Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2005

Review of the Year (part 2)

August - in parallel with the completion and launch of the Multi-track store we went back to Wordtracker to look for more key word opportunities.

But the key move of the month was our adoption of Hitslink which has helped us see much more precisely what our visitors are doing on the site and where they have come from. There were some shocks when we realized just how much of the traffic we have comes from robots. It looks as if the big ones visit every day.

September saw the launch of some new pages prompted by the Wordtracker work and the iPod/iTunes pages are now after four months generating a lot of visitors. This month we also worked on the Ringtone collection and got it launched at the end of the month. Results have been pretty depressing really despite having reasonable positions on Google for keywords like 'classic MP3 ringtone' , the interest we saw in our samples earlier in the year and the growth of Mobile phones with MP3 playing capacity.

Through the months of October a…

Review of the Year (part 1)

We started the year with a partial list of composers and we used the blog to promote the individual composers and their pieces.

In February we started Podcasting and in March we announced that a complete collection had been published. In April the realization dawned that people were collecting our clips - particularly those which had been podcast and we engineered a substantial change to the site. We bought a Flash application to enable us to stream samples without revealing the samples URL - this doesn't stop those determined to record the streaming sample while it is being played but it does stop the easy rip offs and the volume of sample downloads reduced quite significantly. This change also resulted in nearly 200 new pages being added one day which had very similar content.

Over the subsequent months those files have progressively been differentiated from each other as we have experimented to try and find the optimum phrasing and presentation to encourage purchase from those pa…

Welcome to the new iPod owners

The most dramatic change in our search results since Christmas has been the number of visitors arriving at our iPod/iTunes pages - presumably people who got them as presents and were looking for advice. Unfortunately the changes we made to the pages have achieved only very modest success in luring these visitors into the rest of the site. However adding the automatic music has had some impact in the number of page reloads is anything to go by. Perhaps a little more explanation would be helpful.

Overall activity has been a little lower than usual. There is evidently some activity in the Google indexing system and we have experienced some ups and downs. Rankpulse suggests a modest upturn of this activity as does the MacDar data center analysis. The consensus on the SEO chatter seems to be that it is no biggy - maybe just a little post holidays bunching.

Seasonal Response

This was an interesting experiment and I suppose it is a little early to judge yet but on the basis of the first 24 hours we are wasting our time offering free gifts.

The only evidence of our lastminute shopping article to be found was using exact search for a five word phrase and that was still on the submission site. More keyword competition research needed if we were to try that again.

On the other hand our changes to the iPod/iTunes pages that launch music sample players have already had a noticeable impact with more visitors going on to explore other pages on the site. It is also possible that there is a different reaction to the two samples chose so there is some scope for further experimentation and development there.

Have a very Merry Christmas - review of the year next week.

Shopping Online – Protect Yourself

This article seemed very relevant to our last minute shopping theme:

Shopping Online - – Protect Yourself

These days, there are great bargains to be found by shopping
online. Many items that previously were only available in
stores are now being bought and sold online every day. Books,
CD's, DVD's and electronics are all growing in popularity as
online purchases. Then there are things like flights, hotel
bookings, car rentals and the like that are which are well
established in the online shopping world. More and more stores
are putting up websites that allow you to make online orders
and even supermarkets now let you do your grocery shopping
online and they'’ll deliver the goods to your door.

Added to this growth in stores and other big business websites,
there are also millions of small traders offering you goods
online too. Online auction sites such as ebay are experiencing
phenomenal success. These types of purchases however carry the
risk that you do not really know who you are deali…

Timing is Everything

Looking back at our first two article submissions we may have left yesterday's too late - I hadn't noticed the lag because the stats presentation is remarkably positive. We could miss the boat altogether with this one.

Some SEO chat suggests that Google may already be on to this approach and there could even be problems with duplicate copy so we shall not be going overboard on this one. The duplicate copy concern also attaches to press releases and cloned directory entries so I don't think that should be too much of an issue.

Speaking of timing I have also picked on a site called rankpulse.com which claims to keep the pulse of Google rankings by monitoring positions in the top ten for 1000 top key words it monitored the volume of change each day. It seems to run at about 2% per day with a couple of one day spikes of up to 10% during the course of the last year - those spikes don't very obviously coincide with Jagger's various phases but we know that Google release…

Last Minute Christmas Shopping Online

After those final delivery deadlines have passed and even after the shops have closed, Online stores that fulfil through downloads are still available.

These stores can give a whole new meaning to last minute Christmas shopping.

The goods available as downloads these days include a whole range of material, from software including games through movies and e-books to the ever popular music options and services including airline and cinema tickets, holiday vouchers, mobile phone airtime and ring tones.

In some ways there is nothing new about the principal of last minute shopping on line. Here in the UK a videotex system called Prestel introduced e-mail in 1981 and shortly there after online purchase and down load of software was introduced. (In those days before bloatware I could access an e-mail system using a 20 line Basic programme so the software downloads were tiny by today's standards.) That was handy because Prestel used very, very, very slow modems and clunky graphics but it was…

Is Google Analytics Good For The Internet Marketing Industry?

I have included this rather thoughtful article despite enjoying mixed feelings about the lack of user support from Google - see Catch 22 last week. We were not quick enough to actually get on the first wave of Analytics provision and so we are sitting in a queue with only a modest expectation that Google will respond when it becomes available again. However the opportunity to replace our paid for service with a 'free' one is of great interest:

Is Google Analytics Good For The Internet Marketing Industry?

First they gave us a good search engine. Then they gave us two gigabytes of free server space for email. Now they have given us a high quality web analytics system, for free. Let me just repeat that. They have given us a web analytics system FOR FREE. So whatÂ’s this system like? What are its features and how do I see it affecting the web analytics marketplace? This article explains all.

The Web Analytics Marketplace

For a long time now the market has been split into the companies…

Catch 22

And yes what a wonderful novel that was.

We appear to be caught in a Google's Groups Catch 22. I our first flush of enthusiasm over article publication we applied to join 26 Google groups but before the confirmation emails came in we thought better of it and didn't confirm our requests. Nevertheless we started to get multiple copies of emailed articles addressed to the group but because we never joined we can't get back in to the system to change the parameters to avoid the emails or un-subscribe.

Here's hoping that this is just a little undocumented feature of the beta software that Google are using and that they will respond sympathetically to my request to extract me from this mess. In the mean time a new rule in Outlook will dump all these messages into the spam bucket at the current rate of about a thousand a day.

Later that day:Google thanked me for my bug report and said that they couldn't respond to individual queries - so much for user support!

Have a great w…

Were we in the Google Sandbox?

Found a really interesting article today describing the current best understanding of the infamous Google 'Sandbox' effect.

While we have mainly stuck to 'trustworthy' directories we have succumbed to a couple of reciprocal link proposals that looked pretty innocuous but we also added large numbers of pages with the MP3 ringtones launch.

But looking at the chronology - we were doing less well on competitive keywords such as [composer MP3] on Google than we were on MSN and particularly Yahoo during most of this year. But our escape from the sandbox if that is what it was came during Jagger when we put some effort in to making our product pages more distinctive from each other and emailed Google about them.

So case not proven but strong hints to avoid confusing Google in future. I think that means continuing to avoid irrelevant back links and care over any reciprocal linking and making any sudden moves. Hopefully the article publication route with it's content emphasis …

Nine Proven Techniques To Stay Motivated Whilst Building Your Internet Business

We have been running for over a year now and visitor numbers are well up to expectations, the sample and product download bandwidth are running at close to the capacity of our current ISP package but we are still some way from financial viability so this article seemed particularly relevant to our situation:

Nine Proven Techniques To Stay Motivated Whilst Building Your Internet Business

It's a fact of life - sooner or later your motivation to
continue building your Internet business may start to drop.
Yet if you want to build the best possible business you
can't afford to let this self- destructive tendency get in
your way.

Here then is my own hotlist of methods that keep me
constantly moving in the right direction...

1) Monthly Subscriptions

There are a number of high quality membership websites
available which have the real strength of updating you
every month with new information. If you're like me it will
set your imagination going and give you a kick up the pants
to get going again…

Music for the Christmas Holidays

In our multi-cultural societies today the run up to Christmas is experienced in many different ways. The commercial version pioneered by Coca Cola's magazine advertisements which established the red suited Santa Claus image, washes over us all through the TV advertisements and the decorations in the High Streets and shopping Malls. They built on and reinforced the Victorian version of Christmas celebrations which was dramatized by Charles Dickens in 'A Christmas Carol' which consolidated many of the associated food and garland rituals in the public imagination - and helped Coca Cola promote their winter beverage sales. Much of this is accompanied by 'seasonal' music in the form of carols and hymns - often coral arrangements but sometimes instrumental - especially brass bands and the dreaded sentimental Christmas pop songs.

Music is often a subtle way of getting under the radar and evoking emotional responses from our subconscious. The commercial focus on Christmas s…

Opened a new vein of Spam

Away for the weekend and returned to 1300 massages in the inbox. Some are article submissions but the new feature are the junk advertising and 'get rich quick' scams - we obviously made ourselves targets for this by raising our heads above the article publication parapet - so if you are thinking along similar lines to us, it will be worth your while setting up a separate email address so that you can segregate the rubbish.

Having started however now seems like a good time to try a seasonal music piece so we'll have a go at developing that today and get it out.

We are still blind on the pages we updated last week despite trying several experiments - there must be some code on those pages which is interfering with JavaScript but We haven't managed to find it yet. We also noticed some browser specific issues with the IE on this PC which succeeded in registering hits a few times while none of our others would - so a fairly subtle interaction then - joy of joys.

Music for the Christmas Holidays

As the Christmas holidays approach we have seen definite changes in the patterns of interest in our music collection.

The most obvious benefactor is Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite with the Sugar Plum Fairy much in evidence.

Debussy's Children's Corner with it's 'The Snow is Dancing' is another favorite and forms the backbone of our Children's Classics Collection which includes several of our shorter and lower priced recordings.

Recordings like these are an ideal way to personalize those iPod or MP3 player gifts for a few dollars more - perhaps introducing children to the classics in an accessible, amusing and memorable way.

Google update

Here is a really comprehensive view of recent Google events:


Jagger, Google Analytics, and the Future of Search & SEO

By Glenn Murray | SEO Copywriter & Article PR specialist *

Two big things have just happened in Google-land: Jagger and
Google Analytics. Together, these two events may have
changed the face of search forever.

JAGGER

First, let's discuss Jagger... Just like hurricanes, Google
updates have names. (A Google update is a change to the way
Google determines its rankings. Google makes these changes
periodically, and they're universally feared because they
can impact dramatically on a website's ranking.) The latest
update is called Jagger, and it has search engine optimizers
(SEOs) all around the world in a state of panic.

Why was Jagger such a fearful update? Simple... With Jagger,
Google once again outsmarted huge numbers of SEOs. You see,
many/most SEOs spend their time (and their clients' money)
trying to trick Google into thinking that their websites are
more relev…

2 Blog or not 2 Blog

In the spirit of cooperation with other authors and just to show that I don't just delete all those emails offering articles except the ones that arrive 10 times over - here is a piece about the use of Blogs:

How Blogging Can Help Your Business – Ways to Use Your Blog


As a business owner who likes to stay up-to-date on the latest marketing methods and technology, you probably already know how blogging can help your business. There are many benefits of having a company blog, and a great many business owners have already discovered the advantages that are to be had. But if you aren’t sure how to use your blog for your business, here are some ways that your blog can be used.

Customer relations are one use for a company blog. Opening up the lines of communication with your customers is the first step to excellent customer service – and you can learn a great deal from your customers. Print the URL for your blog on receipts, business cards, and brochures to build interest. You can also use…

Playing Bass Guitar

As a former bass player - many years ago I couldn't resist the following article:

Playing Beyond Basic Bass Guitar

The drive and power source of many jazz, rock and pop
groups is the bass guitar. The bass more often than not
is the driving force in holding the band together.
Still, when the bass breaks clear of the mix, its
sound pulses through your entire body. Justifiably,
the bass is all-around one of the top emotive
instruments.

Yet more often than not the bassist is content to take a
laid back role in any group. There aren't many group
leaders that also play bass - Paul McCartney is a bassist
first and foremost, Phil Lynott led Thin Lizzy whilst
covering bass duties, and Mark King was singer and
bassist in Level 42 - but it is the exception rather
than the rule. The bass is also quite different from the
guitar in that you will hardly ever hear the bass played
solo except for short breaks or in jazz. Nor can you
very easily accompany your own voice folk singer style
with nothing but a b…

Article Publication off and running

Shortly after Friday's blog we found that submission has begun and the number of successes continues to rack up. Apparently our article is a little shorter than preferred by some sites but it was accepted any way. No sign on the links front yet - I'm assuming that we will see something significant on Alta Vista even if most of it gets filtered out by the others.

At the same time a massive slew of spam hit us. Some of it is of the targeted webmaster kind but there is a whole lot of 'money maker' stuff - so if you are thinking of doing this a separate email address and reader might be a worthwhile precaution. I am starting to get a handle on the submission groups now and will be leaving most of them later this week. It always astonishes me how much interest there is in pets and dogs in particular on the internet.

Apart from that our new home page design was release on Friday and has been picked up by Google. Our iPod and iTunes pages received the same treatment in the hop…

First Article Still in the Submission Queue

Yes it seems the effective cycle time for article submission is a little longer than advertised. In the meantime I'm drowning in other people's suggestions - have yet to find the relevant taps to turn off!

We are starting to see some seasonal impacts on the music searched for and listened to - Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite and the Sugar Plum Fairy in particular are doing well but also our instrumental version of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. Around Halloween it was Danse Macabre and the Marionette's Funeral March that came to the fore.

November has seen a transformation in the visitor profile to this blog with humans probably outnumbering Robots at last. So we will be operating an even tighter editorial policy for the inclusion of other people's material - for example I decided that you wouldn't really want to read about the effect of music on plants!

The November results also show that we have double the normal share of sophisticated visitors using Firefox at…

Too Early to Say

First impressions of the article submission arena a bit off putting.

I have joined all these Yahoo and Google groups - many of which seem to duplicate each other and I've got to change my selection on some because I am getting multiple copies of recently published articles on a most extraordinary range of topics. The digests on the other hand look rather good - it is possible to quickly scan what is available and I'm sure we will be publishing some of them here.

The submission site we are using has a 24-48 hour update cycle so it will be a day or two before we see any impact. As with the PR sites there are upgrade options that you have to pay for but we'll wait and see what the free offering does first.

A quick look at our details on Google shows that they have picked up some of the new product info pages but they are jumbled in with everything else so I'm not sure what proportion have been picked up. As far as I can see each of these blog pages is included so I guess…