Thursday, March 29, 2007

PayPerPost Update.

Yesterday, I thought I'd take a look in Google and see how the PayPerPost experiment has affected the rankings over the long term. Last month, all keywords had jumped up considerably. This month, they're back where they were... and..

All PayPerPost links have been removed from Google. There are none left.

There were 21 links indexed 4 weeks ago. Now there are none.

So, as an update, I thought that I should note that Google is detecting PayPerPost links and treating them as paid links.

I'm not too surprised. I sort of expected this to happen as soon as the whole "disclosure" thing started.

What happened? PayPerPost isn't the first paid link venture. There have been other ventures that have been successful and have been around for awhile. Why did Google suddenly decide it was important to start doing a better job detecting paid links? Perhaps it has something to do with the 'in your face' marketing campaigns of PayPerPost, not to mention overdoing it with guerilla marketing and creating controversy.

There was a recent comment by Matt Cutts about Google wanting to do a better job detecting paid reviews. It looks like that's happened. (Search "matt cutts payperpost" and you should find lots of stuff)

Did PayPerPost underestimate Google? Is PayPerPost doomed? Maybe not as long as they can keep it a secret that Google is devaluing page rank on Bloggers taking part in payperpost and treating links on those blogs as if they were 'no follow' links.

Monday, January 15, 2007

PayPerPost - The Measurement

It may be a little early to measure the success of the payperpost experiment, but this is what I have so far:

10 links for $100.

Summary of average link value:

Average Number of Google Backlinks on blogs: 108.36
Average Number of Yahoo Backlinks on blogs: 774.7
Average SEOMOZ Ranking: 1.9
Average Google Pagerank: 1
Average Relevance: Poor (1.7/5)

Google Blog Search Links: 4
Technorati Links: 6

With a small sample of 10, this is slightly skewed. There was really only one blog that stood out. It had high relevance, pagerank, SEOMOZ ranking, and a lot of backlinks. If I took that one out of the above, the average would have been really poor.

Out of the 10 links I'd say one was really worthwhile, two were mediocre, and the rest were a waste of money.

The content written by the bloggers was better than I expected. I'd say the entries were 50% good, and 50% crap. Although I had the option of requesting only positive reviews, I decided to leave that up to the blogger. I expected neutral or good reviews, and would say that all the reviews were somewhat positive.

I did request relevance in the posting, and 2 of the 10 blogs had fairly high relevance. 4 of the postings had absolutely no relevance, and I have no idea how they passed the criteria.

Traffic generated from postings: Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

In summary, I'd say that payperpost does have some value. My recommendations for using them would be to stipulate:

1. No myspace blogs.
2. Pagerank of 2 or higher (be realistic... most of the bloggers have no pagerank)
3. Be specific about relevance (ie. I only want marketing blogs)

Tips on campaign setup:

1. Pay more for higher quality links rather than low for bad links.
2. Set a short run for the campaign. There shorter the campaign length, the more likly to get pushed through the approval process.
3. Do not request tracking. Tracking just takes the value of the link away. Nobody is going to get traffic from these postings that pays for the cost of the link.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pay Per Post Update:

After almost 3 days I emailed a complaint and my opportunity was approved.

On the plus side, it sounds like it's an advertisers market with thousands of bloggers and no advertisers.

We'll have to see what the quality of posts is like. I'm really hopeful that I'm not going to get a bunch of work at home soccer mom blogs. Actually, after reading the forums of the posties, I'm not expecting high quality professional blogs, which I'd be happy to pay a lot more money to have links on.

So, cheap advertising where you get what you pay for, is what I'm expecting.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Paid Links.

I've been looking into some paid link systems, signed up for a few and never did anything further.

One company, Pay per Post (don't want to give them a link because so far they don't deserve it), gave me some free credit to try out their system.

I set up an advertiser account, and posted an opportunity... and over a day later it' still pending. From what I understand reading their forums most of the bloggers or posties as they call them, aren't very happy... even though they seem to be more important to pay per post than the people spending the money.

I'll likely do a more thorough analysis of the success of pay per post at a later date.

Maybe they'll even earn a link.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Adsense Business Model.

A few years ago I was involved in creating a website that I figured would be a waste of time from the beginning. However, certain articles on the website had some spelling errors that slipped through the QA.

Rather than fix the errors, I let them slide to see what would happen with the site, traffic, and rankings.

It turns out the site is bringing in over 1000 visitors a day and doing very well in regards to the adsense.

The site has likely paid for itself by now, and hasn't been touched since the launch. It just sits there and generates revenue.

I haven't paid much attention to the people out there making a killing on adsense. To me, this always seemed so small potatoes, it wasn't worth it. I'm starting to think otherwise.

Maybe it would be worthwhile to put up 20 or 30 of these types of sites, and hope that some day I could retire and watch the adsense revenue come in.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

HBO: Human Brain Optimization

I've read a few references to HBO lately(other than all the well deserved articles on the HBO network's high quality programming like Deadwood/Sopranos/Carnivale).

HBO in the context of search marketing (yeah, the acronym sucks) really just means usability. A highly functional site that is easy to use is, following the trend set by Google, likely to rank better than a crappy site.

Ok... so SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is replaced by (Human Brain Optimization). My thoughts are that if your site isn't HBO, why bother with SEO in the first place? Search Engine spiders don't buy your crap.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Social Marketing Optimization

I've been reading the occasional blog/article about Social Marketing Optimization, and it has a lot in common with Search Engine Optimization. Basic guidelines such as good usability, link strategies, and of course the content is king mantra.

Social Marketing Optimization is the name for that thing you do to make sure your website is getting lots of attention in the Social Media. Places such as youtube, blogs, etc. are your target publishers.

The most important factor is to have something worth talking about. Be it a product or content, if it isn't interesting it's not going to work out no matter how many special features and gimmicks you have on the site.

I've heard this interestingness refered to as linkability. Linkability is a little more complex than the interestingness of the content.

Linkability should take into account how easy you make it for the user to link to the target content. You should have important features such as rss feeds, nifty buttons that generate the link code (which is great for SEO and making sure your keywords are in the link), del.icio.us buttons, and pretagged content. You will also need to let your content go. If you set it free, the links will come back to you.

There are traditional marketing strategies that you should take into account as well. Your social media optimized content should be aimed at your target audience. There should be a end marketing goal for each social media campaign. Be it increasing traffic to a specific widget or gaining links for SEO, your approach will be different.

There are ways to buy your social marketing, but for it to be effective you will need to keep in mind that like any social group, online social groups have a set of morals in effect. You need to keep everything on the up and up. Paying bloggers to post or having a fake blog with posts, these things can easily backfire. Take the walmart sponsored blog where a couple travelled across the US staying at walmarts and saying nice things about walmarts in each post. When it was discovered that the blog was created by walmart there was a backlash. Now all those people Walmart reached with the campaign have a negative idea about walmart.

So, to sum up.

Social Marketing Optimization simplified:

1. Interestingness
2. Linkability
3. Target Audience
4. Integrity.