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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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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Authorize.net Goes Down In A Blaze of Glory

downto2The title is only off by one word…”Glory”! Authorize.net, the payment gateway for 10’s of thousands of online businesses, had a fire in their datacenter that caused the sprinklers to go off and fry the generators. They’ve been down for over 12 hours of posting this and they’re slowing pulling things back together.

What does this mean for LinkWorth customers? Well, if you typically use a credit card for purchases, the transactions will not work currently. We do also have Paypal setup as a backup which we would recommend if you wish to make purchases or need to have renewals process. You can go to ‘my money’ > ‘add funds’ > ‘paypal deposit’ to make the alternate payment.

If you are a fellow merchant that also uses Authorize.net, if you wish to read about the issue further, you can pop over here to read more. You can also follow Authorize.net on their Twitter page here.

UPDATE
Authorize.net has processing back online and all testing on our end has gone without error. Obviously they’re still working on things and it’s possible some attempts might fail, but what they’re saying is it should be working as usual now. If you are still having billing issues, please send any billing errors to admin ^at^ linkworth dot com. You can also check for any updates on our LinkWorth Twitter page.

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Bing Lights A Fire Under Google

There’s no secret that Microsoft is trying everything they can to reach Google’s level when it comes to search, while Google is trying everything they can to reach Microsoft’s level in everything else. I don’t think either have come close to taking over the others areas of expertise.

Microsoft’s new “decision engine”, BING, is their latest attempt to attract more search users and hopefully some of the advertising that comes with it. The results, to me, seem almost just like Google’s results, just with a bit more fluff involved.

Usually when Microsoft launches these new attempts, it seems Google doesn’t do much to react…except this time. According to the New York Post, Sergey has jumped in to run a team of the top cats to improve their search engine.

Since I read this story, I’ve been paying closer attention to the Google feed and they are having a lot of “improvements” popping out faster than normal.

Then today I was doing a search and noticed they are labeling listings in their SERP’s that are forums. They are giving the total number of “posts” and total number of “authors“. I actually kind of like this because if you’re looking for help with something like a computer issue, I usually look for forum url’s but you never know what you’ll get until you open it. Now I can find the listings that are busier with the expectation of finding a solution. Here’s a screen shot:

serps-forums

The one thing I haven’t tested yet is when they show a listing that might be page 10 of 200 within a thread. Does it count the number of authors for the entire thread? Or is it just page specific?

Have you tried BING yet? I have to admit it’s kind of nice. Catchy name, results are very similar to Google and while they still have some kinks to work out, I think it has some advantages over Google.

Whether BING does well or not, at least they’re keeping Google from becoming complacent with their search product.

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PowerMeter – Google Can Track Energy Use

All you need is a “smart meter” that allows Google to tap into your energy usage and they’ll tell you where you can save money based on consumption.

powermeter

I have to give it to Google…they sure do have some smart people that come up with unique ideas. Go read more about PowerMeter over at their .org site.

Next on the invention table? Keyboards for your computer that read your fingerprints so online billing information is no longer needed. You go to a shopping cart and they know who you are already. The project will then turn into small electrical currents that are sent through the keys into the human body where they can read your brain and index your entire life.

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Ad:Tech San Francisco – Next Week

adtech_sf_logo_small1Ad:tech San Francisco is starting up next week (April 21-23) with the actual exhibit hall being Tuesday the 22nd & Wednesday the 23rd. LinkWorth will have a booth on the 2nd floor right as you walk in the entrance, booth 2545.

This is our first trip to one of the ad:tech conferences. We’ve always chosen other conferences in the past but this year we wanted to give it a shot. We hear it’s one of the busiest, as far as foot traffic, and also a really good time, but we’ll see how things go.

If you’re attending, please stop by and ask Jeffrey about his hair.

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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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Cleir dot com – Hall of Shame Nomination

Typically, someone really has to do a bonehead thing to get the hall of shame award. Cleir.com pulled a completely bonehead move, but I don’t think they really turned into a complete douche of a company to earn the actual award. Which, by my rules, is actually worse than winning the award. You suck enough to get nominated, but you don’t suck enough to win!

Nalin Singapuri, who is a co-founder and developer of Cleir dot com, was recently contacted by one of our sales people and he thought he would be Mr. Bigshot and fire back with a “I know it all” attitude. He made idiotic claims regarding laws of email and his “worthless” knowledge of SEO. Which is what his company seems to offer to their clients.

Let me be the first to inform anyone looking for SEO or web development, DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH CLEIR DOT COM! This clown who says he’s a co-founder, knows absolutely ZERO about the industry. I’m sure he’s read a few blogs, which probably makes him a seasoned pro, but the truth is, Nalin Singapuri, co-founder and developer of Cleir dot com is a bubble gum dispenser SEO company. Here is “Nalin’s” bio:

Nalin – one of cleirs cofounders – primarily focuses on Search Engine Optimization and Marketing of PHP e-commerce sites. In the past he has worked with Native Sun Communications, Home Prodigy, Museum of Jewelry and others in the capacity of a lead developer.

The good thing is, he primarily focuses on SEO and Marketing. www.cleir.com is the exact type of “SEO” or “web marketing” company that this industry needs less of. I’ll go ahead and let Quest RV continue to hold the coveted trophy because Nalin and Cleir dot com doesn’t really deserve anything but a tongue lashing.

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Quest RV – Hall of Shame Award

It’s taken us weeks to build up to this one. In our last post, we were so full of excitement…so optimistic…because we had rented this awesome RV to take our employees down to Austin for the SXSW show. Well, excitement and optimism wanes quickly into pessimism and dismay in this post.

I’ll start from the beginning and try to be brief. We rented what we thought was a killer RV from a reputable RV rental company, Quest RV. It was a 39 foot, 2007 Ventana and judging by looks alone, this thing was PIMP. Unfortunately, pimp turned into to pimp-slap 45 minutes into our journey. Yes, that’s right…just south of Dallas the son-of-a-bitch broke down. The dashboard lit up with warnings like “STOP ENGINE” and alarms were sounding. You know, the kind of stuff you don’t exactly want to see when driving a $300,000 vehicle. (Not to mention, driving something that big isn’t exactly what we were used to…so we’re a bit nervous to begin with.) So, we pull over and call Quest who says they’ll send help. They did and 3 1/2 hours later, we’re back on the road.

Ok, so yeah, we’re off to a bad start. It was Friday the 13th. Maybe that had something to do with it. Who knows? Oh well, press on, right? This is still gonna be a blast. Until…OOPS! 5 miles later, the alarms sound again with the same warnings but we’re told to keep going and that it “should be nothing.” Awesome. Was it “nothing” last time, too? Glad we burned a 3 1/2 hour segment for “nothing.”

We do finally make it to Austin, we pay our $130 a day to park, we do our trade show. On Sunday Ron and I bail from the tradeshow in the RV to take our families camping in our expensive motor home for a couple nights…leaving our employees to run the trade show. This part of the trip went off without a hitch. Then we go back to Austin to pick up crew #1 to return them to Dallas where crew #2 anxiously awaits so we can bring them back down to Austin for the second leg of SXSW. We’re rolling now, right? Wrong.

On our way home, we make it as far as Hillsboro, which is about an hour south of Dallas. I pull in to a truck stop to fill up with diesel and mistakenly turn off the engine. Why is that a mistake? Because the RV won’t start again, that’s why. Turns out the push-button transmission is now on the fritz. So we’re stuck there AT THE GAS PUMP for 5 hours while Quest RV brings us a different RV. This completely screws our schedule and crew #2 had to drive down to Hillsboro to meet us so crew #1 could drive themselves back to Dallas. BEATING! (And thanks to all of the LinkWorthers that helped us through that!!)

To everyone’s credit (except mine and maybe Ron’s), they all took it in stride and were super-excited to be heading down to Austin in this nice rig. Ron takes the wheel for this leg and no sooner had we gotten on the highway before an entirely new set of alarms lit up the dashboard like a Christmas tree. Seriously??? Are you joking??? Another call to Quest’s weary service tech assures us that this must be nothing and to simply “keep an eye on the gauges.” Wonderful….confidence abounds. NOT!

Again we make it to Austin (although MUCH later than we had planned) and parked the RV. (It does work perfectly while parked, I should add.) We do the rest of the trade show, we pack up the crew and all of our stuff, and we depart Austin. Heading home now, killer. It’s been a long week!

Ahem…we’re approaching Hillsboro again. Guess what? All of our lights (including headlights) begin to grow alarmingly dim. It’s 10pm…we can’t see a thing….and we must pull this f*$#in’ bus over AGAIN. This time, though, we’re not in the cozy bosom of a truck stop. No, sadly, we’re in the seedy confines of a XXX shop’s parking lot. (KILL ME NOW.) Another phone call to Quest, whose number I still have memorized, results in our using a backup power-system on board the RV that “should” get us home without problem. It does. Now for the fun stuff….

At some point in our journey, I put a nasty scrape on the driver’s side of the RV. Not exactly sure how it happened, but it’s there and I am more than happy to part ways with the $1000 deductible for the insurance we had purchased. I just wanted to be done with it. But, Quest felt a little differently. In addition to the deductible, they wish to charge me an additional $2400 for “loss of use” while the RV is being repaired. Mind you, this thing is not out of commission…it’s scratched! It had some scratches when we got it, too, but they sure as hell still let us drive off in it. So, that’s a LOAD OF SHIT, to put it mildly. Did I ask for reimbursement for the 12 hours of our “loss of use”??? No. Hell, I didn’t even ask for an apology, but they were more than happy to slap me in the face with this ridiculous charge.

In the end, we had to split this “loss of use” charge with them in addition to paying our deductible. We’re none too happy and as a result, we have bestowed upon Quest RV a LinkWorth Hall of Shame award.

RV really does stand for “ruins vacations.”

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It is Time For A ROAD TRIP!

Tomorrow (Friday March 13th) we will be loading up and heading to Austin, TX for the SXSW Interactive and Music conferences. It is, by far, the most fun conference we go to each year. You can go and check this to know more about the musical festival.

We have lots of fun things to give away at the booth and we are looking forward to meeting everyone and having a great time.

If you see this coming down the road, throw us your best rocker horns!

LinkWorth Tour Bus
LinkWorth Tour Bus

It’s going to be a ton of fun. We also have day passes to the SXSW Interactive trade show floor. It’s a $75 value, so if you are interested in coming to the floor, let us know and we can hook you up with a free pass.

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