WebMeUp – New Online SEO Tools

SEO has become an industry in and of itself and staying on top of it has become more of a chore than maintaining your website in the first place. There are few options in this arena and one of them is to fork over hundreds or thousands of dollars to hire SEO professionals to optimize your website and steer you in the right direction of gaining online exposure.

Or you can use the data tools that WebMeUp has put together to help you get the most granular snapshot of your website(s) possible.


This online SEO service provides you with a central dashboard that displays everything you need to better optimize your website. This screenshot gives you an idea of just how much data can be found in your account:


WebMeUp treats your websites as projects and depending on which plan you go with, you can have anywhere from 3 to 30 projects and up to 10,000 pages per website being crawled and monitored. I’ve been using the service for about 3 weeks now and I must say that I’m not sure how I attempted SEO before!

It’s easy to throw up a WordPress website and load it with various SEO plugins and other tools to help optimize your content, but most of these tools make changes site-wide and don’t really tell you why the changes help or more importantly, how you can use these changes to get your visitors engaged and focused on your content. When I log into WebMeUp, I’m able to see current stats on how my site appears to the major search engines and how well it’s performing on the top social networks. If there’s an error, I know about. If one of my page titles is too long, it tells me. If I have broken links, I can resolve them. And all of that is just on the first page!

Site Structure

In dealing with your individual pages, Site Structure is one of the best features due to its ability to drill down to very specific details regarding incoming and outgoing links for EACH page on your site, whether or not an image has an alt tag, what the Page Rank is for each link, is it follow or nofollow and does it provide a 301 redirect or not.

Here’s a screenshot of my own summary page:
WebMeUp Site Structure

If you want to see further detail, simply click on the Details tab and you can go right into every single folder that your site has to see all pages, all links (incoming and outgoing), PR, etc. on everything! Have you ever wished you could remember which pages and posts your site links to? Have you ever forgotten how your “web” of a website is intertwined and would like to visualize the linking structure without having to go through each page manually?? This one section on WebMeUp would save you tremendous amounts of time!

More Tools

Ranking Factors – Take a quick look at your Alexa Ranking, Compete Rank, Google PageRank and overall visibility. This toolset also shows you basic domain information, whether or not your site appears in popular directory lists and how much interaction you have on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

Keywords and Rankings – This is where SEO masters will thrive! Start by adding specific keywords and phrases that are related to your site and within seconds, you can get an overview of how well you rank on the major search engines or worse, whether you rank at all. Having this tool allows you to better optimize your pages and links to gain higher rankings for your chosen keywords.

Competitors – One of the more interesting features of WebMeUp is the ability to place competitors’ websites right next to yours in just about every data report, giving you a real-world comparison between how well your site is doing and that of another website ranking close by. This tool can help you focus directly on one or more websites in an effort to maximize your results without the guesswork. Say goodbye to manual searches!

Backlinks – This section will show you all the backlinks your site has and what the PR is of each page the link is on. Now you can pinpoint where your best traffic is coming from. I was able to use the feature to find out about a related website after they linked to me on their top page. Of course, I was able to link back to them and we have since developed a partnership in which we share links and information.

My Two Cents

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the greatest at SEO and every time I feel I’m getting the hang of it, I notice my rankings don’t always stay near the top. SEO is a very interesting segment of managing a website of any size and one that often changes frequently and needs constant tweaking and updating. Like many of you out there, I do this site as a hobby and I don’t have the capital to spend on hiring someone full time just to keep up on SEO.

Instead, I’ve been able to use WebMeUp to keep everything organized and managed in one nice little package. It’s one thing to get someone to optimize your site or to use a free WordPress plugin that can set things up the way they’re supposed to be, but it’s another to not have the right data to know if these things are actually doing your site any good. WebMeUp isn’t free, but I can assure you that even just a few of the many features I’ve covered are worth the monthly cost, yet you will get everything and more! But seriously, don’t take my word for it…go get yourself a 2-week free trial and see what I mean.

VYou.com – Video Responses To Life's Questions

In the NEVER-ENDING quest to socialize online, expand your reach as a blogger or to become an internet star, VYou brings together the desire to post videos online with that of providing opinions on everyday questions from everyday people.

The premise is simple…ask a question of someone and get a video response back and/or find questions already being asked and create your own video response. In either case, VYou is providing a large database of searchable answers to topics of interest. As a user of some other ‘answer’ sites like Yahoo! Answers or Answers.com, I actually find this service to be pretty damn cool. While most of the questions I’ve watched so far seem to be merely opinions, there are a few people who consider themselves experts in various topics and do provide detailed responses.


Just like any respectable social networking platform out there, VYou offers the ability to follow other users, create status updates and link your account to Facebook and Twitter. However, the entire service is all about videos. This means that instead of posting savvy one-liner status updates to your wall, you’re actually posting videos. You can no longer hide behind your keyboard!

On a technical side, VYou is highly portable in that you can embed your videos and/or entire profile just about anywhere. There doesn’t appear to be an official WordPress plugin, but given that the videos are embedded using a simple iFrame, there really doesn’t need to be one. What’s really cool is that because these videos are short and to the point, you can embed them directly into your articles without having your visitors sit through any fluff or advertising. As an example, I’ve posted a video answer here for your viewing pleasure.

That’s pretty much it. 🙂

My Two Cents

I have yet to record my first video, but so far I like the idea of this site. As an example of a serious use of this site, I was thinking how cool would it be for politicians or other people with clout to be able to sit down and record a series of short video answers to questions that all us regular people send in. Google+ has Hangouts, but it can be a process to set everything up and even when it’s all live, you still only get 9 people max in the session.

Celebrities can use the service to reach out to their fans. While Twitter and Facebook offer ways to do the same, the video response is far more engaging than simple tweets and Wall updates.

6 Reasons To Leave Facebook For Google Plus – And 3 Reasons Not To

Google Plus is the new kid on the block and compared to Facebook, it’s still a small kid. However, Google Plus has been gaining huge momentum in the last year that it has been available. Part of this gain has been from the fact that Google operates on so many levels within the web community and Google+ interacts seamlessly with almost all of them. Plus, it helped that Google began forcing all YouTube users to link their accounts with a Google+ profile. So even though Google+ has over 400 million users, only about 100 million are active on a monthly basis.

It might seem like a daunting task to start fresh on a large-scale social networking site considering that you’ve likely been on Facebook for so many years now, but after my experiences with Google Plus, I’m about ready to drop Facebook completely! But let’s not jump the gun completely…check out the pros and cons below to see if Google+ is right for you.

Reasons to jump ship

  1. Advertising – Facebook is full of it. It’s not always so apparent too. With all the adverts for game requests, sponsored links and now promoted wall posts, Facebook has become a haven for cyber junk that you are probably getting really sick of. I know I am. Now, this doesn’t mean that Google+ doesn’t have the potential for falling into the same traps, but my guess is that since Google has more than one service, they don’t need Google+ to be their cash cow. Whereas Facebook now has shareholders to answer to, it’s very possible that advertising could get worse for them.
  2. Integration – Facebook integrates well with other online services and websites, but it’s still a very separate platform. Google+ is basically the backbone of the majority of Google services so when you log into Gmail, you are already logged into Google+, YouTube, Drive and more! The best part is that practically all of these services are well-integrated and they cross-manipulate one another.
  3. Google+ Events

  4. Google Events – Yes Facebook has events, but they are like Google’s. On Google+, you can create an event, invite all your friends and instantly it turns into Party Mode. This feature allows all attendees to upload photos to the event which then threads them all together for everyone to see.
  5. Google Hangouts – Remember the days of video conferencing or webcam chats? How difficult was it to get more than two people in on the event? Well Google+ now allows live streaming events to be hosted online and joined by others and/or watched by everyone. From a business standpoint, this allows much more integration between employees and clients.
  6. Muppets Google+ page

  7. Communities and Pages – Google+ offers users the ability to create pages for their businesses just like Facebook as well as starting their own communities like Facebook groups. The difference is that the integration is much tighter with Google+ and everything is instantly linked to search results related to your content. On Facebook, you might have to pay for advertising to get similar results.
  8. Future proof – Google+ is banking on long term goals with product integration and it starts with Google search. With the rise of micro-blogging and the sharing of content all over the internet, the power of Google search can only help get that content to the people. As a blogger myself, Google+ has even allowed my search results to appear next to my name and a photo to help make them stand out among the competition.

It seems that there isn’t much if anything that Google+ can’t do that Facebook can, so why would anyone not make the switch? Let’s take a look at some of the things that are holding me back…for now.

Reasons not to jump ship

  1. Entrenchment – There’s no doubt that Facebook is vastly more widespread than Google+ is. In fact, “facebook” has almost become a ubiquitous term for social networking, much like “google” has become for finding things online. As a result, it’s much easier to find people on Facebook.
  2. Vanity URLs – This might seem like such a small detail, but having the ability to tell people they can find your Facebook page by going to facebook.com/ledfrog is far more enticing than trying to tell people that they can find you on Google+ by going to plus.google.com/114683976907069457614. However, I should point out that Google has already started rolling out vanity URLs to verified celebrities and corporate brand pages. One such example is google.com/+hughjackman. The use of the little ‘+’ is also used to tag names in posts or search for people.
  3. Integration – Although it’s also mentioned above as a pro, Facebook does have a leg up with website integration in terms of being able to login to external websites, but that’s all starting to change.

With time, Google+ has great potential to become much more powerful than Facebook due to Google’s vast amount of services and products they have connected together. Facebook has been described has being a social network, while Google is described as being a social layer that covers many of Google’s properties.

My Two Cents

In the end of all this debate, many people (including myself) will simply continue using both. I have to because all of my real-world friends are on Facebook and very few of them are on Google+. I also have a couple of Facebook pages that already have fans attached to them, so until I see the natural progression of Facebook users moving toward Google+, I don’t plan on deleting any accounts.

But just like the pioneers of Facebook did when they left MySpace all those years ago, I plan to start really pushing Google+ to my friends as well as posting more updates there than on Facebook. If my friends want to continue following me…well, they’ll have to literally follow me over to Google.

Be Careful When Deleting Your Google+ Account

Learn from the master…ehh…well not-so-master today. Learn from one of my biggest mistakes in quite some time!! The lesson of the day is DO NOT DELETE your Google+ account if you plan on keeping your YouTube account.

YouTube error


I only had one reason to delete my Google+ account and it was simple—I started using Google Apps. Google doesn’t allow users to have two Google+ accounts, so my original setup was me just using Google Apps for the email service. This meant that I left everything else over on my original Gmail account. As a result of this, ever time I wanted to use YouTube, Google Drive or Google+, I had to switch accounts. There were times when this was as easy as clicking on my name and selecting the second account and then there were times when I had to log in again.

These issues weren’t so much a problem when I was on my laptop or desktop, but when I went mobile, everything went to hell. The reason for that was because all of the Google services run as separate apps and things like YouTube, Google+ and Gmail need the account to be added to the phone. I didn’t want to do this because with adding the account, I now have multiple Google accounts battling it out for attention over things like syncing contacts, calendars, Chrome settings, etc. I also didn’t want to have the second (original) Gmail account in my inbox because I was already forwarding mail to my new one, which meant that I was now getting two of every forwarded message on my phone!

Regardless of every workaround I found, it went against the streamlined setup I was aiming for—one Google account for all my devices and one login for all my services when on a regular computer. And thanks to my desire to have this account be my new Google Apps domain rather than Gmail, I have now lost everything I had in my YouTube account.

How to do this the right way!

The first thing you want to do is unlink your Google+ and YouTube accounts. However, this only works on accounts created before May 2009 as those are called legacy accounts and were created before Google owned YouTube.

  1. Make sure you’re signed out of all Google Accounts and visit this page: http://www.youtube.com/my_account_unlink
  2. Enter your YouTube username and your old YouTube password from before you linked to your Google Account, then enter the verification code.
  3. Next, click Unlink My Accounts.
  4. You’ll need to re-link your YouTube account to another Google Account. You can link it to an existing Google Account that you own, or create a new one.

After the original accounts are unlinked and the new accounts are linked, you can delete the old Google+ account. Because I didn’t follow these steps, I have lost all my video uploads, video/channel views, other stats, subscribers, username, etc. I have since opened a trouble ticket with Google’s 1 on 1 support to see about possibly getting back my old account or at the very least, my username! I’ll post back here with updates as I get them.

How this happened

Ever since Google+ came out, Google has been linking user profiles to YouTube accounts. This was in an effort for Google to streamline their services under one roof and to enhance the ability to share things with friends. I had no problem with this and in fact, I linked my accounts as well. Everything was going fine until I realized that I couldn’t escape using Google+ with my Google Apps account.

Many of the services (as expected) needed Google+ configured in order to work. I begged and pleaded with Google to allow accounts to be merged, but alas, the only option was to have one account migrated to the other. This allows a user to move all their circles and information over to the new profile to allow the deletion of the old one. I did this step, but I still never deleted my old profile because it was connected to Google’s authorship feature allowing them to show my name, photo and Google+ profile link next to search results of blog posts I’ve created.

Ultimately I decided to start using my Google Apps Google+ profile and delete my old one. When I went to go delete the old profile, I was warned about everything being deleted like photos, circles, etc. Nowhere on this page did it say that I’d lose my YouTube account!!

My Two Cents

I feel that Google should be a little more clear about the real-world effects of moving things around. Normally they are pretty good about warning you what will be deleted and everything, but in this case, there were no warnings about the direct effects of how deleting a Google+ account will affect YouTube. At any rate, I’m expecting the worse case scenario in that I’ve lost this battle. I’ll have to re-upload my videos (whichever ones I still have) and start all over. I’m not too heartbroken because I didn’t have a whole lot of time invested in my YouTube channel, but I kind of want my original username back.

How to cheat Google AdWords and make thousands per day!

That title is right! However, it’s very sarcastic in that I’m not going to show you how to do it any more than I’ll be exposing how it’s done. I know that doesn’t seem to make sense, but what I mean is that this article is an exposĂ©, not a guide. The intent here is not to defame anyone specifically, but to expose a truth about things that are really happening that I don’t completely agree with. And for the record, no, I’m not bitter about not being able to perform these “tricks” myself. I’m just a blogger who actually chose the straight and narrow path of creating a website with actual content that I feel will help users—this article being one specific example.

To help illustrate where I’m going with this, we need to take a little history lesson. First I’ll explain how it used to be, then what it became and then how it is today. Let’s get to it!

Google AdWords

This wonderful service from Google is the exact opposite of AdSense. With AdSense, publishers (like me) can place ads related to content on their website(s) in hopes to make some money from publishing useful and valuable content. Take a look at the banner to the right and at the bottom of this post to see what I mean. Google AdWords is the service that actually places those ads there by allowing advertisers to buy ad space. This service also allows advertisers to buy ad space on Google search results pages (sponsored results). This article will focus mostly on that form of AdWords.
Google AdWords
Every time you search on Google, you’ll see three sponsored search results at the top and a whole list running down the right side of the page. This is a dramatic shortcut for companies and individuals to get their website placed on page 1 of the search results page, whereas without this service, they might be lost hundreds of pages into the results and probably never found by any visitors. Of course this can come at a high price as most companies are paying high dollar amounts for every click that Google sends to their site. So remember that next time you click on a sponsored link—somebody, somewhere has paid for that click.

Affiliate Marketing

In its simple form, affiliate marketing is a way where a company can have you promote their products and give you a % of the revenue as incentive. For example, every Amazon.com product I promote, I will get 4% of its selling price just for sending you over to the site to buy it. I do this constantly and I make no attempt to try and hide this fact. This website costs money to run and in order to offer it to you for free, I try to make what I can by promoting products and services people buy anyway. It costs them nothing to buy things through my site if they were already going to purchase it.

Anyway, with heavy amounts of traffic and lots of people to market to via an email list, you can imagine how much money could be made if people responded to links like these. And some of these affiliates pay direct commissions like say $45 to sign someone up for a credit card. When you start multiplying these numbers by hundreds or thousands of visitors, you can see how it’s “possible” to make $10,000 per day or more.

Now, mix this with Google AdWords and you have a recipe for worldwide domination! Imagine, you could spend some money promoting just an affiliate link and started receiving thousands of clicks per day. Let’s look at an example:

You have an affiliate offer that pays you $45 for every signup. You have an advertising budget of $10,000 per day. You decided to advertise your offer at $0.25 per click. This means you’re willing to spend $10,000 per day for as many 25 cent clicks you can get, which happens to equal 40,000. Google runs your ad campaign and off you go. The next day you look at your numbers. Your ad was shown over 1 million times and received 12,430 clicks. Those clicks cost you $3107.50. However, out of those 12,430 clicks, 153 people signed up for the offer you were pushing. At $45 per signup, you just made $6,885. After soaking up your losses, you made $3777.50 profit.

It’s starting to make sense why you see all over the Internet, ebooks on how to make thousands of dollars per day on Google. Well, maybe not so much anymore because Google caught on to this mayhem.

Google Cracks Down

No, Google was not against making money online and no, they weren’t out to punish the top marketers for utilizing a completely legal system to make tons of cash. What happened was that they realized that everyone was doing this and as a result, legitimate companies were being squeezed out of the sponsored results and/or having to pay much higher dollar amounts to stay on top of all the junk. Remember, it’s a bidding process and the highest bidder gets to be number 1.

What Google did back in 2009 was eliminate the ability to create ads for affiliate links through AdWords. They did this by implementing a harsher review process and most likely huge lists of unacceptable domains and websites. Their goal was to keep the search results clean by only allowing ads to be created that linked to legitimate websites offering real content, products and services.

Of course the debate was launched as to what qualifies as “real” and “valuable” to the end user, but Google’s belief is that the end user would rather be sent to a page that has unique content and important information regarding their original search. An example might be if you searched for how to make money on eBay, you probably would much rather be sent to a page that offers real help and tips for how and where to get products you can sell or techniques on how to make your listings look better instead of being sent to a one-page affiliate link that offers to sell you the super secret eBay sellers handbook for $97.

Personally, I agree. In short, you can no longer (legally according to Google’s terms, not the law) purchase ad space through the AdWords system for direct referral and affiliate links.

The Rockstar Alliance

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This is no joke…that’s their name. For the low price of $1997 plus $297 (or $197 depending on a sale or not) per month, you can have access to a software suite The Rockstar Allianceand training materials that will help you cheat the system. Now, they point out that by using this system, you’re not actually breaking any laws, so you can’t be sent to jail or anything, but you can have your AdWords account suspended or banned. It’s ok though because they will teach you how to create new accounts and show you how to keep them from getting banned. That’s good…I was worried for a second! Ok, moving on…

Before I continue, I want to say that I’m not here to blast these guys and pass judgment on what they’re doing. Personally I would only care if I was somehow losing important visitors and money because of their bogus ads. Fortunately I’m not, so feel free to form your own opinions on this. I’m not here to police anyone, but I thought I’d help inform people so they know upfront what they are getting into if they decide this is for them.

Since I’m not a paying customer of this system, I can’t explain everything that it entails, but from what I’ve seen, I can tell you the following:

They are running a cloaking service via multiple AdWords accounts and proxy servers set up all over the world. The gist of what you do is you create an ad in their system that has two URLs, the real one and the fake one. Once in their system, you then take the fake URL and build an ad around it in Google AdWords just as you would any legitimate website. When the Google bot goes to review the content, they see a legitimate link that contains real content related to your purchased keywords and your ad is approved.

However, when a user clicks on your ad (after seeing a legitimate looking URL, site description and preview image) they are redirected to the REAL URL which is the landing page for your chosen affiliate program. You know…the landing pages you see everyday that always sell something that started out at $197, then got cut to $97 and then got reduced again to $47…oh but only for a limited time, so act fast!! If those figures look familiar to you, it’s because almost every single one of those affiliate offers uses the exact same business model and pricing! I think it’s lame and unoriginal.

To most unsuspecting users, they will either signup for the offer or click the back button, so these guys probably feel like they’re not hurting anyone, but I disagree. For example, if I’m a reputable company that is spending my good hard-earned cash on trying to get people to my site, I don’t think it’s fair that I have to compete with junk sites. Google maintains this thinking and so do many others. The reason for it being unfair isn’t just about money or competition, it’s about quality. Let’s say out of the 10 sponsored links, my company is number 6 and the first 5 are junk affiliate links. A Google search is performed and the user clicks on the first link, finds out it’s junk, clicks back and clicks on the second link. He/she finds out that’s junk too and tries the third link. Feeling frustrated, he/she might try just one more and after finding out the fourth one is also a junk link, they stop clicking on sponsored links.

In this extreme example, my link never got clicked and I could have lost a customer. Of course you could also argue that because my link never got clicked, I also didn’t spend any of my advertising money, but that’s not the point. Google is trying to create an exceptional user experience for both visitors and advertisers. I find that kicking out the affiliate-only websites is a great first start.

My two cents

I’m not a hater. I didn’t try this system and fail so now I’m here to be bitter. As I said in the beginning, I’m a simple blogger running this little website and I make some small about of money doing it. Because of this, I feel like since I’m playing the game by following the rules, I don’t like when I hear that others are not. Plus, in the near future, I might be launching a business in which I will require the services of AdWords and I don’t like the idea of competing with people running these cloaking services.

The other point I always seem to gravitate toward (even when I see money-making ideas on tv) is that if these people were really making tens of thousands per day or even per month, why in the world would they come out and tell the world about how they’re doing it?! Even if you argue that they’re doing it to be charitable and to help out the “littl guy”, why would they feel the need to sell it?

I’ll tell you two facts right now. 1. If I found a way to consistently make $10,000 per day, I wouldn’t tell another human being as long as I lived. 2. Even if I decided to tell someone, I would be making so much money, I wouldn’t need to sell it.

If you’re making $300,000 per month, what would another $2,000 do for you?! At that point, it’s just pocket change. Naturally, these are my opinions and I know that greed is a powerful force, but I think you can see my point. And if you look back into the annals of time, you’ll notice that every single great money-making idea that ever appeared on tv or the Internet has failed in one way or another…bankrupting many people along the way.

All I can say is that this system does work…I saw it work and I know with the right amount of work and dedication, you can make lots of money. Nobody is arguing that. The problem I have with this system is that it’s ethically wrong and once Google finds out how to plug this loophole, the game is over. At least I’ll still be running my little site that keeps growing and growing the right way.

Extend Your Blog's Functionality Through Google Chrome Extensions

Google Chrome is quickly gaining popularity as the perfect alternative to other heavyweights like Internet Explorer and Firefox. The browser war has been going on since the mid-1990’s and choosing a ‘side’ has always come down to a few factors: who’s faster, who’s lighter and who’s the most compatible. Google Chrome seems to beat the other two on all three fronts. And with Extensions, functionality just keeps getting better and better.

For those of you with WordPress blogs, you can now offer your readers the ability to install a Chrome Extension right into their browser that allows them to see your latest RSS feeds without even having to go to your site! This is a great tool for people who don’t regularly subscribe to RSS feeds, but want to know when you create new content. Once I create my own extension, I’ll post a guide here, but for now, check out the detailed one over at 9lessons.info.

Viewing WordPress Stats

You can now install a Chrome extension that will show you live stats for your blog! After you install it, all you need to configure it is your blog domain and your API key. To get your API key if you already have it, go to WordPress.com, login and view your profile. If you’re using Akismet for blocking spam comments, you can get that API key by clicking on the Akismet plugin configuration under Plugins in your WordPress admin.

WordPress Stats Extension

Once this information is entered, Google Chrome will display a number counter in the upper right corner of your browser. This count will update periodically with the latest stats on your site. When you click on this number, you get a drop-down box that displays the following:

  • Referrers – These are the website links that have forwarded a visitor onto your site.
  • Top Posts – This list shows you the top posts on your site for the day.
  • Search Terms – This is a handy list that shows you what search terms brought people to your site.
  • Clicks – Now you see the actual clicks that people used to get to your site right from your browser!

Note that this extension only works if you have WordPress Stats enabled on your site. It also only supports one blog at the moment. In time, there may be options to input data from multiple blogs.

Get the WordPress Stats Extension now!

Comment Moderation

Now here’s a extension worth getting if you’re having trouble moderating all those post comments! With this extension, you can moderate blog comments on one or more blogs directly from Chrome. You no longer have to login to your WP admin to filter out the bad from the good.

WordPress Comments Extension

With it, you can see all comments that are marked as approved, pending or spam. It also shows you the total comments you have and compares them right on screen to your other blog sites.

Get the WordPress Checker extension now!

My two cents

These are just three of the quickest ways to interact with your blog and to allow your readers to stay updated at all time with your site. I hope that in time, multiple blogs will be fully supported by these extensions with the ability to manage all of them through a simple interface. I also like the fact that extensions are less-intrusive than browser toolbars and seem to be more user-friendly.

Twitter Gets Ready To Launch Ads

When I think of Twitter, the last thing I think of is advertising—at least in the sense of banners, pop-ups, sponsored links, etc. I figured the only advertising one would benefit from on Twitter would be that of sending out tweets promoting their new products or services.

However, it seems that Twitter will start allowing bigtime advertisers to use APIs for their advertising campaigns. Speculation indicates that the ad system will work in two ways:

  1. Promoted tweets – An advertiser can search for any tweet on Twitter and sponsor it. After paying the advertising dollars, an ad is placed alongside that tweet and sent out to the world.
  2. Promoted accounts – An advertiser has the option of promoting its own account to users. This may be accomplished by linking advertisers to users that tweet contend related to the company’s products or services. This, in turn would allow a user to be presented with a new account to follow that will likely be of some interest to the user.

Twitter says the details haven’t been completely hammered out, but they intend on increasing ad revenue which is currently expected to reach $150 million this year. While Twitter only has about 200 million registered users, Facebook has over 600 million and expects to rake in $4 billion in ad revenue this year!

While it’s tempting for the five-year old Twitter to do everything in its power to increase revenue, some say that bombarding users with ads, especially useless ads, will cause a decrease in user interaction and/or user decline.

Part of the problem could end up being how ads are generated, delivered and received throughout the process. Unlike the traditional methods of advertising that are used by Google and Facebook, Twitter ads would have to utilize a different system altogether if it is to succeed. This is because most people don’t sit on Twitter and navigate from page to page like they can on Facebook.

Mobile viewers are now delivering tweets directly to phones just as if they were standard text messages. Ads would have to be tailored to fit this medium and more importantly prove to be effective.

My two cents

I’ve never been a fan of advertising, but I am a realist…none of us would know about anything that we know about if someone, somewhere didn’t see an ad for it or read about it. With that said, I’m willing to view ads as long as they are relevant and make sense to me. My concern with Twitter is the fact that MANY of those 200 million users are spammers, so what will be put in place to stop them from shotgunning lame ads to the whole community?

I probably shouldn’t assume anything until the “details” are hammered out, but naturally, I start thinking about the downsides to all this advertising. Another question I have is will users have a choice in whether their tweets can become sponsored with ads? Or if not, does the person who tweeted that sponsored message get a cut of the revenue? I’m curious to see how all this will unfold!

Google+ Versus Facebook

I have always been wondering when the demise of Facebook would start just like how MySpace quickly came and went along with other social networking sites like Bebo and Friendster. The old saying, “Nothing lasts forever” couldn’t be more true in the Internet world. In fact, you could easily change that to, “Nothing lasts 4 years.” Experts have already predicted that Facebook has already reached its peak and in time, members will slowly dwindle away. So what causes this? Well, a number of things could contribute to a website losing popularity. They could reach the pinnacle of their innovation, people can lose interest as they get older, younger people might find other things to do or maybe there are too many spammers and ads.

Whatever the case may be, we can guarantee that corporate America will always be there to ride the money-train as long as there are tracks to roll on. Enter Google Inc.


The latest competition to Facebook is by none other than Google. Of course like every other beta service they launch, it’s by invitation only and they are currently “at capacity”, but you can check out the Google+ Tour on their site. I won’t go over everything here, but I do want to touch on 3 of Google+’s features.


Google+ Circles
Circles is a way in which you can group your contacts into various categories. As an example, you can have your school friends, your drinking friends, your co-workers and your family members all in different circles. This is a neat feature that allows you to share specific information only with certain people.

On Facebook, if you write something on your wall, everyone gets to see it and we all know what kind of trouble that can cause!

Google describes circles as:

You share different things with different people. But sharing the right stuff with the right people shouldn’t be a hassle. Circles makes it easy to put your friends from Saturday night in one circle, your parents in another, and your boss in a circle by himself, just like real life.


Sparks allows you to tell Google about the things you’re interested in and as you would have guessed, they will bring you the latest search results and news updates related to these items. I like Google’s explanation much better:

Remember when your Grandpa used to cut articles out of the paper and send them to you? That was nice. That’s kind of what Sparks does: looks for videos and articles it thinks you’ll like, so when you’re free, there’s always something to watch, read, and share. Grandpa would approve.


Google+ Hangouts
I really like this feature because it allows you to join in conversations that your other friends are having at any time. It’s kind of like running into a friend at the store only now it’s online!

Bumping into friends while you’re out and about is one of the best parts of going out and about. With Hangouts, the unplanned meet-up comes to the web for the first time. Let buddies know you’re hanging out and see who drops by for a face-to-face-to-face chat. Until we perfect teleportation, it’s the next best thing.

My two cents

If there ever was a worth challenger to Facebook, I would imagine Google would be it. Google has just about every other service under the sun so it only seems fitting that they add a social networking site to the mix. After looking at what Google+ promises to offer, I think the experience will be far better than that of Facebook, but I also think Google will have a lot of catch up to do. As far as customers dropping off of Facebook in exchange for Google+—I don’t think that will happen. Personally, I’ll have a Google+ account and we’ll see how things go.

As for right now, I placed my name on the waiting list to be invited into the exclusive club. We’ll see what happens.

Google's New +1 Button

Google has launched a new feature for search results called the +1 Button. It works like a recommendation button where you can click +1 on a particular website or webpage to help others know that it’s been recommended. If you’ve used sites like Digg.com, you know how this process works. Basically, after you’ve read some content on a website and decided you liked it, you click the +1 Button and it helps other web users by ranking your site/content like a score card. In turn, websites and web pages with higher “votes” can potentially gain higher rankings on Google search results pages (SERPs).

Adding the +1 Button to your site

After logging into my AdSense account, I was greeted with this lovely message:
Google +1 Button AdSense message
From there, I clicked on the link that took me to the code page where I had a choice of 4 different sizes for the icon as well as some other advanced settings. I didn’t spend too much time on this page as I wanted to get the button on my site ASAP! I simply chose the standard size and left everything else the same.
Google +1 Button
The code was easy to implement. In WordPress:

  1. Open your theme editor and begin editing header.php
  2. Find the </head> tag and place the code: <script type=”text/javascript” src=”https://www.ledfrog.com/content/images/2011/06/plusone.js”></script> right above it.
  3. Save header.php
  4. Begin editing single.php (if you want the button to appear on each post)
  5. Find the area you want the button to show up. On my site, I placed it right before the content starts so it’s at the beginning of every post.
  6. Place this code: <g:plusone></g:plusone> before <?php the_content();
  7. Save single.php

Now that you have all the code in place, go to one of your blog posts and verify that it’s showing up.

What’s Next?

Well as with any traffic-related feature on your site, all that you really can do now is wait. If the users want to vote up your content, they now have the option to do so within Google directly. If you find that you’re not getting a lot of response from this feature, try moving the button around your site to see where it works best.

The purpose of this feature is to help web users find valuable content as ranked by other web users that have already seen what you have to offer. This helps Google in their never-ending quest to filter out junk sites and sites with little to no content while pushing more valuable sites up to the top of the SERPs. Let’s just hope that this feature doesn’t get abused like so many other Google features have been in the past!

The Power of Flickr

Happy Memorial Day! Consider yourself autoblogged because like you probably are, I’m relaxing and enjoying my day off from work. With that said, today I wanted to write up a simple post regarding my newfound love, Flickr.

I’m fairly sure at this point in time, every single person that has ever searched for an image online has seen one or more Flickr accounts out there! So what’s so special about it? Let me tell you.

The Power of Flickr

If you’re a photographer or just someone who likes to take pictures and video of life, consider Flickr to be the equivalent of Facebook for you. The premise is simple: you upload photos, tag them, describe them, organize them and let the world have them.

There are two types of memberships, free and pro. The pro costs $24.95 per year and gives you some added benefits, which I’ll go over below. Once you setup your account, you’ve just created your Photostream. This is where all of your photos show up in the order they were uploaded, new ones first. It is basically your homepage:
Flickr Homepage

The best part of Flickr is how well it integrates with all of your existing social media sites and/or blogs. You can link it to Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr, LiveJournal and any WordPress-enabled site. By linking everything together, you can now take your photos to a worldwide stage and bring the visitors to you. From there, if they like what you have, you will likely start receiving new visitors to your site(s).

A perfect example of this would be if you’re already running a photography website, but you’re not getting many hits. That’s because you have to market that site on its own using all the SEO tricks you can find, but even that might not be enough. Instead, move (or copy) your portfolio(s) over to Flickr and you’re basically dumping your pictures into a digital world full of people searching and browsing for images!

Free vs Pro

As with everything free, there’s always a catch! Free accounts have the following limitations: 300mb upload limit per month for photos, 2 video upload limit per month, only the first 200 images appear on your photostream, limited to posting images in 10 groups and only your smaller size images are shown.

My advice is to get the Pro account. It’s not much money when you break it down per month: only about $2, but so worth it.


Flickr also supports the use of Creative Commons copyright restrictions. You can place these restrictions on one image or all of them. Better yet, each image can have a different copyright than the next one. You are always in full control over how your images can be used online!

My two cents

Since I’m starting to get into photography, I love the idea that I can share my photos with the world. In time, the goal is to continue gaining more and more momentum with the quality that I’m bringing to the table. In turn , I’m hoping this will lead more people to me, which I’m really hoping will turn into actual business. There’s so much more to Flickr—I feel like I just scratched the surface, so go check out the Flickr FAQ page to answer all your questions.