Tag Archives: Websites

Best WordPress Themes For Writers Feature List Continued

We’ve been looking at what kinds of features and functionality professional freelance writers should look for in a WordPress theme. At first, it can be hard to quantify exactly what a writer needs in a WordPress theme because they sort of all start to blend together and you forget what it was that compelled you to download one theme over another in the first place. Then, as you start to try and actually implement the themes it starts to get clearer. Whenever there is something that a writer can’t do easily with that WordPress writers theme, then you know what features are important.

One feature that is vitally important for any writer looking to make money writing online, is the ability to automatically provide links to other writings. For example, a freelancer writing a WordPress blog about local events as a way to drum up interest from local business, for example, would want that site to link to their freelance writing business website automatically. In this case, adding the homepage of that website to the blogroll or other link list would suffice, but what about really powerful link building?

While many SEO experts offer the misguided advice to be stingy with your links, one should never pass up the opportunity to link for their own benefit. For example, if there was a particular post on your blog that seemed to be attracting a lot of attention and traffic, using that page to link to other pages in your blog will boost that posts as well. This way you don’t end up with a huge website that has only two pages that have a high enough search engine ranking to ever draw any website traffic.

To really take advantage, however, you would also want to link your high PageRank pages and posts from many other places as well. That site about parenting skills could link to articles on your writing site about how to write high school essays that get good grades. Likewise, the writing site could link to an article about parenting tips for dads showing how important good writing skills are.

Doing this within individual posts is useful and essential for long-term search engine optimization power. However, linking to several of the best posts a writer has from all over requires putting those links in the template or widget part of a WordPress theme.

That is why the best WordPress themes for writers must include either a footer that can be used partially for links, or well-configured sidebars that can be filled with widgets full of links. Unfortunately, it seems that too many themes are either designed for AdSense, or designed for those who never want to earn money by writing. Smart writers want themes that are somewhere in between.

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Google Certified Ad Networks Who Are They?

google-certified-ad-networks-questions-graphicGoogle has allowed certain third-party advertising networks called, very benevolently, “Google Certified Ad Networks” to the Google AdSense program. The official party line is that these additional online advertising networks will provide publishers with higher income allowing them to earn more passive income online from the content they publish on websites. The skeptical party line is that nobody sells ads better, or in greater volume, than Google AdWords, and that the 3rd party ad networks have to earn their money by taking a cut of revenue as well, therefore, these new ad networks will only drive down the amount of money webmasters can earn with AdSense advertising on websites.

Who is right?

Unfortunately, that is a pretty tricky question to answer.

Early on in the launch of the third-party ad networks, many webmaster claimed that they saw their revenues and earnings in the form of cost per click or CPC decline. They further claimed that after disabling all of the third-party ad networks that their ad revenue increased back to “normal” levels. That might have been all she wrote, except for at that point one of many unofficial Google spokesmen turned up on that forum and said that the 3rd party networks were being rolled out very slowly and therefore, whatever those guys were seeing was not the result of lower payments from third-party ads. He went on to say that it would be a “mistake” to follow the disabling course of others. Curiously, no other information has been forthcoming sense.

It is difficult to no how much value to give to various forum posts since users are notorious for inflating their importance and income. Reading many user’s posts leaves one with the considered opinion that the author has never published anything other than a handful of token websites in their life, let alone have any sort of ability to provide a valid analysis.

Testing Google Certified Ad Networks Impact On Earnings

Unfortunately, truly testing the impact of Google certified ad networks would require either directly violating Google’s confidentially terms and conditions or violating the rule against having more than one AdSense account. Since AdSense publishers can only enable or disable third-party certified ad networks on a whole account basis, there is no way to turn them off for one set of sites and leave them on for another and then compare the results. To publicly compare results would violate rules against disclosing cost per click and eCPM metrics.

Thus, Google leaves us with no way of knowing whether or not the new 3rd party certified ad networks are good for us publishers or not. Are the Google Certified Ad Networks hurting earnings, or are the new 3rd party ad networks helping earnings? I guess we’ll just have to go ask Mr. Owl.

Who Are Google Certified Ad Networks

The only thing we can see is who the certified third-party ad networks are. If you were expecting to see the names of numerous advertising powerhouses or other well-respected online vendors, you have a surprise coming. Most of the certified ad networks list reads like that starting lineup for the Cleveland Indians at the start of the movie Major League, “I’ve never heard of most of these guys.”

As always, successful AdSense publishing requires diligence on the part of the publisher and webmasters. Monitor your sites and check in periodically to see what ads are showing up. Find out whose ad is on your webpage and add those served by undeserving advertisers to your competitive ad filter where both Google and 3rd party ads will be blocked.

Determining which, if any of the third-party ad networks to block will be much more difficult. For now, monitor your AdSense income and respond to any substantial across the board drop by blocking all 3rd party ad networks immediately.

Remember, this is the holiday season, when AdSense earnings are at their highest. If you are publishing real, legitimate content and honestly building links and authority to your webpages, your AdSense income should be going up through the end of the year, not going down. So, now is the perfect time to over-react. Next year, you can re-evaluate if necessary. And, the good news is that you will have a baseline of data from your “blocked” period to use as a starting point in evaluating whether or not to continue allowing the Google Certified Ad Networks back onto your websites.

List of Google Certified Ad Networks

Here is a list of third-party ad networks as of 11/28/09:

Invite Media
Specific Media
OwnerIQ, Inc.
Adconion Media Group
AudienceScience Inc.
Dapper Inc.
Dedicated Media
NetSeer Inc.
QuinStreet, Inc.
Teracent Corporation
ValueClick, Inc.
Aggregate Knowledge
Collective Media
CPM Advisors, Inc
Efficient Frontier, Inc.
Quantcast Corporation
Rocket Fuel Inc.
Semantic Sugar, Inc.
Traffic Marketplace
Goodway Group
Ad Marketplace
Epic Advertising
Reply! Inc.
Criteo Europe
Criteo UK

If you have any data to share, or experiences to report, regarding 3rd-party ads on your website, please don’t hesitate to comment or email.

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How To Delete SubDomain Permanent Redirect 301 .htaccess file

The HubPages experiment continues to be a success, though I haven’t seen any of the incoming links show up in Google WebMaster Tools yet. I’m sure that with the size and volume of HubPages, that it can take a while for the Google Spider to make its way around to indexing everything. The best thing to do is to point some more links at each Hub in order to get the indexing to happen faster. As an added bonus, that should also eventually drive more traffic and PageRank to those Hubs.

One of the reasons I like publishing writing on the HubPages is that it gives me a place to post some of my writings that are useful, informative, or otherwise quality writings, but that otherwise have no real home.

For example, yesterday I published a Hub about redirecting traffic via the .htaccess file on your webhosting account using something known as a 301 Redirect. A 301 Redirect tells both visitors and the search engine robots that the content has been permanently moved to a new location.

There are htaccess tutorials and example code all over the Internet. Unfortunately, most of them are specifically about how to move either a whole domain, or how to move a single page or directory. There isn’t too much out there about how to delete a subdomain with 301 redirect.

When I wanted to change from blog.financegourmet.com to www.financegourmet.com/blog/ that is exactly what I was looking to do. It turns out that it isn’t as simple as just getting the right htaccess code. There are a couple of other little tricks and gotchas you need to get right as well in order to make everything go smoothly.

When I finally got it right, I wrote up an article to help other writers with using .htaccess files to remove a subdomain. The only catch is that it doesn’t really fit in my usual publishing locations, so I wrote it up as a Hub and published it on HubPages. It is linked up above to get maximum SEO benefit, so go check it out. Then, do me a favor and add it to your delicious bookmarks, and any other social networking sites you use.

Technorati Tags: ,,,301 Redirect,Permanent Redirect,Preserving PageRank

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HubPages HubRank Minimum to Avoid NoFollowed Links

I’ve started up a bit of an experiment regarding the all comers content publishing site called HubPages.

Recently, there was a bit of a hub bub (Hah!) when a well known Internet marketing website personality suggested that writing 30 Hubs in 30 Days could lead to improved search engine rankings for a website.

At the time, I was too busy to look into it, and frankly, I’m not really the type to jump in and do something because everyone else is doing it. However, at the conclusion of the experiment, not only were they able to get their search engine rankings to improve, but they were also actually making money off of the published Hubs.

I put it in the back of mind as something to check into at a later date. That later date, is now.

HubPage Nofollow Rules

There is a catch. As some sort of method to weed out spammers and other unsavory publishers, HubPages automatically nofollows the links of all Hubs from starting authors, or Hub Builders. My HubPages NoFollow Guide is a good place to get the juicy details.

Each Hubber, as HubPages authors are called, is given a HubRank. Your HubRank is essentially an automated ranking of you as an author. Everyone starts out low. (I don’t remember the exact number, I’ll have to look it up.) By publishing Hubs, and by “participating” on HubPages your score rises. Until your score reaches at least 75, all of your outbound links, like those being bragged about during the 30 hubs in 30 days posts, are nofollowed.

Each individual Hub is also ranked. This individual Hub rank is called a HubScore. Rankings seem to start at 50 and then work their way higher based on things like how much traffic they get, how many people vote them up, and so on. So long as the HubSocre is above 40, the links will not be nofollowed and the power of writing for HubPages is now within your hands.

According to my profile, I joined 5 weeks ago, but I only wrote my first hub 4 days ago. So far, I have published 5 Hubs and commented on a dozen or so posts. My HubRank has risen to 71, so I’m 4 away from the promised land of 75 and all of my links having their nofollow tags removed.

HubPage AdSense Challenge

While reading various hubs, I came across one where the author noted how many highly ranked (several #1 results) pages he had in Google search results and yet how little money he made from his AdSense ads.

It didn’t take long to see a couple of common misconceptions in how online advertising programs like Google AdSense work. I wrote up a Hub (nach) describing the misunderstandings many people have about working with AdSense, and as challenged by the original Hub poster, I also laid out step by step instructions for how to make some AdSense income based on his hubs.

Basically, it is finding a better paying keyword with low competition and the leveraging those high ranking website’s authority to drive higher and better paying traffic to a new Hub with a better keyword. Hopefully it works for him and help make money with AdSense.

Drop by and check out my profile: Hub Llama

If you have a HubPages account, do me a favor and add me as a favorite so it doesn’t say no one has added Hub Llama as a favorite on every page. I don’t need to be favorited by thousands, but the “no one” think isn’t very fun 🙂

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