Tips, Tricks & Notes for LinkWorth Partners
Buying Text Links and Economics
We posted previously how Google contradicts themselves by telling people to ‘get links to your website so we can find you’ and then their minions tell people ‘don’t buy links’ to scare people. One guy in the market speaks his mind to great lengths about buying text links and economics, pointing his finger directly at Google.
I am not a link communist. I freely buy and sell links based solely on their value to search engines. The marketplace for search rankings is a valuable one that will not disappear anytime soon, and I hope to continue to take advantage of it while the opportunity remains. Competition, contracts, property rights, appropriate incentives, and market forces serve us well, and I think those principles of capitalism should be observed and respected rather than decisions that cater only to fear, uncertainty, and doubt for short term solutions.
Link buying exists because of the high margins created by ranking high in natural search engine results if you are looking to get links, you can get newspaper backlinks from Freshlinks using the link. These margins give merchants the ability to use their adspend on areas that will increase their likelihood of top rankings. The competition will fuel itself to a point of saturation and diminishing returns. At this point the “problem” will cease. By allowing the market to run itself, resources will be allocated more efficiently.
He definitely speaks his mind and says exactly what every person feels on the subject. Read the full article. . .
A Quick “How To” for Publishing Text Ads in WordPress
One of our partners posed the question on how to publish our ads in their WordPress blog. This made me think posting it in our blog might make sense. WordPress has so many different themed styles, it can really go anywhere on any template. So this is what our partners have been doing to this point.
Login to your wordpress admin section and navigate to PRESENTATION >> THEME EDITOR. From this screen you should be able to edit the different files located on the right side. If you cannot update the files, WordPress will give a message on setting file permissions.
Click on the file you wish to show the text ads on and it will show the code in the text editor. It could be the foot, sidebar, header or one of the other files. Inside the code, you will need to place your php file inclusion code snip, provided in your LinkWorth account, exactly where you wish the text ads to appear.
One important thing to note is if you are placing your LinkWorth code inside php tags ( < ? and ? > ), you need to omit the php tags provided in the LinkWorth code. If the code is being placed outside of opening and closing php tags, then you need to make sure to include our exact code.
If you have an RSS aggregator, you can also use our RSS feed in place of the file inclusion code.
Of course, if you have any questions, our support will always be there to help.
Straight From The Horses Mouth
After reading a great discussion about buying text links today, many valid points regarding Google being contradictive and possibly violating the anti-trust laws made complete sense. As mentioned over at Threadwatch, Google tells webmasters directly in their guidelines:
If we haven’t picked up your site after several months, it’s possible that our spiders aren’t able to find your pages. If you increase the links pointing to these pages, it’ll improve the chance that we’ll find your site.
Yet, their minions proceed to tell people they wish to abolish companies that help customers do just what they instruct. As the readers point out on the discussion, Google and their employees might be violating the anti-trust laws because what is good for their own pocket is not good for another.
Let this one marinate. . .text link advertising like we provide, has not a single thing to do with any search engine. It happens on a website to website situation and we facilitate the transaction. Is it right for them to dictate what occurs on real estate that is not their own? Then again, with all those billions of dollars, I’m sure they could buy their way out of this one. 😉
What is the next step for a new LinkWorth Partner?
This is a common question we receive from new partners and although we have it listed in a couple of places, we thought speaking about it here might help if someone is searching. 😀
To become a partner, it is very simple. First, visit our partner page and read through the initial information. Once you are ready, click the “create account” button. Then follow the signup process. Once you have created an account, you will need to confirm your email address to activate it. Once the email is activated, your website will be placed in our editorial queue and account will be opened up. You will have access to your account at this point and can login to begin thumbing around.
Once your new submission is approved, an email will be sent to you alerting you that you are successfully listed in our database. At this point, you are up and running. Another common question is “how can I sell ads on my site once my account is live?” There are a couple of extra things you can do to make your listing(s) stand out from the rest; make your listing a featured listing for a small additional charge or enable your account to become a preferred partner.
Featured Listing: This allows you to upgrade your normal listing to a ‘featured’ or ‘sponsored’ listing. These listings are either shown on the top of all the pages where advertisers purchase ads or highlighted within the regular listings, or even both. This brings attention to your site(s) and featured listings tend to have a higher percentage of ads sold than those who are not featured.
Preferred Parter: LinkWorth staff purchases a large percentage of ads through our system. We typically do it on behalf of our customers. As a preferred partner, our staff will first attempt to place ads on your site before we give consideration to non preferred partners. There is never a guarantee because we must match like sites together, but we do give preferential treatment when buying ads. In addition, these listings will also be highlighted within the database to make them stand out as well.
From this point on, it is waiting for people to buy from you. Once you attain your first advertiser, the ad must be published quickly and you have taken the first step. History has proven that partners with at least one ad achieves a higher selling rate than those who have zero. The only thing we can attribute it to is, people like to gravitate towards chartered territory. In other words, they feel someone already did the research if the partner has an ad published, so they tend to pick those first.
There might be smaller tidbits that could help, but this is the main steps in becoming a new partner. Other partners are free to respond with any suggestions they might have below.
ihelpyou, inc – a spammer and problem in the SEO industry
One thing fun about the seo business is, anyone can put their horrible picture up on a website and call themselves an expert. We were notified of a guy and his minions that chose to make a few shots at us. At first, we were going to send a simple email to Doug Heil and request that he remove the libel material from his site, but we did a little research and began to see the real story about this guy and his tactics.
We did a search for his company name, and the negative remarks about him being a spammer and problem maker, go on and on. It was at this point we realized they have about as much credit as a street hustler living in a cardboard box. The many sites we found that spoke of him and his minions seemed to follow a similar pattern; they call names and lose more and more credibility. It seems this guy’s sole purpose in life is to flame other individuals and other companies. “Why?” We have no idea, other than possible jealousy, greed, attention or maybe he really thinks he is an expert. It is obvious this guy practices what he preaches … he is a spammer. A great comparison that comes to mind is, take a relationship where a girl is extremely jealous of everything her guy does. . .it is 99% of the time due to the fact she has been the guilty one.
The actual individual that fought for us over there is the one that informed us of the find, contrary to their poor investigative work. A city of several million, one in which we reside and do a large part of business in, yet we are the only one’s in it. 😀 Anyhow, that person found some great reading material to crush any credibility they thought they might have had and it only made sense to include it here with some descriptive anchor tags:
I think you are more inclined to contact a lawyer about that.You are 100% correct, there is a huge difference in how you handle a corporate client and how you handle your own domains. I’ve done some bad things on my sites that I wouldn’t even mention to an actual client. Some of the best whitehat SEOs I’ve ever seen have extensive knowledge in blackhat tactics.
I would consider that libel, by labeling you a spammer and someone who should not go near a client. I personally would hate to see my name show up in the SERPs someday in a thread like that. Then again, consider the source. A bunch of guys who are so talented at “whitehat SEO” that they are crying about the price of a plane ticket to a show.
or if I should call my attorney. There’s a bit of an entertainment factor involved with being the only person singled out by name.
I just wish Doug would tell the truth. Everytime he gets on his “SES and Spammers” rant, he always fails to mention the fact that he was once given an opportunity to speak at SES. The end result was a bad vaudeville act accept we couldn’t find any rotten fruit to throw at him.
I’ve never seen so many people stand up and walk out while someone was speaking. I’ve also never heard of a speaker getting a rating of zero before. When everything was said and done, he was never asked back because none of the paying attendees wanted to hear what he has to say.
The other point of his rant that is completely absurd is the idea that the “Notorius SES Spammers” are the same people that take on clients and engage in black tactics whitout the clients being aware. That is utter bullshit. (The companies that do that can usually be found in the exhibit hall, not on the speakers podium).
99.99% of black work that has been done by anyone willing to speak about it in public is done on their own personal sites. We’ve all spent time doing pharmaceuticals, debt consolidation, gambling, mortgages, etc. but that work in no way has any bearing on how we apprroach a mainstream client. And it also has absolutely zero impact on whether or not a mainstream client decides to hire us. If anything, they are less apprehensive because they know exactly where we stand because we are willing to answer whatever questions they want to ask honestly.
The SEO Fundamentalists Speak Out:
The fact that Nandini’s about 2 month old SEO forums just showed me over 10,000 pages listed in Google and get most of its inbound link popularity from WebAtlas (while linking back to WebAtlas from most of its pages) would indicate to me that this issue is probably a technical glitch, but some SEOs use these sorts of situations as marketing goldmines to promote their own holier than thouTM SEO beliefs.
Ihelpyou forums moderators showed their truely nasty selves when they wrote digraceful threads on multiple SEO forums.
I’ve read that IHU thread. It’s nothing short of a vicious, malicious, personal attack by a bunch of low life cowards who delight in other peoples misfortune.
With one or two notable exceptions, the thread is populated by the scum of the web community – a poor bunch of outcasts that can find no better place for their whining self justification for poor skillsets than the deranged chuch of heil. Nick W
Lets not forget that this is the same IHY group that was falling all over themselves stating that Nandini and WebAtlas were great just two months ago. Doug even requested a link to his forums.
Of course Doug would not like to be reminded of these types of things, and some of his moderators such as Srikanth state:
none of the members at ihelpyouforums are trying to abuse her. Or, are not against her. We wish her success only.
You do not support a persons work by throwing arbitrary tags on it.
Doug Heil posted a short list of legitimate directories apparently based upon who frequently posts at his forums. The now good directories include WowDirectory, which Doug Heil also accused of being a spammer in the past.
New Format Options for Partner File Inclusion
We recently sent a message regarding publish options for those who use file inclusion. I thought posting it in the forum made more sense so it will always be here to read.
- NEW CODE: The new code was a topic discussed on our forum recently and it involved the issue of the require command being unable to reach the LinkWorth server, then causing your site to either drag really bad or hang forever ending in error. Well we now have two types of inclusion codes that include a variable which can be set as a timeout option. In other words, if set to (4), after 4 seconds if it cannot connect, it will simply end it and load the rest of the page without error.
- STYLE CODE: In addition to the updated code, you are given the option for style formatting. The default setting is each text ad is placed within it’s own cell inside one table. You can select canned separators between each ad from the drop down menu or you can select “CUSTOM”. Custom will allow you to enter your own html code to go between each text ad and publish it on your site where you have control of before the ads and after if needed
Someone once asked if what we did was spamming, to which I said “absolutely not!”. We help legitimate businesses build their popularity and name recognition, which opens the flood gates of traffic. Some worry about having our name on their site in fear of google, but there should be no fear because we do not do anything sneaky or with trickery. So to make everyone feel safe, we’re removing all searchable links back to us and replacing them with unsearchable links. We will make an announcement once this section is ready to go.
Some of the Worst Money We’ve Spent
We recently had plans to exhibit at the SES NYC (Search Engine Strategies Expo), but due to a growing staff that needed attention, we had to back out. Unfortunately, their terms tie you in to either half the price of a booth or the entire amount if you cannot make it. I definitely understand the need for contracts and why they do it, but they might consider offering options for people that just cannot make it.
This really isn’t about their stern, “lock you in” contract, it is about a promotional product they offer. Since we were locked into a contract for the full amount, I offered the option to move our booth money into some advertising for the event. Granted I had to offer this option up, they do get credit for allowing us to move our money into advertising instead of just losing it. They said to review what was still available and let them know what we would like to do with our booth money. Anything you do with these expo’s is high priced. For example, a premier sponsorship is over 35k! The visibility is very good and you get many perks, but boy do they make some money.
The two options we selected to use up our paid money were the back cover of a handbook and an “email blast“. We have attended one of these events and the price of a handbook advertisement was worth it because everyone has one in their possession at the event and it follows many home. The email blast was a little interesting due to no real stats being offered and usually email marketing is a big question mark anyway. After our handbook back cover, we only had enough funds for the email blast, so we selected it. Continuous questions regarding how many people actually read the email have still ended up with no answers and reviewing tracking stats today, I think I understand why.
I realize the “visibility factor” could play into the value of an email blast to an event that boasts so many big company names, but after due time, I might consider this the worst money we’ve ever spent. The email ad itself was so short you could barely make sense of a sales pitch if you wanted to and one image was allowed but it could only be your business logo. All things aside, I created a quick and catchy email with our logo and sent it on its way like a school boy on his first day, except, this schoolboy was full of tracking url’s that would give me all bits of info regarding this email. Since no one wants to tell me how many poeple get the email, I figure maybe I can track it myself.
Most are excited to know we have received a total 54 click-thru’s, however, most of them are duplicate ip’s, so it’s tough to tell. Zero of the referrals have turned into any type of lead and;or sell. So my thought of this entry is to be very carefull when purchasing anything that has no upfront numbers or results other than a big fat bill. I’ve asked too many times for proof of advertisements and numbers but have been ignored on my reqeust each time.
The moral of this rant is, if you plan to attent a SES or WWW expo, DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON AN EMAIL BLAST. Ok, i just dozed off at the laptop only to be awakened by a jolt of mysterious electricity run through my arms and legs. Maybe it was another click from our email blast ad that occurred and it sent a jolt of energy through me for a quick second.
Who knows! I believe in this company and what they do, I just don’t quite buy into “EVERYTHING” they do.
Traffic Tracking Services
One of our future planned services is offering a traffic tracking tool. Currently, it’s a bit far back on the list of things upcoming, but we will eventually offer a product once we are sure it is of top quality.
In the meantime, there are many free services you can use to get the basics of your traffic. We’ve been testing statcounter for a couple of months and they have a nice product. The numbers aren’t real representative of what our server logs say, but offsite tracking seems to have the ability to lose some numbers. Each free service offers the basics then allow one to upgrade for more detailed info. There are also many paid services like Omniture, Websidestory & Webtrends. The best thing to do is have one of their staff give you access to a demo to ensure you get what you are looking for before paying.
Tracking traffic can tell you many things, including a better way to target visitors and convert them. If you do not currently track your visitors, we highly suggest you give it a shot and ask an analytics expert to show you how to read them if unclear.
MSN LIVE – Possible Competition Google Isn’t Ready For
We all know that Google is the monster of search. If you don’t know it, stick around, they’ll let you know it by taking your site offline accidently or maybe you did something unbeknownst to you was wrong, but the likes of SPAM Cutts finds it and removes your listing. Google, for the most part, has the top product and definitely most used search product out there. It’s a term I hear on TV, standing in line for food stamps and even in the homeless shelters (maybe not all these places), “I Googled my name..” or “I Googled to see what information I could find…”. It’s a household name these days.
It’s also been talked about how the multi-billionaires that founded Google are targeting Mr. Gates, which there is nothing wrong with. The latest report has Bill Gates still the richest human at $50 BILLION! ! ! Let me put that into zero’s for you: $50,000,000,000.00. Now whether they actually have this target or not, it’s been written in news articles that they are. You know for a fact Mr. Gates himself has heard this from his many little birds that probably suck up to him for a raise.
Along comes the first real Microsoft push for their own market share in online search. http://www.live.com is a new style of online search that has many similarities, but also it’s own unique features to make it stand out. Over the past year or two I’ve watched Google follow many search standards that Yahoo had, so now I wonder if this same thing will happen with MSN’s new LIVE search. The results are supposed to be on target to the query, but aren’t they all. Give it a test run for yourself and see what you think.
Here are a few points I made on our forum about the LIVE.com
- The infinite scroll. No more going from page to page…it’s all on one. So technically, you are on the 1st page for every term!!
- In the top right corner of the search results frame, you will see a sliding scale. If you slide it to the left or right, it will change the way the listings appear. To the right will make the option “Search within this site”. If you click it, it then pops up a search box under the listing where you can enter a term to look for on that site. Pretty crafty. Switch to the left and it only shows the title and the website url, leaving out the description.
- I like the fact all advertising is on the right. Yahoo and Google sneak the ads on top of the natural listings, which in my mind, taints the true natural organic listings. Separating the paid and natural doesn’t trick the typical user into thinking the very top is the very relevant.
- As far as relevancy, I think it probably still needs some work. Just digging through searching for keywords I’m familiar with, the listings appear to be some good some not so good. But overall, I give it a thumbs up.
The Art of Silence During Criticism
There is nothing harder than to sit back and read a blog or forum that contains criticism or your product and/or service. It is only the nature of our human brains to get our own points across to debate the negative publicity being plastered for all to read. Of course, you have to be passionate about what you are doing to really get the fire burning. Speaking from my own experiences, I thought I would give a few examples and suggestions in case you ever stumble across this situation in the future.
I’m sure you have heard the old cliché, “Any publicity is good publicity”. To a certain point, this is true. If the majority of your publicity is “damn them”, “burn in hell”, “die, die die” . . . then I would challenge the words of that cliché. What people have to understand is, no matter what product you might have, what service you might provide, there will always be critics. It is part of life in the business world. Successful people will always have people that dislike them due to their success, much like successful businesses have people that dislike them for how well the business is doing. Then there are a percentage of people that dislike whatever it is they offer, for whatever reasons.
It comes down to how that person or that business handles the criticism. More than 90% of the time the person or company being criticized should learn the art of silence. Let people have their comments about you, good or bad. Usually, the criticisms are way off the truth and the writers are just looking for attention, but there are also many times where it can be true. If it is on a website or any other type of documented media, just remember, anything you respond with will also be up for all to read. So “IF” you are going to respond, do so in the most generic and apathetic way you can. Consider being apologetic, not too much, but enough to show there was no ill harm intended.
Once a response happens, try and end the conversation at that point. Getting involved in a full fledged conversation with the critic that is documented on their website, could be a complete disaster that gets you saying things you will later regret. Keep your response very brief and stay away from the hot topic at hand.
A couple of examples, including one of my own, will show you how to not handle things. I will go ahead and throw myself under the bus first.
- My first example dates back to 2004 when LinkWorth first hit the marketplace. Our system was still fighting through bugs and growing through overall design issues. A guy named Philipp Lenssen had created an account and was getting a good feel for it. Philipp and I had spoken a time or two on really good terms and he had nice things to say. Well during an upgrade of PHP, it caused problems with our support software and Philipp already was hot under the collar, so the support issue was the boiling point. He decided to post his issues on his pretty popular blog.When I first came across his post, I was shocked that something that he should have known was a glitch that could happen to anyone would cause such negativity, but as you will see there were a few other things that he was not happy with either. He claims he is fully aware we are new and will work the bugs out and even speaks of our new upgrade to the site, but at that point, he was ready to move on. So then follows my response. It was meant to be explanatory but to say I’m ok with him leaving if he’s unhappy. Well, it didn’t come across too well. Then it turned into what I hoped it wouldn’t be. I became too involved and let my passion for our service get the best of me. “How could anyone not like what I was doing!” 😀 Now this lovely discussion will appear when you search LinkWorth. Lesson learned. I’ve read other critics since that period and no longer respond. Our service and support speaks for itself these days.
- The next example is one I happened across just recently. It is regarding a guy named Jarrod who is the owner of text link brokers dot com. Seems he stumbled across a website, which I’m familiar with, that called his service greedy and a few other hot opinions. This site has many posts about LinkWorth as well; it is a blog about buying and selling links. Anyhow, Jarrod made a very shocking first response to the webmaster who wrote that. After the fact, he claimed it was someone else that posted it and asked to have it removed. Thankfully it was not removed because if I can’t get my mistake removed, no one else should either. 😀 Later I found another site which seems to be tied into the other where the webmaster spoke of the bashing by Jarrod and then the guilty party chimed in and apologized for his remarks previously (I thought he said it was someone else that posted it?) and the two resolved their issues.
So this just proves to you, letting your passion and emotions take over can really backfire. Take it from me and Jarrod. I’m sure we both wish things would have just disappeared, but speaking for myself, it keeps me humbled and more responsive to our customer’s needs. I will admit that it taught me a big lesson and had I known the art of silence then, I wouldn’t have been able to write this article. 😀