Is GDI a Scam?

Have you heard of GDI?  It’s short for Global Domains International.  At it’s most basic level, it’s a domain registrar and hosting company.  But, underneath that facade is a MLM network.  Here’s how it works.  For $10 a month, you get a .ws domain, hosting and email.  You get 10 emails, hosting and access to a sitebuilder software package.  The package itself is pretty weak compared to some of the more popular hosting/domain packages.  Godaddy gives you 100 emails and 10gb space for $4.99 a month, but no domain included.  Domains are less than $1 a month with them, however, so your total cost is only about $6 a month.  1and1 hosting is 3.99 a month, includes 1 domain, 600 emails, free private registration, and 10gb host space.  In a straight comparison, GDI looks pretty weak.

Where the advantage comes is with the MLM network.  For each person in your downline, you get $1 a month in commissions.  It’s infinite, so you can build your downline as far as you like.  Build it up far enough, and you could end up with a pretty incredible income from it.  With a fully built downline, you would have a fairly maintenance free residual passive income.  The holy grail of income.

Of course, 98% of people who join an MLM network fail in the first year, so think twice if you think it’s easy money.  In fact, it may be something to avoid altogether if you aren’t planning on making use of the domain and hosting as well.

But, is GDI a scam?  No.  Just another MLM network.  A pretty good one if you’re into that sort of thing.  They’ve been around for over 10 years and have built a pretty large network in that time.  And it wouldn’t take too awful much to get to the point where your downline was at least paying your $10 a month for you.  And if you got to that point, you’d be getting free hosting out of the deal.  Any more than that, and you’d be in the profit.  Maybe worth a look.

Repair Links to 404 Pages

Matt Cutts has a great post today on getting “Free links to your site“. It’s not so much about getting new “free” links to your site so much as getting broken links repaired.

The basics of it are that Google’s Webmaster tools has a report of the links that it crawled that pointed to an unfound url on your website. A broken link that results in a 404 on your website. And unless you have a custom 404 page, any visitors that click on that link will get a nasty looking 404 page from your host and probably go on their merry way somewhere else.

So, instead, you can take a quick look at this report.  Jot down the urls that are throwing errors and where they are coming from.  Then you have two choices.  You can try and contact the webmaster of the referrer site and have them change it.  That’s probably the better way to do it, but also not very likely to work.  The second way that will work 100% of the time is to 301 redirect the not found URL to something worthwhile.  Perhaps a search results page for the keywords of the missing/not found page?  Or maybe you moved the page and just need to redirect to the proper page.  Either way, you’ve turned a not found 404 link into a working link that could result in better ranking and higher traffic counts.

It’s also a really good time to double check that you don’t have the default 404 page.  The one here, for instance, is a pretty simple one that uses the base template of the site and then suggests a quick search of the site to find what they were looking for.  Not the best in the world, but better than the default too.

P.S.  You can visit the link above for detailed instructions from Matt Cutts on how to find the report.  And I wonder if it occurred to him that he’s going to be picking up all kinds of links with the anchor text of “Free links to your site.”?  Asking for spambots I’d say…

Directory Links Get Discounted by Google

For quite some time, Google has suggested that a good way to increase your ranking in the Google index was to get yourself listed in a few reputable directories.  Of course, much like any other thing that Google admits might help, directories became the go to place to get yourself some nice links.  And an industry was born.

Now, Google has removed that suggestion from their webmaster help guide.  Does that mean the end of the directory industry?  I doubt it.  In fact, my guess would be that it doesn’t change much of anything.  Google probably hasn’t given much weight to most directories for quite some time and is finally letting us know about it.

Personally, I don’t use many directories when I start a new website.  I find the majority of them to be repositories for spam sites and don’t want to associate my sites with them.  Instead, there are plenty of other ways to go about getting links like blogroll exchanges, paid links (don’t pretend you don’t.), and a variety of other programs and strategies that can attain you plenty of quality links in a short amount of time.

Plenty of links will do you no good if you don’t have plenty of content too.  You’ll still get some traffic, but having the content can mean the difference between a visitor that shows up and a visitor that shows up and stays.  Which would you rather have?  If I were you (I’m not, but if I were), I would spend about 75% of my time on content and the rest on link and traffic building practices.

ALT Tags: Powerful SEO Tool

If you don’t take the time to enter in some ALT tags for your images, you might be missing the boat on a very powerful SEO tool.  How powerful?  Read Charles Arthur’s article on “Another Fiendish way to make Money online” and see if any lightbulbs turn on above your head.  I’m not suggesting that you use the ALT tags in the same way as in Charles’ example, but it doesn’t take a genius to see the advantages that using full fledged ALT tags can give.

Imagine if you will, you’ve gone to the trouble of creating some graphs of the cost of blue widgets compared to the cost of red widgets over time with various marketing ploys.  It becomes a very hot topic and many, many people link to the image or hot link it from your site.  If you’ve used the ALT tags on the image, you’ve gained a number of links that have the exact anchor text you want on them.

If you’re not using ALT tags (and I have to admit that I sometimes don’t) you might be ignoring a perfectly good SEO/SEM tool!