All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

Ken’s Googlebomb Post – My Head Hurts

Last Sunday I got myself hooked into reading a blog post by Ken Evoy of Site Build It that was titled Proof That Google Has No True Googlebomb Algorithm. I have to say that I knew nothing about Ken Evoy other than being the top guy there, and I didn’t even know he had a blog until this post. After reading the post… my head hurt.

I have kept the post for a while now because I wanted to read it again. The first time I read it I actually knew overall what he was talking about. But it’s quite a long post, so much so that I’m going to tell most of you that if you’re not into technology and a lot of that kind of talk don’t even bother checking it out. I’m going to touch on some of this though, because it’s interesting stuff.

What the Site Build It folks were able to do was prove that the Google system could be gamed. They have all sorts of documentation from someone who made it their goal of showing just how they could fool Google and get to the top of the rankings right under Google’s nose, even telling people what was coming. Site Build It tried to tell Google what was happening and, instead of addressing it, pretty much ignored it.

I say “pretty much ignored” because there were a series of form letters Google sent to Ken, and apparently Ken didn’t like that. At one point Google seemed to tell them they were going to do something really positive, but then didn’t do a thing.

Let me step back for a quick moment, if I may. A “googlebomb” is usually where a bunch of people get together and create a ton of links to something to skew search results so they’ll take you to a specific page for a search term, whether they’ve earned it or not. The most famous google bomb (you can write it as either one or two words) was when you’d put in “miserable failure” and George Bush’s name came up; so wrong! lol

Another google bomb was perpetrated by John Chow when he was able to get something like 85,000 people to keep linking to his name to drive him up to the top in Google’s search engines and in page rank. At least at that time Google hated it so much they delisted his site (that’s bad), but for whatever reason it didn’t end up reducing his visitors, and he still made a ton of cash online. He’s now back on Google after a 3-year absence with a page rank and listing after they kissed and made up (pays to have a direct connection to Matt Cutts; but I digress…).

Anyway, what it’s all boiling down to is, in his own way, Ken is going for his own google bomb, though he wouldn’t call it that. He’s trying to rally the troops, who would be us, to support his cause by going to this link and joining him in kind of a protest. He’s also declared that he won’t write another thing on his blog until Google fixes this algorithm.

I have some takes on this; otherwise, why would I have written this much?

One, Ken has a pony in this race which slightly colors his anger here. Seems there were some folks who google bombed his company with negative reviews, not because they didn’t like him or the company but because they wanted to prove they could do it. That doesn’t sit well with him.

Two, I can’t understand how not writing any posts on his blog will help push his cause. To me, if I had a gripe about something I’d want to write almost every day about it, or at least often. Who does him not writing on his blog anymore help? Google won’t care, people reading his blog that agree or disagree with him won’t go back because they’ll have no idea how long his boycott is, and thus his message will get lost.

Three, I’m not sure all that many people will get enthused enough to join a movement to get Google to take care of this problem of google bombs. I mean, Google did take away the page rank from this blog for a little while, but my posts were still showing up on Google, sometimes in the top spot for certain terms (you want to see something neat?

I could say more, but I think that’s enough for the moment. I guess I’ll just put the question out there and ask who’s angry enough at Google to even think about joining a movement against them? Actually, I hope you go check out what he wrote, but be warned, it’s almost 5,800 words. Good thing I speed read! šŸ˜‰
 

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When Comments Won’t Show

I’m writing this a couple of days removed, but hopefully I can help you out so you don’t go through what I went through. Of course, not everyone will be able to do this, but at least the information might be helpful.


by Steve Ryan via Flickr

On Sunday I heard from our friend Brian Hawkins on Twitter. He was telling me that he was having problems posting a comment to this blog. He thought something was missing, so I went to take a look and said everything looked fine. I even checked on 3 different browsers. So he tried it on a couple of browsers and it just wasn’t coming up properly for him. He said he’d try it at his brother’s the next day.

Monday morning I looked at comments and wondered why I wasn’t seeing any new ones. Remembering Brian’s comment the day before, and seeing that he’d sent me the comment he had wanted to post, I decided to go to one of those other browsers to post it myself. It took me to a 404 page. That was freaky, so I came into this admin panel to try to post a quick comment of my own; that wasn’t happening either, as it just kept disappearing.

Now it was panic and research time. From 8:30 in the morning until around 8:30 in the evening, with a few breaks to eat, I tried as many things as I could. Nothing was working. I even called my hosting company to see what they had to offer. They gave me some erroneous information that it had to be that my databases had gone beyond capacity. I went in and cleared one, which was really huge, and that didn’t get it done; I’m going to come back to that one in a minute.

During this time a couple other people had tried to help me, but without success. I finally went to the WordPress.org forum, because my host said it had to be their issue, and I posted the question, telling everything that I’d tried. Someone came on and started making suggestions. Some I’d already tried, but others were somewhat interesting.

They involved going into the control panel of my account on my host and getting into the PHPmyAdmin area, something I forget about because it’s not a place I have to go often; matter of fact, it’s probably been a couple of years. It was also where the hosting company had said to go and delete some files, so I was a bit skeptical.

His recommendation was to run a repair on the files I was having problems with. There were two files dedicated to comments, so I checked the box next to both of them then ran repair. It went pretty fast and gave me a positive report. I came back to the blog, posted a test comment, and all was right with the world once again; whoo hoo! šŸ™‚

I’m writing this post because the information wasn’t anywhere else until I asked the question. Even though someone else who might end up with this issue might find that post in the forum, I figured why not write it up here as well; might save a lot of time later on. And I take this time to thank both Brian and Dan Lovell and someone called Esmi on the forum for helping me on this.

Now, back to the file I emptied. That file was related to the Count Per Day plugin I added last September. It seems that it collects tons of information and never gets rid of any of it. It had collected information to the post where the file had grown to 88MB; that’s huge. When compared to the next largest text file being only 5MB, you can tell it was out of kilter.

Many hosts don’t allow the data within an account to get larger than 100MB, and mine was around 147MB. So, clearing that file out freed up tons of space for me. Just something else to consider if you start having some issues with databases.
 

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Google’s Shutting Down Desktop

Well, what a bummer this news way. Google announced last week that it was stopping work on Google Desktop and a host of other programs they’re normally working on. That depresses me because I loved Google Desktop, loading it many years ago and happy once again when the latest version came out for 64-bit.

Of course I saw this coming, but was still hopeful. Just like many other programs they put out that worked well with Firefox, I knew that as they pushed their own browser more that things they were working on with the Mozilla people was going to come to the end. And if they’d added Desktop as part of their Chrome browser, I might have at least used Chrome for that.

Their reasoning is that people can search for almost anything on their computers now through our operating systems. That’s not quite true. If there was a reference to a golf program in an email I’d send 2 years ago it’s not coming up on a Windows search, and I doubt it would come up on a mac search either. However, that part of the Desktop program seemed to shut down last July anyway, and I’ve been trying all sorts of things to get it to index newer mail, all without success. Search will find things in programs, but I still need something to help me find words within my email (I use Thunderbird).

This comes on the heels of their announcement in July that they were shutting down Google Labs, which allowed people to go in and test things Google was working on, then report what they observed.

They’re also shutting down a company they purchased last year, Slide, which made games and social media apps. They gave no reason for this move except to say that all the employees of the company would be merged into Google and that the creator of the company was moving on to do some other things.

The questions are vast here. Is Google suddenly tightening their belts because they’re getting competitive pushes from other companies? Could it have something to do with G+ and all the machinations about it, including claims from some (like me) that it might be just the latest “dog” of social media? Could it be the lawsuit against they for patent violations that’s threatening their HTC line of smartphones? Or could it be that they realized their operations were getting a bit unwieldy and they want to sharpen focus on their main lines of business?

Don’t know, and I’m not sure I care. I knew nothing about Aardvark, and I never downloaded Google Pack. I will miss Desktop, and probably will kill it soon since email is my main thing. But they move on, I move on; it’s a fairly symbiotic relationship in that manner.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2019 Mitch Mitchell

Affiliate Programs Iā€™m Connected With ā€“ Part Six, The Finale

Here we are at the end of this particular journey. Just so you know, there have been other programs I’ve been a part of that have either gone away or just aren’t worth mentioning for one reason or another. There could have been another 6 I might have talked about if I wanted to go in a different direction, but I don’t. Anyway, here’s the recap links first before we move on: part one, part two, part three, part four and part five.

Paul Myers’ Talkbiz News is a internet marketing newsletter I’ve been reading for years. I love reading it, and some of his articles have really made an impact on my thinking, including tone that’s a part of the image on this post. Two years ago he came up with an affiliate program to market both his newsletter and many products he’s created, and I signed up immediately.

To date I’ve made no money on it, but that’s probably more my problem than his. I’ve talked about the newsletter often enough, but not talked about his products all that much. He’s been around for a good while, though, and he’s not one of those guys that just pounds you with newsletters if he doesn’t have something to say.

Being In Heaven is a motivational movie that talks about the Laws of Attraction in kind of a different way. I actually wrote a review about it earlier this year. Obviously I signed up for the program before buying the movie since it hadn’t been released yet, but I received one of the earliest copies. I’ve sold 2 movies through their affiliate program, one of those purchases being mine (that’s one of the beauties of being with affiliate programs; you’re allowed to buy from yourself and thus make money while you’re spending money), as I was running their banner ad on a sidebar of this blog for awhile. The best thing about them is there’s no minimum for receiving your payment; if you make a sale, you get paid for it the next money, and it’s a 40% commission.

The final affiliate program to talk about isn’t quite an affiliate program, but since you can potentially make money from it I’m counting it. I wrote a post in April about making your blog available for Kindle. If you look to the right you’ll see my little advertisement for it. If people subscribe to your blog you earn money. I wondered whether anyone would subscribe to read a blog through their Kindle, since I don’t have one, but signed up this blog and my business blog anyway. And someone has subscribed to my business blog, last month it seems, and thus I made a whopping 30 cents. That’s not much, but I felt honored that someone would think enough about any of my blogs to pay to read them. I got the idea from Allan Douglas, so I thank him for it and hope he’s made money from it as well.

And there you are, all the affiliate programs I’ve tried, reviewed, and have now put in one place. I may turn this into a page since it actually ends up being a series so others can see them all at once, although they can just read this post and follow all the links that way. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and even if you haven’t, I bet you’d still have to say you haven’t seen anyone else write something like this. šŸ™‚
 

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Affiliate Programs Iā€™m Connected With ā€“ Part Five

Man, how long will this go on? Until I’m done, that’s how long. šŸ™‚ So let’s recap quickly by giving you the links to previous posts on the subject: part one, part two, part three and part four. Onward and upward to part five.


Mailwasher Pro
Mailwasher Pro

Mailwasher is an actual program I use on my computer and one that I think is very powerful protection. Basically what it does is lets you view all your email while still sitting on the server. You can eliminate spam at that point or any other email you don’t want to download, then only download email you know is safe and what you want. Sure, every once in awhile timing will let one come through, but it’s really rare.

They have an affiliate program and so date I’ve been credited with 3 sales worth around $19, with one of those sales coming this week. If you follow the link you’ll see that the ads look kind of funny, but it was proof that if you write about something you like that you have the opportunity to make money from it, even if it’s not a ton of money. I have to say that I believe Mailwasher is one of my most valuable programs.

Pokerstars is the site where I was playing all my online poker, and of course that means they also had an affiliate program. I never really got to advertise this one all that much because, of course, online poker is illegal here in the states, and even when I signed up for it the sucker was illegal, though many people played on the site. Then the government started shutting things down for American players and that was pretty much that. I made no money off it, as I don’t think I have a lot of people visiting this blog that play poker, and basically, until the government relents and let’s people play online again, for money, I don’t think I’ll have enough people from other countries signing up through me.

SEO Book is a website that offers tools to help figure out how to make your website work better, gives some internet marketing training and other good stuff. I run one of their SEO programs through my browser, and back when I wanted to learn about affiliate marketing I purchased their ebook, which was pretty good. They offer an affiliate program for selling some of their products and they give you $20 to sign up. And for each sale you make you earn $50; that’s not bad.

Unfortunately, I’ve never made a sale, and I have to admit that I haven’t really pushed it all that much. I did have the book up on a sidebar for awhile, then they went through some changes and shut down the program for a short while and I removed it and never put it back. One of these days I need to get it back up somewhere because I believe in what I saw and it’s possible it can be used to help others and make some money along the way.

I’m stopping here as I only have 3 more to go, and that leaves me one more post, although it may end up being the shortest of the series.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell