Category Archives: Earn Money Online

Google Panda Update 1 and 2 Shaking Out

Google pushed out a set of updates to its search ranking algorithm in the first couple months of the year. These changes affected websites and webmasters in waves, with the first update hitting one set of the so-called content mills, and the second wave hitting those who got missed the first time around. After much consternation, things are settling down with some websites and networks scrabbling to control damage, and with everyone else trying to figure out the new SERP rules.

panda-update-googleGoogle mentioned that only a small percentage of rankings were affected with each update. That’s small comfort to those website owners that go hammered. On the other hand, many web developers found themselves only minimally affected. The key questions moving forward, is what to do to help your websites rank higher and what to not do to keep from hurting your website’s search rankings.

Google Search Results Quality

Everyone always says that content is king and that quality is the way to a top Google search ranking, but everyone knows that isn’t really true. The "if you build it, they will link" theory of search engine rankings is based upon the na├»ve assumption that everyone who publishes webpages and online content link based solely on how much they value the pages and information that they are linking to. That may have been true a decade ago, but it hasn’t been true in years.

These days, website owners routinely link based upon self-interest. Content mills, for example, add the nofollow tag to any link pointing offsite. One example, eHow.com, has links to "references" at the bottom of every article it publishes. It is these references that, supposedly, validate the information provided and prove that the data within is quality information. However, every one of those links is nofollowed. If the content being linked is useful enough to be the validating reference, how can it possibly be unworthy of a full follow link?

The answer, of course, is that no one in the world uses the nofollow tag the way it is intended. Rather, websites and SEO experts use the no follow tag to enhance the links that they want to power up for their own benefit and to downgrade all other links regardless of value.

The other reason that Google search results are broken is that they over-emphasize the title tag, ranking websites of lower quality higher than better quality websites because the lower quality site matches the wording entered into the query box slightly better than the better quality article.

Content Mills Punished

It seems that neither Google, nor any of the search experts out there, seem to think that Google has changed its link counting ways or its text pattern matching algorithm. Instead, the focus is on the concept that there is a "penalty" for low-quality content that extends to the entire website.

The idea is that if there are 200 low-quality pages (that is, low-ranking pages) and 100 higher-quality (higher-ranking) pages, then the 100 good pages are dragged down by a penalty from the low pages. That is why content mills (and other websites) are now frantically pulling their "junk" content down in hopes that their rankings will improve for their better quality content. Demand Studios, publisher of eHow, for example, is decommissioning all of their unmoderated user-generated content in hopes that their better, editor approved, content will regain some of its luster in Google’s eyes.

Of course, this may all be moot as recent actions by various flower selling websites demonstrated recently. It seems that all of the major online florists were buying links in the run up to Mother’s Day to ensure that they would rank high (or not lose their high rankings) for the big flower buying holiday.

Google’s response was essentially that it is fine to break the Google Webmaster Guidelines as long as it doesn’t affect the final rankings. The stupidity of this concept is staggering considering there is no way for Google, or anyone else, to know whether or not the forbidden link buying campaigns affect EVERY search made. The link buying may not have affected the rankings for "Mother’s Day flowers" but could have made a big difference for "mothers day flower specials cleveland".

If you want to make money writing online, you can naively write quality content and hope for the best, or you can write quality content and then get out there an build some links. You’ll never outspend 1-800 flowers on a link-buying campaign for Valentine’s Day, but your top-notch article on how to pick good roses at the flower store might just make it into the Top 10 Google search results if you build out some links, and then hope for the best.

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Google Analytics to Protect AdSense Earnings

Like most writers engaging in the enterprise of writing to make money online, I use Google Analytics as one of the ways to track how much traffic comes to my various websites and articles, and just as importantly, where they come from. Like most things Google, Analytics is a free utility offered to any webmaster with a Google account and it runs relatively fast based on a small snippet of JavaScript code that you load onto your webpage. If you use WordPress, there are dozens of Google Analytics plugins for WordPress that you can use.

In addition to tracking visitors to your website and showing you how they get there and what they do once they arrive, there may be another undocumented benefit to using Analytics on your websites.

It seems that some members of various Internet Marketing forums recommend that you install Google Analytics on your legitimate websites using AdSense as a way to protect your AdSense earnings. Google, of course, only offers Analytics for “free” because they get something back out of it. Not only do you get all of those stats and data, but so does Google thanks to the tracking script webmasters so willingly place on every webpage on their websites. That same data can be used to exonerate you in the event that your AdSense clicks look fishy.

Google Analytics Proof of Legitimate AdSense Earnings?

Assume for a moment that Google’s AdWords program (the advertiser side of the AdSense program) suspects your website of something shifty in regards to AdSense. Without Analytics installed, the only thing Google AdWords can rely on is the data that comes in with AdWords (which is not insubstantial). However, if there might be another explanation, Google could also check the data it receives from Analytics as a way to either corroborate reports of nefarious conduct, or, in the case of good writers trying to make money writing online, as a way to exonerate your efforts as a AdSense Publisher.

There is no proof that Google does or does not use Analytics for this purpose, but since you need to do something to track your visitors and your progress building traffic and passive writing income, you may as well install Analytics anyway.

Of course, if you’re a scumbag, you might want to uninstall Google Analytics right away.

 

 

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Biggest AdSense Mistakes Costly Myths

adsense-myths-costly-mistakes These days it seems like everyone is an expert on Google AdSense. Unfortunately, that is not entirely true. Worse, much of the expert advice out there is based on old information or ideas that were never true in the first place. Either way, following bad AdSense advice can cost you a lot of money.

Here are the top AdSense myths mistakenly followed by publishers and writers.

The Highest Placed Ad Is The Highest Paying Ad

Not anymore. Once upon a time, this was true, but Google changed up the AdWords program a long time ago by adding an Ad Quality Score. Now, the amount of the advertiser bid multiplied by the ad’s quality score is used to determine where the ad is placed on websites and blogs. In other words, an advertiser with a “high quality” ad may get the top ad spot on your website even if their bid is significantly lower than the bid of another advertiser with a “low quality” ad.

The bad news is that you no longer no for sure which ad is the lowest paying on your webpage. The good news is that better ads convert more and with higher positioning are more likely to be clicked. That means that you won’t get smart-priced because a garbage ad keeps getting all the clicks on your website because they pay more.

Google Smart Prices AdSense If No One Clicks On Your Ads

This was never true. Someone misunderstood the concept and drew the wrong conclusions, and then everyone started repeating what they said until every assumed it must be true.

Smart pricing occurs when the clicks on ads from your webpages convert as a lower rate than clicks on those ads do from most other pages. In other words, if your website is sending garbage clicks to advertisers, your CPC will be lowered by smart pricing. However, if your website never sends any traffic because no one ever clicks on your ads, you will not be smart-priced.

All Image Ads Are CPM Ads That Pay Per Impression and Not Per Click Like Text Ads

I don’t know if this was ever true, but I know it is not true today. When an advertiser sets up their ad they choose whether they want it to be CPC or CPM. This choice comes after they choose whether or not to create a text ad or an image ad. In other words, an advertiser can create an image ad that pays per click just like they can create an image ad that pays per impression.

Unfortunately, there is no way to allow only image ads that pay per click. If you allow image ads, then some of those ads will be CPM ads and some of them will be CPC ads with no control from you over them.

Reliable AdSense Information Will Increase Your Earnings

Be sure that the information you are getting about AdSense is reliable. Attempt to verify any program information directly with Google before acting on it. Don’t forget to read through the AdWords information as well because not everything is in the AdSense section. (For example, there is no mention of Smart Pricing anywhere in the AdSense information on Google’s website. Smart Pricing is only mentioned in the AdWords sections.)

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Secret Formula For Google AdSense Money Making Websites

money There is a lot of information out there about how to make money with Google AdSense. Most of it boils down to some version of:

  1. Research Keywords
  2. Write Keyword Optimized Posts or Pages
  3. Build Backlinks to Optimized Articles
  4. Move Up in Search Engine Rankings
  5. Profit

If this sounds about right to you, I have some bad news for you. There is a very good chance that even if you fully succeed at the money making method listed above, you may never earn more money from AdSense than a few pennies.

If earning money from Google AdSense ads can’t be done by following the methodology above, then why do so many people repeat it?

First, off, congratulations on asking the right question. Secondly, the answer to that question is actually in the question itself. So many people repeat what they have “learned” about search engine optimization, or SEO, and making money with AdSense that it has become accepted conventional wisdom, even if it is not entirely true. If you are serious about making money writing online, it is imperative to be able to distinguish knowledge that has been used and verified first-hand, and the so-called knowledge that has been copied from sources second-hand.

The good news is that the formula for making money with Google AdSense above is not false, so much as it is incomplete. The most important step for earning money with AdSense has been left out of the formula, unintentionally, by hundreds of writers and webmasters trying to make a name for themselves as money making bloggers by reading information and then passing it on. There is nothing wrong with doing this. I do it everyday as a professional freelance writer by creating content and articles for publication based upon research that has been given to me, or data that I have researched myself. The catch is, that in order to be useful, the research that writing is based on must be both accurate, and complete. (You can read my freelance writing blog for more information and freelance writing tips.)

What Is Missing From Google AdSense Formula for Earning Money?

The key to making money with AdSense is getting clicks on the ads that are placed on the website or the advertisements displayed on the webpage that you have build with perfect keyword optimization. Most AdSense manuals of instruction provide the insider information for making money using Google AdSense by saying that you can expect a one percent (1%) click through rate on the Google ads displayed on your high-ranking webpage. However, while that number may be inline with most reported click-through-rates or CTR studies, that number is an average CTR rate, not a standard CTR rate.

The reality of Google AdSense is that some keywords get much higher click through rates. The bad news, is that many keywords get much lower click through rates.

If you spend a lot of time optimizing high-quality content and then linking it to the #1 position in Google search results (sometimes called Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPs), but nobody clicks on the ads that get displayed, you won’t make any money with AdSense no matter how good you are at high-ranking, keyword optimized, content for the web.

How do you find out what searches have keywords that get clicked a lot? Unfortunately, the only true answer is trial and error.

Some webpages can literally get a 25 percent CTR or even higher because the people searching for that information are so likely to be in need of services or products provided by Google’s advertisers. Other webpages can get less than 0.01% CTR because the people looking for that particular information have no need for the products or services provided.

The best way to find high-paying keywords for profitable AdSense targeting is to research high-volume, good-paying keywords and then publish well-written, high-quality web content around those keywords. Then, build some links to those articles and webpages in order to increase web traffic by having high-ranking search results linking to your content. By checking your AdSense Reports and your Google Analytics reports, you can determine which webpages are resulting in high click through rates and cross-reference those pages with what keywords are driving traffic to those webpages. Using those keywords to create high-ranking, top-quality, keyword optimized content to drive profitable traffic to your website that will actually click on your Google AdSense placements is the key to making money writing online by using AdSense.

Next Steps Making Money With AdSense

When you are ready to get serious about earning money with AdSense, important steps cannot be skipped.

First, you will need to start a writing business so that you don’t have to give your social security number out to everyone in order to get paid. Second, you will need to get approved for Google AdSense accounts. Third, it can help to be approved for Google AdWords as well. Finally, you will need to build a profitable website. One of the easiest ways to create a quality website is by using WordPress. Don’t get bogged down in WordPress themes that are search engine optimized and flashy. They are not any better for making money with AdSense and can cost you more dollars for webhosting if they use too many resources. Instead, look for great WordPress themes for writers that can feature your content without appearing boring or amateurish.

Then, grab the Make Money Writing Online Feed to stay up to date on all of the best money making writing techniques.

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