Latest Big Topic: Comment Spam No Follow Code

Big news flying around the web that I’m sure you’ve all read several times already, the big engines are implementing a new no follow tag.

You can read more about it here:

MSN – Working Together Against Blog Spam

Google – Preventing Comment Spam

Yahoo – A Defense Against Comment Spam

This can be used on any type of website, not just blogs.

My initial reaction is one of disappointment. All this does is give one legit tool to the big boys in SEO to hold back linking benefits to other websites. But realistically, they were already using javascripts and other funky stuff to hog their PR and link authority and only pass it on within their personal networks or friends. This new code will just increase the size of webmasters that hold back legit links.

SEO has now evolved into a very ugly: the most links in wins and do whatever you have to do, use all the available tricks to limit, hide or mask your outbounds.

In other words, don’t pass on your PR and don’t give outside websites any benefit of an inbound link.

I don’t like it one bit. I’m in the midst of building a few new directory sites so keep watch here. I personally guarantee I won’t mess with your links if you submit your sites to them (free submissions btw). They’ll be pure html text links.

It’s time us little guys got together and supported each other, the game play is gonna get worse out there and it’s going to get harder and harder to obtain legit inbound links.

Sometimes I wonder if Google and the rest cater to the SEO crew just to ensure everyone else stays lost in the SERPS. What better way to encourage PPC sales?

CPA – Time To Bail?

Very interesting discussion going on over at affiliateboards here:

CPA vs. CPC

What we do as affs when creating websites that sell products and include our affiliate links is called CPA (Cost Per Action). We’re setting ourselves up to earn a commission from each *sale* made. That’s CPA.

What they’re talking about in this thread is building websites or pages geared to CPC (Cost Per Click). Programs such as Google Adsense and BannerBoxes provide advertisements to be displayed on our websites that we earn from whenever a visitor clicks one of those ads. Depending on the topic of our pages and the ads that are displayed, a pretty penny can be earned per click. The trick is to find topics that pay a decent amount.

When we initially look at CPA, we see bigger dollars. Sales of $100 with a 10% commission rate will bring us a commish of $10, that looks a lot more appealing than earning say 10 cents per click. But when we look at the number of clicks it takes before we achieve a sale, and also look at the parasites or theftware that steal our commissions, suddenly the 10 cents per click doesn’t look all that bad.

It takes 100 clicks at 10 cents per to earn $10. Hmmmm. Do you earn $10 for every 100 clicks when doing CPA for each of your merchants?

It’s not hard to find $1 clicks. What about earning $100 for every 100 clicks? Are you achieving that with your CPA product links?

Why not go into one of your aff accounts and run a report for this year. Take a look at the merchants you are sending visitors to and the amount of clicks you are sending their way. Figure out what you’re currently making on an EPC (Earnings Per Click) basis. If you have 1,000 clicks and sales totalling $200, you are currently earning an average of 20 cents per click ($200 / 1000 clicks = .20 cents). Do some investigating and check what adsense or other CPC programs would pay you for clicks on these same pages.

It doesn’t have to be either or, we can keep the merchants that are performing well for us with CPA and paying us a decent CPC. But supplement that with CPC space rather than using less performing merchants as filler. I really am not fond of directing traffic away from a good CPA to a piddly CPC, so this needs to be done with careful consideration.

If you have a nice CPA performing well on its own, no need to offer your visitors a choice between the CPA and some CPC to compete with that. But if you already have that same CPA surrounded by less than stellar performing merchants or products, why not think of a CPC alternative? This really is an area that I need to tap into more.

A big part of the problem is that both the networks and merchants haven’t done enough to ensure their affiliates best interests have been protected and nurtured. For one thing too many have allowed parasites in with full reign. Every time we lose a sale to a parasite, *our* Earnings Per Click drop. So when an opportunity arises for affiliates to earn more by flipping from CPA to CPC without worrying about losing commissions or earnings to parasites, affiliates move on to the better offer.

Also by focusing on CPC, we’re opening ourselves up to an unlimited base of product choices. We’re no longer limited to working with the networks or small indies and driving traffic and sales to the merchants and products within them. We now have clicks going EVERYWHERE, to the small mom and pop shops as well as the bigger name brand stores. All kinds of merchants and product providers use PPC to advertise their wares. We’ll actually be creating a much more varied product base for our visitors to choose from, not just the merchants within CJ, Linkshare, etc.

If affiliates drop CPA and gear their sites to CPC, how will that affect network earnings and parasite earnings? They’ll both feel a bite. But that’s not our concern, as affiliates we need to focus on our bottom line and watch out for our own interests. We’re not here to feed the networks, the merchants or the parasites. It’s time they all realized that, dontcha think?

I wonder if this year will bring great changes as to how affiliates work and drive traffic.

Check out Banner Boxes Here. This is an adsense alternative that pays out at $2 by PayPal. Yup, that’s my aff id I snuck in there. Do with it as you will. πŸ™‚

Feedback Corner

When people take the time to send you some feedback, you just have to make a special place for them.

So here it is, and thanks very much for the kind words!

Cheap Hosting – Is It Worth It?

The hosting problems that happened with the blog yesterday were the least of my worries. I had opened four new hosting accounts for various projects this past week and only two activated my account right away (actually the host that’s hosting this blog and one other).

One host hasn’t responded to my account setup request (from the 14th). I’ve emailed them as well as submitted a support request on site. Zippo for response, so I’ve had to issue a refund request in PayPal. Still no response from them. We’ll see if I can get a refund.

Also the fourth host had no communication with me other than my PayPal receipt. I did email them and they responded lickity split that my account should have been instantly activated and my account information emailed to me. Didn’t happen and I’ve been monitoring my Spam folder as well (always a good place to check). I’ve replied with my info and hopefully I can get that account going. At least they responded right away to my email for help.

What have I learned through all of this? I think I’m going to pass on the cheapie web host packages that charge a small annual fee and go for the packages that charge monthly. It’s easy to pull out and lose less *just in case*. But I think overall my experience has been lucky when dealing with these types of packages.

I have had good luck with a few cheapie hosts with small packages here:

CubicHosting.net – Have recommended them to several people, I’ve been happy here.

HostingRevolution.com Is slowish inside cpanel, but my sites never seem to have a load problem (most important right!).

New cheapie hosts I’m trying:

Deals4Hosting.com – Hosts this blog. Site was down yesterday but I think a lot of hosts were updating for a new security threat or something happening and I had A LOT of my sites down for the day that were hosted across several webhosts.

ZiggyHost.com – New cheapie hosting package for me, but setup was a snap and everything activated smoothly. So far so good here.

Plex6.com – New host being used that responded asap to my query about my new account activation.

Other hosts that have been *MOST EXCELLENT* that I’ve used:

Total Choice Hosting – Rates are cheap, service is supreme and sites load problem free 99.9999% of the time.

Emax Hosting – My stable account, my foundation. I host several domains here and have for quite awhile. Yes that’s an affiliate link I put here, if you’d rather not use it, that’s cool! You know how to take care of that :lol:. This host also has a good two tier affiliate program that I discussed here:

Two Tier Affiliate Program For Hosting

Where to shop around for good hosting deals? Check out my bookmarks page I have here: SuperAff Bookmarks. In the Webhosting Forum section I’ve listed some forums that deal with webhosting. If you look through the Hosting Offers sections, you’ll find some good deals. But it’s important to do a bit of investigating first before buying. Is the company new or older? Are there a lot of complaints about the host on the forums? Are the packages too big for the pricing?

You can really luck into some good deals by shopping around in the right places.

Hosting Probs

I had some wonky issues with hosting yesterday, and not just with the blog! Hopefully you’re all reading this and not viewing some strange fitness site.

πŸ˜†

Merchant Datafeeds: Is The Writing On The Wall?

Dr. Andy Williams from ezSEO makes a prediction for this year that sites using scripts and software to crank out hundreds or thousands of pages to spam the search engines with (ie. merchant datafeeds) are going to take a serious hit. He’s suggesting that Google, Yahoo, MSN and other search engines won’t even ‘spider’ these types of sites.

EZ-SEO Article

{Scary Thought}

He encourages creating sites with real content and real value to protect ourselves from the sure to come changes that the search engines will put in place to stop the spamming. I’ve discussed this before here:

Does Google Hate Affiliates?

I see many affiliates and pros commenting on the importance of adding ‘Real Value’ or ‘Real Content’ to affiliate shopping sites to help build a safety net for your monster datafeed site, but no real solutions or suggestions. I know – we can’t let the competition figure out what we’re up to! πŸ˜† But to tell you the truth, I haven’t come across an affiliate site yet that offers anything special or valuable that the next several dozen don’t (speaking here about large datafeed driven sites selling physical products).

Sure we have the coupon sites or the product ratings sites, but that’s been done to death and more popping up every day. What else is there? How else can affiliates boost the value of their shopping sites (for both visitors and search engines)? Or do we all march out and add coupon/deal forums and ratings features for our visitors to take advantage of? Next we’ll all have the same monster datafeed driven shopping sites with the same forums and the same product ratings/discussions spamming the engines.

This has been a big topic of discussion between myself and another Super Aff friend. I really don’t know what the answer is. Yet. πŸ˜†

Maybe it’s time for me to start looking seriously at CPC rather than CPA and make a move away from product sales somewhat.

PS: Sign up for Andy’s newsletter. It’s not one long, continuous sales pitch. It’s a very info rich resource, and free! – Thanks Andy! (And he’ll give ya a big chuckle when he talks about his new baby daughter).