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Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Daily Feed Issue #12: Ideas for creating link bait

I'll be away until Sunday. Since I'm free at the airport, I'll advance post up some interesting sharing. Will be up whole week :D Hope it helps you in gaining the traffic you always wanted ;)

Welcome to Issue #12 of The Daily Feed. If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, you can subscribe on this page.

This week I'm continuing my focus on SEO and how to get quality links to your blog or website to boost your ranking in the search engines. On Monday I chatted about the 5 rules of linking, yesterday we covered the basics of link bait - what it is and I gave you a few examples of successful link bait.

Today I'm going to give you a few ideas and strategies to get high quality sites to link to you. A reminder: Link bait is a web page that is specifically designed to get other websites to link to it.

Why does link bait work?

One of the reasons link bait is so powerful is because it's viral. If you come up with a truly killer headline and web page, people will scramble to tweet about it and post it on their blog. Social media users will rush to post it on their favorite social media site so that they can get the karma, points or votes that come with posting a popular link. Other's will see your link posted and repost again and again.

Just to illustrate: If every time someone posts your link, two other people see it and re-post it, the cycle will look as follows: 1 person posts it. 2 people see it and re-post. 4 people see the 2 links posted and repost. Then 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512... So after just 9 cycles of re-posting you have 1+2+4+8+16+32+64+128+256+512 which equals 1023 people linking to your site.

I'm going to spend a lot more time on The Daily Feed discussing virality, viral co-efficients, viral loops and viral growth. But for now just take my word for it that viral growth is very powerful and very good provided it is growth in a desirable target market.

The other reason link bait is so powerful is because of the high quality links it provides. A single link from a major news outlet like CNN or BBC or a single link from a major government or university website is worth pure gold. If you're able to consistently get very high quality links like this every month or 3, you're pretty much guaranteed page 1 for several categories in your sector.

So how the heck do you write a page that everyone loves and wants to tell their friends about? Here are a few ideas:
    • Write or do something funny. Matt Inman, a designer from Seattle is a genius at funny linkbait. Check out this take on Twighlight. Linked to from The Huffington Post and many other high profile sites.
    • Write an article praising a blogger. See Jason Calcanis post on link baiting him.
    • Build a useful web tool or application
    • Make a valuable resource. Lists are always popular. Write a how-to guide or a well researched historical article.
    • Interview someone famous
    • Be the first in doing something on the Internet
    • Expose a scam, a scammer or rant about bad service or a bad product
    • Disagree with an authority. I mentioned BoingBoing taking on Wired yesterday - great example.
    • Be controversial.
    • Get a scoop on a story in your niche
    • Make a tool that others put on their sites and link to you.
    • Write an outrageous theory and back it up with logic. A recent computer science paper got over 700 votes on the popular geek website Hacker News and many other sites including Digg.com and Reddit.com. Turns out the publication may be incorrect, but it received a huge amount of publicity.
Tomorrow we'll chat about the most important part of creating link bait: Writing a killer headline.


Mark Maunder.
Feedjit Founder & CEO

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Daily Feed Issue #11: How to get high quality links

I'll be away until Sunday. Since I'm free at the airport, I'll advance post up some interesting sharing. Will be up whole week :D Hope it helps you in gaining the traffic you always wanted ;)

Welcome to Issue #11 of The Daily Feed. If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, you can subscribe on this page.

Yesterday I covered the 5 rules of linking. Today I'm going to give you a few tips on how to get links to your blog or website from high quality sites to give your search engine traffic a serious kick in the tail.

Last week I promised you something really special in this morning's edition. My team and I have come up with something we've never done before.

Feedjit is used by over 500,000 site owners because we show who is visiting your blog or website in real-time. Feedjit Pro lets you watch visitors click through your site, see live events like new cities and countries visiting, get email alerts about traffic spikes, see live graphs and much more.

We're offering Feedjit Pro at an unbelievable 60% discount for a 1 year membership. We've never given a 60% discount on any of our products before and we don't offer yearly memberships to the general public.

Because this is an unusually large discount we need to limit signups. The good news is that it includes a free 10 day trial!

(Hurry. Yesterday we passed 20,000 subscribers who are also reading this email.)

Once you click the link above simply follow the instructions on the page and you're all set. Please don't post this link or tweet it - it's only available for Daily Feed subscribers and it will be disabled once we remove the offer.

Now lets chat about getting high quality links!

In case you're a new subscriber, at the beginning of last week I introduced my basic SEO philosophy: "Create new, unique and useful web pages, host them on a user-friendly website that Google can understand and make sure the right people know about them."

Link bait is the "make sure the right people know about your pages" part of this philosophy.

Link bait is an essential strategy for any blog or website. I tend to quote Matt Cutts a lot, but there's a reason: He's on the search quality team at Google and they're the guys who decide what the definition of web spam is. Here is Matt on the subject of Link bait. Clearly Google wants high quality websites to let them know where the other high quality websites are on the web. So link bait is good for Google and good for us.

So what is link bait? Link bait is any page on a blog or website that is designed specifically to get others to link to that page or the website in general. The goal is to get high quality "backlinks" - which are other websites that link to your site.

A great example of link bait is BoingBoing's recent blog entry refuting Wired Magazine's articleclaiming the web is dead. How successful was it? Less than a week after hitting the publish button Google has indexed 235 new inbound links to that BoingBoing URL alone. Many of the links are very high quality and include GigaOm and Wired themselves. Bingo!!

A few of things that made BoingBoing's linkbait successful are:
  • The headline: "Is the Web really dead?" The headline is the most critical part of link-bait. More below.
  • It's informational - BoingBoing actually did some research to put this article together and they present useful data.
  • It's current. Wired's article is on this month's cover of the dead-tree version of their magazine. It's being talked about all over the web and offline including on NPR (national public radio which is very popular in the USA)
  • It's emotional and taps into something controversial.
BoingBoing is already a successful blog but the reality is that anyone could have done this research, turned Wired's story against them and gotten a flood of traffic.

Some of the blog entries I've posted on my personal blog have either intentionally or inadvertently become link-bait. (sorry, no links as I'd rather not promote my personal site here):
  • A blog entry titled "If your bank doesn’t like your startup’s blog, they may freeze your funds". I broke this story about a friend's business who was being discriminated against by their bank. It ended up on the Financial Times, ValleyWag, GigaOm and many other A-list blogs and newspaper sites with back-links.
  • A blog entry complaining about a large company's unresponsive sales team. It was picked up on a very popular social media website and got over 10,000 uniques in 24 hours with lots of new inbound links. A day later a senior manage from Dell called me to repair the relationship.
  • A blog entry on how to launch a startup in 10.5 hours. This actually was the start of Feedjit. Also was very popular on several social media sites, got a ton of new links and is still my most popular blog entry to this day. As a footnote: The blog entry is of course a bit of hyperbole. No one creates a business in 10.5 hours. But it makes for a great headline! :-)
  • "Think you work hard? Think again". I created this headline and blog entry to help promote a friend's business and it worked. Over 8,000 uniques in a day to this page alone. It's still my 4th most popular page on the site. The slightly controversial or challenging headline is what made it work.
Tomorrow I'll give you strategies to help you create link-bait that will get you the high quality links you need to boost your search ranking.


Mark Maunder
Feedjit Founder & CEO.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Daily Feed Issue #10: The rules of linking

I'll be away until Sunday. Since I'm free at the airport, I'll advance post up some interesting sharing. Will be up whole week :D Hope it helps you in gaining the traffic you always wanted ;)

Welcome to Issue #10 of The Daily Feed. If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, you can subscribe on this page.

Just a quick note on our book due this week titled "The little black book of free online marketing. From launch to your first 5,000 visitors per day and beyond". After a long weekend of work we've made the call to delay it an additional week. We're going to be adding more material including a bonus section and we also want to allow more time for editing.

I did promise you something special this week, so Tuesday (tomorrow) morning's edition will have a surprise and you're going to have to wait until then to find out what it is.

This week I'm covering the last and most powerful part of the SEO philosophy I introduced you to last week. My SEO philosophy in case you are one of the 3049 new subscribers we've gotten since Friday's issue went out is:

"Create new, unique and useful web pages, host them on a user-friendly website that Google can understand and make sure the right people know about them."

Today I'm covering "make sure the right people know about them". Having valuable content that is new, unique, useful, user-friendly and that a search engine can understand is great. But there are millions of websites out there that have all these basic ingredients. So how does Google, Yahoo, Bing and friends determine which websites should rank higher than others, assuming all on-site factors are equal? By using a kind of reputation system.

Each search engine has it's own algorithm for figuring out your reputation. I'm going to focus on Google exclusively because 80% to 90% of your search engine traffic will come from Google.

In the beginning - meaning 1996 when Google launched as "Backrub" at Stanford, Larry And Sergey used an algorithm called Pagerank to rank web pages. Previously search engines had relied mostly on the text on individual websites to figure out which site would rank higher. Larry and Sergey introduced a reputation system that was a huge breakthrough. It gave search engines a way to take two pages that both look useful and determine which page people on the web like more or find more useful.

Pagerank is a simple reputation system. It starts off by giving everyone a score of (lets say) one. Then it starts walking through the link structure of the web (or the link graph as it's called in geek speak) calculating who is linking to whom. It figures out your score by looking at who is linking to you and who links to them.

An exhaustive explanation of pagerank is more than you want to read. So I'm going to give you a few simple rules to follow to get Google to like you:

Rule #1: Never get someone with a low quality or spammy site to link to you. Ever.

This will hurt your ranking in Google and it's tough to recover once you've been flagged as a spam site or part of a "bad neighborhood".

Rule #2: All links are good provided they are from good quality websites.

The site that links to you doesn't have to get a huge amount of traffic or even have a super high pagerank. Just make sure they have good quality content that isn't spammy and that the people who link to them are good quality sites too.

Rule #3: Focus on getting links from sites that are related to yours.

About 70% or more of the sites that link to you should be related to your content. If a high quality site wants to link to you and they're unrelated, say yes! But focus your link building on sites that are related to yours. That will ensure that you rank highly for the correct keywords and that you'll get the kinds of visitors you want.

Rule #4: Only link to high quality sites no matter how badly someone begs or pleads that you link to them.

Linking to a spam or low quality site will hurt your ranking.

Rule #5: Link text is very important.

Link text is the text that appears as (usually blue) underlined text that surfers click on. With images that are linked, the link text is the text contained in the "ALT" attribute of the image. If someone links to you and the link text is "holiday accommodation website" then Google will assume that you should rank a little higher for anything related to holiday accommodation. When you ask a website for a link, be very specific about what link text they use. Some bloggers and site owners will want to put their own text in the link, but try to influence them into having link text that is targeted and will attract the kinds of Google users that you want.

One last note: If someone links to you, make sure they're not including a nofollow attribute. That will cause the link to not pass any pagerank to your site. You can learn more about nofollow on this wikipedia entry.

Tomorrow I'm going to chat about a few strategies to get sites to link to you. Have a spectacular Monday!

Mark Maunder
Feedjit Founder & CEO.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Daily Feed Issue #9: Building websites that Google (and friends) can understand

I'll be away until Sunday. Since I'm free at the airport, I'll advance post up some interesting sharing. Will be up whole week :D Hope it helps you in gaining the traffic you always wanted ;)

Welcome to Issue #9 of The Daily Feed. If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, you can subscribe on this page.

On Tuesday next week we have a big surprise for the blogging community. A week and a half from now is the official launch of our ebook titled "The little black book of free online marketing. From launch to your first 5,000 visitors per day and beyond". Next Tuesday we're doing a verylimited pre-sale of the book at a discount - available exclusively to members of this list. Tuesday's pre-sale is limited to 100 members and we'll send out the details on Tuesday morning so keep a close eye on your inbox.

The book contains over 30 years of combined experience in online marketing. It's written by my co-founder and I and is designed to ramp up your blog or website traffic to 5,000 visitors per day and help you keep growing. If you're just starting out or you've plateaued at a few hundred uniques a day, we have carefully constructed a set of solid rocket boosters to put your site traffic into orbit. Our current business is the massively popular Feedjit and our previous projects have been featured in Time Magazine and the NY Times. We've included a bonus section which I'll tell you more about in Monday's edition of The Daily Feed.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming:

We're continuing our focus on getting and keeping search engine traffic. This week we've introduced a broad philosophy to get and keep traffic from the search engines:

"Create new, unique and useful web pages, host them on a user-friendly website that Google can understand and make sure the right people know about them."

We've covered creating new, unique, useful and user-friendly web pages. Today we're going to chat about creating pages and websites that Google can understand.

Does your domain name matter?

Years ago Google would index search keywords in your domain name. These days your choice of domain name has little effect on your ranking in the search results unless the name contains an obscene word or was used by a black hat (bad) SEO before you and has been black-listed.

The most important factors when choosing a domain name are:
  • It must be easy to remember
  • It doesn't have to be short. HuffingtonPost is the most popular blog in the world.
  • It should have words that are related to what it does. e.g. RescueTime.com sells time management software. MediaPiston.com is a copywriting service.
  • It must be easy to spell
  • It must be easy to pronounce
  • It should not contain dashes - when someone remembers your domain, they won't remember if it included dashes or not.
  • It should be a dot-com. .org'ers argue with me if you like, but dot-com's are still the most memorable domains.
I would also avoid domains that incorporate a top level domain into the spelling. For example: "del.icio.us". It worked as a marketing gimmick for Delicious back when they launched, but even they chose to buy delicious.com and replace their original fancy spelling with a plain vanilla dot-com domain.

What about URL structure?

Your URL's should contain words that describe each page on your site separated by dashes. This is not a good URL:

This is a good URL:

Search engines index the words in your URL and give them slightly greater emphasis than the text that appears in your page content. You must use dashes instead of underscores. Google treats words separated by underscores as one big word. Here is Google's Matt Cutts explaining why you should use dashes in your URL's. Notice the URL of the page I linked to. It's well formed with dashes separating the words. Matt uses a forward slash at the end of his blog entry URL's. You can also use a .html extension - either works just as well.

Cross linking is key

Every page of content on your site should cross link to other content. If you have a blog, throw in a link to older blog posts you've written at every opportunity. Don't go too wild - just 1 to 3 links are fine. I tend to get peeved at sites that cross link too much, so only link to content that is actually relevant to what you're writing about. As the amount of content on your site grows, you'll have more fuel to cross-link to.

Cross-linking is important because not only does it help search engines find your content, but it helps them figure out which content is the most important. Google does this by calculating internal page rank for each page on your site. It figures out which pages you're linking to most often and emphasizes those pages in the results. The result is that important pages like your home page are ranked higher than content deeper in your site.

That's all for todays edition. Have a great weekend and I'll see you again next week when we'll dive into my favorite part of SEO: Link development, link bait and letting the right people know about your site.


Mark Maunder
Feedjit Founder & CEO

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Daily Feed Issue #8: "Useful" and "user-friendly" websites

I'll be away until Sunday. Since I'm free at the airport, I'll advance post up some interesting sharing. Will be up whole week :D Hope it helps you in gaining the traffic you always wanted ;)

Welcome to Issue #8 of The Daily Feed. If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, you can subscribe on this page.

This week we're focusing on getting and keeping search engine traffic. Earlier this week I introduced a general philosophy for SEO:

"Create new, unique and useful web pages, host them on a user-friendly website that Google can understand and make sure the right people know about them."

We've been breaking down this philosophy as a broad approach to SEO and discussing each of the colored words above. As the weeks progress we'll dive deeper into each of the elements in this approach. Rest assured that you're building a solid foundation in SEO and that the principles I outline in the coming weeks are the same principles that the busiest and most successful websites in the world use to get and keep search engine traffic.

So far we've introduced the importance and the meaning of creating 'new' and 'unique' content. Today we're going to cover 'useful' and 'user-friendly' as it relates to search engine traffic.


When I write these newsletters I try to pack in facts you can use. If I just have a bunch of fluff every day just so I can send you one useful piece of data every second week, you're probably going to get your advice somewhere else right? Google feels the same way about the web pages it sends visitors to. The page should answer the question the web surfer asked Google as effectively as possible. If another page is more useful and Google is doing their job right, they should send the surfer there instead.

If you have a website on quilting and Google sends you someone wanting to know how to do a rag edge stitch (don't ask me how I know about this) you'd better tell them how to stitch rag edge with as much useful information as possible. If you don't the visitor isn't going to be very happy with you or with Google's ability to find stuff. They'll leave your site and they'll go and use Bing. [No offense Bingers!]


Ever arrived on a site and a box appears in the middle of your browser obscuring the content? Or how about those sites where the ad blocks the entire site until you click close, at which point it opens a popup window. Doesn't that just make you want to climb into the screen and...

Once again, lets think like a Google employee. We want the websites we send searchers to:
  • To be Fast! Remember last week's focus on speed? This is massively important when it comes to user-friendliness and user satisfaction. I hope you took notes.
  • To be Easy to navigate. Menu's should be clear and easy to access and understand.
  • To contain the same content that the search engine indexed. Sites that show search engine crawlers one thing and then visitors another get banned from Google. This technique is called cloaking and it's very bad.
  • To have content that is easy to read and not obscured by a bunch of ads.
Earlier this week I was again reminded of the importance of speed. Our site load time dropped by about a second thanks to high traffic across our servers. The conversion rate (number of people who buy things) dropped by a few percentage points as a few people who were used to our pages loading in a tenth of a second didn't want to wait around for a mere extra second.

Making your site fast and user-friendly is an ongoing project. The good news is that every improvement you make yields measurable results that increase user loyalty and revenue.

Tomorrow I'm going to start chatting about building a website that Google (and other search engines) can understand. It's is a big subject and it will probably overflow into next week when we'll finish with the other really big subject of SEO: letting the right people know about your site ( also called link development).


Mark Maunder
Feedjit Founder & CEO

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Daily Feed Issue #7: New and unique

I'll be away until Sunday. Since I'm free at the airport, I'll advance post up some interesting sharing. Will be up whole week :D Hope it helps you in gaining the traffic you always wanted ;)

Welcome to Issue #7 of The Daily Feed. If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, you can subscribe on this page.

Yesterday I told you the secret of getting and keeping search engine traffic. In case you're new, the secret is:

"Create new, unique and useful web pages, host them on a user-friendly website that Google can understand and make sure the right people know about them."

Feel different? You should. You're now a member of a select club who knows how to get search engine traffic. Lets break down two of the underlined sections in this sentence:


Everything else being equal, new content will rank higher than older content in search engine results. Of course everything isn't equal. But this is an important factor because you are competing against a lot of other useful and unique web pages out there, so if you can be newer, why not!

As a broad strategy this means that you need to create a constant stream of new content on your site. Write a new page every week for your wine website covering a new variety of grape. Write a new blog entry each day if you're a blogger. If you're out of ideas on what to write on, revisit older blog entries and write an updated version on the same subject.

Pretend you're Google: A friend asks you to recommend a good article on Merlot grapes. You find two of them and they're very similar so you recommend the newer one. Google does the same thing.


Pages on your blog or website must be unique. This is glaringly obvious, but certain brain dead SEO's still copy other people's web pages on their own website and pretend they own them. Google is very good at recognizing duplicate content and if you do this you will incur the dreaded duplicate content penalty! Google will penalize you and you will drop out of the top search results. Don't do it.

Be careful of even grabbing a few paragraphs of someone else's content unless you add a lot of value to it with your own content that surrounds it.

Pretend you're Google: Would you want to send a web surfer to a bad copy of a web page or to the original?

That's all on SEO for today. Interesting blog battle I ran across today: Wired Magainze's Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff published a piece in Wired titled "The Web is Dead. Long live the Internet". BoingBoing called them on it with some interesting data of their own - and rightly so. I'm going to cover link building later this week or early next, but I bring this up because it's a classic time-tested strategy of building links to your blog or website. Wired publishes a controversial article and gets a ton of inbound links from irritated readers telling them they're full of it. And BoingBoing goes right ahead and plays the good guy calling them on it and gets a ton of inbound links and social media exposure too. Awesome! Both websites win and we're given some interesting opinion pieces to read. Learn from these guys!

Errata: Yesterday I mentioned Matt Cutts as an "employee" but didn't clarify that he works for Google and is part of their Search Quality group.

Mark Maunder
Feedjit Founder & CEO

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Daily Feed Issue #6: The secret of SEO, revealed!

I'll be away until Sunday. Since I'm free at the airport, I'll advance post up some interesting sharing. Will be up whole week :D Hope it helps you in gaining the traffic you always wanted ;)

Welcome to Issue #6 of The Daily Feed. If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, you can subscribe on this page.

We're continuing SEO week today with a new approach to thinking about SEO and getting visitors from search engines. Yesterday we chatted about how many visitors you can expect, the level of difficulty and how long it takes. We also covered avoiding snake oil salesmen, that this isn't brain surgery and that you can do it too!

In this issue I'm going to introduce a philosophy that you can use to get Google and other search engines to send a constant stream of targeted visitors to your blog or website.

Google wants to send you visitors and they need your help to do it. They are in the business of helping web surfers find answers to their questions. If your page has the answers and Google isn't sending people to it, they're not doing their job!

You can take one of two approaches to SEO: You can view SEO as tricking search engines into sending you traffic, or you can try to help search engines do their job better.

If you choose to trick or control what they do, you're going to have to gain a deep understanding of the algorithms they use, keep up to date on how they change - and you're going to be up against some of the smartest computer scientists in the world. If you're crazy enough to take this approach I've included links to Google's original PageRank algorithm and the Hilltop algorithm's paper to get you started. You should also be warned that if you're discovered you'll be black-listed and will have to start over on a new website.

For the rest of you sane folks, I'm going to give you a broad strategy that will get you search engine traffic and help you keep it.

Here is the secret to getting a constant stream of visitors to your site from Google or any other search engine:

"Create new, unique and useful web pages, host them on a user-friendly website that Google can understand and make sure the right people know about them."

I'm going to break this sentence down into parts and we're going to focus on each of these parts for the rest of the week. Here it is again, with each important part color coded and underlined:

"Create new, unique and useful web pages, host them on a user-friendly website that Google can understand and make sure the right people know about them."

If you stop reading now and never read another issue of The Daily Feed and you follow the above sentence exactly, you will succeed at SEO. If you don't succeed, come and ask me why and I'll explain to you which of the underlined items in the above sentence you neglected to do.

Think my 151 character SEO philosophy is too simple? It contains every major element that the best SEO's in the world use. I've used this approach myself, seen it used to great effect by successful friends. Even employees like Matt Cutts recommend this approach. [In fact part of that sentence is taken from something Matt once said.]

Tomorrow we'll dive into some of the specifics in the philosophy I've outlined above. This issue of TDF is brought to you by Feedjit Advanced and Feedjit Pro, the world's most popular real-time analytics tool. Send your feedback and suggestions for future issues to support@feedjit.com.

By the way I'd like to thank everyone who has emailed us with thank you notes, comments and suggestions. I've been terribly remiss in not replying to you yet, but you should know that we read every one of your emails and they mean the world to us. Thanks very much and keep the suggestions coming.

Mark Maunder
Feedjit Founder & CEO

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Daily Feed Issue #5: It's SEO Week!

I'll be away until Sunday. Since I'm free at the airport, I'll advance post up some interesting sharing. Will be up whole week :D Hope it helps you in gaining the traffic you always wanted ;)

Welcome to issue #5 of The Daily Feed. This is SEO week! This week I'm going to teach you how to get more visitors to your blog or website from organic search results for free.

Let me say that again: If you take my advice this week, you will get more customers or readers visiting your website and it won't cost you a dollar, yen, pound or euro.

First lets get our terminology straight: "Organic search results" are the search results you see when you do a search on Google. Organic results take up most of the body of the page. "Paid search", "Paid inclusion", "Paid placement" are all terms that mean that you are paying Google or another search engine to feature your company in a prominent position in the search results.

Now let's chat about how big the reward is. Here's my scale based on visitors per day, difficulty and time to achieve your goal:
  • 50 targeted visitors per day: Easy. A few days to 3 months to achieve.
  • 500 targeted visitors per day: Medium difficulty. 1 to 6 months.
  • 5,000 un-targeted visitors per day: Medium difficulty. 3 months to 1 year.
  • 15,000 un-targeted visitors per day: Medium difficulty. 3 months to 1 year.
  • 1,000 targeted visitors per day: Medium. 6 months to 1 year.
  • 5,000 targeted visitors per day. Hard. 1 year or more.
  • 15,000 targeted visitors per day. (At this point you're printing money). Very hard. 1 year or more.
Note: These are absolutely NOT guarantees. This is based on my personal experience and what I've seen others achieve. Which brings me to...

Rule #1: Beware the snake oil salesman.

While researching this article today I once again ran across an ad guaranteeing that you'll be indexed by Google within 7 days. No person or company controls how Google ranks web pages or at what rate they index sites other than Google themselves and Google never offers performance guarantees. So a guarantee of results is generally a red flag. Google has a great help page on SEO, a few tips to get started and tips on what to avoid.

If you are considering hiring an SEO firm, here is a general list of things to consider and a few red flags:
  • If they guarantee performance it's an immediate red flag. Drop them.
  • How did you find out about the company? If you found them in organic search results while researching SEO, that's a good sign. If they spammed you or cold called you it's probably a bad sign.
  • If you need to link to them or they are going to create a separate website to help promote your own website, drop them.
  • Make sure it's SEO you're buying and that they're not using your money to simply buy paid placement ads with Google or another ad provider.
  • If they offer to link to your site from other websites they own in order to promote your site, make sure you know which sites are going to be linking to you. If a bad site links to you it can hurt your rankings.
Rule #2: Anything an SEO guru can do, you can do too.

SEO isn't a new branch of calculus. It is not hard to understand and it isn't hard to do. By following a few basic steps you can get a steady stream of targeted readers or customers from Google. No only that, if you follow the steps I'm going to give you this week, you will be helping Google by making the people who use their search engine happier with Google's service.

Tomorrow I'm going to describe a different approach to thinking about SEO and getting traffic from Google and we'll start talking strategy. As always this issue was brought to you by Feedjit Advanced and Feedjit Pro: Watch your site traffic grow in real-time!

Mark Maunder
Feedjit Founder & CEO

Friday, August 20, 2010

Daily Feed Issue #3: Speed and page structure

I'll be away until Sunday. Since I'm free at the airport, I'll advance post up some interesting sharing. Will be up whole week :D Hope it helps you in gaining the traffic you always wanted ;)

Welcome to Friday's issue of The Daily Feed. It's actually just past midnight here on Saturday the 14th. We have a policy of locking ourselves in a padded cell to avoid any mishaps on Friday the 13th, and I just got out and rushed to my desk to get this mail off to you.

Today we're going to chat about the page structure on your blog or website and how it affects load times. If you're a new subscriber (we've had over 2000 new subscriptions today) we've spent this week focusing on blog and website speed, why it's important and how to measure it.

To summarize our story thus far:
  • Google proved that speed is possibly the most important thing when it comes to user satisfaction on your site. New visitors will stay on your site and existing visitors will keep coming back.
  • The most important thing to have a fast blog or website is to minimize the number of page components (images, flash, scripts, stylesheets). Loading lots of components is a speed killer, especially for people geographically far away from your blog's web server.
  • The second most important thing is page size. Make sure all images and flash apps are small. Try to get your page size under 500K total.
  • You can very effectively measure page performance with YSlow and the developer tools in Firebug, Chrome (my favorite) and Safari.
One last comment about user satisfaction: What irritates you the most on the web? When you search for something on Google, you see a search result that you just KNOW has what you want, and you click it only to see a blank page or half a page that hangs for 10...15...30 seconds while it's waiting for something to load. It helps to think like a visitor to your own website. You'd like your site to be fast and the content to be helpful. (more about content next week)

Enough preaching, lets chat about page structure and how it affects performance...

Use external scripts and CSS

Avoid embedding CSS and Javascript in your page. When you see SCRIPT or STYLE tags in your HTML source with huge chunks of data between them, that's bad. Instead, put the scripts in external files and link to those files with a src= or href= attribute. This structure will allow your browser to cache the scripts so that it doesn't have to load them for for every page on your site.

Use tables sparingly

Most tables aren't displayed by a browser until the browser has loaded the closing table tag in your HTML. Small tables are OK because they load quickly but if your entire site is one big table you should do a few tests to make sure you're not preventing your page from displaying as it loads.

Put external scripts that don't display anything at the bottom of your page

If you have scripts like the private version of Feedjit Pro that doesn't display anything but lets you watch your traffic in real-time, put it at the end of your web page. That way the browser can load the page elements that the user needs to see first and then load the invisible elements on the page last.

Avoid having too much javascript executing on your page

Flash animation on your page will generally execute quickly and won't slow down page loading. But javascript animation that draws floating boxes that move, snowflakes that rain down or anything else that constantly moves will slow down your page.

Advanced tip

If you're a developer and are adding javascript to your website or building full blown javascript applications, make sure you profile (measure the speed of) your javascript execution. Chrome, IE and Safari have built in profilers but Chrome is leading the way as usual. Just open Chrome developer tools and click profile to see where your script is spending the most time executing.

That's all for today. If you'd like to suggest a subject for a future issue, email us atsupport@feedjit.com. Have a spectacular weekend and I'll see you again on Monday morning Seattle time when we'll be chatting about SEO and how to get traffic from the search engines.

Mark Maunder
Feedjit Founder & CEO

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Love spaghetti? Maybe not after you read this hilarious story :D

For 2 years a man was having an affair with an Italian woman.

One night, she confided in him that she was pregnant. Not wanting to
ruin his reputation or his marriage, he paid her a large sum of money
if she would go to Italy to secretly have the child. If she stayed in
Italy to raise the child, he would also provide child support until
the child turned 18.

She agreed, but asked how he would know when the baby was born. To
keep it discrete, he told her to simply mail him a post card, and
write 'Spaghetti' on the back. He would then arrange for the child
support payments to begin.

One day, about 9 months later, he came home to his confused wife.

'Honey!,' she said, 'you received a very strange post card today.'

'Oh, just give it to me and I'll explain it later,' he said. The wife
obeyed and watched as her husband read the card, turned white, and

On the card was written:

Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti.

Three with meatballs, two without...
Send extra sauce.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


A post suitable to share with the current weather outside my room :)

It was a busy
morning, about
8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's
arrived to have
stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a
hurry as he had an
appointment at
9:00 am.

I took his vital
signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be
over an hour before someone
would to able to see him. I saw him
looking at his watch and decided, since I
was not busy with another
patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was
well healed, so
I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to
remove his
sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of
his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's
appointment this
morning, as
he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to
the nursing home to eat
breakfast with his wife.

I inquired as to her health.

He told me that
had been there
for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease.

As we
talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was
a bit late.

He replied that she no longer knew who he
was, that she had not recognized him in
five years now.

I was
surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every
morning, even
though she doesn't know who you are?'

He smiled as he
patted my hand and said,

'She doesn't
know me, but I still know who she is.'

I had to hold back
tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and

'That is
the kind of love I want in my life.'

True love is
neither physical, nor romantic.

True love is an
acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will
not be.

With all the jokes
and fun that are in e-mails, sometimes there is one
that comes along that has an
important message.. This one I thought I
could share with you.

The happiest people don't necessarily
have the best of everything; they just make
the best of everything
they have.

I hope you share this with someone you
care about.
I just did.

isn't about
how to survive the storm,

But how to dance in

are all getting

may be our

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quotes, Thoughts & Inspiration

It's been a while since I last shared some forward e-mail by Niki :)

Practical, yet refreshing, in just 500 words a day!!!


Please forward Q9 to someone you know



Every new opinion, at its starting, is in a minority of one.
- Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)


Better murder an infant in its cradle
than nurse an unacted desire.
- William Blake (1757-1827)


Americans are a broad-minded people. They'll accept the
fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a
wife beater, and even a newspaperman; but if a man doesn't
drive there's something wrong with him.
- Art Buchwald


It does not matter how slowly you go
as long as you do not stop.
- Confucius (551-479 BC)


Nobody ever wins a fight.
- "Road House"


Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist
on knowing. The rest is mere sheep-herding.
- Ezra Loomis Pound


Self-education is a continuing source of pleasure to me,
for the more I know, the fuller my life is and the better
I appreciate my own existence.
- Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), "My Favorite Writing"


As long as the thousandaires are envious of the millionaires,
and hate the billionaires, the trillionaires will be in charge.
- Floyd Maxwell (1957-)


Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
- Amelia Burr