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PORTAL PARTNER PRESS - 2000

May 8, 2001

Subject: Portal Partner Press 5-08-01
Date: Tue, 08 May 2001 17:26:42 -0500
From: Robert Massa bobcard@ionet.net
Portal Partner Press
May 7th, 2001
IN THIS ISSUE
To Free or Not To Free - That is the Question
The New Affiliate Script is Finsihed - We Need Some Partners to Test It.
Text and Banners and Buttons and Bows -- Want to Make a Few bucks?
Want To Be a Guinea Pig For Some New Search Technology?

TO FREE OR NOT TO FREE - THAT IS THE QUESTION

There has been a very good discussion going on in the SearchKing forums this past week or so about branding. http://forums.searchking.com/NonCGI/Forum1/HTML/000038.html

In this discussion, one of our members brought up the opinion that one of the problems SearchKing, and the entire portal program, faces are the "free" portals. The point being made was that many, if not most, people feel that if it isn't worth anything to SearchKing, then it must not be worth anything to them. Due to this perception, a lot of people take advantage of the program and take the available names, programs, bandwidth and everything else the program offers with little or no intention of ever doing any work on their portal and thereby denying all of us of a quality resource which, at least indirectly, costs us all dearly.

The bottom line is --- this member is right, and I absolutely hate it! I hate the idea that the entire world is just out to get whatever they can with little or no regard to the consequences it may have on the welfare of others. I still believe in the basic goodwill of mankind in spite of the fact that the numbers would seem to prove me wrong.

The idea was never to "give" away free portals. The idea was that we were going to offer people a way to get involved with the tools and the program we offered so that they could become acquainted with the value of those tools and only have to pay for the tools they needed as their business grew and they could justify the expense. The idea was to give those people a chance to learn how to use the tools without having to cover the expense of them until they could learn how to use them to apply function to their own concepts.

The idea was to offer people the tools to build a quality portal about their chosen topic or region and become a part of a network of quality portals all working together for common goals. To use those tools and resources to build a better web. It is a very difficult decision for me to face because while the numbers don't lie and it is painfully obvious that the free portals are doing more harm than good to all of us, still we have some very nice portals that would very likely not exist were it not for offering them for free. I have seen some people do exactly what was intended to be done with the free portals. Build a good site that we can all be proud of. But, the sad fact is that far too many people are just taking advantage of a fantastic opportunity without even willing to take the time to see what that opportunity is.

I intend to offer the free portals for just as long as I can, but I also have to face the reality that our resources are being eaten up by people who simply don't care. Of course those are the people that I was hoping to "win over" and I'm not the kind of person that accepts defeat easily, so I'm not ready to throw in the towel on the free portals, but I am certainly ready to ask for your help in trying to find the happy medium. Please, if any of you have any thoughts or input on this subject, I'd appreciate your posting in the forums and starting some discussions on this topic. At least we could discuss the best and worst case scenarios.

Whether you offer your input or not, there will be some changes coming soon. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we are going to start only allowing one free portal per person and discontinue offering free portals to anyone who intends to display adult content. We will also start limiting some of the features that come with a portal plus if they remain free. I mention this now because if any of you had some kind of plan for a portal plus, I'd get it pretty quick if I were you. It may not be the same program later.


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THE NEW AFFILIATE SCRIPT IS FINISHED AND WE NEED SOME PARTNERS TO TEST IT

Yes, you read that right. It's finally finsihed. Once you guys see this program you'll instantly see why it has taken so long. You will also see what you can expect in the future from SearchKing as we get better at development.We ARE capable of producing top quality programs and this is just a taste of what's to come.

I've looked at just about every affiliate program on the web, have even bought a few. I've looked at the ones for a few hundred dollars and I've looked ones that cost several thousands of dollars and I believe this is as good as any of them. I believe that quality software like the new affiliate program is going to define SearchKing and the portal program over the next several months.

Dave is a meticulous developer. He spends a lot of time "thinking" about what his scripts are going to produce and then he sets about building it according to his plan. He takes it very seriously and is the kind of person that just hates to put out anything that he feels is not up to his standards, and his standards are high. We feel this three tier affiliate program is going to make a big difference in the way all our portals develop.

Like any quality software, testing is a big part of the final picture. I'm very impressed with what this can do, but, I need you to be impressed. We need some beta testers. We need some people who will try to break it, cheat it, beat it and do everything to do it except get paid from it until after it is officially released. What I can offer you in return for a few mintues of your time, is the inside track on this program. Remember that it is designed to be three tier so that you make money off of your sales, you make money off of the sales from the people who sign up under you and you make money from the people who sign up under them for as long as the sale keeps paying SearchKing. Knowing how it works and how to take the best advantage of it can make a big difference in the checks that come your way. Keep in mind that not only are we going to focus on portal sales and advertising sales, but we are also looking for other services and products that we could offer to all our affiliates. Not every service and product out there is a scam, we just have to find the ones that aren't and once we do, SearchKing wil be glad to add them to the program.

So, if anyone is interested in being the first to check out what I think is the world's best affiliate script, send me an e-mail to bobking@searchking.com and I'll give you the url of where to go and get signed up.


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TEXT AND BANNERS AND BUTTONS AND BOWS -- WANT A MAKE A FEW BUCKS

If you had read the forums topic http://forums.searchking.com/NonCGI/Forum22/HTML/000025.html You'd already know that I'm paying $25 for buttons and $50 for banners that SearchKing accepts for offering to all all the affiliates. Not only do you stand to make a few bucks, you could have your design running on hundreds of other sites. Cool huh? Being famous is pretty cool, but not as cool as being famous with 50 bucks in your pocket.

For details on how to get paid, click on the link above.

Good Luck!


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WANT TO BE A GUINEA PIG FOR SOME NEW SEARCH TECHNOLOGY

Of course it's really hard to know for sure, but I think that the progam I'm about to share could be big. We all know how much trouble all of the major search services are having just staying afloat, let alone dominating the web like they have done for so long now. In my opinion, the search industry is up for grabs.

Well, this gentleman contacted me a couple of weeks ago about a new technology they have developed and wanted me to take a look. They don't have a website yet so he just sent me the information in an e-mail. After looking it over, it sounded pretty good to me. I think these guys are serious and just might have something. The problem is that they need someone to test it for them and give them some feedback. Well, I can't tell the difference between a perl code and pigs ear, and Dave and Dan both are far too busy working on the projects they already have to pull them off of them and ask them to look over something new. When the man called me back I told him that and I also told him about the portal partners.

I showed him a couple of examples of some of our portals and he became very excited about getting some of you to work with him. I agreed to publish his request in the Portal Partner Press and see if anyone would take him up on his offer. I strongly urge you to take a look, at least contact him and ask a couple of questions.

Anyway, here's the e-mail from him that I agreed to publish.


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Dear Bob, 
I would like to thank you very much for your willingness to help. The assistance you offered was the best I could think of. I've written down few paragraphs, and I hope it is phrased in a suitable manner for your newsletter. By the way, I will be delighted to receive this newsletter, if it is no bother. If there is any problem in the way I phrased the Item, Please let me know, and I will fix it right away. In any case, I would be very happy to hear your opinion. I would appreciate it very much, if you could conform the arrival of this email. Once again, thank you so much for your tremendous help.

Sincerely, 
Aviv.

The Relevant Sites, All The Relevant Sites, and Nothing But The Relevant Sites

Anatomy is developing a revolutionary product for the automatic creation of Web directories targeted for portals. Currently, Web directories are manually created for the benefit of portals and directories by thousands of persons worldwide. Due to Anatomy's automatization of the Web directory creation process, it is able to deliver many benefits that have been unobtainable until now - Anatomy delivers an unprecedented coverage of the Web (reviewing more than 15 million sites), constant updating, rating, refining of results lists, and much more. Another very important value is Anatomy's ability to produce customized directories according to many parameters, such as topic, media type (i.e., audio, video, text, etc.), and the existence of an e-shop within a given site. To summarize, Anatomy's software is able to review millions of sites, to screen them according to a given topical criteria, and to automatically deliver, in a well organized tree of categories - "the relevant sites, all the relevant sites, and nothing but the relevant sites". Anatomy's product is still in development, and as such it is not yet for sale. Anatomy is currently looking for portals that are willing to cooperate by providing Anatomy with an understanding of its needs, in order to enable Anatomy to develop the optimal product. Anatomy would require only a few meetings with the portal's staff, and as gratitude for the cooperation, Anatomy will be more than happy to offer its product free of charge once it is released. Anatomy's technology is aimed for portals that are interested in enlarging and improving their directory. Notice, that at this time Anatomy is willing to offer its technology in return for only few feedbacks meetings.

For further information, you may contact Aviv Segev, at aviv@e-nnovate.co.il


-------------------------------------------

Aviv Segev
CEO
Anatomy (e-nnovative Israel Ltd.)

Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel. +972-3-525-1077

Fax. +972-3-525-1078

Mobile. +972-53-335-997

email: aviv@e-nnovate.co.il

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I have no idea of how many people they will accept, so if it sounds like something you might be interested in, I wouldn't wait too long if I were you.

Well that's it for another week kids See Ya in the funny papers.

This Bob's for you!
Publisher -- Bob Massa
bobking@searchking.com
Powered by SearchKing!

May 17, 2001

Subject: Portal Partner Press 5-17-01

Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 18:02:35 -0500

From: bobking - bobcard@ionet.net
Portal Partner Press
May 15th, 2001
IN THIS ISSUE

Everybody Wang-Chat Tonight

Affiliate Program Is Tested and We've Got a Winner

No More Unlimited Freebies

If Bob is a Search Engine Placement Specialist, Why Won't He Tell Us How To Do It? 
You're Being Watched

EVERYBODY WANG-CHAT TONIGHT

The one big piece of the portal puzzle that I have had the hardest time with, (not counting the e-mail), since the inception of the portal program has been the chat. I have bought a total of 5 paid programs as well as tried several other "free" programs and nothing has worked the way I envisioned it working for all the partners.

That is until last night.

Last night we tested Dan's new chat program and it works! It was fast and it didn't kick anyone out like the V-chat we've been using for a year now.

It allows links to be clickable, another must have feature that the old one didn't have. It has a few other nifty little features that come in handy, but the main thing is it worked.

The other thing that makes this workable is that now you can have your own chat on your own site instead of just linking to SearchKing's, BUT, it can still show all the rooms from all the sites and just by clicking, you can enter any room you like. This was the part we were having such a hard time with and the main reason that I consider the whole SK chat program a failure up until now. No one ever uses our chat for anything except of course the few loyal partners who regularly attend the Thursday evening chats.

Now anytime anyone is chatting in any chat room, the room is visible and just by clicking on the room, you're logged in. What this means is that we can finally offer chat that we can reasonably assume someone will be chatting in just about anytime. A chat room with no one chatting is pretty much useless, but as long as anyone anywhere out of hundreds of portal partners is chatting, there is some value in it.

The hope is that it will go a long way in helping everyone build their communities. If a woman goes into a doll chat room and finds no one there, but there is someone chatting in the fashion chat, she will very likely check that one out. This is going to get her familiar with you, your portal and what you offer. There is a good chance that she will want some of the features you offer for her own site and what better way to get her to click on your affiliate link and put her in your own downline. Of course the entire idea of the whole thing is to give your visitors a way to effectively communicate with you, but if we can make a buck in the deal, even better.

Actually, one of our portal partners already figured out why I've had to struggle so hard to find the "right" chat and has said it best. They just posted in the forums and I'd like to put here in the PPP for everyone to see. The link to the forum by the way, is: http://forums.searchking.com/NonCGI/Forum1/HTML/000040.html

Here is the post

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I think a central lobby would be preferable. Especially if the various chatrooms included portal partners' chatrooms. Then there would be more incentive for us to visit each other and join in each others' various chats. This might require an interactive schedule or calender so we know who is on and when. This would make the SK Chat the place to start, no matter who you were going to chat with. Plus it would help reduce timetable clashes. I see SK Chat becoming THE place to go if you wanted to chat any time.


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That's EXACTLY what I'm talking about!

Anyway, we will naturally be offering this free to all partners. However, we will also offer some paid upgrades in the near future. The free one will allow up to 10 users in one room and your room will always display anytime anyone is chatting. The pro version, ($5 per month or $50 per year), will offer unlimited rooms, unlimited users, a java AND a html version so that all the webTV users can chat, the ability to run your own ad network on it and an admin panel that would allow you to enable or disable the visible active chat display, (some people have a problem with offering people a way to leave their site).

Also, we are already working on a dictation feature that would basically be a voice chat as well as an actual real-time voice chat, of course those won't be available for any $5 per month.

The chat is going to available for your site within about 2 weeks and if you don't take it, you're absolutely nuts. I mean, c'mon, it can generate traffic, create exposure for you and your partners, it's a tool that SHOULD be on any topic or regional specific portal and it's free.

I need those of you that are going to want it first to send an e-mail to kevin@searchking.com and put chat in the subject line. Put your url in the body of the meesssage and that way as soon as it's ready, he'll just go through the files and set you up first.


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AFFILIATE PROGRAM TESTED AND WE'VE GOT A WINNER

We're finished with the new affiliate script and I'm very happy to announce that it is tested, works fine and we'll be releasing it next week. All we need to do is make a few little tweaks to the sign up page and we're ready to go. We will also be offering this software as a stand alone affiliate program as well. For anybody wanting to run thier own affiliate program, this software is what they need. I expect sales to be fairly brisk because it's a great residual income producer. Like everything else we do, the affiliate will not only make money from the sale, but a percentage of every dime the customer pays as long as they pay it. Many of you will have people who will run this program literally for years and get a cut off the payment every month!

Watch next week's PPP for details on where to get signed up.


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NO MORE UNLIMITED FREEBIES

As of today, May 17th, 2001, there are no more unlimited free portals. Only one per customer. Also, we will no longer be offering free portals to adult sites.

Sorry kids, it had to end someday huh?


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IF BOB IS A SEARCH ENGINE PLACEMENT SPECIALIST, WHY WON'T HE TELL US HOW TO DO IT?

There have been a couple of threads in the forums this last week that pretain to search engine placement and how to get traffic from said placements. These are two great discussions that could literally change your online life. You need to be reading those forums if you're not already. The information there is information that has to do with you directly and not available anywhere else on the net, oh yeah, and it doesn't cost you anything to take advantage of them. Anyway, the two threads I'm referring to specifically are 
http://forums.searchking.com/NonCGI/Forum33/HTML/000035.html
dealing with search engine friendly templates, and
http://forums.searchking.com/NonCGI/Forum35/HTML/000022.html
dealing with choosing keywords for maximum search engine penetration.

For those of you who have been partners for a while now, you very likely know that I own and operate http://www.magic-city.net, one of the oldest and most successful placement services on the web. If you know that, then you also know that there have been many questions in the forums about how to get good placement and obviously, I'm a logical candidate to be able to answer those questions, yet I very rarely ever post anything in the way of "how to" or "here's the secret". In fact I very rarely ever post anything about search engine placement at all in spite of the fact that I am very good at it.

I'm sure by now, at least some of you have asked yourselves, "why won't he tell us how to do it?" Well, there are three main reasons why I don't offer more insider tips and the secrets of stuff in the forums. I will tell you why by addressing all three reasons one at a time.

#1. I HAVE told everyone "how to do it".

A little over two months ago I published a series of articles over three or four issues of the PPP about search engine placement. In fact I think the title was even "How To Do It"

In those articles, I told everyone who cared enough to read it, EXACTLY the procedures that my placement company uses to secure top spots on competitive keywords in the major engines. Anyone reading it, anyone could have very easily just followed those procedures step-by-step and got the same kind of results that I get without having to spend thousands of hours researching and thousands of dollars in submission fees trying to "figure it out".

What kind of results do I get? The kind that has made Magic-city and myself the kind of money that most web marketers only dream of. As of today's date, I have close to 200 competitive terms listed on the first page of Yahoo search results. Not the Google results, not the directory results, but the search results where Yahoo actually can send you hundreds of targeted hits per day.

Looksmart, Google, Excite, Hot Bot, Alta Vista, DMOZ, Lycos, all of them have my work sitting at the top of the results. I don't claim to be the best, but I do claim to be as good as anybody. Without a doubt, I DO know what it takes to get those top spots and I can prove it.

All I asked for when I wrote those articles was feedback. I charge my clients over $2,000 US just to set up a site PLUS the monthly maintenance fees, but I told all my partners "how to do it" without asking a dime, just to let me know if they used my advice and how it worked. It is important for others to know what has worked and to know that it can work for them as well. After two months, I've not had a single response.

I take that back. I have a client who has paid me $240 per hour for two separate consultations, where I told him the same thing I told all of you. He called one day not too long after those articles ran and told me he had decided to sign up as a portal partner, not because he wanted to build another site, but because he wanted to be on the Portal Partner Press mailing list and be a part of the program. That man has given me permission to use him as a reference publicly so I will tell you his name is John Carter and he runs http://www.barparts.com. After our first consultation, he told me he wanted to see his site in the top under wine decanters. You can now find his new site http://www.1stdecanters.com at the number 1 position on Google for the search term wine decanters. My guess is there are many other placements on other terms and other engines and well. Including number 2 for the single word decanters on Google, number 3 for wine decanters on Lycos, (oh yeah and his barparts.com site is at the top under the most popular as well), #5 on AOL and so forth.

#2. Pearls Before Swine

Don't get excited or offended yet. I'm not talking about you, I'm talking about those "other" people who are simply taking the program because they can get if for free and actually have, (and never did have), any intention of doing anything with it.

The fact is that with as many portal partners as we have now, we just don't know who all we are dealing with. I can say this though, just by looking at some of the names people sign up for and some of the orders we get, many of those people are, at best, direct competitors, at worst, spammers and the exact kind of people that I DO WANT to help in any way.

Have you ever heard the old cliché "knowledge is power"? Well, there is a lot of truth to that statement and the knowledge I have gained over the last 6 years is extremely powerful. I can virtually take anybody, any website, any keyword and get that site high quality traffic from major search services very quickly. That is powerful. I never promised to give that kind of power away for free. That is not what the portal program is about.

That is not to say that I intend to give that information to anyone that "pays" for a portal either. That's not what I'm saying at all. Just because someone will pay $20 a month for a program as powerful as the SK portals, is no indication that that person will act honestly and not try to abuse the information that I would provide. That is not what the portal program is about. The portal program is about building a better web and not about aiding and abetting the people who would destroy that opportunity for us all.

#3. It's Not The Answer Everybody Thinks It Is and Besides It's Not Time Yet.

I'm the first to agree that there is every likelihood that giving away top placement procedures in the SK forums could very well generate a substantial amount of traffic. I could see where a Virtual Promote post here and a Warriors post there would soon have people flocking to the SK forums thinking once again that they had found the secret to internet success for free.

There are two big problems with that.#1 It would attract far too many of the people who would come only to take and more importantly, #2 it would not give the people that came there for the secret to success the success they were looking for. What good would it do us to have 1,000 people disillusioned? Instead of 1,000 people feeling like they were involved in something good and telling everybody that, we'd have 1,000 people feeling like it was just another internet marketing ploy that doesn't work and going around telling people that.

You see, even if I was to give away all the traffic building knowledge that I have, all it would do would be to change the focus of the entire program to top search engine placement, (because there is a VERY popular misconception on the net that traffic is the key), instead of building quality content for the success of us all.

Everyone that would come looking for traffic would eventually find out the one thing I have been preaching for years now and that is, you don't want traffic, YOU WANT SALES. Traffic does not make you money. Traffic is an expense. Sales makes you money and sales is income.

True, you need traffic to get the sale, but my point is that top search engine placement only generates traffic, there is still a lot of work to do to make the sale and as long as we all keep thinking in terms of traffic, we are all going to lose and that's what I'm talking about when I say it's not time yet.

You see, I'm not really a search engine placement specialist. I mean, I am because I can do it and do it everyday, but I don't see myself as that. I see myself as a search engine placement specialist only to be able to do what I see myself as really being and that is a salesman. I learned how to get traffic to sites to be able to afford me the opportunity to learn and understand how this whole internet thing works for the sole purpose of using it as a tool to help make the sale. However, judging from the posts I read in various forums and the e-zines and newsletters I get, I seem to be one of the few looking at it that way.

When I start seeing posts about sales as opposed to just about traffic, then it will be time to start focusing on showing partners how to get traffic AND sales.


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YOU'RE BEING WATCHED

Any organization needs leaders. From the first few days of even dreaming up the portal program, I had every intention of building an army of leaders. Actually more like role models. It's just that to everything there is a season, meaning that there is a time to do things and there is a time to not do things.

I've been waiting for signs that it is time for a while now and those two posts I referenced above in the SK forums, tell me it is getting very close to the right time. there have been a lot of other very significant posts over the last several months, but those two do stand out. What they show me is that many of us have progressed past the point of understanding how the program works and the technical challenges involved. We are now to the point we're saying, "OK, I've got a decent portal about my topic, now what". Believe me, I can hardly wait to get started showing everyone "now what".

As I've said so many times, I'm a salesman and what I do with this portal program is not much different from what I do, (actually, I guess that proper term would be WHY I do), with search engine placement. My objective with the entire portal program is how to increase sales using the program. Actually my objective is a little more involved than that, but that explanation will suffice for now.

My philosophy has been, in order to overcome the challenges of making a sale on the web compared to making a sale in a brick and mortar environment, it is going to take three things. Traffic, (I've got that problem covered), people and programs. After all these years of having to continue on when I was getting like a 10% sales to click thru ratio, (which is twice as good or more as the net average, it is still dismal to a guy like me who is used to getting more like a 80% close ratio), I am finally in a position of being able to get the programs that I feel are needed to overcome things like not being able to see a person's eyes when they are in my store. Dave and Dan are both highly competent programmers and I'm finally getting some of the scripts I've been trying so desperately to get for so long.

(Wait until you see the program I'm hoping to announce within the next two weeks that Dan has just completed. For those of you that "get it", it will absolutely blow you away. I can't wait!).

So now I've got the scripts and I've got the traffic, all I need is the people. I need heros. I need leaders. Where do you think I've intended to get these leaders all along? That's right, portal partners. Portal partners that I can provide specailized training to. Training on how to get the traffic, training on how to get the sale once the traffic gets there and training on how to train others to do the same thing. Training on how to become the kind of internet marketers that attract and motivate people to WANT to learn how to do it right.

I've been watching closely, looking for people who have some experience with running a site, web design, getting search engine placement, setting up order forms and delivering products and services. Partners who have an eye for professionalism and honesty. Most importantly, partners who are willing to learn and then teach others.

I will soon be starting a small club of portal partners who will be asked to agree to my terms. I will ask for things like a statement of intent, an agreement to follow a code of ethics, (much like the agreement I asked for when we started the doomed strategy forums), an agreement to follow some basic rules, and a written commitment to provide public feedback of the results that they get.

I will focus on training in the areas of search engine placement, website sales, installing and using secure servers, shopping carts, specific page delivery, effective sales copy, affiliate marketing, e-zine promotion, using forums and newsgroups for promotion, advertising sales, press releases and creating news, building and motivating their sales force and later on, audio and video application, translation software, voice recognition and whatever else we can develop or hunt down that I feel may play a part in getting the internet standards for sales to click thru ratios from 2% to 50 and 60%.

I will set up private chats, e-mail discussion lists and even one-on-one phone consultations. I will basically become personally involved in building each one of the "leaders" sites. I will focus on everyone learning to effectively read their numbers and hitting them. We will focus on setting objectives and developing strategies to attain those objectives. It will work! We will build some of the most successful websites on the net and once we do, we will start building an army of successful websites.

I will be contacting several of you over the next few months and making you this offer. I can definetly see where some people would not be the least bit interested in becoming involved in this project. It is at the very least going to require a lot of work and after all, many of you are already successful and don't need the help of me or anyone else. Also, I'm the first to admit that my way is not the only way. It is one way, but there are a lot of ways to become successful and I'm sure that I will make a lot of mistakes along the way. If you do not want to be involved after you're invited, don't feel bad about telling me so. I would never be disappointed because someone had a different idea of how to do something other than myself. That's the way it should be and I'm as likely to learn from you as you are to learn from me.

I think I've talked long enough for this week, so I'll let you get back to work.

See Ya in the forums.


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I have no idea of how many people they will accept, so if it sounds like something you might be interested in, I wouldn't wait too long if I were you.

Well that's it for another week kids See Ya in the funny papers.
This Bob's for you!
Publisher -- Bob Massa
bobking@searchking.com
Powered by SearchKing!

May 21, 2001

Subject: Portal Partner Press 5-21-01
Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 18:39:08 -0500
From: bobking bobking@searchking.com
Portal Partner Press
May 22nd, 2001
IN THIS ISSUE
The Future is Here. Yahoo Life Says So
Affiliate News
Product Development
a affilaite software
b.Keyword Delivery
c. chat

THE FUTURE IS HERE. YAHOO LIFE SAYS SO

Yesterday, Dave came in and sat down in my office. He said he was at Target the day before and as he stood in a long line at the check-out lane, he picked up a copy of Yahoo life. For those of you that aren't familiar with this particular publication, it's kind of a People magazine about the net published under the Yahoo umbrella of companies. It's full of all kinds of tidbits about the net and websites. Stories are usually very short and a lot of them. I'm not sure exactly what their subscriber base is but we did check on some ad space in the magazine back in '99 and for a 1/4 page it was $20,000 USD and at that time they claimed over 200,000 paid subscribers and a readership of over 1.5 million per issue. It's kind of the flagship of internet magazines.

Anyway, Dave said that while he was thumbing through it, an article titled, "The Futrue of Search Engines" caught his eye. The article basically stated that the writer saw small, highly focused, topic specific search engines as the future of internet searching. The writer even referred to them as topic specific portals. Hmm, where have we heard that term before?

Dave said that he was half expecting to turn the page and find a mention of SearchKing. Thank God he didn't!

I told Dave that I believed someone upstairs was simply watching out for us. As it is, it couldn't work out any better for for us. Had they mentioned SK, we would have likely been swamped wtih hits and orders. At the very least it would have created a strain on our entire system that I serioulsy doubt we would have been able to handle without dissappointing some people. What Yahoo Life did do for us, is simply advertise for us without putting any kind of strain on anything. What they did was do more to educate the public than we could have done ourselves and for free!

Now some 1 or 2 million people are aware of the term and some of those people are wondering how to learn about building a topic specific portal. Well, SearchKing is undoubtedly one of the leaders in providing portal software. Of course, I'm biased, but in my opinion we are the obvious choice for a number of reasons, not the least of which is affordability. When people start looking for a solution, many of those people, (the lucky ones and the samrt ones), are going to end up at SK. That may or may not be any big deal. What I see as the big deal here is simply in the validation. We are right and we always were. Now that the world is starting to see the value in what we have all been working towards, the doors of opportunity are going to open for us all.

Thank You Yahoo Life!


*****************************************

AFFILIATE NEWS

Well, the program is tested and ready for release. The sign up page is at http://www.searchking.com/affiliate/affiliate2.htm

At least we thought we were through until one of our beta testers pointed out a site to us that certifies affiliate programs, (thanks Mr. Eastman). We spent a good deal of time going over the agreement making sure that we explained to the potential affiliate exactly what to expect from the program, but after checking out the requirements to get certified from http://www.affiliateunion.com, we realize we have a little more work to do on the agreement. It's important to us to get certifications and awards from affiliate sites because we want this program to become known as one of the best. Not only in the fact that the software is superior, but in the fact that our program itself is superior as well.

I'm the first to admit that we are fairly new to the affiliate game, but we're not new at simply running our business professionally, up-front and honest. The adjustments to the agreement will not be in replacing anything or saying anything different, just saying it better and more in keeping with what a prospective affiliate would expect. It is not anything that would keep you from signing up now.

We still have to get the portal order forms set up on searchking.com, but we'll have that up and running within the next few days. So, you want to use the "submit your site" banner to direct everyone to http://www.searchking.com/add_main.htm. that's the page where they can submit their site OR buy pay-per-day advertising OR sign up for a portal.
In the meantime, we will still be tracking portal orders thru the old affiliate program, but as soon as we get the order forms all installed under the searchking domain, we will kill the links to the interferenza script. We will still keep it live for a year so that if anyone has signed up for a free portal under your old number and upgrades anytime within a year, you will get credit for it on the new program. After a year from the last day the links are live for the interferenza, we will just delete the entire program, but only after we are sure that everyone that has a chance of making a dollar has been tracked, recorded and paid.

The point of all this is, if you are already an affiliate, you need to get signed up under the new three-tier program. If you would like to become an affiliate, you need to get signed up under the new three-tier program. Either way, go to http://www.searchking.com/affiliate/affiliate2.htm get signed up and start displaying the "Submit Your Site to Thousands of Portals" banners now.

By the way, we are still running the offer to buy your banners and buttons. $50 for any banner we accept and $25 for any button. Just post the link to them in the forums at http://forums.searchking.com


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PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

a. Affiliate Software

As we've discussed in the past, sending all the affiliate links to the page that lets them submit OR buy ads OR get portals is the best way to get a lot of traffic quickly to a site where we can pitch them on the paid services. We could all run get a free portal banner or advertise for pennies a day and we would all get a hit every now and then. By offering everyone a way to submit to 1,000's of directories at once, we can expect a lot of response and a much better chance of making some sales. So that's all fine and good, just not good enough.

We want to see affiliates make money and of course we want to make some money too. So to meet that objective, we have been doing some pretty impressive development work to be able to offer more products with greater value and bigger pay outs. The first of which should be obvious. The affiliate progam itself.

Very soon we will be releasing the affiliate software as a branded version to people who wish to run their own affiliate program. Once you use see how the script works just for the affiliates, you will be able to see how it will also work for anyone wanting to run a program themselves.

Affiliate software is expensive, at least the good ones, so we will offer this program on a monthly leasing schedule based on the number of users. We will offer the program on a try it before you buy it program so that it won't cost you a penny to try it out for 30 days and make sure it will work for you. Then if you take the program, we will remove any SK logos or references and replace them with the customers branding for a set up fee of $179 plus their monthly fee of $29 per month for up to 100 users. From there they can upgrade at any time to handle more users. Something like, 100 users = $29 per month. 500 users = $99.1000 users = $199 per month 5,000 users = $399 per month. 10,000 users = $699 and unlimted users for $1499 per month.

All of these fees would of course pay you 12% at a level one, 6% for your level 2 and 2% at your level 3.

Is this a good way to go. I think it is an excellent way to go and I'm not the only one. We were looking at buying, (actually leasing), a script to use for the new affiliate program before Dave decided to build our own. The one we were looking at was SuperPowerAffiliates.com http://www.superpoweraffiliates.com As luck would have it, I just got an e-mail from the company today. It's a kind of press release they sent out to all of their prospective buyers of which they stillconsider me one. Below is the letter.


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Direct Sales Industry News: The End of Software, www.SuperPowerAffiliates.com 
Los Angeles, CA - May 1, 2001 Don't tell the DSA(Direct Selling Association) or the DSI(Direct selling Industry) but ... software is dead. So says Shaun James Browne. And he's backing up this prediction with SuperPowerAffiliates.com -- tolling direct selling software's death bell each time he signs up another customer.

www.SuperPowerAffiliates.com allows a company to access, manage and share direct sales information such as leads, customer account information, contacts, marketing reports, shipping, commission history, tracking etc.

Big deal, you say. Jenkon, Globenet and 2021 already offers software that does this.

The big deal is that SuperPowerAffiliates.com allows companies to do all this online with no software to buy, install, maintain and update. As SuperPowerAffiliates.com's founder and VP of global sales & marketing Shaun James Browne says, "We did not invent Direct sales or commission programming. All we did was take software out of the picture. Well, welcome to the future of direct selling technology.This is how it's going to be"

Los Angeles based www.SuperPowerAffiliates.com is a company that provides commission software as an online service -- one of the fastest-growing segments of the new phase of the online business services arena. "This is all brand new; we are right at the technology edge. But we believe this is the direction that things are going. Systems are becoming stable and secure enough to run businesses on them.You can run a world-wide direct selling company in a dozen countries and set up all the offices in a week, that just can't be done on older technology platforms" says Browne.

. "Fast growing or mature Direct Selling Industry companies alike, need solutions rapidly. The faster a company can get recruitment and sales going, the better off it is. That is basically what we enable companies to do. There's no up-front investment in time or money. Companies can just input their information and go. That is a very new commission tracking business model, and it's a much better model."

SOFTWARE SERVICES

Call it software services, and it's at the heart of what not only Browne and SuperPowerAffiliates.com are doing, but also Larry Ellison and Oracle, and even PC software giant Microsoft Corp. (NasdaqNM:MSFT - news) and its chairman Bill Gates. Microsoft, with its .NET efforts, is seeking to deliver more of its software via the Internet, just as is Oracle with its www.OracleSalesOnline.com initiative, which for the time being allows users free use of its software to help salespeople manage leads, contacts, meetings and the like over the Internet. Ellison himself has said software will eventually become a service delivered over the Internet, as inevitably as night follows day. So, software as software isn't dead, but the way it's been sold historically -- packaged on CD-Roms and the like -- is. Software companies will still sell software, but customers will buy it on a per-user basis per month in addition to up-front custom designing and project management costs, typically, and the software company will host the program either on its own computers or at a Web-hosting company, which are known as application service providers. Los Angeles based SuperPowerAffiliates.com uses Sonic hosting, which provides the space, power, routers and switches while SuperPoweraffiliates.com has supplied its own hardware and people. It charges a fee per month per user and claims that more than 200,000 Reps from 15 companies have contracted to use its service's. Browne adds that his firm has moved to arrange channel partnerships with several leading e-commerce providers to expand the SuperPower platform offering in a "Business web". In the current market Browne claims that "Globenet,Jenkon & 2021 simply can't offer the value proposition that we can"

Prior to founding SuperPowerAffiliates.com, Browne spent 13 years in the Direct Sales space, consulting on software projects and holding executive positions in sales and marketing for his previous software company which made the front page of the Wall Street Journal " we worked on software projects all over the world, sales boomed and the WSJ said they were putting us on the front page.I didn't believe them, but they kept their word and now I've ended up here." Browne started SuperPowerAffiliates.com in August of 2000. 9 months later, the first cut of the SuperPowerAffiliates.com product was up and running. mostly small and medium-sized companies that can't afford a Globenet-sized investment and up to now have not had the ability to have the functionality that this kind of software provides. "We have moved one of Globenet's clients, I'm sure there will be lots more to follow when more company owners wake up and smell the coffee" says Browne.

Browne persuaded James D. McInnes, to accept the position of CEO and President of the Los Angeles-based Company. Mr. McInnes brings forty years of combined corporate and entrepreneurial executive experience to SuperPowerAffiliates. With a hands-on approach to business, he has been involved in several startups in the resort and real estate industries and has an extensive background in syndication and finance.

Browne concentrates on relationship-building with key strategic partners offering similar ASP type solutions and serving as the driver of the company's vision. "This company is only just starting" Browne says. "In 9 months, we have been able to offer a complete MLM/Affiliate direct sales commission offering, which is the most difficult component. Within another 2 months, we think we will be able to offer a complete set of applications -- end to end e commerce, advanced shipping,warehousing purchasing, financial."

For now, Browne is banking that the simplicity, huge feature list and lower cost of the company's service -- "We can beat our competitor's prices every single time, new web based technology Vs LAN based legacy systems, they just can't compete"-- "Over the last eight years, Globenet,Jenkon and 2021 have dominated the Direct Selling software space, but the fact is that these systems are overpriced and very limited in their flexibility for the modern direct selling enterprise.There are a huge number of established companies that could make a lot more profit if they switched to SuperPowerAffiliates.These companies have not really been there for the customer. That is our opportunity." Is there anything that prevents a competitor from following in www.SuperPowerAffiliates.com footsteps? "Yes. This is really, very hard," says Browne with another one of his smiles. "I have been in the direct selling space for 13 years. Finding the people , making the product simple, fast and secure -- that is not a simple exercise in commission programming technology."

If software is dead, then Browne seems to think that smart sales companies are discovering that instead of spending $500,000 - $3,000,000 and years of pain installing complex software programs on their own computers to help automate their operations, they can pay considerably less fees upfront and a monthly ongoing fee per user per month.. Customers then use the software with nothing more than a secure Web browser and a password. The trend is big, gaining momentum and large companies across all industries are embracing it ever rapidly.


********************************

One of the odd things about this company, I couldn't find where they offered an affiliate program to sell their software. Hmmm? Aside from that and aside from the fact that even their "budget" pricing is around $10,000 set up, I couldn't agree more with their strategy.

b. Keyword Delivery

Here's a term you've probably never heard before. That's because Dan and I made it up. But it's a term I think we'll all be hearing a lot in the near future. I'll try to explain the concept.

You know how I've been complaining for a long time about tracking software only telling you where your hits came from AFTER they left, well we've come up with a darn good solution that I believe will change the way sales are made on the net.

We call it keyword delivery mostly because that domain name was available, but what it actually is, is content delivery. Take a look at your tracker your using now and see how many keywords you are being found under. Now, go look at your site and try to see how a visitor would find that specific information relating to that keyword or phrase. If you're like most sites, you are coming up under keywords that may actually have something to do with your site, BUT, you're losing a lot of visitors because they can't find that specific information fast enough. But they can sure find the back button fast enough. Surveys have shown that the average conversion rate of sales to click thrus on commercial websites is between 2% and 4%. Studies also show that the average time spent on a site looking for information is 2 seconds. That's right TWO SECONDS. What this means is, if you have a shoe site and someone finds you at a search engine using the keyword "blue high heeled shoes" and gets to your site and doesn't find that exact info within two seconds, chances are they are doing the old back button bye-bye. What if there were a way to know what that visitor typed in to find you under and you could tell that BEFORE he got to your site and then deliver the exact information he was looking for within that dreaded 2 seconds? Your sales would go through the roof!

Not to mention the fact that click thru popularity is starting to play an important part of search engines' algorithms. Not just how many people click on your link, but HOW LONG they stay on your site. What keeps someone one your site? Finding what they are looking for.

Well, (drum roll please), now there is a way. Dan has developed it and SearchKing is about to be the sole and exclusive distributor for it.

This thing is absolutely incredible! It is kind of like reverse cloaking. Rather than fooling any search engine though, it doesn't identify a spider, or even a visitor, it identifies what the keyword that visitor used to find you with and then delivers that specific content. It works on the principle of the text banner ads. Those text banners don't have to be 468x60. We just make them that way we could make them one line or an entire web page including graphics!

This script that we have lets the owner, using a very simple admin panel, select the keywords he wants to target and then allows him to either use text or html to put that content at the top of the page. So, the index page is always there, it's just that if the keyword typed in to find you with is on an interior page, now you just display that specific content to the person looking for it. That information could be displayed with simple text saying, "you found the best site for blue high heeled shoes. click here. Or you could just deliver the shoes.com/highheels.htm page. The visitor only knows he found what he was looking for.

I realize this may sound a littl weird, but some of you are internet marketers and will instantly see how this little goodie can change the way the net works and for those of you that are just as tired of losing visitors as I am, can also see the money coming our way thru increased sales and sales to click thru ratios of more like 40%, 50% and more! This script will be ready for release in the next few days. We will again offer it as a try it befoe you buy it product. If after 30 days, you decide to keep it, we will charge a one time installation fee of $79 plus your first months lease of $29 for up to 10 keywords. Upgrades will be available at 100 keywords, (the premium version), for $99 per month and unlimted keywords, (the pro version), for $199 per month. Of course the affiliate will get their percentages of every dime every client spends for as long as they spend it!

c.Chat

As most of you know, we have started using our own custom chat program. As with the other products I just mentioned, we can see value in this chat program to people other than portal partners, so why not sell it to them? We will be releasing the chat program within the next few weeks. At $50 bucks a year nobody is going to make much off of it. BUT, what about a voice dictation upgrade where you don't have to type for say $20 a month? What about full voice recognition for say $100 a month? What about animation? What about a spell checker, what about IM? All of these things are within the grasp of our development department, (we've started calling Dave and Dan that because we see our staff getting enlarged very quickly). Of course the things we develop we'll be depending on our affiliates to market the products. Still not sure whether you want to sign up as an affilaite or not?

Anyway, I'm sure we'll be discussing these goodies in the forums over the next few weeks. Go there. Sign up. Get invovled. Do it NOW! http://forums.searchking.com

See you kids next week and have a great Memorial Day weekend, (that's intended only for the American partners I suppose).

Publisher -- Bob Massa
bobking@searchking.com
Powered by SearchKing!

May 30, 2001

Subject: Portal Partner Press 5-30-01
Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 13:07:39 -0500
From: Robert Massa bobking@searchking.com
Portal Partner Press 
May 30th, 2001
IN THIS ISSUE: Sayin' Better Than I Could

SAYIN' IT BETTER THAN I COULD

I ran across a forum post recently that went a long way in explaining one of the biggest advantages to building your own portal. I have been preaching this very thing for so long now and I found it thrilling to find a post that said much better than I've been saying it. So thrilled I wanted to make sure that all of you read it as well.

I'm not really sure about the proper net etiquette about using posts from other people's forums. I have no intention of stealing any material from anybody but this is too important for me NOT to share, so all I know to do is tell you that I found the post at Webmaster World http://www.webmasterworld.com, a forum dedicated to professional search engine placement. I have found it to be an excellent resource and I visit it often. If you are concerned about the placement of your portals, you should be visiting too. Now, hopefully I've just sent a little business his way and that makes using this material all right. If not, I apologize in advance.

Here's the posts:


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First Post

Hello xxxxxxxx,

So, you want to build on your link pop and you need it yesterday and everyone is telling you to take your time, build a great site, and it will happen. Well, they’re right but there are a few things you can do to help things along. First, you need a link page, or better yet, more than one. In fact, attach one to each themed page. If you want to see an example just email me and I’ll send you a link to check out.

Next, don’t discount the advice to get your directory listings and yes, these may take time, particularly ODP but hey, when you get a 1000 points (as has been suggested) for one link, it’s a link worth getting. And that goes for Yahoo and Looksmart. Looksmart because it feeds into Excite and then it seems webcrawler comes along in there and suddenly you have some great directory links. Like it’s been said though, these take time to get, and except for ODP cost money and take time to be acknowledged once you get them.

So what’s next? Find every B2B directory/hub/portal/vortal out there that’s within your theme and submit to them. You can’t believe how many there are. Just be sure you are not submitting to a clone of ODP, which you don’t want to do. Stay away from the FFA, which were such fun while they lasted but are so NOT ok today.

Make sure that your site is internally linked in a way that makes sense. Don’t link the perfume page to the houseware page. Sure, they may have ‘women’ in common but that’s about it. Do link the houseware page to all the individual pages you have for each of the products within houseware. This is a very powerful point.

Don’t link your pharmacy client to your travel company client. That of course wouldn’t make sense but, do link the travel agent to the spa in Cancun. These are just examples but I think it’s clear what I’m saying. Also, make sure if your client has more than one domain for their company, that you put the same depth of thought into how you will link those. Then, you have to bite the bullet and find link partners and I know if you’re working for a Fortune 500 company this isn’t going to be easy. Start with some easy ones that don’t threaten the client. Ease them into the experience. Get a list of who they do business with, who their clients are and see if some of those work. What big business doesn’t understand is they have no control over who links to them. They do have control over who they link too and should be wise about that process. Do a link check on your competitors and see whom they have linked to them. Let your client look over the list and pick a few that don’t make them feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s just those first steps that get in the way. My last tip for the night is to think about creating your own vortal or hub and use it as additional strength for your linking strategy. You would be so amazed at how you can make these work for you, especially in the corporate world.

Good luck and happy linking.

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Question from another reader:

I have read other posts by you on this topic, but am unclear on something regarding your use of a vortal or hub. Say I am optimizing mydomain.com. Is the vortal built on mydomain? Or on another domain which links to mydomain.com?

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Next post

Hubs/vortals/portals, by whatever name you give them, are really an incredible tool. I have one right now that is only in the testing phase, as in we are getting it formatted and put together before we get the design on board. For this reason it has not be submitted to any directories and in fact I have only made a few link partnership connections. In the last 2 months now, with only being picked up by Google and the link connection to the affiliate the hub was designed to promote (which is terrifically positioned), is getting nearly 1500 unique visitors a day through Google. And if the keywords folks are using to reach are any indication, this is focused traffic. Of those visits over 600 a day now are clicking through to the ‘main’ affiliate this hub was created to promote. Now I know this isn’t responding to your initial question, and I will, but it does go to show that this type of ‘qualified’ traffic is very well worth the efforts. I can hardly wait to see what happens once it’s actually in the directory and all the links I presently have on the site are linked back.

I use a totally separate domain for the hub. I set it up with themes and I use canonicals (sub-directory/vanity/viral). I use the ODP dump and filter it so it’s theme specific. This is probably my main effort, in making sure the entire ODP, through my hub, doesn’t get spidered each time. Every indexing has been better and better. Purging the cache that Google leaves behind so the server doesn’t have problems is very important. Also, I’ve made sure now that my URL have no ‘?’ although they are cgi. Each page is full of content, specific to the theme and canonical of the page, with very specific linking strategies both internally and externally.

I am now working on turning the hub and the separate canonicals into their own community with all of the special items you add, including message boards, etc. This is the next level and requires a great deal more commitment. For the time being it’s such a terrific tool that for that reason alone suits the efforts I put into. This is really the work I enjoy so as a side shameless plug I am available to consult on specific applications of this idea. The cost for putting it together is incredibly low. You do need technical advice and talent. If you want to take it to it’s highest level then you want design help as well. You can never discount the talent of truly terrific copy writing either so, remember to consider those costs and the rest is SEO strategy.

If you want to see an example of the hub, knowing that a designer hasn’t touched it yet, then email me and I’ll send you a link. My client and I are more than happy to share our experiences. The novelty of this optimization strategy is that the same type of business could share my strategy but through the simple truth that we are actually in essence promoting separate businesses, is not in direct competition and would do better if we actually linked to each other. I believe and my client believes we are safe in that thought.

I love talking hubs/vortals/portals so if you have any other things you want to discuss about this I am more than happy to continue with the discussion.

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Next question from another reader.

Thank you for your insights and advice regarding the issue of links. Your posts are always very informative and helpful - thanks!

I have a few questions for you. Although I've read your posts, I still don't quite get it. So here are a few questions:

  • First, you need a link page, or better yet, more than one. In fact, attach one to each themed page.
    So if you have a domain (www.xyz.com)..this is about shoes...you attach a page with links about shoes for every page about shoes in that domain? so your site in reality consists of 2 parts - pages with content, and pages with links. Do you have an established limit for these?
  • If you want to see an example just email me and I’ll send you a link to check out. I'd
  • LOVE to see an example
    Find every B2B directory/hub/portal/vortal out there that’s within your theme and submit to them. how? zeus? or manually as well? what is a good process to find these? I know google, google directory, fast..finding sites linking to top sites...is that good enough?
  • Don’t link your pharmacy client to your travel company client. Would this be detrimental to rankings? If you have your travel site, which ranks well and gets spidered by google frequently, wouldn't it be helpful to use this site for link popularity by placing text keyword links on it to your pharmacy site? Or would this hurt your pharmacy site's rankings?
    Wouldn't this be a good way to get that site spidered?
  • I use a totally separate domain for the hub. I set it up with themes and I use canonicals (sub-directory/vanity/viral). I use the ODP dump and filter it so it’s theme specific. This is probably my main effort, in making sure the entire ODP, through my hub, doesn’t get spidered each time.
  • Initially, I thought if you were promoting your travel client, you would just register a travel-related domain and the entire site would be themed. However, from the above statement it seems that you make your "hug" large and with many pages about different topics? Where does the "ODP dump" come in? I'm completely clueless as to what this means.
  • Sorry for all the questions but I'm really trying to grasp this concept and it's playing "hard to get". Maybe if you could show an example that might help me to understand?

I've been thinking about launching a similar campaign for a while but have been a bit confused about the approach.

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Next response.

I’m flattered you like my little ideas, especially the hubs which are like babies to me. 
Let me see if I can help you out a bit more with this and answer your questions. I’m going to start with the ODP dump because that’s the easiest. ODP allows anyone to use their information as long as they agree to the very simple terms expressed in the licensing agreement at http://dmoz.org/license.html. The dump info itself can be found at http://dmoz.org/rdf.html. Now either you have to be more technically correct than me or you use one of the services available to help process the info. This last hub I created are technical support found Anaconda at http://anacondapartners.com/ap_afodpdemo.shtml. At first, after it was set up the url’s were all cgi with ? and I didn’t want that so tech support took care of that problem, for the main directory pages and I really don’t care about the search having it. 
Why is this ODP dump good? Basically free except the cost to Anaconda and that was hardly anything really and they’ve been great with support, especially the cache problem that could bring down a server. One day this past week I was hit by googlebot for 25,500 visits in one day. I just purge the cache now, several times a time so no problem. Also it’s customizable which is terrific and I can pick and choose which sites I want to list, etc. Google appears to love it and I get so much traffic considering I’m still in development. Also you can get listed in ODP relatively easy in the Sites_Using_ODP_Data category.

Now for the other questions:

First, you need a link page, or better yet, more than one. In fact, attach one to each themed page. So if you have a domain (www.xyz.com)..this is about shoes...you attach a page with links about shoes for every page about shoes in that domain? so your site in reality consists of 2 parts - pages with content, and pages with links. Do you have an established limit for these? Remember, I use canonicals so if I have a site about shoes I would first theme the site out, based on the products available. Since I don’t have a shoe client I did a search and found one so I’ll use their products as an example. This site sold women, men and children’s shoes. For the sake of simplicity let’s say then that we have

women.myshoesite.com
men.myshoesite.com
children.myshoesite.com

and then let’s assume I sell Birkenstock, Dexter and Sebago shoes and that they were available for everyone. I would then add to these three canonicals and the complimentary link page so the basic set up would look like this

women.myshoesite.com women.myshoesite.com/links.htm
women.myshoesite.com/Birkenstock/ women.myshoesite.com/Birkenstock/links.htm
women.myshoesite.com/Dexter/ women.myshoesite.com/Dexter/links.htm
women.myshoesite.com/Sebago/ women.myshoesite.com/Sebago/links.htm
men.myshoesite.com men.myshoesite.com/links.htm
men.myshoesite.com/Birkenstock/ men.myshoesite.com/Birkenstock/links.htm
men.myshoesite.com/Dexter/ men.myshoesite.com/Dexter/links.htm
men.myshoesite.com/Sebago/
children.myshoesite.com children.myshoesite.com/links.htm
children.myshoesite.com/Birkenstock/
children.myshoesite.com/Birkenstock/links.htm
children.myshoesite.com/Dexter/ children.myshoesite.com/Dexter/links.htm
children.myshoesite.com/Sebago/ children.myshoesite.com/Sebago/links.htm

I know that’s a lot of detail and I apologize for taking up so much space but I need this part to be clear. The whole purpose of this is just my way of keeping it pure. I’m not disputing anyone else’s issues about purity but for my brain it’s just easier if I do try to keep my themes really clean. Now, when it comes to linking I find women Sebago link partners and I add their link to my women.myshoesite.com/Sebago/links.htm page and I have them link to my women.myshoesite.com/Sebago/ page. It really spreads the links around, throughout the site, theme appropriate.

From there I work on my internal linking. Every page is then linked to and from the www.myshoesite.com page because that is my main index page. I then would link all the women’s pages to each other and all the men’s to each other and all the children to each other. I would then link all the Sebago pages to each other and the Birkenstock, etc. If in doubt I leave it out. I also create a resource.myshoesite.com and resource.myshoesite.com/links.htm for all the oddball stuff. I know that ‘resource’ isn’t particularly the best term to use but it works for me so I use it.

Savvy link partners appreciate the effort and pure themes and are most often eager to link up.

Ok, next…

Well, lets stick to shoes. I went to Google and searched for ’shoe companies directory’ and found http://www.hidemarket.com/public/shoecompanies.htm which has an add url. With odd topics like shoes it can be tough but worth the effort. I often get traffic from these odd hubs/vortals/portals. Believe me when I say there are tons of them and you just have to be creative in finding them. B2B is so much easier to find hubs for. You usually don’t have to add a hub’s link to your link page to get the listing. If you do though you may get a top listing or something like that. Of course you want to also find link partnerships to top ranking sites above you but those require a lot more personal effort including writing letters and reciprocal link exchange, maybe a phone call if it’s an important enough link. Most hubs simply have an add url link and it’s a go. Be sure though that it’s not FFA or an ODP mirror unless the hub using ODP info like I do also has a separate add a link feature. You do not want to bombard ODP with duplicate submissions.

Next…..

Don't link your pharmacy client to your travel company client. Would this be detrimental to rankings? If you have your travel site, which ranks well and gets spidered by google frequently, wouldn't it be helpful to use this site for link popularity by placing text keyword links on it to your pharmacy site? Or would this hurt your pharmacy site's rankings? Wouldn't this be a good way to get that site spidered?

I do not mix themes. Others do and have no problem with that but my whole thing is to stay pure. That’s a decision though that you will want to make. To answer your next question, my hubs are not all about a lot of things, there are all about 1 thing but divided into the canonicals which are very specific sub-themes of the main theme.

And last….

...with only being picked up by Google and the link connection to the affiliate the hub was designed to promote (which is terrifically positioned), is getting nearly 1500 unique visitors a day through Google. < Am I to understand that the site you are promoting (not the hub) is the site "which is terrifically positioned"? So the hub (which links to/from the site) is benefiting from reciprocal links to the site? Could this be a major reason for the high ranking for the hub (assuming it has high ranking since getting 1500 uniques per day)?

Well, I do feel the site I am promoting is terrifically positioned and getting better each day. That is how Google found the hub. I have the site set up the same way as explained above with the canonicals. I then added a link pointing to the complimentary hub page. Google picked it up. I would say that the hub benefited from the connection to the main site for spidering purposes but when I look at my links for the hub at Google it hasn’t even registered this connection yet so I don’t know. I would presume to suggest that it is the nature of the hub itself and the hooking into ODP that has benefited the hub the most at this point.

Many of these 1500 unique visitors are coming in, theme related but using very odd keyword combinations. These are not keywords I would normally build a page around but ones people actually use to search. There are plenty of odd combinations for people to come up with. I think as I get my hub in the directories and begin to establish link partnerships and start adding my url’s to the theme specific hubs, then I will get ranked for the main categories. That’s when the traffic will really happen. Suffice it to say that this client is particularly pleased with these initial results considering it’s not even been designed yet but is only in a fairly attractive yet simple template. I want it fairly well mapped out before the designer takes it on.

I hope this helps. I see bobking has added his page for finding odd hubs. I also suggest
http://www.wordsinarow.com/speed.html
http://the1000.com/
http://searchenginewatch.com/links/Specialty_Search_Engines/

To name just a few other places. Bobking is so correct when he suggests these hubs will welcome your listings with open arms and will be particularly pleased with reciprocal links. Don’t discount searching through ODP for directories or through Fast and Google. I like Google because then I know for sure it’s already listed in Google.

This was a lot of space. I hope you don’t mind Brett, that I’ve written a hub book on your forum. Honestly though, it’s just the tip of possibilities and really only one of my pet projects. I do appreciate all the interest and support though and the great questions.


***********************************

So there ya go. I don't feel too comfortable blowing my own horn in forums. I just feel it's a little tacky, BUT, I don't see anything at all wrong with some of my portal partners blowing their own horns, so, I suggest you take a few minutes to go to those forums, go to the topic Reciprocal Linkage Topics introduce yourself and TELL them about you and SearchKing. People are starting to want to know about us and if we don't tell them, who will? While you're there, check out some of the other topics too. Learn something for yuorself! Most importantly learn what this post is telling you. Work smarter not harder. 
There is a lot of stuff I want to tell you about the new affiliate program, (40 so far, YEAH!), and especially the keyword delivery program, but since it's not quite ready yet, I'll wait until next week to get into that. 

Have a great week!

Publisher -- Bob Massa
bobking@searchking.com

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