October 15, 2008

What is a Pagerank 9 Site Worth To You?

Sorry, readers…I know it has been a while but I have been hard at work on another project related to YellowBot. Stay tuned to find out more about what that is…In the meantime, I’m hoping I can resume blogging regularly…

So I was looking at the Clearspring acquisition of AddThis.

AddThis is 2 years old and provides a bookmarking widget that you must have seen all over the place (see the “Bookmark” button at the bottom of this post). The AddThis homepage boasts “served 20 billion times per month” and lists the following as “Clients & Partners:”

TIME, Oracle, TechCrunch, Freewebs, Entertainment Weekly, Topix, Lonely Planet, MySpace, PGA Tour, Tower Records, Squidoo, Zappos, FOX, ABC, CBS, Glamour, WebMD, American Idol, HitsLink, Widgetbox, Template Monster, GetAFreelancer, ReadWriteWeb, Brothersoft, E! Online, iGuard

AddThis widgets/Links are everywhere. It’s no surprise it is a pagerank 9!

When Clearspring, the widget company, acquired them, do you think that discussion came up? Cleaspring increased its reach online but how many visitors, as a ratio of its overall traffic, actually go to the homepage? Users see the widget, some click on a link and are redirected to the appropriate bookmarking service. Site owners might log in to their account to see traffic and statistics. In any case, I’m not sure what Clearspring paid for the acquisition but it was probably a smart buy considering its popularity and traffic levels.

from AllThingsD:

But Ted Leonsis, chairman of the board at Clearspring, and CEO Hooman Radfar said revenue would come via advertising and, eventually, valuable data analytics the services collect about Web behavior.

Currently, said Leonsis, AddThis has negligible revenue and Clearspring has about $10 million in annual sales. Neither is currently profitable.

Clearspring has about 100 employees and AddThis has a handful. I have not seen any articles about AddThis getting funded and Clearsping has received $35 million.

ShareThis is a similar service that some people like better because it also allows sharing via email (in addition to other services). It’s currently a pagerank 7 and has been funded, receiving a total of $21 million.

So what would you have paid to acquire AddThis (with a pagerank 9, even if they lost some traffic over the last few months) and put your link(s) at the bottom of their page?

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October 2, 2007

Yahoo Adds Local OneBox

Yahoo has announced that they have added and improved their one box (a “box” at the top with some quick answers to search queries):

Whatever it is you want to do: research a topic, find a website, plan a vacation, research a medical condition, view a funny video, or any of the other billions of queries we get from users — their intents expressed via a few keywords in a search box.

Search Engine Journal notes that this has been applied to Local results but seems to be heavily weighted towards hotels & restaurants which are often the top categories searched for (and reviewed, and …).

The most influential and useful Yahoo Shortcuts seem to revolve around the travel and hospitality industries in terms of Hotels and Restaurants. These Shortcuts emphasize the user generated content, the true power of the Yahoo Network’s Local Search, in user reviews and ratings.

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July 2, 2007

More SEO for Reputation Management

The Washington Post has an article on online reputation management which describes using SEO techniques to push bad content down in the search results.

Forbes had a similar article a while back.

Charging anything from a few dollars to thousands of dollars a month, companies such as International Reputation Management, Naymz and ReputationDefender don’t promise to erase the bad stuff on the Web. But they do assure their clients of better results on an Internet search, pushing the positive items up on the first page and burying the others deep.

They also explain how these companies continue to collect “from a few dollars to thousands of dollars a month” and can continue to collect ongoing revenue based on this business model:

Still, Google is continually refining its search methods, which means that today’s fix may not work tomorrow.

Some of the sample techniques described included creating MySpace pages, Youtube accounts, custom websites with good SEO-freidnly domain names using multiple different TLDs, creating backlinks to these different sites, or asking the person who had written something negative to take it down.

Google’s response to doing some of these techniques was “if you use spammy and manipulative techniques to get this positive content to rank highly, we may take action on it.”

Interested to see how much these comapnies are charging in addition to the recurring fees?

So Fertik’s team, which works from a Silicon Valley office, offered VanderPal its premium service, using various techniques to promote VanderPal’s own site and suppress the blogs. That service now starts at $10,000.

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June 27, 2007

Marchex Launches 100,000 Local Sites

Marchex, the SEO/SEM and web development company that bought openlist (formerly local-i, has
launched a bunch of local mini-sites.

Here are a couple of examples:
1. 90210.com. It is a Beverly Hills site. Marchex claims to own approximately 96% of all the US postal code domains. The only ones I have come across as available for sale recently have been postal code zipcodes which would provide little to no use to people looking to optimize for local.
2. Gary’s Auto Service in Denver, CO.

Both sites are powered by openlist data…I sure saw this one coming.

This is sort of a domain parking meets SEO meets local search set of sites.

It looks like open list will be converted as a portal to all these other
domains:

By late September, Marchex said it plans to launch a new version of a
site called Open List (http://www.openlist.com) as a consumer destination
site. It will contain an overview of links to its local network, in a bid
to drive repeat traffic.

With all of these sites, I wonder if they’re concerned about Google’s duplicate content penalty or if they think that will be tempered by all the type in traffic they get with those premium domains…they *must* have thought about it since they are in the SEO space.

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May 31, 2007

Snap Names Acquired By Oversee.net

A number of developers (mostly Perl developers) I have worked with have been recruited by Oversee.net in downtown Los Angeles. Oversee.net predominantly started by registering domains (sometimes tasting them) and using them to make money off of clicks. They have since used some of their premium domains to host various sites and services, building them out with content and tools.

Jeff was one of the first employees. They have since exploded to hundreds of people and now they are expanding.

From an email I have received from Snap Names, a domain drop catching service:

To SnapNames Customers:

I’m writing to inform you that SnapNames has agreed to be acquired by Oversee.net. Oversee, a company already familiar to many in the domain name industry, is a technology-driven online marketing solutions company that offers an impressive array of services to domain name owners. You can learn more about the company at www.oversee.net.

It’s important that you understand there will be no changes to the way SnapNames provides its services. This is a combination of two industry leaders with outstanding reputations for serving domain name investors and customers at all levels.

We were attracted to Oversee for many reasons, including the opportunity to offer SnapNames customers a greater breadth of service offerings. Together, the two companies can provide services that support our customers’ needs throughout the entire life cycle of a domain name, including procurement, monetization and sales.

This transaction is expected to close in mid-June. There is more information available on our Web site at www.snapnames.com. Of course, we’re always available to assist you in any way we can, and encourage your questions and comments. Our support team is available to you here:

On the Web: http://snapnames.custhelp.com
By e-mail: support@snapnames.com

At SnapNames, you will continue to find the world’s largest selection of expired domain names. You’ll find no changes to your account or the way you do business with us. We value you as a customer and thank you for your continued business.

Sincerely,

Sudhir Bhagwan
Chief Executive Officer

Hopefully they don’t keep the best domains for themselves and continue allowing others to use their service to bid for some of those domains. :-)

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May 30, 2007

Preview Google Mapplets

Google is allowing you to preview mapplets.

Here is how Google descibes mapplets:

Mapplets are mini-webpages that are served inside an IFrame within the Google Maps site. You can put anything inside this mini-webpage that you can put into a normal webpage, including HTML, Javascript, and Flash. Google provides a Javascript API that gives the Mapplet access to services such as manipulating the map, fetching remote content, and storing user preferences.

When a Mapplet is enabled by the user, Google’s servers will fetch the Mapplet source code from your web server, and then serve it to the user from gmodules.com. To reduce the load on your server, gmodules.com will cache your source code for several hours.

There are lots of mapplets already available or you can make your own. Some existing ones include statistical information, trends around an area, movie times, and real estate information for a given location.

Publish your own to get people utilizing your site/data.

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May 25, 2007

Using SEO for Reputation Management

I’ve known about this for a long time…but most of the time it was corporate entities monitoring blogs to gauge customer satisfaction and the likes. Now, people are using SEO tactics to hide negative comments about them by pushing their content higher in Google’s results.

MyEdge’s success is based not only in creating reputation-boosting pages but also in convincing Google to float those sites to the first few pages of results, the only results that most Web users ever see. But gaming Google can be tricky. The search giant, which declined to comment on Reputation Defender’s service, spends significant resources trying to prevent Web site owners from pushing up their ranking artificially. And it will punish sites it thinks are cheating by pushing them into the back pages of search results.

Prices mentioned include $10/month for monitoring, $30 per incident to send out a take down request (and cease and desist letters, if needed), and fees starting at $10,000 to push your content above other, not quite as positive comments.

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Sometimes the Best SEO/SEM Won’t Be Enough

You may have heard suggestions to name your business with your targeted keywords/categories to get better ranking for SEO purposes.

However, sometimes, no matter how much effort you put into SEO, SEM, or any other marketing methods out there, it just isn’t enough.

What do you do if you’re on a new street (even if that street has existed for 4 years already), not yet in the US Postal Service’s database (which supplies data to Navteq and other maps and navigation data suppliers)? People would love to go to your business…they just don’t know how to get there!

Terri Godwin took matters into her own hands:

“We’ve had new patients come in here completely frustrated 45 minutes after their appointment time saying, ‘I’ve been running around all over,’” Godwin said. “My first thoughts are like, well, somebody’s running these satellites. Who do you call? NAVTEQ was the name that I was given that does most of the maps.”

She filled out a request on NAVTEQ’s Web site and even attached a county map as proof. After no response, she called 5 on Your Side.

NAVTEQ spokeswoman Kelly Smith told WRAL that Pine State Street isn’t listed in the U.S. Postal Service database. That’s where they get the bulk of the information they provide to mapping companies.

Smith said they get about 80,000 requests a day for corrections or additions, so it takes time for new information to get to the public - perhaps a year or more. But she offered to try to “escalate" Godwin’s request.

That, of course doesn’t mean the navigation systems are updated since they will have to go to their dealers and get updated discs (should they have a DVD-based navigation system).

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January 22, 2007

Wikipedia Links are Now NOFOLLOW

People have been using Wikipedia as a way to get high-pagerank pages linking to their sites. They used all sorts of techniques to spam the online user-created-and-maintained encyclopedia.

So now it has gotten to the point where all Wikipedia links are being marked as “nofollow.”

foo

The nofollow tag was agreed upon by the major search engines to combat comment spam in blogs about two years ago.

The mailing list message about why its being done seems to imply it may be a temporary move…take a look at the email subject:

Nofollow back on URL links on en.wikipedia.org articles for now

Emphasis is mine.

What may not be taken into consideration is that the actual code and database is available for download and used by many sites. Those links have already (and will continue to be) propogated until those other sites change/update their code and/or database.

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January 11, 2007

More traffic to your local/mashup site using Google

The official Google Maps API blog lets us know that you can Drive More Traffic to Your Maps API Site - Include KML Files in Your Sitemap.

If you have a site with maps on them, include a KML file somewhere on your site and use Google Sitemaps to expose them to googlebot (so it knows where to find them).

Including KML files in a sitemap.xml file (see http://www.sitemaps.org/protocol.html ) is a great way for you to help us index and drive traffic to your site. After publishing your data in KML, we’ll crawl the KML files that you specify in your sitemap.xml file. We’ll send users your way when they search for content that is found on your mashup site. As an added bonus, once your data is in KML, it will be available for viewing on Google Earth.

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