PLRHeadquarters Blog Mitch Claymore's Private Label Rights weblog

25Mar/11Off

Tail Wags Google

This is a tale about a tail, and it’s not a short one.

Last month, when Google’s main Spokesgoogler Matt Cutts reemphasized the search giant’s renewed efforts to help “higher quality sites to surface for long tail queries”, he wasn’t talking about searching for monkeys. The “long tail” in question doesn’t belong on some long-tailed macaque: it’s a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) term,

This kind of “long tail” is what you key in when you google something like “houses for sale in Dubuque, Iowa” instead of just “houses for sale”. The longer a search term is, the longer its tail…and this is the second time in less than a year Google has led us to believe they want to zero in on long tail search results.

This is no monkey business: it’s vitally important to our websites, our industry, and ultimately, sales. You may question exactly how Google is going about adjusting its formulas, but I don’t think this particular 900 pound gorilla is kidding when it puts in print that it’s working overtime “to reduce rankings for low-quality sites – sites which are low-value add for users” or which “copy content from other websites”.[ Official Google Blog.]

In Google’s words, when an online user searches for “houses for sale in Dubuque, Iowa”, they want to come up with “sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on”. And those sites better have more fresh info than just today’s version of the MLS listings, because it has to be “original”.

We might call this Google’s ‘monkey see, monkey do’ penalty.

This is great news for anyone who has time to research, write and post thoughtful analyses and in-depth reports…at least a couple of times a week. Google will be delighted at your effort, but only when you keep it up month after month. Of course, if you also have the notion of running a real estate business at the same time, that might not be such good news (not by coincidence, RealtyPLR can help in this regard, but that’s a shorter tale).

Anyone who has had the delightful experience of hearing “Google has you on top” knows how important paying heed to the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) can be. It means phones ringing and appointments queuing up — especially if the other agents in town are only monkeying around.

22Apr/10Off

S.O.S.! Save Our Site!

Our tanker was a day off of Cape Farewell, steaming toward the Maritimes and straight into the mouth of an early spring gale – the kind the North Atlantic is unpleasantly famous for –- when the radio began to splutter the faint but unmistakable code that reads distress in any language: “S.O.S

 

Okay – we might be overdramatizing a bit.  Maybe most of the time we aren’t really anywhere near the Maritimes when the S.O.S. arrives (although the distress part rings true enough). Actually, we’re usually at our desk checking the email.

Although it is technically correct that we PLR (private label rights) providers don’t have a Code of the Sea (or even the P.C.), it is a fact that we will do our best to come to the rescue. But it would be better for everyone if the Mayday!s could be avoided in the first place.

S.O.S. (Save Our Site!) situations are often the result of neglect, absent-mindedness, and/or misinformation. When someone puts up their website in the first place, they usually inject a great deal of thought (and often budget) into its creation. Then wait for something to happen. Whether anything good happens as time passes has a thousand variations — but eventually, whether successful or not, a sort of settling tends to happen.

And the direction of almost all ‘settling’ tends to be downward.

Neglect and absent-mindedness is common because of the misinformation. The misinformation is that time alone is an internet ally, since trust and traffic build after you’ve been around long enough to establish that you are not one of the fly-by-night kind of operations. This is just about precisely half true.

True, people and search engines sometimes reward longevity, but only the kind that they’re looking for. If you have a site that has been rock solid since 1999, hasn’t changed a whit since then, Google may decide that the rock in question is a tombstone. Most of their customers (and yours) are interested in finding outfits that are actively doing business with living breathing human beings. That’s why it’s a necessity to inject a steady stream of fresh and relevant new content on a regular basis via dedicated blogging, dedicated creative staff research, or (more efficiently) canny use of the right PLR articles.

When those Save Our Site! calls come in, they’re almost always due to a period of neglect — failure to man the bridge. Suddenly the alarm sounds because inattention has caused everything to drift off course which threatens to dash the company website vessel onto yawning shoals of…well, seldom onto yawning shoals of coral.

 

More often, just shoals of yawning.
- Mitch
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8Mar/10Off

The Oscars, PLR, and box-office magic!

Why anyone other than a film historian would continue to punish himself by watching the entire Oscarcast year after year is often cited as one of life’s minor mysteries. Year after year, critics and the public at large wind up agreeing: Too long! Too boring! Too few bright moments!  Yet even in off-years, the size of the audience is massive.

I, for one, have to watch in order to keep tabs on the commercials. Like the Superbowl, the Academy Awards show is an occasion for Madison Avenue’s media creatives to capitalize on the outsized viewing audience by displaying their shiniest new wares. Last night’s sampling lacked the usual luster, but I hung on to the bitter end. And last night I’ll admit to also being drawn by the cliff-hanger about whether history’s highest grossing Best Picture nominee (Avatar) would be able to overcome the dramatic intensity of history’s lowest grossing Best Picture nominee (Hurt Locker), and either way, how the respective Best Director nominees, ex-husband- and ex-wife, would handle the excruciating on-camera announcement moment. As it turned out, both handled HL’s win with yawn-provoking grace.

Like clockwork, the overnight ratings confirm that an outsized viewing audience was again in attendance. It used to be assumed that the simple explanation was the drawing power of the planet’s most glamorous stars, but for about a decade that hasn’t made any sense. These celebrities are available on the tube 24-7-365, plugging their latest project on talk shows morning noon and night. So if not star power, how to explain?

I think the answer is the same as it is for the Super Bowl (indeed, to greater or lesser degree, sportscasts of all kinds). The same answer that draws huge numbers to the reality shows.

It’s the allure of content that’s fresh – but more than just fresh – unpredictably fresh.

Traditional theatrical television series are at a disadvantage in this department to an extent that is all but threatening the very survival of their species. The problem is that no matter how superbly written and produced, we all know that the dramatic hero will survive in the end because like their comedic sitcom star colleagues, they have to return for next week’s episode.

That bottom-line predictability is fundamentally unlike the sports team that may at any moment fail or succeed to win the day, or the reality contestant who might get voted off the island/dance to victory/get fired. Since we never know, we have to watch, don’t we?

PLR’s principal contribution is to tap into that same human response.  A web site that succeeds in answering a search query provides answers or information that was not known to the seeker. It was important for that moment, but once the answer is known, the site will lose its drawing power unless it also holds out the promise that it will in future dependably provide more new and otherwise unpredictable information  Even more powerfully, if the site is prominently changing every week, responding to changing conditions in its area of interest, visitors will be impelled to revisit to see if new trends have surfaced, possibly answering questions that he or she could not have anticipated. In even the most superbly-designed static website, the unpredictability factor is null and void.

In a site where a new headline seems to pop out every time you visit, the unpredictability factor screams, ‘Bookmark me! Don’t forget!” In Hollywood terms, PLR can be sheer box office magic.

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