EzSEO Newsletter #338 42


In this issue:

1. Is Penguin really about over-optimization?

2. Fed up with Google?

3. Affiliate Site Autopsy Released

 

Hi Again

I’d like to take a closer look at the search results since Google’s Penguin came on the scene.  The results may shock you!

Also, in the last few months I have read a lot of emails from people who are completely disillusioned with Google, and with it, the idea of working for themselves at home as an Internet Marketer.

I can completely understand this feeling.

However, for those of you who are going to keep at it, I want to mention one way that can diversify your income.  It's also a Google-free method.

Let’s get on with it….

1. Is Penguin really about over-optimization?

Over the years we have been conditioned to think in terms of keyword phrases.  Find a low competition phrase with good search volume and potential to make some money from it, and we'd build a page (or a site) around that one phrase.

As we constructed our page, we'd include the phrase in the title, meta description tag, opening H1 header, opening paragraph and once or twice further down the page.

Most websites built by marketers were built this way.  The content was keyword focused, rather than theme-focused (read more in my article “Over-Optimization Troubles” and “How to Plan an Article“).

In April 2012, Google unleashed the Penguin.

As I am sure you know, Google's Penguin update seems to be one that penalizes over-optimized sites.  e.g. you need to be very careful about writing keyword focused content as it sticks out like a sore thumb.  Penguin wants “natural”, and natural means theme-focused content (as that is how writers write naturally).

Don't believe me that keyword-focused content is suffering in Google post-Penguin?

That's OK.  I have been called crazy before 😉

However, I wouldn't say that if I didn't believe it to be true. so let me tell you why I think it is true.

I am going to type in some search phrases at Google, and explain what I am seeing.  You can repeat this with your own search phrases to follow along if you want.

Incidentally, the search phrases I am typing in are just randomly picked.  I chose only phrases that had commercial intent (so I could be sure that there were lots of optimized pages for these terms).

Here are the terms I chose:

  1. over the counter medication
  2. personal health insurance coverage
  3. prescription eyeglasses online
  4. how to lose weight
  5. lose weight with acai berry

Let's type the first one into Google – over the counter medication:

screenshot1

The screenshot is the #1 ranked page in Google.  You'll notice that the phrase we searched for is not found in the title or the description of the #1 ranked page.

The description is worth considering for a moment.  Where does it come from?

Some people think that the description comes from the meta description tag, but that isn't always the case.

What Google does is tries to find the exact phrase that was searched for, in the body of the article.  If it finds it, it uses a snippet taken from that section of the page as the description.  If it cannot find the phrase, it usually then defaults to the meta description.  If there is no meta description, then Google may take the first content on the page for the description.

So, in the case of the #1 ranked page, since the phrase is not shown in the description, it is unlikely to be on the page.

A quick check of the page confirms the phrase is not in the article.  The description shown in Google is actually the first content on the page as there was no meta description tag.

OK, so how many of the other top 10 pages for this term did not have the phrase on the page?

Would it surprise you if I told you ALL of them?

A couple of listings did have the phrase in the listing description:

screenshot2

You'll notice those are two pages from the same domain, with same description.  Those descriptions are taken from the meta description (as the phrase was not on the page):

screenshot3

So that's interesting, isn't it?  A commercial phrase that does not appear on any of the top 10 pages ranking for that phrase?

Where are all the pages put up by marketers, optimized for that phrase?

What about the other 4 randomly chosen phrases?

Rather than go through each phrase with a fine tooth comb, I'll just summarize the results by giving you the number of pages in the top 10 that included the EXACT phrase in the article and in the meta description.

NOTE: When counting phrases in the article, I did not include it if the phrases was outside the main article, e.g. in comments or the sidebar.  I also didn't count it if it appeared in the opening header since I am really looking for “over” optimization of the article content.

OK, the results.

Phrase – personal health insurance coverage
In Article: 0
In Meta description: 0

Phrase – prescription eyeglasses online
In Article: 3
In Meta description: 3

Phrase – how to lose weight
In Article: 4
In Meta description: 4

Phrase – lose weight with acai berry
In Article: 0
In Meta description: 0

I am sure these results will shock a lot of people.  After all, these are the exact types of phrases that marketers would target for potential adsense income.

Could it be that Google have been going after pages that are optimized for long tail phrases?  Looking at the results above, it would certainly have removed a large proportion of affiliate sites from the top 10, since most would have used those phrases once in the title, opening h1, opening paragraph, etc.  The exact type of “over-optimization” that seems to be missing from the SERPs.

One thing that would be interesting to look at is to see if there is a correlation between the percentage of pages in the top 10 without the exact phrase, and the number of words in the phrase.

Surely it is more unnatural for a longer phrase to appear intact in an article than a shorter phrase.  Thinking that through with an example, what I mean is that it is more likely to get something like the phrase “lose weight” appearing in a naturally written article than to get the phrase “how to lose weight quickly”.

 

1. Fed Up With Google?

Google seem to be getting their paws (and beaks) into everyone's online business. For those who rely on Google for their income in the form of free traffic, the last few months have been a hair-raising, rollercoaster nightmare. Many people have just given up on their dream of working from home.

Diversification has always been the key. It means you don't have to worry too much about any one factor being able to destroy you (in the way Google can).

I have just started looking into one method of diversification that Google won't be able to interfere with!

I'm talking about Publishing content on the Kindle platform.

The way I am looking at this is as an Adsense site alternative. Remember the old days where we were told to create small adsense sites and look to make $2-3 a day income from each site? After that it's just a numbers game?

Well, I think that with the same amount of effort, we can probably create Amazon Kindle books that will make the same, or more each day for many years to come. We also wont have to worry about Google catching up with us one day and wiping the sites (and income) out or getting our accounts banned.

This is what excited me about Amazon Kindle Publishing – it's free of Google.

Now, even if you think you are not a writer, you should continue reading this because you can outsource any writing and still take advantage of this system. I was also surprised to see how short some of the stuff being sold on Kindle is, so you don't have to put together huge volumes.

When I started looking into Kindle publishing a few months ago, I had a lot of questions. I guess anyone who has considered Kindle publishing would have had the same questions like:

how does “it” work?
what do I write about?
how long does a book need to be?
how do I format the book?
how do I price the book?
how do I get people to see my book?

I went away and read what I could, but the problem I had was that some of the information was out of date (and wrong), yet there was no real way of knowing which bits of information were still OK to follow. I guess that is the same for any topic when you do your research via the web.

I then found a Kindle Course that was being offered on the Warrior Forum which was written by a New Zealander I had heard about before – Geoff Shaw. The thing that really caught my attention though was that it offered free lifetime upgrades to the course and from what I was reading, it was getting plenty of updates.

I bought it a few weeks back and have been slowly working my way through (there is a lot of information here).

When you buy the course (a one-time payment), you log into a members area. I logged in last week to check on something, and noticed a new sidebar in the course area which seems to suggest they are about to start updating the whole course to version 2. Great timing for me.

Down the left hand side is a huge list of tutorials, and Geoff promises to cover everything a Kindle Publisher will need to know.

There are sections on formatting, promotion, branding, outsourcing, etc. There are also whole sections on how to write fiction, non-fiction, romance, even a section dedicated to writing recipe books.

I am still in the process of writing my first book for Kindle, but it should be ready very soon.

My next question will be about formatting it, but I have already had a peak at that section of the course, and they have a free template for Word (or Open Office) that makes formatting the book really easy.

I'll then have to look at submitting it (and how best to “optimize” that submission), promotion, etc. I am looking forward to see how this works out. I do have total confidence in doing this (as a total Kindle newbie), thanks to Geoff's course.

The best thing of all about publishing to Kindle is that Google cannot flick a switch and destroy your hard work. Kindle eBooks are sold on Amazon, and Amazon is already a well-known and well-used search engine. People know and love Amazon. Not only can you expect traffic to your books without Google, but Google also rank Amazon pages very highly in the SERPs. That's a win-win situation.

If you are looking for a way to diversify your online income, I seriously recommend that you consider Kindle Publishing, and Geoff's course is the best one I have found where you can be sure the methods are up-to-date. It's certainly not the cheapest course on Kindle Publishing, but you are buying peace of mind that the information is up-to-date and written by someone who actually does this and is successful at it.

NOTE: Since this newsletter was published, I wrote a full review of Geoff Shaw's Kindling Course.

3. Affiliate Site Autopsy Released

In the last newsletter I told you I was planning the release of my new book – Affiliate Site Autopsy. I released it last week.  If you missed that newsletter, you can read the details of the book here – Affiliate Site Autopsy.

http://ezseonews.com/affiliate-site-autopsy/

OK, that's it for this newsletter.  Hope there was something you found interesting.

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42 thoughts on “EzSEO Newsletter #338

  • Pearson Brown

    Dr Andy puts in the work so we don’t have to. ;-). Such useful information. Thanks.

    As for Kindle, I agree both with your approach and with the particular course you suggest. Well worth getting.

    Pearson Brown

  • E R Thorpe

    Excellent review for a Kindle publishing how-to product that over-delivers on the promises (many) made in the sales copy.
    Stay casual,
    Edward ‘Mr Ed’ Thorpe

  • Lane Lester

    Andy, it’s interesting that you’re investigating the Kindle marketplace. I bought a different WSO that claimed you could buy junk ebooks, repackage them for the Kindle, and “get rich.” Wrong. Amazon has been cleaning house of duplicated, public domain, and other junk. The bottom line is you better have a decent book… or at least, original, if you want to publish it for the Kindle.

    • Andy Williams

      A lot of WSOs are junk. There was another Kindle one I can think of that was taken down recently because the main “strategy” it used was no longer valid.

      I like the one I have recommended because the author is a bit like me – he recommends only creating high quality books for Kindle.

  • Jeff Hope

    Hi Dr. Andy –

    The Kindle course is actually from Geoff Shaw – and yes, it is excellent.

    Affiliate Site Autopsy is outstanding as well!

    Jeff

    • Andy Williams

      Arghh. Of course it is. I wonder if I was mixing it up because I immediately associated his first name (albeit a different spelling) with yours.

      Thanks for your comment about my book – much appreciated.

  • Andii

    Hi Dr Andy

    That was a really interesting newsletter. One thing that stands out is how exhausting it is for IMs trying to constantly keep up and understand what they need to do in order to have their sites visible on the SERPS.

    Content was king at the start, and content is still king today, but what seems crazy is someone might have a really fantastic piece on a given subject, yet it could get trashed just because a key phrase was in the H1, and the opening paragraph, or god forbid, the title tag too.

    It might still be the best bit of written information out there on its given subject, but it gets rubbished because Mr G’s algorithm doesn’t like pages that have the key phrase repeated (at least not this month :)).

    Ref Kindle: I created my first Kindle e-Book a while back and I think it looks and reads quite well. The formatting is certainly better than a lot of other professional eBooks for sale in the Kindle store. That reminds me, perhaps I should place it on Amazon as well as my website.

    I think it’s permitted to put books on Amazon that are priced at $0.00 which might be useful if the books are monetised in other ways.

    Andii

    • Andy Williams

      Andii
      I don’t think it is necessarily JUST because the phrase is in the opening paragraph. What I think is critical here is an accumulation of “penalty” points. If you consider the average affiliate marketer, they would latch onto a keyword they wanted to rank for, and put the phrase in the title, opening h1, opening paragraph, twice more in the article AND THEN bombard it with anchor text rich links. Add in an EMD and those “penalty” points will add up to a full penalty.
      If they just had the on-page stuff done, and no backlinks or EMD, the age might not have enough penalty points to give it a problem.
      Do you know of any marketer that has ever taught people to NOT include the “main phrase” in different locations on the page and then get backlinks with that anchor text? That is why, IMO, marketers were severely hit with Panda and Penguin. They build sites the same way, leaving an optimization footprint.
      When I did the analysis in the newsletter, I did see some sites that had very strong optimization on page, yet they still ranked. Why? Don’t really know, but I’d guess that its penalty point score was lower for other reasons (authority, backlink profile not dominated by the money phrase, etc). There are so many factors involved that it is a dangerous game to second guess the algorithm. Just write content naturally for the visitor and don’t focus on keywords in your content. If you have themed your article, Google will have a pretty good idea of what it is about. It’s then just a case of them deciding if it is good enough for the top 10.

      • Andii

        Hi Dr Andy

        Okay, got it now. Yes, this was the exact way I learnt how to optimise a site and its pages in the past. Having said that, the phrase would be duplicated but the sentence not, for example:

        Title tag: Nice Blue Widgets from Indonesia
        H1: How good are the Indonesian Nice Blue Widgets?

        And then again surrounded by different text within the main article.

        But folks didn’t do this to cheat the SE’s but because they thought it was the best way to optimise their articles for the algorithms of the day, and I suppose it was looking back.

        Although the on-page stuff can be fixed pretty easily, the same can’t be said for off-page SEO, especially if there were keyword rich hyperlinks pointing back to the site in the thousands.

        Andii

        • Andy Williams

          I agree Andii – we did this because Google actually told us to include the main keywords on the page. Now the rules have changed, and Google don’t seem to care who gets crushed in the process.

  • Alex Newell

    I’ve just published my first Kindle book and it was quite an effort! Geoff’s course is good – I bought it a while back and the membership area has grown a lot and will continue to. He also provides timely help with problems you may have.

    BTW Andy – Geoff’s surname is Shaw.

    There is another WSO still available I believe purely on Formatting. It is a video course and takes you from manuscript step by step to publishing on Kindle. The author’s name is Bluedolphin Crow and it is an excellent course.

    • Andy Williams

      Thanks for the note about the surname Alex. Jeff Hope mentioned it in his comment as well. I think I got my mind in a muddle because of him actually. I have changed the newsletter.
      BTW Alex, I would love to know how your book works out for you. Of all the alternatives to traditional internet marketing that I have seen, I think this one has the best potential in terms of long-term strategy.

  • Charles

    Hello Andy,

    Does the Kindling course show how to separate your Kindle title from all the chaff and debris in that market?

    When I am searching for a topical book on Amazon I find I have to uncheck the Kindle titles in the option area as they overwhelm the print titles in the results. I purchased so many Kindle titles that were such extreme junk that I don’t purchase them anymore unless they also have a mainstream hard or paper back edition.

    That has been my only reservation about getting in Kindle publishing was that it seemed like quality control was nonexistent whereas with a book from a reputable publisher at least there is some editorial oversight and quality control. I thought having a Kindle title would actually hurt my marketing ability as people are now associating self published Kindle titles as just blather and garbage or an opportunity to advertise their products.

    What are your thoughts?

    • Andy Williams

      Hi Charles
      I’m sure it does, but as I said in my review, I haven’t been through it all yet – more of on a need to know basis. Maybe someone else can answer this as it is becoming apparent that Geoff’s course has been bought and followed by a number of people on here.

  • Pearson Brown

    Amazon had a big clear out a month or two back. All the PLR-based content was removed. Good quality content is now essential (where have I heard that before?)

  • Norm

    Hello Dr. Andy,

    As usual you have given us massive amounts to digest.

    Let me ax a question. In your examples above is the PR of the site a factor in getting to the top of Google? So, therefore, an ordinary site would have a much steeper hill to climb, all things being equal?

    Listening to you and Shane I have come to the firm conclusion that SEO as I have practiced it is a dead end anymore.It looks to me like when you can no longer game the system, you’re then competing with random Sunday bloggers instead of equals in the SEO game for whatever phrase you’re going for. It’s very disheartening and a real come down for a prideful SEO type of guy like my humble self.

    In any case, nowadays, attempting to thread the Google algorithm needle to achieve success is as you sort of alluded to, fraught with danger (and disappointment.)

    I’m working on one possibly final SEO experiment in fits and spurts, in a way, like your Kindle idea. I don’t think it’s ever been done before. I have NO idea if it will work. Ha. Typical of me. Totally legit, totally out of the box. We shall see.

    And then I’m pulling back to local content, which I know works every time it is tried. I just ran up my first and probably last WSO on the subject. The sales are pretty sucky because the program isn’t push button sexy. It breaks my heart to see the bulk of my fellow Internet marketers struggling with the old ways of doing business because they haven’t caught on yet to what your fans here know.

    Thank you again 100 times for being the point of the spear.

    Norm

    • Andy Williams

      Hi Norm
      PR is probably always going to be important in ranking simply because a high PR site is a more authoritative site, and Google likes authority. This has always been the case though since PR was introduced.
      I’d be interested in your experiment results.

  • Stephen

    Interesting insights on the latest Google dance, Andy. My main income site has taken a tanking from the big G these past couple of months, and I’m now considering completely rebuilding it on a different domain with a different host.

    I had thought about unSEOing it page by page, as I can do nothing about the many backlinks that I bought for it over the past year from various backlink building services.

    Perhaps a fresh start on this niche is the best thing. Any thoughts?

    • Andy Williams

      I would fix up the site first. If you move it to a new domain to restart the backlinking, it wont help much if you content is still getting penalised for something you haven’t fixed.

  • Dave

    Hi Andy, your point about not needing the keyword phrase in the title tag or what Google uses for the meta-description is a good one and backed up not just with thoughts about Penguin and over-optimization but also with Google’s search options.

    When you do a search in Google they are no longer just looking for the exact phrase entered. This is not speculation as you can go into the left sidebar, click on “More Tools” and then click the link that says “Verbatim”

    A verbatim search does search for the exact match phrase entered. You will typically get a different set of results.

    Readers can learn more about Google’s verbatim search and by analogy what they are normally showing you here:

    http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1734130

  • Bob Richards

    Andy,
    Your conclusion in the first part of this post may be off. The sites that get top 10 ranking may have nothing to do with inclusion or exclusion of the key phrase in the article or description. It is my untested observation that sites getting top 10 ranking (since Penguin) have huge authority (wikipedia, investopedia, US news, etc). Therefore, it is quite possible that your observation is happenstance. In other words, writers (typically journalists) for these authority sites dont worry about SEO and therefore, don’t often include the highly searched key phrases in their text. So, your findings are inconclusive and it is soley my hunch that it is the significant existing authority of sites that get them into the top 10. This is not a criticism of what you have done but an attempt to actually get to what is realy going on and add some illumination.
    Bob Richards

    • Andy Williams

      Hi Bob
      Actually I didn’t make any “conclusions”. I am a scientist, so very rarely make definitive conclusions, especially with something like SEO – there are just too many factors that you cannot control. What I have done is thrown an idea out there that fits with what we know about the purpose of Penguin.
      You say that this might just be authority sites floating to the top because of authority, but it might just as well be authority sites floating to the top because they haven’t gone down the SEO route and therefore don’t have over-optimized pages. You have peaked my interest though, so I may do a follow up study.

      • Bob Richards

        We defintely agree that seemingly causal factors can be coincident–e.g. authority sites dont make use of targeted key phrases. So is the high rank due to the non-use of the key phrases or the fact that these sites have authority (or some other variable that is not obvious).

        • Norm

          I gotta toss something else into the mix… It’s fairly obvious that you can get a duck ranked on a high PR monkey site. But how does the site get highly ranked to start…and stay highly ranked?

          1. Google goes goofy and hands out high PR. I have seen it done multiple times.
          2. The site is PR’ed the “new” way that Google has been wanting all along. So,not only does it get higher PR, but it also passes the P&P test. (I bet this is pretty darned rare that a money making site passes both tests.) Even so, the site is probably not going above PR4 or so, all things being equal.

          3…… The site gets LOTS of traffic. This is what I was aiming at with this post. A site with a PR of 5 or above (except for .gov etc. sites) usually gets tons of traffic. You can watch a brand spanking new pop site go from PR0 to PR6 in a month or two.

          My conclusion, is that traffic negates poor SEO. But probably not black or brown hat SEO. A pop site doesn’t have to resort to clever SEO tricks. They just write stuff…any stuff, and the PR follows.

          Now, the problem. Unless you have a coupla million bucks to start up a pop site of some kind…well, the traffic PR bonus isn’t in the cards for most of us.

          Norm

  • Content Creator

    Hey Andy,

    I have uploaded over 20 Kindle eBooks in the last 4 months and am having good success. Nothing close to my adsense revenue yet, but I am happy with the results.

    Formatting is not a big deal, and don’t try and make it perfect because there will always be some formatting problems. I used to spend hours making it perfect. But then I just said, ‘good enough is best’. And let my content speak for itself.

    I can probably help you in some areas since I’ve spent a lot of time doing it so let me know. Glad to help

    If you want to see some of my work let me know.

    Also, Panda hurt my business, and then Penguin helped it big time. Go figure. Google is like that crazy girlfriend that you dated in your early twenties… can’t seem to get her out of your life. You know, everything is great and then she goes psycho on you but you keep coming back to her. Ok, maybe that isn’t the best description but it was the first thing that came to mind 🙂

      • Content Creator

        Sure. Here’s my authors profile. Pick the one you want to see and I can email you the mobi version of one. Just tell me your email address. The earlier ones are not formatted well. The eBook publishing guide got a couple of good reviews (I did not pay for any of my reviews…don’t do that if you are thinking about it). The drum building guide is one of my favorites but it does not sell well. Also, how are you going about choosing a topic? There’s different theories on it…

        http://www.amazon.com/Brian-Maroevich/e/B007U95N9W/ref=sr_tc_ep?qid=1339107630

  • Niall

    *Sigh* SO glad to read this article Andy. Been trying to explain to several people that keyword focused content is now history and you might as well put a big bullseye on your website if you’re going to insist on doing “it”.

    The timing of this is perfect because I was only bouncing this very same question off a Canadian buddy last night – I know he feels the same way.

    To be fair you’ve been promoting theming content now for 6 years or so? It’s about time people listened to you 🙂

  • Jen

    Yep Andy, couldn’t agree more about moving away from Google. Definitely can use many of the same skills for creating great Kindle content that you’ve always taught & recommended.
    Being an author will make it far easier to answer the “So, what do you do” question.
    Let’s hope Kindle stays spam free!

  • Bill Taylor

    Hi Andy:

    I enjoyed and found your Autopsy Report to be very thorough, interesting and useful – Thanks.

    Geoff Shaw is one of my favorite people on the planet. He gets right to the point, covers things in a very speedy way and has a sense of humor.

    I have his Kindle course (and several others from him) and have about 8 books currently mapped out (one written) and soon to be published (really a test on the process). I also believe that two of the routes to success with Kindle will be using techniques to build a regular readership (don’t be a one trick pony) and how to integrate social marketing into your buyers and fan base.

    I started years ago on the keyword based approach to content just as you outlined above. Luckily thanks to you and Theme Zoom I gradually moved away from it over the years. Now my team are instructed to write articles using a theme and topical based approach. I think the penalty is a combination of On Page and Off Page over optimization factors which as you say gradually accumulates a tipping point.

    Keep up the great work.

    Bill

  • Nadine Huegel

    Hi Andy

    Thanks for your informative Newsletter, as always.

    I too, have been investigating publishing on Kindle, and also purchased a WSO, but by no means as intensive as Geoff’s.

    I also attended a couple webinars for the basics, but for me, I find the best way is to just do it and learn from any mistakes I make. [I agree with you on WSO’s – one does have to be careful to investigate thoroughly. I find that comments from other Warriors can be a useful source].

    On the subject of Google, there has just been another change for those using Google Maps for local/offline marketing (also used for generating SEO income).

    In brief, virtually overnight, “Google Places” has been swapped for their “G+ Local Pages”.
    [There are some similarities to “Places” but others are quite different.. such as, tying everything in with your/clients’ Google Plus ID..]

    Google seems to be beyond justification!
    if you are using anything ‘Google’, I guess that the rule of thumb seems to be ‘expect the unexpected’.

    Kind Regards
    Nadine

  • John Gibb

    Thanks for another great newsletter – bought the kindle course from your link. I have a few so will will see if this is one of the better ones!

    I like the idea of giving away free kindle e-books to drive traffic to quality websites. Could be a good way to get traffic away from the ever changing Google, especially if done in mass and if done correctly. I see a new system on the horizon here 😉

    Best

    Johnny G

  • Mr Bearly

    I have been following Geoff Shaw for a long time. I have bought his new car for him almost ;).

    I agree that he is one of the people to follow in IM, he’s been doing Content Curation for years. He didn’t call it that but it is what he does and teaches in his Bum Blogging course.

    I follow Dr Andy because he is also one of the greats. People who do not lead you astray in the pursuit of a quick dollar, those who do not call their subscribers ‘sheeple’ as some do.

    A comment on PR. As far as I am able to determine you cannot get PR without backlinks from sites with higher PR or a LOT of backlinks.

    Diversity is the key here but the content on your site doesn’t seem to be particularly relevant for your PR but definitely relevant for the site linking to you for you to get any PR boost.

    I’m not sure that made a lot of sense. What I mean is that the content on the page with the links to your site has to be related to the content on the page the links point to for you to get any PR bonus. Relevancy is the key which destroys all those profile links regardless of how many you have.

    Keep up the good work Dr Andy, I and lots of others rely on your good analysis of what is going on.

  • SweetPea

    Hello Andy,

    Thank you for another excellent newsletter. I bought Geoff’s Kindle program early on. It is excellent. Months later, I am earning a steady income as a Kindle fiction writer, so I’ve decided to venture into some other areas to supplement it (I’m a true believer in multiple streams of income as long as they don’t monopolize too much time).

    Thanks to following Geoff’s program and Amazon’ s built-in marketing/promotion, I have a steadily growing readership. I had actually been interested in the Kindle platform for several months before I bought Geoff’s program, but so many of the so-called Kindle “experts” were preaching the wonderful time- and effort-saving benefits of using PLR.

    Now, as a died-in-the-wool bookworm, this sounded like all kinds of wrong to me, so I just didn’t pursue it. And sure enough, once all that crappy stuff started making Amazon look bad, they finally started to clean up their act.

    I urge everybody that I know and communicate with semi-regularly to help Amazon clean up their Kindle platform by utilizing the options they now have at the bottom of Kindle book description screens. Tell Amazon when a book you’ve just bought is a load of electronic hooey or that the formatting/editing needs serious improvement. Better yet, request a refund if the Kindle book was really that bad.

    Amazon knows that its reputation is on the line, hence the somewhat belated attempts to retain its rather stellar reputation.

    As for this Google thing, I really wish that people would treat free Google traffic as icing on the cake and focus on other well-established traffic sources that have worked in the long-term and will continue to work for some time yet – never put all your eggs in one basket.

    I have been using all of the different things that I am learning from you about theming to write quality PLR content for internet marketers. Many repeat buyers have reported back to me that they were surprised that the articles and blog posts that I wrote for them were ranking on the first page of Google search results for several phrases that they had not even tweaked the PLR material to be ranked for. Color me surprised! But pleased. All thanks to you and a few other marketers who have my ear.

    So thank you.

  • Nadine Huegel

    Hi Andy

    I thought I would inject some humour into the Penquin discussion.

    Introducing GOATS!

    A little known fact about Google:

    Periodically, Google rents a herd of around 200 goats, a goatherder and border collie, to ‘mow’ the grassy hills around Google HQ.

    More cost-effective; eliminates mower emissions; reduces noise pollution; restores plant species and fertilizes the ground.

    Always something good to be found somewhere….

    Have a good weekend
    Nadine

  • Carole

    Andy as two of my sites were hit by Panda and Penguin, I am seriously thinking of buying your Autospy Report.

    You say, ‘if your site has been penalized by Panda or Penguin, these penalties are controlled by software, not real humans. Therefore if you clean up what caused the penalty, you should be able to breathe fresh life into your website’. Any chance of letting us know if any of the case studies in the book have recovered? As you haven’t covered Penguin yet this will probably be in the update of the book.

    Cheers
    Carole

  • Stephen Mwanza

    There is one element of penguin update that I find to be lacking yet Google stated it would be very integral in ranking of sites. This was the element of Freshness.

    The reason for adding freshness into the algorithm formula was to make sure that new and quality content got more visibility. But on looking at search results you will see some content which were posted 2 years ago still ranking better than new content.

    For example a phrase like “home based business” the first to be listed is an article that was posted in 2011. Does that mean since then no better article with the same phrase has ever been posted?