Part 1: More Blogging Results: Know the Reason Why

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By Alice Seba

You’ve done your keyword research, you diligently wrote your blog posts and you got the traffic. Some people were even nice enough to leave you some comments.

Problem is, you log into PayPal and you still see this:

Not much to write home about. What’s gone wrong? :(

Here’s the thing, you not only need to know what you’re going to do, but WHY you’re doing it. And until you know the WHY of each and everything you do, you arenít going to get the results you hoped for.

See, it’s not enough to say, I want to make $100,000.

And if you’re a typically modest 30DCer, it’s not even enough to say I want to make $1, or I want to make $100.

You’ve got to break it down and start looking at each blog post you create and figure out their purpose. And I’m not necessarily talking about the purpose the post serves for your readers, but how the post will serve your BUSINESS.

Because without purpose, you’ve got nothing. Sure some posts will be just for fun or just because you felt like it, but if you’re looking to get results from your blog the majority of them need to be strategically planned.

Blog posts can serve a number of purposes and let’s look at some of them, breaking them up into traffic purposes and conversion purposes.

Traffic Purposes for Your Blog Posts

We all want traffic to our blog. Without traffic, we have nothing and no opportunity to convert our readers into prospects so let’s talk traffic.

Search Engine Food: You already know this and it’s what you’ve been working on. You research keywords, make content for those keywords with the goal of good rankings for those keywords.

Word-of-Mouth: Good content gets people talking as does entertaining and controversial content. Well-crafted content can generate plenty of buzz and translate into traffic.

Establishment of Expertise: Content can improve your reputation and allow people to see you as an expert in your subject area. It’s a traffic booster because people will come to you when they need advice on a certain topic.

Reader Satisfaction: Your regular readers have certain expectations of you and to keep them coming, you’ve got to keep delivering.

Certainly traffic is important for your business, but the good news is you don’t need a ton of it to make good money. In fact, if you’re getting a decent stream of traffic to your blog right now you can start making a lot more money from the traffic you already have.

So, let’s take that traffic and talk about converting it to sales.

Conversion Purposes for Your Blog Posts

Traffic is great, but if your visitors aren’t signing up for your mailing list and buying stuff, there’s not much point is there? Here are two common conversion purposes for your blog posts.

New Subscribers: If you’re providing great information on a topic and your mailing list offers more information, make sure you tell your readers about it. Don’t let them look for information about your mailing list because the fact is, most won’t bother. Instead tell them about it directly, give them a reason to sign up and tell them how to do it.

Mention your mailing list frequently because your mailing list gives you the opportunity to:

– Contact your readers more directly
– Contact them more frequently
– Make them more product offers

Pre-Sell: Content is a great way to warm up your readers to buy a product. You can review products, talk about your experience with the product and even other people’s experiences with the product. You can talk about the problems your readers have, to which the solution is the product.

If you prefer to stay content-focused on your blog, do so but you can still make recommendations that make sense and that fit the topic of your blog post.

Start by thinking about your recent posts and the purposes they served. What was the traffic purpose? What was the conversion purpose? You do that and I’ll be back soon with Part 2, when we talk about reaching your conversion goals.

About the Author: Alice Seba is the creator of and one of the first to get Ed interested in growing organic search traffic. But what good is the traffic without the conversion? Click here for your free Profit with Content guide.

March 31st 2010 News

Rockin’ the SEO

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I never write content specifically to get search engine placement and it’s something I never want to do.
My blogs are for real people like you who would quickly decide that I no longer deserve their business if I were to write like an SEO optimizer instead of just being myself and writing as I do.
Seriously, […]

March 31st 2010 Search Engine Marketing, SEO

URL removal explained, Part I: URLs & directories

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Webmaster level: All

There’s a lot of content on the Internet these days. At some point, something may turn up online that you would rather not have out there—anything from an inflammatory blog post you regret publishing, to confidential data that accidentally got exposed. In most cases, deleting or restricting access to this content will cause it to naturally drop out of search results after a while. However, if you urgently need to remove unwanted content that has gotten indexed by Google and you can’t wait for it to naturally disappear, you can use our URL removal tool to expedite the removal of content from our search results as long as it meets certain criteria (which we’ll discuss below).

We’ve got a series of blog posts lined up for you explaining how to successfully remove various types of content, and common mistakes to avoid. In this first post, I’m going to cover a few basic scenarios: removing a single URL, removing an entire directory or site, and reincluding removed content. I also strongly recommend our previous post on managing what information is available about you online.

Removing a single URL

In general, in order for your removal requests to be successful, the owner of the URL(s) in question—whether that’s you, or someone else—must have indicated that it’s okay to remove that content. For an individual URL, this can be indicated in any of three ways:

Before submitting a removal request, you can check whether the URL is correctly blocked:

  • robots.txt: You can check whether the URL is correctly disallowed using either the Fetch as Googlebot or Test robots.txt features in Webmaster Tools.
  • noindex meta tag: You can use Fetch as Googlebot to make sure the meta tag appears somewhere between the <head> and </head> tags. If you want to check a page you can’t verify in Webmaster Tools, you can open the URL in a browser, go to View > Page source, and make sure you see the meta tag between the <head> and </head> tags.
  • 404 / 410 status code: You can use Fetch as Googlebot, or tools like Live HTTP Headers or to verify whether the URL is actually returning the correct code. Sometimes “deleted” pages may say “404” or “Not found” on the page, but actually return a 200 status code in the page header; so it’s good to use a proper header-checking tool to double-check.

If unwanted content has been removed from a page but the page hasn’t been blocked in any of the above ways, you will not be able to completely remove that URL from our search results. This is most common when you don’t own the site that’s hosting that content. We cover what to do in this situation in a subsequent post. in Part II of our removals series.

If a URL meets one of the above criteria, you can remove it by going to, entering the URL that you want to remove, and selecting the “Webmaster has already blocked the page” option. Note that you should enter the URL where the content was hosted, not the URL of the Google search where it’s appearing. For example, enter

This article has more details about making sure you’re entering the proper URL. Remember that if you don’t tell us the exact URL that’s troubling you, we won’t be able to remove the content you had in mind.

Removing an entire directory or site

In order for a directory or site-wide removal to be successful, the directory or site must be disallowed in the site’s robots.txt file. For example, in order to remove the directory, your robots.txt file would need to include:
   User-agent: *
   Disallow: /secret/

It isn’t enough for the root of the directory to return a 404 status code, because it’s possible for a directory to return a 404 but still serve out files underneath it. Using robots.txt to block a directory (or an entire site) ensures that all the URLs under that directory (or site) are blocked as well. You can test whether a directory has been blocked correctly using either the Fetch as Googlebot or Test robots.txt features in Webmaster Tools.

Only verified owners of a site can request removal of an entire site or directory in Webmaster Tools. To request removal of a directory or site, click on the site in question, then go to Site configuration > Crawler access > Remove URL. If you enter the root of your site as the URL you want to remove, you’ll be asked to confirm that you want to remove the entire site. If you enter a subdirectory, select the “Remove directory” option from the drop-down menu.

Reincluding content

You can cancel removal requests for any site you own at any time, including those submitted by other people. In order to do so, you must be a verified owner of this site in Webmaster Tools. Once you’ve verified ownership, you can go to Site configuration > Crawler access > Remove URL > Removed URLs (or > Made by others) and click “Cancel” next to any requests you wish to cancel.

Still have questions? Stay tuned for the rest of our series on removing content from Google’s search results. If you can’t wait, much has already been written about URL removals, and troubleshooting individual cases, in our Help Forum. If you still have questions after reading others’ experiences, feel free to ask. Note that, in most cases, it’s hard to give relevant advice about a particular removal without knowing the site or URL in question. We recommend sharing your URL by using a URL shortening service so that the URL you’re concerned about doesn’t get indexed as part of your post; some shortening services will even let you disable the shortcut later on, once your question has been resolved.

March 31st 2010 News

Will the Real Please Stand Up?

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Webmaster Level: Intermediate

In our recent post on the Google Online Security Blog, we described our system for identifying phishing pages. Of the millions of webpages that our scanners analyze for phishing, we successfully identify 9 out of 10 phishing pages. Our classification system only incorrectly flags a non-phishing site as a phishing site about 1 in 10,000 times, which is significantly better than similar systems. In our experience, these “false positive” sites are usually built to distribute spam or may be involved with other suspicious activity. If you find that your site has been added to our phishing page list (”Reported Web Forgery!”) by mistake, please report the error to us. On the other hand, if your site has been added to our malware list (”This site may harm your computer”), you should follow the instructions here. Our team tries to address all complaints within one day, and we usually respond within a few hours.

Unfortunately, sometimes when we try to follow up on your reports, we find that we are just as confused as our automated system. If you run a website, here are some simple guidelines that will allow us to quickly fix any mistakes and help keep your site off our phishing page list in the first place.

Don’t ask for usernames and passwords that do not belong to your site. We consider this behavior phishing by definition, so don’t do it! If you want to provide an add-on service to another site, consider using a public API or OAuth instead.

Avoid displaying logos that are not yours near login fields. Someone surfing the web might mistakenly believe that the logo represents your website, and they might be misled into entering personal information into your site that they intended for the other site. Furthermore, we can’t always be sure that you aren’t doing this intentionally, so we might block your site just to be safe. To prevent misunderstandings, we recommend exercising caution when displaying these logos.

Minimize the number of domains used by your site, especially for logins. Asking for a username and password for Site X looks very suspicious on Site Y. Besides making it harder for us to evaluate your website, you may be inadvertently teaching your visitors to ignore suspicious URLs, making them more vulnerable to actual phishing attempts. If you must have your login page on a different domain from your main site, consider using a transparent proxy to enable users to access this page from your primary domain. If all else fails…

Make it easy to find links to your pages. It is difficult for us (and for your users) to determine who controls an off-domain page in your site if the links to that page from your main site are hard to find. All it takes to clear this problem up is to have each off-domain page link back to an on-domain page which links to it. If you have not done this, and one of your pages ends up on our list by mistake, please mention in your error report how we can find the link from your main site to the wrongly blocked page. However, if you do nothing else…

Don’t send strange links via email or IM. It’s all but impossible for us to verify unusual links that only appeared in your emails or instant messages. Worse, using these kinds of links conditions your users/customers/friends to click on strange links they receive through email or IM, which can put them at risk for other Internet crimes besides phishing.

While we hope you consider these recommendations to be common sense, we’ve seen major e-commerce and financial companies break these guidelines from time to time. Following them will not only improve your experience with our anti-phishing systems, but will also help provide your visitors with a better online experience.

March 31st 2010 News

AdWords for mobile: check in quickly, anywhere

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Did your smartphone suddenly start blinking and buzzing like crazy? No need to worry– it’s probably just getting excited about AdWords for mobile, our new mobile interface for Android, iPhone, and Palm Pre devices.

We’ve heard that your smartphone and AdWords account have been pining for each other. Over the past few months, many of you have let us know how much you’d like to have fast and easy mobile access to AdWords, which is why we’re now testing a streamlined mobile experience. AdWords for mobile gives you easy access to your key alerts and statistics, enabling you to make quick changes even when you’re out and about.

click for full-size image

AdWords for mobile works best when you customize your experience. Before using the mobile website, you should log in from your desktop computer and choose the parts of your account that you want to monitor closely. Set up custom alerts for key account events (like when your campaign reaches 90% of your daily budget, or when your traffic drops substantially compared to the previous week), and saved filters to flag your most important keywords and campaigns. You’ll then see these filters and alerts on your AdWords for mobile home screen.

We built AdWords for mobile to help you quickly access the essentials in your account, so we’ve focused on letting you view and make basic edits to campaigns and keywords through the mobile application. If you need access to the other parts of your account, like ads or campaign settings, you can switch to the desktop version of AdWords through a link at the bottom of the screen.

Today, AdWords for mobile will be used as the default mobile interface for a small percentage of English language advertisers, and we look forward to enabling the feature for additional advertisers and languages in the coming weeks. However, if you’d like to try AdWords for mobile immediately, simply direct your Android, iPhone, or Palm Pre to

Hope you (and your lovestruck smartphone) enjoy having easy access to AdWords wherever you go!

March 31st 2010 Mobile

Hello, Twitter, one year later

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A year ago, today, I joined a small startup with a penchant for brevity. Many of my friends were using it. My mom had only heard mentions of it. I noted some risk, but saw greater reward. Variables were undefined. The product was still in its infancy. But potential was everywhere.

One year later, I’m just as eager and excited to head into work today as I was then. More so. Because I know even more about this growing company, the amazing people who work for it, the humbling principles under which it operates, and the myriad of purpose it serves. I’m thrilled with what we’ve accomplished in Design, and with the designers we’ve hired to do the accomplishing. We’ve pushed out some “good” and a fair amount of “awesome” so far. But we still have much work to do.

It’s cliché, but still true. Time flies when you’re having fun. And what fun we’ve been having. Here’s to looking back at a fantastic year, and forward to another that puts last year to shame.

March 31st 2010 Twitter

New best practices to find more customers on the Google Content Network

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Our previous post in the Content Network Optimization University series covered the basics of setting up and launching a good campaign on the Content Network.

Today, we’ll cover more advanced optimization strategies. We’ve compiled these by observing best practices from the most successful advertisers on the network. Whether you’re new to the Content Network or have been using it for a while, you can get better results from your campaigns by employing some of these strategies.

Build effective campaigns

Taking time up front to set up your campaign correctly goes a long way in getting higher quality traffic to your site. Let’s recap the top strategies:

  • Separate Search and Content Network campaigns: Setting up a separate campaign just for the Content Network will give you more control over daily budgets, ad groups, keywords and bids. Watch this demo on campaign setup.
  • Create many, tightly themed ad groups: AdWords can target your ads more precisely if you build multiple ad groups, each with a small tightly-themed set of 5 to 20 keywords. Watch this demo on ad group setup and this demo on keyword selection.
  • Copy your best performing text ads from Search campaigns: For initial setup, it’s best to use the text ads with the highest click-through rates from your search campaigns. Watch this demo on ad text best practices.
  • Setup the same starting CPC bid as your Search campaigns: We recommend starting with the same maximum CPC bid as your Search campaign ad groups. Once AdWords has collected enough data, our smart pricing technology will automatically optimize your bids on the Content Network to give you more profitable clicks. Watch this demo on bidding tactics.
  • Set up AdWords Conversion Tracking on your website: Install Conversion Tracking on your website to measure the sales and leads (conversions) you get from each ad group and placement. Watch this demo to learn how conversion tracking works on the Content Network.

Optimize for better results

It’s important to monitor your campaign’s performance and consistently optimize individual elements. Before making significant changes (e.g. changing bids, excluding high volume sites, pausing ad groups), wait until enough click or conversion data has accrued. We recommend having at least 5 conversions or 100 clicks per site.

  • Exclude poor-performing sites: Get more qualified traffic and boost conversions by excluding sites that perform poorly for your campaign, based on the number of clicks, the average CPC and the number of conversions.
  • Focus your keywords and exclude less relevant keywords: Add more keywords that describe your product and ad group theme in greater detail. Also, add negative keywords to refine your targeting and prevent impressions on irrelevant sites. Watch this demo on refining your campaigns.
  • Adjust your bids to manage your costs: Change your bids for ad groups or individual sites based on conversion rate, average CPC and cost-per-acquisition (CPA) to meet your performance goals. You should bid higher for better performing sites to get more traffic, and lower for poorly performing sites.
  • Use Conversion Optimizer to manage your CPA: Google Conversion Optimizer is a free tool that automatically manages bids at the site level to reach a maximum CPA bid, which is the amount you’re willing to pay for a conversion (such as a purchase or sign-up). Watch this video on how to use Conversion Optimizer.

Expand your campaign for more traffic

To get additional traffic and boost sales from your campaign, we recommend creating a keyword expansion strategy for the Content Network.

  • Use the Wonder Wheel tool for ad group ideas: You can use Wonder Wheel on Google Search to brainstorm new ad group themes and keyword ideas. When you search for any topic on, Wonder Wheel will generate up to eight related topics for you to consider.
  • Create new ad groups to reach additional parts of the network: Each topic in Wonder Wheel represents a possible ad group theme for your campaign. Simply click on any of the topics to see other searches and themes related to it. Any closely related topics that are less relevant to your product are great candidates for your negative keyword list. Watch this demo to learn how to use this strategy.
  • Expand your keyword list to get more traffic: Once you have finalized your ad group themes, use the AdWords Keyword Tool to get keyword ideas. Enter ad group theme descriptions or keywords under the ‘Descriptive words or phrases’ tab. Select the 5 to 10 most frequently searched keywords and save them to your ad group This will help to ensure that your list stays highly relevant to your ad group theme.

You can find all the latest videos and updates on our YouTube channel. We hope these tips help you get even better results from your Content network campaigns!

March 30th 2010 News

ON: Common Sense

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I am sure that if you hear one more person say that they are a “social media expert” you might just barf. Much of our social consumer behavior is not new – its just facilitated by technology. We have been social from dawn of (wo) man.  

David Armano has done a fantastic job in this presentation that calls for common sense. 

Social Media Is Dead: Long Live Common Sense.

View more presentations from David Armano.

March 30th 2010 Social Media

By: Adam

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Dena – thanks for the reply! We’ve found these questions such a waste of time. A FAQ section is definitely needed.

March 30th 2010 Uncategorized

By: Dena

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Really nice post. It’s awsome how recycling among other things can relate to SEO or any business :)
Oh btw, that “Why haven’t you gotten me in dmoz yet?” question… That’s the most we get from nearly all of our clients >_>

March 29th 2010 Uncategorized