keyword targets at the individual word level while stoking interest in potential readers at the phrase level.

When a person performs a search, the title is both their first indication of your relevance to their needs and your first opportunity to compel them to click through. Search engines, more clinical and objective, give the title importance because they see it as an indicator of the page’s main idea.

Yet many pages on the Internet have no title at all, or share "Home" and "Untitled" with several million others. There is no excuse for this oversight. The ignorant cousin of these mistakes, making the company name by itself the title of every page, is just as bad. Keywords relevant to the page should be part of every page's title.

Heading tags carry some importance too. Simply put, heading tags define the headings and subheadings of your article to both readers and spiders. By default they appear larger than normal text and are bolded. While not a magic ranking bullet, they are looked at with more importance than average text and are an opportunity to show spiders the themes of your content and what keywords you wish to rank for.

The H1 tag is the main heading of your article and carries the most importance, like a headline in a newspaper article. It should clearly convey the article’s topic to the reader and main keywords to the search engines. H2 tags are one level down in importance and structure. Use them to define subtopics under your main topic, and again use keywords where descriptive and useful. If you needed to break down your article to sub-sub-headings, you would use the H3 tags, and so forth.

For both human and robotic readers, it is vital to keep page content focused. The "one topic per page" rule is an unwritten one, certainly, and it's followed by most professional content developers. This has less to do with the intelligence of the readers (either kind) than it does with several other considerations. For one thing, search engine "crawlers" have algorithms that tend to work best on one concept at a time, and most humans work best this way, too.

In addition, limiting the focus eases the task of placing keywords in the meta descriptions, page title, body copy, tags and links. Finally, dealing with more than one topic necessarily means using more verbiage, which dilutes the potency of a site-wide SEO program and may negatively impact ranking. Better to give these other topics their own content, strengthening your site’s overall informational authority.

SEO copywriting balance

Much ink has been spilled and many pixels propagated in discussing SEO techniques, analyzing strategies, teaching "web content" writing, and chasing changing algorithms. Mentioned less but encompassing everything is that SEO copywriting, like all SEO, is about balance.

While articles such as this one can be helpful, it is important to understand that SEO will always evolve, change, adapt and improve. Study and implement tested techniques, but remain flexible and nimble. Writing for search engines and people at the same time is tricky and challenging at best, and can be frustrating and time-consuming, too. Approach the challenges in a businesslike fashion.

SEO content writing at its best balances art with science, blending the craft of engaging the reader with the dispassionate analysis of keywords on a page. Follow best practices, but fill each article to the brim with information useful to your demographic.

In simultaneously targeting a subject, an audience, and an algorithm, a great deal of creativity must take place to get effective SEO results. And, of course, it all has to happen in an environment that encourages short attention spans and constantly tries to lure people elsewhere. It is a major challenge to craft article titles and copy so compelling as to make people stop and read – or, better yet, stop and then click where you want them to.

Basics, opportunities, and consistency

The basic approach to writing for such a dynamic, ever-changing environment is to get to the point quickly. The "USA Today" news style – which relies on short headlines, descriptive sub-headlines and a few concise paragraphs – is perhaps the best analogy for good SEO writing. The important points (keywords) should appear early and often, and within a short period of time the human readers should know what they are supposed to do, while the search engines should be able to tell what the page is about from a consistency between your page structure and your body copy.

In the eyes of the search engines, everything that it can possibly see counts. That is, using image alt-text not only helps blind readers and people using phone- or text-based browsers, it also gives you another opportunity to add more descriptive strength to the overall page for the search engines. Do not miss any opportunity to further empower and refine your content.

And always remember when writing for search engines – keep writing. Write write write. Search engine bots gorge on new information, and if you consistently update your site with fresh content they will come around more often. While this gives you more opportunities to display your value, more importantly it builds the foundation of information that obviates it.

There's a lot to do, and it all needs to be done well. Use your numbers, metrics and analytics to point you in the right direction for creating more content. That’s some science. Your creativity and amount of useful information, on the other hand, will point site visitors and search engines in the right direction. That’s a touch of art. When both aspects of your SEO program are firing on all cylinders, you should soon be marching up the search engine rankings.


Having the title Ex-Googler is probably a good thing if you’re in the startup business. Twitter, after all, is run by ex-Googlers. That credibility worked the old hype machine for Cuil, too, until it couldn’t perform. Bindu Reddy and Arvind Sundararajan, ex-Googlers, suggest it’s a bad idea to take on Google where Google is strong—like Cuil did with search—but taking it to Google where it is weak can work.

And so they’ve fairly quietly launched Likaholix in private beta.


Likaholix is a recommendation site where people can, very simply, makes lists of stuff they like. Products, businesses, websites, people, music, movies, whatever. In order to “like” something, a person can enter a link or search for it, and the search engine there will bring back sites, photos, videos, product reviews, etc., regarding the subject, and the person can choose things to add to the file they create for their liked thing, along with their own commentary.

Our ex-Googlers have been smart to make this a standalone, closed off service, and have made it very social, very interoperable with other sites. Users can invite friends from their email contacts and social networking lists, they can share their likes with Facebook, Twitter, and FriendFeed, and they can also import 4 and 5 star reviews from sites like Amazon and Yelp.

What Bindu and Arvind have created here essentially is a user-generated walled garden. And that may be very exciting for people. In the same way Google rolled out Gmail, Likaholix is in private beta and will rely on invites for a while for testing.

Jennifer Van Grove

There’s a fascinating article at Mashable by Jennifer Van Grove (hot) :) exploring why Googlers like Bindu and Arvind are leaving the company and starting their own sites. The most interesting takeaways:

1. Google’s too big, rigid and slow for good ideas outside of their core to get traction. That’s why creative, innovative Googlers leave.

Search is a bad idea if you want to threaten Google. (Right, Microsoft?) Google is weakest, because of number one, in the social and real time search arenas.

Bindu Reddy says Facebook and Twitter, not Microsoft or Yahoo, are Google’s biggest threats.


The new gold rush is on! Developing and selling i-Phone apps is turning into a multi-million dollar business that just about anyone with a little computer knowledge and desire can break into.
app cash

Have you heard the story of the 9 year old boy Lim Ding Wen from Singapore who created an iPhone drawing game call Doodle Kids has racked up to more than 4000 uploads in just two weeks. That’s about $4000 in a weeks time, not a bad paycheck at all.

Doodle Kids which he wrote for his sister, who loves to draw, lets the player sketch with their finger on the i-Phone screen and shake it, Etch-A-Sketch-style, to clear, has already racked up a healthy three-and-a-half star rating on the App Store.
So what does this news mean to you?

The mobile phone app gold rush is on - and if you’re quick, you can get a massive
piece of it for yourself!

See, there are so many other overnight-success stories turning up in every corner of the web - and you could be next! Just imagine the possibilities…

Imagine how it would feel to develop the Ocarina app, which recently passed 400,000 customers… and put over a quarter of a million dollars in the seller’s pocket!
Or imagine yourself selling the i-Fart mobile, which sat on the top of the sales charts and pulled in $27,249 in a single day!

Imagine if you created the WeatherEye app, which racked up 150,000 downloads fast!

Ethan Nicholas who recently quit his job so he could spend all his time developing i-Phone apps. Ethan makes more in a day or two than the average U.S. household makes in an entire year!

Pretty staggering right? And get this: The mobile phone apps business is exploding right now because it’s just getting started! And that means you’re in a great position to create a massive financial windfall for yourself if you jump on this opportunity fast…

How to get started: Sign up for a free development account at the iPhone Dev Center There are some great videos at the development center that will help you get started developing your apps in no time,and make money online selling iphone apps !


Suppose that, just in order to get an idea of how much money you're making, you had to look up an ever-changing conversion rate and multiply a pair of numbers on a daily basis. Well, overseas AdSense publishers (including me) have been doing this for some time, but thanks to a new move on Google's part, the process is getting much simpler.

Publishers in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, France, and Spain can now view their AdSense reports in euros after just agreeing to a new set of terms and conditions. Their prior payment histories will still be available in dollars, too, which should alleviate concerns about records matching not up.

Adsense Euro Conversion

And Elodie Bodet outlined one other benefit on the Google AdSense Blog, writing, "With earnings converted daily, you'll avoid the risk of currency exchange fluctuations between USD and the Euro."

This is pretty big news for affected individuals, and may help Google's reputation internationally. Responses to Darren Rowse's post on the subject are mostly positive, for example, and sources in Germany and France are already relaying the story.

The one thing that remains unclear is what will happen from here. Bodet gave no clues, only stating, "If we're able to offer this to publishers in other countries,i we'll provide details here on Inside AdSense."


Making Customers Aware of Your Presence

Researching this article, right off the bat it was pretty evident that many businesses around here (and I suspect most places) are slow to adopt social media marketing practices for their businesses. And if they are adopting them, there are some key elements missing. For example, many of the businesses I found on Twitter (through TwellowHood - a great way to find Twitterers by geographic location),i did not find any for my country Bosniaor they do not have any indication of their social media presences on their sites. If they do, they are not clearly visible. One thing to keep in mind is that people still go to company websites, so if you are looking for any kind of following or customer engagement via social media, it helps if they know where to go. I will use some towns like an example here.

One site that does do this well, however is a local radio station WUKY, which airs NPR broadcasts. You will find a section on the site's homepage that looks like this:

WUKY - Be Sociable!

The size of this section might be a little overkill for some web designs, but it clearly points to where it wants you to go, and that is the main purpose. Basically what you want to take away from this is that they are prominently listing the social networks with which customers/fans can interact with them, and they do so by using recognizable logos that stand out. Someone going to this page wondering if they can follow WUKY on Twitter or if the station has a Facebook page has their answers quickly when they notice the familiar logos.

You can still make your social presence clear without logos. For example, Liquor Barn a chain with locations throughout the state, has a simple link to its Twitter page, but it is listed within the site's main navigation column, just under a link to the company blog.

How Businesses are Using Twitter

The greatest thing about Twitter as a marketing tool is that it is 100% opt-in, and your messages are clearly targeted toward interested parties. For example, when I choose to follow Liquor Barn's tweets, it's because I am interested in what promotions, new items, etc. the stores are offering.

Liquor Barn Tweets
Let's not forget about the human element, which applies not only to Twitter, but to social networks in general. This is what social media marketing enthusiasts have been saying for quite some time, but conversation and participation is very important. People like businesses when they feel like they know the people behind them. Talk about real stuff from time to time.

Shaun Ring One way businesses can incorporate the human element into their Twitter lives is to organize or simply attend "Tweetups." This is where you get together with fellow Twitterers and meet in person. While I have personally never participated in one, I hear some of them turn into pretty fun parties. A local photographer Shaun Ring talks about attending a recent Tweetup on his blog. " I’ve been to my fair share of social events, but this might just have felt the most natural. Authentic. Relevant," he says. "If you’re not on Twitter yet, you might want to give it a shot. I met a ton of cool like-minded people tonight that I wouldn’t have met otherwise using Facebook (which I still love, btw)."

How Businesses are Using Facebook

Businesses have a variety of options when it comes to Facebook. There is much more breathing room for content than with the 140 character limit of a Tweet. If you set up a business page you can include photos, videos event listings, etc. A local Holiday Inn Express shows product photos as well as photos of the actual location:

Holiday Inn Express on Facebook

A video section would be nice as another local business - Zoombug Photos, includes (although having more than one video could make it more interesting):

Zoombug on Facebook

Lexington KY Punk and Hardcore Shows has event listings (again, more than one would be more useful, but you get the idea):

Lexington Punk and Hardcore on Facebook

Businesses don't necessarily have to rely on business pages though. Papa John's Lexington for example has a regular Facebook profile. The profile is not great for customers looking for location/contact info, but it has 329 friends, so perhaps there is something to be said for that. That's not too shabby for just the Lexington-based incarnation of a national Pizza chain. Using the regular profile, again injects some of that human element.

Papa John's on Facebook

For a more in-depth case study at how one local business has benefited simply from Facebook discussion, check out Jason Miller’s article on Al’s Bar .

How Businesses are Using YouTube

Add to iGoogle When it comes to using video in social media, the most obvious choice is YouTube. One aspect of this that is not mentioned enough is the inclusion of the "add to iGoogle" button on YouTube Channels. How many people do you think have iGoogle set as their homepage? I don't have a number for you, but I can pretty much guarantee that it is a lot. If you set up a YouTube channel for your business, that feature alone can open up the opportunity for you to get your videos right on customers' homepages - the first page they see when they open their browser.

I'm not going to get into all of the possibilities for what to include in your videos, but the local Ronald McDonald House has a good idea with a "YouTube Testimonials" link on its homepage, linking to its YouTube channel.

Ronald McDonald House uses YouTube Testimonials

By All Means, Don't Stop With These

The options are certainly not limited to the social networks discussed in this article. These are some of the most popular ones, and I think you can use ideas touched upon here and integrate them with other networks. I will however also mention MySpace, because despite the media's love affair with the above-mentioned services, there are still a lot of people using MySpace.Its features like bulletins and blogs can be great for keeping interested customers up to date. Please feel free to discuss ways to use any of the networks mentioned in this article, or others that were not mentioned, to enhance your marketing efforts.


Google Analytics

Today Google announced a new online course that will help interested parties prepare to get a Google Analytics certification. It costs $50 to take the test to get certified, but to me the more interesting part is the course itself.

Google Analytics Overview

You're looking at step-by-step visual walkthroughs of every feature that Google Analytics has to offer, and while taking the test costs a little money, the course itself is free.

Web analytics are extremely important to the success of any online business, and knowing your tools inside out will only help you act upon your findings better. With this course, you can go straight to any section you're a little hazy on or just go through the whole thing. You're bound to come out more knowledgeable afterward. Let's take a look at what the lessons cover:

The First Steps

- Introduction to Google Analytics
- Interface Navigation
- Installing the Google Analytics Tracking Code

Interpreting Reports

- Guidelines
- Pageviews, Visits, and Visitors
- Time Metrics
- Traffic sources
- Content Reports


- Profiles in Google Analytics
- Campaign Tracking and AdWords Integration
- Analysis Focus - AdWords
- Goals in Google Analytics
- Analysis Focus - Funnel Visualization
- Filters in Google Analytics
- Regex and Google Analytics
- Cookies and Google Analytics
- eCommerce Tracking
- Analysis Focus - Revenue Metrics
- Domains and Subdomains

In-Depth Analysis

- Custom Reporting
- Advanced segmentation
- Motion Charts
- Internal Site Search
- Event Tracking and Virutal Pageviews
- The Custom Visior Segment Variable
- Additional Customizations

That's quite a bit of ground to cover, but ground that you will find more solid in terms of feeling comfortable in your web analytics skills, once you clear it. If you are looking to provide consulting to others, it probably wouldn't hurt to go after the certification either just so you have some credentials. You just need a 75% on the test to pass.

If you don't plan to do any consulting, the worst thing that happens is you get a lot smarter in your know-how of Google Analytics, and that can't be a bad thing either.Or can be? :P


In a heated bidding war, ToysRUs bought the domain name Toys.com at auction for $5.1 million. ToysRus

really wanted the domain, for obvious reasons. Everyone except ToysRUs and domain holding company National A-1 (owner of domains such as free.com, boys.com, girls.com, and divorce.com) bowed out of the auction at $3 million. The last $2 million was just those two companies going back and forth for hours.

ToysRUs really didn’t have much choice. If it wants to be the first thing people associate with toys it really couldn’t afford to allow anyone else to own that domain, even in this economy. Who says real estate is dead?


Microsoft has plans to launch an experimental search site called Viveri sometime this summer, the company announced at its TechFest event.

Viveri will allow researchers to test new concepts and receive public feedback without having to add features to Live Search.

Viveri Microsoft Search

The site will offer Live Search results and is being built using Silverlight, Microsoft's technology for developing online user interfaces.

Microsoft Research software architect, Robert Rounthwaite, expects the site to attract serious technology users because they will be interested in trying out the new search offerings.

"Most people are not going to want to have their lives interrupted by the latest wacky idea we have," Rounthwaite said. "But some people will, and their feedback will help us figure out which ones aren't so wacky."

The goal of Viveri is to offer better search results from vertical search engines. When a user does a search on Viveri they will see a normal list of results. On the right side of the results page they will see a number of boxes appear linking to Web sites related to the search term.

Some of the features being tested on Viveri could eventually make their way onto Live Search depending on how well they work and user feedback.Is it this great? :)


Why Google Deletes Some Blogger Posts,Even Whole Blog's Are Wiped Out

Ryan Spaulding is a music blogger from Boston who runs the blog Ryan's Smashing Life, which is hosted by Google's Blogger. For some reason Blogger has been deleting some of his posts.

This story was unearthed earlier this month in an LA Weekly article that found the same thing happening to a number of Blogger users. Ryan is answered some questions.

GM: First off, can I get a little background on the story in your words?

Ryan SpauldingRyan Spaulding: Beginning last summer, I slowly began to notice that several older posts were beginning to disappear. This didn’t come to my attention for some time since I wasn’t in the habit of reading old posts except when I pulled down the material. Sometimes I received emails from frustrated readers who were looking for a topic I had written on – only to find the post deleted.

I had no reason to think this was anything other than a software glitch at first. There were no takedown notices or emails in my inbox. Then the instances began stacking up – and I began comparing notices with other bloggers. What was initially a series of seemingly unconnected blog post disappearances – by fall, became the topic of discussion in blogger emails and chat rooms. The change of tactic of the industry and the poor handling of it by blog-host Blogger (Google) was being seen as a conspiracy.

I have come to love blogging and the integration of a myriad of software add-ons to the blog. Like the vast majority of bloggers, I am not paid for my time, creativity or passion. It is because of my passion for this thing that many of us have come to feel betrayed when we learn that the host of our websites is now in the business of deleting our posts without warning! (It’s an issue of respect. Blogger has proven that they do not respect their own users. Despite the merits of our prior good conduct and years of loyal use of their blogging platform and software – we are considered guilty before having a chance to demonstrate our innocence or at the very least have a chance to pull down the offending material.) Yes, it’s an issue of respect.

GM: How many other bloggers have you spoken with that have had similar experiences?

RS: About a dozen or more to start, but since the piece ran in LA Weekly, I have received email from dozens more vocalizing their support.

GM: Can you tell me exactly what the deleted posts consisted of?

The types of posts removed break down into two basic groups:

The Deletion of Unsolicited Promotional Posts: A few of these missing posts were "unapproved" posts on signed bands. This means I promote a band’s project and use an mp3 I had seen given away in other locations on the web, and then wrote lengthy pieces, breaking down the songs into their themes and reviewed them based on merit. All pieces were positive and promotional in nature. I tend to not write negative reviews on music; it runs contrary to the underlying theme of the blog – to support musicians whose work I enjoy. While it hurt to see these posts disappear (why wasn’t I simply contacted to remove the material? ), ultimately I understood the rules about such things.

The Deletion of Solicited Promotional Posts (They Ask Me to Support the Band): What was truly upsetting was the loss of material that was approved by the labels and the bands themselves. Since I do very few Unsolicited Promo pieces, this is the lion’s share of posts that are deleted. This is at the core of the problem: More than a dozen of these at last count – each requiring four hours or more apiece – were deleted out of my account and without warning.

Google chooses it’s bed and makes bloggers lay in It. Blogger/Google had the opportunity to choose its tactic when receiving notices. First of all, they could have delineated between longstanding reputable bloggers and those suspected to be leakers. They chose not to do this. Blogger/Google treats everybody the same (the good and the bad!) –They also could have chose the tactic to notify the bloggers of the demand and let us comply. They chose to not take this tactic either and simply delete the posts. Later, they altered this tactic slightly by going ahead and deleting the post and then, later, sent an email explaining their position. The end result is the same. To illustrate how utterly frustrating this is, I will outline what takes place start-to-finish:

Ryan's Smashing Life

I’m a choosy blogger. Each month, I receive many, many albums – both in the mail and through digital. These are always accompanied by a press release asking to promote the band, their album project and tour. In the case when the bands/music labels/PR houses/publicists ask me to use a specific post when I publish the material then I comply. I use the material they request.

All of these steps serve to make me an authorized agent for the label. [I fully understand that I do not own the material and need to pull it down immediately if ever asked. This is implicitly understood.]

GM: Have you contacted Google about the issue, and if so, what kind of response did you receive?

RS: They never responded. An "opportunity" (in legalese, of course) offered a means to have the post restored – but like most bloggers, I didn’t have the knowledge or time to fight "city hall" on every post. Especially, since Blogger/Google didn’t even take five minutes to send a simple email response. Nothing professional, nothing courteous. Again, the tactic they choose belies their basic lack of respect for their users – which is why I took up the cause. They have a relative monopoly on blog hosting services and rule with an iron fist.

Ryan Spaulding

GM: Are you concerned that your blog's reputation might be hurt when people click through to it from other sites, only to find that the content they're looking for has been removed? How has the removal of these posts impacted your blog's traffic?

RS: This is very hard to detect and prove. New people are coming in every day. But if you take a page out of economic studies, the value of "Opportunity Costs" are difficult to measure. If you are a first-time reader and you receive a dead link – you may never return.

GM: Have you detected any loss in readership?

RS: Loyal readers were the ones to actually bring the deletions to my attention. I don’t think I could shake some of these people – they have truly become friends. But as with the prior example, some readers who have not been with the page long – predictably grow irritated at the absence of written material on the page when they repeatedly get dead links. And, they delete their bookmarks and go away.

GM: Did you contact the RIAA? If so, what kind of response did you get from them?

RS: Actually, I firmly believe the majority of the posts weren’t pulled down on RIAA requests – the majority of these came through miscommunication at the label-level. The EU branch of the label doesn’t talk to the US labels. Sometime after the post goes live (with complete approval of the US label) the European branch contacts their legal department when they find the post promoting the band on my site. They choose to not recognize (or simply do not have visibility to the arrangement) and send an email to the IFPI (the British version of the RIAA). This group demands takedown from Blogger/Google.

GG: I was thining that Bloggger is a free independent service that you can write what you think (NOT racisim hate or else)..just plain thoughts,but we all depend from Google....are we?

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