Sunday, 30 August 2009

Digg. How to Get The Most Out Of Your Diggs

So now the shout system is gone, how can you get the most out of Digg for website exposure and traffic

In the past, when you submitted a story to Digg and wanted your friends to Digg to see it, all you needed to do was send a shout. Your friends got an email notification and..instant traffic. It really was as easy as that. And if they liked your story then they in turn Dugg it and, if it's really good sent a shout to their friends. And before you knew it you had a ton of traffic hitting your website or blog

Then one grey day, Digg decide to abolish the shout system. And I understand why....

....Spam. That ugly word. There were so many shouts on a daily basis and a lot of them were tagged with 'please Digg' or ' Digg this and I'll Digg yours' messages.
But then again there were shouts that I was interested in. Shouts that brought to my attention useful or quirky stories that I may not have otherwise come across.

Anyway, now the shouts system has gone, how can you get the most out of Digg. Here we are talking about maximizing exposure on Digg for your stories and getting some click throughs.


The number of friends and the quality of friends you ave is the backbone of any social networking campaign you run. Digg is no different. You need a solid base of quality, mutual friends. Friends that you have cultivated a relationship with, that are genuinely interested in your content, that Digg stories that you are interested in as well. Active friends. Before making a fan of yours a mutual friend, just take a look at the stories he has Dugg. The guy who only Diggs his own submits is not worth your time. Same goes for the guy who looks like he will Digg anything. You want people who when they Digg your submits, other people take notice. People whose Diggs are consistent.Whose followers in turn Digg their Diggs


Add your twitter profile to your Digg profile. Diggers do interact outside of Digg and since the shout system went down I am amazed at the number of people from Digg making connections on twitter

Stories you submit to Digg


You must vary the source of your submits. You can not exclusively submit your own material from your blog or websites.

Well you can but it will do nothing for your street cred on Digg. Blatant self promotion is just not attractive. So submit your blog posts and website articles, but also submit other people's content like stories in the media, other people's blog posts that you have found useful [could win you a mutual friend], articles form article directories, forum posts, you tube videos that are interesting. The trick is to digg other peoples' content that are not indirect competition with you [Obviously!]

Title and Description

This cannot be over-emphasized, YOUR TITLE AND DESCRIPTION MUST CAPTURE THEIR IMAGINATION. Give them an idea of what your story is about, whet their appetite, but don't give too much away.

Formulaic titles like '7 crucial tips for whatever' just do not have the pull they once had. So think out of the box. Be inventive without misleading. Or just tell them what they will gain by reading your story.
Again in your description you are trying to get them to want to read the entire story. There are so many Diggs that I have come across where the description gives away the entire story. "What's the point in clicking to the website if there isn't more to be had?" And we all know that our monetization is on our sites, not on Digg


Choose your category carefully. You want to make sure that your Digg is submitted to the relevant category but at the same time choose a category that does not have too much activity.

Take the news category for example. A submit in this category will last only a few minutes on the news upcoming front page. Because so many stories are submitted to this category. So you want to choose another relevant category that your Digg has a chance of being in front of the upcoming page for ... a little longer than a few minutes.


Crucial! Your comments will increase your reputation on Digg of used properly. I recently posted a comment on someone else's Digg. My comment got 135 diggs at the last count. That's a lot of diggs for one comment. [Shame I didn't have a link to my site or blog in that particular comment. Hmmm!]
You can also use comments to bring an old submit of yours back into play. For example say you submitted a story on a topic a while ago and the topic becomes conversational again, or things have moved on a bit and there is more current information on that topic. You could add a comment to your old Digg with the new information. Kind of like bumping a forum post but done ethically. Only do this if it is genuinely relevant

Digg Button

Last but not least, add the Digg button to your websites and blogs that you want to get traffic to from Digg. Another obvious one, but one that is so often forgotten

So the shouts system may be gone but there is still a lot of potential in Digg

Saturday, 29 August 2009

How To Create A Sitemap For Google Indexing

You are going to learn an easy method of creating an XML sitemap for your website and how to submit it to Google for indexing

Sitemap Generator

First you need to generate the sitemap. A free sitemap generator I recommend is
It's a free service and will generate a sitemap for any website with less than 500 pages in seconds

Type in the URL of the homepage of the website you want to generate a sitemap for. Submit and a few seconds later you will be presented with your results which should look similar to this

You will notice that there are quite a few downloadable files.

The files you want are the html file and the uncompressed xml file

HTML file

This file is one that your website visitors will be able to access once you upload it to your website. It is important that you exclude links to your private pages or pages that you do not want the general public to have access to or indexed. For example your download pages.

Download the file to your website folder on your desktop.

You can either upload the file as is to the root folder of your website as sitemap.html or you could first add the sitemap to your website template and then upload it using your FTP to your root folder as sitemap.html

XML file

Download the uncompressed xml file to your websites folder on your desktop. Save it as Sitemap.xml. For some reason the Google webmaster tools account emphasizes the capital S.

Upload the Sitemap.xml file to your website's root folder in your hosting account. Again before uploading make sure you have removed the links to the pages you do not want indexed in the search engines

Submit website to Google webmaster tools

Get yourself a google webmasters tools account at
The account is free and easy to sign up for.

Submit and verify your website in your new webmaster tools account

Verification is pretty easy. They give you a code to add to your site. You can either add the code to an existing page or load a new page with the code on it. Obviously you will need to be the webmaster of your site or have quick access to your site's webmaster to do this.

Submit sitemap to Google webmaster tools

To submit your sitemap for indexing, log in to your webmaster tools account.
Go to the dashboard of the website you want to submit a sitemap for
On the left side of the page click on the site configuration link. This will bring up a sub menu. Click on sitemaps on that menu.

The page that loads will have a tab on it that says submit sitemap.

Click on this and submit the exact URL of your xml sitemap

Once submitted you will notice that the status is pending. This soon changes to a tick mark when you site map has been accepted

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Number One Position In Google Search. Now What?

So you have added unique and useful posts to your blog or website frequently. And have worked tirelessly to get those backlinks to your blog.

And finally one day, you find your site at the coveted number one position for your chosen keyword or bunch of keywords in the search engines. Yippee

But what next?

The thing with search engine optimization is it is unfortunately a continual process. You have to continue working to maintain that number one position. Or your website may begin to slide in the search engine results pages. Especially if you are in a competitive niche.

So why does the decay occur? There are a few reasons for this

  • Changing algorithms

From time to time, Google changes the algorithm which it uses to assign relevance to websites. Because of this it is important to stay on top of what is going on in the SEO world so that you can adapt to these changes. A lot of webmasters wake up one day to find their listings have disappeared from position one or even page one of the relevant keyword results pages. Sometimes this occurs as a result of a penalty but often it simply is an algorithm change that favours other sites ahead of yours in the search engine positions race

  • Links devalued

Some links that you have created to your site may become devalued over time. Or the webmaster of the site your links are on could do a revamp and either delete the page your link is on or convert his put going links to no follow. This means a reduction of the SEO boost from your links.

  • Competition

You have to keep in mind that not all your competitors are naive about SEO. In fact with the credit crunch and the rapid expansion of online marketing and increasing competition, a lot of website owners are gaining some knowledge about and applying SEO. SO what does this mean? While you are busy counting the dollars earned as a result of your increased traffic from successful optimization, some of your competitors are busy building more and more links to their sites and getting fresh content.

The good news is once you have achieved your number one position in the SERPs, you really do not need to work as hard to maintain the position as you did to attain the number one spot.

I have some websites that have been number one in the weight loss niche and the internet marketing niche for competitive keywords for a while now. All I have done to maintain these positions is, from time to time, post a few articles to the article directories with backlinks to the sites. And of course add fresh content. But certainly not with the same desperate frequency as when I was trying to get the sites ranked.

So if you have a website or blog that you have managed to get to the number one position for a competitive keyword, and if the resulting traffic is making a significant amount of income for you, take the time or do some outsourcing to make sure that this position is maintained in the long term

Monday, 17 August 2009

How Many Backlinks Are Safe?

Backlinks are crucial to search engine optimization and majority of niche marketers are busy trying to get as many backlinks as possible.

But we know that the pattern with which our links increase is one of the factors that the search engines, mainly Google, monitor to determine sites that are artificially inflating their search engine position

The dates that links appear can also be used to detect
"spam," where owners of documents or their colleagues
create links to their own document for the purpose of
boosting the score assigned by a search engine. A
typical, "legitimate" document attracts back links

So what does this all mean?

Does this mean that a sudden rise in the number of backlinks pointing to your site will automatically earn your site a penalty in the search engines? Or worse still get you banned?

Personally, I do not think so.

Let's think about things logically.

There have been a large number of very successful launches in the affiliate marketing niche. And when these programs first launch, a lot of us, affiliate marketers, get on the band wagon of promoting it avidly.

On our blogs, our websites, forum signatures and all what not.

Resulting in a sudden rise in the number of links pointing to the launch site.

But I honestly have never come across the scenario where these sites have been banned or penalized.

You may argue that some affiliate marketers use no follow in their affiliate links, but the majority do not.

A large spike in the quantity of back links may signal
a topical phenomenon (e.g., the CDC web site may
develop many links quickly after an outbreak, such as
SARS), or signal attempts to spam a search engine (to
obtain a higher ranking and, thus, better placement in
search results) by exchanging links, purchasing links,
or gaining links from documents without editorial
discretion on making links. Examples of documents that
give links without editorial discretion include guest
books, referrer logs, and "free for all" pages that let
anyone add a link to a document.

What does this all mean?

To me, it implies that the search engines will note a sudden spike in links but before any action is taken, they try to see if there is any plausible explanation for the 'link flurry'

So the question remains.

How many backlinks are safe? Or to paraphrase the question, how man backlinks can
you generate to your web pages in a short period of time without getting banned?

The answer is the number really does not seem to matter

What matters is

  • The consistency with which backlinks to your web pages occur. This really means that if your site gets 100 new backlinks a day and it consistently gets about that number everyday then you should be okay as long as the links are varied in source and do not all come from sites the public can manipulate

  • The type of sites that these links are coming from. As the document says, the type of link is also crucial. If all the links are from the comments portion of blogs, then I think it would be fair for Google to assume you are a spammer. But if the links come from a variety of places e.g. within the body of articles, forums, other webmasters sites [also within the body of
    the content] then the likelihood of being perceived as artificial inflation of search engine rankings is less likely

What do you think?

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Traffic Exchanges Useful Or Not For Increased Website Traffic

Most affiliate marketers have heard of traffic exchanges. They are websites where you first submit your site's URL and then you have to view other peoples' sites to earn credits. The more credits you earn the more often your site will be shown to other people who are... surfing for credit

Any mildly intelligent person will have read the above statement and thought...hmmm

Let me clarify

Traffic exchanges are great for getting traffic to your site. The more you surf on these exchanges, the more traffic you'll get. There is no doubt about this

In my early days in affiliate marketing, I surfed till my eyes went blurred from staring at the computer so long and my fingers...ouch. All that clicking to load the next site

And I got a ton of traffic

And boy did I brag about my amazing 'talent' of generating traffic to my brand new site

And then the penny dropped


You see the big draw back of the many traffic exchanges out there is they are full of people, just like you, surfing just to earn credits and ONLY for the purpose of earning credits

So where is the market for your perfectly set up website?

The aim of affiliate marketing is to get your site visitors to click on your affiliate links and BUY THE PRODUCT

So all that time spent chasing traffic that will not convert. I often wonder how much faster I would have got where I am now if I had spent that time elsewhere.

Like generating content for my site
...or writing articles to distribute to article directories
...or even building a reputation for myself at the networking sites and forums

So like I said earlier in this post....Hmmm

Some die hard traffic exchange users may be thinking....But there is autosurfing

This is when the traffic exchange website automatically loads sites after a time delay.

Certainly that could save a lot of time. but there is the other issues of malware. Some people have reported getting infected by some of these sites. Personally, and thankfully, I did not fall victim to this while I was using traffic exchanges....I think

So Traffic exchanges are great for increasing website traffic. But it is traffic that converts that you need to focus on and for this purpose, there are more effective methods

Till next time

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Make Money With Adsense - Adsense Position

The position of your adsense units could significantly affect your click through rate.

I honestly thought this was Adsense 101, you know the basic basics of Adsense.

So why is it that when browsing the net you come across web pages with the Adsense at the end of the page?

Lets quickly run through how to determine the best position for Adsense on your website or blog

For this I am assuming that Adsense is the main source of income from the web property you are optimizing.

General adsense position rules
  • Adsense Block above the fold of the page

This one is really basic. You want to put the adsense units above the fold of the page to maximize the chances of any website visitor seeing your adsense ads.

Make it the first thing they see on your page.

If you have just content above the fold of the page, a visitor could quickly look at the content and decide to go to another site. No adsense click for you.

If you have adsense ads above the fold of the page, there is the possibility one of the ads titles could be what he is looking for. A click, kaching!!

  • Adsense in page hot spot

Studies have shown that there are certain areas on a web page that attracts the eyes. these are areas that we instinctively look at. The hot spots of the page.

You want to include an adsense block in this area. Most of your web page's visitors will look at this spot meaning most of your web page visitors will see the adsense blocks displayed there, increasing the chances of them finding something of interest in the block. And clicking on it

  • Adsense within body of content.

A really useful tip if used properly. We know that having an adsense block withing the top part of your content increases the click through rate, but this has to be done with some style.

You will see hundreds and thousands of web pages with the 300 by 250 block as the opening of the first paragraph. But the problem is they look like adsense ads camouflaged in content.

And no-one likes being tricked into clicking on an ad. You'll find that the regular Internet user has developed blindness to these ad blocks.

So I put adsense high in the body of my content, but I make the adsense blocks stand out. No tricks, no camouflaging. Just an adsense block breaking up the content

To Sum it all up, your adsense block needs to be displayed above the fold of the page, in the hot spot of your page and preferably with the body of your content

Before you run out and start pasting adsense all over your websites, a word of caution.



You read this right. There are web pages out there with adsense pasted all over each page leaving the content, which is why the visitor came in the first place, difficult to decipher. Doesn't work.

I'll go into details of how many adsense units you should work with in another post

Before we finish, you must understand that each web page is unique. Above are GENERAL adsense position tips. But what will work on your web site or blog may be different.


Apply the tips above and see if there is an improvement in your click through rate for the next 100 visitors you get to your blog or website.

If there is no improvement , change the position and run things for another 100 visitors. For some pages it may be the link units that perform better so test those.

Till next time