I’ve just started reading Avinash Kaushik’s book: Web Analytics 2.0. Avinash is well known for his insights into the complex world of Web Analytics and his ability to distill complex topics into simple concepts. At the end of Chapter 3 of his book, Avinash lists a couple of questions that all businesses should be able to answer about their web site. The first question “How many visitors are coming to my website?” is pretty straightforward so I won’t spend much time on that one. Investigation into the second question “Where are your visitors coming from?” yielded some cool insights that I will share below.
No one like having their content stolen. It’s even worse when it ends up on low quality spammy sites that drag your backlink profile down into Penguin target territory. If the website in question is scraping a significant portion of your content, like entire articles verbatim, filing a DMCA takedown compliant with Google can be effective way to get it removed.
First, attempt to contact the site owner and tell him that stealing content violates The Digital Millennium Copyright Act and you will file a DMCA takedown with Google if the content is not removed. If you don’t get a response, then file the DMCA takedown request. If it is a Google properly, such as a blogspot blog it can get completely removed, otherwise it will be removed from Google’s index. For non Google properties, select the “web search” option.
For choosing your blog titles, here’s the advice I’m sure you’ve heard:
Build a keyword list of your blog’s main topic.
Choose some criteria to pick the most promising keywords (search volume, evidence of long tail, competition or CPC)
Write a post that has the keyword term in the page title, post title and at least a couple of times in the post body.
While I’m not saying the above doesn’t work, some of my most popular posts did not use the above methodology at all. Case in point: Recently I noticed people “frictionless sharing” an article from the Washington Post titled “4 Things You Do To Kill Her Sex Drive” on Facebook which I’m sure many were unaware that the Facebook social reader app was posting on their behalf. So I wrote an article on Facebook Social Reader Apps and recommended people review their app list in Facebook and take action to not broadcast to Facebook their browsing habits.
Affiliate links just look plain ugly and there is always the chance that someone will be petty enough to gyp you out of your commission by stripping out the tracking code. As a tangent I noticed a while back, these days Clickbank has a new URL that no longer include the Clickbank username (but still a tracking id). Wonder whether that is working out any better. To avoid this problem you want to hide the original affiliate link with a pretty link. This is what many mean by “affiliate link cloaking”. But cloaking has another meaning, which is showing different content and links to the search engines versus to the humans. That’s really not what I’m talking about here, nor am I going to touch on the topic of hiding affiliate links because Google doesn’t like them. I don’t really have a lot of affiliate links compared to all the content I have, so I’m not worried.
I was looking for a couple of features:
Ability to redirect a pretty link to an affiliate link
Ability to add a nofollow to the link
I had heard good things about GoCodes and was planning to install it. However it is no longer available via the plugin WordPress repository search and hasn’t been updated since 2009. Too bad as it was a nice solution.
Just back from Loral Langemeier’s Alumni conference in San Diego. While not specifically focused on internet marketing, there were several internet marketing sessions there, including a panel that included Geoff Zimpfer from Infusionsoft. Infusionsoft if you are not aware of it, is the uber online customer management system. It’s a CRM (customer relationship management), EMail Marketing and eCommerce system all in one. It’s pricey, but a quite a nice system and surprisingly intuitive.
Geoff said something interesting that I wrote down. I think we all can agree that with email marketing it needs to be a balance between providing value and selling. But what’s that balance? Geoff proposes a point system. For each email you send out that delivers value to your audience you get a point. An email that is a sales pitch, you deduct 7 points. So he’s recommending you strike a 7 to 1 balance here.
I think he is right that a balance needs to be struck, however I’m not sure I agree with the math. Why would 5 to 1 be less effective? If you deliver great value and it in general is more frequent than the sales pitches, does the 7 to 1 ratio need to be rigorously adhered to? My suspicion is that he based the comment on statistics that Infusionsoft has available to it, so I don’t think we can dismiss the comment lightly.
To broaden my skill set I wanted to learn how to advertise with Google Adwords. I had been following a course from Armand Morin and wanted to put what I learned in practice. So, I set up an account with one of those free $75 coupons. It was not a happy experience. I ended up with a permanently suspended account even though no ads ever ran (zero impressions, zero clicks).
Perhaps I was just plain stupid in deciding to advertise via my Clickbank affiliate link. I had heard that most affiliates had abandoned Google PPC due to the strict quality guidelines and that it was very hard to get an ad approved. But I didn’t have a suitable landing page to advertise. And for my learning purposes, if none of my ads were approved I could live with that. Just the exercise in setting up a campaign would be useful. Apparently this was a fatal mistake.