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My Readers my Valentines

Well my wonderful readers – its Valentines day here in Australia today and I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you of my undying love for you all (ok – it might not be love – but I do appreciate your support and hope you’ve enjoyed our time together lately).

Now I’m not expecting too many of you to send me Valentines Cards this year but if you’d like to do something nice for my blog this week perhaps you could head to the Business Blog Awards and cast a vote for ProBlogger.

Last night when I went to bed I was 8% in front – this morning just 6 hours later I’m down by 1% and thought it worth one more call for votes.

Vote or not – have a happy Valentines Day readers!

Yahoo Developing Blog Search Engine?

Inside Google wonders if Yahoo is preparing to build a Technorrati-like RSS search engine after having visits from a new crawler which is indexing RSS feeds called ‘Yahoo-NewsCrawler Test’.

Read more at Yahoo Developing Blog Search Engine

Contextless Problogger Links

Some more weekend ProBlogging links without context:

- Adsense Blogger Movie – Using Adsense with Blogger (movie – 16.7MB)
- Six Apart May Be Acquisition Target
- The Secret To High Traffic
- Real Benefits of Blogs
- FeedDemon v 1.5 RSS Reader Reviewed
- Adsense inline – WordPress Plug in for inserting Adsense into Posts
- Click Fraud Looms As Search-Engine Threat

A Question of Fonts

Today I had an email from a reader who suggested that the font of my new design might be a little hard to read – especially in large slabs of text. What do you think?

I’m taking an informal poll in comments below. I want to make reading this blog a natural and easy thing so if the font is hard on your eyes I’m more than willing to make some changes.

To see a post with lots of text look at this one as a test.

Let me know what you think and I’ll try and adapt the overall thoughts into my design.

Contextless ProBlogger Links

On my daily rounds of my RSS feeds I come across more articles than I can link to without spending most of my day on this blog. So I’ve decided to start doing some contextless link posts which are a collection of ProBlogger Links from around the web that have no explanation of what they contain except for their title. If it grabs you, click, if not, surf on (after voting for ProBlogger of course).

- Driving Traffic To Your Weblog
- Earn Money From Your Blog With Product Sales or Merchandising
- Business Blogging Success FAQ 1-8
- Click fraud looms as threat to search engine
- Google blogger: ‘I was terminated’

Combatting Comment Spam – Contraception for your Blog

In my ‘Questions for ProBloggers‘ post Rick asks:

‘How do you deal with comment spammers?’

Comment spam is an insidious problem which threatens to kill or at least overwhelm many blog projects. I detest it on many levels, partly because of the content of many spam comments (which go against my values), partly because the people who do it are exploiting the hard work of others to make a quick (and big) buck and largely because of the time that it can take to delete it.

So how do you stop comment spam? This is the question everyone is asking and one which I’m afraid there is no easy answer for. The only 100% way not to have comment spam is to take away the ability to leave comments on your posts. (For some strange reason this reminds me of the age old advice on how not to get pregnant….don’t have sex).
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Outward Links – Good for Blogs?

Wayne at Blog Business World writes a good article on the value of outbound links in Search Engine Optimization. As he observes there are both pros and cons in linking to other sites from your blog that are worth considering as you think about SEO. I personally come down on the side of the argument that is pro outbound link. I don’t have the technological knowledge Wayne has to argue my case but from anecdotal evidence I’ve found the strategy has really helped my blogs to rise through the Search Engine Rankings.

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Weblogs Inc earns $600 a day from Adsense

Weblogs Inc is said to earn $600 per day from Adsense. PaidContent writes:

Weblogs Inc., described as the largest publisher of professional blogs, was offered as an example of how AdSense benfits online publishers. According to the slide, Weblogs is averaging $600 a day in AdSense revenue and made $45,000 in the first four months; the blogging company added AdSense in late August 2004.’

At first I was actually a little surprised by the $600 figure – with 70 blogs (an average of $8.50 per day per blog) who do a total of 20 million monthly page views (they therefore earn 0.0009 cents per impressions. From my experience with the program I would have thought the figure would have been significantly higher than that.

However it is also worth noting that Adsense is not their main source of income. For example look at Engadget and you’ll see that the prime position ads are all private ads and Adsense advertising does not appear above the fold. I deduce (guess) that these ads are paying better than the Adsense ads would in those positions.

The strategy that I use in placing ads on my site is that I put the highest paying ads in the prime position. If an advertiser wants to pay more than Adsense can earn in a position I am willing to sell them that space and move Adsense to another spot – I presume that this is how Weblogs Inc operates also so we can guess that the $600 per day from Adsense is perhaps only the minority of their earnings.

About.com For Sale

Internet news reports on a NYT announcement that megablog, About.com, is for sale. The asking price is anything between $350-$500 million. Key bidders could include Google, Yahoo, AOL and Ask Jeeves.

‘About.com, the eight-year-old guide to the Web, is up for sale, according to the New York Times, with bids due on Tuesday….

About.com was founded in 1997 as The Mining Company on the original Yahoo model of a human-edited Web directory. About.com took the human bit a bit further, by installing “Guides” who were subject experts as hosts of approximately 700 different topic areas. It was renamed in 1999, and acquired by Primedia, a publisher of niche interest magazines, in 2000.

Primedia touts About.com as “the Internet’s largest creator of original content,” with over 1 million links and 250,00 articles — each one a potential vehicle for ads.’

Read more at About.com on The Block

When Money Motivates Blogging

Michael Buffington writes that he’s just started a new blog on the topic of Asbestos. He’s doing so not because he’s interested in it but largely because it pays good money. This type of blogging is becoming more and more popular as people realize the amount of money that Adsense ads can pay out if you create a quality site on certain topics and can generate good traffic levels. Michael writes:

‘The subject matter, while weighty and all that, is of little importance to me. It’s not that I don’t have opinions on asbestos and asbestos reform, because I do. The whole point of the site is to experiment with an idea. I built a tool that helps me aggregate topical news with the help of Google’s Alert system. So far it works wonderfully.

But there’s a second motive as well. Right now asbestos reform and asbestos related litigation is on fire. Lawyers are paying anywhere from $15-100 per click through on Google ads. The second part of this big experiment is to see if I can capture some of that click through revenue while still providing a somewhat valid service to people who might arrive by search results.’

I suspect that Michael will or has already received some criticism for this approach. I’ve not seen too many bloggers admit up front that they have little or no interest in the topic of their blog as explicitly as he does in his post. A friend just emailed me about it and asked my opinion. Here are a few thoughts:

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