Google’s Back Breaking Straw Is Out There Somewhere

The Butterfly EffectI know it exists somewhere. That small, yet butterfly effect straw, placed on the unsuspecting camel’s back inviting closer scrutiny, congressional hearings, government intervention or a huge class action into the affairs of the mothership Google, is out there. All the little flags keep popping up, one more business ruined, many more cases of click fraud, one more tweak in the algorithm that damages commerce, one last utter absurdity that drives someone important to the brink of insanity.

Or maybe it will be the one hack or mistake that releases too much personal data or one sensitive government database indexed and opened to the public in an attempt to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” and the tool we use every day to find information in this vast library known as the internet will get the colonoscopy they deserve.

If I weren’t so anti-government, and the US government weren’t so inept at what they do, I’d be championing the cause. Why? Because Google is an unyielding monolith that exists only to organize that which has already been created and is working as diligently as possible to mold the world’s information and our access to it as they see fit.

If you think the notion of a Supreme Star Chamber of 9 black robed men and women deciding law for an entire nation seems absurd, what must you think of a single company that controls nearly 50% of what the entire world searches for online and the order in which they are able to find it? And what must you think of that same company who takes in 25% of all advertising revenue spent online, yet doesn’t have to clearly define what they actually expect of their advertisers? What must your average legislation writing bureaucrat think of it?

If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m on a rant. Another run in with the absurdity that is Google Adwords is the cause. I often wonder why I continue to even try to to business with a lifeless algorithm and equally lifeless canned responses to email inquiries once I actually make contact with a real human. Oh, that’s right, I do business with them because they’re virtually the only business in town.

The latest judgment by the almighty algorithm came as I was attempting to set up a PPC campaign in two different Ad Groups, bidding on nearly identical keywords, sending traffic to the exact same landing page in both Ad Groups. Not similar pages, the same page, with the same url. The only difference was the tracking sub-id so I can tell which keyword is converting. Both groups ran for 5 minutes and I get an email alert from Adwords telling me my landing page url is wrong in the second Ad Group. No, it’s not wrong, how could it be, it’s the same url? Please, I’m losing my mind, can I get a human being to look at this.

So in an attempt to humor the lifeless entity disapproving of my advertising, I switched the .us ending of the url to a .com and get another 5 minutes to run my ads until they’re again switched off for the same reason. I then switch back the url to the correct .us suffix thinking that maybe a human will take a look at it this time and only end up getting another 5 minutes of ad time before the email once again lets me know of the supposed url error. At this point I’m livid enough to start swearing, drinking and writing bad checks and have to walk away from my desk before I end up on YouTube in the next computer and office destroying video frenzy.

I find it beyond amazing that it takes only 10 minutes to disapprove my ads twice with the effect of shutting down half of my advertising, but it takes 3 days to answer an email inquiring into what is an obvious error. Of course there will be no easy resolution as the first email I see hopefully from Adwords tomorrow will be the usual nonsense response that won’t even deal with the issue and instead will be a rehash of some policy found buried deep in the bowels of Google’s Adwords help files.

After 3 or 4 emails traded between myself and the helpmeister from somewhere near the molten core of our planet I’ll probably just decide that’s it’s better to do my own landing page and be done with the whole thing. Or maybe I’ll just spend my money at Yahoo instead.

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Is Operator Error Plaguing Your Affiliate Marketing Efforts?

Operator Error?Sometimes it’s better to look at your affiliate marketing efforts in more general than specific terms. If you are consistently finding that what you are doing isn’t working and you aren’t making any money, maybe operator error is the problem.

When I worked as a graphic artist I was pretty well versed in the workings of PhotoShop and Illustrator and it was amazing the things that people in our office consistently had trouble with when using these two applications. I can’t tell you how many times I’d hear the usual groan from another cubicle, signaling someone was stuck in an infinite PhotoShop loop they couldn’t get out of, and I’d walk over, look at their screen for 5 seconds and press Ctrl>{insert appropriate keystroke}, or say, “You’re on the wrong layer” and all would be well again.

Any chance that may be the issue with the latest Adsense optimization problem you’re trying to figure out, or why your site is nearly identical in content and look (without duplicating) than the site that’s on page one of Google for that money making keyword and yours is lost on page 11, or why you end up consistently getting banned from one affiliate network after another? I read in the comments section of a very popular blog a month or so back about someone who was making $50 a day from Adsense by asking all his friends to click on his ads. He had no idea why he eventually got banned because he didn’t think he had done anything wrong!

On a fairly regular basis I get people who want me to look at their Build A Niche Store eBay affiliate sites and want me to help them figure out why they aren’t getting any traffic, don’t have rankings and aren’t making any sales. Instead of answering that question directly and pointing out the obvious reasons it’s not happening for them, from now on I think my standard answer for 90% of those inquiries is going to be, “Would you shop at your own store?” I’ve run across hundreds of these BANS stores that have zero content (no product descriptions) and just think, ‘There’s another store not making any money.’

Sometimes it’s a simple as something I tell my wife to do when she can’t figure out what’s going on with her laptop. “Just reboot” is becoming a mantra in our house when we’re stuck on a problem we can’t seem to solve. Instead of reacting and hammering away at the same thing that isn’t going to solve the issue, sometimes it’s just better to reboot and take a fresh look at what’s going on.

Reacting to operator error just exacerbates the problem, try observing instead.

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Working At Home Is Wonderful

This is going to be kind of a short post today mainly because I’ve been feeling kind of gnarly for the last couple of days and I’m going to spend the rest of the day sitting on the couch with my MacAir laptop reading some blogs and listening to Frank Sinatra’s Nothing But The Best and some Fleetwod Mac songs I’m going to go get from iTunes in about 5 minutes. This is one of the nice benefits of working at home.

I’d much rather be a bit more active today and go through our regular shopping routine with my wife, but that’s the commitment I have to break today, not one where I have to phone the boss early in the morning and cough or sneeze over the phone to let them know I really don’t feel well. This is another nice benefit of working for yourself, not only can you sit around and do nothing all day (which I don’t recommend very often), you don’t have to grovel to a manager and ask for time off or go in sick and pass around your germs to everyone else at the office because you feel like you just have to be there.

If you want to work at home, something I do highly recommend, you may not need as much income as you think. It’s all in the way you look at wealth, what your priorities are and how you spend your money.

Working at home is wonderful, my wife is much more understanding than any boss I ever had.

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The Character Building Qualities Of Launching Your Own Internet Business

This is a guest post from Richard Adams at No More Compromise

Starting your own Internet business isn’t just necessarily good for your wallet – it can also be an experience in personal development of the best possible kind in which you develop new or existing qualities.

Here are just a small sample of the character-building benefits you may experience as a result of starting your own business…

1) Resilience

More often than not it will take weeks if not months for a new Internet entrepreneur to start earning money online. *Significant* figures can take even longer so one’s ability to stick it out and to refuse to give up despite the lack of results is a real test of whether you are likely to succeed. As Thomas Edison said “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up”.

2) Self Confidence

You’ll only manage to keep chipping away at building your business for so long unless you have real confidence in your own abilities to succeed online and the fire to make it happen.

3) Discipline

This is where a lot of people come unstuck. They’re passionate and confident, but when it comes down to it, they can’t actually motivate themselves to do what they know they need to do. It’s just too much hassle. It’s easier just to make a weak excuse and flip the TV on.

Successful entrepreneurs are different. They *make* themselves work. The *find* ways to motivate themselves. And they’re proactive at getting things done and seeing the results.

4) Willingness To Listen

Advice, both from other experienced marketers on what they think you should be doing, and from customers on what they’d like to see from you, provide real direction for your business if you’re willing to keep your eyes and ears open. This sort of feedback and constructive criticism can make a huge difference to your bottom line.

5) Strong Work Ethic

Very few people become successful in any area of life without significant hard work before they got there. So get used to it, and get on with it. There’s no way round it.

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Jay From DatMoney.com Wins Market Leverage, Vat19 Blog Contest

Congratulations goes out to Jay from DatMoney.com who is the winner of the big Market Leverage, Vat19.com blog contest with over $500 in prizes.

I’ve emailed Jay letting him know he’s the winner and all he has to do now is email me back with his address and all the prizes will be on their way. Jay scored some pretty cool prizes in the contest which included:

Nintendo DS Lite with 2 games
AffiliateConfession.com T-Shirt
Flip Mino video camera
iPod Nano
$50 Market Leverage Rewards Card
USB Missile Launcher
Banana Bunker (protect your bananas)
Ambient Water DVD Video (very low maintenance aquarium)

I want to thank Stefanie for offering the great, and interesting, prizes from Vat19.com. If you can’t find the right gift for someone, you really should go check out the curiously awesome products Vat19.com has. If you think The Sharper Image catalog was cool, wait till you see what they have. They’ve taken fun to a new level.

And I also want to thank Debby and Dina from Market Leverage for going above and beyond the call of duty and adding to the initial prizes they were offering. That’s just the way Market Leverage operates and if you are looking to add some great offers to your affiliate marketing line up, go see what you can find.

Thanks also to everyone who entered the contest as well. If you didn’t win this time, there will be more blog contests in the future, so stay tuned.

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