Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Has Pingoat Shut Down

Pinging your blog is part and parcel of blogging these days. Every time you add a new post to your blog you should ping your blog's RSS feed to let feed aggregators know that you have updated your content

I have been a user of pingoat for a while now. It's reliable and easy to use

After adding a post to one of my blogs I went to pingoat to ... ping the post

Unfortunately the pinging service at pingoat is currently unavailable
Instead is one of those parked domain pages.

It's really sad to see pingoat go. I hope in the back of my mind that it is just temporary and they'll soon be back doing what they do best

It's interesting that the other service which I used from time to time kping also went down a while ago. But they have since come back but with a minor difference. There is now an opt in form to fill [name, email address and URL] before you can send your pings. Kping is still a free service, at least it was the last time I checked, but it is now a membership service

The problem with these services may be that they are so difficult to monetize. The Kping idea is an inspired one. The money is in the list after all

The good news is pingomatic seems to still be working...for now


Pingoat is back online.

Update of UPDATE!!

Sorry guys.
Pingoat really is down

Not another pingoat update!!

It seems that Pingoat is still working but they are blocking the IPs of frequent users
Because I have so many blogs with reasonably frequent updates, it is understandable that I have intermittently had issues with accessing pingoat.

So to use you will need a proxy. is a reasonably user friendly proxy site
Also, there is another site called which looks identical to

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Code Bloat Will Cripple Your SEO

For anyone building websites using WYSIWYGs [HTML editors] code bloat is a real risk to your search engine optimization efforts.

We know that for SEO purposes, the less our code is the better our sites perform, referred to as the code to content ratio. It's one reason why cascading style sheets are so successful.

Before I get ahead of myself, code bloat is the presence of HTML code that is redundant or unnecessary. It includes repetitive code for the same thing and dead code i.e. code that is not translated into anything meaningful on your web pages.

You may think if it's neither necessary nor interpreted, "why is code bloat a problem?"

First as I mentioned earlier, The code to content ratio. Especially if you have a lot of content on your pages. The more unnecessary code you have on your web pages, the more rot the search engines bots have to work through to get to your content.

Second these coding errors could result in the bots not being able to spider your page properly.

So I am convinced, code bloat must be removed

For anyone using HTML editors for any period of time, you will have learned some HTML along the way

Look at the code of your web pages and root out the bloat. It could make all the difference to your site's search engine performance

Sunday, 19 July 2009

No Short Cuts To Building An Email List

There are so many offers these days online to help build a hyper-responsive email list.

Let's take a brief look at some of the 'offers' I have recently come across

  • Buying email lists. The offer usually is for a few thousand emails. The list is usually said to come from people who have opted in for more information. Problem is they didn't opt in to your email list. So why should they take your emails seriously. Or even open them at all.

The other concern is the distinct possibility that these lists are from email scrapers. These are software that go to sites where members have there email addresses and harvest all the addresses from that site. For example a popular forum.

  • Safelists. These are lists that contain the emails of people who have joined the list. The purpose of joining the list is to have access to the email addresses of the other people on the list. Some safelists are free and others paid.

But if everyone on the list is just there so that they can send their marketing or promotional emails to everyone else on the same email list, where's the market? You are all sellers and you need buyers to make a business work. Now some people swear by safelists but to me... well you know what I think

  • List training material. Some list building training material is good. Really good, I used one of these training videos to get me on my feet in the email list building department. But there are some rogues out there. They promise to teach you how to explode your email list. Or how to get a large click through on your emails guaranteed. Or some other marketing hype. My concern is with this valuable training, 'how come it's being sold for $7?' And Guaranteed is one marketing buzz word that is sure to make me wary.

The honest truth is there are no short cuts to building a responsive email list. You just have to put the work in.

  • Create your opt in incentive.
  • Build your web page that ONLY has your opt in offer and form.
  • Drive relevant traffic to that opt in form.

Takes work and time but you eventually end up with a list that does take you seriously

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Twitter Backgrounds Are Just Awful

Having a Twitter account these days is essential if you have an online business. Even I have come round to understanding and benefiting from the power of Twitter in my business.

And having taken the time and effort to build a decent business online, I obviously wanted my Twitter account to reflect my professionalism. And so should you

And I guess the same is true for most of our marketing colleagues out there

So why is it that the selection of templates available on Twitter are so awful. Sorry guys, you've created a great blogging platform but the fluffy cloud, starry night or even birds flying themes just don't cut it

I am not a template designer and haven't a clue how to go about designing my own background

So fluffy clouds it was....till today.

I just found a great website where you can create your own customized Twitter background free. It's

I am still playing with it but they have loads of templates that are varied and you can customize things with your logo and URL and stuff... Still discovering what stuff includes

You can check out my new profile at

I know it still sucks but a great improvement on what was there before.

No fluffy clouds now

Monday, 13 July 2009

Tweet Later an essential marketing tool

A lot of twitter applications these days have me baffled.
I just don't know why anyone would want some of them. But, hey ho! One mans meat and all that.

But in my trawl through the myriad of twitter applications out there, I have come across some that are actually quite useful and a few essential applications especially if you are using twitter as an Internet marketer or to boost your business

The first of these is Tweet Later.

Tweet later is a multi function application

Automation. Tweet later allows you to automate

  • Automated direct message.

Thank you replies to your new followers is a great way of retaining readership of your tweets.

The thing with twitter is a lot of people are following other people solely to get them to follow them back. Sort of like reciprocal following.

So the person who has started following you on Twitter has, in all probability, ticked the follow box on a bunch of peoples profiles that day.

It is important you acknowledge them if you want them to sit up and take notice.

And the best time to try and see you as a useful 'friend' is soon after they have chosen to follow you.

If you send your automated thank you note as soon as they start following you, they are more likely to still be online and read your thank you message. Leave it a few hours or days and it becomes a blur. They probably, by then, will not remember why they were following you in the first place.

  • Autofollow people who are following you.

Now I don't recommend that you automatically follow all your followers. you could soon end up with a stream of inane tweets on your twitter homepage.

You only want to follow people who share information useful to you.

Tweet later allows you vet people before following them.

Or you could just set it up to autofollow everyone following you. It really is your decision.

  • Tweet scheduling

We all know that to get the most out of twitter, you need to maintain a presence there. But with other aspects of your business to run and probably a day job to boot, there just is not the time to 'post tweets every couple of hours'

Tweet later allow you to write a bunch of tweets and then schedule when they will be posted to your twitter account.

  • Keyword research

Tweet later is excellent for doing keyword research or niche discovery on Twitter

For example, if you are trying to assess the demand for a certain keyword, you can set up tweet later to notify you every time this keyword is used on Twitter.

Or you are going into a new niche. Where better to find out what people are saying about the niche, what aspects of the niche are most popular, current information and even what people's problems in the niche are.

Just use tweetlater to set up a keyword alert and you can follow whatever keyword is relevant.

And the keyword you track could be any word including your niche keywords, your twitter name, a products name, use your imagination

More information on getting your free account at Tweet Later

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Using Feeder Sites For Backlinks And Traffic. Caution

Using feeder sites as a source of backlinks and traffic to your website or blog is for some people a really useful tool.

But sometimes you can get burned

Before we delve into this, let me explain what I mean by feeder sites.

Feeder sites are sites that allow you to post content for free and on which you can add links back to your money making niche marketing site.

For example Squidoo. A very successful web project that allows you to post lens about whatever and in those lenses you can include links to your site. The Squidoo example is actually a well tested and, previously, really successful site to use as a feeder site. The search engines, especially Google, loved Squidoo. Your new lens was indexed pretty quickly in the search engines and if done with some minimal SEO got good rankings in the search engines. This meant a lot of visitors to your Squidoo lenses and, hopefully, some would follow the link to your site. This was two years ago. Unfortunately because of misuse of this site, a spate of poorly put together content and other factors, Squidoo does not seem to have the Google pull these days as it used to.

Anyway to get back on point, if you find a bunch of feeder sites that could get indexed pretty quickly AND do well in the search engines AND help generate some traffic to your site AND may have a do follow backlink to the site....Why CAUTION?!

Lets take a closer look.

The feeder sites like Squidoo, Hubpages, Myspace all have a lot of search engine clout and a lot of content. This means that they already tick a lot of boxes from the SEO point of view

If you build a feeder page on one of these sites that competes for the same keywords as your main money making pages, there is a risk of those feeder pages occupying the top positions in Google for your chosen keywords.

Hey? Why is this a problem?

Because it is your money making site that you want to rank in position one of Google for your chosen keyword.

The way to get around this is to optimize your feeder sites for long tail terms based on your main keyword or optimize them for other closely related keywords.