Written on August 12th, 2005 at 02:08 pm by Darren Rowse

Adsense Centered Text Ads

Adsense 15 comments

Perhaps connected to the Adsense move to vary the number of text ads in an ad unit is this new centered design of Adsense ad that I spotted today on my digital camera review blog. It’s in a 468 x 60 ad block and is actually quite striking on the page.

Centered-Adsense-Ad

Update - I just saw the following ad on another of my sites - it’s the same ad but MASSIVE! I’m not sure I like it - it tends to dominate the page quite a bit. What do you think?

Large-Adsense-Ad

Written on August 12th, 2005 at 12:08 pm by Darren Rowse

Blogging as Business - Here Come the Big Guns

Pro Blogging News 5 comments

‘Watch for more business deals and from places you wouldn’t expect them. I’m hearing from several of my friends, for instance, that AOL is looking for media properties blogging networks.’

Robert’s post on Blogging as Business is fascinating - I think he’s right too - big business (and I mean very big business) has noticed what some of us little guys are doing and want to get in on the action. Some like MSN and Yahoo are building their own blog networks from the ground up - others will be in the market to buy them.

Written on August 12th, 2005 at 10:08 am by Darren Rowse

Search Engine Optimization Articles and Resources

31 Days to Building a Better Blog, Search Engine Optimization 7 comments

A few people have asked me where I got all the information for the Search Engine Optimization for Bloggers series of posts.

It’s a difficult question to answer really - there is no one source that I can name. Rather the knowledge has slowly been accumulating (and continues to do so) over the past couple of years as I’ve read, experimented, tweaked and interacted with others more knowledgeable than myself.

There are so many great sources of information online on the topic of SEO that it can be difficult to know where to start.

The following are some of the articles I’ve linked to (and written myself) on the topic of SEO here at enternetusers over the past year. They are unsorted and in no particular order and I’m sure there are many better and alternative articles going around so feel free to add you own below.

Feel free to add your own related links below for us all to share.

Written on August 12th, 2005 at 08:08 am by Darren Rowse

Technorati Sale

Blogging Tools and Services 12 comments

B.L. Ochman thinks she has the inside word on the impending sale of Technorati to a large search engine - interesting times we live in. She writes:

‘Here’s a tip I was given this morning from a venture capitalist who is “heavily invested” in the blogosphere: Technorati is about to be sold to a large search engine company. The deal should go down in about a week.’

Update - interestingly Robert Scoble wrote this today:

‘Speaking of fortunes: watch for several acquisitions in the next few months of blog services. The money is starting to flow. The consolidations are starting to happen.’

Coincidence?

Written on August 11th, 2005 at 09:08 pm by Darren Rowse

31 Days to Building a Better Blog - Day 11

31 Days to Building a Better Blog 7 comments

It’s Day 11 of the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog project. Today’s submitted links from readers are:

Write your own blog tips up and let me know about them and I’ll link to you tomorrow.

Written on August 11th, 2005 at 04:08 pm by Darren Rowse

Search Engine Optimization Tips for Blogs - Quantities of Content and Submit to Search Engines

31 Days to Building a Better Blog, Search Engine Optimization 5 comments

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this Search Engine Optimization Tips for Blogs Series and have finally come to the final set of tips to keep in mind.

  • Quantities of Content - I always get into trouble when I write about having lots of content - but I think its true that bigger sites tend to rank better than smaller sites - whilst it is possible to rank highly with a small site - it’s probably not the norm.. Search Engines will see your site as more comprehensive the more content you have. You also better your odds of being found in Search Engines if you have more pages. By no means am I saying just to put up random junk content - be careful about this - rather work at building a comprehensive and large site over time.
  • Submit to Search Engines - You can do all the best onsite SEO strategies in the world and still get no where because the Search Engines have not found you to start with. Each search engine has a way of letting it know about your site - submit your URL to be included in the index. Please note that this takes time and perhaps a quicker way is to get linked to by a site already indexed by the search engine. I’ve written a post about his previously here.

    You might also like to tryout some of the services around that offer to submit your sites to search engines for you - I’d be wary of paying for this sort of service though. I never have and seem to do ok.

Again I will reinforce - the above techniques come out of my own experience and from the things I’ve learnt from others. I am not an SEO expert but find that if you keep the above in mind you can do reasonably well. Don’t become obsessed by SEO - if you do you run the risk of forgetting about your reader, forgetting to write quality content and you could find yourself getting into some dodgy SEO tactics that could get you banned from the Search Engines You’re trying to get listed in.

I’ll finish here by adding that SEO can take time - so be patient. After 2.5 years of blogging I’ve managed to build my blogs page ranks and SERPs but it did not happen over night. Sometimes it seems that no matter what you do nothing works - it may be that the words you’re wanting to target are actually a heavily targeted segment of the internet (consider changing your approach) - or it may just be that there is some unknowable glitch with the SE you are targeting - its a fickle game and one that I’d recommend you don’t rely on alone. So yes work on your SEO but also consider the many other methods around to find readers for your blog. You might like to read my Finding Readers for your Blog Series as a starting point.

Feel free to have your say on the topic of SEO and blogging below - share your comments, experiences and questions for the enternetusers community to interact with.

Written on August 11th, 2005 at 02:08 pm by Darren Rowse

Search Engine Optimization Tips for Blogs - Duplicate Content, Pinging and MyYahoo

31 Days to Building a Better Blog, Search Engine Optimization 8 comments

We’re almost there in the Search Engine Optimization Tips for Blogs Series (this is the second last post). Here’s some more SEO factors to keep in mind.

  • Avoid Duplicate content - Google warns publishers in its guidelines about having the same content on multiple pages. This goes for both multiple pages that you own but also pages that others own. This is because a tactic of spammers is often to reproduce content on many pages and/or to steel content from other sites. There is some debate over what duplicate content does and doesn’t include (for instance many bloggers use ‘free articles’ as content on their blogs - these articles often appear on hundreds and even thousands of other sites around the web and to me could be seen as duplicate content) - my advice is to be very careful about how many places your content appears.
  • Ping - services like Pingomatic (there are numerous others too) will ping a variety of websites for you to notify them that you’ve updated. In doing so you’ll also be letting search engines know that you’ve updated which will trigger their robots to come visit your blog.
  • Submit your RSS to MyYahoo - submitting your RSS feed to MyYahoo seems to help with getting indexed on Yahoo. Read more about this at Getting Yahoo Traffic for your Blog. Some also think that doing the same thing to Google’s Personalised pages could have a similar impact.

Written on August 11th, 2005 at 11:08 am by Darren Rowse

Melbourne Geek Dinner

General 0 comments

Geek? Melbournian? If you’re both you need to get to the Melbourne Geek Dinner on Friday 26th August. RSVP to Tejas. I’m going to try to get there.

Written on August 11th, 2005 at 09:08 am by Darren Rowse

A Call for enternetusers Readers to Unite in Generosity

enternetusers Site News 8 comments

Myhairprofile2Me 2
As a result of my last post on Blogging that gives hope I’m feeling moved to do something for Cary and Lori who continue to struggle through Lori’s cancer. Cary actually posted yesterday that he and Lori and heading away for a couple of days break after what seems to have been a really tough time of treatment which has left Lori feeling pretty emotionally empty.

Lori’s blog really got to me as I read it through again today - her story and the photos she posts are beyond any words I have to describe and I find myself at the point of tears today as I think about this young couple who I’ve never met who have become a part of my lives.

I’d like us to do something for Cary and Lori - something practical if we can.

Lori has written of the financial pressure that cancer has put upon her and Cary and there has made a way available for readers to help out via donating through Amazon on her blog (the link is at the top of the right sidebar) or on Cary’s blog via PayPal (the button is at the bottom of his left sidebar). Can I ask you to join me in making a donation? If you’d like to do it anonymously I’m happy for you to put something in my PayPal account for me to pass on (my paypal email is darren@livingroom.org.au) - just mark it ‘for Cary and Lori’.

Many enternetusers readers have asked if they can make a donation to me for the tips I’ve been writing here over the past months - I’ve always said no - what I do here is free - but if you were one of them can I ask you make a donation instead. I’d like the enternetusers community to be a generous one. We talk about accumulating money - in my opinion with the capacity to earn money comes responsibility in the way we spend it. We can do so in selfish ways or sacrificial ways - I’d like readers of this blog to be known for the later of these options. Let’s make a difference friends.

Written on August 11th, 2005 at 09:08 am by Darren Rowse

Blogging that Gives Hope

Blog News 9 comments

I just stumbled (via Linkfilter) upon a blog over at MSN Spaces called typical guy, atypical situation - a blog written by a guy named Kenny who is a quadriplegic that is getting massive attention at the moment through his blog. He was featured on MSN Space’s main page and had 80,000 visitors in a day as a result.

I’m fascinated by this story for a number of reasons - firstly because his content is very good and gives a real insight into the life of someone who is going through something I can’t even begin to imagine. Secondly on a purely blogging level I’m fascinated by any blog that gets that type of traffic and how it impacts the blogger.

And lastly I’m fascinated because I’ve long thought that blogging has the potential to give people going through incredible hardship hope. I’ve been toying with some ideas around this for a while now and Kenny’s story has again got me thinking.

A couple of years ago in the early days of my ProBlogging I saw a report on TV which featured a young guy (in his late teens) who had had an accident that left him a quadriplegic or paraplegic (I’m fuzzy on this detail). They talked about the weeks and months that followed the accident and how he’d been to some pretty dark places. At some point along his journey someone had put a computer in front of him and helped him to set up a website (it looked like a blog but the report didn’t call it one).

The young guy began to write about his experiences. His posts were open, raw and filled with emotion. A similar thing happened with him as what I see happening over at Kenny’s blog. He got a lot of attention and ended up with thousands readers - many of whom were in similar situations. His writing connected with many and gave them hope. It also gave him hope and purpose as he realized that he could make a difference through his writing. He found a voice that he’d never have had if it wasn’t for his site. He also found something he could actually do with his time - something that defeated the boredom that he’d been struggling with.

As I watched the report I was quite moved as I saw the potential of the humble blog to give hope to both writers and readers. I also began to wonder if blogs might actually have the potential to help this young guy on another level. What if he put ads on his blog? What if he started more blogs on commercially viable subjects? What if blogs could give him a means of income in addition to the voice he’d found?

I’m not sure where my stream of thoughts will end up - so far it hasn’t gone much beyond suggesting that people start blogs (Cary did - and he’s done an amazing job at building a wonderful site) but every time I think about it - and talk about it with others - I find myself getting excited by the ideas that come. Maybe it’s time I did something about it rather than just talking, thinking and admiring the work of others.



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