Google Marketing and Dear Webmaster Letters

Have you had an email asking you to remove a link? There are various reasons someone might ask you to remove a link, some are practical and make sense. Often it’s about a copyrights issue. The new trend I’ve noticed is the request to remove a link for Google.

You get a Dear Webmaster letter, not so unlike a Dear John letter about a century ago during the World Wars. Don’t take offense, it’s just marketers trying to please (or scare) their clients. They don’t really know what they are doing.

A Dear Webmaster letter:removelinksforGoogleThis is the second email (this year) which I have had asking me to remove my link to a site. Not for the reason you would expect. It’s not about how I mentioned the link, or that I linked in a bad way at all. Actually, the link was just an additional resource when I had written about a relevant topic.

Long ago I was asked to remove a link to Starbucks. But, this was back in the very early days. Starbuck’s concern was about their privacy online. That was so long ago everything was still new and no one knew what to make of the Internet and the very earliest websites, networks and web logs. (Yes, bloggers was not even an accepted word yet).

This time, I was asked to remove a link because the company was concerned about Google’s algorithm.  They are not interested in being part of a post, relevant to their content. Their focus is Google, not readers.

To me it is ironic that Google made their latest changes in order to get online content to change from spam created to please Google into writing created to please readers. But, some people do not quite make that connection. Instead they are just trying to turn things around to be what will please Google.

Today I read something where they decided the biggest problem for brands now is to create content people will want to share on social media.

They still don’t get it either.

Google and social media are software, basically. Software does not have a lot of buying power all on it’s own. It needs people with credit cards, online banking or some other method of making payment for goods and services.

Why don’t businesses/ companies still understand they need to attract people – not software?

Each time I think they’ve got it… it just passes them by… like a ship in the night fog.

Anyway, I did remove the link, as requested. It was actually listed once on a blog I moved to a new domain (in one post but showed up on several links with indexing). If any of the people who did this research on what Google likes actually understood how links and blogs work, they would have known that. But, that would be a waste of time when they can do so much automatically with software and then send out a form letter, with more software.

If they had actually checked any of the links, manually, they would have found them all 404. Still on Google, but not actually on the web. I wonder what kind of automatic form letter they will send Google’s bot?

I’m sure there are some marketers who will just never, ever get it.

PS- I was irritated that they want me to respond when I have accommodated them so they can take me off their list rather than nagging at me again. Just in case you wondered… removing a link for this reason (for Google marketing) is not something you are obligated to do. The link is public knowledge and my post was almost ten years old (from 2005). So, if you don’t feel very accommodating when you get a note like this… just ignore it. I just think it’s silly because the first note I got (for a different site) was from a company which had paid me for the link. See how backwards it all is?

I will likely continue to remove links when requested. Why not? It takes me a half minute to edit the post and I don’t mind not giving another site the promotion if they don’t want it when it’s free. Maybe later they can pay me for another link.

#NoCommentNoShare

#NoCommentNoShareBecause I am fed up with sites which expect me to register for another site, like Disqus, before I can leave a comment I am no longer going to share links to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc for any site which I can not comment on.

I have not been blocked or banned from Disqus. I just do not want to register for an account. For years we have given our email and name to sites in order to comment. That was more than enough. Trusting sites to collect our email addresses and not sell them was much more than enough to ask when I only wanted to comment on a blog post. To ask, or expect more is too much!

Disqus allows guest comments. If the site owner chooses to enable the feature – you can leave a comment without having to login or register with Disqus. So, it is fully the fault of the site owner if people can not comment. The site owner uses Disqus to track people. They want to track everyone so they can’t let people comment unless they become a number.

Well no more for me! I deleted my account at Disqus last year when I was fed up.  Now I’m taking it a step farther and putting the blame right on site owners. So, any site which expects me to register in order to comment I will not be forwarding or sharing links on any of my accounts: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Scoop.it and etc.

#NoCommentNoShare

Buying and Selling Ads at Project Wonderful

Originally posted to HubPages, 2012.

I’ve been a member of Project Wonderful for more than 5 years.

projectwonderful1

You can begin running ads on your site/ blog without investing a cent. Publishing ads (as a publisher) is easier than starting to run ads for your own site (as an Advertiser). But, it’s interesting to create your ad campaigns and get more involved with selling ads as you get the hang of the Project Wonderful network.

If you do have any problem on the site, try the help section. But, Project Wonderful isgreat for giving real time support and feedback to anyone who contacts the site. This is one huge plus point in their favour.

This is what a Project Wonderful 125X125 Ad Looks Like on your Site

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Publishing Ads with Project Wonderful

Start by putting the code on your site. Wait for advertisers to begin picking your site to run their ads on. Then select the ads you want to run. You can investigate the ads and the products they want to sell. Just click on the ad before you accept it. I like to make sure the product being sold isn’t something I would find disagreeable. In the early years of Project Wonderful there were some spammy ads. I haven’t found that to be a problem these days.

Advertising on Project Wonderful

As an advertiser with Project Wonderful you don’t need to spend big money getting started. Ads can run for as low as one cent. You can even run your ads on sites which accept free ads.

I don’t run a lot of ads for my own sites. Most of the time I let the money I make build up and then I will run a few ads until I’ve spent about half of the money I made by just letting ads appear on my own site. In this way, Project Wonderful can be used without spending anything of your own money. If you want to spend money on running a lot of ads, of course, you can do that.

Read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Get started at Project Wonderful by clicking here and reading the FAQs on the site. If you need extra help send in a note through the site. They will give you any help you need to get started buying and selling ads on your blog or site.

Twitter Does a Smart Thing with Email

Twitter gets smart

This came in my email from Twitter. I think it’s very smart and shows Twitter is observing and acting on current trends. Email is blocked full of junk no one reads. I don’t read my email daily any more because there is too much to sort through to find anything I actually need or want to read. Even email lists I signed up for are mainly just ads for stuff they want me to buy. Content is missing.

So, a bold and slightly risky move from Twitter but I’m impressed.

All those who get upset about Twitter not emailing them… just like it says – you can turn it back on. But, why would you?

Help to Comment in YouTube Even if you Already have a Google Account

CaptureFor months, maybe even a year or so, I have not been able to leave a comment on YouTube. I didn’t worry about it, I seldom use YouTube anyway. But, tonight I decided to find out about it.

The first thing I read was about needing to have a Google account in order to use YouTube now. Not a problem. I have had a Google account for years! So, why am I still unable to comment?

Each time I click the comment window a pop up tries to open but closes before I can read anything, even just the URL. So, that is not helpful at all.

I continued my search for help. Someone wrote that the fix was to enable (allow) third party ads on your web browser. I refuse to be stuck with more spam. My email is spamlogged to the point of being unusable and I do not in any way appreciate the ads I am forced to pay for online. (Think about it – you pay your ISP for bandwidth. Ads use a lot of bandwidth in order to open their bloated files. Thus, you are paying to watch those ads. Nice of you, isn’t it?).

So, more seeking for a better solution. I knew I could choose to allow some sites to spring ads on me. I had to do it with Scoop.it so the bookmarklet would work. Now, I went in and set up YouTube the same way. I thought that would be enough. It was not. I had to allow YouTube, Google and Google Plus to give me spam in order to comment on YouTube.

Gee… thanks Google. That mobile phone thing isn’t enough frustration? See if I buy a damned thing from any of your enforced spam. Anyway, see below for the fix to do it yourself. I don’t know where you find the settings in Firefox. But, likely in something about privacy and cookies and blocking content.

I really do like the Chrome browser, Gmail and other features with Google. But, stuff like this makes me wonder if I should be limiting my use of Google. At some point I could really wish I didn’t have all my eggs in Google’s basket.

* make sure “Block third-party cookies” is checked
* go into exceptions and allow these three (without quotes) “[*.]youtube.com”, “[*.]google.com”, “[*.]plus.google.com”

Lexophile is a Good Word

My Mother forwarded this in email today:

“Lexophile” is a word used to describe those who love using words in rather unique ways, such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish”, or “to write with a broken pencil is pointless.” A competition to see who can come up with the best one is held every year. This year’s winning submission is posted at the very end.

When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C..L.A.
The batteries were given out free of charge.
A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
A will is a dead giveaway.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
When you’ve seen one shopping Center you’ve seen a mall.
Police were called to a day care Center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.
When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.
He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.
Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.

And the cream of the wretched crop:
Those who get too big for their pants will be exposed in the end.

Why Should you Take a Digital Sabbatical?

digitalsabbaticalWhen did you last have a day without the Internet? Can you take a day offline, no email, no phone, no TV? Take the time for a digital sabbatical – give yourself a break.

Have you been feeling a little jaded, restless or bored with everything online? Has it all gotten to seem like more of the same, every day the same stuff, the same people, the same stuff to read about?

Or, have you become addicted to the Internet? Do you spend way too much time playing online games? Do you check email and then not get anything else done until you chance to notice how much time flew by? Do you get started with social networks and then feel drained before you have even started on the work or the research you actually planned on doing when you sat down in front of the computer?

If you have landed in a rut with everything online, everything Internet related, everything computer and online shopping and social chatting and web gaming and all the rest….

Take a digital sabbatical.

Take a sabbatical (a vacation) and give yourself fresh perspective. See the bigger picture and find your interest in everything online again by taking a big step back from it all. Being away from it will help you refresh your interest and enthusiasm. Being away will give you the chance to miss it all and want it back again, or not. You may find yourself having time for a lot of other things you’ve been putting off and liking that instead.

Even if you just take some time off, you will give yourself some perspective on how much Internet use is really a good thing. You will also have more to talk about (or write about) once you are back again.

How far can you stay offline? A week long stay-cation, a weekend, or just a few hours with the mobile phone and the Internet powered down?

If you can’t even last a few hours consider yourself addicted to the Internet. This could be a problem. Nothing is good when it’s not in some moderation.

Plan Your Digital Sabbatical

Decide just what your digital sabbatical will be.

Are you going to disconnect for the day or longer? Are you keeping your phone on or is that going to get a break too? What about television? Maybe your sabbatical will just be work or blog related but you will keep in touch with family and friends? Or you may use the time to find new ways to use the Internet – or take up a project which you haven’t had time for in the regular routine where you focus on checking email and other routines.

Plan the time for your sabbatical.

Will you need time off work? Make sure you don’t have appointments where you will need to have access to the Internet. If you have an ongoing project which requires on-call attention see if you can find someone else to be on-call for that day, or those hours. Or give notice that the service may be interrupted during the time you have planned for your digital sabbatical, leave a date and time you expect to return.

Let everyone know you are taking a digital sabbatical.

People may forget and still phone or email you, but at least you did what you could to let everyone know ahead of time. Many people will be amazed by the idea. We have gotten so used to having the Internet, people don’t consider what life was like without it. Leave a note on your site, Twitter account, Facebook page and so on. Give a time and date you plan to return.

Try to stick with it.

I know you will find it difficult not to have the Internet to look up this or that. I do. It can be frustrating not having the things we get so used to, right at our fingertips. But, do your best to stick with the time offline. Give yourself a break. Get away from all that glut of information. Get away from all the people who expect instant gratification from you, as if you really do live connected to your phone and computer 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Unplugging: Try a Digital Sabbatical

Organize a Local Blogging Event

Have you ever thought about doing something with local bloggers? I have. I tried (once) to have a local gathering. I was there, alone. At least I’d picked a good place for coffee and people watching. I had a window seat and my book for the whole hour I had set aside for the event. It wasn’t awful but it was pretty discouraging when it came to doing anything like it again.

My only real mistake was in not trying again right away, or within the same month. I did have some people interested and a couple who said they would come (even if they didn’t show up).  So I had a start to what could have become a local event for bloggers and writers in my area.

Starting small is a good plan. For one thing you won’t feel you are taking on too much and if you make mistakes you don’t have a lot of people to inform when you change the date, place or anything else about the event.

Find a great place where people can get their own coffee/ refreshments or snacks. I picked a coffee shop on the main street of my town. Easy to find, right on the bus route and enough parking as long as I had it on a week night.

Keep in touch with people, whether they show up or not. Collect email addresses and give them out on a sheet at the event or email everyone the list (save paper).  If someone has a book out, or another kind of achievement get them to talk about it and turn all of this into an email list for the group. A good way to remind everyone of the next event and get people talking and meeting each other so they won’t feel they don’t know anyone when they do show up at your event.

If you get enough people start a blog or a group of some kind online. But, make it clear the focus is on getting together for coffee not just hiding behind the computer screen and not being included in the live event.

Find interesting places to meet, relevant to blogging, other local events, local businesses and resources for bloggers in your area. Introduce the people in the group to new and great things they didn’t already know about. This will give more people a reason to come out and find out more, while becoming part of the group too.

Resources for becoming a WordPress WordCamp Organizer (but don’t assume everyone is using WordPress):

WordCamp Planner

WordCamp Central

How can you Help Another Blogger

Do your good deed for the day. You don’t have to be a popular blogger, an experienced blogger or spend a lot of time on giving another blogger a little help. This list comes from the SITS Girls forum.

Write a high quality guest post that will be useful to another blog’s readers

Leave helpful and insightful comments

Link to the blog and share your readers with them

Promote the blog in social media and start a social bookmarking campaign for them

Recommend to your readers to subscribe to their blog

Email the blogger with some suggested topics you’d love to see them cover

Introduce them to a potential advertiser

Share with them an affiliate program that has worked for you

Write an email telling the blogger how you found one of their posts helpful.

Perform a significant action for another blog. Don’t just leave a comment on 50 blogs; focus your energy on one other blog in your niche.