SES Conference & Expo
The upcoming Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo occuring on December 5-8, will be held in Chicago, Illinois at the Hilton on South Michigan Avenue. For those unfamiliar with this event, it is a 4 day expo focused around search engine marketing and optimization. All of the big players are usually in attendance, including the search engine’s themselves. This event travels the world every year and it is a great place to put faces to organizations.
There will be a couple of LinkWorth representatives attending this expo. We will not have a exhibitor stand for this particular event, but we will be meeting many clients and/or partners who are also attending. If you are going to be attending this event and would like to possibly try to meet us, please send a message to us and provide a little info. Right now we have several meetings, but we always like to meet our customers when we can, so let us know and we’ll try to make a good time to meet.
If you are not going to be attending this expo, we do plan on having exhibitor booth’s in future SES expo’s. If we miss you during this particular event, hopefully we will get to meet you at a future expo.
For more information on this expo, please visit http://www.jupiterevents.com/sew/fall05/index.html
New LinkWorth Location
With the continued success and the future plans of LinkWorth, the need for additional staff and additional space was important in taking our next big steps. We are happy to annouce that LinkWorth will be moving into our brand new office just north of Dallas, in Lewisville, Texas at the end of the current month (October). For our local customers, please call ahead for directions if needed. All other customers nationally and internationally, the reason for this announcement is due to the changes it will have on all customers.
Shortly after we are moved in, the massive hiring frenzy will begin. The majority of our new employees will be sales staff that will actively seek new advertisers. We will also add additional personnel to assist in support, perform daily tasks, additional programming help and assistance in payouts. This will not only help business for all partners, but it will allow LinkWorth to grow. We have been limited with space and personnel due to our existing office, so our new location will definitely benefit everyone.
During the move there will not be any downtime to services and it should be seamless. Of course, anything can happen, but we have anticipated all options and are ready to move.
The Roots of Text Linking
If someone was to ask you to define a text link, how would you visualize it? How would you explain it to someone that might not understand it? How do you think it might have changed from when the first text link was created up to a text link created today? These are great questions to dissect and understand the true roots of text links and the effectiveness of them.
One of the biggest conversations within the Seach Engine Optimization / Search Engine world is the concept of text link advertising and if it’s something looked down upon by the search giants. Let us take the biggest of all search portals, Google, and look at their view. I recently read a blog from an actual Google employee who gave his thoughts, which he claimed was also the Google view on the topic and he openly said the buying and selling of text links is against their policies. Of course, if you read their guidelines, nowhere does it say anything about the buying and selling of text links. Now let us backup just a bit and think about how Google is where it is today. What has made them the powerhouse they are today in the search world? The answer is very easy. . .the selling of text link ads. That product alone accounts for an overwhelming majority of their quarterly earnings.
Before we get too much further into this subject, lets get back to our questions above. I asked how you would visualize a text link and how you would explain it. Since I can’t ask all of you your answers and post them as I’m typing, it only makes sense to give my answers. So the way I visualize a text link is:
When I think of a text link, I think of a pathway; a direct step into another space. Sometimes I get very futuristic and think of the old TV show Star Trek. Remember the ole saying beam me up Scottie? A text link is very similar because it beams the user to another space, on another server, in a complete different geographic location.
Now when I think of how to describe it to someone that might not understand it, it would be:
A text link is a word, or group of words, which can be clicked and direct a web surfer to another location which will provide information related to that word or group of words. It is a computer reference to another bit of information a web surfer has the option to click and read.
The last question deals with the evolution of a text link. I ask that anyone illustrate the difference between today’s text links and the text links used when the internet was first born. There is no difference. Text links are the foundation of which the internet was built on. Without text links, there would be no internet. Without text links, there would be no internet users. They are what makes the internet “user friendly” and allows surfers the ease of navigating between one location and another to read information they choose to read without someone forcing them to do so. It is also what online advertising was built on. Show me one online advertising model that doesn’t involve a text link and I’ll show you a very ineffective online advertising model.
This brings us to the early discussion of how these search giants deem the buying and selling of text links “against their guidelines”. First of all, these text links are not their property to say how and when they are to be used. When the selling of text links is what has made them who they are today, how could they be so hypocritical in saying that another entity cannot do what they do? This blog that was read made comments about “filters being applied” to look for these sellers and not count their outgoing links. It was also mentioned about applying penalties to those selling. My response to this is, if they can live with themselves and drive their value and technology into the ground by hitting the wrong sites, then I welcome this new move. The selling of links being found automatically means their technology has to identify “intent”, which is an abstract identifier. Think of how many websites that are not selling text links will get hit with this crap because of a wrong guess.
What the search engine “gods” need to realize is, whatever product they distribute, the rest of the world will continually dissect and try to adapt. Right now, text links are the basic form of what search engine algorithms are calculated with. In my honest opinion, it’s the best calculation besides original content that any search algorithm can use to determine which site is worthy; at least the only “fair” way to do so. Sure there will be those who figure it out, but it leaves the true results out of human hands. If Google was to hire a department of several hundred thousand people to manually review and score a website, then you would fall into the hands of favoritism.
So the moral of this blog story is text links are here to stay. Search engines can say all they want to try and prevent the buying and selling of text links, but the bottom line is, it is ADVERTISING. The same advertising they sell themselves. If search engines decide to issue filters or penalties, not only will they drive their company into the ground by pissing off stockholders, but the buying and selling of text link ads will continue to grow and prosper. Online commerce is bigger than search engines, they just happen to have the bigger methods in which one could find what they’re looking for. Right now, somewhere out there, the next empire is being put together that will make the Google’s and Yahoo’s and MSN’s of the world obsolete.
Long live text link advertising!
We want to hold back the details of whom and what until it is final, but Partners and even Advertisers would greatly benefit from this companies products and clients. This company is in our market and we would compliment each other’s clients immensely with a partnership. They are a publicly traded company and seem as equally excited about what we offer as we are with their offerings.
So everyone keep your fingers and toes crossed and wish us all luck.
Change Text Ads With Ease . . .
Any advertiser that manages their own text linking campaign knows that when it comes to wanting to change one text link on one partner site, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Well at least not until today! Advertisers now have the ability to change which text link ad or billboard is appearing on a partner website as a case by case basis, rather than changing the ad across all websites. One can also change the ad being shown in the middle of the month instead of having to wait until the end of the month.
Here is an example of how this change will help.
The Old Way: You have one text link ad created and published on fifty different partner websites. During the middle of the month, you decide that using different variations of your keyword would be a better plan of attack, so you need to change the text ad on half of the partner websites. Unfortunately, this must be done at the end of the month because you would have to create new text link ads, cancel the one’s that need to be changed, then wait until the first of next month to buy again. If they were re-purchased during the middle of the month, you would be charged again, so waiting for next month was the only alternative.
The New Way: You have one text ad on fifty websites and during the middle of the month the need to change your ad on half of the partner websites arise. Now you login and create the additional text link ads needed, then click the EDIT icon next to the partner site to change and then on the next page, there will be a drop down menu with all of your approved text link ads, in which you select the new ad to show on that partner site and submit to save.
This new feature allows the change of anchor text, description and also the url. The url can be a different page or sub-directory within your site, or even an entirely new website you are promoting. If the url is changed, partners do have the option to decline the new listing. If this occurs the partner will need to cancel the deal on their end.
Ad agencies, seo specialists and other advertiser accounts that require many hours of work each week will greatly benefit by this new feature. The amount of time it takes to reassess entire campaigns has been greatly reduced by an hour or two depending on the size.
Billboard Link Power . . . ACTIVATE
When we launched our Billboard Link Ads back in April of this year (2005), the power of this product was obvious to us. As more tests have been run and clients have reported, we are still discovering all of the benefits that come with a billboard ad. The complex webs in which one can create with billboards are endless, making many possible avenue’s for a potential customer to reach your website. With billboards still catching on, we thought a few possible billboard scenarios might help advertisers better understand and implement them into their existing campaigns.
We do recommend to compliment any billboard campaign with traditional text link ads. The ratio we use is 10:1; or for every one billboard, add ten text link ads. A billboard will almost always be a brand new page, so building that page’s popularity is a must. With the ten text link ads purchased, point two or three to the billboard. Now on to the scenarios. . .
The first example will involve a relatively small campaign that involves a single keyword or keyphrase. It is scalable, so for each additional keyword or phrase, double the numbers. Your first step would be:
- create three (3) very well written and unique pages on the subject revolving around your keyword or phrase. Use all SEO tools and tricks to ensure the page is developed as search engine friendly as possible. Make each of the three billboards a minimum of five hundred words or more. Do not duplicate the same billboard througout your campaign because search engines will identify duplicate pages and it will not work as well. Once the billboards are created, proofread and ready to go, create them in your LinkWorth account and approved. Be sure to not use any images, scripts or include any file outside of the page as it will not be accepted.
- Once the billboards are approved, visit the buy billboards section and find three relevant sites to your own and make sure their Linkrank is a minimum of two and PageRank is at least a three. The reason for this is to ensure the partner site is actively being indexed so your billboard will be found soon.
- Once your billboards are securely placed on the three partner sites of choice, create at least three text link ads using variations of your keyword or phrase. For example, if your keyword is text links, use other anchor text combinations like buy text links, or sell text links.
- Create unique text ads with the different combinations of anchor text and make the url of one to your website or maybe to an internal page of your website, then create a duplicate text ad and point the url to one of your billboards. Repeat this step until you have created all of your text ads. In this example, you would have a total of six (6) unique text ads created. Three hyperlinking to billboards and three hyperlinking to your website.
- Now search through the LinkWorth database and select all relevant partner sites and add them to your wish list. Using the wish list will allow you to add whatever you think might work, then once you move to the wish list, it’s just the task of shaving things down to the most relevant and cost effective. Try to add ten partner sites for each billboard, so in this example it would be 30 partner sites in your list.
- On the wish list, divide all 30 partner sites so each billboard receives at least two text ads with it’s respective keyword pointing to it, then the remaining eight text ads with that keyword are placed on partner sites pointing to your homepage or subpage. Repeat this process for the remaining two keywords using the remaining partner listings in the wish list.
- Now you are ready to put the remaining parts of your campaign into progress. Make sure all listings are checked, possibly use the calculation tool to see the prorated amount and the monthly renewing price, then press the buy links. This will not only build link popularity from relevant sites, but it will also boost the site’s authority with entire expert documents pointing to your site.
Now this may be confusing, so we plan on providing illustrations below. This may help paint the actual picture. Billboards can be tough to comprehend at first, but it’s like riding a bike. . .once you learn, it never leaves you.
SCENARIO TWO – GRADUATED CAMPAIGN
The philosophy behind this process it to gradually create and add five text ads and one billboard per week. This not only allows enough time to create unique and creative advertisements, but you also build your campaign in a more natural method. This is referred to the 5:1:1 process. Purchase five (5) links, create and purchase one (1) well written billboard, all in one week. The break down is as follows:
- Week One
- Create and purchase five (5) text ads using your keyword or phrase on relevant websites.
- Write a minimum of 500 words about your keyword or phrase using good seo copywriting skills. Hyperlink your main keywords within the content to your website.
- Week Two
- Create and purchase five (5) additional text ads using the same keyword in different forms (ex: if your term is medicine, different forms would be buy medicine, or sell medicine or cheap medicine online)
- Write another unique 500 word or more article about your keyword or phrase. Hyperlink your main keywords to your website. **Now on this billboard create one hyperlink using a keyword that represents the first billboard you created in week one, and point it to the first billboard placed during week one.
- Week Three and moving on until your budget is used
- Repeat the steps in week two for each week until the desired budget is met
The graduated campaign is a very popular method as it allows a more slow and easy to manage page. It depends on how fast you wish to have things gonig and the time to put into it.
SCENARIO THREE – BILLBOARD SITEMAP
This method is similar to creating a sitemap on your own site, except you are doing it on a partner website. Our rules on billboards have always been a maximum of ten links but only to one domain. We are changing this to allow links to other billboards and also up to three (3) additional links to other resources related to your content. This allows your billboards to become more of an expert document.
Now the steps to this campaign are fairly simple, but will require some time spent writing unique and content rich billboards.
- Step one is to create a minimum of ten (10) unique, content rich, seo copywritten billboards and have them ready in your account.
- Next, create a few text link ads using the necessary keywords needed and save them in your account.
- Now go through and add 25 to 50 partner sites to your wish list. Make ten (10) of them billboard partners, with the rest text link partners
- Shuffle around your text ads and buy the links, however dedicate 5 text link partners to a billboard text link ad.
- Go ahead and purchase the billboards on the partner sites chosen. Pick just one (1) of your billboards to be the sitemap BB.
- Now create a text link ad which links to the sitemap BB you have selected and place this text ad on the remaining five partners in your wish list
- Now edit the billboard you have chosen to be the sitemap bb and create a menu of sort, using your top keywords as anchor text, and point a single link from this billboard to all of the other nine billboards published.
- Another creative step is you can replace the text ad which points to your billboard with one of our rotating link ads. This way you can list all of your keywords and the link pointing to your billboard can be one of many keywords. This is just an alternative idea.
These scenarios are techniques that have either been tested by our own team or have been discussed with some of our clients and actually put into action. Results have been very good with traffic increasing tremendously. The billboards are wonderful pieces of advertising that prepares the reader before reaching your website. Make the information clear and easy to understand, but just enough to peak their interest. Search engines also can treat these billboards as expert documents helping your natural listings based on your content. Another big plus that can and will happen with your billboards is, more than likely you will see your billboards in the top of search results when your keywords are searched. We’ve witnessed situations where in the top 10 results, there were three of the advertisers well written, unique, content rich pages showing and then the actual advertisers website mixed in as well. This was four ways to capture all of the traffic and also builds a great visibility and name recognition factor that is invaluable..
We will have graphical illustrations of these 3 scenarios soon.
Become A Preferred Partner
In addition to these options, LinkWorth is proud to offer our new Preferred Partner account. When partners create new listings, they are presented with an option to become a Preferred Partner or a Basic Partner account. The basic account is everything we’ve had in the past with no changes. The preferred account offers the following extra’s:
- Highlighted listing on all websites listed in our database. A maroon background allows preferred listings to stand out from the rest.
- A fifteen percent (15%) discount on all listing upgrades.
- Receive first choice status for Managed Account purchases. LinkWorth specialists purchase all link ads for advertisers who enroll in our Managed Account services. LinkWorth specialists account for close to a 60% of text ads purchased in our system so as a preferred partner, our specialists will give your listing a first look before reviewing basic account listings.
- Quicker approval of new and changed submissions
- Additional perks as they are added.
The preferred partner option is a 50/50 split, rather than the 70/30 split for a basic account. One thing to definitely understand is there is no guarantee of anything with being a preferred partner. Our specialists will do their best to send as much business to each preferred account as possible, however, our advertisers ultimately have the final say and can remove anything we give them. It’s in our own best interest to drive business to preferred partners, however, it is in our advertisers best interest for links to be relevant and worthwhile that are purchased for them.
Basic Partner accounts must realize that specialists will also consider their listings as well. Our advertisers results are what is most important, so if a basic partner listing fits better, then our specialists will select them. Preferred partners will definitely get our first choice, but we cannot limit ourselves to only preferred listings as there are many great basic partner listings. So if switching doesn’t fit your needs, please do not be discouraged as business will still happen.
To become a Preferred Partner Account, if you are currently a LinkWorth partner, login to your account and on the home login page, there will be an option to become a preferred partner. Click this and it will take you to the preferred partner explanation. It pretty much says the same thing as it does here with an option to CONVERT. Once this is clicked, your account immediately becomes a preferred account.
Any questions or concerns should be submitted to our helpdesk. Thank you for your partnership!
Key Tips and Hints for Partners
One of the most common questions we receive is, “How can I make more money?” So the idea of tips and hints might be helpful to those wanting to boost their partner activity level. We will go through some things that work for other partners and basic things to pay attention to.
- The Price is Right!
As you may know, PageRank is usually the driving factor in a link being bought, but people are getting smarter and realizing that PR is not as important as once thought. In LinkWorth, the driving factor for any advertiser to take notice of a link is the price. The great thing about LinkWorth is the amount of competition bidding for an advertiser to buy. This helps advertisers spread their budget through many people. So price is the single most important factor when selling links. Take a peek at your category and see where the most active sites are priced. Consider matching their prices or possibly beating them. There is no reason someone would pay for a link on your site for $100 when they can buy a link on the same type of site with similar stats for $25. Think quantity to make money, not pricing high to make it. Feel free to use our free link price tool as a guide.
- The More, The Better
Advertisers come in with something in mind to buy. If not, they tend to lean towards a particular type of product offered. The idea is to appeal to any advertiser that comes into LinkWorth. If a new advertiser is looking to buy a billboard ad and a rotating ad, yet you do not have this option available, then you have zero chance of selling anything to that advertiser. So edit your listing(s) and activate all products offered and for all locations. Unless something strictly prohibits the ability to place any type of ad or any location of an ad, you should make it available. The more options you have, the better your results will end up being.
- Upgrade a Time or Two
Standing out of the crowd is very important. We have several thousand different websites for an advertiser to sift through. Most of the time they are after a particular subject or theme, but if your site falls within their realm, you need to be seen so the advertiser can at least take a look at your site(s). LinkWorth offers the option to upgrade a listing to become a featured partner listing or a regular featured listing. The featured will allow your listing to rotate on the top of the login home page and all of the buy links pages with other featured partners. The regular featured listings will make your listing stand out inside your category. Both give optimal exposure to advertisers and will most likely increase sales immediately.
- Build Your Army
Those partners in our system who earn thousands upon thousands of dollars each month have something in common; they all have an army of websites listed in their account. Build websites or acquire websites that cover all types of categories. This makes you available in all categories that advertisers are shopping in. As long as they have lots of content rich pages, they’ll get picked. An army of website listings priced to kill is the secret formula to making a lot of money through LinkWorth. There you go, you heard it straight from the horse’s mouth! 😀
- Go Both Ways 😉
Once you start earning a little cash, or if you just have a little budget to put towards this, look at buying a few links for your partner listings. All partners can convert their account into a Combo Account and have the ability to go both ways, Advertiser and Partner. Partners can convert some or all funds into advertiser dollars and buy links. This will help build your own stats up to make it more attractive to potential advertisers. Advertisers look for a well priced listing and then look at the statistical info for that site. The stronger the listing is, the better chance an advertiser will buy a link from it if it’s priced right. Not only this, but it helps your site’s listing in the search engine listings.
- Treat Your Advertisers Well
Something we see from time to time is partners who get an advertiser and then treat them unfairly. Although it may seem fair from the partner’s point of view, the advertiser, who is paying you, may not feel the same way. If someone buys a link at a price set by you, don’t increase it over and over and expect them to stick around. Our suggestion is to let your current advertisers be grandfathered with the price they’re paying. Hiking the price up on your advertisers usually ends up with them dropping you like a bad habit. If you feel strongly about increasing the price, use the “SEND MESSAGE” icon and explain to them what you are looking to do. Based on their response, make your decision. Some advertisers will be ok with it, but some may not be. This can also lead to poor customer feedback which future advertisers may read.
These are some of the more common and proven tips and tricks to increase your partner activity, exposure and pocket books. As more are learned, we will continue to post them for all to read. If you have a method you would like to share, submit a comment below.
New Sub Accounts Available
Due to the growing number of advertising agencies and SEO consultants using LinkWorth for their own customers, the need for simplicity of multiple accounts has been addressed. Many have asked for a solution to the problem of having multiple logins and accounts to separate advertisers from each other, so we have answered these requests.
Advertisers can now visit their ACCT INFO section within their advertiser account, then click on SUB ACCTS to create a new 2nd level account. The form to be completed will ask for all of the required information to build the 2nd level account and once submitted, a drop down menu in the top right corner of the page will appear. By selecting a different sub account from the drop down menu, one can toggle back and forth between each account created. Each sub account will be independent of the others, but your main login information is all that is required.
If you manage many of your own clients through LinkWorth, now you can give them their own sub account to keep billing separate, reports separate, linking campaigns separate and all other aspects different from your other clients.
Sub accounts can also convert to combo accounts allowing the advertiser of each account to sell links as well. This option is only available to advertiser accounts or combo accounts. Partner only accounts do not have the need or ability to create sub accounts at this time.
The Little BLUE Engine MSN Search
I’m sure anyone that has searched around through SEO firms or SEO wannabe websites; they always have their “portfolio” of websites they have pushed to the top of natural listings. What I find rather funny is how almost all of them show MSN results as their portfolio!! :))
I know MSN is trying so hard and all the while saying the same ole words the little red caboose once said, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” but no matter how many dollars that “poor poor” man Bill Gates has, I don’t think he’ll ever catch the likes of Google.
Most have noticed the simplicity of MSN results, much like our “SEO Experts” out there, but has anyone noticed how volatile the results are? As you might expect, we have managed some monstrous linking campaigns behind the walls of LinkWorth and we have clients who are #1, 2 or 3 on damn near all of their terms with Google and Yahoo. The weird thing is, MSN was the first engine to shoot them to the top spot, however, now these people dominating their market on all engines fine themselves struggling to make the first page with MSN now.
Obviously these are signs of little Billy “bad ass” Gates trying everything possible to get the edge on the Google Nation who have risen to power over the rest of the world. Making tweaks here and tweaks there, adjustments here and adjustments there…there has to be a way to beat those Googuys. So let’s say Bill finally finds a smooth working algorithm to fit the internet searchers needs. He gets the MSN search engine purring like a e-kitten and search results are weeding out spammers with ease and allowing relevant sites built well to list high as they should be…what would be missing?
The answer to this question is simple…. PEOPLE!! As most of you have probably noticed over the past year or two there is a generic term everyone is using these days when they want to find something on the net….”GOOGLE”.
“I GOOGLE’d my name and found this.”
“Have you tried to GOOGLE that product?”
“Just GOOGLE the product name and look for one.”
Google has become the staple of search; in technology and within our own language. So before anyone has the remote chance of knocking Google off of the pedestal, they not only have to out code their brains, but they also have to devise a catchy phrase or name for their search that people will learn to say when referencing to search using their site. And not only learn, but enjoy saying. People like to say catchy phrases or names that are easy to get out.
Let’s do a little test here and see which one of these just do not belong…
1. “Hey buddy, will you get on the net and Google the closest Pizza Hut?”
2. “Hey buddy, will you get on the net and Yahoo the next movie?”
3. “Hey dear, will you MSN the driving directions for our trip?”
Out of these 3 search giants, there is one that flows naturally, one that flows pretty natural, but you don’t hear much, then there is one that you never hear and it definitely doesn’t flow naturally. Which do you think?
So in conclusion to this story, MSN not only has a long way to go with their technology involved with MSN search, but they really need to come up with a creative name to identify their search technology if becoming number 1 in search will ever happen.