The Slimy Underbelly of the Internet

For those thinking that it is easy to start-up a web site and build up a readership if you have solid content, I applaud your attitude, however, there is a very slimy underbelly of the internet that you are fighting against, so it is not as simple as you might hope it would be.

I was aware of a lot of the shenanigans that go on all in the name of building readership, and getting more advertising, but some of this seems to be just over the top , some examples of the slimy underbelly of the internet:

  • Buying “likes” on Facebook? Why would anyone want to do that? Evidently it helps your readership, but does it do you any good?
  • Most of the Twitter world is either a Bot (i.e. automated reposter) or “synthetic” IDs controlled by Social Media companies to build Twitter statistics. My guess is that out of my 2500 followers a large number of them are not actually folks.
  • I assume you can get +1 from Google Plus from similar firms, but then again, who actually uses G+?
  • There are “Click Bots” out there, that clicks Adsense ads for you, or better still that clicks your “competition” web site ads, to exhaust their Adwords budgets (and allowing your ads to flourish, without competition). Now that is just slimy, burning your competitors budgets? That is bad.
  • How many of the sites you read are really written by them? Scraping bots are out there taking content and rehashing it, to make money on other folks back.

There are countless other Grey Hat and even Black Hat ways to make this all work, but is it worth it? I am still working for slave wages, but at least I am having fun (aren’t I?), and not living in the slimy underbelly of the internet.

Eight Year Old Archives and their Use

I finally decided to start sifting through my older posts and found that some of them were actually not that bad, but they had not really been enjoyed by anyone much, but how do I promote these older gems in my archive?

For the longest time I kept hoping that promoting these old chestnuts on my Twitter feed might promote more interest, but it never really happened (that I can see). I have also tried to create “Best of:” posts where I include the old post and a link back to the old post, but that seemed redundant (and might actually contravene Google’s rules about duplicate content).

I finally tripped over another use of the Redirection WordPress Plug In and that is to use it for its actual design and have it point old posts to new posts.

Given I have an archive of over 2000 posts, I now have plenty of “content” I can pull from.

Methodology is quite simple:

  1. Find an old post that I like (that has few or no comments), and note the URL it currently has in the system
  2. Go to the “Publish” sub menu and edit the “PUBLISH” date to be in the future. Doing this changes the posts URL and it’s status back to “Scheduled”. Note the new URL
  3. Go to the Redirect plug-in, pop in the old and new URL and it will set up a “Moved To” Http command

There you have it, what is old becomes new. Most of the time I will at least edit the post, and sometimes put a new header block stating that it is an old post with some background, much like I did with: Pension or LIRA? A decision (redux) .

Zombie posts? I guess you can resurrect content.

One Mention and Boom (again) 2

As I have said previously sometimes the biggest readership bumps come when you are mentioned by the Main Stream Media or by someone from the Main Stream Media, and this week we have yet another powerful example of what this can do for a smaller site like THE Canadian Personal Finance Site.

My post about How to Get a Better Deal with Telecomm Companies went viral when Rob Carrick mentioned it in his on-line Globe and Mail Carrick on Money weekly post.  How viral (to me viral is relative to my regular readership)? Look at the following graphic:

Note Jump at Start of January

Note Jump at Start of January

That mention alone took me from about 500 page views a day to 3000 for a few days.

Will I keep these new readers? I will keep a few, but it is still nice to get these jumps every once in a while to make me feel like I am actually being heard a little out there.

It’s funny, when I wrote that post, I didn’t think much of it, it was more of a note to myself to remember how I got a good deal, the next time I have to deal with the Customer Retention monster.

Oh and I did publish my Year End Stats as well. Need to make some inroads here, time to try to grow my site some more.

I Still Blame the Refs

So a while ago I wrote a post on THE Canadian Personal Finance Blog about how everyone looks for scapegoats in their lives, and in specific I have seen many parents blame officials for game results, so I entitled the post I Blame the Refs. The post itself didn’t really spark too much rhetoric, or even many comments, so I filed that post in my archives and forgot about it.

Bad NFL Call

What a LOUSY Call

Fast forward to Tuesday morning this past week where the most horrificly badly NFL refereed game ever transpired, and on Tuesday I guess one of the most chosen searches in Bing was I Blame the Refs, because I surely got an 800% readership spike that day (no real increase in income, but a very large spike to show in my stats).

When I first saw the spike, I wondered if I had been mentioned in the mainstream media again, however, thanks to Jetpack for WordPress the stats clearly showed that a lot of traffic came from Bing and it was for my referees post, which makes me laugh, but it’s never a bad thing either.

I guess this is what they call “Long Tail” pick up, but I do have this happen every 4th of July with the What Does the 4th of July Mean to Me, post as well. I suppose sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good when it comes to Keyword searches.



Slow and Steady 5

Work continues to create more readership with THE Canadian Personal Finance Site, but as with all things that are hard to get, it isn’t easy.

Learning a great deal from Yakezie forums and such, but also have learned a few things that I may not have mentioned before, so here are a few important points that I have learned from some more experienced bloggers:

  • Paid Text Link Ads (not the company, just links for advertising) can get you thrown into the Google penalty box. If your main income stream is Adsense, think twice about accepting paid text link advertising on your site. The penalty box is a Page Rank of ZERO (this one happened to the Canadian Capitalist).
  • Never “like” or post your own StumbleUpon posts, that will get you thrown in their penalty box as well (I have heard that one from a few folks).
  • DO talk to other bloggers about what they have learned. If you want you can “buy” some information in some of the E-books floating around, but I got a lot more useful information from direct contact with other bloggers.
  • If you want to keep writing, choose a subject you like or care about. I write about Personal Finance, because my personal finance life is always interesting, and thus I have now been at this for over 5 years, and rarely run out of topics to write about. This site is a little harder to keep up to date, but I will try to post at least once a week about things that I have learned that week.
  • Don’t over expose yourself on Social Media sites (sounds naughty eh), in other words choose a couple of posts that you think are good and push those with your Blogging Groups, don’t shotgun every post or you’ll end up not getting much attention.

Those are the points I can think of that I have used this week.

For my Yakezie friends, I have been adding you to my Google Reader sites, and have been adding you to my Twitter feed as well, but it is hard to keep up with everything (and hold down a full time job). I will also be diligently checking the YPROMOGROUP tag to help out there as well.

Guest posts? If there are Yakezie friends who want to send me a guest post, drop me a line and we can talk about it, I don’t mind guest posts, but so far I have got some pretty bad stuff from unsolicited folks, but my guess is that Yakezie members might write a bit better content.

I am also experimenting with the All in One SEO Pack for WordPress, but I will try it out here first before I add it to my main site. I am still in search of a better theme for my main site as well.

Hope my American friends enjoyed their Thanksgiving as well.

Numbers OK, but… 2

So I have started looking at the Yakezie challenge a lot closer and there does seem to be some merits in participating in that group, as well as the other group I have of fellow bloggers.

The numbers seem to be doing OK, although my number of RSS readers has stalled and actually seems to be dropping. My Alexa ranking is now well below 200K which was the initial goal, however, my Compete numbers continue to stink and don’t look to be getting any better any time in the near future.

A few interesting tid bits I have learned or seen this week:

  • You shouldn’t post your own content to StumbleUpon, or you might end up being banned. I hadn’t known that and was merrily posting everything there, so I have stopped doing that.
  • is an interesting idea, but there seems to be a lot of bugs in retrieving articles from Digg, and you end up with empty articles you are allegedly reviewing.
  • I have created a Facebook ID Theo B. CajunMan, since they wouldn’t let me go with TheBig Cajunman, oh well, I am running a lot of content through there, and luckily HootSuite has an ability to post in a timed fashion on FaceBook as well.
  • The biggest post of the week was That is One Big Mortgage about the fact that Canadian now owe more than a Trillion Dollars in Mortgage debt. Written as an afterthought, but lots of folks picked it up, so it has been stuffed into many different Carnivals as well.
  • Found an AutoTwitterLetter creation engine, so it pukes one out for me every day around 8:00 PM, not even sure what criteria it uses, and it doesn’t make me any money, so is it worth it?
  • Found an interesting way to promote the site on Twitter, every Sunday I put out a list of links to my articles for the week, and it increases my ReTweet numbers too (yes that’s a little stinky, but all is fair).

Slowing down a little in the Social Media Blitz, but attempting to make more specific work directly with other bloggers attempting to create Buzz in different ways. Might look into my HubPages page too and see if it is worth keeping up or not.