Archives for September 2007

Pagerank Should NOT be Gotten Rid Of

In case you’re wondering, it’s been 5 months since the Google PageRank was last updated.  Before the flames start, I should clarify that statement.  PageRank actually updates dynamically.  What is normally called a PageRank “Update” is really just the pushing of a snapshot of the dynamic PageRank out to the Google Toolbar and to the static servers that it can be retrieved from.  Google search doesn’t use the static one. Duh.  Google gets free reign to use the dynamic PageRank.  Why? Because they make it.

They also get to change the algorithm at the whim of their engineers.  For that reason, the length of time since last update, and a few other reasons, there are many people who are calling for PageRank to be abandoned.  There are just as many that think it already has, we just haven’t been told about it.  I sincerely hope that both groups are wrong.

Why?  Because PageRank has become a standard.  There are many, many websites that use it as a metric for position, price, and power.  I must admit that using one metric like that is a bit on the wrong side.  It’s akin to only having one advertising revenue source on a website.  All well and good until that source stops working.

But we still can’t get rid of PageRank.  We need it.  It’s too much of a standard to just drop like a lead balloon.  What we need is an independent body that will conglomerate that and other metrics and then convert them into one, unifying, metric.  For the same reason that Alexa is frowned upon as a traffic gauge, we cannot depend on one metric alone.

What would my ideal metric include?

  • Pagerank
  • Alexa Rank
  • Compete Rank
  • Subscription rank (not currently possible as it’s not available on all blogs)
  • ?  Other’s could be integrated as they are developed.

How would the metric be calculated?

PageRank, Alexa, and Compete would be the core as they are the leading metrics.  The problem here is scale.  PageRank is on a scale of 1 to 10.  Alexa is a numeric rank based on position.  As is Compete.  Each is skewed a little in it’s own way and we can’t really play favorites, so we have to find a way to equally include each.  Obviously, we can’t just do an average of any sort.  That just wouldn’t work.  We need something that would scale.  Here’s how I would do it.

Take PageRank and multiply by 10.  Now it’s on a scale of 10-100.  Take Alexa and divide by 10,000.  Now it is roughly on a scale of .0001 to 300.   Compete is a little bit different.  There are several metrics that we can choose from, but the one we’ll use for this demonstration is Rank.  It’s a measure of time spent on the domain vs the time spent on the internet.  It’s a combination of a unique monthly count and the time spent on a site.  An “Engagement” metric.  Now we take the rank and divide it by 10,000.  Again, this gets us a rank between .0001 and 100 (Compete rank only uses the top 1 million sites based on unique people count).

Now we have a PageRank on a scale of 10-100, an Alexa score of .0001 to 300 and a Compete score from .0001 and 100.  Now, here we have a choice.  We can divide our answers and get a scale where the higher your score, the better, or we can multiply and the lower your score is the better.  We’re all about feeding egos around here, so I’m going to pick the divide answer.  Divide the PageRank score by the Alexa score and then divide the PageRank score by the Compete score and add the two together.  If you are unranked in both Alexa and Compete you end up with a score of 0 no matter what your PageRank is.  If you have a PageRank of 10 and are number 1 on both Alexa and Compete, you end up with a score of 2,000,000.  You might be thinking that that is a pretty large scale, but the beauty of it is that there is room for a lot of movement and a lot more detail in the ranking.

There are several other ways you could go about using those ranking metrics to come up with a unified ranking system.  Each with it’s own merits and with it’s own flaws.  What is important in creating a unified ranking system is that you attempt to keep things equal.  No one component should create a drastic skew in one direction or the other.  With this system I just explained, I think that is true.  (note: I may be wrong, as I wasn’t very good at math in school.)  But if your blog has a page rank of 10 somehow, but only shows an Alexa score of 1,350,789 and a Compete score of 999,145, you would only have a rank of  about 1.75.  As a comparison, this site has a PageRank of 5, a Compete score of 138,160 and an Alexa score of 159,484.  That give it a rank of about 0.68.  This site would still rank higher even though it only has half the PageRank.

I’m sure that someone, somewhere would find a way to game this or any other ranking system, but the more sources we have to rank with, the harder it becomes to skew the rank without gaming all of the sources.

What are your thoughts on ranking and metrics?

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Is Kevin Trudeau the Best Salesman of Our Time?

Every body knows Kevin Trudeau. He’s best known for his “Cures they don’t want you to know about” book of health “cures.” He’s also written a follow up to that book along with “Weight Loss cure they don’t want you to know about” and now, “Debt cures they don’t want you to know about.”

I’ve seen very little actual coverage of his books that was positive. But each of his books seems to hit the bestseller lists. Why? I think he’s one of the best salesmen of our time. Next time you see one of his infomercials playing, watch it. Don’t flip the channel or turn off the television. Watch it. I’m willing to bet that even if you know that it’s a sham, you’ll have at least a twinge to buy the book.

There is a lesson to be learned in his sales techniques. He is quite obviously quite adept at selecting some of the most hot-button issues to write about. He also is quite obviously a superb researcher (or pays one) because I don’t believe he really knows all that much about most of the subjects. He is also a great public speaker. He knows what words to accentuate to make your ears perk up and listen. He then knows what words and phrases to use once he has your attention so that he can sell you on the product.

We as affiliates, bloggers, all around entrepreneurs can learn a great deal simply by attempting to mimic those traits. You have to select the best niche products. If you’re going to go after a popular one, you better be able to sell gum in the lockjaw ward. Learn how to sell. If you’re like me, you’ll probably fail many, many times before you succeed. I’ll let you in on a secret. That’s called learning.

In the case of Kevin, information is his product. If he were a poor researcher, he would either have no information to sell or very poor and incorrect information to sell. Think of your sales page or sales copy as your information. Do your research so you can knowledgeably write/talk about your product. If you’ve chosen to sell ringtones, you had better know how to load one on your phone. Even if that means using BitPim. Don’t know what BitPim is? Don’t sell ringtones.

Lastly, learn how to get your readers attention. Learn how to use action words in your writing. If you use poor wording, you won’t sell nearly as much as you should. Tell your customer about your product and then call them to action. Give them a very clear action and use that action to make them buy your product.

Proper use of all these techniques has made Kevin Trudeau a worldwide bestselling author. It has also made him a very rich man. If you’re like me and want to be a rich man, you’d do well to learn how to be the best salesman in your niche. I’m still working on it, but a little bit each day gets me that much closer to being top of the class.

Added: If you’re looking for the “Debt Cures they don’t want you to know about” book, this is not the place. But do visit the Debt Cure that I want you to know about to find a debt “cure” that really does work.

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Green Money PSD Layout Released

GreenMoney screenshotI created a template for a contest on sitepoint (for and the template wasn’t chosen as the winner.  As a result, I have a .psd template that I most likely won’t use.  So, that means I have to find a way to use it.

I’ve decided to release it for your use.  Free.  Well, I’ll accept donations for the layout and I’d like to request that you donate what you think the value of the layout is.  It helps me make some money, and if it goes well, I might just release a few others that I’ve got brewing.

My only request (besides a suggested donation) is that you link the “design by thatedeguy” bit to the Green Money PSD layout page.  I’d also like to hear from anyone that uses the design so that I can start a list of the sites that are using it for publishing on the download page.

You can head on over to the Green Money PSD Layout page to download, donate, etc.

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Blogrush as Sales Tool?

John Chow has an interesting post about how you can control the headlines that the BlogRush program displays.  The way he does it is with a static rss file that contains one “post” that has a custom title and links to whatever it is that you want to push at that time.  When you sign up your blog, you give BlogRush the static rss as the feed location and it always displays that one “post.”

Sounds pretty cool for increasing click through to your blog, but it got me thinking as well.  Why couldn’t you use it as a sales tool?  If you were to add a new “blog” for each item and give them a corresponding static rss for each, you could effectively use it as a advertising venue much like adwords.

Say I wanted to push Text Link Ads and try and reap the benefits with the $25 referral revenue.  I would simply add a blog to my blogrush account that had a catchy title like “Make Hundreds a Month with Text Links!” and that linked to my redirected affiliate link.  When someone clicks through to that “blog” they would then be routed through to the sign-up for TLA.  The same could be done for any affiliate item.  Cameras, Blogging programs, etc.

Of course, it’s a gross perversion of the use of the program.  If only a fraction of the users were to use the program in this way, it would quickly get discarded as a worthless addition to any site and go the way of the dodo.  As a blogger who was using the program as it was designed, I would be slightly unhappy with giving out free advertising to affiliate programs without getting any revenue from it.

Another issue that would have to be solved would be to find a way to get enough credits to keep an advertising program like this going.  You could do most of it with your MLM referral credits.   That would demand that you have a rather large referral downline.  It is possible for people like John Chow or Shoemoney, but most of the small fish like myself would have a hard time getting it done.

Yet another reason that I’m not signing up for BlogRush though.

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