Huge Keyword Research Resource

In doing some research for another post I came across a huge resource for keyword terms for your Adwords and other PPC campaigns and for content pages. Believe it or not, it comes from Mahalo.com. It was bound to happen, I’ve finally found a use for Jason Calacanis’ search-engine-thingy-whatever-you-want-to-call-it.

It’s actually the category section of Mahalo and it is extremely useful. On this page you’ll find every category listed in Mahalo and then those categories go to their specific category page listing even more keywords linking to their individual page on Mahalo. It’s awesome because categories are listed in keyword fashion such as in the toys category. When you click over there you’ll get a list of all the most popular toy search terms for the last few years. And it gets even better because the words a listed in a way that you can just put your cursor over them and then click and scroll to copy whatever words you want in the list.

With Christmas coming up you could use the toys category to do keyword research for promotions for the buying frenzy during holiday time to figure out what parents will be spending their money on for kiddies. Want a list of popular toys that won toy of the year awards, go here.  Want to make a buck off of the Hannah-Montana-I-can’t-even-go-into-Wal-Mart-without-seeing-her-freekin-picture-EVERYWHERE insanity, checkout the Hannah Montana category.

Some categories are a bit sparse such as the vintage cars category (great for maybe doing ppc for vintage car parts) and other categories are overflowing with every keyword and subject you may have forgotten about such as the Xbox 360 games category. This one has thousands of keywords. I’m sure you could find something to do with all those words.

Some of the categories are listed in a way that you can just copy and paste your keywords into Adwords campaigns (I’d still divide them up into small adgroups by hand or with a keyword tool such as in PPC Coach) or you can just check them out to get some great ideas for further keyword research.

Check out the Mahalo category page and find a ton of great keywords to ramp up your ppc efforts.

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Harsh Reality 1 – Ranking For Keywords That Get Zero Traffic Means Nothing

Tuna FrappuccinoSome time from minutes to hours after this post goes live, it will rank number one in Google for tuna frappuccino. While some may get excited about that, it means nothing, because the last time I checked, not a single person was searching for one of these tasty delights. And to my knowledge, Starbucks isn’t serving them yet either.

Depending on how much time you as an affiliate may waste trying to get your domain name or some clever phrase you’ve thought of, to get that high ranking in Google, it can either be a minor distraction or a huge mistake. You may be proud of the fact that you own the number one spot in Google for your name or some obscure phrase, but the harsh reality is that you’re the only one searching for that specific term and it is bringing you exactly zero traffic.

You’d think this would be a no brainer, but it isn’t. Someone might go to Google and think that ranking number one for tuna frappuccino out of more than 39,000 results is something special. It isn’t. There aren’t 39,000 results for the phrase “tuna frappuccino”, there are 39,000 results for pages that have the word tuna and the word frappuccino somewhere on that page but there are zero pages that have those two words together, that is until now.

Reading the little results bar at the top right on Google search results pages can be a quite misleading about your keyword competition. Some of this misconception probably comes from ebook pimps promoting their skills by showing those misleading results on those insanely long sales pages. They will tell you, and even show you, how if you buy their ebook you can rank for lots of obscure phrases as well. You then spend the money and start ranking for obscure phrases that bring you zero traffic, and find you still don’t rank for phrases that do bring traffic.

To get accurate competition results on a keyword phrase, you need to be looking for the pages where your phrase is in the exact order of a keyword that is actually worth promoting. To find your true competition, place quotes around the phase and then look at the results. For example, let’s take the phrase make super big money. Wow, there’s over 2 million results for that phrase! No, there are 2 million pages with some combination of those words on them. Some page may be a blog where a guy is happy about his wife making pizza for dinner and writes, “Super, my wife is going to make a big pizza for dinner. I hope I have enough money in my wallet to go to the store and get mushrooms, otherwise I’ll have to use the credit card.” That’s not really about making money.

When you put the phrase “make super big money” in quotes, the results come out a little different. There are only 4 pages with that exact phrase on them (but now probably 5 with this post) and most importantly, no one is searching for that term.

If you’re overly excited one day to find your name or an obscure term on your web site ranks number 1 in Google, head over to either the Free Keyword Suggestion tool at WordTracker or the Free Search Term Suggestion Tool at KeywordDiscovery and see how many people are actually searching for that term as reality sinks in a bit.

Maybe you can head over to Starbucks now and drown your sorrows in a nice tuna frappuccino. Did you want whip cream on that?

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Google Search Traffic, Finally

Well, it finally looks like the Google mothership is going to be sending this blog some search traffic. Most of the traffic to Affiliate Confession has been through comments on other blogs, links from other blogs, a paid review, Entrecard, rss readers clicking over to the blog, direct type in traffic and a few other sources. Yesterday however, saw a significant increase in organic Google search traffic.

Now, it’s not a ton of new visitors, but it is significant because the percentage of traffic I got from Google yesterday and apparently so far today has gone from about 8% to 15% of total traffic. Affiliate Confession has been averaging around 20 people a day from Google and did have a previous high of 29 a little more than a week ago, but yesterday this blog received 40 visitors from Google search as you can see below. It’s good to finally see an upward trend.

Traffic from Google Feb 5th through March 6th:

Google Search Traffic

What’s the difference? I don’t know if can tell exactly why I’m getting more traffic other than the fact that the blog is now in its 5th month of existence and I also installed the wpSEO plug-in at the prompting of John Pratt. What the plug-on does is give your posts meta tag information, especially keywords and the more important meta tag description. I didn’t know it, but my blog didn’t have keywords or a description in the header. I’m usually pretty much on top of things like that, but with getting the new theme up and looking correctly and other things going on in life, somehow it just fell through the cracks. Thanks goes out to John for pointing that out to me.

I’m hoping this traffic source continues and increases, but I wish I could find out why it just started to increase. The best reason I can narrow it down to though, is those 2 factors of the age of the blog and the new wpSEO plugin. It could also have something to do with the number of links coming in on a regular basis, but I managed to get a lot of links right away, so again, it’s kind of up in the air as to what the deal is.

This new traffic will bring a little bit different kind of reader to Affiliate Confession and it will be interesting to see how they react to the content here in the form of leaving comments, asking question and reacting to advertising. There have been mostly bloggers coming to this blog because of the traffic sources, and now there will be more people doing actual searches for the information posted here. I’ll be curious to see the results.

I’ll always take more traffic than less, so Google can send me as much as they like.


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Build A BANS Spam Site And They Will Not Come

After my post yesterday about version 3 of Build A Niche Store being in beta and how there will be some significant SEO benefits to v3.0, I received a good comment on a topic that needs to be addressed concerning how you build a BANS store and how they will appear to search engines.

Jean from Popular Wealth said:

Any SEO benefits from any improvements will be wiped out 12 minutes after the launch. Bans sites are insta spam any way you use them and no widely used automated site can escape that fact.

Unless! unless you actually write solid reviews and quality articles. I’ve read about 100 bans reviews today, all pushing insta eBay sites to make you rich, eBay will eventually ban this practice…Write good content!

While I don’t agree with Jean’s assessment that BANS sites are insta spam and that the SEO benefits of version 3 will be wiped out 12 minutes after launch, I do agree that Build A Niche Store could be used in a spammy way. In fact, there are several BANS stores that I have come across lately that could fit the profile of a spammy site, but saying that BANS sites in general are insta spam is like saying Blogger or WordPress is insta spam.

If you haven’t noticed, there are tons of WordPress sites with the default template that are either nothing but nonsense content edited by hand on a daily basis or they are content scraping sites. That doesn’t mean Google is going to ban WordPress blogs from their index or eBay is going to ban WordPress blogs from displaying auctions. In both cases, sites or users will be banned by eBay or Google on an individual basis.

However, if you think you are going to get rich by putting up a BANS store or two or three and in a cookie cutter fashion, you have another thing coming, and it won’t be visitors to your site. BANS should not be used to display only eBay auctions and I would never recommend anyone do that. I can’t tell you how many sites I’ve visited from the Build A Niche Store forums that use a standard template with no tweaks, have no content, no H1 tags, no product descriptions that are nothing but links to eBay. And the people who have built these stores don’t have the slightest idea why they can’t get their sites indexed and why they have no visitors.

BANS is only a tool as is WordPress, Blogger, Joomla and other content management systems. Notice those tools are content management systems and Build A Niche Store can be used in the exact same way. You can build as much content into your store as you want or feel is necessary. I would never put up a site that was full of nothing but affiliate links and expect it to do well. Being a successful affiliate just doesn’t work like that.

The most successful BANS stores are ones that are well designed and pleasing to the eye, give their visitors lots of information about the subject they are representing, title, H1 tag and describe the products listed on each page and possibly let the potential customer know something they didn’t already know about the products that interest them.

If you want to build a successful BANS store, you would be wise to do the same.

Find out more about Build A Niche Store. Hey, that rhymes!


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Is EntreCard Traffic Good Traffic?

There has been a lot of discussion around the blogosphere in the last few days as to whether EntreCard is producing good traffic for bloggers. Many are suggesting that the traffic this new network is bringing is low quality traffic. The reason behind that is because EntreCard networkers are gaining points for visiting blogs and dropping off their e-business cards.

Entre Card Traffic For 12-05 thru 12-12

EntreCard Traffic

I tend to disagree with that thinking because of what Google Analytics is telling me. In the last 7 days as you can see, EntreCard has brought me nearly 25 visitors a day and each visitor has averaged almost 3 pages per visit. My search engine traffic from Google, although it is small since this is a relatively new blog, is actually less quality that that from EntreCard. Organic Google traffic is bringing me visitors who view 2.52 pages each and EntreCard visitors view 2.62 pages each.

So I checked my vacation site that gets more traffic and found that Google was bringing it visitors that viewed a much lower 2.13 pages each. Now, lets think about this. People are finding a vacation site with very specific search terms and viewing only 2.13 page each. Compared that to what some would say is low quality traffic because there is an incentive to visit, yet that traffic is viewing more pages on my blog than supposed quality Google traffic.

At this point I think it looks like EntreCard is producing quality traffic. Yes, I am visiting some blogs just to rack up a few extra points so as to buy advertising on a few top blogs, but more that 50% of the blogs visited turn out to have very interesting information that I stop and read. If you use EntreCard to visit blogs related to your area of interest, you will be amazed at what you discover.

EntreCard is looking like a winner to me.


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