Lisa Barone Rings Bell, Starts Robert Scoble Smackdown

I don’t think that I’ve ever hidden my feelings about Robert Scoble.  For years he’s been lauded by some as being one of the best tech bloggers.  Giving credit where it’s due, he’s been around for a while, so he does deserve a bit of it.  Unfortunately, most of it has gone straight to his head.  Luckily, we have Lisa Barone to give it a little deflation…

Robert Scoble must be bored because he’s back causing trouble heralding that 2010 may be the year that SEO isn’t important anymore for small business owners. Sigh. Really? We’re doing this?
Fine. Let’s go there.

The post itself is an excellent post that takes Robert’s post and tosses it where it belongs.  The trash.  You see, Scoble has been (knowingly or not) and continues to be the Perez Hilton (unseating Mike Arrington) of the tech blogging world.  He’s an attention monger.  If the spotlight isn’t on him, he isn’t happy.  Which is why he jumps on bandwagon after bandwagon.  He likes this service.  No, he likes that service.  No, he likes some other service and the others are on their deathbeds.  And that was just this week.

Even better than Lisa’s post, is the comment thread.  Wherein Robert Scoble manages to make himself look like a troll.  At one point, he calls Lisa an idiot.  At another, he claims that a commenter is just sore because Robert blocked him on twitter.  I can’t make this up folks.  And if you really want a laugh, check out Lisa’s business partner, Rae Hoffman’s comments along with Robert’s response where he tries to pretend that he knows what he’s talking about by throwing some facts at Rae.  Um, Robert?  Rae happens to be one of the premier SEO’s in the business, I think she knows about some silly tracking report.

I’m going to try and help Rae out a bit here.  Robert Scoble.

To quote the final comment, “This. Was. Epic.”

And you have to laugh at it.  Cause it’s funny.

Microsoft and Yahoo from a SEO/PPC/OnlineTrepreneur Perspective

Much has been said about the potential merging of Microsoft and Yahoo.  The talk has been exceptionally heavy in the last month or so.  I’ve talked about it here once or twice and probably will again.  But most of the talk has been around the technology ramifications of the merger.  The changes that would occur in search market share and what it would mean for Google.  But what about us?  What about the online entrepreneur? 

We do SEO, PPC and various other things that could be affected by a merger of Microsoft and Yahoo.  What changes can we expect from this merger if it were to happen?  Here’s how I see it going down.

In the world of SEO, it narrows things down a bit.  Instead of everybody trying to do the SEO for all three of the search engines, they only have two major ones.  Of course, I’m of the camp that thinks that you follow a few tenets and don’t worry about what any one individual search engine wants, so that doesn’t change much for me. 

From a PPC perspective, things will (regardless) change.  Even without the merger, things are changing.  Yahoo maybe in talks to test out using Google for search advertising.  I’d be surprised if it didn’t happen as it would be a major blow to Microsoft and when was the last time Google passed that up.  And Yahoo is unlikely to pass it up just out of spite.  If, however, the merger were to go through, it would form a viable competitor to the Google advertising engine.  Suddenly, choosing between the two would become a little less obvious.  Some don’t choose now, but there are many that only use one of the engines. 

As an Online Entrepreneur, the merger could mean several things.  The most obvious is a healthy alternative to anything Google.  For those that would actively rebel against The Great Googely Moogely, a merger could be very good.  Another, less positive, way to think about the merger would be the elimination of choice.  Instead of three engines, we would only have two.  There are many that can’t stand either Google or Microsoft and actively try to use Yahoo and others whenever possible.  The merger would cause there to only be two large choices.  The rest would be table scraps and not push enough traffic to worry about.

In the end, I can’t say whether the merger will go through or not.  Yahoo doesn’t seem to be very receptive and also seems to be getting quite a bit of help in thwarting the “attack”.  Microsoft, on the other hand, doesn’t seem all that willing to give up.  And let’s face it; Microsoft usually doesn’t give up.  They’ve lost a couple of times, but rarely do they give up.

Aaron Wall Changing SEO Book Structure

I received an email from Aaron Wall of SEOBook.com fame today. It seems that the SEO Book industry is changing and there is an increased need for a more personal touch.

Over the course of the past couple years it became obvious to me that the perceived value of ebooks was dropping, the field of SEO was getting more complex, and many people who purchased my book wanted to be able to interact with me and ask me many questions. This caused me to need to change the SEO Book business model away from selling a downloadable ebook, and toward selling a web based information product backed by a community forum that helped turn it into a service more than a product.

I’m tempted to say that this is a play for more money, but knowing Aaron Wall (or at least his reputation) I think I can confidently say that isn’t the case. Even with the thouroughness of the SEOBook, I’m sure that Aaron gets a very large amount of emails every day asking for his help personally. This is just a very good response to that. Aaron wants to help those people, but the only way to really justify even trying it is to find a way to make it worth his time. And a SEOBook membership is that way. He doesn’t give any hints as to how much it will cost, but I’m sure it will be affordable in comparison to what you’ll get.

The new service seems to be slated to go live at Midnight on the 20th at which time the SEOBook will no longer be offered. I’m sure the data will still be there, but maybe you want it all in one place before hand. It’s your last chance, order between now and the 20th and you can still pay the one-time fee. Wait, and you’ll be signing up for the subscription. You’ll probably want both though…

Youtube-eBay-Amazon Mashup Results and Thoughts

Ever since I started using Mark’s script for a Youtube eBay Amazon Mashup site, I’ve been meaning to do this post. I don’t have much for results, but I do have my share of thoughts. If you were a reader when I started using it, you’ll know that I modified the script to display Adsense’s Youtube video spots instead of just random Youtube spots. (You can Download that version of the YouTube eBay Amazon Mashup script)

The only true stats that I can give you are the stats on those spots. In the roughly 3 months that I’ve been running the script, I’ve managed less than 10 clicks on just over 2000 views. For those of you that are as mathematically challenged as I am, that’s a CTR% of about .42%. Not exactly a stellar performance. While I don’t track the eBay and Amazon hits from these sites, I’m fairly certain that I haven’t made any sales through those sites. Again, not exactly stellar.

In all fairness to the script, I haven’t done any sort of marketing for these sites. I have no intention of leaving them with this script and would like to develop them into sites at some point, but just haven’t had the time. I threw the script up as a “holder” that hopefully will help them get indexed easier and quicker when I do develop them. And it does work pretty well for that. They certainly haven’t attained hundreds of links in the search engines but each has somewhere between 10 and 20. That’s pretty good. Especially for what is essentially a parked domain. And it isn’t nearly as spammy as those ad scraping parking pages that you see elsewhere. I like that.

Overall, I’m happy with the script. It’s accomplished the goals I set for it. Mark did a wonderful job of making it really easy to implement, and the script itself is easy enough to understand that I was able to modify it to add the YouTube Adsense spots. If you’re looking for a “parking” spot for your unused domains, you can do much worse than the YouTube eBay Adsense mashup script.