Today I was pondering if there was code that I could paste on to a web page in order to allow someone to add themselves to one of my circles.
And it occurred to me how simple it would be for big G to launch at least a basic autoresponder service based on this concept!
I can’t wait! It’s so obvious, it’s bound to happen.
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I’ve spent a lot of time recently (in bursts) trying to move away from using a desktop mail client (Outlook) to Gmail. I love Outlook and I have years of emails in there but the advantages of having my mail online, accessible from anywhere is too great to resist now.
So bit by bit, I was changing newsletter and program emails over to gmail. However, I kept most of my mailers pointed to Outlook. At first glance, that seems surprising because of the volume. But I was able to whizz through credit emails much faster from Outlook than doing it in Gmail (click on a mail, find the link, click, click back to inbox).
sidenote: Jackie O’Connor-Hagood pointed me in the direction of a Google Labs add-in that gets rid of this problem – Google Auto-advance.
Before Jackie told me about that add-in, I joined ViralInbox – it seemed the ideal solution. It has so many great features and I really love the program.
What scuppers it is that so many mailers don’t have separate contact and list addresses grrrrr. Perhaps they think it’s clever and people will have to look through the credit mails to make sure they don’t miss a system/notification/owner mail. But it frustrates me big time.
I want to use ViralInbox for my list address for mailers – I don’t really want all those mails coming into my gmail account, with all the filters I have to set up. But a stronger motivation is that I want commission/referral notifications and important messages to go to gmail because I would only have ViralInbox open when I was wanting to earn credits. Gmail is open all the time of course.
So that’s part 1 of the rant – mailer owners, you are hampering my flexibility.
Part 2 is that many programs won’t accept an email of the format firstname.lastname@example.org. I know not everyone is familiar with this format but it’s incredibly useful. I could have email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and then it’s much easier to set up the filters in Gmail.
But mailer after mailer won’t let me use that format of address. If I have to send all mail to my main email@example.com, the filtering is that much messier.
But I persevered. The mailers with separate contact and list addresses were easy of course (especially if they allowed firstname.lastname@example.org) – I set the contact address to gmail and the list address to my ViralInbox address.
The mailers with only a single email address I had to direct to gmail and then set up forwarding filters to send (forward) just the credit mails to ViralInbox – so far so good.
That’s when I had a mini private rant at Google because only after I’d invested considerable time in setting all this up, did I spot a note on a Google help page that informed me I could have as many forwarding addresses as I wanted but I could only have 20 forwarding filters.
So, Mailer owners – I don’t think having a single address helps you and it certainly doesn’t help us – we’re very likely to miss any important message and even your marketing emails. And please get with the times and accept email@example.com addresses.
And Gmail – why this seemingly pointless limitation?
The marketing machine is in full swing right now for PPC Bully – any why not, I’m sure it’s a great product. I got my copy so I’ll be reporting on my results in the near future.
But I’ve been using some of the forefathers of PPC Bully to practice ‘don’t pay per click‘ – DPPC.
I figure that it’s getting to the point where it’s harder and harder to make PPC profitable unless you’re very good or you have some of these PPC spy tools in your arsenal.
But what if you grab the tool and then use it in a very different way? Instead of using it to compete like crazy in the Adwords space, why not try something a bit more subtle, a lot less expensive and perhaps a lot longer lasting?
Nearly everyone that managed to grab a copy of PPC Bully is going to be using it to create adwords campaigns but I’m going to be pursuing a different tack, something I’ve been quietly doing over the last 6 months. You’ll see some evidence of it on this blog.
You see, these tools (and I’m going to come on to a much cheaper one than PPC Bully soon) allow you to spy on the competition, giving you a real advantage. And while it’s not totally childs play, you should be able to get a profitable campaign going in far less time and with far less risk.
But another approach is to use the extra information to position organic search results on the same page as the PPC ads!
You see, for a long time I was doing keyword research to know what to fill my articles, blog posts etc with and I suspect if I were spending more time on it, I would do ok. Certainly many of the posts on this blog rate reasonably well for the amount of effort expended.
But what we can do with these spy tools is really find out what’s making people money, what adverts are working – then let them play on the right hand side and we’ll play on the left.
These tools give another perspective on our keywords. A more financially biased view. It’s probably true that if people are in buying mode they tend to use the PPC ads and if they’re in research mode, they’ll often use the organic results. But whereas the PPC ads people tend to need deep pockets to get started (the tools help with this of course), the organic people only need effort and patience – and a bit of assistance from tools like PPC Bully.
If you’re competing in the organic listings then you don’t need to pay the $1500 price tag of PPC Bully either. A tool that will do admirably is Brad Callen’s PPC Web Spy. A really powerful tool at an incredibly low price (check out the web page for the latest price).
If you’re not a firefox fan then you’re going to have to lump it I’m afraid because this is a firefox add-in but boy, is it good.
Imagine doing your regular Google search and having a button below each PPC ad showing you their campaign. Ok, that would be good. But this tool gives you a lot of information about their keywords and their spend, the clicks per day and so on – powerful stuff indeed.
By all means use it to compete in the PPC arena. Or, consider using it as another tool in helping your written content get free traffic.
Be patient, track and bask in the knowledge that you don’t need to worry if your campaign is making a loss – it can’t. It may not be the aggressive approach but it lets anyone compete with the guys with the expensive tools.
Google has always had Beta projects and this week, Google opened another one to the public.
Known as knol – which they say stands for ‘a unit of knowledge’ – a neat concept. Superficially, knol would look much like a squidoo lens or a hub page. Google’s blog states ‘A knol on a particular topic is meant to be the first thing someone who searches for this topic for the first time will want to read’ – which sounds ominously like a knol ought to be at the top of the organic SERPs.
They go on to say that knols can contain ads from which the author will receive a substantial share! They won’t be moderated, only ranked so there is no censoring and marketers will flock to get their affiliate links in this new format.
It certainly seems like it would be worth trying to get in early and write some definitive knols about your pet subjects.
Perhaps this is why squidoo lens fell from favour!
Here is an example knol from the big G – they have a more serious and business-like feel to them than lenses.
While there will no doubt be plenty of rubbish appearing, community tools like ranking will help to make sure the genuinely good ones get to the top.
So go forth and nab your knols.
You can find the service at http://knol.google.com
If you’ve tried Google Adwords then you may have come across the frustration of having one or more of your keywords getting a poor quality score. All Google will tell you is that your landing page should be related to your keywords and your advert.
Well there is a way to make sure that your landing page matches your keywords in Google’s eyes – use the keywords Google thinks are right for your landing page!
After all, if they suggest the keywords for your landing page, they can hardly give those a low quality score, can they? This works really well. Of course the keywords might not include the ones you wanted. So instead of trying to add the keyword you want, try editing the landing page so that Google suggests that keyword. Bingo!
This is not a great secret but a lot of people haven’t been made aware of this really simple and cool way to keep your Adwords campaigns in great shape.
Having used the excellent free service for generating sitemaps (xml-sitemaps.com) I decided to but their full product today for just $20.
I am used to installing scripts but their documentation looked pretty good even if you’re not so experienced.
The bought version has several advantages over the free one notably no restriction on sitemap size and the ability to have your sitemaps updated automatically. It even has the facility to ping Google when your sitemap is updated, though if you genuinely do update your site frequently then I would not use this option – I think it’s always better to let Google decide when to crawl.
The license gives me unlimited use on my own personal sites too so all in all I’m very pleased and give this a thumbs up.
By the way – as with any script, do follow the security steps. Failure to do so could leave a security hole for your site.