Thursday, November 09, 2006

Data Entry Programs and Marketing is DEAD!

First it was Clickbank that banned data entry programs from their product line-up. Now Google Adwords is removing this type of product promotion from its PPC program. What is going on?

Being that I review Data Entry and Type at Home programs on my website, I have been finding it harder and harder to defend myself on the products they sell. About two months ago, Clickbank took a serious leap in removing all of their high-converting data entry and type at home information products from their catalog. Now, I am finding out that Google Adwords is taking a similar approach by disallowing the promotion of these data entry programs on their pay-per-click program. Basically, they are classifying these type of home programs to be in the same class as online gambling and pornography. Wow!

So what is going on?

Let's first see what Google's policy about Data Entry Programs is for its Adwords program:

Can I advertise data entry affiliate programs?
Google policy does not permit advertisements for data entry affiliate programs. This includes ads which direct users to sites that promote the creation or data entry of other ads directing users to the same site. There are no exceptions to this policy, which is intended to protect both advertisers and AdWords users. (from Google Adwords Help Menu)

I think I may understand what might be happening here. In the past few years, one way of very successfully making money online was to promote affiliate products directly through Adwords using affiliate marketing links. For example, instead of having your own website or landing page, a person would advertise for a term and send the buyer directly to the sales website without having to do much more than writing an ad; hence the term "Data Entry". Back in mid-2005, Google took a tighter stance on this and prevented more than one advertising URL per search. That made this "data entry" type of promotion much more competitive and a lot less lucrative. It also provided Google with much more relevant and diverse links in its paid advertising.

Now what we are seeing is a bit of a backlash in the "data entry program" market. Type-at-home program methods no longer work and are frowned upon by Google (it cheapens their search results). From Clickbank's point of view, people were still buying into these programs as simple "enter data from home" income and then returning them because:

1) Direct PPC marketing of affiliate products no longer works
2) It is much more involved than just entering data
3) People felt deceived in the type of product that they were buying

Having high return rates was bad business for Clickbank, so they removed the products entirely.

When it comes down to it, Data Entry programs have a few problems:

1) The traditional "data entry" work of just filling out Google Adwords ads no longer works.
2) They are very misleading in that are really affiliate marketing programs hiding as simple "data entry work"

While some of these type at home programs have evolved with the changing times (by teaching how to create websites, write reviews, and teaching search engine optimization techniques), others stick to their original out-dated philosophies and continue to promote direct affiliate marketing techniques (which, in my opinion, is a waste of money and a scam!). I have found a few data entry programs to actually be better than some of the standard affiliate marketing programs around, but until they change their name and their ad-copy to reflect that there is more to making money online than entering data, they essentially deserve what they get: a snubbing by the world wide web community.

- Matthew Bredel

Data Entry Program Scams? Find out the truth about these and other affiliate marketing types of programs at TheWebReviewer.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Making SEO Work on Your Landing Page

In part 1 of the SEO Fallacy article, we came to the conclusion that Search Engine Optimization is not only good, but it is essential. But what can you do about it?

Search engine optimization is all about putting your website into a position where the search engine bots will place your page in a top position for a specific keyword search. For example, if I were to search for the term "pet supplies" in Google, I would expect a very relevant website (such as to appear in the free search results. Now don't get this confused with the paid search results which can be found at the top of the page, highlighted or down the right column of the page (for most search engines). These Pay-Per-Click (or PPC) listings are based on paying for an ad position. For free (or organic) listings, the search engine will determine which result is the most relevant for the queried keyword. Organic listings have a few big benefits:

1) They Are Free!
2) More people click these (especially in the high positions) than they do the paid ads.
3) The people who click the free listings are more likely to buy the product.

Of course, how do we know what Google (or any search engine for that fact) considers "relevant"? We don't! But we can observe and by doing so, we can determine what things are important and what things are not. One thing that we do have control over is the website content itself. Through much analysis and observation, people have determined that the following components of a landing page do (to some extent) have an impact to how a search engine bot will judge a page:

1) The Meta-tag Title: Very Important! Choose your title to have relevant keywords to what you want your customers to find.
2) H1 header tags: Almost as important! For one, USE it (but only once per page!) Make sure it is in a high position on the page.
3) Keyword Meta-tag: Some importance, but do not dwell on this one (or overdue it either!)
4) Description Meta-tag: Little importance for SEO, but could be important for getting clicks.
5) Body Content: Of course, using your targetted keywords in your content is important (but again, do not overdue it!)
6) Using the "alt" tag for images: Using the ALT tag for images gives the search bots more content to index.

A few things that do not seem to make much impact:

1) Other Meta-tags: Especially the Robots tag, which, if done improperly can actually send spiders away.
2) Repetitive Keywords: Repeating the same keyword over and over usually results in being punished.
3) Multiple H1 tags: Spiders will look down upon more than one H1 tag and may even ignore the site because of it.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to very easily make your website much more search engine friendly. Some people put these things in by luck, but any SEO expert will tell you that these tips should be the basis of the entire webpage you are designing. A few extra tags and a little bit of keyword placement in the right areas can take a website that is not indexed into a top 10 organic position.

- Matthew Bredel

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