Charles Darwin has taught us that competition is part of nature. In fact, it’s an integral part of evolution, and drives all of us to come up with creative ways to survive, or even dominate. The same is, of course, true in the context of business. You have to always be aware of what your rivals are doing in order to plot your next move and measure your own success. There are many competitor-analysis tools out there, but there’s one that’s tailor-fit for blogs and other online business, and it’s called Competitous. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for September, 2008
While the world’s economies reel and Wall Street struggles to keep afloat, how will the online world be affected? Whether you’re a pro-blogger, an Internet marketer, or an online retailer, the state of e-commerce is an important barometer (more purchases means more ad spending, and more profit for everyone). Knowing this, E-consultancy came out with its Online Shopping and Credit Crunch Survey Report a while back. Surprisingly, the results show that online spending will suffer less than traditional retail. Read the rest of this entry »
Great news for local sites in Thailand. You can now benefit from better targeted ads with Google’s announcement of its support for Thai in Adsense for Content. Last year, it was already included in the Adsense for Search program, so this just comes as the next logical move. Hopefully, other languages will soon follow. I’m all for localized content. Read the rest of this entry »
For an average blogger’s needs, I’m inclined to think that Google Analytics is more than enough. The number of features and the zero tag price are definitely welcome. However, I’m sure out there somewhere are folks who have a nagging feeling that things can and should be better. If you’re one of them, you might want to stop and take a look at Clicky. Read the rest of this entry »
Being a compulsize AdSense checker, I look at my stats almost every hour, and just now I found that I couldn’t log in. Adsense gives me an error “UsernamePasswdNotMatch” in Opera. In fact, they do match, and yes, I’ve checked if caps lock was on and it’s not. On IE8, it gives me an Error 403. I did a quick Twitter search to see if other people were experiencing the same thing, and lo and behold, I wasn’t alone: Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve been doing business on the Internet for six years. Many things have changed on the World Wide Web since I launched my very first website, but there’s one (negative) thing that apparently will never be gone: this tendency to waste great opportunities that is evident in so many webmasters.
If there’s one huge problem that a smart webmaster should fight as hard as s/he can, this is it. This can never be stressed enough: grab any and all good opportunities that you find on the web as soon as you can. And once you start, do not give up so easily.
I’m going to tell you a real-life story to illustrate my point:
K. started surfing the web because she wanted to have some fun and research her favourite subjects. As time went by, she naturally made friends with other Internet users, joined forums, mailing lists and became a loyal visitor to various sites in a specific niche.
One day she realised that there was a certain type of website missing in that niche. So, she decided to fill this gap with her own web project. It was totally amateurish… yet it soon became pretty successful, because of three major factors:
1. She was a sort of pioneer, because she detected a need in her niche and was the first one to do something about it.
2. She really knew what she was dealing with and even devoted part of her time to expanding her knowledge on the subject, so she could improve her website on an ongoing basis.
3. She had good networking skills, so it wasn’t hard to spread the word about her site.
However, she wasn’t able to make a single cent from that site and eventually took it down. Why did this happen?
* She stopped investing in networking and promotion.
* She believed that the niche was about to collapse, so she lost the motivation needed to keep her site up.
* She thought a site like that couldn’t be effectively monetised.
This is what happened afterwards:
- She eventually realised that the webmasters which persisted and kept their sites alive are now recognised as true authorities in that niche, because they’ve been around for a long time. Consequently, they don’t have to spend much — if any at all — time with promotion.
- The niche never collapsed. Much on the contrary: it’s still growing and there are no visible signs that it’ll be stopping any time soon.
- Several new monetization techniques have been made available to webmasters, even to those who deal with smaller sites and restricted niches.
Talk about missed opportunities!
Had she persevered, now she wouldn’t have to use her own story as an example and alert for other webmasters.
The UN communications chief has estimated that by the end of 2008, 61% of the world’s population will be using mobile phones – an equivalent of about 4 billion people. Thanks to low cost, better infrastructure, and the human need to connect, mobile phones outnumber personal computers by a mile. We don’t only use them to call, we also text, take photos, play music, watch videos, and even access the Internet – albeit crudely. Several tech evangelists have predicted that the mobile web will be the next great frontier, but as industry players know, that’s easier said than done. Read the rest of this entry »
After Yahoo! signed the controversial advertising deal with Google a few months ago, some critics denounced the company for virtually hanging the glove and giving the online advertising monopoly to Google. However, with the recent launch of Yahoo!’s new advertising platform called APT, Jerry Yang & Co. seem to be keen on proving the naysayers wrong. Read the rest of this entry »
Google never ceases to amaze the webmaster community. The newest controversy involving the most popular search engine started when the team at the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog posted an article about dynamic URL rewrites:
One friend was concerned about using dynamic URLs, since (as she told us) “search engines can’t cope with these.” Another friend thought that dynamic URLs weren’t a problem at all for search engines and that these issues were a thing of the past. One even admitted that he never understood the fuss about dynamic URLs in comparison to static URLs. For us, that was the moment we decided to read up on the topic of dynamic and static URLs.
After several explanations on the subject, they drew these conclusions:
Does that mean I should avoid rewriting dynamic URLs at all?
That’s our recommendation, unless your rewrites are limited to removing unnecessary parameters, or you are very diligent in removing all parameters that could cause problems.
(…) Although we are able to process this URL correctly, we would still discourage you from using this rewrite as it is hard to maintain and needs to be updated as soon as a new parameter is added to the original dynamic URL.
And this was when the problems began. Reactions among webmasters, SEOs, programmers and Internet marketers have been varied, but most of them can be summarised in the following points:
- Some people say there’s nothing wrong about Google team’s statements. For an experienced webmaster or programmer this whole URL rewriting matter can look irrelevant. But for a beginner it would be wiser not to play with URL rewrites indeed, because they could do something wrong, thus affecting their Google rankings.
- Others have gotten annoyed at that article. Some even seem to have taken offense at it. They claim that this time the Google team just put up a bunch of silly stuff and that Google underestimates webmasters. It’s been also implied that Google once again is trying to tell people how they are supposed to run their own businesses.
- Regardless of their views on this subject, everyone seems to agree that Google team’s article looks confusing and poorly-written.
What do you think? Will you stop using dynamic URL rewrites because Google said you probably won’t know how to deal with them?
If you read a lot of blogs like I do, I’m sure you’ve come across some with “Related Posts” at the end of each article (like this one). One obvious use of this tactic is to bump up the page views for CPM ads. It’s also a great way to increase “stickiness” – that is, to make your readers stay on your site longer, which in turn increases their chance of clicking on an ad or becoming a subscriber. So how do you do it? Well, you can always write them manually, one by one, but I’m sure you have better uses for your time, so why not try these WordPress plugins? Read the rest of this entry »