Category Archives: Earn Money Online

How To Get More Traffic On Your Website

The HubPages experiment continues. Check out some of my best Hubpages Hubs here.

I hate to say it, but I’ve been sucked in by the whole HubPages concept. For those of you who are not familiar with HubPages, it is an article directory that allows anyone to author webpages using a web-based template. It’s closest competitor is Squidoo, although I find Squidoo a chore, and HubPages a little too much fun.

What makes HubPages so addicting for a professional writer is that the interface is remarkably simple to use and the output generated in the form of a published “Hub” or webpage is attractive and compelling. Additionally, I have yet to have the interface crash on me and cause me to lose any work, which means that I feel comfortable typing directly into the web forms instead of being compelled to type into a text editor like Notepad++ or Word and the copy and paste the results. This makes writing Hubs much faster than on less “trustworthy” platforms.

Still, to reach the full potential of HubPages, one needs to generate more traffic on their webpages or Hubs. There are two ways to go about this within the context of the HubPages system.

The first method to attract more Internet traffic to your website hubs is to get a higher HubRank or Author Score on hubpages. This provides two main benefits. One benefit is that once a writer has a HubRanking over 75, their backlinks have the HubPages nofollow tag removed which means that the links from HubPages actually pass their “link juice” on to the site they link to.

The other important benefit is that HubPages displays “other” articles or hubs to its visitors whether they are Hubbers (hub authors) or just regular internet users directed to HubPages via a search engine. Needless to say, appearing more often in these lists of articles increases the odds of people clicking on your links and visiting your own hubs. Ideally, that visit leads them to read more of your stuff, and eventually bookmark, share, or become a fan of your websites.

Today, when I logged on to HubPages I had an author score of 93. Since one component of any HubRank is “random,” according to HubPages documentation, there is no way of knowing how much of that score is “real” versus how much might be a pumped up random number. However, a 93 is pretty good either way.

Unfortunately, there are many Hubbers with scores of 98,99, and yes even the top score of 100.

How To Get HubRank 100

Getting all the way to a HubRank of 100 takes full participation in the HubPages community. Fortunately, that is pretty easy to achieve, even if you only want to “fake it.”

Commenting on other Hubs, making a few posts in the Forums, and publishing a new hub every now and then is sufficient to qualify as “full participation.” The only thing left to do is have enough traffic, fans, or commenters to get the rest of the algorithm up to the top.

Assuming one is writing quality content for publishing hubs, and that one is not interested in pandering to the lowest common denominator by writing dozens of hubs about hot actresses or pretending to be a hot housewife writing about her underwear, then the only two possibilities for driving increased traffic to the webpages for the sake of increasing the author score are a) building more links to hubs, or b) writing more hubs.

Since the point of my experiment with HubPages is to generate links OUT to my stuff, taking the effort to do anything more than the most basic backlinking to Hubs seems counter-intuitive. Therefore, the solution for most writers looking to earn money writing online is to produce more hubs.

Like I said, generating new hubs can be a quick process for an experienced writer. Assuming that a topic is in mind and the author is already a sufficient subject expert to write on the subject, it is entirely possible to write quality Hubs in 20 minutes or less.

In the past I have attempted to writer 30 Hubs in 30 Hours. However, this schedule leaves no room for error. Since I am unwilling to take any precious time off in order to ensure success, I looked for a new idea that would fulfil the objective of publishing a lot of hubs fast but have some more flexibility.

The result?

The Turbo Lightning HubChallenge!

Publishing 100 Hubs in 10 Days. The additional hubs will generate their own traffic and as a bonus compliment the traffic already being driven to my websites via HubPages.

To go all out, I have decided to sell-out this time, as well. I’ll be writing hubs on the most common “high traffic” or “high search volume” topics. After all, it isn’t like I’m building a whole website to compete for a single high CPC keyword with massive competition. If it turns out that the Hub works at drawing traffic, I’ll have an insiders look at what works for that search term.

If not, the hubs will still draw the eyeballs of visitors already floating around the HubPages community who happen to see a Hub about the best new free techniques for whitening teeth, looking younger, losing weight, and getting government grants for plastic surgery for hot housewives. (Oh, yeah. Now THAT is keyword stuffing!)

Will it work?

Find out. Grab the Make Money Writing Online Feed so you don’t miss a thing.

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How To Know If Google Certified Ad Networks Ads Are Appearing On Your Website

blocked-ad-google-certified-ad-network-3rd-party-graphic Not long ago, Google introduced the concept of certified third-party ad networks to the AdSense program. These advertisers are approved by Google and then permitted to display their ads on websites within the Google advertising network. AdSense publishers were understandably concerned that these certified networks might not generate as good of ads or as high of click through rate as the Google Ad Network.

On one forum, many webmasters were discussing blocking all Google Certified Ad Networks from running ads on their websites. Some publishers went so far as to say that they had seen their AdSense revenue drop after the third-party ads were first allowed. Some of these same website owners and blog publishers claimed that after blocking the certified ad networks that their AdSense revenue increased back to previous levels.

At this point, one of Google’s unofficial spokesman appeared on the forum and said that whatever they were seeing, it wasn’t likely related to the third-party ads because Google was rolling them out "very slowly" and that it was likely that no certified ad network advertisers were displaying any ad results on their websites yet.

Since Google AdSense is one of the easiest ways to earn money writing online, this is a very important issue for those of use who write our own websites to generate ongoing passive income for the long-term.

Is It Google or Is It Google Certified Ad Network Advertising?

Finding out who the owner of an AdSense ad is, is never easy. It takes a bunch of finesse and a little determination to figure it out. This is because clicking on your own ads to see where they go is a violation of Google AdSense Terms and Conditions, and it is one they take very seriously. Getting banned from AdSense for life is a common penalty for clicking your own ads.

However, there is a way to tell if some ads are third-party ads instead of official Google ads using Firefox and the NoScript Plug-in.

Set the No-Script Plug-in to allow all Google and Doubleclick domains to run Javascript on your website. If you use an ad blocking plug-in like AdBlock Plus you’ll have to allow them in its settings too. Do not allow any of the third-party domains.

Now, whenever you load your own site, whether to check on things or update content, if you see an ad, then it is a Google AdWords advertising network ad. If you see a blocked symbol instead, then you know it is a third party ad. It is a crude but effective way to determine whose AdSense ad it is.

google-certified-ad-network-displayed-graphicLooks like I got an ad from 2mdn.net… 

Hover your mouse of the stylized-f with a circle and the tool tip that appears will say where that blocked Javascript or blocked ad is from. Then, you have concrete proof that Google Certified Ad Networks are displaying ads on your websites. If your AdSense earnings have fallen at that point, you can reasonably suspect that your website is not benefitting from the additional advertiser competition that Google has been touting as the primary benefit for allowing third-party ads on your website.

Get thee to your Google AdSense manager and block those ads. Whether you block all of the third-party ad networks or just the ones that seem to be appearing and lowering your AdSense earnings is a judgment call.

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Technorati Tags: ,Google Certified Ad Networks,

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Hot Girls and Sexy Pictures Do Better On HubPages

hubpages-profile-picture Am I just that jaded, or am I just that observant?

Recently, I have been experimenting with writing Hubs at HubPages. For those of you who are not familiar with HubPages, it is basically one of those sites where you can write whatever you want and publish it on their website for free. Of course, they don’t pay you either, but that is the price you pay for unmoderated access to their huge, and subsequently, semi-high ranking domain. (Technically, your Hub could be flagged and then taken down if it was truly terrible, but pretty much anything resembling a partial effort at writing something useful or entertaining passes muster.)

Anyway, one of the important things to know is that your links are nofollowed by HubPages unless your writer’s score, or HubRank is above 75. It is actually pretty easy, it seems, to get your score above 75 as long as you write six or seven half-way decent hubs and participate a little bit in the "HubPages community." That is a fancy way of saying you should leave a comment or two on some Hubs every now and then so that you are "active."

This also has the side effect of putting a link to your profile on someone else’s Hubs by way of your comment. Obviously, maximizing the value of this link requires commenting on popular Hubs early so that your comment is near the top where it has a chance of being read, and that the Hub itself is read by enough people so that if a small percentage of them click, that adds up to something worthwhile in the way of visitors to your HubPages profile page.

HubPages, perhaps unintentionally, helps you in this endeavor by showing you some of the top ranking people who publish Hubs, called Hubbers. These people are shown across the screen from time to time as featured authors. Some of them are very prolific and some of them write very good stuff, unfortunately, the two do not always coincide. Being a featured author is at least partially a function of your PageRank which is a function of how much you publish, how much traffic those Hubs get, as well as how many people comment on them, and how man "fans" you have.

I’ve noticed that a higher than expected proportion of highly ranked authors are very attractive women, or at least their profile pictures are sexy pictures of hot girls. I cannot say whether or not those pictures are accurate representations of those writers. However, I can say, that I know men, and in particular, the kind of men who would write for a free publication website are prone to clicking on those links and articles which appear to have something to do with attractive women.

To that end, I popped up on a free stock photography site and found an alluring picture of an attractive woman and change my characteristic blue llama graphic in the profile to the picture of the pretty girl. The stats at HubPages are not real-time and I’m not completely sure how much of delay there is in reporting the number of visitors to your Hubs. Regardless, I expect my traffic to increase in the next day or two. How much it increases will determine whether I’m just a jaded author wondering what makes some people get more hits, or whether only a fool uses something other than a pretty woman for their profile picture.

Any guesses?

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Search Engine Rankings Link Building Myths

myth-graphic There is a lot of misinformation out there about search engine rankings and how they are determined. Most SEO advice is based on a paper published by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were students at Stanford, and the subsequent patent application made regarding the same. The catch is that the algorithm contained in those documents is over a decade old. Google has updated their search ranking algorithm thousands of times since then.

While the methodology published in the original Google patent application and other documents no doubt remains the basis of Google’s search rankings, there can be no question that the simplified version often given as the basis for SEO activities is very out of date.

What Is PageRank?

Essentially, the basics of this original search ranking methodology involved a site passing "link juice" to each page it links to. The power of that link juice is determined by the original page’s authority, as measured by its PageRank, which is in turn derived based upon how many pages and of what authority link to original page. This outgoing link juice is then divided evenly over all outgoing links. All of this results in a numerical value, or other ranking, which then leads directly to the results listed for any given search, and the order of the search result rankings for that search.

At first, it sounds complicated, but just a moment or two of study brings into clarity the fact that this particular algorithm is pretty simple, especially for a computer.

In fact, the original Google algorithm displayed here would be both very easy to copy, and very easy to abuse. As Microsoft’s repeated efforts at crafting a search engine have shown, it is actually not easy to duplicate Google’s quality of search results. After failing with both MSN Search, and Live Search, Microsoft finally launched a new search engine called Bing. Microsoft’s Bing strategy has been not to duplicate Google’s level of quality in search results, but rather to shake up the user interface so as to increase the likelihood that a user will perform a search which is more easily interpreted.

When it comes to the various methods of abusing the Google search engine, as most often referenced as "black-hat SEO", Google has entire teams of people working to thwart their efforts. Matt Cutts is one of Google’s most public engineers thanks to his long running blog. He is also the head of the so-called Webspam Team, whose job it is to prevent junk webpages from clogging up the company’s search engines. As a full-time engineer who heads up a "team" of people, one can only assume that the efforts that take place in this arena are substantial. Each action they take has the potential to render numerous forms of "white-hat SEO" techniques worthless, or at least worth much less that they once were.

PageRank Reality Check and SEO Myths

One recent example was Matt’s blog post in which he made a few very important points.

First, that Google has drastically changed how it interpreted the only recently launched nofollow tag after another Google team, the Search Quality team, determined that webmasters were setting nofollow tags on links to valuable webpages in order to "channel" the link juice to certain, most likely more valuable, webpages. This practice, known as link sculpting, was actively recommended by virtually all SEO experts and Search Engine Optimization consultants right up the very minute the post debunking it as an effective technique was published.

Second, Matt commented that it was necessary for him to publicly and blatantly announce the change in treatment for the nofollow link tag because the people who research and test such things had NOT NOTICED. Not only that, but with a throw away statement a few sentences earlier, he noted that they had also not noticed other bigger changes made by Google to its search engine ranking system.

Third, before getting into the specifics of this particular announcement, Mr. Cutts re-iterated the basic version of the search algorithm used all over the Internet as outlined above. Then, he said that in 2000 when he joined the company that Google was doing "more sophisticated link computation" than was shown by the original PageRank papers that everyone quotes. In other words, this is NOT the way the Google search algorithm works anymore.

Modern Search Engine Optimization

The reason that SEOs and other Internet Gurus continue to espouse the old version of authority and PageRank is that it appears to still work. That is, if you look at a small enough subset of pages and you compare them to a similarly small subset of pages based upon another small set of factors, then yes, the old model explains things nicely.

However, like the Newtonian Model of physics, there are a great many things that cannot be explained by the long standing theory. I have personally seen webpages with a PageRank of 4 with no incoming links except for the Blogroll links of 3 or 4 websites that have nothing but a PageRank 2 landing page and the rest PageRank 0 pages.

It doesn’t take long messing around with any of the SEO toolbars out there to notice that a PageRank 3 site will outrank a PageRank 5 site even if both have all of the standard "onsite SEO" things setup right and the PageRank 5 webpage has more incoming links.

So, what does this all mean?

If you want to go out and build a bunch of quick throw together websites and then use SEO techniques to try and push them up high in the search results and watch the money start rolling in, your only hope is to go with the tried and true, Link Juice + PageRank + Backlinks model and hope for the best. Just don’t be surprised when it doesn’t seem to work for you as well as it does for "everyone else."

If, on the other hand, you want to earn money by writing online, then start building websites about topics you enjoy writing about. Write plenty of content and THEN see if there is any traction there to make money with ads or by selling things online. If so, then give yourself a high-five and keep writing, especially on those high paying topics and their keywords.

If it turns out that this particular passion does not have any future as a money making enterprise, then keep writing about it for fun. You never know if or when what you are writing becomes a hotter topic or just finds an audience.

But, and this is the important part that so many writers who fail to make money by writing websites forget, you also have to move on and create a new website. Fill that one up with quality content and see how that works out. Yes, things like keyword research can help give you an educated guess at what will and will not pay off, but in the end, there are just too many variables to know for sure. So, keep writing, and watch for your opportunities to arise. When they do, hit ’em and hit ’em hard.

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