PageTank – Have you been hit by the PageRank hatey stick?

Has  your  PageRank  recently  tanked?

A lot of people have the hump with Google today.Snoskred  put together a little compilation.

Google Goes after the Everyday Blogger
ZeroRank – More PageRank Carnage (Round 5)
ACCC alleges misleading and deceptive conduct by Trading Post and Google
PayPerPost Scrambling – Trying to Implement “RealRank” After Their Bloggers Page Rank Disappears
Selling Text Links Without Getting Into Trouble
OK, Google… They Surrender
Goodbye Google
Page Rank is now Pointless
Stock Tip of the day – sell Google!
So The G-Gods Are Smiting Bloggers Again
My De Riguer Nod to Google
Your Tip For The Day.
Dear Google…..(I surrender)
Spank – Part 2
Stock Tip Alert! SELL GOOGLE NOW
What the heck is going on with pagerank?
Anti-Google Claims: To Reply Or Not?
How To (Kind Of) Buy A #1 Organic Search Ranking On Google
The US Search Engine Optimization Market
Google’s Page Rank Update Increases Profitability of Selling Text Links
Google’s PageRank: A Double Edged Sword

If you should feel so inclined and feel like getting hatey back then, Snoskred also has a suggestion or 2 .

Now it does also need to be said that this *could* just be some kind of data centre pre toolbar pr update.

Whitebars are often a sign that a page has been indexed but has yet to be  assigned any PageRank, you’ll often see this behaviour with new pages or sites that have been recently launched.

Somehow  though, I doubt it.This looks like yet another rollout of previous manual interventions.Perhaps the next phase will be removed ranking ability, or complete removal from the index even.

I can understand why a company might want to make a point or 2, but jesus don’t they think that we got the the message the 1st time?

I would love to know what it was that I did here that was so so bad and damaging to their index and the people that use them, really I would, it’s starting to needle me.

Blogging and making money – a state the obvious perspective part one

Lately I’ve found myself looking at this blog an thinking, god Rob you moaning whinging whining minnie.

I want to say something positive and talk about opportunities that exist for people who like to blah blah blah.

Everyone already knows about Google Adsense, so I’m not going to talk about them or any other program too specifically but I may include a link or two to a couple of others that I use and have found to be ok.

This post isn’t for you uber smart folks who are already doing this stuff, it’s more a general dumbing down thing for everyone else who might happen to think that this stuff is in some way hard or difficult, as you know already it isn’t it’s piss easy. All you need is half a brain an opinion and a blog.

So you want to be a blogger on the world wide web?

First off, lets just say that in an ideal world you’d take some time out to actually think about what you were going to do and how you were going to do it. I’m going to lay it all out in steps and give my idealised approach followed by a not so idealised approach, you can then do whatever it is you want to do with it. Don’t expect me to finish it all today, I’m going to start the piece and write til I think Ive said enough for part one and carry on another day.

Why Blogging and making money – a state the obvious perspective? First off, it’s a state the obvious perspective as I really don’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to at least try and passively monetise whatever it is they are sharing.If you are writing online for somebody else then you might as well write for yourself. There are exceptions of course, but generally I don’t see why anyone would want to write for anybody else and not get paid for their efforts.

People just don’t realise that if a search engine is spidering their content, then like it or not, they are already monetising your content! If you are writing on a blog platform that is privately owned then again whilst it may not be obvious, you can bet your bottom dollar that your content is adding value to them and their bottom line somewhere down the line.

There are already 1000’s upon 1000’s of people writing online making other people money and they don’t even realise it.They are caught up in this oooh lovely idea around the ‘coolness’ factor of being able to communicate ‘online’ they really don’t see that whilst they may well be loving every minute of what they do, that they could also do the very same thing and earn a few extra pennies too, with minimum effort and minimal cost.

You really don’t have to make the same mistake as them and if you already are, then perhaps this little piece might help you to break out and start monetising your own works too.

Getting the ball rolling

Get an idea – The hardest part in all this might be deciding what you want to blog about.

I’d love to say that you should start off by picking a niche that is going to make you a lot of money and todo that all you need to do is do x y and z and you’ll find the current top paying PPC keywords and all of that, but I’m not going to. Why? Because most people struggling with jobs and bills and day to day activities just simply won’t have the focus and determination to talk about or monetise stuff that they just aren’t really interested in, far better in my opinion to write about stuff that you know and have a bit of an interest in.

Brainstorm an idea – Start out by getting a pen and paper or open up notepad and write down a few things that pop into your head, things that you enjoy and have a passion about.

Write about stuff you like – There’s no point blogging about some old crap that you aren’t interested in, write about things that get your juices flowing, tell people what you think or feel about something and why. By getting that mesage across with passion and verve, you’ll find it easier to build a little following and get people reading you.

People are different but the same – Some people like to blog about random stuff that enters their heads.

This is perfectly ok, even if you are a certified loon, someone somewhere might just enjoy what you have to say. People aren’t as dissimilar as we like to think we are. We all like to eat nice food, talk about things that make us smile and laugh, sometimes cry. We like to talk about our hopes and fears and aspirations, our kids, our friends, TV shows, politics, films, music, sex and our vices, clothes and fashion, shops we like, stores that are offering special offers, places to avoid, hotels that we’ve stayed in, resorts we’ve visited, airlines we used to get there, the people we encountered. Some of us are great advisors having an ability to problem solve and help others, some of us are just funny and like to make people smile and laugh, some of us are ranty sons of bitches, some of us are sensual horny mudder fudder, some of us are loudmothed opinionated know all know nothings, whatever we may be, we all have something to say and we will always find someone somewhere who’ll be inspired/depressed/irritated/amused/aroused by what we say.

Ok where next? So you have your idea, you’ve been around the block a couple of times and researched what it is you are going to write about. You’ve checked out a few other blogs and websites and made a note or two of the kind of stuff that’s already out there, you’ve even wrote up a few pieces in word documents, you may already have stuff on 43things or Bebo or facebook you are just unsure as to where to go next. The whole idea of getting a webhost account and installing a wordpress blog for example just fills you with dread and is kinda scary. Have no fear, it is really easy you have nothing to worry about.

For me the self hosted route is the best option- People seem daunted by the idea of setting it all up for themselves yet if they look into it they’ll find that all they needis a hosting account and a domain name a blog install and they are off Those links referenced offer hosting with a free domain name, eg for just $6.95 per month and offer great customer support on set up issues. Once you have that done you are good to go.

Just login to your blog control panel with your username and password, activate your theme or choose from the 1000’s of free ones out there and start writing.

There are 100’s of tutorials out there for those looking to fine tune and hone their installs, but that’s a topic for another day.

I’ m done for now (I’ ve a problem with my space bar which is driving me nuts) but in the next blog on this topic I’ll talk a little more about the basics around blogging and some of the ways you can monetise what you do. Meantime, have a great day or night or whatever and thanks for reading. If you have any specific thoughts or suggestions of topics you’d like to see covered then do feel free to drop something in the comments box.

Techy problems behind the scenes

As some of  you may have noticed, I’ve been having database problems. If I’m not ‘here’ then you know where I’ve gone. To say it sucks is an understatement.  I’m able to login in at the moment but for how long is another issue entirely.

Adding images to your blog posts with Flickr

Some of you might have heard of a website named Flickr. I like flickr its a cool little place to share your photos or store them online, anyhow…did you know that you can also access these pictures and add them to your blog posts?

The code below will show all images that have been tagged sunny

<p id=”flickr_badge_wrapper” align=”center”>
<script src=”
display=latest&size=s&layout=h&source=all_tag&tag=sunny” type=”text/javascript”></script></p>

This how it looks when outputted to the blogpost 5 small horizontal images.

You can specify,horizontal,vertical by picture size and number too.

Here is the same keyword but larger and with only one image specified.

All you need to do is play with the variables size=s gives you small size=m gives you medium and size=l gives you large. Count specifies the number eg count=4 would show 4 images.

The downside is that it’s a little random, but if you want to show images from people who have ok’ed public distribution then it’s a handy little way of adding an extra dimension to your blog posts or pages.

Ifyou you’d like the images to look like those above then you’ll need to add the code below  to your stylesheet or head of your post but do make sure to include the <style></style> tags if going via the head option.

#flickr_badge_source_txt {padding:0; font: 11px Arial, Helvetica, Sans serif; color:#666666;}
#flickr_badge_icon {display:block !important; margin:0 !important; border: 1px solid rgb(0, 0, 0) !important;}
#flickr_icon_td {padding:0 5px 0 0 !important;}
.flickr_badge_image {text-align:center !important;}
.flickr_badge_image img {border: 1px solid black !important;}
#flickr_www {display:block; padding:0 10px 0 10px !important; font: 11px Arial, Helvetica, Sans serif !important; color:#3993ff !important;}
#flickr_badge_uber_wrapper a:hover,
#flickr_badge_uber_wrapper a:link,
#flickr_badge_uber_wrapper a:active,
#flickr_badge_uber_wrapper a:visited {text-decoration:none !important; background:inherit !important;color:#3993ff;}
#flickr_badge_wrapper {}
#flickr_badge_source {padding:0 !important; font: 11px Arial, Helvetica, Sans serif !important; color:#666666 !important;}

An ever changing post for an ever changing world

This post will never stay the same, just like the internet it will constantly move and shift. It will display different kinds of links to different urls, similar to Google Zetgeist it’ll draw upon what people are looking for, it’ll try and help those who want people to write about those ideas and topics that are important to them.

What do you want to write about? 2 order by rand() Limit 0, 1″;
$result = mysql_query($sql); @ $num_results = mysql_num_rows($result);

$row = mysql_fetch_array($result);
//$boldit=str_replace(“$k”, “$k“,$row[kw]);
$lowerdasheds=str_replace(” “, “-“,$row[kw]);
$klower=str_replace(” “, “-“,$kz);
#flickr_badge_source_txt {padding:0; font: 11px Arial, Helvetica, Sans serif; color:#666666;} #flickr_badge_icon {display:block !important; margin:0 !important; border: 1px solid rgb(0, 0, 0) !important;} #flickr_icon_td {padding:0 5px 0 0 !important;} .flickr_badge_image {text-align:center !important;} .flickr_badge_image img {border: 1px solid black !important;} #flickr_www {display:block; padding:0 10px 0 10px !important; font: 11px Arial, Helvetica, Sans serif !important; color:#3993ff !important;} #flickr_badge_uber_wrapper a:hover, #flickr_badge_uber_wrapper a:link, #flickr_badge_uber_wrapper a:active, #flickr_badge_uber_wrapper a:visited {text-decoration:none !important; background:inherit !important;color:#3993ff;} #flickr_badge_wrapper {} #flickr_badge_source {padding:0 !important; font: 11px Arial, Helvetica, Sans serif !important; color:#666666 !important;}

Ha, huh? It might seem risible, it might seem very serious (I can’t predict which word appears it’s completley random, until my script breaks that is!) but for your eyes, today that word is a word or phrase that someone somewhere is paying top $ for in a PPC campaign.

You’d think that at some point eventually, those very people would simply build good content related to and get the traffic that way. After all, that’s all the engines want really, good content that people will read and come back to and talk about…Could it really be that simple, write it and they will come?

I’m kinda wondering too how people will react (if they do at all of course) will they say rob over at yack yack is talking about or will the ever shifting keyword or phrase go unnoticed and get them talking about it in more generalised ways…we shall see, its fun to test and prod!

Please do tell, what is this post about? Is it about or is it about something entirely different?

How to improve my blog for me me meme

I got a shout from Maurice over at his Cayman Islands blog on a a blog improvement meme started by Dane.

I’ve been thinking about this topic for some time. There is quite a bit on this blog that I think could do with a little attention, or at least make for a bit of a discussion.

General layout

For starters, I’d like to introduce a fluid theme (that’s one that stretches to a users screen size). My fixed theme is great, I love its look Ive used it for a while, its a great looking design and an impressive job. However, I’m losing out on a lot of screen real estate that could be used in better ways. I often feel like Im writing on paper and using huge margins left and right. I wonder if others feel similarly. Many of the good blogs I read these days use a layout that’s tailored towards the bigger screen resolutions.

Of course, my main reason for not doing so sooner is that I’ve made a hell of a lot of modifications to this existing theme which will be a bit of pain to add to any new layout.Add to that the need to upgrade to WP2.3 and I find myself losing the will to live.

Comment form usabilty

I’d also like to improve the usability of my comment form. Sebastian has some good reasons for doing so over at his SEO blog. I’m also going to take another look at my comment template and see if I can ajaxify some of the componants. I’d also like to alter the way I communicate my comment policy. As it stands, I link to some rant from within a big pile of words that are a bit of a mouthful – it isn’t an ideal solution. It might help to stick the words in a little pop up somewhere perhaps and drop the rant maybe.

Subscribe to comments

I’m not too happy with my subscribe to comments option either and find that my position has shifted somewhat from my original little rant. I thought about giving people a cookie option to choose. I thought about an onload event too whereby some div opened up asking 1st time visitors how they’d like to be treated, do they want follow up emails to their comments or do they not. I’m still undecided and kind of find myself thinking about going back to the default unchecked option. The problem always was that there are pros and cons on both sides and well, I sided with one that felt ok at the time.

Interacting with existing visitors

It could also be a good idea to give regular visitors some additional insights into say, how many people had read an article they’d commented on, what locations they’d came from, who was linking to the page that sort of thing. This could be a useful hook to grab a new subscriber or registration even. I can see the subtle attraction of an <? if(user_registered) { ?> show more stuff <? }?> option.

Writing better stuff that people will want to read

I’ve said it once I’ve said it twice I’m no Shakespeare . I do tend to waffle on and fly off on tangents that began in the recesses of my cannister and bounced off of the insides of my noddle a few times. I’d like to write a few more factual informative pieces, case studies things like that. Maybe make them available as a subscription or registered user option.

I try and avoid too many topical issues. I try not to follow the crowd and parrot a different version of what someone else out there is saying already. I think that by staying individual and true to who I am then some people somewhere will carry on reading me and as more stumble across my stuff then that reader base should grow.

I had 180 subscribers earlier which is really cool and a small indicator that I’m doing something right somewhere. I never really thought about getting lots and lots of readers here, but must confess to feeling a tiny degree of satisfaction that people around the globe find some of what I say interesting enough to hit a little button somewhere.

Getting out and about more

You can improve your blogs visibilty by getting out and about and commenting on other peoples stuff. I really need to do this more and expand my little circle. I tend to read the same people daily and whilst this is a good thing (they write interesting stuff) I do find that I might be spending too much time reading them and not enough time reading others.

I try not to be one of these people who targets A-listers or people with big established subscriber bases but it does need to be said that this is a good tactic for getting yourself better known. If you bang on the right doors hard enough and in the right kind of ways then eventually they might just open and send you a boat load of traffic.

Alas, such an approach doesn’t really fit with who I am, I’m not too good at it, I’m just not one of lifes schmoozers.I did give it a conscious try some time back but found myself thinking, hang on, what am I doing, I’m only commenting because he has a lot of readers, and heck they didn’t even acknowledge what I said, what the hell am I doing, so well… end of. I’m sure it looked far too transparent, sheeat the manipulative SEO strikes again.

Henceforth, the modus operandi is, one of if I talk about someone or comment on their stuff I’ll do so because:

  • They are discussing something that I’m genuinely interested in that has relevance to what I’m discussing and my readership
  • I simply like them or respect what they stand for and what they do and how they do it
  • I disagree strongly with an opinon or policy and need to let them know why.

I’ll probably see my blog’s subscriber base grow more slowly as a result, but I don’t really care so much. I’d rather grow my base on the back of being true to who I am, than as a result of being some comment attention seeking brown nosing whore.

It really is possible to grow a successful blog without being so.

Anyhow I feel myself beginning to waffle so I’m going to tag….a few people I’ve seen around at Sphinn I think, and see what happens, thanks for listening.

Ben Shana Bob Marty and Tancy01

Blogrush – Join Blogrush, do it now!

Another new player on the blogosphere today is Blogrush. Looks like a neat way of getting traffic to your blog. If you use my link you’ll be doing me a huge favour too. Watch the video to find out more.

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