Late last night I received and email from someone from Hungary. The subject of the email was: Twitter, blogs, online fame or how should i do? Basically, this guy named Attila (yes, like Attila the Hun) was asking me how to be successful online and where to start.
My Google Dependence
Last month an incident happened that made me realize how dependent I am to Google. It all started when I did my daily check of my largest ClickBank account. It appeared that I had made only 2 sales the prior day, something that rarely (if ever) happens.
The Google Freak Out
Something that freaks me out more than anything online is seeing some of my websites or pages disappearing from Google’s index from time to time. There is generally a good reason for that to happen and troubleshooting the issue quickly and thoroughly can help you save tons of “leaking traffic”. I had a similar problem over the weekend. Let me tell you what happened and how I fixed it.
A few months ago, I finally took the the plunge by quitting my full time job in order to focus 100% on my internet business, and so far, I have to admit it is the best decision I ever made: I don’t have anyone to report to anymore; I don’t have a schedule; I do what I want; and I can work from anywhere in the world. The best is, I make about as much (maybe more) than I did in my full time job. Looks great on the paper, doesn’t it? But is it as great as it seems to be?
New Blog Design
Every 6 months or so, I like to get a new blog theme for my blogs. I was way overdue with this one as I hadn’t updated it since May 2008. As usual when looking for an original WordPress theme, I went directly to Smashing Magazine as they always have the best looking designs for whatever you might be looking for. After digging around the website, I finally found what I was looking for: the ColorPaper theme designed by FTL.
I was inspired to write this post by my friend Debi and the brand new Twitter account she created. Debi is the Director of Marketing at CrownAir Aviation, an aircraft maintenance company out of California and when she learned about Twitter, she thought it would be a great new social networking tool for her company so she started using the @crownair username.
Do you use Craigslist to generate traffic to your site? If not, you’re missing out on some free qualified visitors. What I’m going to talk about here is totally white hat SEO. It will not improve your SEO rankings. It will just bring some extra visitors to your site for a short period of time.
I have several Twitter accounts and even though I mostly use my personal one, I do have a few niche websites for which I set up independent accounts. For my franchise website www.FranchiseBrief.com, I really thought I would be able to get the @franchise username because I assumed no one in the franchise industry knew about Twitter yet. I was wrong! @franchise was already squatted and I had to go for the @franchisebrief username.
The History Of The Internet In 8 Minutes
From its birth in 1957 to today, here is a short video that tells us the story of the Internet. Don’t expect to know it all… check it out!
This post was inspired by a tweet from Lorelle, my favorite WordPress expert. Lorelle’s tweet was saying “Make WordPress’ search function suck Less” with a link to this post. I had WordPress search issues in the past and found a few solutions and I thought I would learn a little bit more from this post, but I didn’t.
Basically this post was about manually tweaking your search.php file, which improves the WordPress search feature but it still doesn’t make it a good search feature. The main problem with the WordPress search feature, besides the irrelevancy, is that if you have a large blog of a few hundreds posts, then there is not much you can do to speed up the search.
I don’t pretend to be an expert about WordPress (I’m actually far from that!) but I do think both solutions I will talk about in this post are much better at delivering very good search results for your WordPress blog. By “good search results”, I mean results that are delivered quickly, that are relevant to your search query, and sorted by relevance.
The wpSearch plugin is like having your own custom search engine on your blog. wpSearch is based on “Lucene“, a full-featured open source text search engine. wpSearch is fast, and relevant, which is pretty much everything I need from a search engine on my blog.
To set up wpSearch on your blog, simply download the plugin from here, then upload it, set permission to 777 (very important), and activate the plugin from your admin panel. After activating it, you will have to build the search index database, which may take a while (about 5 posts/second) if you have many posts on your blog. That’s all there is to it. Now check your search feature and you will see a huge difference in the results you will get. The relevancy will be so much better that like me, you’ll want to blog about it ;-)
Adsense For Search
Adsense for Search (AFS) is now my favorite search feature for my blogs for 2 reasons: for one it is the best search engine you can get; and two, you can actually make money from it. Even though I hate Google as a company, I can’t deny that their search algorithm delivers the best you can get from a seach engine thus far.
Now the main concern about Adsense For Search is that you have to rely on Google to crawl your website to index your new posts. Some people won’t use Adsense For Search for this one reason. Yes, you have to wait for Google to crawl your site and index your pages but how much does that really matter in your case? I mean, is it that important to you that your post must be foundable immediately after being published?
Besides, one benefit of Adsense For Search that I have been able to verify on all my blogs is that when AFS is implemented on your site, Google will come visit you quickly and more often. I haven’t done scientific tests on this, but I was able to notice it on many occasions. Most of the time, when I publish something on my blogs, the post is picked up by Google within hours, sometimes within minutes.
To set up, AFS, you will need a Google Adsense account.