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Making money from Adsense

December 13th, 2009

Definitely one of my favourite bloggers, and to many people THE blog guru, Darren Rowse is running a poll at problogger.net to see how much money you earned from Adsense last month. As you would expect, results up to now show a lot of people in the lower income brackets, but it’s interesting to see a few readers in the thousands of dollars earning regions. If these guys are reading problogger.net for more tips and hints then you can be sure there’s something there for everyone. Quite apart from reading the advice on problogger, many people can also get inspiration from the way Darren’s other blogs are run - with the constant flow of great content on all of them, it’s no wonder so many people (including myself) look to Darren for inspiration.

Adwords - do you use the content network?

December 12th, 2009

I am a Google Adsense publisher. I show Adsense ad’s on a number of my websites and make a few bucks out of it every month. That makes me part of the Google Content Network
I am also an Adwords Advertiser occasionally.
So, as an advertiser, do I ever let my ad’s be shown on the content network? Not a chance.
Why not? There are far too many scraped sites and clone sites just existing to make a buck out of adsense and not existing to bring valuable content to the internet. Until Google has a human editor verify every site that displays adsense, then my adwords ads will stay on the search network only. I’m sick of doing google searches and finding results belonging to scraper sites and spam blogs with legitimate adwords adverts on them. If the people who placed those ad’s realized where they were being shown, do you think they’d be particularly happy about it. Just the association of seeing your ad on a crap site could be enough to deter a customer from buying from you. So come on Google, when are you going to start approving every site that shows Adsense and give your Adwords customers enough piece of mind to turn their content network ads back on?

How long to get Google traffic ?

December 7th, 2009

I’ll be very interested to see how long it takes this domain - www.designbydave.co.uk to start receiving any Google traffic. I spend a lot of time explaining to customers that at the moment Google takes the age of a site and the number of backlinks as seriously as the content. Just look at the top 10 sites for any search and they’ll have a ton of backlinks and will also be 3 or 4 or more years old.
This domain has virtually no backlinks, but it has been registered for a good few years, so according to the advice I’ve been handing out, that should be it 25% of the way to decent Google rankings. As long as I keep writing and adding content, traffic should start to flow pretty quickly right? Or will I get sandboxed?
I guess a site of any age can get sandboxed, so what I’m going to do is not go looking for backlinks, and certainly not create more than the one that I’ve put on my SEO site to help spiders find this site. I’m going to let the whole backlinks thing happen organically and see if that keeps me sweet with Google. I reckon it might.

Amazon Affiliate Program

December 6th, 2009

Quite possibly the first of all the affiliate programs, Amazon has recently come to my attention again. In recent times a lot of people have been displaying Google Adsense to generate revenue from their website, but it looks as if Amazon are making a comeback. It could be down to their excellent ad units that are easily generated now. When I first set up an affiliate account with Amazon a few years back, it was a pain to put together the affiliate links, but now it is positively child’s play. Enter a search term and Amazon will generate a set of direct product links in a variety of different sizes. Because it is not contextual advertising you can also run Amazon and Adsense on the same page. So if you’ve got any website related to anything that Amazon do, take a look. I’m off to set it up on a couple of my sites. Amazon Associates.

Adsense - Advertise on this site link

December 6th, 2009

I see today that Google Adsense has started showing an Advertise on this Site link on their adverts. I don’t mind it on a blog like this, but on some of my other sites I sell advertising and placements separately so I’m going to have to figure out if I can de-register from this particular feature in Adsense. It looks a bit crap too, especially when you blend adverts to be as inoffensive as possible. Hopefully Google Adsense are just testing this feature and it will go away before it inflicts itself on every site that displays Adsense adverts.
I’ll be watching this thread on digitalpoint to see what other Adsense publishers are saying about it.

Web stats analysis - Google Analytics still not performing

December 5th, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, when Google Analytics anounced it was going to a free for all model, everyone was happy about it. Then we all tried to sign-up on one day and the entire system got overloaded. I managed to get a few sites registered before they stopped new registrations and from what I’ve seen the reporting is rather good - although it hasn’t picked up any of my Adwords clicks on one account. Also the reporting seems to be a couple of days behind. I’m sure this is just due to the backlog from the startup and eventually we’ll get close to real-time reporting.
In the meantime though I want to see what’s happening today, so I continue to use Statcounter.com. Statcounter analyses the last 100 pageviews for free, more if you want to pay. For sites that are not that busy it’s a great way to analyse traffic on a daily basis for free. You can also have multiple sites on the one account.

Why do we need another tech blog?

December 5th, 2009

We don’t really need another one, but I spend time each day reading the posts of other SEO consultants and wanted a place to air my experiences on dealing with building and promoting websites. It’s good to feel like I’m just touching base with a few other SEO guys and designers through this blog. If anything I write about has any grounding in reality, so much the better.

Hopefully I’ll get round to writing about all of the aspects of life on the web that I praticipate in, and if anyone finds it useful then I’ll be happy.

SEO Appraisal for SEO Company

December 5th, 2009

At my SEO website, I invite potential customers to send me their URL for a free appraisal of their site with regards to search engine optimisation. It’s really just a way to send a quote for services to a client, but in this game, every quote has to be tailored to the individual site, so the appraisal is the only real way to do it.
So on saturday I received another one. I always get a little excited. Each one of these requests has the potential to be a large client. In this case not though. First off they gave me a deep URL, rather than their home page. Secondly the request was from a supposed SEO company in India.


Correct me if I’m wrong but surely an SEO company might be able to optimise their own website? It’s not rocket science, and if that’s the game you’re in then SEO is simply part of building your site.

Somehow I suspect they might have an alterior motive, like trying to tempt me into outsourcing my work to their company in India. Thankfully it’s not something I ever do though. My customers are paying for MY knowledge of SEO, not an outsourcing company in India who it would appear don’t know if they’ve even optimised their own website.

Anyway, that’s my monday morning gripe.

SEO Quotes for sites that have not been built

November 25th, 2009

This week I’ve found myself in the situation a couple of times where I’m quoting for SEO work on sites that have not been built yet. It’s not a massive problem, but it is odd to not know what you’re getting yourself into. I can understand it from the company’s point of view - they just want a quote so they can budget everything for the new site. All that I’m often shown is the old site and I’m told it’s going to be rebuilt.
I approach these kind of quotes warily. You really don’t want to undersell yourself and end up optimising hundreds of pages of content for a few hundred quid. So in the end I quote a reasonable amount with a few provisos attached. For a certain amount I will look at and advise on this many pages. It’s all you really can do, and when a project goes over budget at least you have that to refer back to.

Wordpress - Kubrick Default theme almost completely gone

November 23rd, 2009

I’ve now spent a couple of hours altering the original default wordpress theme. Glad to say it’s almost all gone, and I’m getting happier with the finished product. Most of the stuff I’ve done with the stylesheet, changing the columns round, changing the sidebar width so I can stick adverts in, changing the header image and messing with the navigation. It’s still essentially the same theme but looks a little different now from the way the Wordpress default theme started.
I guess it’s time to get down to the serious (but enjoyable) business of blogging now.

Wordpress SEO friendly URL’s

November 23rd, 2009

The whole process for setting up URL’s that look like the ones in this site rather than a dynamic URL is actually quite easy. All you need to do is upload an empty .htaccess file to your server at the top level web directory then go to the Options > Permalinks section and choose from one of the formats they suggest there, or set up your own. As long as your .htaccess has the correct permissions Wordpress will do all the mod_rewrite stuff for you.

Worpress - editing the kubrick template

November 23rd, 2009

The first stage was to create a new header image and ftp it to the right directory. If you have a look at the header template in theme editor, it tells you where to put it. I’ve just chosen a simple on with my name on it for now while I get started.
Next are a few other alterations to the header template. I went through and stripped out all the background images by commenting them out. That leads to a much simpler interface.
Next was to go into the stylesheet and change any references to header background colour and footer background colour to white.
With those changes done, we’re now in a better position to start altering the information on the blog.

First let’s deal with the design of this blog

November 22nd, 2009

The first thing I have to do is deal with the dreadful design of this blog. It’s the standard one installed when you install wordpress. Fortunately when you read this in the future, you won’t see the design as it is now as it will have evolved. Right, off to start tinkering.

Welcome to my personal blog

November 22nd, 2009

I am Dave Smith. I live in England. I work as a freelance web designer and SEO consultant (search engine optimisation). This blog has no real purpose other than an outlet for some of my thoughts relating to working on the web.
I also do a bit of art. Anyone interested in Dave Smith paintings should head over to www.orwellgallery.co.uk where there is lots more on art.