29 May 2007

STATCOUNTER Free log size up 500% !

Great news for those of you who use Statcounter to track visitors to your blog or website. Statcounter has now increased its free log size from 100 to 500 for each project that you create. This massive increase in the size of free stat logs means that you can track the pattern of your visitors much more extensively than before.

The free log size of 500 applies to each project ( website or blog) that you create on Statcounter - not to your overall account. You can track lots of projects - each with a free log size of 500.

If you aren't yet using Statcounter then it is highly recommended. Its a FREE service. No hidden costs whatsoever and they seem to be constantly trying to improve their service. I would urge you to try their service - you will not be disappointed.

Want to know more about Statcounters features and how to use it before registering with them ?Read about Statcounter Features and how to use Statcounter with blogspot blogs here.

24 May 2007

Better content for Adsense with Keyword Variations

The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is intended to help advertisers to optimize their AdWords campaigns. But if you are a blogger, or indeed any type of publisher on the Internet, it can be very useful in helping you to make sure that your content is properly written to maximise your AdSense.

The Adwords Keyword Tool can be used as an aide to help you tweak your posts or other content before you publish them and best of all you don't actually have to have an Adwords account to use it.

You will see two tabs when you go to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool page.

Keyword Variations’ and ‘Site-Related Keywords’.

Let's start with ‘Keyword Variations’ and see how variations on keywords can help you improve your content.

We start by entering a keyword into the box. Try a single word or a phrase. I will try .. guitars
(You'll need to type the distorted letters you see in the box further down to prove your human!)

There is a selection box in that area that gives you the following choices;
Keyword Search Volume

Cost and Ad position estimates

Search Volume trends

Possible Negative Keywords
Make sure you search with "keyword Search Volume" selected.

Now click ‘Get More Results’ and you will get a list of keywords and keyword variations related to the keyword that you entered. The list is ordered by relevance.

For guitar the first few results I get back are;
Acoustic Guitars
electric guitars
gibson guitars
etc etc

Its a long list! Against each of the suggested variations are two columns. Search volume and advertiser competition.

So what use is this you ask?

Well this list helps you think of other keywords that you can use on your site in your content or posts. Say your site is about guitars. You now have a whole list of suggestions that you might wish to create content about or post about that are guitar related. These posts will contain keywords that you know are being searched for and that relate well to the overall subject matter of your site or blog. This is important.

When you write your posts you optimise their content and structure to give some emphasis to these keywords ( Don't overdo it though and resort to what amounts to keyword stuffing!). Because you have done this you are maximising the chance that your post or content will contain keywords that you know people are searching for on the search engines. Get it? This helps your traffic.

The second column advertiser competition gives you an indication of ..... advertiser competition on that keyword. The more competition ..... yup .... the higher the advertisers are paying to appear for that keyword and the higher the price you get for Adsense click throughs.

You can use the Cost and Ad Position Estimates to guide you as to how much advertisers are paying for a keyword. Enter an amount and click on ‘Recalculate’.

The prices you see are what the advertisers pay to appear for those keyword searches. they are not the amounts you get paid for clicks - unfortunately! Google must be fed. You will get quite a lot less than the advertiser is paying Google. But the prices do help you focus on those keywords that are likely to pay best. Just don't forget that they should also fit with your content / site focus.

The Search Volume Trends gives you some useful information about the trends in search volumes on the keywords over 12 months. You can also see which month has the highest volume. This may be particularly useful information if your blog or site is on a subject which seasonal and you can see when interest peaks.

If you want to find keywords and keyword variations that relate to the content you already have then use the Site-Related Keywords tab.

This finds keywords related to the content of your page. Type your site or blog URL and click on ‘Get Keywords’. You'll also to be able to search using the choices we discussed earlier like Keyword Search Volume etc.

Use this tool to get ideas for how you can develop keyword variations from material you already have.

So lets go back to where we started. You are writing a post. Ah but this time you have the knowledge of keyword variations that would be most helpful for you to use. So this helps you to write the post in a way that focuses on these keywords ( don't you go keyword stuffing now - you get penalised by the search engines - and I will come round to your house and shout at you.)

Please do this before you publish you posts. Why? I use Blogger for this kind of blogging. But I discovered that even though posts are editable after you have published them the various sites that are "pinged" when you post seem to be heavily influenced by the first version you publish and you cannot guarantee that subsequent changes you make will get picked up. (by the way this applies to all the advice I will give you about writing posts - so get them right, particularly the titles before you publish! Ok I'll be honest I am still a bit sloppy sometimes - hell, I'm human too.)

I hope you have found this interesting and useful. Please don't forget to bookmark this site because I will be back with more advice soon.

23 May 2007

Adsense acts on MFA sites

Interesting news recently that Google is taking action against MFA ( made for Adsense sites). It seems that the largest of these operations have received notice from Google of account termination. Normally such termination for contravening terms of service doesn't allow the publisher to benefit from any yet to be paid revenue. However it seems Google may be paying these terminated account holders what they are due for the current month.

This development has been fairly well received in SEO circles where the general feeling is that it will hep to remove essentially empty sites and leave a more useful web for users and for publishers who are genuinely trying to add some value with their content.

There is some suggestion that webmasters operating Adsense arbitrage tactics are getting caught in this. I haven't explained a lot about arbitrage here and will do this shortly in another post. basically its is the technique of buying cheap and selling dear but there are particular ways that this is used by those who do it with Adsense.

It was always considered essentially a "white hat" rather than a "black hat" technique although a little borderline. Some people were making a lot of money from arbitrage so there will be some very pissed of people if this is true.

Although I think people should know about arbitrage it is essentially a very tricksy way to make income from Adsense. In general to be on the safe side and not have your Adsense account terminated you should concentrate on providing quality content. that way you will not get caught in these Google sweeps.

I'll catch up and put the links to the original posts about this story shortly.

02 May 2007

Having a Digg at AACSLA

Digg users rightly pressed Digg not to succumb to the "cease and desist" threats from AACLA which resulted in the attempt to pull posts referring to or containing a single code that can decrypt HD-DVD movies published before April 23, 2007.

The danger is however that this leaves Digg dangerously exposed.

What concerned Digg users need to do is to ensure that they and all others concerned by this attempt to "copyright a number" express their views forcibly to the Founders of AACSLA.

The founding members of AACSLA are ; IBM, Microsoft,Sony, Disney Corp, Intel, Panasonic, Toshiba and Warner Bros.

Use your right to protest constructively - if you aren't happy with what AACSLA is doing then you might want to consider going to their sites, finding a contact email address and send an email expressing your opinions strongly about what is happening. If they don't respond email them again until they reply.

Perhaps the power of Digg users will make them think again.

This is of topic from my normal posts on Adsense issues but i feel strongly on this one.