Neat SEO Trick

While doing my morning reading, I devoured a list from Guy’s blog that led me to this neat seo trick.

Search Engine Optimization Analysis Tool: Use the SEO Analysis tool to see how a search engine spider sees any website. This is a great way to discover your competitor’s SEO weaknesses and consider how you can improve on your own.

I think this is hella-helpful for those of you going at it against the big-dogs. Find their achilles heel and exploit it by ranking well for it.  Take care to carefully read #11-14 as well, as they are also very helpful for similar reasons.

Text-Link-Ads Script

John Pozadzides is one of my favorite people because every time he sends me an email or shows me a post it’s something concrete and useful (and because he founded our MyBlogLog User Group). Over the past few days he’s sent me a few ideas for improving my site that are golden. Again this week he sent an email out to the Mybloglog list that was first rate.

I’m not sure if anyone else has ever struggled with this, but I needed to put text link ads on just the home page of my WordPress site, which of course is difficult considering that it is auto-generated.

He’s devised a way to do this (front-page only ads) and he’s kind enough to share the text link ads work-around with the rest of us. If you are one of those bloggers who are earning money with text link ads, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the code and see if it’s something you want to implement on your own site. Of course, if you aren’t a current text link ads publisher, I do hope you’ll sign up using my link. 😉

Now I Know Why My Blog Was Banned From Google’s Index

Update:  Brian, from the Search Quality Team, just gave me a bit more info.

You probably have a compromised .htacess file, and maybe a .php script dropped in your cgi-bin/ directory, based on cases I’ve seen in the past.  I can’t be sure without access.  These hacking spammers tend to change and adapt.

On our end, we see pay-per-click pages when we visit the pages from Google results.  One of this spammer’s goals is to leech off your good reputation in our index to send users to pay-per-click programs, which is a clear violation of our Quality Guidelines.

Looks like when my site was hacked last year, some annoying links were added to my site without my knowledge. Take a look at what happens when you do the “” search on Google:

Google Banned

Now I have to find out how to dig through my server and find any pages like that. That should be fun 😉 Of course, I also have to find out if they’ve done it on any other domains I hold, since I also don’t want them being banned either.

So, no conspiracy, just a clever, malicious hack that will cause me hours of work…

Brian White from Google was kind enough to send me an email giving me a heads up as to what the problem was, so, “Many Thanks!” to Brian.

My guess is that spammy pages were added by a malicious third party. You may want to contact your ISP’s tech support if this is the case.

The reality is that such pages can have a negative effect on our users, so in these cases we typically prioritize a removal from our index first. We do want your site in our index 🙂

Lead Gen on the Radio

Friday I was asked to be part of Talking The Lead on Voice of America, hosted by Cindy Rakowitz, former VP of PR and Marketing at Playboy, now of 5WPR. The focus of the call was LeadPoint. CEO Marc Diana was answered questions knowledgeably and I learned more than I ever thought was possible about the Lead Generation segment and the auction model that LeadPoint uses in their lead marketplace.
Talking the Lead, Friday, May 31

If you’re an affiliate who is interested in Lead Generation, this show will be of interest to you. As well, the last few minutes of the show were spent discussing advertising companies in general and their potential for acquisition. So, this show might be of interest to many of you.

Regardless, it was a blast to do, and a pleasure to be asked to participate.

More On My Google Banning

Looks like it is an actual ban, since when I logged into the Google Webmaster area today I saw this notice:

Google Banned My Site

It would be much easier for site owners if your account would say ‘this is why you were banned’ when it does the check in this area. Instead it just says, ‘you’re banned, deal with it’.

I have no idea what could have caused this, as I don’t even do any SEO on this site… I decided to submit a reinclusion request, but there is no way I am agreeing (by submitting the form) that my site has in the past broken TOS, because I don’t believe that it has…

Banned Sites Must Admit Wrongdoing To Get Back In The Index

This isn’t really a huge deal to me, as the site isn’t really monetized well and most of my readers come from bookmarks, links to me or are RSS subscribers, but I can’t help but be a little pissed that it’s happened. I mean, what if I depended on my site for income, as so many of you do? The only recourse is to admit wrongdoing and ask for reinclusion?  How am I supposed to know what I’ve done?

What’s The Dealio On Google’s CPA?

I’ve been looking all over for more info on Google’s new CPA model and how it will affect those CPA companies today that seem to make up the bulk of affiliate actions. Some are saying they’re up the creek w/o a paddle. Take, for instance Tech Crunch’s Arrington:

Affiliate marketing networks like Commission Junction and LinkShare are screwed.

He seems to expect the Google CPA decision will make their mark heavily, and quickly. In fact he’s saying that Google’s news, though expected via the rumors we’ve all been hearing, has already made quite a dent in ValueClick’s stock yesterday. ValueClick is the parent company of CJ, by the way. I think he’s right, as ValueClick’s stock has continued to fall today.

Of course, there’s room for all, and CJ and Linkshare have built a following of loyal users (God only knows why). However, I have a feeling that the casual affiliate bar has been lowered, and many will flock to CPA ads on Google not even knowing that they are now an affiliate. I suppose it’s good for those of us in the industry, to increase our numbers, but then again I’m not so sure. I rather like the fact that affiliates are a tight group and we’re very concerned about the industry. Will this new influx of casual (even unaware) affiliates change our numbers?

Will Yahoo soon follow suit? Lots of questions, very few answers.

**If you have great insight on this and have blogged about it, let me know and I’ll include your link on this post.

Elite Retreat Winner

Just saw that Wendy from eMoms has won the Elite Retreat contest.

Do you have any idea how cool this conference is? I have had my heart set on going ever since they announced it. There will only be 30 participants in the room. And we will be getting one on one consulting from the following amazing people:

Guy Kawasaki
Lee Dodd
Jeremy Shoemaker
Darren Rowse
Kris Jones
Neil Patel
Aaron Wall

You better take good notes because we’re all super-jealous that you get to go!

Custom Amazon Video Ad

Steve Garfield, a terrific video blogger, has implemented a custom Amazon ad at the end of a video for a client, Nina Simonds of Spices of Life (excellent video by the way).

I think it is a great way to work a different method of monetization into video. The book certainly matches her subject matter, and as much as Amazon sells, any of us could pull a product in easily that would work well with our own topic. Anyway, I’m mui impressed…

Widget Crazy Lately

Over the last few months I’ve been seeing more and more widgets in the wild. You can check out my sidebar to see some of my favorites. My most recent edition was one from Gene at AffiliateBrand. It is helping me learn what my most popular posts/pages are. Oddly enough, my About Me page seems to be performing quite well. Apparently all of you are wondering who the heck I am! Perhaps I should monetize it 😉

Some of the others I have listed are still performing quite well. I am in love with the MyBlogLog widget, though I think I am about to reconfigure it to make it smaller. As well, I’m going to put the MyBlogLog Stats on my page to try them out. I’ve heard great things (and it looks cool, which is always a good thing when it comes to pleasing bloggers). Gravatar had this area all sewn up and has somehow lost it to MyBlogLog. That’s always interesting to watch.

The Jaxtr one looks cool, but I’m not yet getting a lot of use out of it. I got one call from a man in Italy, but due to the language barrier, the call only lasted about 30 seconds. I’m hoping that as more and more people add it, I’ll see it used more. The Twitter widget should be smaller, but you don’t have that option when you add it. I really would like to add you to my Twitter if you are on the service. I use it quite a bit, and I keep an open tab most days following the conversation there.

Two that are not making the grade are the Meebo widget and the survey widget. I’m not seeing value from them, even though they are certainly built well. I have to make room for a few more widgets, and when I asked ‘what have you done for me lately?’, their stammering reply was not good enough.

And, speaking of widgets, any of you who build web apps, especially those of you who are interested in location and context awareness, contact me via email. I have something you might like. Got a widget you want me to look at? I’m a widget freak, so feel free to email it to me or leave it in the comments.

Ze Frank Will Keynote Affiliate Summit East 2007

Miami’s event is already shaping up to be a winner. Here’s the info on Ze Frank from the AS newsletter:

Ze Frank (pronounced “Zay”), the keynote speaker for Affiliate Summit 2007 East, provides a truly entertaining and yet insightful look at how technology and creativity intersect, especially in web design, marketing and new forms of media.
Ze has unique experience doing new media design and marketing for important customers, helping them understand viral marketing and the contagious media in which it takes place, and to think about creative development in general.
He spent two months in 2004 as Artist in Residence at MSN, helping them develop strategies for creating online community spaces-his specialty.

Ze Frank is one of the earliest and most well known videobloggers. I highly recommend you check out his site.