BootMoney

I remember sending some link love to Shoemoney when he had something like 5 bloglines subs (imagine that!), so what the hey–let’s send a little love to Bootmoney too. Hot damn I can’t stop laughing!

Nice way to start the week ;). Have a good one!

Bookmarks & Freebies Roundup Plus Updates

Freebies:

System Information for Windows
WP Plugin: Preview Site Themes Privately
WP Plugin: Feedburner Feed Stats
3 more GTD wallpapers! *Nice!
Download a …coffee replacement, really! *I’m scared to try it lol!
popuri.us Added
PPC Keyword Generator *Software
101 Essential Freelancing Resources *Tools, lots, don’t get lost 😉
Urban Fonts *Added
Turn Any Site’s RSS Feed into an Email
R|mail subscription widget

Good Stuff:

Free Chapter From Professional SEO With PHP!
The Article Marketing Experiment ($400/month with Clickbank)
One Way Inbound PR 9 Links For FREE
How to Make Money with Domains – Essential Resources for Beginners
A Comprehensive Guide to StumbleUpon: How to Build Massive Traffic to Your Website and Monetize it.
Paid Forum Posting – Worth it?
Positive and Negative Quality Ranking Factors from Google’s Blog Search (Patent Application)
Being Scraped? Here is Something You Can Do
The Ultimate WordPress Htaccess File?
Organize your pdf library with itunes

Pages Updated

Something I’ve wanted to do for awhile and finally got through tonight–I checked the links on the Affiliate Marketing Blogs page and cleaned out the links from blogs that are no longer online or updating. If I’ve removed your blog, it’s probably because it was offline when I checked. Just shoot me a note (with your url) and I’ll re-add it.

The page has a nice mix of blogs I think, everything from more chat based and newbie info to more advanced. However, I think it’s a little bare. If you have an affiliate marketing blog, let me know and I’ll check it out. I’m not interested in Internet Marketing blogs or blogs that mainly review or push products–just affiliate marketing please.

I’ve also updated and cleaned out the Webmaster Tools page. If you haven’t visited it in awhile, you may want to when you have some time. I’ve been reacquainted with some cool tools I forgot about while double checking the list ;).

A few graphics resources were added to the Freelance & Outsourcing page. It’s pretty bare too and if you have a service to offer, let me know.

Whew! All done, till next time ;).

ETA: Forgot to mention the forums were picked through as well and all the domains that were dead or hanging have been removed.

Cutting Through The Paid Link Hysteria

Is it ok with Google if you sell paid links on your blog? Yes

As long as we’re talking about links, this seems like a pretty good opportunity to talk about a simple litmus test for paid links and how to tell if a paid link violates search engines’ quality guidelines. If you want to sell a link, you should at least provide machine-readable disclosure for paid links by making your link in a way that doesn’t affect search engines. There’s a ton of ways to do that. For example, you could make a paid link go through a redirect where the redirect url is robot’ed out using robots.txt. You could also use the rel=nofollow attribute. I’ve said as much many times before, but I wanted to give a heads-up because Google is going to be looking at paid links more closely in the future.

The other best practice I’d advise is to provide human readable disclosure that a link/review/article is paid. You could put a badge on your site to disclose that some links, posts, or reviews are paid, but including the disclosure on a per-post level would better. Even something as simple as “This is a paid review” fulfills the human-readable aspect of disclosing a paid article.

And then:

To make sure that you’re in good shape, go with both human-readable disclosure and machine-readable disclosure, using any of the methods I mentioned above.

Google isn’t saying you can’t sell advertising on your site.
Google isn’t saying you will be banned for paid reviews or paid text links.

What you will be given grief over: Subversive paid links.

Matt gives a few different examples on how to mark your paid links:

Ash, there’s absolutely no problem with selling links for traffic (as opposed to PageRank). At http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/hidden-links/ I mention a couple ways to sell links that Google would have no problem with.

Aaron Nimocks, I believe AdBrite constructs their links with JavaScript so that links are being sold for traffic, not to affect search engines. Things like JavaScript, the nofollow attribute (or meta tag), or doing a link through a redirect that is robots.txt’ed out would be techniques to sell links for visitors/traffic, as opposed to trying to influence search engine rankings.

So selling paid links on your blog is totally cool, ok? Keep on keeping on. Just make sure to fix the link up like Matt suggests and you’re fine.

Where Things Get Tricky

It’s hard to say at this point who is going to be penalized for the unmarked paid links. Will it be the advertisers that buy links or will it be the websites that display unmarked paid links? Personally, I think it’s going to be bloggers and webmasters who display unmarked paid links that will be hit by Google.

Will those sites be removed or banned from the Google index? I doubt it. What I think will happen though is that your site will be dead and worthless for passing any link juice to outbound links. So if your site makes its money on selling links, there won’t be any market for you once Google flips the switch off for your site.

If that doesn’t bother you, go ahead and do what you like. However, you need to realize that dead juice sites won’t have the same market value as the rest of the Google law abiding net. This will be a problem if you build up a site to flip, there’s potentially less resale value to it.

Moral of the Story

It’s up to you to protect your investment. Your website, your domain, is like a piece of real estate on the web. You either invest in it to build up value over time, or you ride it for everything it’s worth while you can, then dump it.

There will be plenty of ad brokers and review sites that will have plenty of link buyers to send your way. They won’t be penalized, they have nothing to lose. YOUR site will be marked, not theirs. Be aware.

Summary

– Yes you can sell paid links
– If you don’t mask them or mark them, be prepared to lose

If You Don’t Like It

Too bad. Google’s the boss now. Quit feeding the beast (adsense/adwords). If you’ve followed SuperAff for any length of time at all–you know I’m not a Google fan…saving my breath now, back to work I go…

Google The New Jabba?

Be Linkable & Put All Your Focus Where The Results Are

Some feedback in my email regarding the last two posts made me realize that I need to clarify a thing or two.

There’s no way around it: If you want links, you have to provide linkable content.

You can comment on all the blogs you want, woo all the biggies with links and feedback and all that jazz. But if you aren’t creating linkable content–nothing you do is going to successfully get you inbounds.

When I said: Write for the linkers and the stumblers–that means create GOOD STUFF because that’s what the linkers and the stumblers promote.

Also it helps to remember that no one OWES you a link. Your blog is not entitled to a single one. However, if you know your blog has plenty of linkable content and you’re being a good social blogger yet not getting anywhere, it’s common sense. You have to move your attention elsewhere to get those inbounds.

How to be linkable? Well here are few ways that are barking up the wrong tree:

1. Creating the same content everyone else is. You notice someone’s getting a bunch of attention for their blog post about 20 Hilarius Names For Dogs. So you get a Big Idea: write your own blog post about 30 Hilarious Names For Dogs. That should do it! Not. It’s too obvious, too desperate, and has been done (even though the amount is different). You really do have to be more original and unique.

2. Writing about your day to day activities. How you got up and brushed your teeth. And ohhhh! Baby said the most cutest thing. Got stuck in killer traffic. And then you picked up groceries and saved $25 with all the coupons. How is that giving someone a reason to link to you?

3. Your opinions. They don’t matter to anyone so that isn’t linkable either. Unless you’re established and accepted as an expert in that given topic, your opinions really don’t mean anything to anyone. If your blog is post after post after post about what you think about this, that and the other – you’re pretty much sunk.

4. Vague information that really doesn’t say anything about anything. I look at some of the popular blogs and wonder just how true that is lol, but in general – you really do need to provide good, detailed info and not hot air or hype.

5. Content that doesn’t matter to anyone. If you’re writing about stuff no one gives a crap about, why would someone link to your blog?

6. Ads ads ads ads ads everywhere. It smells desperate. It looks ridiculous. And it’s not user friendly. It also sends a message: Cash is the motivation and not conversation.

So what’s linkable?

I think you have to know your niche to really know for sure. Some niches respond to “Just the Facts Ma’am”, and others respond to more commentary or something entertaining and newsworthy.

Watch what’s being linked to consistently. Is it tutorials? Then write tutorials. Is it freebies? Then create some freebies. Is it funny stuff? Then be hilarious. But in all those things, the most important is to be original. Offer what hasn’t been offered already. Make sure it’s something wanted or needed or lacking in your niche. Fill a need or a want. AND MAKE IT GOOD!

The unique and the original accomplishes something: it grabs and holds attention for a few seconds.

So if you do have plenty of linkable content–yet not having any luck with your chosen fellow bloggers: Dump those that refuse to give a little back and find those that ARE open to two way streets. Don’t link to them, don’t comment, don’t even read their blogs.

Put all your focus on finding where the results are.

If someone’s offended that I’m “preaching” about dumping bloggers that aren’t giving a little back, that’s their problem not mine. I don’t have time to waste on bloggers that aren’t interested in working with the rest of the community, and I *assume* no one else has the time to waste either.

But…they’re so big! So…successful! So…respected! Good for them. Question: Just how is following their every move help *YOUR* blog grow? Because that’s what you’re trying to do online. Isn’t it?

But…isn’t this all…so manipulative? Should blogging…really be so focused on who’s linking to who and who isn’t? Honey, the people that preach that links aren’t everything are those that already have the eyeballs. If you don’t have links, you’re just blogging to nobody.

Want a big blog? Put all your focus where the results are and quit banging your head against a dead end. At some point you’re going to find the secret sauce and you’ll find inbounds to your blog creating themselves magically. Just quit wasting time chasing people that aren’t interested.

PSA: Linking To Another Blog Is Not Going To Kill You

A funny thing happened on my way to figuring out who to work with and who not to . . .

A month or so after dumping all the bloggers that happily gobbled up all the inbounds and comments I sent their way for a couple months…I get an email from one of the BFFs:

(summarized)

Hi, remember me from Blog Whatevia (not real)! I noticed you linked to So-and-So’s blog about this that and the other, I wanted to let you know I also have three blog posts here (links to all three) that discusses that very thing! I’d be so happy if you’d link to them too!

Filtered. Trash Bin.

Two things to note:

1. Even though I previously spent time adding comments on her blog and linking to her, that was the one and only time she ever sent me an email or made it known in any way, shape or form that she knew my blog existed (no comments, no links, no nothin).

2. At this time my blog was enjoying some crazy attention that I’m sure she was aware of. Yes, the attention was that crazy.

One thing she could have done for a more successful outcome:

Write a new post on her blog linking to my blog post and then including links to her three applicable posts.

She would have accomplished something pretty interesting I think:

1. She would have shown me that she’s capable of a two way blogging relationship that would be beneficial to both of us;

2. She would have probably seen her links added to my initial post as an update and shared in the attention my blog was riding. Or a new blog post just for her blog in the near future.

Don’t want to link out? Good Luck With That.

Most refuse to feed a Bucket Blogger (or a network of Bucket Bloggers) forever.

I’ll be MIA on SuperAff again for awhile now, thinks are tick-ticking along full steam ahead elsewhere in a few different areas and that’s where my focus has to be. Maybe I’ll bump into you “out there” on an upcoming round of “Link Outreach” for my next blog’s traffic building push ;).

Write For The Linkers & The Stumblers

Where niches are heavily networked and the circle is so tight it’s like some secret coven of witches–run the other way! Disclaimer: I’m not slamming witches! It eats so much time for such weak results.

When I ran across one blog post that went something like:

It breaks my heart to see Bloggers Larry, Mo & Curly no longer talking to the rest of us. Our emails go unanswered, our IMs go unanswered, they no longer come over to comment and it hurts! Hurts I tell you! Why can’t we all get along? It’s all because some of us embraced a new blogger and started being friendly with her and helping her out a bit and working with her. That’s all I can think of! Why, why I ask, is that so wrong? Sob! I miss my friends! :heart: bff

These were adults, not 8th graders.

I.Kid.You.Not.

Pretty much right then and there I knew I was barking up the wrong tree. Big time. True–not all niches operate that way. And true–I definitely DO NOT fit into that kind of sappy environment so I would have been miserable anyway. No patience for it. No sir-ee Bobby!

Before I read that I spent a lot of time commenting on blogs initially, then linking out to those I was hoping to build relationships with. Out of I don’t know how many several dozens of outbound links, only *one* blogger hung out for comments and sent me a link. I realized there had to be an easier way because what I was trying to build just wasn’t working.

So I shut ‘er down. No more links to their blogs, no more comments. In fact I unsubscribed from the whole kit n’ kaboodle in bloglines and moved on. I started wooing a different crowd. A much bigger, more successful crowd. And struck gold.

Avoid (*):

The blogs in the blog networks. In my experience–they just don’t link out unless there’s something in it for them (unless of course the blog is all about what’s out there on the web). Watch the outbounds and you’ll see there’s a pattern, at least for the majority of links.

Niches that seems to have blog friendships or relationships going on. Gangs. For example: I’m seeing that a lot in the mommy blog arena. There are tupperware rings, knitting rings, sahm rings, and that sort of thing. Tough to break into.

*Of course there are exceptions. Study your niche.

Pursue:

Find, Watch & Stalk: the blogs that link out and link out steadily. At least daily. They’re typically successful & big traffic blogs (like boingboing for example). And they all have a spot clear as day on their homepage for you to submit blog posts or suggestions to. They *DO* link to you if you’re writing what their readers are attracted to. Or if you submit a question they think is a good idea to write about. So study them. See what they like. Watch what they link to. Write posts on your blog for them, the more original and unique–the better. And submit them.

Be careful because I’ve submitted stuff to bigger bloggers that ask for it, yet aren’t particularly link friendly. They’ve taken my ‘suggestions’, altered the idea a bit, and wrote about them without the promised credit. These bloggers are easy to spot. Submit a thing or two and watch what happens and what they do with it. If they screw with you, don’t look back. Plenty more big fish in the sea that will be happy to take what you have to offer. Over and over and over again. It’s beneficial to both you–and them.

Woo these bloggers with links, with comments, and write your blog posts with them in mind. Get their attention. Pursue them. If you’re writing what they are looking for–you’re golden.

Once you have something *linkable* and they link to you–be prepared. Typically what these big blogs find interesting enough to link to–Stumbleupon follows. In wave after wave after wave. As well as del.icio.us. And the others.

Once a post is being stumbled, write another one for the stumblers. Write something that they are going to want to stumble. When they’re reading the first post that got linked to, they’ll see your newest post and start stumbling that as well. And on and on it goes my friend.

So yeah, I haven’t been around SuperAff much lately. But hot diggity, I’ve been riding waves miles high! 😉