Tips, Tricks & Notes for LinkWorth Advertisers
A Friendly 2007 Farewell and a 2008 Outlook
Here we are, the office has skipped out a little early to prepare for their big night to welcome in the New Year, Matt and I are still working and 2007 is about to be gone in the blink of an eye. Something tells me that in my mind, I’ll be making another post just like this in what will seem like a couple months, asking, “what happened to 2008?”
Overall, 2007 was a great year for LinkWorth. Sure there were bumps in the road here and there, but what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger. Luckily the business of online marketing is going nowhere, so that means we’ll continue to morph into a better marketplace for our advertisers and for our partners. We definitely want to thank “ALL” of our customers that continue to make LinkWorth one of the biggest and best ad networks in our industry.
To keep this interesting and not so sappy, because that is so not my style, I wanted to send a few 2007 farewell’s in bullet style:
- Farewell to: All of the conferences we attended: SES, SMX, Pubcon and Affiliate Summit. . .
- Farewell to: All of the cities that put up with us: Seattle, San Jose, Vegas, New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, D.C. . .
- Farewell to: American Airlines and their HORRIBLE delays, the special emergency landing, decent 1st class and pitiful coach seats. . .
- Farewell to: Our departed staff: the good, the bad and the greedy. . .
- Farewell to: The almost $2mm in payouts our partners earned!!. . .
- A special thanks to: All of our wonderful advertisers who helped LinkWorth continue on. . .
- Farewell to: Greg “The Hammer” Williams, aka Motorcycle Greggo, aka Sweet Greggo, aka Robot Greggo, aka Common Man. . .
- Farewell to: The horrible scoring system known as PageRank. . .
As we send 2007 out the door, let us welcome 2008 in along with a few bullets for what to expect here at LinkWorth:
- 08 Outlook: More blogging with tips, tricks and secrets to making LinkWorth work even better for you. . .
- 08 Outlook: Create new ways for partners to gain more exposure to Advertisers. . .
- 08 Outlook: Improve our daily spider check to cut down on “not found” messages (already in progress). . .
- 08 Outlook: Introduce new advertising products with a focus on vintage methods. . .
- 08 Outlook: New contests with new prizes. . .
- 08 Outlook: The purchase of Google and Yahoo with my next few saved paychecks. . .
- 08 Outlook: Growing the LinkWorth staff with new smart and exciting people. . .
- 08 Outlook: Spread the LinkWorth brand to new markets attracting new advertisers. . .
- 08 Outlook: Making 2008 better than 2007 and having a great time doing it. . .
Obviously, both lists can have loads more bullets, but this is what came to me before I walk out the door for the evening. 2007 was such a great and big year for our customers and our company, anything short of what we’ve already experienced isn’t really an option.
Directly from the LinkWorth crew, we wish everyone a very safe and happy new year!
Stop By Our Booth At Pubcon in Vegas
LinkWorth will have a booth at the big Vegas Pubcon show next week (Dec 5th & 6th expo hall dates). Pubcon is always a great show to attend for the following reasons:
- It’s in Vegas
- It’s reasonably priced
- LinkWorth will be there
- Did I mention it’s in Vegas?
- We’ll pay to get our logo tattoo’d on you (Ask Dave & Matt!)
- Gambling, Live Shows, Great Hotels
- Pubcon has a great turn out
- And the obvious reason, VEGAS!
Make sure to check out joker123 if you want to learn how to play poker online. And for other gambling games like slots machines, go to DaisySlots. There is no other online casino with the same caliber as them. By just registering an account, you can already claim an excellent reward. If you’re going and looking for a discount, here are a couple of coupon codes:
10 coupons worth 25% off: “li-62825”
Unlimited 10% off coupons: “li-37610”
Obviously the 25% will be first come first serve. We hope to see everyone there. Please try to stop by and say “Hey”.
Creative LinkWorth Contest Entry
With the contest deadline right around the corner (Nov 30th at midnight CST [-6 GMT]), the contest entries will be flowing in and we wanted to showcase a creative entry received this morning. This might help others understand there are no limits as to what you can submit! The video below is part of the entry submitted from TechTreak.com.
Google vs Bloggers – eWar of 2007 – Bunker Down Pilgrims!
There’s definitely no doubt that the eWar of 2007 between Google and Bloggers has taken a new turn. It appears that Google has targeted the bloggers who are part of the loud and proud company of payperpost. It sucks for the bloggers because their system offers work based on their PR and now Goog has taken that away, but I’m sure they’ll dig their way out of it. This move definitely gives the goog troops the false apparent upper hand. But the word is they’ve hit others too.
What does this mean for you? Well it’s no secret that people who use them more than likely use LinkWorth and many other money making networks, other than Google. Since Goog is trying to perform a public abortion to other ad networks and taking the bloggers with them, I figured the bloggers should go into their battle well prepared. I’ll come back towards the end of this post and give my two cents on those who wave the white flag, but first, here’s my checklist for anyone who uses any of these networks Goog is trying to bully into a slow death:
- Clean Your Tracks
Search engines, although they have huge amounts of resources, still have to use their algo’s to spot issues. Or they rely on the brown nosers to squeal on others and report their fellow competition. That means you must do your best to clean your tracks. What does this mean? Remove all of the outbound links pointing to ad networks you are using that Google probably isn’t that fond of. Consolidate them to point to a single redirection script that resides on your site. Let that script send your affiliate code and block the bots from indexing that redirection file.
Also, make sure you are not so flamboyant with your promotions. A lot of bloggers I come across have badges thrown across their site promoting a handful of ad networks, which just makes it very easy to spot when a human review is performed by the pesky opposing enemy. Try to move your promotions to their own page. For example, write a post about whoever you’re promoting and on your sidebar where you list affiliate links, link your sidebar to the individual pages rather than directly to the affiliate site. Even on these pages, use the redirection script mentioned above to prevent bots from following the links. Here is a redirection script and I would name the jump.php to a unique name you create, then each link sent to that file, add the rel=”nofollow” so bots will not follow. You can go even further to add the meta noindex,nofollow underneath the script.
- Disclose On Your Terms
Disclosure is usually something you want to lean towards, but since the enemy is attacking people who do disclose, it might be best to not disclose at all. For this example, I’ll give suggestions for both ways. It is always good to let your readers know when you are giving a live spot and when you’re speaking from the heart. Most readers are smart enough to figure this out on their own, but the “know-it-all’s” who make the most noise feel it’s polluting the net when bloggers do not disclose paid vs non paid. I would like to see them be in the shoes of the common blogger that works their asses off to write clever and great selling points for advertisers, only to get bitch slapped because of someone else’s agenda. I’ve actually read some of the best blog posts from bloggers doing it for money.
Anyhow, do what you need to do to cover your expenses and bills, but if you can do it and disclose, more power to you. But when you disclose, keep each disclosure unique from others. This eliminates patterns, which is what the enemybot looks for. For each post, make the title unique, but with the same message. For example: “Today Company X has paid me to review Product Y“; or… “A quick Review by Company X who paid for it“. The more unique you make each post, the better chance you have to make your readers trust you and keep the enemy off your ass. If you choose to disclose using an image, make it an image you pull from YOUR site, not from the ad network. I would download the image, save it to your desktop, rename it to something unique, then put it in the images folder of your host. If using the ALT tags, use keywords related to the post rather than calling it “disclosure” or the adnetwork you’re using. Make sure they don’t all use the same, as well. Otherwise, don’t use images for disclosure.
- Refuse Public Mugshots
A lot of ad networks like to showcase who is part of their inventory. They’ll use your name, company or url to plaster all over their site in hopes of bringing in new business. In a normal happy world, this is an awesome way for both sides to get more pub. The problem is, with Goog going after anyone who participates in these networks, it just isn’t the best thing to do. If you give a testimonial, ask to be anonymous. The ad network isn’t out to wrong you, it just makes you a sitting target.
Also make sure the ad network doesn’t reveal all of your information to any visitor that stops by. Someone pointed out the reason PPPost was popped is because their entire inventory is available to the public on their site. In their defense, they’re catering towards potential advertisers and had no idea it would be used against them. If you make it easy to spot, the self appointed net god will do what they want to penetrate the opposing side. If you are part of a network that makes everyone public knowledge without your consent, make a strong case to remove that feature or at least remove your listing.
- Host Your Affiliate Images
Most affiliate programs will serve up affiliate banners/images from the suppliers website. The advantage to this is if images change, you’ll always have the most current version. The disadvantages would be slow load times if there is a connectivity issue, the image being removed from host and you are not told, size of image changing and I’m sure there are other little issues with it. The most important disadvantage is you’re telling the bots where you are pulling the image from. So if you are pulling an image from adnetwork.com/images/img21.jpg, they know you’re probably part of that site. It’s easy to spot it and you’re busted. The way to bypass this is to right click the image and save it to your computer. Then upload to your own site and pull the image from your own site. Don’t add the ALT tags with the network name either. Throw a good keyword that relates to your site.
- Try Acronyms Instead
- More Bang For The Buck Over Ads That Just Suck
2-3 years ago, everyone wanted Pagerank because it mattered in search results. If you had a PR 7 or above, you were damn near guaranteed to be the top player in your market. Things have changed, so we must also change and get over the PR thing. It’s like going to the music store and demanding a Van Halen cassette, they probably exist somewhere, but it’s so outdated and who has a cassette player!
Do you want to attract advertisers? Then give them more bang for their buck! Don’t shove their ad over in the sidebar or foot with your blogroll or list of 10 other advertisers. Stick them in your content so your readers actually see the ads. Footer and sidebar ads pretty much suck if you want to give value to your real estate. Let’s say a huge parade was coming down your street and a street vendor asked to lease a small spot in your yard to solicit to people walking by. Would you offer them up a tiny space in the middle of your backyard? No. And they probably will not be interested. Show potential advertisers that you want people to click their link and put ads inside your content and you’ll see people will want to spend money with you. (Like our LinkInTxt product – quick plug)
- NEVER Let ‘Em See You Sweat!
I’m amazed at all of the noise bloggers are making over this. Obviously bloggers are writers and it’s a way to speak their minds, but all you’re doing is bringing attention to yourself. The enemy’s goal is to create Google FUD (< --Great Article to Read). The craziest thing is people that are giving up thousands of dollars and waving the white flag. And for what? "Hope"? Hoping their PR comes back? And what happens if it never does? Think of all the important green (moola) thrown away for some meaningless green (PR). Ok, back to this point. All of these blog posts you're making on your site is letting them know you're sweating. If you're sweating, you're probably guilty. Today I came across someone that not only made a post about how they would get their PR back, but they pointed out ways to spot paid ads. My suggestion is to keep things on the happy and positive note. Don't let the enemy or potential advertisers see you sweating. You'll lose the fight and you'll lose the sale. Keep your path and act as if nothing has happened. Make necessary changes but keep them to yourself. And if you are part of a network that has a possible flaw, send that network a direct message and let them know about it. See if they have any plans to correct it. Don't give the enemy the gun to shoot you.
To sum things up, just be smart, think ahead and don’t overreact because everyone else is. Pick your poison and learn to co-exist. No one owns the internet which means no one can dictate how you monetize your website. If you have suggestions to add to our list, post them below and we’ll include them.
Penalizing or Penisizing?
I felt the need to clarify a commonly used word of late and create a new word for what is actually happening.
Penalizing a site – this term we view as a site being dropped out of the SERP’s (Search Engine Result Pages). Maybe Yahoo found some keyword stuffing or Google found you participating in cloaking, but they give you a +50 penalty where you add 50 to your current position and this is where your site appears in their SERP’s. Or they completely remove you from their index or stop indexing your new content. Either way, you’re being penalized in their results, where it all counts.
Penisizing a site – this term we view as a site losing length in their “tool”bar pagerank. This refers only to Google and is experienced when they make an update to their toolbar pagerank algo and said site owner loses visual size in their PR. We don’t view this as a penalty because what should matter to all webmasters is their standing in the SERP’s. If you have been penisized, but you’re still doing well in the SERP’s, then you are just fine. Don’t worry about PageRank!
The size of your PR is not proportionate to your results. For example, when someone searches for your site/company name and you are listed on the top, all is fine. PageRank is something that Google pushed on webmasters several years ago and people use it for performance measures. All you should worry about is how well your site is bringing in the hits through your advertising campaigns and/or organic traffic through search and social networks.
For the lack of size in your tool..um..bar..PR, you might consider purchasing our new product, “PR Pump”. Once you get the PR Pump, just attach it to your toolbar and start pumpin. Results are not guaranteed and the amount of pumps will not be proportionate to your actual performance.
Click To See In Action
Possible side effects are dizziness, over-clicking, constant looking at your toolbar, less focus, diarrhea, constipation, sleepless nights, drowsiness and confusion (I’ve had mine today). If you are pumping for more than 4 hours, please call a LinkWorth Account Manager at 866.LNK.WRTH immediately. This product is made for men and women as this issue is not gender specific.
LinkWorth Contest Time – How Easy Can It Get
**STICKY: We’ve bumped this post to the top until the contest has ended.**
Well, I’d first like to start off by saying thanks to everyone for suggesting their ideas on the contest. Great job. That kind of just sounded like the beginning of an acceptance speech huh?
The contest is to write a new blog post about LinkWorth. It can be a tutorial on how to publish our products, how to sell them, how to purchase them, how LinkWorth has helped monetize your blog, how great our customer service is, who your favorite LinkWorth contact is, how LinkWorth can benefit others and so on. I think you get the idea, the blog post can be about anything related to LinkWorth. You’re welcome to provide a link back to us, but it is not required. Screen shots of our website are also acceptable. All entries will be saved and the top eleven (11) entries will be selected and receive a prize.
Rules and Regulations…don’t you hate these things?
- Must be signed up as a LinkWorth customer(can be advertiser, partner or combo)
- All entries must be a new, original post and not something written prior to November 1st.
- Only 1 entry per person
- The entry must be a minimum of 250 words (not including the title: Just in case someone were to put something like “LinkWorth has helped me very,very,very,very,very,very,very much!”…I know none of you would ever do that though) 🙂
- When you have finished writing your blog entry, please send the link to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line, you can put “LinkWorth Contest Entry”
- Each customer has from November 1st thru November 30th 12:00 Midnight CST (-6:00 GMT) to submit their entry to me. After that-no más!
- –UPDATED RULES NOVEMBER 4th–
- Anyone and Everyone can participate regardless of location.
- All costs of shipping will be paid for by LinkWorth, LLC., regardless of location.
- Prizes cannot be replaced with cash. Prizes have already been purchased and will be sent to the winners as we select them. Be sure that your address in your account information is correct.
- All prize winners will be contacted prior to prizes being sent. If prize winners do not respond within 10 business days, we will forfeit that winner and replace him or her with a new winner, so be sure to respond to our winning message.
- If you need to have a London address for your business then you can use one of the virtual office services in London where you get a London postal address and all of your mail forwarded to you.
Rules and Regulations are subject to change with prior written notice.
After much contemplating, we have decided that the best blog entry will receive a Wii! For those of you who don’t know, it is the coolest video game player Nintendo has come out with. It’s completely virtual and can be a great workout if you don’t feel like hitting the gym one night!
Finally, our last five winners(7-11) will recieve $50 of LinkWorth credit to their account.
So all in all, it is some pretty neat prizes. We will announce the winners Friday, December 14th. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
Good luck and may the best blogger(s) win! 🙂
Hypothetical – Let Us Say Google Penalizes People
A hypothetical I feel is worth a mention. Everyone is so worried about Google and their idiotic pagerank changing, but lets look at the big picture here people. It’s all about where you’re listed in the search results. Lets say your company name is TechCrunch and you’re selling or buying text links. According to the “official confirmation” Google is cracking down on people. Right now it’s just the lowering of Pagerank and some are worried it will result in where they’re listed in the SERPs.
With that in mind, think about how many people have been hit with this change. Imagine all of these sites, Problogger, TechCrunch, John Chow, Weblogs Inc and so on then get penalized as people are worried about. Think about how horrible the search results will be for Google. They are aiming to make their search results better? If I search for a specific company name and they don’t show up in the first page, what is so great about their results? Just because they are crying about webmasters trying to make their online businesses better? I can guarantee you the search results will produce what you’re looking for at Yahoo, MSN or Ask. They don’t seem to be bullying webmasters and pulling money out of their pockets.
I forgot to leave this example. If you go to Google and search for “John Chow“, look at the results! Not quite what you’re looking for, right? How does that make results better?
So What Is Next For Webmasters?
The question burning in a lot of webmaster’s minds is, “What should I do now?” With us being in the position we’re in, I felt the need to give our view and suggestion to all of our customers and readers. Everyone is worried and scared about the recent hit of lowered Google PR across the board. Everyone is pointing the finger at blog networks who cross link and sites that buy and/or sell text link ads. Well here is our thoughts on the whole ordeal.
The big scare in everyone’s mind is that Google is punishing everyone for participating in the buying or selling of text ads. The problem is, people are reporting PR drops on sites that don’t even participate in the act. Maybe this is a move where they’re testing the waters to see if their “reported” information is aligning with their new algorithms, or maybe this has nothing to do with what everyone thinks it is. TechCrunch, for example, openly sells ads and even to one of our own, yet, nothing happened to them. I think if Google was really trying to make a statement, they would hit all obvious blogs that everyone reads, not just a few. Then take notice of YouTube‘s home page being a PR 3, it’s a Google owned company. My suggestion would be not to buy into all the PRopaganda, but most certainly, do NOT stop what you’re doing!
There is no doubt that Google owns the largest share of search queries; however, they are NOT the only search engine. They also do NOT own your website nor can they dictate how you choose to monetize your site. Of course, they’ll tell you they’re not trying to dictate what webmasters participate in, but just look at the ripple they’re causing. I was just reading a post on Johntp.com where he’s pulling his ads from TLA and I just couldn’t help but think how ridiculous it is for anyone to throw easy money away for a complete guess. Does this guy really think anything is going to change by removing ads? All he’s doing is allowing Google to bully him around.
Google’s big issue is the selling of Pagerank, which was something that happened a few years ago. Now people buy text ads on sites related to their own. Sure, some people still go the route of buying higher PR sites, but just like technologies change, so do methodologies in link building campaigns. When we build campaigns for customers, it’s apples to apples and oranges to oranges, the days of insurance ads on programmer sites are pretty much over. But everyone can argue that people on a programming site might be interested in insurance whether they’re on an insurance site or a programmer site.
Let me give you an example, these days, most of the sites participating in buying/selling text ads are personal blogs. These personal blogs cover a little bit of everything, just like a search engine would. At any point you can go to yahoo.com and see a range of advertisers from flowers to insurance to credit reports. The same situation can apply to all sites, any one visitor can be interested in ANY type of ad on the site. I’ve found some pretty interesting sites on sites that had nothing to do with the site I was on, but I was glad to find them. But of course, to really get the eye of the visitor, a text ad about insurance when you’re on a site about insurance will more than likely have a higher CTR, so it’s the optimum choice in our methodologies.
The search reps will completely agree with this theory but tell us that we should somehow tell them it is an ad by adding a “nofollow” or link it with some other form rather than html. But then you read their guidelines and it strictly tells us not to build our sites for search engines, build it for our readers. Nofollow tags means we’re building for the search engines, not for our readers! They’re hypocrites and greedy because those ad dollars are not being put into their own pockets.
Their guidelines also tell you to acquire links from sites and directories like Yahoo, where you actually pay for the link in order to get your site appearing in their search results. Think about it, “Do it!” “Don’t do it!” “Do this!” “Don’t do this!” If they have an issue with how people are monetizing their sites, then they need to do a better job at their own product rather than trying to rip webmasters of their livelihoods. We, as in LinkWorth, would never tell a customer they cannot participate in another program because we want our customers to make as much money as they can, whether it be with us or with some other company. If Google could adopt at least a modified version of this thought, I think the internet world would be a much more peaceful place. If it came down to a fault of our own, we would fix the problem on our end instead of pissing off the same people that helped build them into what they are today.
Let me go ahead and end these words of wisdom, if you can call it that, with a few thoughts to marinate on.
- Unless you’re listed on the first page for your keywords, why would it matter if you were spotted by Google and PR dropped? Money in your pocket is money in your pocket! Don’t give it back because you have less green in your toolbar! Just remove the toolbar and go with the flow, keep the ads, add more ads and continue writing great content on your site.
- If you remove ads or stop buying linkads, do you REALLY think you will be rewarded? Keeping what you have will only help validate that you’re not going to be bullied by Google and also make you appear as you know it is your website and not Google’s site!
- Do you realize that if you pull out and cancel linkads, that money will HAPPILY be diverted to others who would love to have the money? Our advertisers are going nowhere! LinkWorth’s job is to produce results and we will continue to do so with existing products, combinations of existing products and most importantly, our new products. Yes, that means we are always staying ahead of the Goo-ame by developing new products that help our advertisers and disguise them from all this other mess. Our product LinkInTxt is something only LinkWorth employees would be able to detect. So unless they change the way they rank the SERPs, our products will always produce results!
- WHO DO YOU THINK IS ON YOUR SIDE WHEN IT COMES TO LINKWORTH AND GOOGLE? HONESTLY? There is no way Google knows anything about you. LinkWorth knows our customers and will do whatever is necessary to produce results. If the entire ranking system changed tomorrow, LinkWorth would figure out how the new system operates and implement a new process for our customers within a week. What can you honestly do to get a response from Google? A reinclusion request that goes unanswered for months? (Well, unless you’re BMW).
- Your site is your site and you should never change anything for any reason unless it’s illegal. Google tells webmasters to not build pages for search bots, then says to change all ad links for search bots. Google also tells people to get listed in their results they should acquire links and even references Yahoo’s directory, which is buying a link, then says they’ll not count links that are paid. Ask yourself, “who has their heads on straight here?”
LinkWords – Let Us Pad Your Pocket!
We’ve been briefly mentioning that our LinkWords program has had an injection of ads into the program by a third party in addition to our own advertisers. What does this mean? It means high payouts per click on high competitive terms which turns into even more money you can make.
MIVA is now feeding their ads and their additional networks through our LinkWords program. For bloggers, you can start writing blog entries immediately on the top paying verticals and earn high click earnings. Currently we have the limit set to 10 ads that can be shown on one page, which we recently moved up from 5. What we found by doing this is rather than showing more ads, it just gave the publisher more options to show ads. Our system tries to match the highest paying keywords on your page and increasing the number increases your chances of grabbing those high priced ads.
We are absolutely excited to be working with MIVA and after our meeting last night with Chris from MIVA, we’re even more excited now. We’ll work with him to maybe get a listing of the top paying verticals so you guys will know good topics to write about.
A Quick Hello From NYC – SMX
Well today was the first day for SMX – Social Media. Matt and I arrived a little late yesterday because imagine that, American Airlines was running late. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve traveled and been on time. I know sometimes it’s weather, but geez… you need to plan several extra hours when traveling now because you’re rarely there when you’re supposed to be.
Anyhow, we’re staying at the Affinia Hotel and have a pretty nice room. Thankfully! Why you ask? Well, so far so bad with regard to the SMX Social Media conference. I hate to say it because we loved SMX Seattle so much and thought they were going to dominate the conferences. I’m not sure if it’s the location or the how little networking abilities there are, maybe the fact there are literally 4 or 5 exhibitors, I just can’t put my finger on it. Oh and one of the most spoken about topics regarding SMX Seattle was how awesome the food was. SES has always thrown these horrible sandwiches or whatever cheap food they can at you, but SMX Seattle spoiled us with lavish food that EVERYONE spoke highly of. This SMX Social Media, the food the first day was horrible. Granted this is my opinion, which Matt shares, but luckily we have a few clients, partners and such we’re going to make the time worthwhile.
The jury is still out if we’ll even make an appearance back to the show because I’d rather fall asleep in our hotel room than in the middle of a hundred or so people at the conference. Big disappointment as far as the conference goes, so far, but it seems very odd because Danny Sullivan shows are always put together well. Unless these are turning into something I’m just unfamiliar with. We’ll keep everyone updated..
We’re about to head out and meet a great contact who is part of the new life we’re breeding into our LinkWords program. We’re meeting at our favorite place, Faces & Names. 6pm, tonight, meet us there. Matt will be wearing his triathlon gear.