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Preview: Create Value or Die (CVoD) - Andrew Palmer

Create Value or Die (CVoD) - Andrew Palmer



According to online marketing expert Andrew Palmer, the best way to profit online is to create value for your visitors. Learn marketing from a highly respected, highly qualified e-commerce guru. Come on in... don't cost nuttin.



Last Build Date: Sun, 05 Oct 2014 06:56:56 +0000

 



CVOD: A Historical Document

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 16:36:00 +0000

"Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio,
Our nation turns it's lonely eyes to you.
What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson.
Jotting Joe has left and gone away,
Hey hey hey."


~ from the song "Mrs. Robinson" written by Paul Simon and performed by Simon and Garfunkel, the album Bookends (1968)
This will be my last entry.

Since the passing of my mother I do not have the passion for this blog. And for a site based on creating value... one must have passion.

So unless things change in the future, treat this as a historical document. There is great knowledge within... please read and learn.

I'm still plugging away bringing in names and building communities... just not here.

All the best,

AP



Start With Directories

Tue, 13 May 2008 01:24:00 +0000

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." ~ Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister and author, (1874–1965)
Trying to increase your search engine rankings?

The search engines value the number of links you have to your site when deciding your ranking. Links obtained naturally or which are non-reciprocal are considered more important and valuable than links which are exchanged among sites.

So with 'one-way' links coming at a premium, how do you get them... quickly?

One answer is... you don't. It takes time and effort. Where to start... directory submission.

Web directories serve as a catalog of websites and provide links to web users to various sites categorized under relevant topics. Many of these directories accept websites for inclusion to their directory at no cost... some are paid for.

These directories get you a quality one-way link back to your site. This makes directory submissions one of the best and easiest means of obtaining these quality one-way inbound links.

Here are two MUST haves:

- Yahoo! Search Directory
- The Open Directory Project (This free directory is a "must submit". The SEO and traffic rewards are incredible.)

Some other paid directories worth considering include the following:

- Business.com
- Best of the Web
- UncoverTheNet
- InCrawler

There are lots more... but this is a good start.

Enjoy,

AP



When were you last ripped off?

Mon, 21 Apr 2008 19:41:00 +0000

“The man who is admired for the ingenuity of his larceny is almost always rediscovering some earlier form of fraud. The basic forms are all known, have all been practiced. The manners of capitalism improve. The morals may not.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith, (1908–2006) was an influential Canadian-American Keynesian economist.
Hey dude...

Where are all the blog posts?

Truth be told, my computer was stolen. Sure it's an excuse but it's also a fact.

I hope to post a few soon, thanks for checking back.

AP



Making Bounce Rates Sexy

Thu, 27 Mar 2008 17:00:00 +0000

“Folks still remember the day ole Bob Riley came bouncing down that dirt road in his pickup. Pretty soon, it was bouncing higher and higher. The tires popped, and the shocks broke, but that truck kept bouncing. Some say it bounced clean over the moon, but whoever says that is a goddamn liar.” ~ Jack Handey, American Humorist
The purpose of the Create Value or Die blog is to teach. Teach online marketing and all that comes with it. Today I found a blog post that gave one of the best explanations of Bounce Rates that I've ever read.

If you are not familiar a "bounce rate" measures the percentage of people who come to your website and leave "instantly". It measures quality of traffic you are acquiring, and if it's the proper traffic then it can help you find on your site where your content is failing you.

I started writing about this and I said to myself, "Self... you just found a fantastically clear explaination on bounce rates... stop writing and just republish the damn article."

So here it is... Bounce Rate: Sexiest Web Metric Ever?
Written by Avinash Kaushik a web Analytics Evangelist.

If you suffer from a high bounce rate just don't stand there... do something about it.

Start testing copy, headlines, navigation, etc. You are losing opportunity dollars. AND worse if it's your paid pages (PPC) that are bouncing you're losing real dollars.

Don't be a victim of a big bounce.

AP



Katie Yeakle Talks Selling

Thu, 20 Mar 2008 02:05:00 +0000

"The best careers advice to give to the young is 'Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it'." ~ Katharine Whitehorn, British journalist & writerI was talking with my good friend Katie Yeakle this past week about marketing and sales. If you don't know her, Katie Yeakle is the Executive Director of the American Writers & Artists Institute.Katie works with people from all walks of life who are looking to leave the rat race behind and live “the writer’s life” as freelance online & direct response copywriters and artists. Since 1997, Katie Yeakle and AWAI have helped over 10,000 students learn how to successfully launch freelance writing and graphic design careers and prosper in the $1.8 trillion direct response industry.To make a long story short, we both agreed that you must create value for your audience and build relationships as a part of the sales process. As a follow up to our conversation she forwarded this article about sales great Joe Girard saying, "Even though he's talking about old-fashion selling, what he says about relationship building is relevant for web."I immediately asked Kaite if I could re publish this article for CVoD and she agreed. Please enjoy, I think you'll find it useful.How a funeral turned Joe Girard into the world’s greatest salesperson - By Katie YeakleJoe Girard knows how to sell cars. In fact, he’s listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as “the world’s greatest salesmen.”To become known as the world’s greatest salesperson, he used what is perhaps the most underused lead-generation technique in the world. Yet it’s probably the most effective way of getting new business there is.As a salesperson, it gives you instant credibility with your prospect -- making your prospect more likely to buy from you.If you’re in sales and you’re not using this technique, you’re working too hard.The idea came to Girard while he was attending a funeral.Before I tell you what it is, let’s take a look at some of the most notable selling statistics (courtesy of Tom Sant’s book “The Giants of Sales” in which Girard is profiled) from Girard’s 14-year (1963 to 1977) car-selling career…• In total, he sold more than 13,000 vehicles.• That’s an average of six cars sold per day. • On his best day, he sold 18 vehicles. • His best month he sold 174.• In his best year, he sold 1,425 cars.• By himself, Joe Girard sold more cards than 95 percent of all dealers in North America.• To make his feat even more incredible, he sold them at retail.• He received no bulk orders; he sold them one vehicle at a time.Amazing accomplishments, especially when you consider when he first applied for a job as a car salesman, no one would hire him.At the time, he was in debt and struggling to keep his family fed.The sales manager, who finally hired him, at first told him ‘no’ explaining that if he hired Girard his other salespeople wouldn’t like it because their walk-in traffic would be reduced. It was only when Girard said he wasn’t interested in the walk-in traffic and would generate his own leads instead, that he was hired.He quickly found that selling without access to the walk-in traffic was more difficult than he had hoped it would be. The first thing he did was grab a phone book and started calling people randomly. He made some headway, but it was tough slogging.The funeral that change his approach to salesIt was around this time he attended a funeral. It was a Catholic funeral. Mass cards were given out to all those in attendance. Girard asked the funeral director how he knew how many Mass cards to have printed up for each funeral.The Funeral Director told Girard that over the years the number of people attending a funeral always seemed to average out to 250. So that’s how many he had printed up each time.Later on after selling a car to him, he asked a Protestant Funeral Director how many people typically attend a Pro[...]



Retail As Link Bait

Tue, 11 Mar 2008 17:13:00 +0000

"Sickness comes on horseback but departs on foot" ~Dutch Proverb
My whole family has the flu. It seems like the house has been sick for weeks now. And unfortunately I've gone from care taker to patient. ugh!

It's hard to run a business when you're sick... let alone write a blog, eh?

So instead try this: http://producten.hema.nl

It's a cool concept from a Dutch retailer. This has been a favorite since I first saw it, and thankfully, a friend just re forwarded it to me.

It's a cleaver and attention getting java based page that will force you to play it several times.

And of course, it has become a good piece of link bait.

Just check it out... I'm going to take a rest now.

AP



Political Link Bait

Tue, 04 Mar 2008 20:50:00 +0000

"In a country of 300 million people, there is a certain degree of audacity required for anybody to say, 'I'm the best person to lead this country.'" ~ Barack Obama, The junior U.S. Senator from Illinois and leading candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
I love politics.

It's comedy, tragedy, drama and sport, all rolled into one big buffet served on cable news and in the blogshere. What's not to like... besides the candidates. (sic)

Tonight Hillary Clinton may be poised for a big night with wins in Ohio and Texas or at least her campaign is spinning it that way. Her aides say this will be the beginning of her comeback against Barack Obama.

There's only one problem with this analysis... the numbers don't ad up. She doesn't have the delegates to win the democratic nomination even with victories tonight.

How do I know?

Slate.com has a Delegate Calculator that will tell you. It's a greatest piece of political link bait I've seen this year. A fun tool on their site that will bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors and more inbound links than you or I could ever image.

Check it out: Slate's Delegate Calculator

For you political junkies out there... the calculator does not incorporate superdelegates into its calculations. But hey... if you think you can produce better link bait - please do!

Your search ranking will be glad you did.

AP



Nora Patricia Palmer

Sat, 23 Feb 2008 23:17:00 +0000

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner, American comedienne and actress
Dear Loyal CVoD readers,

I'd like to apologize for being away from the blog for the past few weeks. Come March I'll get back to the 4 or more scheduled posts per month. Where have I been?

Life happened.

To paraphrase the late John Lennon...

"Life is what happens when you are making other plans"

...and life hit me right between the eyes. On the evening of Sunday Feb 10th, my Mom passed away of Cancer. She was 75.

I have now buried my Mom and my Dad...

I've tried to write about this on the blog many time but words fail me. I did give her eulogy at her Memorial Service and that was the toughest thing I've ever written. The hardest speech I've ever delivered.

I want to eventually post it here in tribute but it's too soon.

So as we morn... I just want all of you to know... in my best Governor of California accent, " I'll be back!"

Here's to you Mom... thanks for doing the best you could, and teaching us how to raise our children. We love you and miss you!


AP


Nora Patricia Palmer 75, originally of Brooklyn, NY, entered into rest on February 10, 2008 at home in San Mateo. Patt, as she was known by friends, was a resident of San Mateo County for the past 50 years.

Beloved daughter of the late George and Agnes Quigg; dear sister of Eileen Cavanaugh, Mary Gunsten and the late George Quigg, and Jackie Quigg; loving mother of Stacey Calonico and her husband James, and Andrew Palmer and his wife Angela; cherished grandmother of Christina Calonico, James Calonico, Jr., Keegan Palmer and Eleanor Palmer. She will also be greatly missed by her many nieces and nephews and their families; and many dear friends.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances in her memory may be made to Mission Hospice San Mateo County, 1900 O'Farrell Street, Suite 200, San Mateo, CA 94403 Tel: 650-554-1000 www.missionhospice.org/donate.htm

Now... go have a cup of tea & a piece of soda bread Mom, and rest in peace.



Just Write Good Copy

Mon, 28 Jan 2008 15:17:00 +0000

"Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." ~ Gene Fowler, an American journalist and author. (1890-1960) Part II from the AWAI Copywriting Insider interview in which I discuss SEO, web copy and what one should expect from an online copywriter.CI: Aside from being dynamic… what do you like to see in a landing page?The elements are really, really basic. It’s just a benefit-oriented piece of copy. It has to be very concise, and it has to quickly convince the person who lands on that page to give over their email address in exchange for a report or a subscription to an e-letter. It has to present a compelling argument, because many people will not give you an email address as they’re afraid of being spammed.It has to be a compelling argument that makes them think, “You know what? It’s worth giving my email address to these people I don’t know so I can get that report.” Or “I really want to get what these people have to say every day, so I’m going to give up my email address.” That’s the kind of argument the copywriter has to put forward.By focusing on benefits and credibility, the copywriter has to convey the message, in a very concise way: “You need this… you need this e-letter… you need this special report, and therefore you’re willing to give up your email address for it.”CI: Early on, you talked a little bit about keywords… about how you don’t want copywriters to write to keywords, but you do want them to keep the keywords in mind as they write. Are there other SEO techniques that the copywriter should be aware of?Again, I really like it when copywriters know the big picture, when they know what we’re trying to achieve with search engine marketing. They need to understand that a particular article or promotional piece needs to be focused on a singular keyword or phrase. Other than that, I don’t believe the copywriter needs to be involved in the really technical stuff (like the use of meta tags). But they should definitely understand title tags.What I mean by that is that every online article should have a very good title tag that includes the keyword or keyword phrase. So the copywriter should provide us with a keyword-rich title that can be converted into a title tag.Copywriters sometimes get too creative with their titles – and those titles have nothing to do with the marketing point of the article. So the SEO marketer has to edit them. It’s much better if the copywriter creates a title with the keywords inserted at the get-go, so it requires little or no editing from the SEO person.I don’t want to get too technical here, but I think your readers should know that the title is the most important thing that Google looks at when assigning search engine rankings. So if they understand that the title should be not only creative, but also include the keyword… that would be of great benefit to them when writing online copy.CI: Let me finish by asking you a wide-open question. If you were to sit down with a copywriter (kind of like what we’re doing right now), is there anything else that you would want to make sure they know?I would want to make sure they understand that, as an industry, we’ve kind of come full circle. The online world started with a lot myths with respect to copy. But a lot of information publishing companies, specifically Agora, have proven that the same rules that apply in direct mail also apply online.There seems to be this idea that short copy is what drives online marketing – yet Agora has been putting their long-copy direct-mail packages online and making millions of dollars. There are people who scan, and there are people who read, but the numbers are equal both on and off line. The point is, you want to use the best copy you can. As the saying goes, “Bad copy[...]



Writing For The Engines

Sun, 20 Jan 2008 12:23:00 +0000

"The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think." ~ Edwin Schlossber, Designer, author & artist.I recently did an interview with Copywriting Insider - a twice monthly e-letter from American Writers & Artists Inc. (AWAI) and the editorial team at Inside Direct Mail.The publication focuses on “inside” information for copywriters on the hottest markets in the direct-mail industry and the techniques that can best improve their skills.I was asked to participate in a special issue on writing SEO copy. Part 1 of the interview is below, please enjoy… ANDREW PALMER ON SATISFYING YOUR SEO CLIENTSAndrew Palmer is a recognized SEO expert and renowned Internet marketer. He has worked with industry giants, including Agora Inc., and currently works with Cabot Heritage Corporation, and lectures on such topics as "Direct mail on the Web" and the "Free Content Model" of Internet Marketing. Today, he shares the some of the techniques he has used to help businesses develop a successful online presence, and tells us what he expects from an online copywriter.CI: Andrew, how did you came to be a search engine optimization consultant?That’s a difficult question, and I’m afraid the answer is long and involved. First of all, let me say that I consider myself to be much more than that. I see myself in a business-building capacity, and search engine optimization is just one aspect of what I do.To give you the short answer, I’m actually a licensed attorney. I was working in Washington D.C., and my firm needed someone to build a website. I was assigned the task, and I found that the opportunity to create something from scratch on the Web was a lot more dynamic and fun than being an attorney. So I switched. I like to say that I left the dark side and entered the good light. I’ve had a wonderful time since then building businesses for people in everything from law to non-profit causes to information publishing.CI: In this interview, we’re going to focus on search engine optimization and how it affects copywriters. So my next question is: How important do you think it is for a copywriter to understand SEO before writing online material?I don’t want copywriters to think about search engine optimization while they are writing online copy. I just want them to write well. Nothing is going to do a better job for a website than good copy, and good copy can be written for the direct-mail industry and then posted on the Web and do very well. If copywriters focus too much on keywords or on the optimization, I think it creates poor copy.I want the copywriter to have the mindset of “What’s going to be the best copy for my client?” – whether it’s going to end up in the mail or online. Good copy works on the Web. Copy that is tailored to be optimized is never as good. Period.I think the copywriter does need to have a big picture idea of search engine optimization. And if the promotion the copywriter is going to work on will be online, the copywriter needs to know that he or she is going to have to deliver a piece of copy that is keyword-rich... and that they need to think about what the keywords will be before they get started. But that’s probably as far as I would want them to go. I don’t want them to think that they have to repeat a keyword eight times in a particular piece, because that’s going to end up as really bad copy. I want it to happen organically, and have the copy flow naturally.CI: What are some of the biggest mistakes copywriters make when writing for the Web?That goes back to what I just said. The biggest mistake is trying to write copy that they think Google wants, that they think will be optimized high instead of just writing good copy… instead of getting the point across … instead of talking about benefits, using the 4 U’s, using all the[...]



ANLA’s Management Clinic

Tue, 15 Jan 2008 05:49:00 +0000

“Management means, in the last analysis, the substitution of thought for brawn and muscle, of knowledge for folklore and superstition, and of cooperation for force." ~ Peter F. Drucker, American Educator and Writer
I'll be speaking in Louisville, Kentucky Feb 10th at 10am at the ANLA Management Clinic. The ANLA has describe my presentation as follows:
Create Value or Die - What's Your Web Philosophy?

Today's website is no longer a business luxury, it is an essential tool for communicating with your customers. But just like your POS system or that new Bobcat, if you aren’t using it right, you have a very expensive tool that is costing you money.

With most customers today going first to the web before making any major purchase decision, you need to make sure they are finding, and choosing, you! Andrew Palmer can teach you how to create a successful online business by narrowing the field, building a community, and giving away free content from your web site or blog.

In this session you'll discover how to make your online presence stand out from the rest, how to acquire "return visitors" rather than just "surfers" and how to convert visitors into buyers by giving away free content. Learn how creating value for your subscribers can increase your visibility, credibility, sales and revenues!
The ANLA stands for the American Nursery & Landscape Association... it's the national voice of the nursery and landscape industry. Members grow, distribute, and retail plants of all types, and design and install landscapes for residential and commercial customers. ANLA provides education, research, public relations, and representation services to members.

AND what the ANLA needs is a big serving of CVoD. (For more info go to www.anla.org)

It's gonna be a good time so if you're looking to creave value for your business and you're in the neighborhood...

AP



Is Web 2.0 Bad For Business?

Thu, 10 Jan 2008 17:53:00 +0000

"I must confess that I've never trusted the Web. I've always seen it as a coward's tool. Where does it live? How do you hold it personally responsible? Can you put a distributed network of fiber-optic cable "on notice"? And is it male or female? In other words, can I challenge it to a fight?" ~ Stephen Colbert, an American comedian, actor, and writer "Web 2.0" Yes it's another buzzword. But this one is not going away anytime soon. In fact, it's being embraced by marketers around the word.Is Web 2.0 a part of your online strategy?If you're not sure what I'm talking about let's start by de-bunking the buzz...Web 2.0 refers to a "so-called" second generation of web-based communities and hosted services — such as social-networking sites, wikis, etc. — which seeks to assist in online creativity, collaboration, and sharing between users. The term suggests a new version of the Web, not in the sense of technical updates to the Internet itself, but to changes in the way software developers and end-users use and/or experience the web.For example, a traditional or "web 1.0" site allows users to retrieve information. The site owner has sole control over the content and the user is limited to only reading or converting to a buyer or leaving. There is nothing wrong with this model. A value oriented site like this is a benefit to its users and a company can make millions selling their products in this fashion. However, a web 2.0 site allow users to do more. The user can still retrieve information and convert but they can also build on the that info... adding there own information to create a more interactive community. On sites such as Wikipeadia, Myspace and Facebook users can own the data and exercise full control over that data. Other sites seek user data along side its own, using techniques such as, comments on articles, customer reviews on products, and syndication opportunities in which the users can take site content and republish it on their own sites.Many call this an "architecture of participation" as it encourages users to add value to the site as they use it. It CVoD to the next level... CVoD 2.0, eh? This is also described as "social-networking" and "participatory web" ...it's all under the web 2.0 buzz. Bottom line... by conceptually involving the users more you'll build a better and larger community of more active participants and thus it will result in better traffic and conversion numbers for your business. That's why every online marketer I know is rushing to do more 2.0 activities. The question is... can it actually be bad for your business?I say yes.Adding too many Web 2.0 features to your website may actually decrease your conversions. If you're spending too much time building the interactive experience you may not be spending enough time on your marketing copy and conversion numbers. Increasing the traffic and not increasing the conversions may send you to the poor house. Or worse... the new increased user experience and high traffic numbers may be of a different demographic, one that you can't monetize. A business built on selling to 50 year olds that now has an audience of 20 year olds needs to adjust their offers. And not all business are that flexible. Would you be?Web usability guru Jakob Nielsen agrees. He states while features like user reviews can benefit consumers, others can make sites overly complicated.According to Jakob Nielsen:"While a modest 2.0 infusion can be beneficial, advanced features are rarely the most important contributor to good user experience or profitable websites... if you get caught up in the hype, you divert attention and resources from the simpler things that really matter. This opportunity cost is the real reason to take it easy on Web 2.0."In other words, when applying these[...]



Happy New Year 2008

Tue, 01 Jan 2008 18:28:00 +0000

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man." ~ Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) U.S. Author, political theorist, politician, inventor, and diplomat.
Welcome to 2008.

I took some time off for the holiday's but I'm now back and ready to continue the journey. We are changing one aspect of the CVoD universe this year... I am only going to post once a week.

It's just too much for me to do any more. But hopefully the posts will be better and more content rich for your business.

So check in every week for the next tip on creating value for your business.

Cheers,

AP



The Best Place To Buy New Plants Online

Sat, 29 Dec 2007 05:09:00 +0000

“Let's just say I was testing the bounds of reality. I was curious to see what would happen. That's all it was: curiosity.” ~ Jim Morrison, American Poet, 1943-1971What is... The Best Place To Buy Plants Online?We asked Angela Palmer of Plants Nouveau about her innovative approach to plant introduction and the best place to buy new plants online and she sent us the following response:Years of tedious work or simply luck, the discovery of an new or improved variety is every professional and back yard plant breeder's dream. Once you’ve found a new plant, where do you turn?Traditionally, large wholesale nurseries and plant introduction companies have spent countless hours and lots of money courting potential originators of new plants. Unfortunately, reputations have been tarnished and cooperative efforts are now defunct due to lack of royalty payments and an incredibly long, drawn out process for market saturation. In other words, it takes too long to get the plant to market and they aren't delivering the royalty shares they promised the originator. Today, smaller nurseries and new breeders are in search of 3 things; honesty, original marketing concepts and professionalism.Another draw-back to the traditional plant introduction route is that only the largest nurseries get the new, exciting selections. Smaller growers must wait out exclusive deals and wade through production problems while the big nurseries make a lot of money on their exclusive rights to a new introduction. Many new plant originators have decided to look for innovative ways to get their discoveries into the hands of American consumers.Along comes Plants NouveauAn innovative, new plant introduction company. Originally a dream, now a reality; Plants Nouveau has the expertise and worldwide contacts to successfully introduce your new introductions to the World! The company's principal managed two very successful plant introduction companies where introducing superior, new plants, royalty revenue and high market visibility where the only goals. Our experience, gleaned from experience managing the successful, worldwide introductions of both the Knock Out(R) Rose and the Meadowbrite(TM) series of Echinacea, affords us the ability to do everything right.We've been there, we've done that. Let Plants Nouveau show you what we've learned!To learn more about the Plants Nouveau mission, experience, and international presence and worldwide reputation visit the Plants Nouveau website or contact Angela via email at info@plantsnouveau.comAngela's choices for The Best Place To Buy New Plants Online are as follows:White Flower FarmGreat Garden PlantsDutch GardensPlant DelightsKlehm's SongsparrowPlease visit these retail mail order nurseries.Now the question is... can this page rank under the phrase "The Best Place To Buy New Plants Online" ... it's a test. Now let's be honest... there are thousands of sites to buy plants online and these are just a few... but whose to say, right?My point is... let's test some SEM on Google by pushing the envelope or as Jim would say “I'm curious to see what would happen. That's all... curiosity.”Let's see...APhttp://feeds.feedburner.com/CreateValueOrDie[...]



Stinson, Rest In Peace

Fri, 21 Dec 2007 00:21:00 +0000

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
~ Robert Benchley, an American humorist
On this cold and gray day a member of our family passed.

(image) Stinson, a 155 lbs Labrador Rottweiler mix, ended his spectacular life on this earth.

If you ever met him, you fell in love with him. He was Clifford... big, goofy, all love and kisses.

His bark was from deep down and it would rattle the entire house. A good watch dog?

Are you kidding?

We always said if a burglar came in the house "stinky", as I would come to call him, would probably lick him the whole time he was robbing us and then leave with the guy.

He was all personality and will be missed. Words will never describe him well enough... as such, I'll just stop now.

We have him forever in our memories... we are lucky he chose to love us.

AP
(image) Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.


W.H. Auden



Google Seeks Knowledge

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 22:27:00 +0000

"It's good to be the King"
~ From the movie, History of the World: Part I (1981)
Must be fun to be Google, eh?

With money being no object and the entire world at your fingers tips you can do anything. Buy a country... save the declining dollar... or invent the next Wikipedia.

What's that?

Yep, Google is creating a new service called "Knol" that is being positioned to be the next social encyclopedia. Going after the Wikipedia Internet space.

Knol?

Sounds weird, but so did a Wiki back when it was launched. The knol is meant to be a "unit of knowledge."

The project is in closed trials right now with no word on when it will be open to the public.

According to the Google blog:
"The web contains an enormous amount of information, and Google has helped to make that information more easily accessible by providing pretty good search facilities. But not everything is written nor is everything well organized to make it easily discoverable. There are millions of people who possess useful knowledge that they would love to share, and there are billions of people who can benefit from it. We believe that many do not share that knowledge today simply because it is not easy enough to do that."
And that is where the knol comes in... a new and simple way to share knowledge online.

Knol won't be a community effort like Wiki but will highlight authors. So if Joe Marketer is an expert on paid search he can set up a Knol page on Google and share that knowledge to online readers.

We'll see...

There is so much content online now that is crap, the question is... will YOUR be Knol worthy?

And what type of filter will Google create to stop it from being a commercial marketplace?

...can't wait to see it in action.

Bottom line is... this makes a whole lot of sense... as this will help Google reach its goal of answering every query. And, of course, it will always end up in the top ten results.

Is the fact that Google is now not just presenting the content but also now creating it bother anyone? Does it throw up a red flag to any of you?

Hmmm...

For more info, see the original blog post announcing the project:
Encouraging people to contribute knowledge



No Fear In Holiday Cheer

Sat, 15 Dec 2007 04:08:00 +0000

“I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.” ~ Dave Barry, American Writer and Humorist
It's the Christmas party season. Some enjoy it.. some dread it. I like going to these parties. I always end up seeing folks I haven't run into for some time.

Here's an example... I went to a party tonight... met some new folks, saw some old friends, and some colleagues from the past that I haven't seen for some time. But the take away from this party is not a new contact, or an old laugh with friends but the following exchange.

J walks over to S and says, "That's Andrew Palmer over there.... what's he doing here.. God, I hate him!"

Good times, eh?

Merry Christmas - I take no offense to this, in fact is think it's funny. That's right.

Funny.

Not only funny because I think the person was so drunk that I heard it from five feet away, but funny because after X amount of years working with this person, and after leaving for greener pastures, that I could still illicit such a response.

You must know by now, dear reader, that I pull no punches. I tell people the truth. Now some ego's can't take that. Some never forget being told "no" by a confident marketer such as myself.

I write this because you must keep going forward. Don't let people who dislike you stop you from accomplishing your goals. You'll never please everyone.... and don't try.

Do what is best for your business and let the chips fall as they may. I've always said, "...it's not personal, it's only business." Some may not understand this... but the fact is you may not always like the people you need to work with. Life is not that convenient. (If it happens, you're lucky.)

My advice - get over it.

Do what is right for your business and party like it's 1999. My spin... after so many years hatred is a sign of respect. Yep, I'm good with that.

AP



How Are Your Link Neighbors?

Wed, 12 Dec 2007 21:06:00 +0000

“Go with your Gut” ~ Matt Cutts, head of Google's Webspam team, at PubCon 2007 I like that quote. It can apply to virtually anything in business and usually defaults to the correct answer. In this case, Matt was talking about link building, and specifically not linking to a bad neighborhood.How do you know if you're linking to a bad place? Well... how did you come about the links... naturally or artificially?Google wants you to build a web of links organically. Over the normal course of events other sites just found you. They liked what they saw and thus, linked to your site. They don't want pure manipulation of links. They want links that would happen in the normal course of business between companies. Linking between sites that makes "business" sense. It all goes back to relevance. Even reciprocal links are ok... IF... they are relevant, limited in scope and make normal business sense. So, if that's you... great. You are clean. Hi neighbor... "It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood. A beautiful day for a neighbor..."On the other hand if you did a deal with a link broker and overnight you got 1000 links, in other words, from 1 link to 1001 between visits of the Google bot... or all your links are reciprocal and incorporate every non-relevant business sector.. Yikes!My gut says that's artificial and abnormal... and you live in a bad place, man.It's really common sense... if all your links are reciprocal and not relevant to your business that's not natural. Spin how you want, but it not commonplace. AND Google knows this!You want with your search strategy to accelerate what happens in nature but not to mutate or bastardized it. You don't want to live in this neighborhood.So if you get an out of the blue email or a "dear site owner" letter asking to swap links... what does your "gut" tell you? My big gut tells me to hit the delete button. For some the answer is not that easy. They don't want to give up any potential links. Ok, but you have been warned...In the alternative, for you aggressive types... post the link but don’t pass page rank - use your no follow tag on the link. For more on this tag, read the CVoD issue: Do You Follow or No Follow?What does Google officially say about this? Check out the Webmaster Help Center. In the Quality guidelines it states: * Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don't deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as "cloaking."* Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, "Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?"* Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.* Don't use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.As I've always said, good business doesn't fight the power, it uses the power to it's advantage. You know what Google wants, now go with your gut!AP PS - OK, I can't help myself... everyone sign along: Won't You be My NeighborBy Fred RogersIt's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,A beautiful day for a neighbor.Would you be[...]



PubCon Equals Knowledge

Thu, 06 Dec 2007 23:55:00 +0000

“Why bother bringing in more visitors to a site that converts poorly” ~ Tom Leung, Product Manager, Google, at PubCon 2007
Today's take away is about your site, your products, your brand. Do you know what others are saying about you?

If not, you need to.

Any and all negative comments can damage your business. A simple way to keep track of who is posting about you online is Goolge Alerts. Sign up and Google will tell you every time your site, brand or keywords are indexed.

This allows you to be on top of any negativity that may need to be addressed. It's the difference between being proactive vs. reactive... or the difference between making money or not.

More later - gotta catch a plane back home.

AP



PubCon Equals Content

Thu, 06 Dec 2007 04:07:00 +0000

"Content is marketing" ~ Richard Rosenblatt, CEO Demand Media, at PubCon 2007
Today... two take aways:

(1) Go buy every variation of your business domain.

Everything... .biz, .info, .tv, etc. Get every variation that is available not just the marketable ones. They are ALL seen the same in the eyes of Google and the other engines.

No better or worse than .com and/or .net.

Buy 'em and 301 redirect 'em to your site. Do it now before someone else does.

This is nothing new nor earth shattering, but it's one of those things that we often forget as we're marketing at 100 miles per hour.

(2) A great way to build your business is to empower your community to create content for your site. But don't stop there... go so far as to let them virtually manage the day to day operation of your site. If you can do that your online business will grow exponentially.

Can't be done you say? Have I gone mad?

Au contraire mon frère!

Think youtube.com... digg.com... there are numerous examples to learn from, eh?

That being said, your homework assignment is to figure out how you can apply that to your current online business.

Go fight win!

AP



PubCon Equals CVoD

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 04:50:00 +0000

"Google plus Digg equals Love" ~ Chris Winfield, President and Co-Founder of 10e20.com, at PubCon 2007
Welcome to Las Vegas and PubCon. The first day was quick and before you knew it we were sipping suds at the Didit Cocktail reception.

The best part came at the end of the day special Search Forum.

The question posed by moderator Guy Kawasaki was a hypothetical. It went something like this... "if you decided to leave your current position and start you own web business what would you do to conqueror your current employers listings? In other words, how would you own the top rankings?"

The question was posed to Google's Matt Cutts, Yahoo!'s Tim Mayer & Daniel Boberg, Rahul Lahiri of Ask.com, and Eytan Seidman of Microsoft's Live Search.

The answer?

All came to the same conclusion after first dodging a direct answer. Simply put... create valuable content for your audience and create an interactive community, not just a business.

Nice to hear the search world is in agreement - Create value or die!

AP

PS - much more to come from DAY ONE later... must sleep.



Excuse Me Time To Fly

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 01:36:00 +0000

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” ~ George Washington, the 1st U.S. President (1732-1799)
WebmasterWorld's PubCon starts Monday...So I'm not posting this weekend. Have to get my ducks in a row before flying to Vegas.

I'll be reporting from the conference daily... I hope to share some tidbits.

For more information go to http://www.pubcon.com

AP

PS - Google's Susan Moskwa stopped by CVoD just the other day to say hey... and she had this to say about our our online philosophy:
"Glad to see you're evangelizing value-adding content; we can't stress enough how important original and compelling content is!"
Thanks Susan... Create value or die!



More on Keyword Tags

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 08:02:00 +0000

"There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we don't know." ~ Ambrose Bierce, American journalist (1842–1914)
Straight from the lips of Google... from Susan Moskwa of Google Webmaster Help:

Q: How many keywords should I put in the meta keywords tag? I heard the limit was 25, but then my web guy told me you should only put 3 - 5.
A: Not all search engines take the meta keywords tag seriously these days, since its potential for abuse is so great. If you're using it because you think it's a great way to send Google a signal about your site's topic, your time would probably be better-spent creating great content rather than carefully tailoring your meta keywords (since site content is one of the signals we use to determine what a site is about).

Filling the meta keywords tag with hundreds of keywords tends to look like spam, so I'd keep the numbers reasonable; but if you want to use keywords, there's no exact limit on how many you're "allowed". I've heard several people say they use the meta keywords tag as a reference for themselves, so that when they come back to a page they can remember which keywords they were targeting or what the main focus of the page was (this is particularly helpful if you're managing a large site with many pages). Using the number and type of keywords that would be useful for *you* is a pretty good rule of thumb for the meta keywords tag.
So Google says time is best spent creating great content... creating value for your readers creates value for Google.

Amen sister!!

I'm still using my Keywords Tag, (Description tag as well), considering what Google says publicly and what Google actually does is not always the same.

Yes I'm a cynic, but again, inserting these tags takes no time at all and I'd rather be safe than sorry - until Google says using these tags will penalize you.

AP



Tonsils & The Death of Tags

Wed, 28 Nov 2007 04:56:00 +0000

"The report of my death was an exaggeration." ~ Mark Twain, American Humorist & Writer, (1835-1910)Mega tags are bits of information inserted into the HEAD area of your web pages. We talked about probably the most important tag just last week. All these tags are for search engines and have an impact on your rankings. Or do they?Many pundits, bloggers and search gurus have been calling meta tags dead for years. Claiming all engines, specifically Google ignores them. Of course, everyone loves a good controversial post... right?Is it true?Ummm... I'll get to that, but before I bloviate let's first review the most used meta tags:Title Tag - "Tonsils & The Death of Tags - CVoD" /TITLEFor more on this tag read the CVod issue "Name This Plant Page" The title tag is what the engines use for the clickable title of your page in your listing. It's also the text that appears in the reverse bar of someones browser when they view the web page.Keywords Tag - "meta tags, death of meta tags, keywords"/METAThese are only seen by the engines. When creating them focus on just a handful of relevant phrases, and don't repeat them - that's considered web spam. Think of the phrase that best describes your pages theme or subject matter. Remember... this is the phrase you want your page listed under. Here's the rub... only a few search engines actually rely on these. (I'll get to this later)Description Tag - "Meta tags... once powerful now useless... or so they say. I say they are not dead yet."/METAThis tells the engines a description of your page. I suggest no more than 200 words in a compelling sentence and please include your keyword phrases.Ideally, Google will use this description in the listing of the search engines results... but that's no longer a given. Some engines use a keyword rich sentence in the body copy, while others only use the first sentence or so. The way I look at it... if it gets used, good. If not, so be it. Either way the writing of the description helps me reaffirm whether I chose the proper keyword phrase.Robots Tag - "index,follow" /META For more on this tag read the CVod issue Do You Follow or No Follow? In short this tag lets you specify to the engines whether a particular page should be indexed or NOT be indexed. The INDEX directive specifies if an indexing robot should index the page - or not, and the FOLLOW directive specifies if a robot is to follow links on the page - or not.Now for the postmortem... are these aforementioned tags dead?Of course not. The Robots tag is essential and the Title tag could be the most important factor in being ranked under your chosen keyword phrase. But the Keyword and Description tags?Ummm, let's just say that if they were seen as body parts... they'd be described in today's SEO landscape as the appendix and the tonsils. Still a part of the body, but not indispensable. I don't believe the gurus that say they are useless, no longer relevant and they should be forgotten. While it’s true that the engines are concentrating more on other page and code criteria making these meta tags less essential, by no means does it mean they are irrelevant.Truth be told, well-written, optimized, formatted content IS more important than your Keywords tag. But so what? Do both. Do you take out a healthy appendix? Heck no. Actually, the tonsils AND appendix are important parts of the immune system that protect the body from dangerous microbes in our food. They are perceived as usel[...]



A Solution to Social

Mon, 26 Nov 2007 20:04:00 +0000

"More time is wasted in front of computers than on highways." ~ Ben Shneiderman, American author and computer scientist.
Tired of being social?

Had enough of the web 2.0 buzz about networking?

If you are, you’re not alone. It’s time to refuse to be dragged along by the social networking frenzy join NOSO.

NOSO is an online organization which offers a unique opportunity to create NO Connections by scheduling NO Events with other NO Friends.

That's right no IMing, friending, texting, poking, skyping and podcasting – or worse, no crackberry.

Just peace and quiet.

It is analogous to the This Page Intentionally Left Blank Project from several years back when we would post a page on our web site without content but for the remark “this page intentionally left blank”.

It was a tribute to former times when printed books and manuals printed several blank pages. The movement offered Internet wanderers a place of quietness and simplicity on the overcrowded World Wide Web—a blank page for relaxing the restless mind.

Ah….

I digress.

NOSO protests against social conformity, dwindling privacy, and corporate influence. It’s an anti-social networking movement. Check out the NOSO site.

Be no social!

AP

PS - NOSO offers a moment of relief to the technology wearied… but, ironically, being predominantly a web-based project, it is still tech-centric. Not to mention that it asks you to set up a user profile AND choose a trendy silhouette reminiscent of those made popular by the ipod commercials to represent your online personality.

hmmm...

Part of NOSO also involves anti-socializing meetings, which consist of a get together of registered users, snapping a few photos and posting them online. Well, now...

If this isn't social networking, I don't know what is.

Suddenly I feel used…