Internet Marketing Professional

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Right here I am going to Last FM to get my fix of music for the day – fancied listening to the darling buds if the truth be told, and I find a big bloody banner for “Mozilla Firefox the Ebay Edition”.

Christ its like the nineties here we’re all soon gonna be able to get ‘limited edition browsers’ rather than limited edition of 500 pink and green vinyl singles by Sonic Youth we’ll get limited edition 250 IE7 in blue for linux (code being tied to the machines). Or Limited Edition Ipods designed by Japanese Managa Artists that are hand painted. Or the greatest pod casts of Matt Cutts only on K-Tel – this item is not available in the shops.

Rant over



Today was speaking to Boydie and he came out with the word ‘domaincest’. We have now been banding about an appropriate description of this new word, and the semantics thereof.

Definition of Domaincest

So get using this word and lets try and get it into the Oxford English Dictionary in the Future

Direct Line Affiliate Marketing

I recently saw an advert on the television for Direct Line Insurance. They were espousing how great they were, as all advertising is likely to do. In this ad they also talk about how they ‘cut out the middlemen’ online. They don’t use price comparison sites online etc as a way of driving business to the website. I had a look online to see if this is true.

What is a middleman?

Intermediary within a channel of distribution used to transfer products from the manufacturer to the end user. Those who actually take title to the products and resell them are merchant middlemen. Those who act as brokers but do not take title are agent middlemen. Merchant middlemen include wholesalers and retailers. Agent middlemen include manufacturer’s representatives, brokers, and sales agents. Middlemen expand the capacity of the manufacturer to distribute products to the end user, transfer title between channel levels, collect payments from middlemen and end users, and communicate product information to all channel participants. When the financial and expert resources are available in-house, manufacturers can increase their profit margins by reducing the involvement of middlemen Definition of the term middle man

So an affiliate to any site or merchant , from the above definition, is an “Agent MiddleMan“. If Direct Line run an affiliate program, from this definition they must be using MiddleMen. So quick search in Google for the term “direct line insurance affiliate” returns the top result as being for OMG (The Online Media Group). This page has a list of terms and conditions for an affiliate program for Direct Line. It even includes a commission structure:

  • Direct Line Car Insurance £60 per sale
  • Direct Line Home Insurance £75 per sale
  • Direct Line Home Rescue Cover £25 per sale
  • Direct Line Life Insurance £85 per sale
  • Direct Line Life plus Critical Illness Insurance £85 per sale
  • Direct Line Travel Insurance £17.50 per sale
  • Direct Line Pet Insurance £30 per sale

So would this advert count as a bit of a porky? Maybe but they do explicitly list Price Comparison sites as being the middlemen – maybe it is only these middle men they are meaning. I know a little about semantics but this could be taking the issue too far. So I had a little run about the web to see if I could find them on any price comparison sites.

In all honesty I couldn’t find any. So they are true to their word that they don’t use them. So from this I started to do some digging to find out why this would be. Was there an ulterior motive for not using a huge source of online traffic. I found the following:

It was interesting to see that some support the stance of direct line – forcing price comparison sites to admit how much they get as a commission from each sale etc. And others intimating that the reason for the comments is that they were not cheap enough to allow for good placement within the price comparison results.

Woo Hoo. I’m happy – direct line may be increasing consumer knowledge by trying to be smart. Consumers may start understanding that on the web everyone is trying to make money, a lot of sites make a lot of money, most sites make very little. But be sure almost all websites are trying to get some of your money. So congratulations to Direct Line, congratulations to all the great online journalists and professional bloggers for starting the debate and hopefully congratulations to all who shop online for more fully understanding whats going on.

One of the best ways to promote your blog is to get links into it. I’m sure you know the importance of getting links for anything on the internet so I won’t bore you with it all again. Just now I am doing tests to a number of blogs in ways of getting links. I have split these into three categories:

Blog Directories

In essence you apply for a link and get an inclusion for

Blog roll Links

Where you get included within the blog roll of another blog. These can be:

  • Reciprocal
  • One Way

Natural Links from Content

As usual by providing good content you should get good links – at least thats the theory

Will post in a few weeks with the result of this experiment.

For a while I’ve been using online PR as a way of creating good quality backlinks to websites. Whether it be through Press Releases or Article Syndication. I love these mediums. They allow companies to create a dialogue with their online communities at a reasonably low cost. They enhance backlinks and if you do them correctly can drive traffic – and from this you can also measure a lot of factors to maximise future pieces within the campaign. Unfortunately over the last year the benefits of this marketing function have been decreasing.

Online PR Analysis

I love to analyse what has been going on with anything I do. Everything I do has a reporting function. And I need to know how I am going to monitor it before I try, test or do anything. This is what helps me to ensure that I get the best results for clients cost effectively – it also shows me where I’ve gone wrong.

In recent months Online PR results have been declining. I’ve had a look around to find if there were ways to change what was happening. But the sources appear to be getting weaker, the syndication is growing less powerful, the links appear to be of lower value and the click throughs have dropped.

What I did find was that certain places were still delivering the same value as they always had. It appears that less is more in this case. Spend less, target more and get benefits to your site seems to be what is happening.

News Search Engines

What I have found is that articles that are picked up by the news search engines are delivering high levels of traffic when they react effectively to the PR I have put out on the web. Google News was showing big. A side effect of this has been that the citations I have found in the BBC website from articles I’ve sent out are getting bigger. Natural link would be that BBC news writers are using Google News as source of news and then reproducing this for their own news archive. However I think this link is too simple. Where I think more likely the news is coming from is from the RSS feeds that we put out alongside the news. I havent been able to pinpoint which RSS aggregators are delivering the results but if Google news and the BBC.

Will let you all know when I work out which RSS aggregators are delivering the best results for online PR.

Google PageRank (PR) Update

In the last couple of weeks I’m sure most web site owners have seen their little green bars changing. Indicating that a PageRank update is underway. Oh the joys. As Google updates the tools bars in web browsers everywhere there will be once more much gnashing of teeth, shouting at SEO companies and god knows what as a result.

PageRank is Googles measure of the ‘importance’ of web page. In simple terms the higher your PageRank the more important your site is. For those who want a bit more info PageRank is a likelihood factor indicating the chances that a random surfer would arrive at your page by randomly clicking links. The higher the PageRank the more likely a random surfer would arrive at your website.

PageRank is calculated by the using the PageRank value for all the links that point to a particular web page. If you have links form high PageRank pages your PageRank increases. (God the overuse of the word PageRank is reading like some textual spam by an SEO agency so will change to now refer to PageRank as PR.)

PR is only one factor in the Google algorithm, that said it is important and does count but so do hundreds of other factors and you should pay attention to them all.

The toolbar update happens every so often, used to be monthly now is about every three months. Remember this is only an update. The values upon which your sites ranking is being calculated will be the same as yesterday. The displayed PR is also only a snapshot. It places websites into bandings so not all PR4’s are equal no matter what your link building company tells you.
The toolbar update rolls out by DataCentre – so the USA is likely to find that their PageRank has updated before that in the UK at times and so on.

During this period I always point clients, friends etc to the future PageRank tool 

Its worth a look if you want to see your PR across various DataCentres. It is also online and working every time I’ve tried it unlike similar services promoted online.

So if you see your PR go down, or go up, don’t get suicidal or over joyed. Look at your positions and your backlinks and work out why it has moved the way it has. Use it as an indicator of your importance not the sole KPI for your Search Engine Optimisation campaign.

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