EzSEO Newsletter #284 34

In this issue:

1. Buying High PR Domains – Watch Out!!

2. SEO Link Vine Update

3. PDFs and Apple's iPad

4. Coming Next Week!

Hi Again

Today I have an update on SEO Link Vine, and why I cancelled my subscription, plus a look at Apple's iPad and how to get your PDFs onto it.

I've also got news of a new mini-course I'll be starting in this newsletter from next week, as well as some of my software that I'll be giving away.

However, before that, I wanted to talk a little bit about buying high Page Rank domains.? A lot of people end up paying a lot of money for what looks to be a high PR site, but it is?? The video I have recorded shows you how you can check the validity of Page Rank on a site, and see whether that high PR domain you have had your eyes on is really too good to be true.

1. Buying High PR Domains – Watch Out!!

Building Page Rank (PR) on a domain is usually a lengthy process. You need to get links, and quality links at that.

Page Rank is usually built up over time and no matter what anybody else says it is still a good indicator of the sites authority in the eyes of Google, and with authority comes the ability to rank higher.? Once you have high Page Rank on your domain you can then link to important pages on your own sites, and this authority link will go a long way to helping you rank better for your chosen terms.

Because Page Rank has been so important in the past, there has been a kind of underground market buying and selling high Page Rank websites. If you do a search at Google you'll no doubt find websites that claim to be PR4 or PR5 for as little as $200.

I'd like to warn you against buying one of these high Page Rank domains without doing your own due diligence on that domain. What looks too good to be true, often is.

I am going to show you how I quickly check to see if domain Page Rank is real or faked. Be aware though that a domain that has real Page Rank could still turn out to be a waste of money, because it will depend on how that Page Rank has been achieved, whether the links that currently point to the site will still point to the site after you have bought it, and also a small factor of how Google will treat the domain once it's been transferred to a different owner and probably a different web host.

I don't want to go into too much detail on the process of buying domains, transferring domains, and attempting to maintain the Page Rank, because I'm no expert. If you bought the excellent Commission Blueprint 2.0 (a fantastic course in all aspects of affiliate marketing which includes various tools to help you carry a keyword research, linking, article submission, etc), go ahead and look at module six. That module goes into great detail on buying high Page Rank domains and trying to maintain the Page Rank on those domains after you've purchased them.

BTW; I just visited the Commission Blueprint Site, and found that if you close the sales page in your browser, a popup appears offering you a $100 discount on the course.? (I am not sure if I am suppose to tell you that, but check it out if you are interested? and click “Cancel” when the popup appears).

The part I would like to look at in this newsletter is simply the evaluation of so-called high Page Rank domains to decide which would be worth considering and which ones are clearly scams.

Fortunately to do this due diligence, you don't need to buy any tools.? There is one tool I do use, but there is a free version that does the job very well.? The biggest limitation of the free version is that you cannot save your data, but from the point of view of evaluating domains, this is not necessary anyway!? I seem to remember that the free version also limits the sources that the software looks for backlinks, but it can certainly help you evaluate domain PR as it is.

Download SEO SpyGlass

(Scroll down and you'll see a big red button for the free version).

Rather than writing down my due diligence process, I have recorded a video to show you instead.? However, I can summarize the process in a few steps (all of which are covered in the video):

1. Go to the site and check the site is still live and has the suggested Page Rank.

2. Check out Google to see what, and how many pages are indexed. Also do a cache:domain.com search to see if Google has been able to cache a recent version.? If it has, is the current cache the same as the live site?

3. Do a google search for info:domain.com to make sure that Google is talking about the site you think they are talking about.

4. Do a Way Back Machine check to see the site history and what was on the domain in the past.

5. Use SEO Spyglass to check actual backlink counts to the domain.

Following these 5 points you should be able to spot suspicious domains.? The following video shows you what to look for.

2. SEO Link Vine Update

SEO Link Vine promised a lot.

Post your articles up on their site, and they would distribute them to real sites for you.? What I liked most of all was the promise of real webmasters posting my content on their sites, and getting real backlinks.

.. So why did I cancel my subscription?

Well, in the time I have been a member (less than a month), I posted 7 articles onto their system and these were published 282 times.? Now, these were not duplicate articles – they were spun to a high degree using the Best Spinner (http:ezseonews.com/bestspinner) which now has a Copyscape checker for your spun content (and checked to make sure the spun versions were very high quality) so that every site that posted my content was getting a unique version.

Since the sites that my content were being posted on were “blog” type sites (WordPress, Joomla etc), I would have expected to see some notifications on my sites that these links were appearing, yet I saw only one.

A second test was to use SEO SpyGlass (the tool I used above to help my due diligence on high PR domains), to look for backlinks to my sites.? Despite the fact that SEO Link Vine told me my articles were published 282 times, I found a total of 2 links.?? That's not to say the other 280 did not exist, it just means they are almost certainly not in the search engines.? Those types of links are useless!

Why did I cancel?? Well I think I have spelt it out above.? Looking from a user prospective, the links seem to be VERY poor quality, and not something that will help your rankings much.

3. PDFs and Apple's iPad

The iPad was finally released here in Spain.? Early in May, a local shop had one in their window, but wanted 848 euros (it was a 32GB version WITHOUT 3G).

They somehow sold that one, and got another one in, but this time put the price down to 799 euros (again for the 32GB version).

A quick check on the Apple website told me that when they were officially released over here, that version would sell through Apple for 579 euros.? Obviously I decided to wait for the official release.

Last week, I bought a 64GB version (without 3G) for 624 Euros (Apple sell it for 679 in Spain).? That's a whopping 175 euros cheaper than the local crook I mentioned and mine has an extra 32GB storage!

Firstly, let me say that I love my iPad.? I have bought just two applications for it – a pinball game for a couple of euros, and a PDF reader called GoodReader.

I wont go into details of the Pinball, but if you are a fan of that type of game, you have to get it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Goodreader on the other hand is a brilliant PDF reader.? I transferred all of my PDFs this morning in a few minutes.? The process was simple enough:

1. Open iTunes.

2. Connect the iPad.

3. Click you iPad icon in the left menu

4. Open the Apps tab.

5. Scroll down to the Transfer section.

6. Select Good Reader from the list (its the only entry on mine, but if you have other apps capable of this type of transfer, you may have more in your list).

6. Drag across your PDFs into the window on the right.

7. Sync.

That's all there is to it.? You can then create folders for your PDFs and move them into a more logical storage structure.

Incidentally, I also love the iBook software for reading books.? The iPad came with Winnie the Pooh, but you can buy more (and get a lot of free ones).? One experiment I tried was to convert a PDF ebook into an iBook format, so I could read the eBooks with that fancy page turning effect (plus the other tools in iBooks).? However, while the conversion was easy enough, the images in the PDF documents didn't render in the correct positions, and page footers tended to appear mid page.? If you would like to play with this type of conversion yourself, there is an excellent tutorial here:

Converting PDFs to iBooks Format

You need a piece of software called Calibre, but its free!

Maybe by playing with Calibre you can make a better conversion, but with Good Reader now handling all of my PDF files, I'll give any more playing around a miss.

Just a couple of honorable mentions if you are looking for new apps to play around with.? I really like SkyGrid.? It has realtime news streaming into your iPad on a range of topics.? This application could be very useful if you are getting breaking news in your niche ๐Ÿ˜‰

Another great app is the Press Reader which allows you to read newspapers from around the world on the iPad.? If you have a paid subscription you can have newspapers automatically delivered to your iPad every day, as well as read most newspapers from around the world.? Just out of curiosity, I was reading the “Cape Breton Post” last night before bed.? Its a place I visited a couple of years ago when I spent three weeks in Nova Scotia.? Lovely place (though a little quiet for me).

If you have a favourite app for your iPad, please let me know by leaving a comment at the end of this newsletter.

4. Coming Next Week!

Next week I hope to have a free gift for you.? For several years I sold my SEO Website Builder for $147, and it received a lot of positive reviews.? In essence, it allowed anyone, of any skill level, to create HTML websites.? Next week, I should be releasing it to this list for free.? If you want it, you can have it at no cost, and no need to sign up for any list to get it.? I'll simply post the download URL, and you can go and get it.

Also next week, time permitting, I am going to be starting a new mini-series in this newsletter.? I want to take one of my existing domains (that was never really developed) and turn it into a niche review site.? I'll cover everything from setting up the WordPress template and review plugin, to setting up the site structure and adding content.? If you would like to setup a review site yourself, you will simply be able to follow along and copy what I do.

Well, that's it for this issue.? If you want to ask a question or have a comment about anything in this newsletter, please leave a comment at the end of this newsletter.

Have a great week!


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The products reviewed in this newsletter are often affiliate products, and as such, if you buy through my link, I will receive a commission.

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34 thoughts on “EzSEO Newsletter #284

  • Howard

    Thanks for telling how it is. I had been looking at SeoLinkVine but after experimenting with some other blog networks, I suspected the quality of the blogs. Not only the blogs but the quality of the spun articles too that inhabit these blogs.
    Saved time & money – many thanks

  • Hayley

    Hi Andy, I heard of your website and newsletter from http://www.freedomideas.com. I am going to be setting up a site build it website? I don’t have a niche so am hoping for one of your blueprints with a researched niche to help me get started. I noticed you had some for sale and remember reading that you only sell 100 of each. If that’s true, does that mean the one’s you are selling haven’t reached the 100 people mark yet? I am interested in a niche regarding home and garden but this seems way too competitive already. Anyway, I am only just getting started in research so any of your comments would be very helpful. Thanks, Hayley

    • Andy

      Hi Hayley
      Yes, any of those Blueprints that are still for sale have not reached the 100 mark yet. However, it might be worth hanging on a short while as I have a special deal coming up for Niche Blueprint users. Just subscribe to the list on the Niche Blueprint site and you’ll be informed when its ready.

  • Veit

    Hi Andy,

    great newsletter, thanks for sharing the information! Love your letter. It’s one of the few I actually read… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a great weekend!


  • shei

    thanks for the input on seolinkvine. i think the main problem has got to do with the large number of poor quality content sites participating in this program in hope of getting more links. personally, i think one should not rely only on seolinkvine for links and instead should have a variety of different links originating from different varying PR sites so for that, i am keeping seolinkvine just a little while longer. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Roberts Howard

    Hi Andy, in re: the conversion utilities for PDF to iPad, Calibre was impossible. My objective was to convert two of my out-of-print books. They are profusely illustrated (4 color process) and the pictures MUST line up with the text.

    Obviously, epub is the absolute worst medium for trying to maintain a static page where the layout matters. If someone wants to change the font size, you end up with the illustrations on the wrong page. Couple that with the awful rendition of the pictures, along with the difficult to follow spoken instructions, and we have another of those early utilities that get thrown under the bus when the workable ones come along.

    If you have a vanity press number, done in MS Word, epub is fine. But if YOU are the designer (not the reader) then it’s another example of the disadvantages of digital mob rule.

    Because we actually want to make money with our files, we searched for secure delivery systems. Most of them were aimed at Fortune 100 companies who have a staff of technicians and unlimited budgets…you know, too big to fail (but they do). Fortunately, we discovered a company that offers tons more features than Akamai, ATT and the other prestige suppliers of…well, suppliers of very limited offerings for unlimited budgets.

    We discovered a service called ARALOC and they are as secure as anything out there. Unlike many of the big boys (and those who want to make a single big hit) this company hosts darn near anything…and that makes sense to us because we have PDFs (which have to be kept in the same design layout) and videos. They deal with PCs, Macs, iPhones and all of the stuff we’ve never considered and they said they’ll have delivery to iPads in the fourth quarter.

    Andy, I really appreciate the heads-up emails you send and this is a way to thank you. We’ll be getting the tour in an hour or so, and I’ll know more after that. It would be good to have someone with your expertise look at it and report back.

    best…Rob Howard

  • Donna White

    Hi Andy,

    I agree with Veit, this is one of the few newsletters I actually read. ๐Ÿ™‚

    About SEOLinkVine: I was skeptical and didn’t buy in because the blog (about website traffic) they accepted from me to post articles on was not optimized properly and was not really good. (It is now.) Who was it that said: I wouldn’t want to be in a club that would have me as a member. LOL

    Also, I am rejecting over 75% of the articles to post to my site because they are junk or the article writer did not categorize it properly. As bad as my site was, I didn’t want to make it worse. LOL I’m still getting content on SEOLinkVine and MyArticleNetwork because 25% of the articles are really good content for my sites. The really GREAT thing about these 2 sites is: they give you the option of accepting or rejecting an article. Other sites like this DO NOT, they just post on your site. That is why I am still using them and it is free to get content only.

    (Longer post than I intended.)
    Donna ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Andii

    Yet another fantastic and informative packed post ๐Ÿ™‚ Buying and selling domains seems to be one of the latest ideas for folks to make a quid, and so this timely piece on how NOT to get stung could not have come at a better time.


  • Helen

    Hi Andy,

    I have been a fan of EzSeoNews and your newsletter for many years. I’m still trying to adjust to reading your newsletter on Wednesday or Thursday as my previous routine for reading it Sunday morning was convenient and worked for me. Changing habits and patterns is not easy.

    What I like most about the information you provide is that I sense you genuinely care and are respectful of your reader/customers – their concerns, intelligence as well as their wallets. I have purchased many of your recommendations and/or your own products for two reasons:

    1. Your review of each product is fair and honest, including the negative aspects when applicable.

    2. You respect your readers in allowing them to make their own purchasing decisions without bombarding them with the kind of ‘Call to Action’ that leaves one to believe the reader/buyer is somehow intellectually challenged and could not possibly think and reason for him or her self.

    Keep on keeping on.
    With sincere respect and appreciation,


    • Andy

      Hi Helen
      I realize the timetable has changed somewhat and that it does not suit everyone. This is a necessity I am afraid, as the choice is, move it, or stop writing a newsletter. I am super busy working on my own sites during the week and really need to take weekends off to rest. I just put a newsletter together as and when I have time during the week. I could of course cue the newsletters up to be released on Sunday, its just that if I wrote it on Monday, then it would be a week before I got feedback, and that is not good!

      Thanks for being a reader, and I hope you continue to read my ramblings for many more years.

  • Sandra Wilson


    On wordpress goldmine, there has been similar discussion about not finding links from the blog or directory networks.

    One thing that could help is this tool, http://indexingtool.com/, which comes with the bonus plugin, Trackback Feed. If you read the salespage, it will give you some idea as to how they can be used together to work on this problem, especially down in the part where it discusses the bonus plugin.

    I’m sure Peter or Paul would love to answer any questions you may have.

    Hope that helps some.

  • Leo

    A couple of questions, Andy. First, I checked out SEO Spyglass and looks like it’s getting backlink info from Yahoo site explorer. Is this correct? Many of backlinks never show up at Yahoo site explorer. For example, I have submitted over 200 articles to GoArticles and I have never ever had ANY backlinks from GoArticles appeared on Yahoo site explorer. This bring up my 2nd question. Are those links from GoArticles, just like those 280 of yours from SEOLinkvine, worthless?

    Thank you.

    • Andy

      The free version just uses Yahoo. The paid version uses a LOT of other sources and seems to be the best tool at finding links that I have found. e.g. I have one site that Yahoo says has 4 links, but SEO Spyglass has found closer to 30.

  • Miles

    I knew seo linkvine would be a waste of time. It is actually a copy of ezarticle link which went live long before seo linkvine. The reason I dropped out of ezarticle link is because my sites started ranking for the articles on non related subject matter that were being posted to my domain. I finally deleted all the files off my domain and got things back to normalcy. I definitely learned a lesson. I also did not notice all the links pointing back from my articles that were being published either. The whole idea is just a way to suck in noobies and make some mula in my opinion.

    Have an Awesome Day!

  • andy, SEO Company

    hi andy,

    i really enjoyed the high PR video, your teachings are awesome, and at the sametime, what’s happening out there is rather scary!

    Anyway, while $200 for PR4/5 seems too cheap, what in your experience is the typical market price?

    Also, do you have recommendations of where i could go for competitively priced and yet reputable portals? thus far, most of the folks are pointing to DP forum.


    • Andy

      The one that I am using is called Register Compass. You still have to do your due diligence, but they are well known and their filtering capabilities is excellent.

  • Barton

    Hi Andy,

    This was a great newsletter for me. I just purchased an expired domain that I took at face value what the back links were and what the page rank were – well, I did do a little research but I wasn’t really sure how to. I know own the domain and with your guidance here I was able to confirm that it’s good to go and everything worked out. Beginners luck for me this time! Also I was reading up on SeoLinkVine and considering it since I got an email that it was open again…I appreciate your review.

    Ok – time to get back to your WordPress Affiliate Site tutorial so I can get the site up.

    Thanks again,


  • Owen

    Thanks for your honest opinion on SEOLV. I agree with Donna White. Receiving articles and the ability to accept or reject the articles in the free version is great.

    As always, looking forward to your next newsletter.

  • Carlos

    Hi Dr. Andy,

    Congrats on your iPad.

    What apps help in Internet Marketing?

    In general, how can we use the iPad to make money?


  • Smoking Dragon Tamer Art

    Hi Andy,

    Long time reader of your newsletter, and I look forward to every issue. This one however, really requires my thank you more than any other.

    Why? Because I have been seriously considering purchasing a couple of high PR domains and no doubt would have made some serious blunders if not for your guidance. Once again thank you very much for the article, video and the lead on SeoSpyGlass.

    Would also just like to comment on Seo Link Vine. I had already made the decision not to purchase it even before reading your review. I just had a gut feeling that it would be a waste of money and time. Your review verified what I feared about the product.

    Great issue!

  • Evan Davis


    Hi. Thank you for your comments on SEO Linkvine. I am currently a member but am on the fence deciding whether to drop it or not while I am still in the 60 day trial period. I started out on 4/28, submitted 5 articles, and currently have 121 approvals and 153 submissions. I’m disturbed by the incredibly slow submission process as well as the apparent fact that only a few, as in three or four, back links appear to be showing up. Management attributes this to launch and start-up “pains.” I honestly don’t think that Brad Callen is trying to sucker people in to a bad membership, but I’m troubled by the initial poor showing of the product. Right now, I’m trying to decide if I want to gamble that the problems will be resolved and remain a member, or to pull the plug. Anyway, I appreciate your clear thoughts and perspective on the issue.

  • Chester8111

    Thank you Andy for the “heads up” on SEO Link vine. I have limited funds and do no want to waste any on a product that will not deliver the type of links that will help my Search Engine rankings.

    It is tips like this that makes your newsletter so valuable.

  • Andii

    Just out of curiosity Andy, I was wondering if checking the WHOIS data when buying High PR Domains should be a factor? You may have mentioned this already and perhaps i missed it in the vid, but if the WHOIS data is concealed, then would that not raise another potential red flag? After all, if the seller isn’t a scammer, then surely he or she have no issues with buyers seeing their direct contact details.

    It’s just a thought and might be a good idea to check it out too, along with your other suggestions. I’m not saying that by protecting contact/owner details means someone is up to no good, far from it, but if other potential red flags are raised, then hidden WHOIS data might also help to make a better informed decision.

    Great info and SW by the way, and well worth keeping ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Andy

      A lot of people hide their details, and I cannot say I blame them. Personally I would not reject a site because of hidden WHOIS data if it checked out otherwise. Besides, as I said, I would recommend you buy from a reputable place as well. My choice is Register Compass, but I am sure there are others out there.

  • June - Information Marketing

    First, just want you to know that I love getting your emails as they are always so informative. You teach many things that could take months to learn on ones own. Second, thank you in advance for SEO Website Builder. I am needing a new HTML editor, and this will be the much needed answer.

    Thirdly, SEO Vine didn’t ring true to me from the get go, so did not order it, but am happy to hear your results are just what I thought they would be. There is something, however, that I have always wondered, when it comes to backlinks, that I hope you can clarify for all of us. It has been my understanding, that building backlinks must appear to Google as a natural process and if hundreds of links are all of a sudden showing up connecting to your site, it is not a good thing in Googles “eyes”.

    If this is indeed the case, then wouldn’t it make sense to avoid paying for software or sites that claim to get you hundreds of backlinks, or am I missing something here?

    • Andy

      June, it depends on how fast you get the links you are “Buying”. I personally like to get links slowly in the beginning. Once you have 100 or so links to your site (from various IP addresses), you can ramp it up a bit and it then looks more natural to Google because the site is already established and has some authority from the initial slow link building at the beginning.

  • Andii

    Hi Andy

    I’ve never had anything to do with Apple, but this past year I’ve been looking for a reader, and there’s been some pretty snazzy jobs around that are as thin as a piece of card and flexible too. Sadly, these types are a bit pricey at the moment plus they’re not available where I live yet ๐Ÿ™

    Anyway Dr Andy, your post caught my eye and I so I decided to go to the official Apple site and watch the video presentations. All I can say is Wow! That’s one piece of impressive kit, and more than just a reader.

    It’s almost a computer, but will probably be classed as a peripheral due to certain limitations. I wonder how long it will be until we can really have a computer this thin and this portable? I could think of nothing more appealing that having something like this to work with MS Office docs, build my websites, FTP files, and all the other daily goings on that a web publisher such as myself needs a computer for. It would need a little easel type stand of course, but then again it probably already has this option.

    I was just wondering if it gets hot like a notebook? I’m sitting in my living room right now with notebook on the lap as I type this comment, and it’s almost melting the skin my thighs ha ha lol ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Anyway, I shall keep my eye on products such as these in the future. The thought of having a real ‘all-in-on’ device that is big enough to practically work on, yet small and thin enough to take anywhere, is very appealing.

    Thanks for bringing my attention to this product Doc ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • Andy

      Mine does not get hot at all. I sit there reading (and playing) for hours and it gets a little warm, that’s all. It really is fantastic, though wont replace my PC (or Mac) any time soon.. Then again, maybe it will knowing how fast these types of products develop.

      • Andii

        Hi Dr Andy

        It would be a dream come true if a device like this could replace a PC or Mac. Although i would like to see it a little bigger, say A4 size perghaps, but then again, it’s probably not far off that already (I’ve yet to see and hold one myself).

        A wireless type keyboard might be nice too. I have a touch screen Smartphone, but for me personally i like to feel the keys when i type, but i guess that’s just my age ha ha lol ๐Ÿ˜‰

        On that note, my mobile screen got a lot of surface scratches pretty quickly, and although these are not noticeable when the display is on, it’s still an unwelcome aspect of touch screen technology in as much as no one wants to see a new car covered in surface scratches either.

        Perhaps the day when a material is invented that makes these touch-screens impossible to scratch is also not too far off!



        • Steve Wyman

          Hi Andii and Andy ๐Ÿ™‚

          For the ipad there is a keyboard dock ! heres the URL to the USA store site

          However I think the iPad is best used as a device to CONSUME data and information through rather than to INPUT data. Id use a PC or notebook for example if im writing artciles and building sites etc. But the ipad is perfect for reading sites pdf’s books etc. You can ofcourse use the on screen keyboard but thats not its great strength.

          I use 37signal software such as backpackit.com and the ipad is perfect with this type of app.

          Also i use dropbox.com to store all my docs you get 2GB for FREE and its perfect with PDF’s no need to do any conversion. works like a dream. I have my iphone sync’d with it and can read the PDF’s in their original format no work involved at all. Ok you have to be connect to WIFI. but heck.

          With the ipad this seems like a good solution. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pdf-reader-pro-edition-for/id364502063?mt=8 again baer in mind with drop box you can sync the ipad to the dropbox folder which is supper cool.

          Also if you invite your friends to try dropbox you get and extra .25gb for free when they INSTALL dropbox.

          Steve Wyman

  • Smoking Dragon Tamer Art

    Wow. There must be a glitch or something on your comments board. Someone by the name of Amy, copied my comment word for word and posted it as her own ๐Ÿ™

    Anyway, I still love your newsletter and look forward to your next one as well.