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Gawker Announces the ‘Deadspin’ Sports Blog

Gawker have gone live with their latest new sports blog – Deadspin.

If you want to know the power of having a successful blog network – check out their stats. At the time of writing this – the blog went live about 10 hours ago and has already had 7000 visitors.

Understanding Google Updates

Matt Cutts (from Google) has an enlightening post on his blog titled – What’s an update? which quite simply lays out information on the topic of their updating system. I’m sure it’s more complicated than he’s outlined here but the information resonates with my experience of Google’s updating system as a publisher.

‘What is an update? Google updates its index data, including backlinks and PageRank, continually and continuously. We only export new backlinks, PageRank, or directory data every three months or so though. (We started doing that last year when too many SEOs were suffering from “B.O.”, short for backlink obsession.) When new backlinks/PageRank appear, we’ve already factored that into our rankings quite a while ago. So new backlinks/PageRank are fun to see, but it’s not an update; it’s just already-factored-in data being exported visibly for the first time in a while.’

This is why when I post here that there are changes in backlinks and page rank I often get emails and comments from readers saying that they noticed the changes in these numbers – but that it had no impact upon their actual traffic levels or SERPS (how high you rank for any given search on Google).

In a sense the backlink and page rank updates are only really useful because they give an indication of how a site has been traveling.

What we really should be interested is when Google updates it algorithm – or how they value and score pages. These are the updates that have impact upon the actual SERPS. These changes happen less often than backlink and page rank updates and can have quite significant impact upon a site. I still shudder when I think of the algorithm change that happened mid December last year when my traffic levels dropped to a third of what they were – ouch. Luckily it only lasted 6 or so weeks when things returned to normal.

Preview Call Available for Download

Andy and I did the preview call yesterday for the six figure blogging course and it was really fun. It was great to hear some of the voices of some regular readers of ProBlogger.net during the Question and Answer time. Thanks for those who called in – especially those who did so from outside the US and therefor actually paid long distance rates for the call.

An audio recording from the call is now up on the web for your listening pleasure. All we ask is that you register by submitting your email at the Six Figure Blogging page. You’ll gain immediate access to the call and hear my Aussie accent and as a special bonus you’ll hear one of our listeners flush their toilet during the call – I’m too afraid to ask who it was and why they were engaging in such activities while they were listening to Andy and I. It was definitely ‘a moment’ to be remembered and provided quite the hilarious moment toward the end of the call.

I hope you enjoy the call.

Travelator Blogging

TravelatorWarning – Tangent Ahead

The Travelator is a wonderful invention. There is nothing better than rushing for a flight at an airport and seeing that the long walk to the departure gate is going to be cut down by jumping upon one of these moving sidewalks.

On a recent trip overseas we were lucky enough to find ourselves with the use of a Travelator on our way to passport control at Singapore’s airport – as I used it I realized that different people used it in a variety of ways. There were basically three types of approaches that I observed:

Self Powered – The first group completely ignored the Travelator. For whatever reason – they decided that they wanted to get where they were going under their own steam. Perhaps they wanted the exercise, perhaps their destination was halfway along the travelator or perhaps they were too proud or even scared to use it.

Free Loaders – The second group saw the Travelator as a chance to take a break from walking. They rested their luggage on the ground, stopped walking and let the travelator do all the work. While I didn’t join them – I could understand why they did it – after hours on a plane the last thing you want to do is go for a long walk while weighed down by luggage.

Power Walkers – The last group of people was the group I belonged to, we got on the Travelator and walked as fast as we could. The travelator was simply a tool to double our speed and get where we were going faster than would be possible under our own power. This group not only use the power of the travelator but they utilized their own ability to propel themselves forward.

Ok – so what do travelators have to do with blogging for money?

As I’ve worked with a variety of bloggers over the years I realize that many of them fall into these same three categories. This analogy is still forming in my mind so be gentle with me – but let me explain:

[Read more...]

Advertising on Blogs – Tips

Duncan has just posted one of the most useful posts I’ve read anywhere for quite a while in his post Conclusions from tracking ads where he writes 7 great reflections on advertising on blogs which come after 4 weeks of tracking his ads using a couple of ad tracking systems. Here are his headings (each one is expanded at Duncan’s full post):

1. New ads work
2. Regular readers tend to be ad blind
3. Old posts = revenue
4. Niche topics deliver better ad results
5. Network bars don’t work
6. Top banners are marginally better
7. Text Links work

Quality post Duncan!

Adsense Stats Will Be Down for Maintenance

The official Adsense blog is advising Adsense publishers that Adsense stats will be down for six hours later tonight (Aussie time). This is the first time (in my memory) that I’ve ever seen Adsense give official warning of such maintenance – usually they just do it and discussion forums go crazy with people worrying and complaining about the lack of updates.

Don’t worry if you’re a publisher – while you won’t be able to see your stats during this six hour period – your earnings will still be counted and should be as normal at the end of the maintenance period.

Well done Adsense team – using your blog in this way is what I was hoping you’d do!

Technorati Introduces ‘Blog Finder’

Technorati has launched a new service – Blog Finder – a way of not only finding blog posts on particular topics but also blogs themselves. In effect this is a step towards the Niche Top Blog Lists that I mentioned a week or so back. Of course it won’t be a top blog list of every blog in the wider blogging community as blogs need to register themselves for categories or have their blogs set up in a way that automates it – but its a step closer to more topical top blog lists.

I’d recommend that bloggers take a few minutes to register their blogs and add themselves to their relevant categories.

Six Figure Blogging – Standing Room Only

Just a quick note to those logging into the Six Figure Blogging Preview call in 15 minutes.

In the past 24 hours we’ve had an inundation of people signing up for this call – it’s been very popular. There is a small chance that we’ll not be able to fit everyone in on the live call – it’s already standing room only. So if you can’t get into it please accept our apologies and know that we’ll have a download of the call up for you as soon as possible.

We’ve also extended the early bird discount until Friday at midnight (US time) for this reason to give everyone a chance to have a listen before signing up.

Wow – this is going to be fun.

More AdSense and Yahoo! Publisher Network (YPN) comparisons

Here’s another comparison (found at WMW) of Yahoo’s Publishing Network (YPN) and Adsense by someone rotating both on their site (ie every second impression would be getting one or the other ads):

‘I run Adsense and YPN on the homepage of my main site interchangeably to test which is better (equal pageviews at the end of the day, same weights). Both ad networks are both on target, although Adsense ads show more “less sophisticated” adverts (no brand name, mostly mom and pop operations); while YPN shows brand names. Google’s Adsense gives me double digit CTR, while YPN only gives me 1/10 of Adsense’s CTR. At the end of the day, even if YPN gives me higher earnings per click, Google gives me better revenues. It seems that G’s targeting is designed to show what ads fit the page AND what ads are most likely to get click (probably due to some historical data of my target audience or whatnot). On the other hand, YPN only shows what ads can possibly be targeted to the content, but not really designed to generate high click thrus.’

I’ve seen this type of comparison numerous times now – its always the same. Google gets higher CTR, YPN gets high click values. The difference between comparisons though is that for some the lower CTR and higher values of YPN actually turn out to put publishers in a better off position than Adsense. I guess it depends on a number of factors – including the topic of the blog, the positioning of ads etc.

Found via SE Round Table