It seems to have taken me just less than two years to get to two hundred posts on this blog, and I have to say that just isn’t cutting it! Of course, it took 12 months for the first hundred and 11 more months for the second hundred, so I would be kind of surprised if the pace suddenly picked up regardless of how many times I try to convince myself that it should. I can focus on one thing for a while with good bursts of progress, but it can’t last long before I start thinking about other the other pots I’ve left simmering. This kind of scatter-brained thinking is quite helpful if you’re making chili, but I often wonder about its efficacy in business… What I’ve got though, is what I’ve got to work with!
So what are we working with here after all? Its the internet, and one way or another we’re trying to make money on it. Right now, I’m feeling like I’ve got a lack of regularly updated content so I’m going to do what everyone else does: Crowdsourcing!
In a lot of ways, the internet isn’t much more than the world’s largest graffiti board, so why not open up a few more channels for that on my own domain?
Now I can’t lie, the traffic here isn’t too significant. I never really planned or expected it to be – as long as I had enough link juice to rank where I wanted to the revenue wouldn’t be a problem and the rest of the site could just be for fun. So really, thats all I have to offer for contributions, is some of that link juice and none of that god-awful nofollow crap! Of course, that means at some point I have to arbitrarily decide what constitutes unacceptable spamming, but almost any website can be presented in a way that’s of potential interest to other webmasters. Blog posts and articles about web news and webmaster tactics are great, but even a well-designed affiliate site or popular post about any topic can provide us with insights into our craft.
Under the header, you can check out the shared links module – basically a Pligg installation. Pligg is a free and easy to use Digg clone, and I wanted to give this new stable version a shot on Bluehost to familiarize myself more with the manual installation and have another run at modifying the templates and optimizing for search engines.
So, sign ups are quick and you can turn around and submit links of whatever you want to publicize. Maybe your last blog post, maybe someone else’s cool post. Whatever, the links are there for you guys and gals if you’re willing to just go grab them! I’ll work on building PR and link juice for those pages, and you get to take advantage of it! Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if you threw some links back at it or helped spread the word among bloggers
Forum is Back Open:
Oops. I royally screwed this one up, yessir. Just when a half dozen people had started posting, I screwed up and long story short, forum registration was disabled for months before I realized it. Oh gee, no wonder people completely stopped showing up.
Currently, I’m thinking that it may be very cheap to buy paid traffic toward the bookmarking site and forums. Hey, a hundred heads is better than one or two!
Alright, anyway… I’m going to do what I can to get some PR and some people, if you want to take advantage of it, please do! I need a whole lot more unique content than the current rate is producing and I’m not trying to be stingy about it. I also promise to never end up like Wikipedia or Mixx or Digg or any of the places that think they can hoarde PR by dropping a nofollow everywhere after they’re big enough. That attitude of turning your back on the community that makes you big just really pisses me off – and I know better than to think nofollow does anything beneficial for the website using it.
At worst, I’ll have to find that imaginary line that crosses into spamming. Since most of that stuff is really just scams to begin with, it won’t be too hard to find and weed out.
Now & Then – the Stats
Here’s a look back on the statistics I thought were important last year, and a comparison to where I’m at now. I can’t say its been a great year, but I think I’ve learned a lot about the search for quick answers in SEO.
- Yahoo Then: 3,454
- Yahoo Now: 4,372
- Google Webmaster Tools doesn’t show links in the same way, so the comparison is useless
2009 wasn’t a good year for social links! Digg & Mixx went nofollow, and Furl disappeared completely. Sitepoint stopped showing signatures to spiders, and DigitalPoint recently reduced forum signatures to two instead of four. I couldn’t even count how many Pligg and other Digg clones went down, taking my backlinks with them!
Despite the losses, total links continue to grow, even if the deeper links are increasingly difficult to acquire.
- Then: 1,163 over 30 days
- Now: 2,332 over 30 days
This is kind of interesting, it seems that doubling the content doubled the traffic. My deep linking strategy seems weak though lately and my ranks probably won’t be back until Caffeine. So a lotta this traffic isn’t necessarily going toward conversions, but I am glad to know that some people are actually typing the address into their browser bars and coming back!
- Then: $500 / month average for previous quarter
- Now: $300 / month average for previous quarter
The economy basically sucks and summer search updates axed my rank in search before throwing me to the keyword cannibals. To offset that effect, I’ve started buying some advertisements for high converting pages.When all my sites and contracts are added up, I’m also making a little bit more money than I did this time last year, except I did end up spending a few thousand bucks I didn’t have for a trip to Ireland that Aisling has been trying to get me to take with her for years. Totally worth it. Of course, that’s when the sites went down for a week and things jumped off track web wise, but whatever – totally worth it.
- Then: 3
- Now: 3
The big difference here is that a few of the deep pages went from 4 & 3 down to 2. Seemingly, this loss of links and pagerank has also affected their position in the search results, but they seem to be back on the front page in the Caffeine sandbox.Otherwise, I’ve tried to stop thinking of everything in terms of pagerank. Of all the ways links can influence your position in the search index, pagerank can be too narrow of a focus to produce good results. I’m not sure if my current analysis will be ready before Caffeine comes and changes everything again, but I promise I’m working on it, Steve! For now, I can say that theme I would focus on is “chaos” and unpredictability. Anything that looks rigged or intentionally set up could be easily devalued, so the most effective links seem to be the most random ones!
Ok, this is a long post and if I don’t end it brutally and suddenly, its not going to happen at all. I could spend another day proofreading and fretting and second guessing, but I’ve got places to be and people to see. Normally, this milestone conclusion area might be used to make public resolutions of more frequent or predictable posting schedules, but I already explained that it probably won’t happen. If you want more new content here, add it yourself! (And please, feel free to add some links as well!)