Written on November 10th, 2005 at 09:11 am by Darren Rowse

Contextual Ad Prices Falling?

Advertising, Adsense 8 comments

Thanks to Stuart for alerting me to this report into keyword prices on contextual ad systems titled - Are Internet Ad Prices Slipping?

The figures are from a semi regular (quarterly or monthly?) report from Fathom Online (see their 7 Nov press release) into what keyword prices are doing in different industries. You’ll see from the following image that most industries saw falls in October, the exceptions being Travel/Hospitality (14% increase), Finance/investing (4% increase) and Wireless (no change).

The decrease of 6% in the Consumer Retail area could explain some of the recent decreases that I’ve seen in Adsense earnings.

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So is the bottom falling out of the market? I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion just yet - for one I seem to remember this time last year click values decreased before some pretty nice increases in the two months leading up to Christmas. I’ve illustrated this below showing the shape (no actual figures) of my click values for one of my blogs. You’ll see a bit of a dip in the cpc

Perhaps what we’re seeing here is a lull before the storm. It could also be a reaction to some new contextual ad systems entering the market (like YPN and MSN’s options).

I wouldn’t be panicking and jumping off the contextual advertising bandwagon yet.

Cost per click on one of my blogs with last October highlighted (figures deleted to comply Adsense rules).

Cpc

Written on November 10th, 2005 at 08:11 am by Darren Rowse

On Meta Tags

Search Engine Optimization, Adsense 8 comments

Yaro asks Do Meta Tag Keywords Matter Anymore? and does a good job of explaining what they are and answering the question. His advice to whether we should use meta tags:

‘Yes and no. It definitely should not be prioritized and if you have other, better SEO things to do worry about don’t spend time on your meta keywords. If you insist on using meta keywords use them sparingly, only a handful, about 10 maximum, and keep them very relevant to the page content. Less is more in this case.’

I agree with this advice - if I were setting up a new blog I’d include them but it wouldn’t be the first thing that I look at.

‘Meta keywords are a legacy of web 1.0 and are slowly being phased out completely. Your title tags, heading tags and content play a much more important role and really if you have time to spare to work on SEO you should be writing great new content that people will link to, not cramming your pages with redundant keywords.’

Good advice again - however I’d add one thing.

If you’re running Adsense ads on your site then you’ll probably want to include meta tags. Many experienced Adsense publishers highly recommend them - not to optimize your site in Search Engines - but because they seem to have impact upon what ads are being served.

Written on November 10th, 2005 at 07:11 am by Darren Rowse

What Blog Networks Look for In Potential Bloggers

Blog Networks 10 comments

Blogging.wurk has a post with this ‘inside word’ on what blog networks are looking for in bloggers. He asked network owners for their opinion and got responses from 4.

Written on November 10th, 2005 at 02:11 am by Darren Rowse

How to take a blog vacation

Miscellaneous Blog Tips 14 comments

Arieanna has posted about the options that bloggers have in what to do with their blogs when they go on holidays. She outlines four options:

1. Guest bloggers
2. Advance post
3. Write from the road
4. Announce you are going away

I think all are valid. As she mentions last time I took an extended break (a month this last June) I went for the guest blogger option - something that was a lot of work for me to set up (I had over 50 guests across my 20 blogs) but was well worth while as it kept the ball rolling wonderfully.

For shorter breaks I tend to take option 2 on some of my blogs and set some advance posts to go off once a day while away - or number 4 (announce and just leave for a few days). I guess it depends upon the length that you’re going away for and the normal rhythm of your blog.

Written on November 9th, 2005 at 10:11 pm by Darren Rowse

Is Digg Traffic All its Cracked up to Be?

Miscellaneous Blog Tips 23 comments

davak at Tech-Recipes has a great post analyzing Digg as it relates to bloggers who manage to get on the front page. For those unfamiliar with Digg it’s a social bookmarking site that I’ve written a little about previously.

Digg has the ability to send many thousands of visitors to your site if you manage to get a front page link up - but is it all as good as it sounds? Here’s some of the points that davak makes (they write more on each point at the original article).

1. Digg users do not click ads
2. Digg users do not use Alexa
3. Digg traffic does not generate new users, comments, or posts.
4. Every site on the front page gets flamed in the comments.
5. The digg effect brings in a moderate amount of traffic and uses a lot of bandwidth.
6. Digg users are more polite than slashdot visitors.
7. The digg effect is much less on a weekend.
8. The best digg post regarding a topic is not always the one that reaches the front page.
9. Digg may or may not have positive effects on your google pagerank.
10. After a site is highlighted on the Digg front page, it will start showing up in the other social bookmarking systems soon.

The interesting thing is the correlation to most of these points to most bloggers experience of getting a link on Slashdot.

The lesson is that Digg and Slashdot traffic can be a bit more glamorous than the reality. Of course I’d never knock back a link on either site’s front page - in fact if you’re smart and act quickly you can increase the positive impact that such an influx of traffic might bring to your blog.

Written on November 9th, 2005 at 06:11 pm by Darren Rowse

What Bloggers Want from Ad Networks

Advertising 8 comments

I mentioned earlier that a few of my posts might appear on the Performancing blog from time to time. There are actually a few there already, most of which are reposts from enternetusers - however I did write this special post for them that hasn’t be published anywhere else yet.

I wrote it about a month ago now (in fact I wrote it so long ago I’d almost forgotten) on the topic of what I’d like from an Ad Network - it’s like my dream wishlist and includes a whole collection of ideas from the top of my head - many of them unformed and unfinished. I hope you enjoy it - I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.

Read the full post at - What Bloggers Want from a New Ad Network

Written on November 9th, 2005 at 12:11 pm by Darren Rowse

CEOs and Blogs - Mixed Opinions

Business Blogging 4 comments

news.com reports that 59% of CEOs believe blogs are a useful internal communication tool while 47% believe that they are useful for external communication. Of course this means that 41% and 53% are not so excited by blogs:

””Most CEOs are still in a wait-and-see mode when it comes to blogs, mainly due to time limitations and concerns about what they can say publicly,” Leslie Gaines-Ross, a research officer at Burson-Marsteller, said in a statement. “Even though there is greater awareness of the power of blogs today, CEOs may feel that employees expect them to be spending their time running the business.”‘

I’ve had emails and calls today from 5 Aussie company execs interested in blogging after this morning’s interview - looks like times could be changing here in Australia at last?

Written on November 9th, 2005 at 10:11 am by Darren Rowse

Performancing - Professional Blogging Blog

Pro Blogging News 1 comment

Nick over at Threadwatch has announced a new project he’s working on - a company called Performancing LLC whose first project is a blog on the topic of professional blogging written by some of my favorite bloggers - Nick himself, Peter Brady (from Ads on Blogs), Andy Hagans (from BizNicheMedia), Chris Garrett (also from Threadwatch), Patrick Gavin (head of Text Link Ads). I’ve also given them permission to post a few of my own articles from time to time as it’s obviously a topic that I’m passionate about. Nick explains what the blog is about:

‘Performancing covers all kinds of stuff, but it’s all very tightly focused on making money from blogging. We’re talking about ad programs, design, testing, promoting and the business of blogging for $$$’s.’

This will be a site to keep your eye on. Check it out at performancing.com

Written on November 9th, 2005 at 09:11 am by Darren Rowse

Australia’s best Blog Competition

Pro Blogging News 7 comments

If you’re an Aussie and you have a blog it might be well worth your while to enter this competition which will award $10,000 to Australia’s Best Blog. It’s sponsored by a Melbourne hosting company - Smarty Host.

Entries opened a couple of days ago and close on 28 November.

To enter you have to give your details and in 25 words or less describe why you deserve the title of Australia’s best blog. You can only enter your own blog.

Written on November 9th, 2005 at 08:11 am by Darren Rowse

Technorati Hacks

Blogging Tools and Services 3 comments

Steve at Micro Persuasion has a very useful post with Ten Technorati Hacks for anyone wanting to get more out of Technorati - which for a first time user can be a bit overwhelming yet is one of the most useful tools on the web for bloggers.



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