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How to Start a Successful Home Business in Dropship Sales

February 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Bonanzle, Drop Shipping, eBay, Home Business, Home Worker, Wholesale

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If you need to start making money in a hurry from a home business, then your best bet might be online dropship sales.
In these perilous economic times, more and more people are starting a home business.
Many are looking to make a living from home because they have no choice, having lost their jobs and being unable to find another.
A lot of people are interested in ecommerce because they have had hours and benefits cut to the point that burning up the gas going back and forth to a dead-end, low paying job just doesn’t seem worth the hassle anymore.
Still others are opting to work from home simply because they are tired of the rat race and want a better, less stressful life with more income and more time with family.
Whatever your reasons may be for contemplating a home business, you should definitely take a look at dropshipping!
Dropshipping is almost ridiculously easy to start-up. You choose the products you want to sell from the dropship supplier’s inventory, put those products on your website, eBay or other venue to sell, and you’re in business.
Yes, it really is that simply and easy!
Drop Ship Access has over 1 million high quality, brand name products ready for you to start selling!
Better yet, you don’t have to pay for the products until they sell and you have collected the payment for them from your buyers.
You don’t even have to hassle with packaging and shipping, because Drop Ship Access takes care of that, too. Of course, this also means that you don’t have to pay for warehouse space or make storage arrangements for the items you are selling, since Drop Ship Access houses the inventory for you, too!
Honestly, how much easier could it get to start a home business?
Well, it does get even easier because Drop Ship Access is now fully integrated with eBay ProStores.
This means that you can select the products on the Drop Ship Access website that you want to sell and then stock your virtual online shelves in your own ProStores business—all with just a click!
If you are struggling in this recession, Drop Ship Access and eBay ProStores can help you get some money rolling in FAST with an online dropshipping business!

Start your own online dropship business today!

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Build a Successful Online Business with eBay’s ProStores & Drop Ship Access

February 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Bonanzle, Drop Shipping, eBay, Home Business, Home Worker, Wholesale

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eBay’s ProStores and Drop Ship Access are a match made in heaven for anyone who wants to start a successful online business!
If the current economy has your finances in a stranglehold, and you need to make some extra money quick, then you really should consider an online dropshipping business and ProStores!
EBay’s ProStores is a great deal.
A lot of research went into ProStores and going by the success stories, it seems to be paying off for ecommerce entrepreneurs.
The pricing is quite reasonable, and there is a one month free trial.
Here is what PC Magazine had to say about ProStores:

“Assembling an online store is a complex process, but ProStores makes it easy.”
Drop Ship Access has over 1 million high quality products ready for you to start selling, and the whole process is ever-so-simple because it is all integrated with ProStores.
You can choose the items you want to sell, and then send them to your ProStore with just a click!
Christmas is just around the corner, but it still isn’t too late to get some extra income flowing in with ProStores and Drop Ship Access.
The entire process is much faster and easier than you can imagine!
Plus, you won’t have to break the bank to get started in a lucrative online dropshipping business when you take advantage of Drop Ship Access and ProStores!
In fact, you don’t even have to pay for the products you sell up front.
You never have to worry about buying too much and having excess inventory you’ll have to take a loss on, because with Drop Ship Access, you only pay for the items as they sell and you collect the payment from your customers.
Not will you have to fork out a big hunk of dough for storage space to house your inventory, because Drop Ship Access does that for you, as well as taking care of all your packaging and shipping!
If you have ever done much packaging and shipping, you know what a pain it is. Besides that, it’s expensive having to purchase all the packing and shipping supplies.
Go to Drop Ship Access and check out their fantastic selection of great products, then take a look at the quick and easy set-up at ProStores.
You can have your own home business in dropshipping sales up and running in plenty of time for the holidays!

Start your own online dropship business today!

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10 FREE Tools to Boost Your Social Media Productivity with Twitter

February 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Bonanzle, Drop Shipping, eBay, Home Business, Home Worker, Wholesale

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Social media marketing is definitely the wave of the future for ecommerce entrepreneurs, and you can boost your productivity with free tools that will help maximize your efforts!

Here are some fantastic FREE tools that are available to you with SocialOomph:

1. Schedule Your Tweets: This tool enables you to schedule Tweets at your discretion. For example, if you live in Australia and want to send Tweets during business hours in the US when you would normally be in bed asleep—just use this tool to keep those Tweets flowing.

2. Track Your Keywords: You can use this tool to set up alerts for specified keywords, then be notified periodically through emails which Tweets contained those keywords. You may also put this handy tool to use tracking your @replies.

3. Save and Reuse Your Drafts: You can save a LOT of time with this tool! Save your draft Tweets, frequently used URLs & text to avoid hours of repetitive typing.

4. Send Automated Direct Messages to New Followers: This can make a huge difference in your rise to social media greatness! Send these automatic “Thank You” messages to all new followers!

5. Shorten Your Links: This tool will let you track clicks on your Tweets! Simply add your bit.ly URL shortening account info to your SocialOomph profile and your links will be shortened and trackable.

6. Follow Your Followers: This great little tool lets you automatically follow the people who follow you and will be a big time saver!

7. Unfollow Those Who Stop Following You: Same as above. No use in wasting time following people who have dumped you. This tool automatically takes care of it for you.

8. Screen New Followers: Even if you choose automatic following of those who are following you, this tool allows you to vet followers and decide who to keep, who to ignore and who to block. Just gives a bit more flexibility to automatic following.

9. View Your Retweets and Mentions: This tool will vastly improve your efficiency as it lets you keep up at a glance with your @mentions and Retweets.

10. Your Personal Tweet Engine: This very useful tool provides you with your own personal status feeds, which means that you can schedule and then publish Tweets that don’t go to Twitter, but to your own personal Tweet stream via RSS, XML or Javascript.

All of these great FREE tools and many more are available here:

Click Here to go to SocialOomph for FREE Twitter Tools

Using tools such as these in your social media marketing can give you a competitive edge for your ecommerce business!

Start your own online dropship business today!

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Social Media Optimization: Do You Need a Blog for Your eCommerce Business?

February 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Bonanzle, Drop Shipping, eBay, Home Business, Home Worker, Wholesale

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Have you thought about setting up a blog for your ecommerce business but wondered if you really need one enough to mess with it?

The answer to that question is YES, you do need one, if you want to practice social media optimization and grow your online business.

Why do you need a blog?

Well, for starters, one-fourth of the most popular websites on the World Wide Web are blogs.

That should tell you something.

People like blogs. In fact, the collective blogosphere is enormous!

Based on research by ComScore MediaMetrix, in a report issued August of 2008, in 2007 there were 77 million visitors to blogs, compared to 44 million visitors to Facebook.

So, blogs are certainly a force to be reckoned with on the internet, and a very useful tool for social media marketing!

Here are just a few of the benefits of having a blog for your online business:

Helps you to establish yourself as an authority or expert within your niche

Is a fantastic social media and Public Relations venue

Lets you create a whole community based on your business

Gives you immediate invaluable feedback

Allows you to interact with your customers and potential customers

Provides great social media advertising through back links

As a rule, blog posts make it to the search engines faster and with higher ranking

Helps you to establish and build your brand

Helps build your business through increased traffic to your website

Generates Buzz that will keep you “front of mind” amongst your competitors

Helps you to troubleshoot problems and contain damage from problems or potential problems with customers

By combining SEO with Social Media Optimization on your blog, you can incorporate keywords that will help you rise to the top in search engine rankings.

There are some fabulous FREE resources available on the internet to start your business blog.

One of the best known is the much acclaimed WordPress, which provides everything you need to start your own blog absolutely FREE.

Click Here to go to WordPress

Another great FREE resource to start your blog is Blogger, a free publishing tool from Google.

Click Here to go to Blogger

So, what are you waiting for?

Get your ecommerce blog up and running today, and harness the power of social media marketing while you improve and grow your online business!

Start your own online dropship business today!

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5 Tips to Make Your eCommerce Website Popular with Google

February 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Bonanzle, Drop Shipping, eBay, Home Business, Home Worker, Wholesale

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If you are an ecommerce entrepreneur, you understand how important it is to have Google’s approval!
There is a saying that you will hear/see many times on the internet: “If you don’t exist on Google, you don’t exist.”
This is so true. To have a successful, thriving high-traffic and high- sales online store, you absolutely must be prominently featured in Google search.
Internet retail research has shown that very few consumers will go past the first page of a search. The closer you are to the top of the page, the better off you are!
So, what can you do to make Google like you and want to put you first?
Here are some pointers to making your ecommerce website more popular with the Google search engine:
  • Instead of trying to work out or try some complicated, never-fail formula for SEO, write your content so that it will flow smoothly for the reader. This doesn’t mean forget about SEO, it simply means don’t make it the be-all and end-all of your content. Google likes it when you don’t overdo the SEO stuff!
  • Ask your friends and/or relatives if they genuinely like the content you are writing for the web. If they like it, there is an excellent chance that Google will like it, too.
  • Update your content frequently. This is one of the most effective ways you can get in Google’s good books! Google loves fresh content, so if you supply it, you are helping your website be a favorite with this search giant.
  • Have a blog for your ecommerce business and share valuable, informative content with readers so that you build up a solid base of followers who read your blog posts. Google likes popular, influential websites that have lots of friends and followers.
  • Use SEO with SMO, or Social Media Optimization. Google responds very well to websites who are adept at combining these two things.
The more favorably your ecommerce website is viewed by Google, the more successful it will be!
So, make sure that you schedule time at least every week or so to keep your website up to speed and keeping Google happy!

Start your own online dropship business today!


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Combining SEO with Social Media Marketing: What NOT to Do

Combining SEO with social media marketing for your ecommerce business must be done correctly in order to be effective.
There are social media “purists” who are incensed to see it used for marketing purposes at all, much less leveraged with SEO!
However, it is being done, and done successfully, by canny ecommerce entrepreneurs who understand what a powerful marketing tool social media can be, especially when the power of SEO is incorporated into the strategy.
But you do have to watch your step!
Bear in mind that a lot of the social media site founders didn’t have marketing use in mind when they developed their community. Ditto for many of the users or members.
So, here are some things you should NOT do when using SEO with social media marketing:
DON’T: Jump right in and start trying to run the show! Instead, gradually build your place in the community of users. Then you can start working on SEO along with social media optimization.
DON’T: Be a know-it-all or a blow hard! It’s fine to have an opinion or to offer well informed comments, but don’t be obnoxious or pushy. If you get a chance to incorporate some of your keywords into conversations, do it naturally and above all–nicely.
DON’T: Spam. Never, ever.
DON’T: Make nonsense comments just to use your keywords.
DON’T: Be stand-offish. You should never, for example, create a Facebook page and then fail to engage with your fans and/or friends. Ditto for Twitter and followers! Don’t just slap up a bunch of SEO content and then sit back and lapse into silence.
DON’T: Take and not give back in return. Share something of value, and do this often! It doesn’t have to all be about SEO and marketing, and in fact, it shouldn’t be. To approach it in such a fashion would be the Kiss of Death to your social media marketing aspirations.
DON’T: Be too sales-y. This is a gigantic turn-off to others! It’s great to use SEO with SMO, or Social Media Optimization, but don’t over-do the hype with keywords.
DON’T: Ignore what others are saying In other words, don’t just talk so that you can use your keywords often, but listen to others, as well!
DON’T: Be a phony. No matter how good you think you might be at pulling the wool over the yes of the public, the community will pick up on phonies—count on it. Walmart tried that with its “Walmarting Across America” blog, when it tried to fool people into thinking that the blog entries were originating from everyday consumers who love Wally World. They were exposed, and you will be, too, if you pretend to be something you aren’t. So, don’t try to throw out a bunch of made-up baloney so that you can load up on your keywords.
Using SEO and social media marketing together successfully is a savvy move to make if you want to grow your online business, but make sure you do it right or your efforts will be counterproductive.
The above rules apply to any form of social media marketing!

Start your own online dropship business today!



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Social Media Marketing With Video Content Sharing

Social media marketing is what it’s all about online these days for the savvy entrepreneur who wants to build a successful ecommerce business.
Video content sharing is one type of social media marketing that is not only extremely effective—it’s fun, too!
Unless you have been in hibernation for the past few years, you are familiar with YouTube.
YouTube is the best known of the video content sharing sites. If you pit a video on YouTube and it goes viral, you can pretty well write your own ticket to the bank in ecommerce.
You don’t have to be a cinematic photography guru to make a video for YouTube. In fact, most cell phones will record a video that will suffice quite nicely for YouTube and your video purposes.
There are all sorts of videos you might make and put on YouTube, for social media marketing purposes.
You might do an educational or informational, instructional type of video that correlates with your business. These can be very popular, and you are adhering to one of the cardinal rules of successful social media marketing, which is sharing something of value with the online community.
You might also consider doing a humorous sort of video.
People in general love to share something that’s good for a laugh, and a funny video, if it catches on, has a nice chance of going viral. For example, one of the most watched videos of all time to date on YouTube is the famous “cat flushing the toilet” masterpiece that quickly went viral.
If you don’t have a cat or you have a cat but it can’t flush the toilet, that’s okay. That’s just an example and somebody has already done that, anyhow. Come up with your own, original idea and yours might be the next viral video!
Here are some video content sharing sites:
  • YouTube
  • Blinkx
  • Blip.tv
  • Buzznet
  • Facebook
  • Famecast
  • Flickr
  • GodTube
  • Google Video
  • iFilm
  • JibJab
  • MySpace
  • MyToons
  • Photobucket
  • ReelTime
  • Truveo
  • Vimeo
  • Ziff Davis
YouTube, being the most well known of these sites, is also one of the most user friendly.
You can make your video and place it on YouTube completely FREE!
Use video content sharing for social media marketing to grow your ecommerce business.

Start your own online dropship business today!


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Strategies to Spend Money & Earn ROI from Link Campaigns (without buying links)

Posted by randfish

Last week at Pubcon Las Vegas, I presented on How to Buy Links with Maximum Juice and Minimum Effort with fellow panelists Roger Montti (Martinibuster), Aaron Wall (SEOBook) and Todd Malicoat (Stuntdubl). I was a bit of an odd choice for this discussion, as I’d only recently announced SEOmoz’s Stance on Paid Links & Link Ads, but Pubcon’s organizers decided it would be interesting to have a divergent point-of-view.

Below is my presentation, which covers the perspective I come from and why I’m so risk-averse as well as strategies I recommend to capture value from investing in link acquisition campaigns:

Pubcon 2009 Paid Links

Not surprisingly I had a lot of people talk to me (and email me) after the presentation and express some really valuable opinions and questions. The presentations started late due to a misfunctioning projector, meaning there was no time for formal Q+A. I thought I’d take the opportunity in this post to address some of those missed questions.

Do you ever recommend link buying for any site? What about hyper-competitive industries?

Because of my distaste for risk of any kind when it comes to Google’s webspam team, my answer is consistent – no. I don’t ever suggest that businesses buy links from brokers or in the form of link ads that carry the primary intent of boosting a site’s ranking. To be fair, many of my colleagues who practice SEO in competitive industries (dating, gaming, pharmaceutical, real estate, e-commerce, etc.) don’t agree and do engage in buying links to boost their rank. I even know folks at Fortune 500s who use link brokers successfully for specific pages and targeted keywords (this group is probably in the lowest risk category).

Despite these examples and my respect for my colleagues, whenever I’m asked, I’m going to give the same reply – it’s my belief that in the long run, your money will be better spent on link acquisition that runs no risk of being flagged as manipulative by Google. The penalties and problems of link buying simply outweigh the benefits in my mind, so while I have no problem with paid links from a moral, ethical or legal standpoint (nofollow is most definitely not a way to disclose advertising to consumers as per the FTC’s guidelines), the pragmatist in me says link buying isn’t the way to success at Google.

What about directories that require a payment?

The short answer is – it depends. I’d wager a lot of money that some directories which do require payments pass great link equity. These include sites like:

Then there’s the opposite end of the spectrum of directories that exist primarily for the purpose of selling PageRank. Google took action against many of these a couple years back and I suspect they continue to identify and discount their links as new ones crop up. In 2007, I wrote a lengthy post on What Makes a Good Directory and I’d still stand by nearly all of that today.

The message here is that just because a site requires payment to get a link doesn’t make it a “paid link” that Google will penalize or discount. As with many things in life, SEO and the web, there are shades of gray and nuances that require paying attention. If stuff like this were simple, SEO would be, too, and we know that’s not the case.

If I see my competitors engaging in link buying, how can I compete if I don’t do it, too?

I think a big misnomer with link analysis comes up when people scroll through a list of their competition’s links via something like Yahoo! Site Explorer. There’s no metrics indicating whether the link is passing juice, no metric for trustworthiness or quality, just a notation that a link exists on the page. Even if you’re using something more advanced like Linkscape, there’s nothing to say which links Google counts and which they don’t. You can easily get pulled into the idea that paid links are what’s propping up the competition’s rankings, when in fact, it’s a few great natural links that are doing all the heavy lifting.

I remember a site clinic several years back featuring a Google’s webspam chief, Matt Cutts. He was reviewing a site’s link profile on stage using an internal tool and commented that while Google saw several hundred links to the site, only three (yes 3 out of hundreds!) were passing link equity. Cearly, the search giant does a tremendous amount of filtering on the web’s link graph, so don’t presume to be sure which links are passing value.

Even if you feel very confident that paid links are winning the battle for your archnemesis, I recommend taking the low-risk road. In the long run, they’re likely to get penalized/devalued and you’re likely to overtake them with a link profile that’s clean and continually increasing in value.

Where do you draw the line between money that’s spent to acquire a link indirectly (as with event sponsorship, ads that turn into links, etc.)

This gets at the crux of the issue, but I think I’ve got a reasonably good methodology for determining which links requiring funds fit with Google’s guidelines and which violate them. I like these three questions:

  1. Does the organization offering the link tout SEO, PageRank, customizable anchor text or Google rankings as either a portion or the whole of the benefit you’ll receive by paying this money?
  2. Does the money go towards little else besides the link itself?
  3. Does the organization/website provide links via this acquisition methodology (whether that’s an event sponsorship, a charitable donation, an advertising relationship, etc.) to the more aggressive side of the SEO/web marketing field (niches like porn, pills, casino, legal, real estate, etc.) often with anchor text heavy links?

If the answer to any of these is a definite “yes,” the source is likely to fit into Google’s “suspicious” pile and possibly will lose the ability to pass link equity in the future (or already has).

How can you be sure that linkbait and viral content won’t be treated the same as paid links by Google in the future?

Just a couple months back, I wrote about Why Linkbait is a Tactic the Search Engines Will Always Value, so it’s probably not worth re-hashing here. Certainly, there are ways to be manipulative about virtually anything in the link acquisition world, and Google may well take action against some forms of these, but I believe natural links acquired through great content are going to stand the test of time (and are likely to benefit from future ranking signals, whatever they may be).

This is just Google FUD – we shouldn’t let them dictate how to do our jobs!

But we already do! The only reason we try to build these links, research the right keywords, create and submit XML sitemaps, etc. is because Google is dictating the way their crawling, processing and ranking systems work. In their ecosystem – the one that drives 85%+ of all search traffic on the web – there are guidelines, best practices, rules and regulations. If you want to play on their court, you’ve got to abide by those rules or be ready to face the consequences. I’m not ready for those consequences and thus, have low risk tolerance and the attitude you’re reading about.

None of this is to say that a more risk-heavy appetite and more gray-black hat methodologies for link acquisition aren’t worth trying; just make sure you do it on sites you’re willing to get tossed out of the playground.

As always, I’m looking forward to the conversation in the comments.

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Google Link: Command – Busting the Myths

Posted by randfish

I’m a big Google fan – my wife often sleeps in their t-shirts, I speak on panels with Googlers all the time and I’ve even got a Google water bottle for working out (which happens all of once a month these days). However, I am NOT a fan of the Google link command, and I’m shocked by the number of folks who operate in and around the SEO, webdev and technology industries who haven’t realized this.

Here’s what Google themselves have to say on the matter:

You can perform a Google search using the link: operator to find a sampling of links to any site. For instance, [link:www.google.com] will list web pages that have links pointing to the Google home page. Note there can be no space between the “link:” and the web page URL.

To see a much larger sampling of links to any verified site in Webmaster Tools:

  1. On the Webmaster Tools Home page, click the site you want.
  2. Under Your site on the web, click Links to your site.

Note: Not all links to your site may be listed. This is normal.

Here’s what Matt Cutts (head of Google’s Webspam team) had to say in a video on the subject:

The short answer is that historically, we only had room for a very small percentage of backlinks because web search was the main part and we didn’t have a ton of servers for link colon queries and so, we have doubled or increased the amount of backlinks that we show over time for link colon, but it is still a sub-sample. It’s a relatively small percentage. And I think that that’s a pretty good balance, because if you just automatically show a ton of backlinks for any website then spammers or competitors can use that to try to reverse engineer someone’s rankings.

Google themselves is telling us not to pay too much attention to the link command, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping folks. Let the myth busting commence.

Myth #1 – The Google Link Command Returns Accurate Numbers

Nope. Not even close. Google themselves say the numbers aren’t accurate and that they’re showing a small sub-sample. The numbers show this as well. Check your link counts with the Google link command vs. the number inside Google’s Webmaster Tools (when you verify your account, you’ll see them shown). Here’s the stats for SEOmoz, for example:

Google's link command for SEOmoz

Google’s link command claims 1,590 links. Let’s see what Webmaster Tools says:

Google's Webmaster Tools Link Count for SEOmoz

Hmm… 381,403 seems slightly larger than 1,590. In fact, the link command is showing me 0.4% of what Webmaster Tools says exists. Running this analysis on another few domains that we have access to in Webmaster Tools, I saw numbers ranging from 0.1% to 4.4% (meaning there’s not even any consistency between in the percentage of links from the two counts). 

Myth #2 – The Google Link Command Returns Important Links

Tragically, a long time ago (pre-2004), Google did show only important links via the link: command, which created the myth that exists to this day. In fact, the links shown in the link: command have no particular importance or relevance. They are truly a random sample, including links that are nofollowed, links from pages that have had PageRank penalties applied to them as well as links that do pass link juice and value.

Myth #3 – The Google Link Command Returns Links in Some Kind of Order

No one in SEO has been able to show any ordering of any kind in the Google link: command’s results. Important, well-known websites may be listed on page 2 or page 20 of the results, and it is likewise with spam, scrapers and low quality sites that Google’s likely not counting. In Site Explorer and the web results, Yahoo! appears to do some type of ordering, tending to show more important links, pages and sites before less important ones (though not with great consistency). Unfortunately, many SEOs suspect that, should Microsoft’s deal to power Yahoo! with Bing results go through, Yahoo! is unlikely to maintain their own web index (and thus, link, linkdomain and site explorer will be gone).

Google's Link Command Results for Yahoo.com

As exemplified above, Google appears to be very random indeed when showing link: results.

Myth #4 – The Google Link Command Returns a Numerically Representative Count of Links

This is possibly the myth that’s most disturbing of all, primarily because so many operators in the SEO field belive it and track the link: command count as a reliable, useful metric. Nothing could be further from the truth – and here’s some data to help back it up:

Root Domain

Google Link: #
(external + internal?)

Yahoo! Linkdomain #
(external only)

Linkscape Count
(external only)

Yahoo.com 3,650 331,000,000 201,681,667
Recovery.gov 7,550 328,000 155,780
Facebook.com 165,000 567,000,000 116,748,934
Real.com 11,400 4,600,000 5,596,165
Adobe.com 51,200 124,000,000 78,550,468
Reddit.com 18,300 128,000,000 29,071,291
Twitter.com 224,000 515,000,000 132,528,763
Salon.com 12,300 3,420,000 1,535,342
SEOmoz.org 1,590 957,000 486,405
NYTimes.com 7,990 21,200,000 12,884,758
TurkeyDayRun.com 3 68 22
Ninme.com 539  42,000 3,149
Burgerking.com 942  106,000 23,761
Alaskaair.com 1,010 44,000 38,358
Smashingmagazine.com 8,730 1,130,000 592,054
Smithsonian.org 4,860 25,700 14,545

I collected the data above spur of the moment, so I won’t try to claim great statistical integrity. However, looking at Google’s link: command results, the best I can say is that Google has some relationship to the others within 1-2 orders of magnitude, though they may be directionally inaccurate much of the time as well. Just look at the NYTimes.com for example – Google claims they have 2/3rds the links that Salon.com has, yet Yahoo! and Linkscape agree that, in fact, NYTimes.com has 6X+ Salon.com’s link total.

These are not numbers you want to hang your hat (or any crucial business decisions) on.

Myth #5 – The Google Link Command Tracks Accurately Over Time

Unfortunately, I don’t have data points I can show, but our observations over time indicate that Google’s link count in Webmaster Tools might rise, along with the Yahoo! and Linkscape link counts, yet the Google link: command will show lower numbers. The reverse is sometimes also the case. Without directional consistency, even when compared against their own counts, it’s very hard to take the Google link: count seriously.

Myth #6 – The Google Link Command is Up to Date

Most SEOs & webmasters have noticed that the Google link: counts update infrequently, inconsistently and most often in correlation with toolbar PageRank updates (another data point I’ll need to takcle in a future post). These updates from Google occur every 2-10 months with little warning about when they’re coming or have happened. If you watch sites like closely, they’ll report many of these as they occur.


The next time someone tells you their Google link: command numbers as a metric for SEO, competitive analysis or anything else, make sure they read this post. Google’s not nearly as up-front with the information as they should be (honestly, removing the link command would save so much time and effort for poor site owners who get needlessly confused), but hopefully as a community, we can help build more awareness around this issue.

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SEO and Social Media Benchmarking

Posted by RobOusbey

Introduction

We’ll often rattle off various metrics quite casually in conversation, but it’s easy to forget that others (such as your clients!) might not know whether these are big numbers or small ones. For example: “We’ve just published a guest post on a site with Domain mozTrust 5.67. Mr_Gadget mentioned it to his 64 thousand followers, and it managed to get over 1,000 Diggs.

This post should be useful to anyone who needs to orientate themselves around such numbers. The Website Benchmarks section shows metrics for around half a dozen sites from ten different niches (based on the list originally prepared for comparing SEOMoz Trifecta data.) This is followed by Social Media Benchmarks, to give an idea of the impact and influence of votes and people on three popular social websites.

Links and Traffic: Website Benchmarks

This section uses three particular metrics:

  • Domain mozRank: the strength of a website, based on the sites & pages that link to it,
  • Domain mozTrust: the trustworthiness of a website, based on links from trusted sites & pages,
  • Unique Vistors: Compete.com‘s estimate of the number of monthly unique visitors to a site.

N.B.: The ‘moz’ metrics use data exposed by SEOMoz’s Linkscape, and are on an exponential scale from 0 – 10. Data collected in 2006 suggested that the no visitor metric – Compete included – could be used to precisely estimate unique visitors to blogs at the time.

Arts & Entertainment
Website DmR DmT Visitors
AllMusic 7.05 7.26 545,038
Art.com 6.73 6.58 1,595,173
Art Cyclopedia 6.41 6.94 244,849
AMC Theatres 6.23 6.60 1,294,011
Art.net 5.73 6.32 17,122
Shihad.com 5.55 5.65 1,170
The Official Whitlams Website 4.77 4.95 822
EntertainmentTonight.org 2.87 3.01 401
Business
Website DmR DmT Visitors
Business.gov 6.87 7.37 185,142
Business.com 6.47 6.75 4,882,836
Prudential 6.40 6.86 1,028,829
Kansas Insurance Commissioner 5.71 6.18 8,826
WorldBiz.com 5.48 6.03 4,033
HRM Business Practices and Notes 3.89 4.11 114
Chevron Corporate Solutions 2.76 3.01 n/a
Economy & Politics
Website DmR DmT Visitors
The White House 7.90 8.55 1,976,338
Barak Obama 6.93 7.38 1,180,883
The Democratic Party 6.49 7.01 261,288
Republican National Committee 6.22 7.13 27,592
Democrats.com | The Aggressive Progressives 5.71 6.36 131,764
Iowa Democratic Party 5.15 5.67 1,009
Republican Party of America 4.32 4.70 2,873
Vote Brian Sayrs 3.11 3.74 123
Health
Website DmR DmT Visitors
WebMD 7.35 7.66 19,871,120
HealthWorld Online 6.18 6.73 88,180
Health.com 6.08 6.41 1,795,763
Men’s Health Network 5.71 6.28 6,817
Healthy Child 5.14 5.25 7,409
Healthy Living Natural Foods 4.41 4.79 1,199
All American Healthcare 2.76 3.00 n/a
Home & Housing
Website DmR DmT Visitors
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 7.62 8.07 1,716,602
HGTV 6.83 7.05 3,334,973
RealEstate.com 6.55 6.48 527,147
HousingMaps 6.08 6.70 19,219
Get Decorating 5.02 5.32 53,819
Eastern Corner 4.77 4.81 4,722
RentSpeed.com 4.73 4.68 74,571
WeBuyHouses.info 2.76 3.00 n/a
News & Media
Website DmR DmT Visitors
CNN 7.40 7.72 10,055,985
Anchorage Daily News 6.57 7.11 183,065
News-Record 6.17 6.68 207,799
Happy News 5.57 6.15 120,209
News Directory 5.56 6.24 1,610
Napier Mail 3.60 3.77 434
Kingsburg Recorder 2.35 4.78 4,011
People & Society
Website DmR DmT Visitors
U.S. Department of Education 7.63 8.33 6,270,175
ConsumerReports 6.94 7.24 4,339,086
Consumer Web Watch 5.97 6.31 12,213
Consumerist 5.63 5.91 796,933
South Carolina Department of Education 5.44 6.12 4,467
No Nonsense Self Defense 4.86 5.34 18,278
Inner Strength 3.71 4.32 1,055
Acqua Beauty Bar 3.55 3.84 1,383
Science
Website DmR DmT Visitors
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 7.35 9.14 4,811,397
U.S. Science Portal 6.35 7.33 6,763
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society 6.02 7.25 6,745
Association of Clinical Research Professionals 5.47 6.39 11,478
SciNet Science & Technology Search Engine 4.73 5.86 4,093
Cafe Science Dundee 3.82 4.51 n/a
Society of Natural Science 2.76 3.00 n/a
Sports & Recreation
Website DmR DmT Visitors
Fox Sports 7.18 7.29 6,294,958
Official Site of Major League Baseball 6.57 6.84 9,969,301
FIBA – Home of International Basketball 6.16 6.23 8,369
NCAA Football 5.44 5.90 232,497
Sports Illustrated for Kids 5.09 5.48 166,599
North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance 4.33 4.43 3,057
Swimwatch 3.03 3.19 1,138
Technology
Website DmR DmT Visitors
Apple 8.84 9.33 21,407,512
Google Mail 7.22 7.14 9,336,542
Blackberry 7.10 7.30 2,551,692
Government of India, Department of Information Technology 5.82 6.47 1,862
Internet History 5.72 6.43 20,749
The Society for the History of Technology 4.98 6.32 688
The Loop 3.71 5.58 17,332

Social Media Benchmarks

Digg

Digg is a well established social media site. After a user submits a link (refered to as a story) other users ‘Digg’ the story if they like it. Stories with a greater number of Diggs are more likely to be promoted to the site’s front page, be seen by more visitors, and receive more traffic. Users can also ‘bury’ stories that are off-topic or duplicate. Read more at How Digg Works.

# of Diggs Likely success Example Story
1+ Little or no exposure Example
10+ A little exposure Example
100+ Mild exposure, moderate success Example
500+ Reasonable exposure, good success – likely to have been promoted with the submission category Example
1,000+ Good exposure & likely to be promoted to the front page, successful content Example
2,000+ Lots of exposure, highly successful Example
10,000+ The very top echelon of articles, extremely successful content. Example
Reddit

Reddit is a newer, but increasingly popular social media site. Users can up-vote and down-vote submitted links to give a link a total number of ‘points’. The most popular stories are promoted to the front page of their category, or the site. Read more at the Reddit FAQ.

Points Likely success Example Link
1+ Little or no exposure Example
10+ A little exposure, may send some visits page Example
100+ Good exposure & likely to be promoted to the category’s front page, sends a moderate amount of traffic Example
500+ Very good exposure & likely to be promoted to the front page Example
1,000+ Excellent exposure, highly successful & will send considerable traffic to the page Example
3,000+ Amongst the top links on the site, extremely popular and widely viewed Example
Twitter

Twitter is a networking website where individuals share their ‘statuses’, and follow others doing the same. The most fundamental metric available on the site is the number of ‘followers’ a user has – and provides a reasonable indication of their popularlity and influence. Read more at Twitter’s Getting Started page.

Followers Typical behaviour Example User
1+ Very new, or dormant user Example
10+ Likely to be using the site for social purposes, has influence within a close circle of friends Example
100+ Connecting with a modest number of people, has influence amongst a wide circle of friends or industry colleagues Example
1,000+ Fairly well known within their industry, and likely to have influence well beyond those they know personally Example
10,000+ Very well known with their industry or niche; likely to have some off-line awareness Example
100,000+ Popular amongst a wide variety of users; likely to very influential and be widely ‘retweeted’ Example
1,000,000+ Amongst the top 200 users and very influential within the site; almost certainly a genuine off-line celebrity Example

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