Webmasterworld World of Search False Start

Thread Title: Love it or hate it the event is kicking off Thread Url: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum19/2296.htm Thread Description:

A few attendees have already arrived and ThomasB claims the event has started. In true DaveN style this is declared a false start...

"pubcon does not start till the real seo's get there"

I'm sure we have a fair few TW members there, just remember to bring back the gossip.

Seth Godin's Bootstrappers Bible - Free to Download for Two Weeks

Thread Title: The Bootstrapper's Bible Thread Url: http://www.changethis.com/8.BootstrappersBible Thread Description:

Seth Godin is offering The Bootstrappers Bible which used to come free with a copy of Purple Cow as a free pdf download for two weeks.

This is a better formatted, limited edition ebook edition of The Bootstrapper's Bible, which used to come free when you bought a copy of Purple Cow.

Hotel Affiliates - Who gets the Money?

Thread Title: Beware Hotel Booking Hijinks! Thread Url: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum20/3337.htm Thread Description:

The original poster was concerned the HotelClub - which is in fact owned by the conglomerate Cendant (they own Budget, Avis, Ramada, Travelodge, Howard Johnson, etc as well as Lodging.com) - was stopping him getting more than one commission from a user that clicked through to the Hotel Club site. In other words, his user went to HotelClub, became a member there and in future, no matter where they came from, no commission was given by HotelClub.

Fairly heavy moderating, cut much of the stuff that would have been useful - though you can get it from the original poster. I am convinced that he was correct in his interpretation of the emails sent to him by HotelClub

The affiliate manager has now arrived on the scene at WMW. I am unsure if they have changed their policy as a result of this thread. I suspect they have.

Why Companies Fail at Web Marketing

Thread Title: How well do companies do web marketing? Thread Url: http://www.cre8asiteforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=18035 Thread Description:

The general consensus in this cre8 thread started by bwelford seems to be that companies fail at web marketing through a lack of understanding and communication. Mainly that the marketing and sales departments of many firms just dont consider the company website as being in their territory, or being part of their responsibility. Worse, some still dont consider it a worthwhile investment of budget resources.

Often, these companies wrongly place the responsibility for web marketing and site building on the IT department. Sounds ludicrous to a web dev right? Of course it does, but many outfits just dont get it.

This from Black_knight:

It is usually the fact that too many Marketing directors, and their underlings, simply offload anything web-related as "Oh, that's something for the IT guys to do" and not as part of their responsibilities. Marketers are dismissive or fearful of technology, and want too little to do with the control and delivery of marketing messages through a technical medium.

Too often in the past I have gone in to a session with a client to be met by the web-dev team, with not a single person from the marketing or sales departments deigning to attend. As a result, there's often little input as to the deeper marketing message and positioning that is required. Sometimes those present are unable to convey the marketing objectives, never mind have the authority to make important marketing policy decisions.

and from ellecim

When trying to ensure success online there are so many elements to be taken care of that it is like lining up a hundred dominos – with each element having a knock on effect – if one element is not positioned properly the flow stops. Have great content but a lousy design – you’ll lose credibility, have a great design but terrible content you won’t convert, have great design, great content, but poor usability and customers will leave. Get everything right with the website but have poor visibility online and you have a beautiful white elephant.

Search Wars - The BBC tests the SE's

Thread Title: Search wars - which is the best? Thread Url: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4003193.stm Thread Description:

Via http://www.searchguild.com/tpage16869-0.html

"As Microsoft enters the internet search engine market, users find themselves overwhelmed with options. We compare the big players on five key areas."

Press Release & Articles Submission LIsts

Thread Title: Online Article and Press Release Submissions List of sites Thread Url: http://www.webworkshop.net/seoforum/viewtopic.php?t=3905 Thread Description:

Web Workshop member spidermonkey posts a nice list of links to pr release and article submisison sites, followed closely by a link to another list by Nicky_uk - personally i'd sooner put articles on my own website but this seems to be a bit of a craze at the moment so have fun with the list!

Content Providers - Subscription Best Practices

Thread Title: Subscription Best Practices Thread Url: http://www.paidcontent.org/contentnext/ned_desmond/subscription_best_pr.php Thread Description:

Ned Desmond, exec and chief of Time Interactive offers some tips for content providers on implementing and succeeding with subscriptions:

-- Provide instant gratification and keep the offer cheap. If someone sees something they want to read, make sure that they can zip through a subscription order form in no time and pay just a few bucks to buy a short-term, continuous service subscription on a credit card. Doesn't work in all circumstances but it's powerful when it does. Once they sign up, take them back to what they were looking at that got them to sign up. Instant gratification is good.

Simple but good stuff...

Content Sensitive Affiliate Programs & Adsense Alternatives

Thread Title: Interesting Adsense Alternative Thread Url: http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=1116 Thread Description:

See this thread also: Content Sensing Affiliate Programs

Digitalpoint members are compiling a neat little list of both context/content sensing affiliate programs and viable adsense alternatives. You do have to wade through the threads to get to the good stuff but it's quite worth while as the sites/programs are weighed and judged and scrutinized. Here's what they've listed so far..

http://www.affiliatesensor.com/ http://www.infograbber.net http://www.intellitxt.com/ http://www.quigo.com/

The first one has the DP consensus of "cool concept, crap products", the second also is a cool idea, the program writes it's own affilate id into the first ad displayed on the page and makes no secret of it.

The last two I mentioned here - follow the link for a good discussion at wmw on those.

What Incentives Can You Offer to Forum Members for a Subscription Model?

Thread Title: Converting Free Forum Users to Paid Subscribers Thread Url: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum103/205.htm Thread Description:

WW Member lorenzinho2 asks about what a forum owner can offer to users as incentive for a paid subscription model. For high traffic, low CTR sites other options should certainly be explored, but what will make a member pony up the dough for a subscription. A few nice posts on what types of functionality, perks, and information might draw those wallets out of pockets.

ROI - Paid vs Unpaid Traffic

Thread Title: Organic vs Paid Traffic ROI? Thread Url: http://www.cre8asiteforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=17767 Thread Description:

if someone clicks a google link for a given keyphrase, overall would you consider the conversion on PPC to be equal to Organic?

Paul_H provides some useful first hand observations in this thread:

One great thing about PPC ads is you can turn them on and off, and experiment. At first I thought by having an ad show for a word we are number for was just throwing money away, so i turned the ads off, profits dropped, turn them back on profits increase, repeated just to make sure.

Results could suggest a few things, 1. Our ad text appeals more to some people more than the description/title in the serps – can’t please everyone. 2. Some people will click on the ads first, so its either us or a competitor.

No major difference in conversions, if anything the PPC converts better as i make sure the ad is very relevant.

Good stuff from cre8..

Wired: The aristocracy of brand is dead.

Thread Title: The aristocracy of brand is dead. Thread Url: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.11/brands.html Thread Description:

Great article.

"A study by retail-industry tracking firm NPD Group found that nearly half of those who described themselves as highly loyal to a brand were no longer loyal a year later."

"Marketers may consider the explosion of new brands to be evidence of branding's importance, but in fact the opposite is true. It would be a waste of money to launch a clever logo into a world of durable brands and loyal customers. But because consumers are more promiscuous and fickle than ever, established brands are vulnerable, and new ones have a real chance of succeeding - for at least a little while. The obsession with brands, paradoxically, demonstrates their weakness."

"In this environment, companies that slip up - even if it's simply failing to match customer tastes - can no longer count on their good names to carry them through. And consumers have become far more willing to experiment with products, because the amount of information out there makes taking a chance far less risky."

Hey Nick, what did you do to upset Jeremy Zawodny ?

Thread Title: Did Jeremy Zawodny just bitch slap threadwatch? Thread Url: http://jeremy.zawodny.com/linkblog/ Thread Description:

Mouse over the threadwatch link, October 31, 2004.

So Nick...what did you do this time?

Whitehat / Blackhat Yet Again!

Thread Title: High Ranking Newsletter Article Discussed Thread Url: http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=10583&hl= Thread Description:

"Neither one is necessarily right or wrong -- just different."

A very good thread and will be to some an eye opener re: Jill's stance to the dark side.

Original article is here http://www.highrankings.com/issue119.htm

Paying to Promote on Forums

Thread Title: Can I pay my way to a 100 posts??? Thread Url: http://forums.seochat.com/t15266/s.html Thread Description:

Most SEO pros frequent Threadwatch for the time saved on looking for interesting threads and methods to improve their site's popularity. Now suppose you're really (I mean really) busy, have a SEO-related site and you'd love to have a SEOChat signature to get ahead. What does it take to get a decent sig around there?

Are these forum sigs even worth the effort, let alone money? Of course, SC members have to obey the funny rule that they need a 90+ days membership and a record of 100+ posts before they are allowed a "live" signature. And whereas some members choose to avoid forums backlinks, some are either too fresh or not prolific enough to earn the right.

Shame there's no price suggestion for sigs in this thread, but it could be the same amount as any other "PR7 sitewide". Read how paying for a sig appears less and less attractive, and notice how some people are even worried about the quality quotient of their posts...

Essential Ingredients for a Successful Community

Thread Title: What are the common elements of successful forums Thread Url: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum103/212.htm Thread Description:

This thread started by wmw member Webwork asks some thought provoking questions on the general subject of forum success. There are many, many questions, here are a few of them:

1. Is having a clearly defined purpose of the forum important? A vision. If the purpose is "for me to make money" what's the chance of that working?

2. Do most successful forums start with some preceding connection of a significant number of people? Say, readers of some informative person's opinions? (What was the groundwork for WebmasterWorld?)

Calls to Action on Ecommerce Sites - What Works Best?

Thread Title: "Buy" or "Add to Cart" Thread Url: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum22/2995.htm Thread Description:

Most of this webmasterworld thread appears to be pure preference and speculation with no evidence to back any of it up. Doesnt mean the opinions of the members aren't worth somthing though. The thread centers around what wording to use on a "buy button" - add to cart, add to basket, trolley, order now, etc etc..

pete_m make an observation that sticks out for me (as im English):

I've done some usability testing with this on customers that were fairly new to ecommerce. Although all users figured out what "Add to cart" meant, "Add to basket" was preferred. The word "basket" has immediate meaning to UK shoppers - the word "cart" is almost never used in the context of "real world" shopping in the UK.

Trouble Contacting Google re Google Ad Automator?

Thread Title: Froogle Upgrades Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=2445 Thread Description:

If you're having trouble reaching Google about Ad Automator it seems they're having some tech problems - see the thread linked above for SEW member FroogleRep's response or just email adautomator-signup@google.com

Usability 101 - Usable Websites = More Sales

Thread Title: What is usability? Thread Url: http://www.steptwo.com.au/papers/kmc_whatisusability/index.html Thread Description:

Many thanks to Kim Krause at Cre8asite for this :)

As Threadwatch was recently offered (donated..) a usability study to help improve the system it's particular pertinent for me right now. The article linked above takes you through the whole shebang, an usability 101 if you will. I've only skimmed it a little but it looks like a cracker, thanks to the author Donna maurer!

Taking your Foot off the Gas when Marketing to Seniors

Thread Title: Marketing and the Age of Your Audience Thread Url: http://www.cre8asiteforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=17334 Thread Description:

Cre8asite admin bragadocchio points out a couple of interesting articles on marketing to seniors:

Marketing like a Sailor Rather than Like a Powerboater Why Powerboat Marketing is Out

Thoughtful and insightful as the articles themselves are, the conversation between bragadocchio and peter_d is superb. Full of great links and commentary on marketing to seniors in a website context.

In Search of an Industrial Strength Email Client

Thread Title: I need a new email client... Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=2483 Thread Description:

TW member grnidone, posts over at SEW about ditching her old email client. Seems simple enough but when you spend a lot of time in email (as most of us do i suspect) it's damn important to have the right tool for the job.

I've been using Eudora for the Mac for years now, but I have decided I need a new email client. Since I have had really good luck with the FireFox browser, I was thinking that maybe Thunderbird may be the way to go.