Monday, October 29, 2007

Google Page Rank

Following up on last weeks discussion on Google's toolbar PageRank. This blog continues to have a Page Rank of 5. That seems consistent with what I've been hearing; the inbound links haven't changed, I don't sell links, or have a massive network of links (blogroll expansion to the left, notwithstanding).
However, I have recently purchased a number of other domains through They've all seen dramatic PR drops, from PR4 to PR0, and a couple from PR3 to PR1. Now for the $9 registration, I had figured I'd just put up a basic blog page, and see if there was any traffic. I'm assuming the PR drop is more from the lack of content on the pages for a while, rather than anything else.
One other interesting thought; posts 10/2 and back have Page Rank show up in the Google Toolbar, those after that, don't.

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Free Lease agreement

I was looking for a free lease agreement for a friend online today. I was surprised by the top rankings; the majority of the sites were either companions to a paid product, or a "free lease agreement" that had obviously been drafted some time ago. It fills like there's a void there, although I don't know that there's a business model to support it. Maybe a community for landlords?

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Google targeting sites...

There's a lot of discussion on Google impacting the rankings of sites that have linked within networks heavily, or sold links. There's a good roundup on SearchEngineLand. I'll be especially interested to hear if people are seeing drops from their natural search traffic, or if this is just a warning shot from Google.

Discovery Store Widget

If you scroll down the left side of the blog, you'll see a widget for the Discovery Store. It lets you scroll through ten different products that are among are big sellers for the holidays. You can also grab the code from Google, if you would like to add it to your blog. It's a nice first step into the widget space. I'd be curious to hear feedback, and I'll send a random DVD from my desk to the first person who posts it, and then links to it in the comments section. With Discovery Store gearing up for the holidays, it's a fun time to experiment.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Online marketing tips

Do you have a favorite online marketing tip? Feel free to share in the comments, and I'll be posting a collected list later in the week.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pricegrabber costs

Pricegrabber just sent out an email announcing the traditional-for-comparison-engines seasonal price rise. They're raising click costs 25% in the holiday season. My favorite part of the email? "Please note this adjustment will take place on November 1st without any required action on your behalf." Good to know they'll make it as easy as possible.

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I had lunch with a friend who has a good business selling glowsticks. These are the glowsticks that you'd be likely to see at a kids party, or wanna be kids wearing all different colors at a rave. There is also a whole subculture of video sites, of people dancing with glowsticks on and making patterns. From a business standpoint, I was fascinated by how relatively inexpensive they are... cases of 2-300 for $75. That probably explains all the vendors out on the fourth of July selling them :)


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Washington Post shopping site

The Washington Post has launched a new shopping site. CSE strategies has a review that gives it kudos for blending commerce and content. The two most interesting features are a "window shopping" feature that lets you scroll through the offerings of what appear to be local merchants. And, the local blog on shopping is buried beneath the fold.
There's a variety of interesting content; built around their partnership with They seem a bit constrained by the design, which mandates a big ad across the top, then there menu, and another ad on the right. The site design is also unnecessarily narrow, so everything feels crammed together.
Overall, I'd rate it a good start, in significant need of some visual cohesion.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Reciprocal links

Good article on the power of reciprocal links over at Digital Point.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Customer is in Control

Good post from Kevin Hillstrom of the myth of "The Customer is in control."

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Car Guy Garage

Every now and then, you stumble across something that reminds you that you can find anything on the Internet. From time to time, I contemplate redoing my garage with some magicial, gee-whiz system that will miraculously organize everything. I came across this site for garage storage. It was noteworthy, since the Home Depot website, which you would figure has a lock on this sort of thing, has very few options. The
Car Guy site, while not the most helpful for beginners, certainly has anything you might ever need to create a garage.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Southwest boarding

I was sad to see that shut down. For the last few years, whenever I had to fly Southwest, BoardFirst offered a nifty little service, that would login 24 hours before your flight, and check you in, guaranteeing an "A" pass. For those not familiar with Southwest, it got you into the first boarding group, which generally guaranteed good seating, in their open seating plan. If you were in the "B" or "C" group, you'd probably need to line up very early at the gate, to try and avoid the leftover middle seats.
BoardFirst was a great idea; although I can see why Southwest felt they needed to shutdown a service that was profiting from their own strange processes. Southwest generally seems predicated on the "fairness" of the boarding process; although those with computers and automated reminders are going to do far better in terms of boarding assignments than those without. I'll be curious if they eventually implement a premium level of service that would allow people to pay a bit more to guarantee better boarding, or better seating.

Speaking of which, if you're looking for travel deals, be sure to check out Cafe Baby Boomer.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kelkoo - changes in shopping engine business model

There was a good article by Scott at Comparison Shopping Engine Stratgies, pointing out some changes at Kelkoo. I'd encourage a read of the whole thing, but this is the line that stood out, and summarizes the major issue many merchants have:
The business model relies on getting traffic in as cheaply as possible and converting as many as possible to merchants who pay high CPC’s. There’s a big push back from merchants who want to ensure high quality converting traffic and so go back to CPA style deals

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Link building activities

Some good reads on linkbuilding activities.

How to get links using blog carnivals.
Jim Boykin discusses Made for Review Blogs. He's the first person I've seen mention this, but they're definitely popping up like weeds.
Michael Gray interview on advanced link strategies.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Scorpions - and the importance of having a strong voice

I was answering questions for a survey yesterday; and one of the questions that I thought about afterwards was "how did I choose the blogs that I read?" I realized there were two main categories; subject-matter related, and those with a strong voice. Written well, a variety of topics can be compelling, from farming to bouncing to the nuances of comparison shopping engines. I would highly recommend Diary of a Suburban CEO, as she is dealing with an infestation of scorpions.... Sad situation, but very funny, and very well written.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Trading blogroll links

I'll post more about this tommorrow; but I've been noticing an uptick in traffic to the blog lately, and the main referrers seem to be from blogrolls I've been added to. Nice to see the traffic coming through.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

October 1st was not my birthday :)

When I signed up for Facebook, I had entered a random date for my birthday. At the time, it was mandatory for signed up. I promptly forgot about it till yesterday, when I received a number of birthday wishes :) Turns out, if you hunt around, there is a feature that turns off the display, which has now been done. Thanks to everyone for the wishes, though :)

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