Tag Archives: google

How to Create a Twitter Favorites RSS Feed

twitter-rss-birdIf you haven’t had time to get into Twitter yet you might want to jump over there and do a Twitter crash course before you read this post, but for others who are already knee deep in Twitter, how effectively are you using this great service?  There are so many aspects to Twitter that can be utilized that the deeper I go in Twitter the more I find.

One thing I started really using lately is the “favorites” feature on Twitter.  If you haven’t given this much thought, the favorites feature is a great way to start to bookmark those really great posts you see and don’t want to forget.  Once you start to mark tweets as favorites (or star them) you need some good way to get back to the information at some point.  I was marking the posts on Twitter I didn’t want to forget but never went back to look at them.  So, this is how you can take the Twitter favorites and pull the RSS feed from Twitter into your favorite RSS feed reader.

twitter-feed

First thing you want to do is start marking your favorite tweets.  You can do this in TweetDeck or in the basic browser application by clicking on the star icon when you mouse over a tweet.  Then, follow these steps below to start pulling your Twitter favorites feed (if you want the short version just read step 1 and that should do it).

1. Create the Twitter Favorite Feed in RSS Reader

This doesn’t seem to be published on any Twitter help pages or anywhere else, but you can grab your favorites feed (or anyone else’s for that matter) by using the address: http://twitter.com/favorites/%5Binsert_your_ID_here%5D.rss , so to pull an rss feed of my twitter favorites, you would place the url http://twitter.com/favorites/scottfillmer.rss.  Just drop this url in your feed reader and it works just like any other feed.

For more information on actually pulling RSS feeds from Twitter that are posted by Twitter (that would be the friends timeline, profile page, @replies page, and the home page, you can visit How do I find my Twitter rss feed? from Twitter support.  You can also read an older post of my called Add Value to Your Blog, Offer an RSS Feed in Reverse if you really want to look at some different rss feed stuff.

If you question after reading this is what in the world is an RSS feed Brad Ruggles has compiled some of the popular how-to YouTube videos on what is an rss feed, twitter, and blogs.  You can see that here.

2. Make Your RSS Feed Public (optional step)

You can now use it in any way you would use a normal rss feed.  So do some cool things with it like make it a public feed or as a blogroll on your site.  You can see the results below, those are live and updated as I mark items as favorites.

google-reader-feed

You can do this (if you use Google Reader) by going to the “manage feeds” link in your reader, then choosing the tag where you placed the rss feed to be public, then either choose to “add a clip to your site” or “add a blogroll to your site” and it will give you a piece of code to use where ever you like. The list below is my last 5 favorites (when they are placed in your RSS Reader they won’t clip after a certain number of characters like they do below).

3. Use What You Have Created

One reason to use the favorites options is to mark the genius in Twitter.  There is a lot of information to be gained from Twitter, but it isn’t really from Twitter, it is from the people who post to Twitter.  Many people take the time to post very useful information and actually create value in their 140 characters.  You can find new websites, new ideas, new ways of doing things that you may not have ever thought about before seeing them on Twitter.

Update March 2011

Obviously much have changed in the way twitter functions over the last few years, but I think you will find this information still relavant and useful. Another great post on the subject can be found over at ProfHacker called Managing Twitter Feeds as well.

Is Your Favorite Faith Based Blog on This List?

What are your favorite faith based blogs you read?  I have a few different categories in my mind of blogs I read.  I have a total list, which includes some of my friends blogs and some of my favorite faith based blogs, and more I just flip through on a daily or weekly basis.  I have a few blogs I read (this would be across all categories) that are really bad, but for some reason I have some fascination with what they will post next because the blog is so bad (poor design, format, sentence or grammar structure and so on).  I call these train wreck blogs because I can’t help but read them for some reason.

I won’t mention any of my personal favorite train wreck blogs but there is one blog I have been reading quite a bit called TonyMorganLive.com which has a lot of fresh, well written content, plus his job listings are interestingg reading to me.  I have to give my blogroll award to Brody Harper who has one of the best blogrolls on the side of his blog and he always has something interesting going on over there (see his latest Positive Post Tuesday-Outdoor Encounter).  Below you will find my current faith based blogroll for today, Tuesday, September 2, 2008.  This list below is static, but my list changes daily.  For the most current and up to date list, see Faith Blogroll.  Is your blog on this list?  No?  Well post it in the comments so we can all take a look and add it to our feed readers.

The list above is obviously in alphabetical order, but it is a list of blogs I frequent.  There are so many that I have not come across yet, but to those above, thanks so much for putting so much effort into your blogs, I really enjoy reading them.  Keep in mind, even if you never receive a single comment, there are people who read your blog, so write your posts with that in mind.

Google Ranks Jesus and Church by City

Do you like stats like I do? Who doesn’t, right. We keep stats on our blogs, individual posts, just about everything that is run on the Internet is backed by some kind of stat. Because of the way the Internet works, stats and trends have become huge on the Internet.  Once something that was important for businesses alone can now be utilized by individuals and churches too.

From Google Trends to Jesus and the Church

Google’s innovations over the past several years has been incredible, but they make everything publicly available, and for the most part free. One of the tools I really like from Google is Google Analytics. This is basically a supped up version of your basic stat counter, but if for your own site.

If your looking for something more Internet wide, you need Google Trends. So as I am looking around today, I wonder, where does Jesus rank among churches. I did this in two different formats, one utilizing Twitter’s api of words, and once with Google trends, and they both showed just about the same thing.

Are Christians Different Than Anyone Else?

I was listening to a story from our pastor yesterday, who just got back from Uganda (see Adjusting Back), about someone he was trying to share the gospel message with on the trip. Their response to Josh was “I know people who say they are Christians, and they are no different from anyone else”.

It was sad to hear because it was the truth from his eyes. But that was in Africa, surely it is different here in developed worlds, with the Internet. So I dug around a little. This chart is from a site called Flaptor, and the full data for the chart below is here. (All of these charts click through to the original data points.)

I had to shrink this first chart down so you may have to click on the enlarged size to see the detail. Basically, this is from Twitter conversations. The blue graph is for the term church, red is Jesus, and yellow is faith. Of course, those blue points, those are Sunday’s.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the church body, but I don’t think our actions should be any different on Sunday than any other day of the week, but obviously it is on the conversational minds of Twitter on one day, Sunday. So, according to this graph, are Christians different than anyone else?

jesus and the church

Jesus and the Church According to Google Trends

The Interesting thing about Google is how broad reaching their data is and what is covers. These next two charts were just two I pulled out from the Google Trends data. This first chart shows basically the same search terms the one above showed, but for all of the Internet.

church faith jesus

Here the blue line represents church, yellow is Jesus, and red is Faith. You can see the full data here. The peaks are mostly on Sunday here, but if you expand the date range for a year, or all time the data get very interesting. So what are the top ten cities that rank highest on the search term for church? Nashville gets top billing, Atlanta, and Dallas area has two cities that rank all by themselves.

cities jesus church

What is interesting about the city chart to me is how high the church term ranks and how low the other three rank. I would have thought the name of Jesus being what it is would rank much higher when compared to the word church. I guess my question would be, inside those walls of the church, where does Jesus rank? I hope it is higher than the yellow mark on the cities chart above?

The Big One, the Church and Your Money

I thought I would just throw in another chart just for fun. This chart adds the search term money into the mix. Now this isn’t all the different variations of what we call money, it is just the single term of money.

money church jesus faith

No on this chart, Money is green (I didn’t plan it that way, Google just did it), blue is church, yellow is Jesus, and red is Faith. You can see the entire data chart here. Well this chart isn’t really one of a big shocker, but it still shows where we think as a whole people.

What Do We Conclude From All This?

So, what is the point and what do we conclude from all this chart and stat posting. I don’t know, I am not a statistician and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. What do you think it shows? I have been to churches where Jesus has rarely been mentioned at all, and I have been in some Jesus loving churches as well. I think without Jesus the church part is pretty much irrelevant?

To me, if Jesus is not present in the Church, it is just a place for people to go on Sunday mornings to feel better about themselves Once it gets checks off the list they are good until next Sunday. Jesus can exist in true form without the actual church building itself, but the church (as intended in scripture) can not exist without Jesus being present.

So, leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Blogoscoped and Possibly Longest Post I Have Ever Read

word-countI came across this post today, called Kevin Fox of Gmail & FriendFeed on User Experience Design
and, although it was a lot of really good information, along with the title, it was A LOT of information. There are so many blogs out there with good info that I have probably 400 feeds in my rss reader.

I don’t read all on a daily basis, but this one is one of the blogs I try to skim over.

This particular post could be the longer post ever made on a blog as a single post. I punched it into Word and I got a total of 23 pages, with 8,151 words, and a whopping 45,878 characters.

Wow, I am long winded myself. Anyone that has ever received an email from me knows this, but I don’t think I can top this one. It was good information but wow. As far as a general rule of thumb about blogging is you try to keep it to a few small paragraphs, a page or two, anything more won’t hold the readers attention.

Of course this is a blog by Googleites, so they probably have the leaway of doing whatever they feel like doing and it probably won’t matter. Good post guys, lots of good info, but then it would have to be at 23 pages.

Other Tips of Note

I looked at a few other blog feeds in this category I normally read and I have listed them below just as general information if you are interested. Most of these are blogging blogs on how to blog. So, what is the longest blog post you have ever written?

Leave a comment with the link below so we can all take a look (can’t say I will read it though).

Some things I keep in mind when doing a blog post.

  1. Break up paragraphs into one or two sentences
  2. Try to keep the post under 5 minutes reading time
  3. Use headings (h2 or h3 tags) for bullet points
  4. Include links to other blogs if mentioned
  5. Go read and comment on someone else’s blog instead of writing

How Long is Your Last Post

So, how long was your longest post. Did it bring in a lot of traffic to your blog or did you think about if someone was actually going to read something that long or not? I forget all the time. Even this post should have been shorter but I never know when to stop.

Google Adds Some Color to the Labels

Google Adds Color to LabelsI just noticed some color in my inbox? Have you yet? It looks like Google has added color labels to the “labels”. It shows on one computer but not on another so it is probably an update to Gmail that will work its way through their system.

Funny how just a little bit of color can add some excitement to your email. In the screen shot you can see a square box next to each label. You click the arrow and it gives you the color options you see in the image. At that point it shows everything in that label in the color you chose. Looks GREAT Google, thanks.

For those of us who use Gmail, and a lot of it, this is a welcome addition to the labels. I will finally be able to see just at a quick glance a highlight color for specific tags. I know everyone uses Gmail differently, but I use the “all mail” label most of the time and to see some color will be great.

Snap Shot Announces Snap Share Ad Program

Snap Share Shot AdSnap Shot announced that they are entering the monetize your site advertising program with Snap Shares. Much like other affiliate programs Snap Shot now has the option to include four different types of ads, and of course Google Adsense is one of those methods.

Snap Shares adds a new money-making dimension to Snap Shots by allowing Web site owners and bloggers to increase their inventory with context-based ads at the bottom of each Snap Shot.

New Way To Monetize Your Blog

For those monetize your blog folks out there, this might be something to look into if you haven’t used their service before. It works similar to those textual links where an ad pops up from some keyword from within your post. What made Snap Shot a little different is they take existing links and the pop up window is a “snap shot” of the link. I use / used it on a few different blogs (I even used it on this blog) for a while, but the pop up on each window became tiresome to me, especially when it had no advertising value to the program.

I don’t know if I will try it again on this site, probably not, but I do have one blog that still uses their service and I will be sure to change over to my ad numbers. If you are already using the service, by default, the ads will be displayed when you mouse over the link. You will need to create an account on Snap Shot and make sure you update your account with your Google Adsense or other ad information. Without the update you are just giving away ads clicks.

Will the High Traffic Blogs Try It?

It will be interesting to see if some of the larger blogs pick up the service. Most of the a-lister blogs I come across do not use their service. I would guess one of the main reasons is that it distracts from their site a little bit and I am not sure how profitable the ad program will become.

What is interesting to note is that some of their subscribers seem less than happy about the change, and many have gone to remove the plugin altogether because they moved to an ad based system. When I initially signed up for their service I was rather surprised at the time that they were not using an ad based system, but perhaps that was the big appeal for a good part of their clientèle. If a majority of the Snap Shot users were not interested in the monitize your site application they may loose quite a few users, but I would guess they had researched this before hand and know what to expect.

What about your site? Have you used their service in the past or do you plan on trying it out now that they are offering a way to make money with the service?

What Happened to My Google Page Rank, Another Goal Reached?

Scott Fillmer Page Rank UpdateAfter all the posts I read this week about the page rank update I told myself I wasn’t going to post anything about the topic. I thought it had all been said enough (and that is still probably true), until I noticed my page rank actually went up. [A little disclaimer here, before last week I had a PR0 and now I have a PR2. So, I had no place to go but up.]

There are other examples surfacing now that also show increases in PR’s like, PageRank update in process, this time for real, where AdesBlog talks about a few of his sites that have increased their page rank. Another recent post from ProBlogger also touches on several of these current topics in, The Google Page Rank Pendulum Swings…. Again, and if you are still interested, there are hundreds (if not more) of posts on the Page Rank update.

Some PR’s Are Going Up, Some Down

In a recent post I did on the goals of this blog, Reaching a Set Goal and Working on Others, a the Page Rank was not even listed as one of the top ten because I thought it was pretty much out of the question for the age of my domain, and the fact that I was still trying to build quality content on the site. Little did I know, all I needed was an update to Google’s Page Rank system.

Here it is only one week later and I have gone from a PR0 to a PR2 this weekend. I started looking at some of the other sites I own, and it was a mixed bag. Most of these domains are either new (mostly content based), or developed storefront pages (non-content based), and they are sites I either own or work extremely close with on a daily basis.

  • chipseo.com – PR0 to PR2 [content / blog based] | NET +2
  • islandzephyr.com – PR0 to PR1 [mixed info / content] | NET +1
  • ki4wlr.com – PR0 to PR2 [content / blog based] | NET +2
  • site 4 – PR0 to PR2 [content / blog based] | NET +2
  • site 5 – PR4 to PR3 [storefront / sales based] | NET -1
  • site 6 – PR3 to PR1 [storefront / sales based] | NET -2
  • site 6 – PR2 to PR1 [storefront / sales based] | NET -1

Have You Checked Your Storefront Pages?

I checked a few eCommerce / storefront sites and pages I am familiar with and it also seems to be a mixed bag. Two high traffic storefronts in the craft industry, Artbeads.com and Fire Mountain Gems, both had PR4′s and both maintained their PR4, at least to this point.

Both of these eCommerce stores are very established online businesses, and both have a good combination a product catalog sku’s and content for their customers in the way of guides and reviews. Both stores also have almost no online advertising to speak of since they are selling their own products (they probably wouldn’t promote someone else’s on their store), and one uses the Yahoo Store shopping cart system and one is independent.  If you have your own online storefront, check your PR and see what the results look like. Do you have a good combination of content to help your customers, and a SKU based catalog / shopping cart system? If you sell on multiple sales channels like many businesses, has one been effected over the other?

Is There Anything To Conclude From This

If you look at the list above you will notice a few things. One, none of these sites I mention are super high traffic ranking sites. Two, it is a mix of non-content informational, content based, and storefront based sites. Three, all of the content based site rankings went up, all of the storefront selling sites went down. I don’t really think there is anything to conclude from this information. I have seen just as many high quality, high ranking sites go down over the weekend as well. I am not going to touch on the link selling issue to much, there are enough blogs posting on that already, but I will say that none of the examples listed above are real high text link selling sites (most none at all), and I have tried as much as possible to maintain the Webmaster Guidelines that Google has put forth on their Webmaster Tools site.

Because buying and selling links is not to much of an issue among the examples put forth above, and some went up and some went down, you could say that Google is placing a higher emphasis on content, but all you have to do is read a few posts from the high traffic blogs to discount that, so, I just offer the information for what it is, a mixed bag of ups and downs.

Another Goal Reached Anyway

One of the milestone goals for this blog was to reach a PR1 in a certain amount of time and instead it reached a PR2 in less than 4 weeks. It does looks like there has just been a complete rearrangement of the PR system, so I am not sure what to think of my new found PR2, but it was one of the goals I had set for this site and I am glad to have reached it so quickly.  Have you had any sites move up in rank this weekend? If so, are they content, informational, or storefront based sites?

Update to Google Page Rank [September 2008]

Google updates their page rank system every so often, almost like a software update.  It will often be announced on Matt Cutts blog.  When the update is going to happen he will often say, there is a page rank update happening this weekend.  When you find this out, just make note of where you were and where you ended up.  It may tell you something about your traffic and how Google sees this traffic and its importance and you can improve your blog accordingly.

Reasons to Look at Alternatives to Google Adsense

In my last post, Reasons to Keep Running Google Adsense Ads, I looked at some good reasons to keep running Google Adsense ads, or to consider using them on your blog or eCommerce website. Here I will take a look at some of the other marketing options available, examine some of the less desirable effects of the Adsense program, and make some conclusions about the points made from these two articles.

This is not a bash Adsense article, obviously I use them myself, but what all business owners should do, look at as many options as they can and decided which one fits the best according to their business needs. On a side note, I have an upcoming set of articles that examines both sides of Google Adwords too, so stay tuned.

Marketing is Not One Size Fits All

All you have to do it run a search for Adsense and you will see so many different responses for and against using these type of ads, and it might be hard to tell what really works. I think the real answer to that questions is what works for you may not work for me and vice-versa. Each site is so different, has different goals and objectives, but sooner or later, if your store or site keeps growing you will need to look at some online marketing, either to buy some ads (which would be Google Adwords) or to sell them (Adsense), but the growing opportunities available with smaller companies continues to grow each day.

More and more businesses are becoming very specialized. It is important for these niche markets businesses to look at different options that will benefit your company, not just right now, but options that will enhance what will be your long term marketing plan. In the same manner that eCommerce shopping companies have become a collection of niche markets, so are the options available in the online marketing field itself. Look for companies that specialize in your niche market or are at least familiar with your companies specific needs.

Adsense is a great one size fits all ad program, and you can even get very specific with their affiliate ads but there are so many other good online marketing companies today that it is only prudent to not limit your business to one particular company or ad program.

You are Advertising for Your Competition

I generally write from the perspective of the company or store site selling a product, so talking about Adsense is really the opposite of what companies should look at when they are trying to sell a product, right? After all, you are selling your products, not someone else’s, so looking at selling ads on your site might be counterproductive. For this example I think Blog About Crafts put it best on a recent post called, Adsense Kills Business, where she talks about the difference between running a business and a hobby. Treat your business like a hobby and that is what it is, treat your hobby like a business and chances are, you are in business. You do generally have to act and look like a professional to be a professional.

There is a big difference from a personal site like Blog About Crafts and a professional services or product selling site

Look at the screen shot below. I grabbed the header from the online store page that sells crystals and beads. At the top, the ad shown will take people away from the store you are looking at and at bare minimum will show other options to your own store or site. The Adsense links at the top are taken right off the content of the store selling the same products. Now sometimes this is what you want to do. You might be networking between several different companies and some reciprocal links may be called for, but Adsense is not a reciprocal link program.

Google Adsense

Does it Add Value to Your Company

Marketing should not only add value to the company you are advertising for, but it should also add value to your company. This may sound strange but there has to be an exchange of value for it to be worth doing. This is the whole concept of business and what you are doing by selling your products or services. Someone else finds a value in what you are selling and gives you something of value in exchange.

This is going to be different depending on what your company goals ultimately are for your business. Usually the value added to your company is going to be money paid to you for advertising. If your main market is to sell advertising to pay for the production and maintenance of your site (much like Google itself), then it may very well add value to your site, but you still need to look at how much value it adds.

Adsense may pay, eventually (see previous article), but I haven’t found returns that would be considered great by any means, at least not something that could be called “revenue” to me. The value exchange should be as close to equal as possible. I.e. a highly valued area of your site should produce an expected return, so be sure that you have some way to measure if you are giving a whole lot more to your advertiser than you are receiving in return. This doesn’t have to be exact, but it shouldn’t be totally unequal. Many times I think the Adsense program has been so successful for Google because they get so much coverage on so many sites with very little payment in return.

One key to this is testing. There is a good article on Blogging Experiment, How to Find AdSense Alternatives for Your Site, lists several alternative companies and options, but also makes a good point when he says testing is a very important part of finding good alternatives. Many companies offer a 30 day trial if it is a paid monthly service, others will give you some kind of credit that should give you an idea of how well it will work. One problem with this is it might not be a long enough period of time to see an actual return if you ran it continuously.

Don’t Keep All Your Marketing Eggs in One Basket

This is a simple point but one worth mentioning. You can continue to develop your site or store, increase your traffic, sales, subscriptions, and use just one marketing company but if something ever happens you have to just start over again. If you build up high enough revenues (a good thing, yes), but with only one company, if and when that revenue is ever lost your company will suffer much more so than if you spread the marketing revenue around to a few different sources.

You can do a quick search and find many examples of people that have been banned from using Google’s Adsense program for one reason or another. From my experience on eBay, it seems to work the same way with Google, once you are gone, you are gone, no questions or appeal needed, and it doesn’t always seem to be that hard to do.

SEO Refugee wrote a rather nerve racking article, Get ANY Adsense Account Banned, which explained in some detail how easy it is to get an account banned. After reading that you really hope the competition people who might not care all that much for your company doesn’t get a hold of that information. Granted it does require the other party to really do some work, but some don’t care how the get rid of the competition, just that they do. This unethical practice is terrible to say the very least, but I have to assume it exists and Google should have something in place to prevent this type of fraud from happening.

Complexity and Unknowns

This is not referring to the complexity of implementing the program, I actually stated the opposite on my previous post, but the complexity that is Google and the unknown that goes along with their programs and services. As with any company of Google’s size it is very hard to know what their internal checks and balances are and how they effect their own customers. Google, for good reason, keeps their proprietary data and development information very secret so it is hard to know what might effect your marketing campaign and what might not.

One issue that has come up recently is the paid link topic and how or if Google will penalize a site for using paid links. Google has actually provided some good information about this topic lately, see my article, Matt Cutts Updates Google’s nofollow Use, and it has been very helpful, but it has taken a while to get to that point of knowing what to do and what not to do. From Google’s perspective it is about stopping spam, not necessarily paid links, but if use paid links as part of your marketing campaign you should know what effect it might have on your Google indexing and your marketing campaign.

It isn’t really what you know, but what you don’t. The issues that Google faces are not going to be the same as your company, and they are going to do what is in the best interest of their company, just like everyone in business. Google is in business to make a profit, not to make sure your company has enough ad revenue. Once identified, those interests may be contrary to your business efforts. They may not be, but the point is you don’t know. Good business practice says to minimizing the risks as much as possible, and that is very fluid, sometimes you don’t know what those will be from one moment to the other.

Affiliates Can Offer a Good Value

Google Adsense is one of these, yes, but there are many different affiliate companies (Commission Junction being of the biggest) and there are some very good programs to look at, even with smaller company’s websites. Many companies now offer their own affiliate program where you can earn a return or you can pay others to be affiliates for you to send traffic to your site. This post won’t be detailed enough to get into all the different platforms that affiliates offer but they are very extensive.

A new project I found this weekend looks to be very promising, called the Rubicon Project, it allows you to control all your different affiliate programs in one place. They are just in Beta testing right now but the feedback so far has been very positive, according to one of the founders of the project. I will post a full review of their company in an upcoming post and go into more detail about affiliate programs in that article.

Conclusion

Marketing your products or services takes a lot of work, research, testing, and perseverance. There are many online options available for just about any niche market company or blog, look around, do your homework, see what else might fit your business needs in addition to Google Adsense (or Adwords for that matter). Remember that results won’t happen overnight, but using alternative ad companies will minimize your risk and should continue to add value to your company.

Try to use a balanced and well planned out approach. Re-read your marketing plans and goals and see if what you are doing will meet those goals. Online marketing, no matter who you use or what method you employ, should offer at least an equal return for your exchange of time, money, or space on your website. If not, you might want to look for another option. If you want to keep running the same ads for no return, that is fine too, just let me know, I would love to place an ad on your site for free… any takers?

Reasons to Keep Running Google Adsense Ads on Your Blog

Google AdsenseWhen considering an advertising company for your blog or website Google is probably going to be high on the list, but shouldn’t be the only one. I opened a Google Adsense account on April of 2004. The screen shot shown here was take a few days ago that shows we have now reached the payout amount minimum of $100 for Google Adsense.

Obviously we were not publishing ads on big PR7 sites, we just used it here and there on a few different store pages, but, for those counting, 3 1/2 years is a long time. Comparing different revenue rates for different people is impossible because of all the variables involved, but that isn’t really the point here, so instead I will just give you my $.02, don’t spend it all in one place.

Sometimes Time Spent is a Little Money Earned

It may be a cliche, but does that make it any less true? Once we opened this account we threw it up on a few different sites and quickly forgot about it. It wasn’t until I started trying to add a few Google ads recently that I realized what ads I had run and on what websites. It was really nice to log on and see a balance of around $80 when I had forgotten about it, but at the same time, it was only $80, after 3 years and a few months. That comes to approximately $1.90 per month for the time period stated, not a great return, but you have to look at the time that was spent to receive that as well, and it was probably about an hour.

Google Adsense PaymentOnce I actually started working with the ad program again, started putting some time into placing the ads on pages with higher traffic rankings and most of the normal things you would do to increase your ad revenue, it started moving a little faster. It took 3+ years to go from $0 to $80, and only a few weeks for it to move from $80 to $100 with just a few changes to where the ads ran and on what sites.

No matter if you are running an eCommerce site, a blog, or an informational static pages, the more quality time you spend placing ads in the proper locations, producing well written content, creating a good design, and proper SEO, among other things, the more your traffic will increase, and the better your ad revenue will be. This is not something special with the Adsense program, it works with just about everything.

It is not always at the return rate you would like though. Sometimes we can spend a lot of time for a lot of revenue and other times we can spend a lot of time without much return at all. The key is of course to try to minimize our risks and to look for places that will provide a good return verses our time spent. That was the question I asked myself when I started looking more closely at my Adsense account.

There are some good reasons to keep running Adsense ads on your blog or website. You can do a quick search and find people that love it and hate it, but lets look at some solid reasons for keeping at least some Adsense ads running, and some reasons we should look elsewhere. In this post we will look at some Reasons to Keep Running Google Adsense Ads and in the next post we will look at Reasons to Look at Options Other Than Google Adsense Ads.

Reasons To Keep Running Google Adsense Ads

Listed below are some positive points for starting, or continuing to use the Adsense program. This is not a pros and cons look at the program, that I will save for another article so keep that in mind when looking over the below items.

Google is Google

Google’s complete presence on the Internet is unmatched. Sure there are countless good companies on the Internet, but few have permeated and infiltrated companies and personal pages from the biggest to the smallest little site out there like Google. Biggest doesn’t always mean the best, but it does have its advantages. Google is Google may not be a great reason but… it’s Google. Everyone knows who they are and users know the ads most likely won’t contain any malicious links.

Ease of Use

There are so many different options within Adsense it takes some time just to explore all the opportunities available. You can do everything from link ads to affiliate ads and everything in between. You can customize the layout, integrate colors that match your website, choose from many different sizes and shapes that will fit just about any ad block, and choose from a list of affiliate ads so large that it would be hard not to find something that goes well with your site and matches your target audience.

Information Availability

Google has so much information about the Adsense program available on the Internet that if you can’t find what you are looking for from Google chances are you will find it somewhere. Google has a blog devoted to Adsense and updates it frequently. This goes right in line with number 5 but is a little different. You don’t just want to see the polished view that a company gives out, you want to know what the real issues are. These can be both positive and negative items, but with some newer companies it isn’t as easy to find out the real information you are looking for, and with Google there is just tons of it.

Coming up soon I will be reviewing several different marketing options for your eCommerce store site, and a few of these companies are brand new. One of the newest companies I am looking at is only about 30 days old and they are charging quite a bit for their services, but when you go to look for information outside of the company you can find very little other than what the company has put out for us to see.

Continued Advancements

Google continues to add to the program and probably will always do so. The most recent highlight for the Adsense program would be the addition of Google Ads for video units. This is something that has been rumored about for a while and has now been implemented. Right now it is only available in the United States but it is sure to be added to the U.K. soon.

There is a lot of information posted about this new advancement and it looks to be very promising. Search Engine Roundtable posted an article on how to setup video units (see article), and there are bound to be new advances in how and where the ad program will be used in the future. After all, Google is all about ad revenue, that is what built this company so it will continue to focus on this for some time to come.

Another recent topic has been that Google added new payment options for people in Malaysia where they can get paid through Western Union. In a recent article from Adesblog, How to withdraw your AdSense earnings through WesternUnion, he takes a good look at how this new option functions, and although I basically run from payments via Western Union I am sure it is something those in other parts of the world are glad it has been added as an option.

Support Network

The sheer number of people that must work on, and with, the Adsense program must be huge, so it should count for something. The network of support pages and content to help new users is extensive and most of it very helpful. In a recent article on their blog, Getting more quality inventory for publishers, Google talks about improving the validity of their links and several other important issues facing its users.

Our goal with this change is to ensure the long-term effectiveness of the referrals program for both publishers and advertisers. By increasing the value and quality of the referral network, we believe we’ll attract more advertisers and provide more opportunities for you to earn.

Like most things Google, they also have an extensive Google Adsense Group that helps with current issues and questions you might have, and with so many people using the Adsense program you are sure to find some good help in this particular group.

Availability To Have Your Ad Seen Worldwide

Availability is something that not all ad programs can offer. Google will run your ads worldwide and not even Yahoo’s ad program is as easy to use when you want a worldwide marketing program put in place. It is as easy as choosing that option and they continue to add the program to new areas of the world all the time. Google recently announced (see announcement) the Adsense program would start in Vietnam and Indonesia and it isn’t likely to stop there.

Reporting, Tracking, and User Interface

I put this in there because when I compare it to other ad opportunities, most do not compare to the reporting and tracking functionality that Google Adsense presents to its users. You can track your ad programs by many different options like adding new channels for specific pages or sites you want to track. It shows you where your ads are most effective and where you should improve or move ads if they are not getting the proper visibility. The reporting functions are pretty standard but the detail you can get goes back years if you have that much data and you can customize reports to meet the needs of your company.

As I mentioned at the top of this article, coming up, I will post an article about the many other options that companies can choose when looking at their online marketing strategies. To me, these are probably more interesting since everyone knows about Google, but may not know about many of the other opportunities available to all of us. Google is certainly a viable option for those wishing to advertise on their website in an easy to use manner, results may vary.

Matt Cutts Updates Google's nofollow Use

This is probably the last update I will post about this issue since I have covered the topic in two previous posts, What is With the rel=nofollow Penalty and Update: What is With the rel=nofollow, but it is worth an additional follow up here with Matt Cutts latest post, Quick comment on nofollow. Matt has updated Google’s interpretation of the use of nofollow and answered some questions that had been flying around lately.

I did learn some new information about the issue from reading the lastest posts, and when you should consider using the rel=nofollow code with your links. Matt also answered some of the questions posed by seomoz.org in his post, Matt Cutts on Nofollow, Links-Per-Page and the Value of Directories, where he asked several unanswered questions about the nofollow issue. Most of his remarks come from a post to the Google Group, Google Webmaster, where he says that webmasters are free to use the nofollow how they see fit of course but something else I had been wondering and just didn’t ask yet, was if I have my robots.txt file modified where the entire directory is disallowed, will that work too? Apparently so.

Matt states in the Google group post, Appropriate uses of nofollow tag — popular pick , where he says just that. Thanks for answering my question without me asking.

The nofollow attribute is just a mechanism that gives webmasters the ability to modify PageRank flow at link-level granularity. Plenty of other mechanisms would also work (e.g. a link through a page that is robot.txt’ed out), but nofollow on individual links is simpler for some folks to use. There’s no stigma to using nofollow, even on your own internal links; for Google, nofollow’ed links are dropped out of our link graph; we don’t even use such links for discovery. By the way, the nofollow meta tag does that same thing, but at a page level.

Some of the information I took from all these posts is that the nofollow issue and its use is far more broad than just for the paid links you might have on your site, and it is used to keep spam off your site, or at least from being indexed through your site, lowering the possible usefulness and ranking of your site. To be moderately educated on this issue will certainly not hurt your abilities as a webmaster or to help market other clients sites and ecommerce stores. Things to remember for me would be:

You can use your robots.txt file instead

Using your robots.txt file will generate the same good results, and might be easier than worrying about each individual link.

You can use a meta tag

Placing a nofollow meta tag at the top of your page will keep the index from taking place on a page level

Use it on pages that won’t convert well

Using a nofollow tag on a sign-in link or an account link is a good idea too. These links will not produce any positive effect on your traffic or ranking, it doesn’t have to just be a paid link, any link that doesn’t become an asset to your site.

Most of the focus on the nofollow topic has been geared towards blogs with comments being posted but I will write an article coming up that shows how using this in combination with your ecommerce stores can be a good thing as well, it is not just for the bloggers. Any advantage you can gain over your competition on your ecommerce platform is good, and I would expect few of the very small ecommerce companies recognizes this as an issue.