So what is a good father to be gift or Father’s Day gift? Gifts for dads include leather carrying cases, spa slippers, gold accessories, gadget chargers for the car, designer cuff links, and personalized drinking glasses (beer mugs). And let us not forget gadgets such as a solar powered sound system, floating desktop globe (powered by magnets), and the universal remote which doubles as a bottle opener.
What are some of the elements of a merchant account? If you are in the retail business, obviously a credit card machine terminal is a no-brainer. However in 2011, every business needs an online presence as well, and your website must be configured to handle e-commerce. If your business works with a large volume of checks, an ach merchant account usually needs a check reader that links to phone and internet.
There are many different solutions for your ideal merchant account, and the bottom line is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when starting or improving your business: all the tools and methods exist. The key is finding the best technology and low interest rates and fees.
Okay, first things first: I’m not selling anything here. I’m also not going to share any of my SEO or Internet Marketing techniques and methods. My goal here is to protect you from being conned by some “IM Guru”, SEO software, and from losing sleep over Google “finding you out” for doing something. But I also want to reinforce the philosophy that internet marketing is not spamming.
There has been a lot of talk and panic the last few years on some of the most popular internet marketing forums about the Google Sandbox, Google Slap, and Google Ban. There are numerous “accepted” internet marketing and SEO techniques that are black hat (dirty tricks, violations of Google’s Terms of Service, hacking, illegal) or grey hat (borderline, mixes legal and illegal techniques), so newbie IM’ers can easily follow the Phony Guru (Big Shark, King Shark, Fake Guru) and make some costly mistakes.
If you’re wondering why Google is the self-appointed Internet Cop, and why masses of IM’ers are so concerned about Google, it’s because most people use it when searching for something. Yahoo and Bing’s traffic can’t compare to it. And when you consider that being ranked #1 for a given keyword or phrase can generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for you, depending on what it is, you can imagine how people are scrambling for an edge- just like athletes and steroids. In effect, the Phony Guru is a drug dealer selling some e-book, link magnets, backlinks, software, proxy servers, or methods.
So how do you know what’s legit and what’s not?
Read Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. That is your bible. It outlines Google’s Quality Control when it assigns Page Rank. It is Google’s Best Practices. It is White Hat SEO. That doesn’t mean you ignore the various legit SEO methods, because frankly if you just have a website that focuses on your cooking recipes or you are writing a diary, more than likely your site will get lost in the shuffle in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) if you do not promote it, even if you follow Google’s rules to the tee. But Step One of your journey must be to read and follow the guidelines.
Let’s talk about Google Sandbox: Fact- it has not been confirmed by Google. The Sandbox Effect may be part of Google’s algorithm. Basically, you create a new website, promote the heck out of it, but the site still ranks low in the search engines. Or perhaps you started off hot, but now your traffic has decreased, and your Page Rank is still 0. Others say your site is being reviewed by Google. There are many exceptions to this. LESSON TO BE LEARNED: Season your website. Write ORIGINAL CONTENT. Don’t sell stuff. Actually bring something to the table for site.
Let’s talk about the Google Slap or the Google Penalty: Bottom line, if you have engaged in any violations of Google TOS/Guidelines, you can get Slapped (Page Rank 0 or totally kicked out of their index or worse- any site you own based on WhoIs will get penalized). This is where Google comes off like the Googstapo. LESSON TO BE LEARNED: Obey the Webmaster Guidelines, never SPAM, and perhaps the most practical advice- don’t put all of your eggs in one basket (only one website). Diversify in case you did break the rules.
When does Google actually penalize your Name and every site you own? You really have to be a master spammer for that to happen. It doesn’t happen if you commit minor infractions or even if you get involved in a major one. Again, you have to be creating a bunch of junk sites, link schemes, and perhaps use black hat methods to get Super Slapped. There has been a growing paranoia about this happening for accepting paid text links, but it’s not true.
There are so many dumb theories out there, spread by Phony Gurus to hold you back. You see Gurus are always 2 steps ahead of you anyway, and only give advice that won’t harm them. The “new trend” you read on The Warrior Forum is old hat to the King Sharks. Additionally, actually performing the reverse of their advice would NOT cripple your competition (such as getting Google Banned for creating an incorrect Link Wheel- has anyone tried to create the wrong backlinking method to their #1 competitor to see what would happen? NO, because it’s insane to give your rival backlinks. How does Google “know” who is creating the links?)
If anyone has any specific questions, I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about blackhat, greyhat, and whitehat SEO.
The most valuable LESSON TO BE LEARNED: SEO and website promotion require you to be patient, obey the rules, and not get addicted to the quick and easy schemes to make money online. SEO is one case where the tortoise does defeat the hare. The good news for me, is that most aspiring SEO marketers (my competition) opt for the short cuts, and don’t care about staying power to grow a franchise. The other bit of good news is that even though there are thousands of good marketers, millions of them don’t get IT. The latest Google update- called May Day, devalues Page Rank 0 link farms, and rewards authority links.
Social bookmarking giant Reddit needs financial help from users even though its owned by Conde Nast. The main story for people is that Conde Nast has money, and that Reddit programmers shouldn’t be asking for donations. However, the DailySkew founders have a different take. For the record, I use Reddit, and encourage you to submit this article to Reddit because Reddit users are very critical and thoughtful. I appreciate that the Reddit founders keep the site easy, simple, and fast. I admire that they have no sold out. However, it’s poor business sense in 2010. Anyway, here is a slightly edited version (to protect the guilty) of The DailySkew’s opinion of this Reddit donations story:
Damian: 280 million monthly page views and no ad revenue…nice business plan- to keep everything free (communist) and with no ads, no e-mail marketing, etc…too bad we’re not in a utopia yet, where that would work.
Tony: And to top that all off, they’re owned by Conde Nast, a publisher that I’m sure is struggling with the transition from print to digital. The users on Reddit who point out that CN is the big corporate owner should realize that Conde Nast might be asking for donations soon! The “four Reddit engineers”: they’re probably the equivalent of the old Tashman IT department.
We probably make more money than Reddit.
What’s funny is most users of Reddit are probably just promoting their website or brand. They’re just using Reddit to get web traffic. They don’t hang out at Reddit, bonding with fellow aliens or whatever! LOL!
Man, I feel like our content-driven efforts are far more fruitful.
I’ve been waiting for more social media companies to go out of business. Their model doesn’t make any sense!
Damian: It’s a great symbol of the point we have with similar sites. I still don’t think Twitter can be making the money it’s capable of, either. It’s very crazy to found a company and ingrain the “no ad” philosophy, and yet allow spammers and IM’ers to use it with no rules…lol…I still don’t think Facebook ever will reach its potential since it doesn’t sell anything. MySpace and Facebook wised up and at least make money with their internal ad networks and selling of e-mail addresses/newsletters with affiliate links. YouTube is loaded with ads now.
Look at sites like StumbleUpon, Mixx, Digg, Reddit, etc: would we give them money or buy something from them as regular surfers? If they are not making money on traffic, since those sites are SO necessary for internet marketing, perhaps they should charge a monthly fee to use them, however the bulk of the subscribers would be IM’ers, so the links would be spammy. Then someone else would come around and have a free site, and the cycle would continue.
The article sites make EASY money, though: it’s all adsense driven with FREE content from writers, with full rights to republish /sell anywhere. That’s why there are 900 fly-by-night article sites- anyone can set one up- it’s just takes a while, need a good server, and they usually get hacked by Russians.
And then the Firefox mentality…it’s so Ianare-like. The don’t even collect and steal info like Google does…lol
It’s the whole post-9/11 it’s evil to blatantly charge for products/services or run ads thang, in which Google is the master illusionist.
I’d like to conclude that I realize this is a minority opinion that will piss someone off. Then again, our majority opinions piss someone off. Guess ya can’t please everyone, so why even try?
Skew.DailySkew.com TOS UPDATE on SPAM POLICY and hyperlinked websites: All fellow internet marketers take note (especially the spammers, robots, and sockpuppets): I had a change of heart: I will be accepting and posting your comments from now on instead of rejecting them and blacklisting your IP address at my sole discretion.
Don’t rejoice too much, however, I am stripping your website and any other links during the manual validation process (also called QuickEdit in WordPress). Not only do you lose your links, but you actually will be adding free content to my site in the comments section. I have done this in the past on another site, and will now we doing this in full force here. I started doing this two days ago, and was not surprised to find that the number of spam comments has dropped dramatically. Seems like you guys don’t like that, so I will continue.
DailySkew websites are valuable real estate, and I will not allow you to get links for free if you do not actually add to the conversation with appropriate and thoughtful content. If you are real, and have good comments, I will allow your website link or hyperlink at my discretion.
This is my new Terms of Service for spammy comments. I’ll add it to the legal page when I get the chance if I remember to do so in upcoming years.