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Why Google is Syndication Shy

Steve Rubel has a great post asking why Google is Syndication Shy – something I’ve often wondered. In comparison to Yahoo! and MSN they seem somewhat behind the eight-ball. Steve writes:

‘Google views syndication drastically differently than its competitors. On the Web Google is all about driving people away from their sites. Once they’ve shown them an Adwords ad they had their opportunity to collect a dollar, so why not give the users what they need and send them on their way. However, when it comes to syndicated feeds they use it as a tool to drive users to their services and that’s why they are syndication shy. Remember Autolinking? I rest my case.

Feeds may be Google’s greatest enemy. If Google did offer feeds that connected users with the information they are looking for from the Web they would miss the opportunity to advertise to them. What will remedy this? Google will incorporate contextual Adwords ads into these kinds of feeds, much like Overture has done. What’s taking so long? Beats me.’

I think Steve is correct in saying that contextual ads in RSS feeds will probably be the time that Google starts to be a bit more generous with syndication of services like Google News – but like Steve I’m also a little surprised by the length of time its taking to get such a system in place.

Interviewing ProBlogger

Just a quick reminder that I’m doing an interview with Andy in a couple of hours time that you’re welcome to listen in on live. Details are at Easy Bake Weblogs; Exclusive Interview: Darren Rowse from Pro Blogger. Drop in and say hi – it could be fun.

Update – We just did the interview – it was FUN! Thanks to Andy and his great listeners/readers. If you want to ask more questions after reading through my archives just let me know in comments below or via my contact form.

Andy tells me that the interview will be posted on his website for your download in the next day or two.

Gawker Launches Sploid

Sploid-1Gawker Media today went live with their latest venture – Sploid – a ‘news site with a tabloid mentality.’

There isn’t much content on Sploid – photos and headlines are pretty much everything – with links to the articles in question. This isn’t the smartest SEO strategy for most bloggers – Search Engines like content and links and pictures are probably not enough to get highly ranked – but when it comes to Gawker they don’t rely upon Search Engines because they have such high loyalty factor of their readers and massive incoming links that push them up in the Search Engines anyway.

As usual they are relying heavily advertising to monetize this site – at the moment most of the ads point to their own sites but in time they’ll attract advertisers who don’t mind exposing their message to an edgy readership.

At the time of writing this they’ve had 50,000 unique readers already – so if nothing else they are pretty good at launching blogs – I suspect they’ll do well with this one longer term too.

Update: Perhaps I should say that I have no financial interest in Gawker after reading the comments on Jeff’s blog after announcing the launch of Sploid.

Blogging Fears – Getting Hacked

What is your Worst Blogging Fear?

This might make me sound a little paranoid – but occasionally I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat thinking about the things that could go wrong with my little blogging business. In many ways what we do can be pretty fragile and at the whim and mercy of outside forces.

Over the next few days I’m going to write about some of my blogging fears and what I do to try and protect myself from them. I invite you to share your blogging fears and tips in comments.

Getting Hacked – what if someone took over your blog – changed the password, changed content or even worse, deleted it all. This is something I’ve thought about a lot over the past year. I know of one or two cases where its happened and been pretty devastating for the blogger’s in question. All that hard work, those many many hours of writing, editing, designing – gone in a single foul action of someone with too much time on their hands.
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Adbrite Ad Packages

A blogging friend just pointed me at a new strategy that the AdBrite advertising network seem to be employing – selling packages of ads that will appear on multiple sites. Some of the packages are packages of their higher performing sites in the network and others are theme related on sports, gaming, travel etc. My friend pointed me to a blogging package. They describe these packages on their blog as follows:

‘We’ve been hearing from some advertisers that you’re overwhelmed with the number of advertising opportunities on AdBrite. I hope these pre-selected, high-performing ad packages make your life easier. ‘

I think this is a good move for Adbrite – the only hesitation I have is that they don’t reveal what sites they’re putting the ads on. For instance with the blogging package they just say

‘Blogs inform, influence, and entertain the Internet’s taste-makers. Click “add to cart” and we’ll put into your cart 20 of the best-performing blogs in the AdBrite network.’

As an advertiser I think I’d want to know a little more than that and as a publisher – I want to know how to get in on such a package – looks like good money!

Shiney’s BayRaider

Bayraider

Shiny Media is at it again by launching yet another blog – Bayraider – a blog that is centered around another net icon – ebay.

Their Press Release Describes Bayraider as follows:

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On Clicking your Own Adsense Ads

A reader emailed me this question this morning and I feel its important that I respond publicly to it because it is crucial information for anyone using Adsense to monetize their blog. It is basic information but can’t be emphasized enough. He writes:

‘I just started Adsense, and one of its rules is that you shouldn’t click on links on your own site. However, there seems to me to be at least a couple instances when it should be ok to click on ads on your own site, namely:

1) If I’m actually interested in what the ad offers. After all, I’m writing about a specific topic and they are (mostly) serving ads that relate to the topic. So it’s highly likely that the ads will be something I’m interested in.

2) If I see an ad I hate and want to get the URL so I can block the ad.

There may be more instances your readers can come up with.’

I’ll be blunt with my answer – NEVER click your own ads for ANY reason.

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Help ProBlogger Find a Business Model II

I’m quite overwhelmed by the response to my post asking for Help in finding a business model for ProBlogger. There are 29 comments there already from some bloggers that I really admire and respect the opinion of. Thanks to those of you who have left your opinion and who have messaged or emailed your thoughts also. Feel free to continue the discussion (its a useful one to have for more than just my own situation).

Let me re-emphasize that I the issue is not about me making more money. Whilst I’m not opposed to the idea of a higher income from this blog the purpose of what I’m doing here is genuinely about helping the blogging community. The issue at hand is not about my own greed for more cash – rather it is about how I sustain what I do whilst still helping as many people as possible in relevant and effective ways.

I’m now going to spend a little time thinking through my response to the issue with your many comments in mind. I am leaning towards writing a book (the question over whether it should be an e-book or an actual physical book is a question I need to ponder – your opinions would be valued on this too) and would like to further explore the possibility of both forums (although the work involved in maintaining them worries me) and some sort of course/tele-seminar.

In the short term I’m not going to change my approach over consulting – if its basic advice (that won’t take long) you’re after and IF I have the time I’ll attempt to help out where I can – if its more comprehensive than that I’ll probably either simply explain that I’m too busy or that I need to find some way of making a little money for the time I put into it. I’m not going to force anyone to give me a link for my services – but would appreciate this if you feel this blog and the advice I give are worthy of it (It probably won’t hurt your case if you do – but its not a prerequisite).

Thanks again for your support – now lets get back to some blogging!

Google AdSense Changes

Overnight Adsense have released a few new changes to their program. I’m about to run out the door now but the basics from their Google AdSense: What’s New page are posted below. Most importantly (at a first glance) is Real Time Channel Reports – something I’ve been hoping for for a while. This will allow for much quicker tweaking and monitoring of changes! I’ll update more later.

Update – I’m back and have a little more time to look over the new features and whilst they are not major changes – they are helpful ones. The Real Time Channel Reports are great (as I’ve already mentioned) – I use channels extensively to track my results and to be able to make a change to a particular ad and track its results all on the same day will be very helpful to say the least.

The new ‘Remove Channel’ option is a long time overdue – nothing major but helpful.

The ‘Shift-select for channels’ option is a great move – however it doesn’t seem to work in Safari and is therefore pretty useless for Mac users.

The options to count ‘impressions’ either per page or per ad unit is a good move by Google – I’ve often been frustrated by the fact that impressions are per ad unit (which is useful to know but doesn’t give a complete picture. I’ll use both options from time to time to check my stats. [Read more…]

More on Getting Yahoo Traffic for your Blog

A month back I wrote a tip about Getting Yahoo Traffic for your Blog that simply involves a technique where you add your blog’s RSS feed to the customizable MyYahoo headlines feature. I wrote in that post that after one day that I noticed a small increase in Yahoo referrals to my blogs.

I thought I’d give you another update on my Yahoo traffic.

It varies from blog to blog but I am pleased to report that Yahoo referrals have continued to rise since implementing this strategy.

On the majority of my blogs the rise has been reasonably small but with the most recent Yahoo index update in the past few days I’ve noticed a substantial increase in traffic to three of my blogs (blogs that until the last month rarely,if ever got any Yahoo traffic).

These blogs still rely on Google for most of their traffic but the new Yahoo visitors have increased overall blog traffic on these blogs by at least 20% (in one case traffic rose by 70%).

So if you haven’t implemented this simple technique to increase your Yahoo referrals I’d consider doing it today. No promises that the traffic will come flodding in – but it all helps.