Upgrade and Prank a Huge Success

Server Upgrade & Migration:

While our upgrade took a couple hours longer than expected last night, things turned out great! The load times are so much faster than before. If you are participating in our LinkWords program, you’ll notice our ads are loading faster than the pages now!

Our awesome hosting company told me late afternoon that we had already served 7.2 million requests in less than a day!!! Pretty amazing. I think we were missing a lot of requests with our older equipment.

We still have additional upgrades coming that will improve things further, but we will announce each as they arrive.

Office Prank:

robin-prank

After our successful upgrade, we (Matt and I) felt we needed to release some of this built up pressure of the upgrade anticipation. Just so happens, we have about 25 of these huge executive chair boxes that have been sitting around the office. We thought that we would make an office out of a cube with the boxes, so we hit “Bob the Builder” (Robin) since she made a comment about the boxes earlier.

I think she enjoyed it! (click images to see larger view)

robinprank1 robinprank2 robinprank3

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Scheduled Downtime Today

        LinkWorth Cleanup Time
        LinkWorth Cleanup Time
We have sent out emails to everyone regarding our downtime today, but just in case your email didn’t make it, you must know we have a scheduled downtime today for upgrades. We’re cleaning things up!

Our services will be shut down at 6:00 PM Central Standard Time, today 8.11.09, for approximately one (1) hour. (That is -6:00 GMT)

We’ll be moving datacenters and to much faster equipment with lots of room to grow. This will help with lagging load times for ad feeds and also allow certain parts of our network to go down and not affect the main ad serving machines.

The best way to keep up with everything going on will be through our Twitter feed. We’ll be making constant updates to keep everyone informed during this upgrade and others still to come.

http://www.twitter.com/linkworth

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Website Stats – Never Better

stats-lwIf you’ve been like many other customers, you’ve often wished we had better stats for partner listings. Believe me when I say, it’s been an extremely sore subject with us for quite a while!

With lots of new code and lots of new servers, we’ve managed to get a new process in place that will keep all sites in our inventory equal to or less than 30 days old thanks to a new website designers team who pitch in the process.

In addition to improving our stats data, we’ve also incorporated ways to purchase and/or add to your wish list(s) straight from the stats page, making the process of campaign building much easier than ever before.

Although we have a new product soon to be introduced (LinkBanners), the majority of our focus has been improving everything we have. We’ll keep everyone in the loop of new changes as they happen.

Follow LinkWorth on twitter to more current updates.

http://twitter.com/linkworth

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Upcoming Upgrades to LinkWorth

We have decided to make 2009, the year of upgrading. We know there are many things people would like to see differently, so we’re putting ‘most’ of the new development on the back burner while we make what we have better. I thought it would be good to inform everyone of what to expect in the near future.

Here are a few changes to look for soon:

  • REPORTING: – we are about to launch a much needed reporting upgrade. It’s something that has been one of the most requested, and we finally have the manpower to put it into production. We are about to launch our new reporting that will help display the numbers you have always wanted with LinkWorth.
  • LinkBB (Billboard Ads): – our LinkBB has been around for a few years and was the first of it’s kind in our market. Almost like a magazine advertorial, but a web version. However, things have changed since we were the first to launch this type of product, so it is time to give it a much needed upgrade. Look for the upgrades you’ve always wanted with our LinkBB product within the next couple of weeks.
  • LinkInTxt Upgrade: – our LinkInTxt product is a very hot commodity. It’s something that is becoming more popular by the day. The way we currently discover new keywords or key phrases is outdated. We are working on a more updated way to discover new keywords and key phrases on partner sites/blogs. This means more opportunities for partners and more opportunities for advertisers.
  • Banner Ads!: – we announced the upcoming new product a while back but had to put it on hold while we worked on other improvements. The new product is back into production and we’re extremely excited about launching it soon. Banner ads have made a huge comeback, so offering it to our customers makes complete sense.

This is just a small list of upgrades we have on deck. Our goal is to make the Control Center much easier to use and maintain. Since our staff uses it daily, their feedback is usually very similar to much of our customers. If you have suggestions, PLEASE send them to admin **at** linkworth **dot** com.

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Minor Update

Just a little heads up, we have locked our system for a short time to add a minor update.

It will be be unlocked shortly.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

******UPDATE*******
We’re back!!

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LinkPost Jobs Upgraded

LinkPost Jobs has been well received since the launch. We expected our initial launch would bring many comments and suggestions on what might be needed in order to make it better. The suggestions did pour in and we appreciate everyone who sent them in because it was exactly what we were hoping for.

The two biggest suggestions were the ability to pre-approve blogs for jobs and the option to exclude certain domains. Advertisers felt there needed to be a middle ground between a regular LinkPost and a LinkPost Job. They like the idea of handpicking blogs, but also like the feature of having bloggers come to them. They also wanted the ability to block specific domains if they don’t want a certain blogger type.

Blog Candidates
When creating a new job, you’ll see a new option that says:

  • Bloggers will be automatically approved if they meet my job criteria.
  • I want to review/approve Blog Candidates.

If you select that you want to ‘review/approve’ candidates, then once a blogger accepts your job listing, the system will notify you that there is a blog candidate to approve/decline. Once clicking the blog candidates, you’ll see all candidates interested in writing the review. At this point you’ll have the option of visiting their blog and making the decision of whether or not it fits your needs.

Exclude Domains
The other new option is the ability for advertisers to disallow domains from accepting your jobs. If you wish to not allow blogspot.com, wordpress.com, typepad.com or any other blog service you deem invaluable, this is where you can block them. When creating a job listing, the ‘exclude’ option will now be part of the job listing process.

We are always looking for more suggestions to make our products better. If you have a suggestion, please email support {at} linkworth {dot} com.

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Phone Issues

I just thought I’d post a quick update about our telephone woes. They’re fixed!

We had a fancy new phone system installed here last Thursday that hasn’t been routing calls properly. Every incoming call was going to the Auto-Attendant and I know people were having difficulty reaching us. SORRY ABOUT THAT!!!

Like I said, it’s all working correctly now and we apologize for any inconvenience.

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Introducing LinkWorth Jobs

Partners, are you tired of waiting around to be chosen for LinkPost deals?

Advertisers, does sorting through our ever-growing inventory to find suitable LinkPost Partner blogs take too much of your valuable time?

Now there’s an easier way! (Will go live tomorrow 4.29.08)

Allow me to introduce LW Jobs – a new way to buy & sell paid blog posts here at LinkWorth.

In the “old days”, Advertisers had to create an outline, search for Partner blogs individually, make a buy request, wait for approval, then wait for the post be written. On the flip side, Partners had to wait patiently for work to come their way, navigating payroll.

Now there is a MUCH more efficient way for both Partners and Advertisers. LW Jobs allow Advertisers to simply create a Job listing using a LinkPost outline and let the bloggers find them.

How does it work?
Advertisers select a LinkPost outline to use, determine a set of minimum requirements that Partner blogs must meet, deposit funds, and then the Job is posted for all of our blog Partners to see and accept the Jobs that best suit them!

Partners
As a blog Partner, viewing the available Jobs is a piece of cake. Simply log in to your control center and view your Alerts to see what Jobs are currently on deck!

You can also access the available Jobs by clicking the “my products” tab >> linkpost >> search linkpost jobs.

At a glance you can see what Jobs you’re eligible to accept. If your blog meets the requirements and there are still available funds, the Job listing will appear green…GO FOR IT!! If your blog does not meet the requirements, the Job listing will be red and you won’t be able to accept it.

Advertisers
Log in to your control center and click the “my products” tab >> linkpost >> create Job (you must first have a LinkPost outline created before a LW Job can be created). Fill in a few fields, set your pricing, and sit back while the buzz about you begins! Check out the screenshot below to see how easy it is.

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New Spider In Action

Earlier today we put our new ad checking spider into production. The much needed upgrade is using up to date technologies along with verifying code and text of the ad. What this means is, if you publish an ad using the wrong anchor text or the wrong code, the ad is not going to be validated until it is published correctly.

Another advantage to our new spider is the advanced level of communication. Rather than just telling you the ad is not found, we’ll be communicating the reason why our spider was unable to validate the ad. We do expect a period of a few weeks to get the communication feature completely finished.

We do encourage you to let us know if you notice any unusual activity or messages being sent. What I mean by this is if we’re sending incorrect information or something repetitive, or just out of the ordinary, then contact support. This doesn’t relate to messages about ads not being found. If you are receiving an ad not found message, we request that you hold off contacting us until you have received more than one consecutive messages regarding the same ad.

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Several New Updates Planned For This Week

We have several new features ready to go live this week. Mostly we’re improving what we have in place now, with one add-on to an existing product.

Add Products, Tags & Categories:

One of our goals this year is to improve the chances of Partner websites to be found by Advertisers. With 23k plus sites in our inventory to choose from, and growing daily, it’s important for Advertisers to be able to find websites/blogs that are the right audience and content to build effective campaigns. The best way to do this is by searching the inventory by keywords. While the feature is already in place, Partners need the ability to tag their website/blog listings with keywords and to classify their site within specific categories.

We have included a secondary category option called “Category Tags” which allows you to select an additional three (3) categories that can apply to your listing. Directly under category tags is a text box labeled “Tags”. This section is like most tag fields where you list keywords or key phrases that describe your listing. Tags will be checked to ensure they match the content on your website, so please be sure you’re not stuffing your tags full of off topic keywords. These two settings are currently available in your account. To add these to your listings, go to PARTNER > MY SITES >> MANAGE SITES and to the right of your listing(s) look for an actions column. Click on the toolset “EDIT” icon and you will find the two new options.

After adding these new items, you will see that we have included our entire suite of products in the Edit view. This allows you to add products to your website. Previously we required each product to be setup separately, however, our new setup allows one submission for all products chosen. After adding your new items, submit to save your changes.

Nofollow Option:

Many partners have stressed the desire to apply the controversial rel=nofollow tag. Our terms have always stated that text ads must be search engine friendly to ensure advertisers received the full benefit of the advertisement, however, we want to provide an option for those who want to apply the nofollow tag to text ads. For this reason we are adding a new option in your site settings that will allow the nofollow tag to be applied. Once activated, your listing will be illustrated with a nofollow highlight alerting all advertisers of your policy prior to purchase. If you have existing advertisements and wish to switch to a nofollow status, an email will be sent to each advertiser alerting them of your change and they will have the option to cancel their ads with a prorated refund. The nofollow tag is not something we plan to force on anyone since it is not our place to tell you how to code your site. The tag is a preference of each partner and it is up to the advertiser if they wish to pay for these types of text ads. The important step is to ensure both parties are on the same page.

LinkPost Job-Opps:

A new add-on to our LinkPost product is called Job-Opps. This not only gives a new way to build campaigns for advertisers, but it also gives partners a great new way to jump into the paying jobs. Our blog reviews have always run on a marketplace basis which is great for advertisers who want to handpick the blogs, but it’s not so great for bloggers who have a lot to offer and aren’t always selected. With LinkPost Job-Opps, advertisers create an outline for the type of review they’re looking for, minimum qualifications, the price per review and the number of job-opps available. Once listed, partners who have a blog that meets the qualifications and wish to apply, can do so until the job-opps available have been depleted. The approval process is being tweaked a bit while we try to decide if advertisers will be approving or declining submissions or if our staff will do this on their behalf. (Feel free to give your suggestions below) We are definitely excited to launch this new feature and it will be live within the next 10 days.

Spiderbot 2.0 – Out with the bad and in with the awesome:

We have briefly mentioned this in previous posts but the light is at the end of the tunnel. Spiderbot 2.0 is coming close to testing and then launching. With the new version we are greatly cutting down on bandwidth and time spent extracting information. The technology includes super fast processing and more informative communication. Our new bot will be in and out in a flash getting the information needed and not wasting bandwidth or time. This should definitely cut down on the “Link Not Found” emails along with sending informative emails explaining what caused our bot to fail on your site. This should be up and running within the next 30 days.

There are many other features on the deck. We’re always looking for customer feedback to help us create a better environment for our users. If you have a suggestion, please list it below and we’ll be happy to look into it.

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