Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lets make some money-making websites...

I admit, after four years on the net, I have dozens of strike outs, a few base hits, and one double.

My base hits are my vocabulary website which brings in some advertising money and if we stopped spending time on it, would be profitable. My Spelling Website makes no money, costs alot, but is full of potential. My writing tutorial website costs and makes not too much. Probably breakeven. And, the homeschooling website, pays the bills.

I won't list all my total failures but suffice to say, I've tried some great educational online ideas that haven't turned out to be great ideas.

There seem to be people out there with sheer hustle and know-how, are making money with only investments of their own time. For instance, I was just reading a blog (somewhat randomly) called: Karlonia

She feels that her list of quotes on money pulls in traffic. I'll quote a few of hers here....Will it make me rich? It did make me laugh....

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you prove that you don’t need it. — Bob Hope

Money isn’t everything but it sure keeps you in touch with your children. — J. Paul Getty

Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where shop. — Bo Derek

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons. — Woody Allen

My formula for success is rise early, work late and strike oil. — J.P. Getty

Every morning I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work. — Robert Orben

I’m spending a year dead for tax reasons. — Douglas Adams

I have never been in a situation where having money made it worse. — Clinton Jones

Part of the $10 million I spent on gambling, part on booze and part on women. The rest I spent foolishly. — George Raft


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Stephen Spencer talks...funny...about Google...

I was just watching some of the popular videos on WebProNews and I was struck by how much of the SEO talks are a rehash. Repetitive, redundent, and they say the same thing over again. Many times, in a funny way.

I'm using the word funny since I don't want to trash the guy. Steve Spencer gave a good interview with a few gems in it. For instance, I really liked the point he made that you shouldn't try to buy your way to large numbers of links. Instead, you should use your paid (I personally don't pay so I would say my "controlled" links for those that come from friendly sites) links to focus on certain pages and anchor text. Actually, this isn't exactly what he said but I'm building on his point.

Another real good point he made was how much you should focus on links that appear to be part of actually content, not run-of-site or sidebar links since Google's mission is to rank pages based on editorial citation, not this other type of link.

This is where Steve Spencer talked funny. (OK, I'm nit picking on a guy who was probably jet lagged and running thru the usual conference madness) He talked about how Google is just a company and has no role telling people how to build their pages. "They're not the police or a government agency". He said that in the commercial world, sponsorship happens. He cited a company that gave T shirts to a LittleLeague Team. That team would surely cite their sponsor on their web site, perhaps on every page. And there's no way that google should try to stop it.

Google would respond by agreeing. It's a funny point.

The relevant point is that Google tries to build a search engine based on finding the best results as determined by citations (or links). Google is free to define what types of citations it will weigh in which ways. And they are free to tell those of us that want to get citations that help us with their engine, what should and shouldn't be done. We don't have to like the rules, we can disagree with their direction, we don't have to follow them. In Steve's example of the Little League team, Google should not count the sponsoring company higher because of their contribution to Little League. Or at least, not much higher. Giving T shirts should not be a way to get webpages ranked higher in the search engine.

But, if our goal is for the google search engine to rank our site highly, it would funny to not follow their directions. And funny to complain that google is telling us how to build citations that improve our ranking. If someone doesn't like being told, don't listen. But don't complain about them telling you how to run your business. They're not, they're just telling you how to comply with the citations that they care about.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Languages, SEO, & Resourcefulness

As I've mentioned before, I recently had the insight that many of the people who might be looking to build their English language skills might NOT be searching for help in English. So we've started putting up pages describing our vocabulary site in other languages. We've just added some new languages. Utöka Ditt Engelska Ordförråd - Leer je Engelse Woordenschat -
英語のボキャブラリーを増やそう - เรียนรู้คำศ - 学习英语词汇 - 學習英語詞彙
(for those of you who need help: Swedish, Dutch, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Taiwanese)

But while having the pages up in these languages is good, it's important to have links up to these sites from sites in the other languages. Here's my magic process.
1. Pick a language. Say spanish.
2. Figure out what they might search for in that language, say: aprendre vocabulario ingles
3. Find an appropriate google. Say for Google Columbia.
4. Look at the sites that come up using the google "translate this" tool in the engine.
5. Write up an appropriate post or suggestion to recommend our site. I can do this by either directly quoting my page or using this nifty free tool:

And that's how I find sites that might list our site. Simplicito, eh?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Learning English and other second languages

One of our websites, Learning Vocabulary Fun, has a significant international audience of people working (through playing) on their English.

A second point of departure for me is that my Time4Learning audience often asks about how to learn a foreign language.

The obvious online programs for learning foreign languages are Rosetta Stone & Power Glide but they are already marketed heavily. There are other choices. I don't know how good any of them are.

A new possibility is to do a combination of automated software with online tutors working thru one of the new organizations such as: or

It sounds like fun figuring out how to build a comprehensive system, safe and appropriate for homeschool children, to learn foreign languages online. This builds both from Learning Vocabulary Fun and our Homeschool Language Arts program.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Playing Word Games, Learning Multilingual SEO

Last I posted, it was a Turkish term that was showing up as adding one percent to our vocabulary site thru natural search (via google).

This week, the turkish term is gone but I just learned that the new word to bring in traffic in the top 20: juegos en ingles. I think it's Spanish. It links to our Spanish page: juegos en ingles. On that page, you can read: Los juegos de ayudan a enriquecer su vocabulario en ingles, así sea para avanzar en el idioma por sus estudios, trabajo, o deseos personales.

Will I find that each week, a different random term in a random language is contributing one percent?


Monday, July 14, 2008

ingilizce kelime - Huh?

Ingilizce Kelime

I am nearing the first month of having on our Learning English Fun website, a description of the site in a dozen different languages.

I just checked the google webmaster tools to see if any terms form foreign languages had hit the top twenty keyword contributors to traffic. The answer is yes, one: ingilizce kelime. If you look at our webmaster tools, it says we are eighth on google for it. If you click on it here, you'll find out where we are today. ingilizce kelime.

I just checked and we appeared to be nineteenth.

The first person to tell me what language that is (if you are in the States), will receive a free mousepad.