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Link Building Evaluation

Wordtracker posted an interesting article about evaluating sites for link building.

Link Building is the process of getting links to your page to improving your rankings in search engines. It is quite important for SEO these days.

Factors discussed in the article include relevancy to your own site, fresh content, current link numbers, and standing on search engines such as Google and Alexa.

What I consider the easiest way to do a link building campaign is using Link Assistant. It has a lot of tools for finding the best link sources for your relevant keywords, and can show several of these factors for you. It also manages your link pages for reciprocal link exchanges, as well as checking if links pointing to you still work – including generating and uploading your link page.

Well worth checking out.

Wordtracker has their own tool for this, but Link Assistant beats it on price by quite a bit.

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Articles

GameInternals – Understanding Pac-Man Ghost Behavior

GameInternals – Understanding Pac-Man Ghost Behavior – a very interesting article about the mechanics of the enemies (Ghosts) in Pac-Man.

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Articles

A/B Testing Video and Slide

Alwin Hoogerdijk, president of Collectorz.com, posted on his blog an interesting video and slides of his presentation on ESWC on how he does A/B Split Testing.

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Free Amazon Cloud Hosting

Amazon has started offering free cloud hosting – obviously as a way to counter Google's free app hosting.

It is interesting, but clearly has a different focus from Google's offer – while you can use Google's indefinitely as long as you stick with the limitations (500 MB of storage and 5 million page views), the new Amazon offering is limited to an year…

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Research on Spammy E-mail Design by MailChimp

MailChimp recently posted an interesting article on how some designs look spammy to people. The research was done using Amazon's Mechanical Turk, and turns out some e-mail campaigns get flagged as spam even though they weren't.

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Book Review

The Link Publicity Book – Review

I've just finished reading another WordTracker book – The Link Publicity Book.

The purpose of the book is teaching you ways that can help you get featured by media – newspapers, magazines, big sites, etc. Getting featured on such places gets you direct traffic – plus traffic from blogger comments of those stories, PR from Google and increased trust from customers.

The core of the book is a number of stories of press coverage of a site. Each story is followed by ideas that you might be able to apply to your own site. It has interesting suggestions, such as setting Google Alerts with your main keywords, so that you can react to those stories by commenting on them with your insight, a blog post or plugging your product. It also adds up to many ideas on how you can get an interesting press release from your business.

Chapter 4 focus on techniques on preparing your press release. Chapter 5 follows up by showing how to build a list of journalists who will want to hear your news, which also includes several simple ways to publicize your press releases.

Overall, an interesting book. If you are interested in getting publicity, you'd do well checking it out.

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Articles

Automatic Object Removal on Video

An interesting article on Popular Science shows a system for automatic object removal on video. It is a bit like Resynthetize on Gimp or Content-aware fill on Photoshop.

The video is also pretty cool, although sometimes parts of the object pop-up in the video.

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Book Review

Google AdWords PPC Advertising

I've just finished another of WordTracker's books – Google AdWords PPC Advertising . I got it at a US$20 discount from one of their e-mails.

I have been using PPC since before Google AdWords (Overture!), and I did read a few books along the way. So I thought I'd read this one, and if it was too weak, I'd just use their return policy and get my money back (which I actually did on another AdWords book).

I was pleasantly surprised. While the book covers all the basics to a level that I think most people starting with AdWords and PPC would find acceptable, if not comfortable, it also had many things I was not aware of:

  • bid stacks: they sugggest using the suggested bids for exact keywords only, and 75% for phrase and 25% for broad match. I have just started trying it, but seems right to me. They do have a rather involved process using a spreadsheet. I can't help but think it'd be better to just write a small program for this. I guess I'll have to see how much time it actually takes.
  • using the Search Term Report to add interesting broad matches as phrase or exact matches, and removing negative keywords.
  • many other small concepts on how to optimize your campaign
  • the differences between the AdWords Search and Content network. From various colleagues, I got the impression that the content network had lousy ROI, so I never bothered much with it. The book recommends completely separating the campaigns and using 10-15 keywords Ad Groups.

Overall, I really liked the book and already started taking small actions on my own AdWords campaigns. Recommended.

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Case Study for sales on During Download pages

Interesting case study from WinZip and TrialPay. It details how Winzip used their download page – you know, the page that very often appears after you start a download – to display a TrialPay offer to buy the product.

If you've never heard from them, TrialPay works by having offers from advertisers fund your purchase. For example, you get a subscription to Netflix, a paper, or buy other software. That other company automatically pays for your purchase, so you just spend what you would if you bought the offer directly.

Back to the case study – that download page added tens of thousands a month in new revenue – without affecting the existing conversion rate.

The results seem a bit meaningless to me, though – we have no idea on how much those tens of thousands represent from their regular revenue.

However, the basic idea of displaying the “free” offer after the download seems pretty good, given that many downloaders never get around to installing. Of course, WinZip doesn't have the same problem as micro-ISVs – if the user doesn't know about TrialPay yet, they might worry about a free offer. But given how well know WinZip is, they will probably trust them.

On a last note, while I do not publicize it much, both our main programs are available through TrialPay. You can get STG FolderPrint Plus for free or get STGThumb for free.

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Sales Map

Plimus, one of the registration services I use, has a nice report which shows the last few hundred sales on a map. It looks pretty cool, and I thought I'd share mine here:

Sales Map
Sales Map - click for Full Size

On the actual report, you can click balloon to see the specific order data.

Please note that this only covers a small fraction of the total sales and countries. The total country list number for my products is 56 right now.