Thursday, February 28, 2008

Is a Google Page Rank Update in progress?

We have noticed that the page rank of some sites as reported by the SearchStatus status bar is different from their regular page rank. After doing a few page rank searches using various page rank checking websites, we discovered that different servers are indeed reporting different numbers for different sites!

For example, these websites report results from multiple data servers: PR Checking Tool (select the 30 Data Centers - slow method), iWebTool, and SmartPageRank.com (click on "All Data Centers" in the right side of the page).

The Chitika RPU is now open to all publishers!

Chitika has just made their RPU feature available to all their publishers! This is great news! RPU are pay per click ad units that are designed to go at the end of a blog post or a review or an article, and are low-key, and they provide readers related products to what are being discussed in the blog post or article!

The other good news is that RPU and most of the other Chitika products that don't use "sensing" are compatible and even complimentary to Google Adsense! Chitika has produced in association with five expert bloggers a mini-series on Chitika and Adsense. Enjoy! This is a nice read as it has helpful suggestions and recommendations in general! This is the RPU & Adsense specific tip.


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If you are not a Chitika publisher yet, consider signing up with Chitika! You can use the link in this paragraph and thank us for the tip at the same time :)

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Blog Tip #24: Don't forget to factor in Cookie Duration in your Affiliate programs

One of the parameters of affiliate monetization that sometimes gets overlooked is the cookie duration. After a recent conversation with an affiliate program representative, I decided to look into cookie duration in some more depth. Here are my thoughts:

There doesn't seem to be a cookie cutter approach (pardon the intentional pun) to deciding which affiliate programs to use based on cookie duration. There are many dimensions to consider. One of the most important ones is obviously your content. Consider these two extreme case scenarios: Assume you have a blog on chocolate cates and you have an affiliate link to an elephant biology bookstore. What are the chances that your readers will revisit the elelphant biology bookstore again? Probably slim. So whether the elephant biology bookstore has a cookie duration of 2 days or 2 years, it probably won't help much.

On the other hand, assume you have a blog on HDTVs, and you have an affiliate link to a popular retailer that specializes in HDTVs. The chances of your readers re-visiting that site are much higher. So a longer cookie duration increases your chances of a commission!

But things are never that simple. Usually you have to trade-off the commission percentage with the cookie duration. What do you do? Do you use a retailer with a 4% commission but a 3-day cookie, or do you use a retailer with a 1% commission but a 60-day cookie? How do you trade them off?

If your links are something short-therm, eg a weekend sale, or a clearance sale, or a while supplies last offer, you may want to take your chances on the higher commission percentage than the longer duration. But if it's a general purpose link, you have to do some thinking and experimenting to see what works better for you.

Yet another dimension to this are your readers. Are they "buyers", "browsers", "surfers", "bargain hunters", "techaholics"? Also is your blog or site a destination or a hub? This can also affect your strategy.

Another thing to consider is that the more popular a site is, the more likely other sites and blogs might be using their affiliate program, and if your readers are visiting multiple websites, then the chances of your cookie being overridden are higher, so perhaps a shorter cookie duration is not as much of an issue.

From my experience, the longer cookie durations are better suited for specialty retailers that are known and referenced by your readers, but they are not the super popular mass market sites that people visit and bloggers use as affiliates all the time. This increases your chances that your readers will go back to that site to look or shop, and decreases the chances of other websites having links to them.

You can also scale down the above example if your blog is covering a very specific market segment, and your readers are avid followers of that segment. In that case, replace the "mass market site" mentioned above, with the leaders in the field that are frequently used by other sites and blogs as affiliates. Instead go for the second tier in popularity for the longer term cookie duration. By second tier, I don't mean second tier retailers, but second tier in mass-market popularity.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thanks OpenJason.com!

We'd like to thank OpenJason for adding this blog to their blog list. Open Jason is a great resource site, where you will find all sorts of handy and practical information to help improve, optimize, and boost your website and blog.

Here are some examples of helpful posts from OpenJason: 40 Open Source system utilities, detailed tips on how to improve your Technorati rank, something that I really need to do, a great list of online website and blog tools, and lots more.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Blog Tip #23: Free RSS feed buttons and icons to boost your subcribers



RSS feeds and subscribers are one of the areas of interest for those who want to expand their blog's reach and boost their measurables. The great Problogger site has 11 tips on boosting your subscription. For those not familiar with RSS feeds and such, Problogger has posted an RSS Introduction

So to build upon what ProBlogger is saying above, we have looked around the net to find some FREE eye-catching buttons that you can feature on your blog to advertise your RSS feed. The buttons are free, but it's nice to thank the people offering them, and give them some LL on your blog/site. The green button we use in this posted is provided by Nyssajbrown.net.

Here are four sites that have a large variety of buttons and icons of diferent sizes, shapes and colors:

  • Mouse Runner
  • Nyssajbrown.net
  • Garcya
  • Snap Objects

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