Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Site Stats for Blogger

Site statistics for my blogger blog have been a sore spot for me for a long time.

Today, problem solved!!!! :-> !!!!

I hooked up the site stats for blogger from feedburner (recently acquired by Google) and wow, I now know where the people are coming from.

Oddly, although this blog is brilliantly written, it gets little to no traffic - :-<
So I will now experiment by changing the name a little bit to see if that improves traffic. I just focused the name on the concept of learning online marketing, learning seo, and intermediate level seo. I'll see if that helps. I de-emphased online Q&A.....

Sunday, August 26, 2007

SEO Abbreviations Glossary

404 - page not found. Most sites redirect the user to a standard page when the requested page does not exist
504 - aredirect from one page to another (when the first page is obsoleted)
B2B - business to business
B2C - business to consumers
BOT - short for robot (an automated self-running process)
BLOG - short for weblog, also suggests a Better Listing On Google (Joke)
BTF - below the fold
CPA - cost per action
CPC - cost per click, or, cost per customer (a source of ongoing confusion)
CPM - cost per thousand views, a rate used for advertising and banner sales
CTR - click thru rate
CSV - common separated values, a data format often used for transport between systems
FAQs - frequently asked questions
FFA - free for all meaning anyone can add a link.
DMOZ - Directory MOZilla, the open directory project, a human edited directory that was a big deal in the 90s
DNS - domain naming service, the lookup system of table coorelating names (such as www.spellingcity.com with numerical IP addresses
GUI - graphical user interface
HTTP - hypertext transfer protocol, meaning the info to come is in HTML
HTTPS - secure/encrypted HTTP
HTML - the code used to write web pages - hypertext markup language
IBL - inbound links
IM - instant messaging
IP - Internet Protocol, usually used as short for "IP Address", each computer and router on the net has a unique numerical address such as 192.117.80
IT - information technology meaning computers and such
JPEG - an image format, joint photographers expert group
LTV - liftetime value of a customer
OBL - outbound links
PFI - pay for inclusion
PPC - pay per click
PR - Google PageRank (named for Larry Page punning on his name)
ROI - return on investment
SEM - search engine marketing
SE - search engine
SEO - search engine optimization
SERP - search engine results page
SQL - standard query language, an architecture/protocol common to modern databases
UI - user interface
URL - web address
WWW - world wide web, a great moniker to help people understand the internet. I wonder who coined the expression?
XML - eXtensible Markup Language, a new language augmenting HTML for better organizing data and meaning

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Social Bookmarking - State of the Art Today

In the last year or so, a Mysterious List of Words & Logos have appeared on the web: Digg, Del.icio.us, PopURLs, Reddit, Fark, Blue Dot, StumbleUpon, tags, Ikeepbookmarks, and so-on.

This latest set of techniques is known as social bookmarking.

Social bookmarking can affect search engine position and provides an alternative approach for viewers to navigate the web.

Are all these services worth participating in and are they all the same? NO, some are specialized in some area, some are small, and some are old fashioned (can you believe it? There are already some old fashioned sites in this latest and greatest trends. ex Ikeepbookmarks).

Which are the ones to select? Well, here are today's leaders and how they are different....

StumbleUpon.com provides a new way to go around the net following links established by people who have recommended sites by category and popularity.

Digg.com is all about articles. People vote.

del.icio.us is more of a bookmarking tool. Your favorite are listed and connected with others. BTW, for a great explanation and howto on del.icio.ous, try this social bookmarketing video

technorati - A multimedia listing by tag of blogs, music, pictures.

Furl - A listing by tag of websites.

Reddit - Articles get tagged and voted upon with the votes weighted by the taggers karma. This is the least corporate (albeit owned by conde nast) of the services.

Now some people (such as gino) categorize social bookmarking sites as subset of social media sites and include the bookmarking sites above with the likes of:

MySpace: social networking site
Facebook: social networking site
YouTube: video sharing community
Flickr: photo sharing site
LinkedIn: professional networking
Wikipedia: web-based community-created encyclopaedia
Yahoo! Answers: community answer site
MyBlogLog: blog networking community
FIQL & Netlister - sharing playlists.

Time4Learning's parent forum has started using social bookmarking

Friday, August 17, 2007

Permently Banned

I tried to login into the seochat forum this morning to comment on a thread and was greeted by this message:

You do not have permission to access forums, because you are permanently banned.

OUCH! What's odd is that I have no memory of having done anything that's not kosher or of being warned or reprimanded. What's also odd is that this "permanently banning from a forum" actually has an emotional sting to it. Weird.

It did cause me to take stock of my online behavior to see if it's spammy in any sense. Here's a quick list of my forum participations.....

1. Lotsa chat. I picked a forum recently and spent some time on it a few times / week to get my rating up above 50 posts so that my signature links would become active. While fun, the quality of the forum is mixed and I think the links are probably of very marginal value. As I look thru my posts, I think mine are often the most thoughtful and original and show the most research. Others (of mine), particularly in the forums that are "other" or "greeting" new members, my posts are pretty sloppy often missing words in the sentence.

2. Tech support. In our new site, SpellingCity.com, there's a serious Firefox bug which we have been trying to understand and resolve. To pursue help, I have posted into several tech forums with similar comments. Is this spammy?

Best discussion: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=289873

3. And of course, we run our own parents forum which helps parents discuss common areas of interest and get feedback from members (not just us as a vendor). We permit links to competitive and personal sites although there have been a very extreme examples where we had to remove them. We've never banned a real member although there are plenty of extreme spammers that we ban (although since they switch sites constantly) I'm not sure that it does any good.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Top Ten Factors Affecting Your Search Engine Position

Here are the top ten ways to improve your position in the search engines.
They are in order of Most Important to Least Important! (in my opinion)

1. Quality inbound links from relevant pages with relevant anchor text to relevant pages.
2. Quality Inbound Relevent Links
3. Original content with each page built around a few targetted keyphrases with correct use of page title and URL.
4. Keyphrase-based domain name
5. Quality Directory Listings
6. Large Websites
7. Quality Relevent Outbound links
8. Site map
9. Correct use of H1, H2, Meta, and Alt tags
10. Correct use of keyword density & metatags (important to Yahoo & MSN)

Quality HTML with no errors
No broken internal links
Having friends at Google.

What will hurt you:
All and any blackhat techniques
Lots of non-original content
Links to spam & trash sites

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Online Revenue Development

Time4Learning has a fantastic online learning service for afterschool or homeschooling which we provide to users for a monthly fee. So the heart of our business is a subscription service.

However, with over 400,000 visitors per month, we have often considered trying to build revenues though either advertising or affiliate programs.

To be clear, we are NOT talking about advertising to our students or members. We don't do that. We are thinking about our main and tertiary sites where we get lots of traffic but most of which does not convert into members. In fact, 99% of our visitors don't sign up so it seems reasonable to try to make some money on them as they surf out of our site.

Adsense - We have had a variety of different experiences with adsense, some of which we cannot explain. At one point, we made alot of money on it but then, some clever consultants, convinced me to take it down.

Since then, I've run adsense on sidebars of some pages of the site and at best, I can around a 5% clickthru on the ads. With an average of $.10 / click, this means that I make a dime on one out of every twenty visitors or, a half penny per visitor. Here's a question: anybody out there want to share similiar metrics with me? Are there industry norms of what one ought to be able to make per visitor?

I've also experimented with a variety of affiliate programs including commission junction, linkshare, affiliate fuel, amazon, and others. None of them have done much for me. Or, I've not figured out how to do much with them?

If any of you have experience helping to optimize pages for these efforts and wants to help, I'd be pleased for advice or even some consulting help.