As many of you know, LinkWorth experienced an outage last night. We’re back up and running now and we’ve completed our renewals cycle. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you!!

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LinkWorth Makes Top 50 Ad Marketplaces

We’re happy to be noticed in Website Magazine as one of the TOP 50 alternative ad marketplaces. It means a lot to know our community has grown so much over the years with very little advertising and mostly hard work by our staff and most importantly, our customers telling their friends, families and business associates. We’ll keep on truckin’ on our way to the top!

       LinkWorth - Top 50 Ad Marketplaces
       LinkWorth - Top 50 Ad Marketplaces

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Need More Powerful Analytics?

Analytics is a necessary part of any online marketing campaign, right? Of course it is. And as the online marketing industry grows, so should the level of sophistication in which we analyze our data with a storyboard template. I’m certainly guilty of relying on what I’ll refer to as “status quo” metrics, meaning; I’m only paying attention to data that I’ve always considered to be important…not much else.

I was recently enlightened by a long-time friend and business associate who I believe has a truly unique approach to mining useful data and presenting eye-opening questions that have not been asked previously. The company is called DatabaseDNA and while it’s evident that this is not a web design or marketing firm; the nuts & bolts of what they actually provide is fascinating. One of the company’s owners, Tom Kapurch, has graciously offered to take on a few “pro bono” projects just to show the world what DatabaseDNA is capable of so we took the bait. And so can you, if you’re interested.

But let’s hear it straight from the horses mouth, shall we? I asked Tom for his description of DatabaseDNA and here’s what he had to say…

A better way of determining “what is important to know.”

Webster’s defines the word intelligence as the ability to learn … or deal with new or trying situations, or reason … and the skilled use of reason (and) the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly.

You won’t find a strict definition of business intelligence in Webster’s but when you search the term on the internet you will be directed to a variety of very sophisticated product sites powered by Microsoft, IBM, Cognos and SAS, to name a few.

A review of their products and services will offer terms such as analytics, dashboards, scorecards, data mining, corporate performance management (CPM) and compare business costs. And, as you search the resources of many companies you will learn many of their collective human resources reflect expertise with these systems. But … do they necessarily have the capability or experience to provide real intelligence or the capacity to provide the abstract knowledge hidden within the data and present these as actionable information?

To the best of our knowledge, our service provides the most unique analytical approach to business intelligence development. It relies on combined technology applications used in government intelligence traffic analysis, consumer and B2B marketing research, operations research and statistical quality control. The related SW program is designed to effectively integrate with any legacy or even desk top system.

With knowledge gained through patterns we call “information emergence” and trends that rely on a unique data measurement and metric development algorithm that goes beyond ‘static,’ conventional statistics, our process uses an experimental AND exploratory method for data mining and “on the fly” analytics. We further provide a highly visual output, whose displays lend to distributed cognitive understanding and consequent tasking in the decision-making process.

One of the most salient features of our process is its dependence on the effective identification of a ‘mid’ or ‘operational level’ of information (between a level of strategy and tactics) with an objective ‘categorization’ of data at this mid level.

This critical elements in this process to optimize decision-making at multiple, integrated management levels to:

1. Reduce dependence on management’s (often times) faulty perception of specific information’s value and relevance,
2. Provide improved specifications for information management and data collection and storage rules, and
3. Spread and reduces risk across key decision nodes at multiple levels of business management.

Our analytics process is not designed to replace legacy HW and SW systems that do an effective job of collecting, storing and distributing large volumes of data.

It is an effective tool to improve the use of these resources to gain a better understanding of “what is important to know.”

In short, it means that you can give these guys data of any type and they can tell you things about it that you never knew. I’m not really able to share the capacity in which we used DatabaseDNA, but I can tell you that we were deeply enlightened in a few areas. If you are looking for a marketing agency based in Idaho, check out the Boise SEO agency plans.

And as I mentioned above, these guys are taking on a few LinkWorth-referred projects for nothing in return other than, perhaps, some linkage and honest recommendations. Contact Tom and he’ll answer any questions you might have.

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Meet The New Guy: Ben Edger

We have a few new faces around here so I thought it might be a good idea to put one of our new developers, Ben Edger, on the spot with a few questions to give the rest of the crew some insight as to what makes him tick. It’s no secret that we like to have a little fun with our employees so we’ll give this a shot and see how it pans out.

I present to you the first installment of “Meet The New Guy.” If it works, look for a few more in the near future. Now let’s get to meeting our new guy…

You recently graduated….what was your degree in and where did you get it?

I graduated from Texas State Technical College – Waco with an AAS in Web Design and an AAS in Web Development.

What made you choose this path?

My step-dad was/is a developer. When I was younger I always thought it was interesting to write HTML and I created my first Web site at age 12. Yes, it looks horrible compared to my new one. Web wasn’t my first choice though. I wanted to be a chef first but when I was in 12th grade I had a Dreamweaver class that showed me I was much better with computer then cooking.

I think it’s safe to say that you were meant for web development if you started writing HTML at age 12. I’d say cooking is a good “minor,” though….do you still cook a lot? What’s your specialty? Let me guess: stuffed lobster tail accompanied with sauteed shrimp & scallop scampi??

When I do cook, which tends to be far and in-between, I usually love to make Italian food. You’ll never catch me cooking seafood, EVER. If I get a strong smell of seafood, the real fishy smell, I get sick to my stomach. It’s been that way since I was younger. I don’t really know why though. I can’t even cross the seafood section in Wal*Mart without having to hold my breathe until I think I am far enough away from the smell.

Duly noted. Seafood buffet. Next week. It’s on.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a computer?

My favorite thing to do on the computer is to play video games and gamble with Cozino games, of course. I am a huge World of Warcraft fan and I’ve been playing it for about 2 years and 2 months. I am not limited to only playing Warcraft, I grew up playing games from just about every genre. That includes NES, Sega, Playstation, Xbox, etc.. I also enjoy working on my Web site, surfing YouTube or just chatting with the friends on Yahoo/AIM.

That’s right…you’re a big-time gamer. I know very little about WoW, but what I do know is that it is insanely popular. Were you ever into D&D or any other offline RPGs? And tell me about your faction/class/race/whatever-the-hell your WoW character is about…if that even makes sense.

I have played a lot of games from MMORPGs, like World of Warcraft, to the table top games, like Warhammer. Warhammer really isn’t an RPG but you build and paint an army to ‘fight’ against another player. A lot of people get caught up in it and start to act like the army they field. I never really got into D&D but I have friends that play and I know a lot of the lingo that goes along with the game. I am apart of the SCA though. That’s a group of people that do LARP but not in the sense of magical creatures. You can read some about that at www.sca.org. In World of Warcraft, I play for the Horde (faction) as an Orc (race) Warrior (class). That means I run around and hit other players or ‘mobs’ (random environment creatures) with weapons in hand-to-hand combat. I can talk about Warcaft and games all day, so I am going to move to the next question.

I’ll say when it’s time to move on to the next question, sir. Okay…let’s move on.

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Only one song? I don’t think one song would keep me going for very long. I like music but I like to find new music. Most the time I will listen to Pandora Radio (pandora.com) because it will throw songs in that I never heard before but might like to hear. The song that I listen to the most, currently, is Hide and Seek by Namie Amuro. Most the music I listen to is Metal though.

Ok, ok…now I’ve stumbled into it. You love metal but right now you’re listening to Namie Amuro the most?? Wow…talk about musical diversity. I, too, tend to dig the heavier end of the music spectrum but I’ve got countless guilty pleasures as well. What metal bands are you into? Do you like seeing live shows? Are you a MOSHER???

I listen to a lot of music all the time. My iPod has about 2,700 songs (which is barely anything) on it and they’re all sorts of genres. I do love metal and I’ve been to a Korn and Slipknot concert. I wasn’t able to get in the mosh pit but I would have if I was given the chance. When I got back from both concerts, I wasn’t able to move my neck from all the head banging and rocking out. I never buy CDs though, that’s my big downfall on such a low music collection. I download just the songs that I want from iTunes or get them from my friends.

It wasn’t a good show unless you’re physically impaired for the next couple days! I’ve seen Korn; it was the loudest concert I’ve ever been to and I’m pretty sure I have some permanent hearing loss as a result. Good times. (And talk to me about a streaming mp3 ripper…I’ve got one you might like so you can bulk up that Library Solutions.)

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Most the time I say Event Horizon but for some reason Monty Python and the Holy Grail came to mind. That movie, and the rest of Monty Python, makes me laugh all the time. I own the Holy Grail and Life of Brian. I go back and watch them from time to time and just laugh. I love movies though. I will go and see any movie if I have the chance. I buy a lot of them from the Movies on Demand because I think it the long run it’s cheaper. If the movie is good enough, or I think it will be, I’ll go to the movie theater and see it.

Now this was a lead-in question because I thought FOR SURE you were going to say Star Wars. (Although I absolutely LOVE the Monty Python flicks…hilarious!) When you first started working here, Ron and I took you to lunch and you told us about some Star Wars “memorabilia” you have. Care to share with the class?

I love Star Wars but it’s not my all time favorite. I do own some Star Wars memorabilia. They are the Clone Trooper helmet and the Darth Vader helmet. I love the Clone Trooper helmet, it’s so much better made then the Darth Vader one that I got. I meant to bring it to the office but every time I get up I always get caught up in getting ready to leave that I forget the helmet. Someone text me in the morning and remind me!


No reminder was necessary. Check out Clone Trooper Ben. He wore this in to the office yesterday and I love it. Full-throttle coding requires a helmet!

You seem like a really easy going person. What’s your biggest pet peeve? Seriously, I want to know what really pisses you off!

Things that piss me off. I hate when people tell the wrong direction. Example: We live north of Austin. I hate when people say, “We’re going up to Austin this weekend.” How hard is it to look at a map? Honestly. I hate when people talk about something they don’t know about or try to claim they’re an expert at the subject. Example: Some guy in Best Buy tried to tell me that they didn’t make video cards for laptops. He worked for Best Buy. I just walked away from him to find someone who had a brain to help me.

HAA! Well I’ll keep that in mind this weekend when I go down Oklahoma City for the top secret WoW power-leveling workshop that only Best Buy employees who work in laptop sales are allowed to attend.

I wouldn’t trust those guys. They’ll tell you all the wrong information. =P

Your 21st birthday is approaching. How are you going to celebrate?

Yes, my big 2-1 is coming but I don’t quite know what I am going to be doing. My birthday is going to be on a Sunday this year. That means work the next day. I think we’re going to wait for the following weekend to go out and party it up. That way I wouldn’t have to call in being ‘sick’ (hung over). What are we going to do? What else? Hit the bar with my older brother and some friends. No worries though, I always have a DD to get me home.

You’ll soon learn that Sunday nights are no obstacle, young jedi. Since you claim to ALWAYS have a designated driver, I have to assume that you have illegally hit the sauce before. What’s your preference? Beer? Whiskey? Tequila? Moonshine?? (This information will go in your file. LinkWorth is very sensitive to our employees’ alcoholic preference.)

I don’t know what you’re talking about… okay, okay… Yes, I’ve drank before… this IS Texas. Isn’t it a requirement? I am not much of a beer fan. I will drink it if it’s the only thing around but if I can avoid it, I will. I like to drink Vodka, Schnapps and stuff like that. Since I can’t really buy it right now, I take what I can get. You know what I am talking about? I don’t drink a lot though. I have to be in the mood or it has to be an occasion for me to put a few back. The last time that I went drinking was New Years of ’08 and that was some fun times. I try to keep those night spread out for now.

Good stuff, Benny. Thanks for taking some time out for me and being a good sport. Welcome to LinkWorth!

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Video Tutorials Preview

Here at LinkWorth, we are always trying to think of ways to help our users better satisfy their online marketing needs. One thing we want to do is make it as easy as possible for new users to become familiar with using the Control Center, so they can jump right into using LinkWorth in order to promote or monetize their websites.  In this spirit, we are producing a video tutorial series to teach everyone the ends and outs of each and every LinkWorth Product.  We would like to give everyone a sneak peak of what to expect in the tutorials and maybe get some feedback on what would be the most beneficial to all of our users.  Check out our preview tutorial for imaginationcreations.com below and feel free to leave comments, we will use your input in the development of future tutorials.

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Does Social Traffic Matter?

socialI’ve read a few things here and there about social traffic and how ‘important’ it is to have. And with more and more businesses flocking to social media platforms like Instagram to promote their brand. That means more competition to get the most followers. While growing your following should not be the sole focus of your social media strategy, it still pays to have as many followers as possible on Instagram. And with companies such as Upleap that can help you get more Instagram followers, it’s now easier to boost your credibility on the site. I also have a personal blog and the social traffic is through the roof, however, the big question is, does any of the social traffic really matter?

Take StumbleUpon traffic, for example. If you’re a Stumbler, you know as much as any other Stumbler, you’re killing time and looking for things of interest. This usually doesn’t involve running around spending a dime, it’s just about finding funny pictures or things of interest without having to put much thought into it. I can honestly say I’ve never spent a single penny on a site I have stumbled on. I might have referenced something I found on my blog, but I can’t see any financial benefit that this type of traffic might bring.

Now let’s look at Digg traffic. I will admit I’m not a big Digg fan, mostly because I’ve read about how a group of power Digg users control what gets pushed up and what doesn’t so I don’t view it as as much a world view as I do a group of users view.Many users buy likes for instagram for increasing their traffic. The results are pretty much the same thing though, it’s either political, funny, shocking or just overall newsworthy, not financially beneficial to anyone. I did have one blog post that someone dugg and there was about a week of traffic that came from it, all which opens that one page, looks at the content, and then moves on.

Social media branding is about consistently using the right methods to engage with your target audience on social media platforms. The aim or purpose is to boost brand awareness. Social media branding makes it easy for you to get more relevant people into your sales funnel by giving them a reason to trust you. People use social media for various reasons. But for marketers, it is mainly to reach more consumers with their brand message. Reaching more people helps grow your brand awareness and generate leads. Magnify Signs in Denver is a company that creates custom signs for businesses. These are not your typical, simple signage, but rather they’re works of art with clever sayings and messages to make you laugh or smile. Whether it’s the sign outside of an office building welcoming people each day as they enter or one at the entranceway telling them what floor their destination can be found on, Magnify will take care of all aspects from design layout to installation!

facebookadsI’ve also blogged some time ago about Facebook Ads and how poor they performed. Granted, this was millions of new users ago and they’ve probably put more work into their ad platform, but what are you looking for when you login to Facebook? Something to buy or pay for? I would say 75% of the time I login to my account, the ad I see you can see to the right. Yep, it’s a mugshot of Matt Baker, who works for us. Just seems like a big waste to show that ad over ads that might actually convert for serious advertisers. (not that I don’t enjoy seeing Baker’s peace sign) As I said before, other than branding, I still can’t see a huge benefit in running ads on the Facebook system.

I would love to see a study that compares the value of a social media site to a large company with thousands of employees, and the company spends millions of dollars in advertising with that social site. Then determine how much employee time is wasted on that social site during a typical workday. Total both sides of the study and see what the true benefit to the company really is. What if it was found that social websites are a proven way to cost companies millions of dollars in lost revenues because their employees spend more time being social than being productive?

I’m not here to say social sites are worthless, I’m just asking if they really matter when it comes to paying the bills. If you have a site that averages a thousand uniques per month without any social traffic and you convert 5% of the traffic, and then after bumping your traffic up another thousand uniques of social visits, would that translate into the same number of conversions? I’ve searched and haven’t really found much by way of real life examples or data to prove it’s worth the time, so if you are reading this and know of a good study or two, please post a link or any real life situations you might have been involved with.

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LinkWorth on Facebook

Human beings are social creatures, and maintaining personal relationships are a very important part of our lives which often require a lot of work. Thankfully for my generation, the internet has blessed us with convenient tools that allow us to remain in close touch with a large number of our friends relatively easy. We are entering the age of the Social Network! Sites like Facebook and MySpace allow users to keep in contact with a larger number of people than would be possible in the everyday offline (AKA real) world; social networks complement our natural ability to maintain personal relationships by eliminating the barriers of distance and time.

Take for example my personal Social Network of choice, Facebook. I currently have around 800 friends on Facebook, 90% of whom are friends and acquaintances of mine that I have met over the years at high school and College, people who now live far away from me in different parts across the country. Without the internet, it would be physically impossible for me to keep in touch with each of them even if I tried, but thanks to Facebook I am able to indirectly keep up with their lives and if I needed to contact them, they are just a message away.  Facebook is not just useful for distant connections, but it also is a great tool for my closest friends and I to communicate with.

Facebook refers to the collection of user friend connections as the “Social Graph”. The company’s success can be largely attributed to its ability to leverage the Social Graph for the benefit of its users by allowing them to easily connect to one another and share information. In fact, if someone were to ask me,  “What is Facebook?”  My reply would be that, “Facebook is a tool that helps connect users with their friends, allowing them to share information very easily between one another.” It’s important to remember that Facebook does not replace other more traditional means of sharing information and communicating; it’s purpose is to enhance and expand the sharing of information by making it simpler to communicate and connect with others.

LinkWorth is also about connections; our products and services facilitate the connections between Advertisers and Partners for the purpose of Search Engine Marketing. Our company exists, in part, to simplify the process of connecting websites interested in text link advertising with websites looking to monetize their site by selling ads on it. In fact our three pointed logo (as legend has it) is symbolic of the three way connection between LinkWorth, our partners and advertisers. We believe that our strength lies in our ability to build and maintain relationships with our users and potential users. These relations help keep the LinkWorth team aware of our customers online marketing needs, so that we can always find ways to better satisfy those needs.

We are always searching for ways to better communicate with and serve our users. With that in mind I’d like to introduce our newest social experiment, LinkWorth on Facebook. If you are familiar with Facebook Pages, I encourage you to become a fan of our page and make use of all its social features (Wall, Discussion Board, etc). If you are not familiar with Facebook, it’s easy to sign up and learn the ropes. Think of our page as an online hangout for everything LinkWorth related; whether you want to learn more about SEO for your website or you just have a little fun getting to know the LinkWorth Team… Be sure to check out LinkWorth on Facebook!


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Pubcon update

Sitting here in our booth at PubCon in Vegas. Attendence has been slow but those we speak to are great contacts.

In a booth next to us is a really cool iphone game app called inetmania. Its a game for webmasters and you have the ability to make a lot of money with it. Check it out at www.inetmania.com …

Last night Matt and I were invited to a secret “dirty link sellers dinner”. Hosted by Patrick Gavin and MediaWhiz. Lots of familiar faces and plenty of food and drinks. Conversations were great and thanks so much to those guys for the night.

Off for now. Have 2 more nights!!

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How Many Links Do You Need?

Every industry on the planet has its’ own set of frequently asked questions and SEO is no different. Some of those questions can be tough to answer…some might be super basic…just depends. In our little microcosmic world of link building, the most common question asked of me is:

“How many links do I need?”

Now, as simple and straightforward as that may sound, it’s pretty much the equivalent of asking me, “Where did we come from?” because to be perfectly honest with you, nobody really knows. Some people may think they know, but they don’t know exactly. The bottom line is there are too many ingredients in the casserole that is SEO to know for certain. It’s like asking exactly how many granules of salt you need to make it taste “just right.” You just eyeball it, right? Add some and if it needs more…add more. We all do it that way. And we should.

So how do I answer this all-too-common inquiry? My answer is always the same: MORE. More, more, more.

It’s not that I’m looking to push sales here, either. Seriously. If you’re asking that question to begin with it’s because you want higher rankings. And the way to higher rankings is through more inbound links. (I didn’t make the rules here, folks, I just play by ’em…it is what it is.)

Obviously, there is much, much more that goes into a highly successful SEO effort than just links, but once you’ve done all the “other stuff”….links are what you’re left with. Really, if you’re confident that your code is in order, your architecture & navigation pristine, and you’re loaded with enough great content to rival the Library of Congress; the only option you have is to get more links.

How many? Only YOU can know the answer to that, young grasshopper.

As I mentioned before, if you ask me…I’ll always say you need more. But how many more is unanswerable. My suggestion would be to keep acquiring them until you’re where you want to be. Eyeball it, you with me?

There’s no secret recipe, no brilliant mathematical equation, and no higher-power that can give you the answer. You just have to believe that more links will work…because they normally do.

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Buying Bulk For Cheap vs Buying Wisely

Einstein on LinkWorthThere are many fly by night services out there now that offer you thousands of links for a dirt cheap price. To the untrained eye, it will look like a great deal. Why pay for each individual link when you can save yourself tons of time & money by only paying a couple hundred bucks for 5k, 10k, 20k links or more?

You will definitely get what you pay for. Think of it like buying a car. If someone offered to sell you a car, one being $300 and the other being $3,000, which would you trust to get you where you need to be? Of course the $300 car sounds like the perfect deal, but what are the chances of that car actually working right? More than likely if you pay $300 for that car, you’ll end up spending thousands more dollars making it last more than a few weeks. Or you’ll just junk it, lose your money, and then spend money on a good car.

It’s no different with paying money for text link ads. An example of a $300 link service is called TNX. They promised people thousands of free links and extremely cheap links beyond that. Next thing you know, not only was their network wiped clean from the net, but their own site was as well. Helpless people that jumped into what seemed to be a great deal walked away with nothing but lost money and time.

Cars and LinksIf you are going to head down the link buying path, be wise about it. There are a few reputable networks (wink, wink) that aren’t going to sell cheap, worthless links. You’re also not going to stack thousands of links out there all at once. Take your time and do your link building the right way by finding relevant sites that make sense. Maybe even find someone that can lend a helping hand.

We (LinkWorth) now offer free account management to all advertisers. Let our Account Managers manage your account, or at least get you going in the right direction. Customer retention is what benefits us, so we’re not going to steer you down a dead end road with a junker car.

Just remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

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