Saturday, 19 March 2011

Days 2 - 6 - 30 Day Article Marketing Challenge

Here's what's been accomplished so far (click Day 1 for the first write-up).

1. Have increased the content on the site, reviewing two coffee machines so far

2. Submitted the first couple of posts from the Tassimo coffee Machine site to Social Monkee, which is a free social bookmarking site that allows you to submit one url a day to 25 different social sites in their system (with three versions of the blurb so that there is more chance of the bookmarks being indexed). [Edit: I removed the link to Social Monkee, as I don't think it is helping with ranking - see my note at the very bottom of this post].

Also submitted the posts to imautomator another free social bookmarking site which allows you to submit 10 urls a day, each of which is submitted to 15 bookmarking sites.

BTW, the site is indexed - that indexing tool described in Day 1 works.

3. Wrote a spun article distributed through Article ranks.

Here are my top tips for how to write a spun article:

I always write the main article in notepad and then paste it into the form in Article Ranks. Then I press "Save as Draft" and the articleranks manually spinning page pops up.

They allow you to spin everything, titles, links, phrases.

Start with as many titles as you can think of. Most people go for standard titles as though they are addressing a real reader. However, the aim of this exercise is merely to get the page indexed, not read, and the best way to accomplish this is to go for really unusual titles. It doesn't matter if no-one in their right minds would search for that particular phrase - as long as it is unusual, G will index it, on the off-chance that someone, somewhere might be looking for it. Whereas if you go for a standard title, G will decide that as it already has 800 other pages in it's index with the same title, they don't need one more, especially from a weak blog, and your article will go into the supplementals. So exercise the grey stuff between your ears and be creative with your titles.

Next, when spinning the body of your text, again, be as creative as you can.

The standard way of spinning is to simply replace words in a sentence with synonyms. Here's an example:

There are [several|many] different [types|kinds] of [coffee makers|coffee machines] you can [buy|purchase|order].

The problem with the above is that a) the syntax is the same and b) the sentence length is exactly the same.

b) can be a killer - what happens when 100 spun articles are published all of which have exactly 317 words?

You are better off manually spinning so that the structure and length of the sentences are completely different. Here's an example:

version 1: There are many different types of coffee makers you can choose from
version 2: Coffee makers come in a vast variety of types, allowing you to select the one that suits your personal tastes best
version 3: Coffee machines come in so many different sizes, types and costs, it is hard to decide which one to choose.
version 4: When buying a coffee maker it is easy to become bemused at the choice on offer. They come in so many different sizes, not to mention prices and functionality

It will take you about two hours to manually spin an article so that it reads well no matter which version is produced. But it is worth it, as it increases the uniqueness of each spun article, and it will ensure that every single article has a different length. Notice that version 4 actually has two sentences - it's always worth throwing in a few extra sentences - that way, not only will your articles have a different word count each, they will contain a different amount of sentences.

Article ranks allow you to produce ten different versions of each sentence (and you can then go back and edit so that nested words in the sentences vary too).

I would really go to town on the first paragraph in particular and try for ten versions of every sentence there. G excerpts the first few sentences in the SERPs, and if you want your article to be indexed, you need the uniqueness of this part to be high.

You are probably tired just reading this, and asking, is this amount of work really worth it? IMO, yes. You want most of the articles produced to get indexed and stay indexed, and spending two hours now can save you loads of time later.

Once the article goes live, article ranks publish it at a rate of three spun articles a day.

They tell you the number published, but do not disclose the urls to protect their network. I always create google alerts for all the titles in my articles, and then when I get the alert, I check that the article is mine and that the link has been followed by viewing the source code (occasionally you get rogue webmasters who no-follow your links - if this happens, simply report them to article ranks - this happens less frequently in this network than others). I then submit each url to imautomator, to get them bookmarked over a period of 15 days. In my experience this helps them stay indexed.

Cost so far: Time, plus $2 for one article submitted to article ranks.

Short Update 29th March 2011: I had been a little lazy and while I submitted my first two blogposts from the Tassimo site to Social Monkee for bookmarks, I didn't bother with the third. Just as well! Checked my stats, and I am ranking at #35 for "Bosch Tassimo T65" (the third post), but at #195 for "Bosch Tassimo T40" (the second post).

Both the Bosch tassimo posts have links from my article ranks submission: Article ranks allows three links in an article, which can be placed anywhere, and I linked to the home page, the Bosch tassimo T40 post and the Bosch Tassimo T65 post. So the only difference between the two Bosch tassimo posts is the social monkee bookmarks, and the post that has them is not doing well. The post with just article ranks links is fine.

Finally am getting some search traffic from ask and Google UK - and someone clicked through to Amazon on the Bosch Tassimo T65 link! They didn't buy, but at least they are clicking!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Taking part in the Alex Whalley article marketing challenge

Alex Whalley has announced he is taking part in a 30 day article marketing challenge to see whether article marketing can boost a site up the SERPs post the Panda update.

I've decided to try the challenge too, but with two small differences: 1) instead of using UAW, I shall be using Article Ranks for my articles and b) I'm too much of a chicken to point spun articles directly at my domains, so I decided to create a brand new web 2.0 blog on blogspot (I know! How very 2007 of me!) and try to rank that instead. If it works, I'll buy the domain and use the blogspot for backlinks.

I've just set up the blog literally half an hour ago - here it is: Tassimo Coffee Machines.

Google's keyword tool says that Tassimo coffee machine gets 1000 exact match searches per month, the majority of which are from the UK, and Google insights for search confirm the UK bias (I guess Americans use the term coffee maker rather than coffee machine). Therefore I shall be trying to rank on Google UK (which hasn't yet been hit by Panda, but will be shortly), and monetising with Amazon UK, and John Lewis (who I am an affiliate of through Affiliate Window).

I shall also be targeting brand-related keywords. Here's what I'm going for:

Tassimo coffee machine
Tassimo coffee machines
Braun Tassimo coffee machines
Bosch Tassimo coffee machines
Buy Tassimo T Discs

Looking at what ranks for Tassimo coffee machines on Google UK, the #1 spot is a site owned by Kraft (who make T discs), and are also promoting Bosch tassimo machines. I notice they have also bought adwords for this keyword (in fact there are 11 ads on the search page, which means this term is lucrative). The rest of the organic serps is taken by the big branded UK retailers - amazon uk, argos, comet and so on. So I've got my work cut out.

A bit about Article Ranks

The article backlinking will be done through Article Ranks. This is a service where you can either pay $39.99 a month to submit unlimited articles, or simply purchase an article submission either by submitting sites into the system or by purchasing an article for $2 a time. They allow you to either manually spin the article using their software (extremely easy to use) or you can use spinning software and simply paste your spun code into the submission form.

Articles need to be over 300 words, and they recommend you spin to over 100% to get the best out of the system. They then drip feed the articles out, two per day and if you have set it to unlimited, they simply drip them out till they have run out of sites to submit them to.

I will be purchasing credits at $2 per article for this experiment.

Anyway, to start this journal correctly, here's what's been done so far:

Day 1: Friday March 18th

1. Chose my keywords and set up a blog on blogspot

2. Adjusted the template to "wide" because I shall want to fill the space with a lot of gorgeous pictures of coffee machines.

3. Wrote my first post explaining what a Tassimo machine was, and also put up a privacy policy.

4. Submitted the blog to the backlinks forum indexer tool, which submits the site to about 2533 web appraisal sites like alexa, some of which give you a weak dofollow link and some of which are no follow. It helps with indexing.

5. Cost so far: a bit of time

I will add some more content to the blog tomorrow, and start the article markerting once my content is up. That's it for now.

Click here to read about Days 2-6 of the 30 day article marketing challenge

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Algo changes plus hubpages changes

It's been a while since I updated this blog (too busy with other stuff!). But the new Google Algorithm change combined with the new Hubpages earnings program prompted me to post again, especially as this blog was focused on me making some hubpages.

I didn't make many - about 60 in total, before I moved on to more lucrative matters (making my own websites). And I haven't really touched the hubs for a good ten months, in terms of crating backlinks.

So how did I fare in the algo change? Well, my overall traffic is down 25%. Those hubs that I backlinked, moved a few places, some not at all. Those I made at the end, which I was too lazy to backlink (as had already started other projects) fell off the radar. So I'm obviously going to have to put in a bit of work to get them back ranking.

One thing this algo change proves is that backlinks rule. As long as you get them from places that don't get targetted by G (i.e. not from other content farms), you survive. As far as I can tell, most of those who got hit either had no backlinks, or were linking from one farm to another, and when the farms got cut down, they got cut down too.

The next thing I want to talk about is Hubpages new advertising program. These are display ads and ads from other networks (such as the Microsoft network) that run alongside Adsense. They are trialling it with 500 hubbers and even though I have just 60 hubs in my account, I was invited, to my surprise.

My impression is that it's not bad. Some people are reporting that they are making more from the Hubpages advertising program than they are from adsense - my experience is that the HP program yields about half what Adsense yields - but it's a nice additional income.

It's made me think it's worth backlinking some of the hubs I neglected, such as my poor orphan hub on the difference between 9ct and 18ct gold, which I had just published and forgotten about.