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Showing posts from March, 2006

More about our Visitors

40% of our Bandwidth goes to visitors form the USA with half that going to UK visitors. There have been one page visits from such far away places as Paraguay and Madagascar and even Iraq. Despite Google's entry into China we are seeing relatively few visitors form there but I guess that will take time to develop. Naturally we were also visited by 28 different robots during March - several of the larger ones come every day and it is interesting to note that Yahoo's bot made twice as many hits as Google bot. Is it just inefficient or is the number two just trying harder? Like any global business our site is working round the clock with a peak at 15.00 UK server time when both Europe and the Eastern seaboard of the US are awake. This peak is four times the trough at 07.00 hours when both the West Coast and Western Europe are still asleep. For reasons that passeth our understanding Friday is the slack day of the week for us but there isn't really much of a day of week or da

Who are our visitors?

Poking around in the Web Design section of Google Analytics this morning brought out a couple of interesting observations: 1. Over 21% of our visitors now use FireFox - this has been growing steadily since we started getting any kind of tracking and I think was around 7% in the early days so that has trebled. As a member of that fraternity myself I can understand why it has caught on so strongly. 2. Only about 11% of our visitors use dial up connections. There are another 10% that the system can't identify but everyone else is on broadband of some kind. As some one who used to work in the telecomms industry and was in at the start of the R&D for ADSL this is extraordinary. Obviously the MP3 focus of the site leads to a strong self selection bias but it is helpful to know how strong this is. It also means from a practical point of view that we don't need to worry too much about page loading times or the size of downloads. Oh and by the way it is nice to see that 4% s

Where are our visitors going?

March has seen a 50% drop in visitor numbers and there is no discernible pattern. The rate of decline is the same on Google and Yahoo and in the major Keywords there are no obvious victims. Similarly the most frequently visited pages are showing no distinctive performance. Our updating efforts on the streaming sample pages have brought no obvious benefits. The bounce rates on them have gone up nearly as often as they have gone down. Just looking at the competitive sites on a 'Debussy MP3' search flags up the changes which have been going on. It looks as if there are legitimate piano recordings on sale for as little as $0.17 and there are amateur piano recordings offered free of charge by an Italian pianist. Where as in the past these offers were not evident we were often the first site you got to with a straight forward download offer. Our strategy from the outset was to take our price from the market leaders - iTunes and it is beginning to look as if we need to seriously re

Keywords Research

Keywords are a continuing source of facination for us so this article was irrisistable: Keyword Elite , The Ferrari Of Keywords Research By Peter Vermeeren In order to find the right tools to research high paying AdSense keywords, it is important to know what information you want to know about keywords. It would be just great if there were a tool that told everyone exactly what Google pays for each keyword, but that doesn't exist and anyone who creates such a tool is certain to be barred from Google forever because it is a clear violation of the terms and conditions of having an AdSense account to reveal any income information to anyone else. You can use Adwords keyword tool to select keywords and you'll get some information. But there are many, many great tools out there that will help you select the right keywords for your AdSense campaign focus. Look for only those tools that provide information about the number of searches performed, the number of competing websites

Big Daddy's Done?

McDar is back and Reladvance is better. Both are showing very few differences between data centers for key words that have been good indicators of Big Daddy progress up to now so it looks as if that is done. With Reladvance we can also see the variations in PR, Backlinks and Pages indexed which are extant across the data centers but evidently they are incidental to the Search Results rather than causal which is a useful lesson for the future interpretations of what is going on with Google updates. Our problem is that we have been seeing a steady decline in visitor numbers from all sources over the last several weeks. Big Daddy has seen significant swings and roundabouts for various of our key words and phrases. While updating the sample pages we have noticed potential sources of confusion between the composer and sample pages and part of that update has been to make the purpose of the sample pages clearer and make their optimisation. We are also working on the Ringtone pages to

Streaming Sample Pages Updated At Last

The steaming pages for the samples of our main music recordings have been completed - phew! Just couldn't resist a quick peek with Analytics but it is either too early or it has had absolutely no impact. Never the less we will press on and bring the ringtone streaming pages up to the same standard. The famous Matt Cutts Google posted yesterday about the current state of Big Daddy and confirmed that it is almost complete with only one or two data centers remaining to be updated. It looks to us as if we are already benefiting from the first fruits of this change but the emphasis on infrastructure changes suggests that there may be subsequent changes as some of the new functionality is switched on and brought into use. Still no McDar so we are flying blind to some extent.

Autoblogger Pro, Content Theft Or Innovation?

This article caught my eye as I was ignorant of this new development - knowing what this human editor excludes from this blog I'm a bit doubtful but read on and see what you think: First of all, there may be some of you that have never even heard of Autoblogger Pro. So let's examine this new script. Autoblogger Pro is really a very simple concept. It integrates itself into a Wordpress blog and then uses RSS feeds from news sources and blogs to populate the blog with relevant content. For example, if you want to build a blog that focuses on 'Mortgages' then you would simply locate several blog or news feeds that focus on mortgages and then load them into the admin area of the script. Every time the script is executed it will then pull in the RSS feed from all of the sites you've entered, and post them to the blog. In essence, you end up with a blog that contains highly targeted content, blended and unique because it comes from a variety of sources. All maintained b

No McDar - No Comment

Volumes of visitors are a bit volatile at the moment but there is no obvious explanation. A few key words have fallen back significantly and we can see the impact of that but others have been moving forward or holding their ground. Without daily access to McDar we can't see if it is Google flux which is at play or some early reaction to the changes we have been making to our pages. The sample page conversion program is making good headway now and we can see some light at the end of the tunnel. On reflection I think we'll use a slightly different template for the Ringtone products because we have never used the pop-up pages to display them and they are complete recordings rather than samples - just Lo Fi rather than Hi Fi.

Identifying your Niche Market

A little bit of Monday morning - back to basics reflection: The Internet is really just a big gathering of a lot of little niches. No matter your taste or desire, if there is not already a website out there catering to you and those like you, there soon will be. Unlike traditional media such as print or television ads, Internet marketing is ideally suited to efficiently convert members of any niche into potential customers. From search engine optimized websites to ezine advertising, Internet marketing is finely tuned and will get the most out of your advertising dollar. But before you decide on what marketing strategy to employ, you first must define your niche market. For instance, if you want to sell a new method of making coffee, which will help the customers get more caffeine out of every bean, you need to decide who your customers would be. You cannot presume that all coffee drinkers will form your niche market. You must know the socio-economic level at which your potential

Streaming Sample Page Updates are Underway

You may well say - at last but it is going to take a few days to complete. There were still some last minute snags but the Bach sample pages are all updated now. We will be going through one composer at a time because the composer page has to be modified as well to cope with the larger pop-up file. One of the last minute snags was Firefox suddenly deciding not to accept pop ups from us even though it was showing the acceptance rule for our site - it has recovered now thank goodness. McDar is still down so we can't really tell what is happening with Big Daddy at the moment.

McDar is down for Maintenance

It is strange how dependent one can become on a regular source of information and it is hard to be patient but then again it is free, so I guess that you get what you pay for and we should just be grateful for their kind efforts. McDar has been down for a few days now and so we have been unable to track the most recent progress of Big Daddy and we are still not sure what the overall impact will be for us even though it has rolled out to most data centers now. Rankpulse is showing exceptionally low levels of activity or flux, as it is often known, for all but one of the last six days. Our overall visitor numbers are drifting very slowly downwards but we can't see any underlying trend. The spread of key words which our visitors use is so broad it is very hard to pick out what is going on in these circumstances even with he power of Google Analytics. There are some straws in the wind which suggest that it might turn out OK. Certainly we are getting good coverage but there are a dis

Google Site: Results Restored

Yesterday's little panic about the site: search results for is over we are restored albeit not quite to our former glory. The number of links to is back down to 15 after sometime at 38 - not sure what this really signifies since it seems to be a pretty arbitrary although all the guidance says that links are important nobody really comments on the contents of these site search results. The other elements such as pages from site and sites containing are relatively straight forward and you can see parallels with what the other major search engines pick up. The more entertaining results are from the similar to or related to: search results . For a while we got a very odd collection of sites but it is settling down to a number of independent music sites. This is quite encouraging because this feature doesn't always work for other sites I keep track of. Of course when I went back to check a couple of details it had gone again - just a touch of the flux -

Those dratted pixels!

We were a bit previous on Friday - those last few surplus pixels have proved too elusive and the template still isn't fit for use.... Otherwise it looks great so more tedious experimenting today. Big Daddy rolled out a little further this weekend and there are only a few data centers that have not been updated now - Google still on schedule. Sorry, no information is available for the URL - just a little bit of a shock to the system when this happens as it did this am. Some links from and pages that contain search results are available albeit on a relatively modest scale compared to what we are used to. This hasn't happened to other sites I look out for so we are hoping this is a passing glitch. McDar is down this morning but things looked OK yesterday. Perhaps it is just a little ripple to get the week off to an interesting start.

Streaming Samples Template Underway

Following up on the template solution for the 'main' pages we have been working on a template for the samples pages. This has been tricky because we have been going from a flexible page width format to a fixed narrow centered one. Lots of fussy table design to get the graphics right. Just the update drudgery now. The purpose of this is to strengthen the branding on the site and enable site wide update/messages more easily. The caching of the template material by visitors' browsers should mean that there is no significant addition to the download time for these pages. The composer/ringtone of the week will be changed over today as we swing into the new routine. On the Big Daddy front there has been no real movement on the data centers for a few days but we are seeing the potential impact of Big Daddy on our pages reduce as the results pre and post get closer together - let's hope Google haven't been doing all this for nothing!

How to Use Backwards Planning for Web Site Success

I think that this advice is very smart - tough but smart: Newcomers to the Internet world often begin by asking, "Should I pay to drive traffic to my website? Pay-per-click? Overture? An ezine articles service?" Used wisely, these methods will drive traffic to your website. But you need to ask, "What will visitors do once they arrive?" To answer these questions, you have to work backwards. (1) Create a selling machine. Before driving traffic to the site, turn your website into a selling machine. Will visitors convert to buyers? There's no point in driving thousands of tire-kickers to come visit your website. And there's even less rationale for paying to get them. These days, more and more sites have begun to use straightforward sales letters on all their web pages. They sell e-books, consulting services, classes and audio products. The sales letter approach offers two benefits. First, you probably sell more (if you have a good sales letter and a pro

Blogging for Internet Marketers - Define Your Niche to Create Better Blogging!

Here are some thoughts about the art of blogging: Some Internet Marketing bloggers will post topics that vary greatly. Other Internet Marketing bloggers feel most comfortable when they are posting on a particular topic. The question has often been: which way is best? Studies demonstrate that defining your niche creates better blogging. So, using this discovery, it is assumed that it is best to choose one route to take, and stick with it. This can mean that you choose one large topic and use it to produce your total blog topic list. You will likely get repeated visitors if you are posting on the same subject matter in any case. If you are still not sold however, check out these other explanations for why defining your niche can lead to more successful Internet Marketing blogging. Knowing the Topic While it can be monotonous to post on the same topic each day, there is one thing to be said about it. You will certainly know your topic. The more you post on a topic, the more thinking an

It's just us getting the +'s

There has been absolutely no response to our startling announcement of the great advance of the '+' in our keyword phrases as reported on Analytics. Not only was there no reaction here - not too surprising but nothing on the SEO forum where you ususally get a rasberry at least. So it's not happening to anyone else or they don't care. We've also noticed the impact of Big Daddy diminishing in terms of the differences between results from the different data centers but it ain't over yet.

New Template Bedding In

It looks as if the new Dreamweaver template that we implemented on Friday has settled down OK. Of course it will take a little longer to establish what effect it has on our visitors, if any, and longer still to see what reaction, if any, we get from Google. The new template removes a whole column of internal links from some pages and adds a side bar to others. We have also take the opportunity to remove the new page generator off links to all pages except the reference pages, like our commercial terms, to try and make it easier to navigate around the site. We have started with Mozart as Composer of the week and The Entertainer as ring tone of the week with prominent links so we'll see what that does. We will use the side bar and the footer for trying out site wide changes and developments because it is so much easier to make consistent changes now. Analytics gives us a good appreciation of the use being made on the links on our pages which facilitates this sort of experimentation

Analytics Keyword Results Overwhelmed by +'s

Google says: If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can include it by putting a "+" sign in front of it. (Be sure to include a space before the "+" sign.) And they have been saying pretty much that for years so why is it that our visitors in the last week have augmented the spaces between their keywords with a "+"? This is not just a mild perturbation but a universal picture over the first 100 phrases. Phrases without "+" are sinking without trace. Don't get me wrong the "+" has always been there but until now it lurked around the bottom of the list of keywords, an indication of the presence of slightly more sophisticated searchers who had been experiencing some mild frustration with their "+" free searches. When something like this happens you tend to doubt your measuring instrument but we are now looking at a massive week on week change. So you check to see if anyone else has noticed but

Adding Scripts to Your Site

Now that our new Dreamweaver Template based pages are almost ready to launch we can start to look at how best to exploit the facility for change and experiment that they offer. One of the options is the use of scripts to provide more interaction and possibly automated update. So here are some ideas: For new webmasters, adding third-party software and scripting to a website can be a really scary proposition. I remember when I put my first scripts on my own website. Even with my basic DOS programming experience in high school, I was still intimidated by the whole process. I was so sure that I was going to screw something up. The very first script I ever installed on my website was a Graphical Counter from ( ). I ended up spending five days playing with the script to get it to display just the way I wanted it displayed. The second script I ever installed was a Recommend This Page To A Friend script, also from BigNoseBird.c

Slack Water

There are times when everything seems to slow down. At the moment it looks like Big Daddy is stalled - Rankpulse has gone back to sleep again - the impact so far on us appears to be broadly neutral based on some ups and some downs across our broad range of keywords. The phasing is quite unusual - normally Google will test an update or an update phase on one or two data centers and then roll it out quite quickly to the rest with a bit of subsequent flux while things settle down. With this one it seems to have stalled after rolling out to nearly half the data centers but there is some evidence of minor flux on some of our keywords using good old McDar. Perhaps there are issues at the remaining centers which need to be fixed before they can take it on - Google Knows! The template adoption job is progressing slowly but surely, though we are still plagued by an irritating browser clash. The pages work fine on IE but one area is out by a couple of pixels on FireFox. On the other hand