Reasons for being banned or penalized by Google

Search Engine Journal has a good post on reasons that your blog might be banned (or penalized) by Google. So if your blog has disappeared from their index you might want to consider one of these seven issues:

1) Duplicate Content – where multiple pages have the same content.
2) Cloaking – where pages are created purely for Search Engines – ie where readers get one version and SEs another
3) Hidden text or hidden links – links that are not seen by actual readers that are there purely for SE spiders
4) Keyword stuffing – putting too many of your keywords in your page (either in meta tags, invisible text, in image tags etc).
5) Linking to bad neighborhoods – linking to pages that use Spam techniques – or link exchange programs.
6) Buying links for Search engine ranking – hard for Google to detect but if they catch it penalties occur.
7) Machine Generated Web sites – spamy type sites created by automated systems – hundreds and thousands of pages at a time (usually only slightly different from one another).

Read more at Banned from Google and Wondering Why?

Cost Per Influence Advertising

Jason has a good post critiquing the CPI (Cost Per Influence) advertising that some have been talking about a bit recently. The theory is that some are trying to come up with an advertising system that rates ‘influence’ of blogs and connects this to the advertising rates that they are able to charge because of it.

It’s a nice idea – in theory – but as Jason say my experience is that advertisers are generally pretty smart at working out how influential a blog is by themselves – I’m not sure a CPI program would help them too much to do this. Jason writes it better than I could so I’ll just let him say it (and I’ll get back to packing boxes for our move this week):

‘To be blunt, as I’m prone to be, the CPI concept is appealing to those folks who don’t have the traffic to back up the claim that they are influential or who don’t want to wait till their traffic reaches that level. It also appeals to those who don’t have the ability or time to demonstrate to advertisers that they are influential.

One thing I’ve learn running online media businesses for the past 10 years is that people buy what they like to read. The advertisers in WIRED, Industry Standard, and the Silicon Alley Reporter were the folks who read the magazine and felt affiliated with it in some way.

Advertising is about affiliation more then influence. High-tech advertisers want to be affiliated with Engadget, hip companies want to be affiliated Some day very soon advertisers will catch up with the highly-influential, but lower traffic, blogs folks like Doc, Jeff, Joi, and Kottke (who knows if these fine folks even want ads, but you get my drift).

When they do catch up it will be because of a combination of those folks increasing their traffic and their sales ability, as well as the advertisers finding them. It’s a natural process, and CPI isn’t really necessary to get it done.’

A Blogging Perspective OS X Tiger

Tigershipping20050429Last night I was in town and treated myself to the new OSX – Tiger. This afternoon I’ve installed it and have been playing around with it – asking myself how it will improve my blogging.

Here are a few initial reflections:

Dashboard – one of the main things that Apple have been selling this upgrade with is the new Dashboard feature which allows users to download desktop widgets. At the click of a button these widgets appear on your screen giving you up to date information on a variety of topics – ranging from stock prices, weather, world time, dictionary, calculator, wikipedia look up, mini rss reader. I’m going to enjoy this – I’ve already got an array of world time clocks which are going to be very handy as I think about posting times and talking with my many international blogging friends. Another useful widget that I’m going to enjoy is the ‘Translator’ that converts words and phrases between English and 10 languages (including Dutch and Germany – which I always am trying to translate as this blog is read by and linked to by many bloggers of writing in these languages). If there are any widget developers out there – I challenge/beg/suggest to you to please develop a widget for Adsense statistics (like the firefox plug in). Please?!?!

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Weblog Empire Network to Launch

Word on the Street is that Duncan (from Blog Herald) new Blog network (mentioned previously here) will be called Weblog Empire – domain name is registered but not live yet.

Evergreen versus Time Related Posts

I finally got around to listening to the last third of the Business Blog Roundtable and was struck with one of the comments that Stephan Spencer (I think it was his voice) said about evergreen versus time related posts.

I’d not actually thought of my blogs and the posts in them in these terms before but on reflection find the classification very helpful.

Evergreen posts are ones that don’t lose their relevancy over time. You write them today and they will be as helpful to readers in a few months (or even years) time – for example my Adsense for Bloggers series is one of these – the first incarnation of these posts was over 12 months ago but they remain among the most popular posts on this site.

Time related posts tend to be more news related – or are often tied to an event in time. For example a couple of days ago I posted that Weblogs Inc. are testing Google’s RSS ads in their feeds. This post was relevant the day I wrote it and generated a little traffic, however in a week it will be ‘old news’.

So which is best? The obvious answer to this question is that it depends upon the topic or strategy of your blog. Both types of posts (and a combination of them) can be very powerful (and profitable) in different contexts and there are different pros and cons of each one.

Let’s tease this out a little more and make a few observations about each type of post:

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Wanted: Gadget/ tech geek blogger

Duncan over at The Blog Herald has just posted that he’s looking for a Gadget/ tech geek blogger to work with him on a new gadget oriented blog. He’s offering a 60/40 split (with the author taking 60%). He’s also going to cover hosting fees out of his 40%. This is a pretty bold move as he’s taking on the big boys who already inhabit the ‘gadget pond’. I suspect there is room for one more however as the market is pretty big.

Also exciting is that this new blog is going to be the first blog on his new network of blogs.

April – Record Blogging Earnings

2005-So-FarApril has been a rather good month for my blogging business.

This graph plots my Adsense earnings (from all my blogs) since 1 January to today (without specific figures). As you’ll see, the last two days have been record breaking days. I’m not sure how long this growth can last – but April’s daily average is 40% higher than last month – for the first time I’ve broken into the five figures for a month zone from Adsense.

The amazing thing is that when you get to these sorts of figures a rise in earnings of something like 40% can be a pretty significant thing on overall earnings.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not in some virtual blogging dream. Its quite staggering to think that 2.5 years ago I started my first blog with absolutely no idea of what was ahead. The idea of sustaining even that blog would have been laughable for me back then – let alone the thought that blogging would be my full time job.

Today someone asked me ‘how does it feel to be a full time blogger?’ – to be honest its starting to all feel a little bit surreal and a touch frightening. What is this thing I’ve created and where is it all headed?

Pajamas Media – New Blog Advertising Network

Roger L. Simon has just posted anOpen Letter to All Bloggers announcing that he and a couple of others are going to start a corporate advertising service which will sell ads to advertisers ‘en masse’ . There are not too many details but it sounds like an interesting project. He’s doing the project with Charles Johnson (of LGF) and Marc Danziger (of Winds of Change). If the email for more information is anything to go by the new projects come under the name of Pajamas Media. He writes:

‘Charles Johnson, Marc Danziger and I have been sneaking around over the last few months, trying to turn blogs into a business. We have enlisted some others with names familiar to you with the intention of working in two areas – aggregating blogs to increase corporate advertising and creating our own professional news service.

With respect to advertising, we do not wish to go into competition with Henry Copeland’s BlogAds, which we fully support. (Some of us even have them!) We are working on another model that will sell ads en masse, not blog-by-blog. We expect this model to go live within a few weeks.’

It will be interesting to see what they come up with – as these are some guys who have some serious reach within blogging (two of them were in the top 30 I reviewed a few days ago).

Fun Money Blog Interview

Jacob, the author of Fun Money Blog and owner of numerous other online projects like cssvault has just posted an Interview with me (update: link removed as the interview is no longer there). In it he asks all kinds of questions including about:

  • how many people I think can make a living from blogging
  • what my daily goals are as a blogger
  • how my blogging has changed since I first started

Its a normal style Darren interview – where I ramble on for a fair bit on each of these (and other questions) – stop over there for a look if you want another glimpse at my bizarre little brain’s workings.

Yahoo! testing Dynamic Image Ads

In a big week of changes to contextual advertising Jen posts that Yahoo! are now adding dynamic image ads to their contextual advertising line (original source of information). Things are certainly hotting up in terms of competition between Yahoo and Google in advertising – hopefully publishers will be the winners).