Bookmarks & Tools Roundup

Not a whole lot today, but here are some worthwhile tools, resources and posts that I’ve set aside to share with you. Many of these have been added to the appropriate bookmark pages here on SuperAff:

Ultimate htaccess File sample

Bookmark this page and check back frequently as updates to this file are made frequently (at least a few times a month), with only the very best tried-and-true htaccess examples.

Web 2.0 Colour Palette

Fonts 101

HTML Entities
*Includes Latin, Greek and others

Spyfu
*See what competitors are spending in adwords

The Catalog of Copyright Entries

Bumpzee.com – Affiliate Marketing

Good Reading:

Busting Blog Ad Clutter

NoDaddy.com

Business Blogging 101 – Measuring Your Blog’s Success

Contact Your Affiliate Managers

I Feel Like Such A Big Fat Fool

  • Spending how many years trying to manipulate and rustle up inbounds
  • Wasting so much time trying to get sites to rank, both thin and not so thin
  • Spending hours and hours scouring SEO forums and blogs trying to uncover that ‘clue’, that ‘secret’

Well here’s the big secret people: If you don’t have any good, aged, developed & well trafficked domains in your pocket to work with, or friends with same…you have to develop something that people want, that they respond to, and have one good link come in. If your site has the goods, the rest takes care of itself.

For many of the pros, they do have the first part of the answer to work with. For the rest of us, it’s that ‘one good link’ thing that trips most of us up isn’t it. The trick to figure out and learn is how to attract the right attention for that ‘one good link’.

But ultimately, that one link can only carry your site so far. Your blog/website really will have to have legs to it for growth and momentum to stick. Enough value of some kind to enough people, or you will be perpetually working at pushing traffic to it, rather than traffic developing and pushing itself.

So far for me, this has evolved into this naturally up to Feb 5th inclusive:

Stats Feb 5th 2007 incl

Feb 1st – 5th inclu (2007)

search stats feb 5th inclusive

I realize those numbers look like a majority of one-hit visitors, but I can assure you a good number are sticking.

Inbounds are developing without my hand behind it. I swear this is a disciplined test for myself, to see if a new ‘un-networked blogger’ could tap into something naturally. No bookmarking/social site tag teaming going on, no favors called in, no paid ads, no blog traffic exchanges, no souls sold, no golden idol bellies rubbed.

The traffic is being pushed to me, rather than me pushing traffic from behind. For me this is brand new. I’ve never seen anything like it for a domain that’s months old.

The social activity is blowing my freakin mind, yet it’s not just from one site or any one thing. It’s not been dugg, the traffic is spread all over. And Goog is just a blip on the radar atm.

A good read on my mind:

The Links That Can’t Be Baited

I’m still working on building some kind of ‘blog relationships’ with other bloggers, and I’m not very successful so far (with who I’ve targeted and am reaching out to). I find that curious, but I’ll provide more details when I have some better idea why and why not.

Contextual Links Via V7N

Another thing I’ve caught up with (haven’t done much reading lately), John Scott has launched a new service for bloggers to make money (see Contextual Links) and he has (once again) stirred up chatter.

One thing John Scott does very, very well is stir up & create chatter ;). Kudos to him!

Although it isn’t my cup of tea here on SuperAff or on any of the blogs I run, I don’t have a problem with paid links in blog posts–as long as they’re identified as paid. John’s new service forbids it with a non-disclosure agreement:

Contextual Links @ V7N are undetectable to search engines. Whether it be by human or algorithmic filtering, our links are impossible to detect. Additionally, an enforced non-disclosure agreement prevents both publishers and advertisers from revealing participating publishers and advertisers.

I know full well why John has that in place. It comes down to: our links are impossible to detect. I think he’s onto something. As both an advertiser and blogger, it’s an ideal situation. But for the blogger’s reputation with readers? Not so sure. Aside from that, here’s what I’m not liking:

Do you own a blog? Blog publishers in the Contextual Links @ V7N Network make cash and get paid by PayPal for simply adding text links to their blog posts. Currently publishers make $10 per link.

IMO John cheaped out. Ten dollars for a permanent link within content, without surrounding ‘paid link or sponsored by‘ text or search bot detectable embedded tracking code, is taking advantage of bloggers. I’m sure many will line up in droves to participate, but I think John could have taken this right to the moon with an elite core group of good quality blogs and advertisers by adding another 0 to the end of that measly $10.

Anyone who knows what a good link or two can do for a site won’t even blink at dropping $100 or $200 for a permanently placed, within content link on a super juiced–and quality–site.

That could have been a *very enviable* setup, but not as it is IMO. Basically I see a stampede of run o’ the mill, lower on the totem pole blogs happy to participate and nothing above average.

The other part I have a problem with:

The publisher is contractually obligated to make a good faith effort to keep the link active on the website for as long as the web site exists.

What happens with bait & switch domains? If a blogger accepts $10 for permanent placement and the site they link to flips to a porn, gambling, satanic, racist, mortgage, pimp site–and the blogger only ok’d placement for Barbie Doll Shopping Mall, what then? Or if the site stays the same content, but loads up the sidebar with casino and blackjack links–and that paid blogger’s beliefs are against gambling–what then? Domain backfills with hundreds of low quality, thin affiliate pages–now what?

For $10? Not-worth-it.

What I do like, there seems to be some quality control in place:

Only high quality web sites are accepted into the V7 Contextual Links program. Our staff review publisher web sites for number of outbound links, types of outbound links, PageRank and search engine saturation. If a site is selling links to bad neighborhoods, we do not accept that web site into the program.

The bar may be a little lower for advertiser acceptance though (bolding mine):

We accept most non-adult sites. We will not accept any adult content sites, nor any sites that would impugn the integrity of our publishers.

What I’m liking overall: Search engines *surely* have to be getting the message to throttle down the importance of an inbound.

A Blog Post Matt Cutts Style

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been noticing more and more bloggers lately aren’t linking to the actual source of information they’re discussing.

I was reading a post over at Matt Cutts’ blog regarding the new paid link service John Scott is offering (more on that later), and it struck me as odd that Matt didn’t link to what the hell he was talking about. He talks about John’s new paid link service. Quotes part of the details. But he doesn’t link to it for his readers to follow. At best he provides a two step (links to another blog that links to John’s page).

Since Matt represents and is big with Google, I figure he must be onto something. We all know that Matt is the epitome of good Google behavior, so I’m going to style this blog post after his blogging style.

I mentioned this over on Threadwatch recently. What’s with the ‘missing links’ when talking about something? I think in that particular Threadwatch case it was more an ‘oops’ than intentional–but there does seem to be lots of links being skipped around the blogosphere, and plenty of two-stepping.

And to me it’s odd. Because that leaves your readers with two-clicks-away from the actual information being discussed. If you read Reddit’s FAQ, you’ll find this little blurb:

Likewise, linkjacking an article from its original source in order to drive traffic to your personal blog will likely just drive down your karma.

Reddit calls it linkjacking, and I think that’s a good description. Linkjacking isn’t cool, doesn’t best serve the readers, yet it’s growing at an alarming rate IMO. Would Reddit users spank Matt Cutts for linkjacking (point a link to search engine journal rather than John’s page that he discusses)? I shudder at the audacity–but probably they would. Or so says the FAQ.

Another thing you’ll find over on Matt’s blog is his love affair with nofollow.

Graywolf has a good post today about the history of the ‘nofollow’ (a Google proposition), and it does cause one to pause. The nofollow was fed to the masses as a way to discourage blog spam and ensure that your blog wouldn’t be feeding good juice to a junk or spam site by a user generated link (comment spammers). So why is it now being insisted on for things like paid links? A link that the webmaster/blogger herself decided to provide?

I’m in a dilemma over this. I have a page full of article marketing resources–but I nofollow the links. Why? Because article sites aren’t picky about what the articles link to. Not-picky-at-all. But they’re still actually good resources for article marketers, so I made the page. Yet I don’t want to juice them up.

Is that wrong for me to do? I think yes actually. Because that page is for you to use. I didn’t make it for Google. Personal Dilemma. I also have blogged a time or two about what I’m thinking may be ‘iffy’ websites without a clickable link (at least posted the domain though so you could find it). Wrong? Yeah probably. Because again–now I’m posting to better serve the search engines rather than just being concerned with you, the reader.

I have some thinking to do. Am I blogging for Google, or am I blogging for SuperAff readers?

I’ve been following the talk about Wikipedia doing the nofollow thing as well. Pretty much everyone knows the external links on Wikipedia weren’t juiced anyhow. Maybe they factor in after a certain amount of time passes, or if other quality factors are met–I don’t know. But the nofollow on Wikipedia links isn’t going to slow down or stop Wikipedia spam. The traffic the links provide are worthwhile in itself–as well as the hat tip of authority a Wikipedia link can offer too (for human readers).

Basically–Wikipedia caved for no good reason IMO since nothing will change.

Maybe though, since Google values Wikipedia so highly, we should all follow Wikipedia’s example and nofollow every outbound link? If a prize like Wikipedia does it, shouldn’t we all?

domain names removed to protect the guilty

If you’re confused about wth I’m talking about here–don’t blame me. I’m thinking blame Matt Cutts. Or Google. Or both.

Nofollow and nolinks.

How.Ridiculous.

In 2007 Domain Authority Is Almost Everything

I stole the title from Peter Da Vanzo’s post The Google Minus 30 Penalty

But if I had to summarise all the SEO data I’ve seen, and the discussions I’ve had with people over the past year, it is this:

In 2007, domain authority is almost everything. Great content on untrusted domains goes nowhere.

Peter’s post touches on a few v-e-r-y interesting points and you should read it, but I want to show you what a link from an authority site does for a new domain (click picture for larger view):

Keywords Chart

The chart shows new keyword data from the 20th of December to today (script was newly installed on the 20th).

The domain this chart applies to was around 2 months old when I started tracking the data with this script (which is phpTrafficA btw).

From AWSTATS

November: 157 unique visitors; 4 pages search engines
December: 3245 unique visitors; 1553 pages search engines
January: 2467 unique visitors; 2269 pages search engines *Note that the month isn’t over yet

*Remember the AWSTATS search engine pages aren’t unique visitors–it’s page views

Here’s the chart from phpTrafficA (click for larger view):

Search Engine Plot

This chart counts the actual keyword counts from the search engines–notice who’s off the rails and who isn’t.

What kicked this shiny new domain into gear? A very good authority link from a somewhat high profile blogger.

This domain is one of the new test blogs I’ve been talking about. Can a new blog get some traffic, some inbound links from other bloggers (no friends or connections), some search engine traffic?

Answer: Yes

Hey it’s mucho awesome when out of the blue some big blog notices your little scrappy blog and freely links to it. And it is fantastic fun to watch how the search engines respond.

But it’s pretty alarming to see how easy it is for “Great content on untrusted domains to go nowhere” and how much power authority domains hold.

How to get a natural link from a big blogger with an authority domain? The good news is that there are still a handful of good guys out there, with big traffic and good Google juice that aren’t bucket blogging.

I’ll talk about bucket bloggers another time, what to look for, who to pursue, and who to drop like the useless, self-obsessed dead weight they are. At least as far as your blog is concerned ;).

In the meantime–get your blogs up to snuff if you want good, strong inbounds. Cause no one’s going to link to crap, especially power bloggers.

That’s a post for another day too ;).

SuperAff Changes – No Longer Affiliate Marketing Blog

Taking my hat out of the affiliate marketing blog arena is probably a silly thing to do. Especially since I believe affiliate marketing is going to grow by leaps and bounds this year and continue to keep on growing after that. IMO, affiliate marketing blogs are going to grow in hotness!

I haven’t had the heart for aff stuff for quite awhile now, I think that’s been evident. It has issues, it has problems, it’s not perfect. But that’s not why I’m dissatisfied. Nothing’s perfect, everything has its growing pains. I simply think it’s a good move to distance this blog from “Affiliate Marketing” and myself as “Affiliate Marketer”.

I have been genuine. I do have a real interest in discussion here. Time does eventually reveal all. There’s been no ulterior motive. I’m not building a web2.0-style list to build or launch an online business. Or trying to establish myself, reputation or persona. Or get job offers. Or be a gatekeeper. There’s nothing wrong with those that have accomplished that or reaching for that–it just wasn’t the purpose here. Wasn’t thinking too clearly was I :lol:.

Changes for SuperAff.com

What you can expect:

Not a whole lot different. Just a stripped and toned down SuperAff of the past.

  • Continue to share resources that I find out there: scripts, tools, software, plugins, hacks, tweaks. Mostly free stuff as usual.
  • Links to information/resources/conversations pertaining to: blogging, marketing, monetization methods (including aff marketing), traffic generation, web development

What you will likely see less of:

Original information and conversation. Think along the lines of: human aggregator for sharing tools & online entrepreneur brain food found on the web, as they pertain to building an online presence. I’m not saying that’s all SuperAff will be–a human aggregated collection bucket with no opinion to offer or attempts at original or new conversation–just a lot less of it.

This is probably going to make the single biggest difference for me since I tried to offer something different here rather than follow the same conversations and linking paths everyone else was–and that eats time.

Blog Direction:

For the most part, the blogging here will try to serve or help with these points:

  • It’s all about adding value to the net
  • Creating a positive user experience
  • Connecting & generating a response with the social web
  • Building subscribers, community & WOMM
  • Fine tuning strategy & creating a streamlined, productive experience as a webmaster and/or blogger

…In a creatively fulfilling and financially rewarding way.

Posting frequency:

Probably once a week, maybe more–maybe less. However often the mood strikes me, no pressure. Upfront: I’m not going to carve out chunks of time to develop content. Like you, my time will be directed toward projects that are:

  • Monetized
  • Generating a response & flourishing (traffic, potential, opportunity)
  • Serving a purpose–offers something to my overall ‘map’

Reasons for the change:

Several good reasons actually. Produced from experiences with the SuperAff blog as well as other projects and what they’re providing. Although I’m surprised at SuperAff considering I jumped in with zippo connections, it’s been two years now & I’m stumped to find one reason why not to make the change.

I’m looking forward to it, I’ve thought long and hard about this. I think SuperAff will fade into a quieter response, which is perfectly ok, but overall–it’s not a big drama and most won’t notice much difference.