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The Rise and Rise of Article PR - What are the Implications?
Already a very popular method of achieving a high search engine ranking, article PR (aka article submission) has now entered the mainstream. As such, its popularity is increasing at a dramatic rate. While this is great for SEO copywriters like myself, there are some side-effects that need to be addressed if article PR is going to remain a viable search engine ranking technique. This article discusses some of those side-effects, along with how they might be addressed. BUT FIRST, A LITTLE ON...

What Do Marketers Sell? Only the Good Stuff!
What Do Marketers Sell? Only the Good Stuff!   by Mike Banks ValentineThis week I was suddenly struck by the fact that I sell dozens ofproducts and services that I never see, some I've never used andmany that I didn't even know about before that company hired me.One thing that all of those products and services have in common is the fact that their owners and proprietors believe in theirproduct strongly and seek out marketing advice and expertise topromote their stuff online. A second thing...

Make 'em Buy or Make 'em Miserable!
Make 'em Buy or Make 'em Miserable!   by Mike Banks ValentineThis weekend I watched a program on television called - I kidyou not - "Buyology". This show is about marketing and salesof products in the free world. I found the show utterly andcompletely fascinating -- not because I'm a web marketer, butbecause it seemed entirely like science fiction, or justplain fiction.It seems there are people out there who spend their workdaysstudying "consumer behavior" and how to influence that...

Thrills Drills and Barbecue Drills
Thrills Drills and Barbecue Drills   by Mike Banks ValentineBig business is being taken for a very expensive ride. By whom?By each other. Confidence games are being perpetrated by Globalcorporations upon the only victims that can afford huge losses --other Global corporations.How do the crooks get away with this? I submit that it's becoming harder for them to do -- except with each other! Somehow the giantcorporations don't get that other giant corporations are scamming them out of huge...

Rock & Roll In Your Email?
Rock & Roll In Your Email?   by Mike Banks ValentineYou groggily stumble from bed and turn on the computer as youpass by on your way to the kitchen. Returning with the morning'sfirst cup of coffee you fire up your browser and log-on to theweb as you take the first few eye-opening sips. Downloadingyour personal email, you notice your favorite Bruce Springsteensong title in the subject line of the seventh email message andopen it first.There is a photo of the Boss (that's Springsteen to you...

Net Words by Nick Usborne - A Book Review
Net Words by Nick Usborne - A Book Review   by Mike Banks ValentineBusiness online differs dramatically from business offline in several key areas. The first and most important is the difference between the behavior of online buyers and their offline counterparts. Offline buyers must first be AWARE that the service or product they seek is available near their location, then either call a specific company they know and trust or visit a particular dentist, accountant, hardware store or auto...

Procrastinate, but Not Now!
Procrastinate, but Not Now!   by Mike Banks Valentine Procrastination is my sin. It brings me naught but sorrow. I know that I should stop it. In fact, I will -- tomorrow! --Gloria PitzerI've been putting off writing this article because it seemedtoo hard to write about something I seem to have no controlover. I'm actually writing it 5 days before deadline and don'treally understand why it has me concerned. If it were easy, itwould be done though, and I wouldn't be thinking about it now.The...

When Does the Web Come to the Poor?
When Does the Web Come to the Poor?   by Mike Banks ValentineI heard Larry Irving speak recently on the "Digital Divide,"a term he coined while working in the Clinton Administration.Irving makes a compelling case for the inaccessibility of theweb to the poor. He emphatically demonstrates that businessis ignoring a huge market when they ignore those withoutaccess to the web. That means that anyone without a computerright now and those numbers can reach up to 85% of the poor.That is not just...

A Curmudgeonly View on AOL
A Curmudgeonly View on AOL   by Mike Banks ValentineInternetworld Spring 2002 in Los Angeles is Sponsored by AOL,a company that markets it's service with the slogan, "It's soeasy! No wonder it's number one!" One wonders what that companywould get out of the crowd that is clearly not interested inthe easy stuff. These are all high tech geeks who work withmore odd acronyms than any one person needs to know. Thecompanies represented by the drones who toil away insidethem see software solutions as...

WebSite101 Best of Show Award InternetWorld 2002
WebSite101 Best of Show Award InternetWorld 2002    by Mike Banks ValentineIn a never-ending quest to make life easier for small businesswebmaster, I'm fresh from the InternetWorld 2002 conference inLos Angeles with a surprisingly valuable tool to benefit eventhe little guy online. Even though internet trade shows rarelyprovide the entrepreneur without megabucks anything worth muchdiscussion, this show delivered for David as well as Goliath.I hereby award the "WebSite101 Best of Show Award" to...

It was Magic for Me, How Was it For You?
It was Magic for Me, How Was it For You?   by Mike Banks ValentineTrade shows will naturally draw those with high end interest andthe technical knowledge that leads to that jargon spewed bykeynote speakers. Enterprise-speak vendors display their waresand attendees at break-out sessions are full of techno-geeksseeking the latest knowledge enhancement for their narrow interestarea. But I'm stunned at the techno-babble being directedat the atttendees of conference Keynote speeches. What...

Computers Freedom and Privacy
Computers Freedom and Privacy   by Mike Banks ValentineLast week I attended the Computers, Freedom & Privacy (CFP2002)conference where I heard four days of discussion and debate fromattorneys, corporate leaders, politicians and privacy advocates over issues of civil liberties, privacy and commerce.I've come away from that very enlightening conference with a rather pessimistic conclusion -- That Sun Microsystems CEO ScottMcNealy was correct when he said, "You have zero privacy anyway,"to a...

Free Agent Nation Book Review
Free Agent Nation Book Review   by Mike Banks ValentineHave you ever written a personal note to a respected andsuccessful author? Not that I wish that fate on those preciousfew who top the best seller lists, but I just wrote to Dan Pink. Dan, Wonderful book! I'm doing a review and will distribute it as widely as my littleguy.com role allows. I'm curious though, why do you quote the reviews from the NY Times, CNN, the "Global Executive Section" of The Economist and Monster.com when the book is...

I Know What You Did Last Night!
I Know What You Did Last Night!   by Mike Banks ValentineDon't try to deny it. I know what you did last night!One might expect that a line like that could only come froma jealous wife who has had a private detective follow herstraying hubby, but soon it may come from your wallet oreven your milk carton!Why would your milk carton care what you did last night? Itdoesn't, but it could soon "know" that you passed the grocerystore on the way home without picking up a fresh carton of milk.It will...

Where is the Magic?
Where is the Magic?   by Mike Banks ValentineEntrancement with the web is epidemic. There are 7 million new pages added daily according to recent statistics. Why?There is something magical going on here.The web has taken hard-nosed and jaded venture capitalists inrecord numbers and sucked their massive bank accounts dry. Why? Because there is something magical going on here.Big business has dumped billions into creating new web tools,web technologies, innovations to allow universal web...

We'll Just Rule the World Now, OK?
We'll Just Rule the World Now, OK?   by Mike Banks Valentine One has to wonder if the corporate directive at Microsoftis as blatant as it seems from the outside. What is it thatmakes them behave as if monopolistic bullying is an inherentright for the biggest, baddest damned behemoth ever to roamthe face of the information economy? That they can rule theEarth just because they think they'd like to give it a go?It is almost inconceivable that they already rule planet PC,from the operating...

Maybe Women Should Run the Web!
Maybe Women Should Run the Web!   by Mike Banks ValentineWe all know that the idea of business on the web came on witha roar and now lies whimpering and licking its wounds in the safety of the shadows. Who was the enemy? Who or what was it that clawed and scraped the potential of online business so brutally that early enthusiasts are now seen as foolish, wild-eyed dreamers? What brought down an idea that was bigger andmore powerful than a raging beast at full roar?The Greed Monster. Greed and...

Big Brother Bill: It's 1984 all over Again!
Big Brother Bill: It's 1984 all over Again!   by Mike Banks ValentineMost of the commentary over the George Orwell's novel, "1984"that occured in that year, was derision, saying that nowit was quite clear that the eerie picture painted of "BigBrother" was unlikely, and certainly not possible.Now Microsoft has proposed a sweeping web initiative which it hasdubbed "dot Net" or .Net in which they would be the "host" for thepersonal information of every single online consumer. The ideahas some...

Wireless Wonders and Waterfall Watches!
Wireless Wonders and Waterfall Watches!   by Mike Banks ValentineLet's see, I have my pager, my cell phone, my Blackberry,my Palm Pilot, my laptop, my desktop PC, my e-book reader,my digital camera and what else? Oh! Then there's the MP3and the DVD and my local phone company has now gone digital?Now the laptop can talk with the desktop, but the PDA cannot talk to the laptop. The e-book reader can talk withthe desktop and the MP3 player can talk with the laptop butnot the desktop. The phone...

Google Spyware? Bad Guys & Spies Using Google Desktop Search
Google Spyware? Bad Guys & Spies Using Google Desktop Search   by Mike Banks ValentineI suppose I was naive when I cheered the new Google DesktopSearch tool thinking it was ONLY a great way to help ease mycomputer info-glut and help organize my hundreds of hard-drivestored documents, emails and files. It seems that now I haveto worry about how bad guys and busybodies will use it tospy on me! (RealitySEO.com)The Google Desktop Search Tool Poses a Security Risk tousers of public or networked...

Google Desktop Search versus Microsoft Windows Search
Google Desktop Search versus Microsoft Windows Search by by Mike Banks Valentine © October 17, 2004or "Honey! Have you Seen My Keys, Glasses, Tivo Remote?"Google Desktop Search Software can't find your lost keys ortell you where you left the Tivo remote control, or that yourglasses are on top of your head, where you left them. But thebeta software from Google Labs is nothing short of mandatoryfor those with more emails, Word documents, Powerpoint, Exceland PDF files than they know what to do...

Why would I read about it when I could be doing it instead?
Why would I read about it when I could be doing it instead?   by Mike Banks ValentineI spend about 10 hours a day reading and have yet to read asoftware manual for any of the 50 apps I have on my computer.They don't make sense to me and they insist on putting toomuch stupid stuff in there like disclaimers and marketinghyperbole. What good is that after you've already boughtthe software?Personally, I read the more sensible "Quick Start" guidesand then only skim those to get the key points. The...

RFID Spychips! Grocery Store Surveillance
RFID Spychips! Grocery Store Surveillance   by Mike Banks ValentinePrivacy Storm Over RFID Chips by Mike Banks Valentine American consumers RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and is a termthat will become increasingly well known as usage of the newtechnology becomes pervasive. There is no question that thetiny chips, which enable tracking of physical goods from theassembly line to warehouse to retail outlet to checkstand,will replace the barcodes previously used for that...

What Makes Apple so Delicious?
What Makes Apple so Delicious?   by Mike Banks ValentineTrade shows will naturally draw those with high end interest andthe technical knowledge that leads to that jargon spewed bykeynote speakers. Enterprise-speak vendors display their waresand attendees at break-out sessions are full of techno-geeksseeking the latest knowledge enhancement for their narrow interestarea. InternetWorld 2002 was no different.But I've made a couple of interesting trade show discoveries. 1) Privately funded...

Honey, I Shrunk the Chip!
Honey, I Shrunk the Chip!   by Mike Banks ValentineLet's get small, real small, and then we can go anywhere!No, I'm not advocating we shrink ourselves, but ratherdiscussing dramatic changes coming now that computers canbe tiny and inexpensive. Recent movement in conservative,and previously very scarce venture capital investments(in two notable areas) suggests a brave new world of inexpensive, ubiquitous computing could be approaching.What's ubiquitous computing and who cares about...

Software Usability is All That Matters
Software Usability is All That Matters   by Mike Banks ValentineGUI, or Graphic User Interface is the term tossed about bytechnology geeks to define the only thing that matters to therest of us. How we interact and deal with our software is entirely determined by programmers based upon instructionsthey receive from whomever hired them to do their jobs. Theirjob is to make software use easy, obvious - even invisible.I don't want to know how computers work. Don't care in the least!I only want...

Google Tops Fifty Billion Market Cap With Innovation
Google Tops Fifty Billion Market Cap With Innovation   by Mike Banks ValentineGoogle Tops Fifty Billion Market Cap With InnovationYahoo See, Yahoo Buy Strategy Makes Them Number Twoby Mike Banks Valentine © October 26, 2004Google market value has topped $50B, so now they're worth more in dollar value than Yahoo. That goes right in linewith being worth more in search value and relevance. (CBS MarketWatch)I've written before that Yahoo has their fingers in so manypies that they don't have the...

New MSN Search May Be a Google Killer!
New MSN Search May Be a Google Killer!   by Mike Banks ValentineThe Second Look at MSN's Search technology is available forpublic beta testing. I've given it a spin myself and must saythat I'm impressed. Although they have no ads on the SERP'sof the preview site, I'm sure they will load it up with the15 or more Overture "sponsored sites" which clutter the resultspages on the current search results by the time the new publicbeta reaches its official launch. Take a look for...

Throw Away Your Money on Search Engine Optimization
Throw Away Your Money on Search Engine Optimization   by Mike Banks ValentineSearch engine optimization consists of some relatively arcaneissues that are not obvious to anyone. That I can be thankfulfor, I suppose, or I wouldn't continue to be in demand as anSEO specialist. But why do clients throw money out the windowwith developers who don't understand they are bulldozing downsite naming structure and careful page architecture when theydo a site redesign?Today I got a call from a very good...

Google Bombing or Legitimate SEO?
Google Bombing or Legitimate SEO?   by Mike Banks Valentine Today I visited the WebProWorld forums and stumbled acrossa topic "New Google Bombing Technique" and was startled tosee that the topic had been viewed over 22,000 times! It isby far the most active of the forums in the "Search EngineInsider Reports" section.This article is simply my response to that discussion threadand I hope it helps cool off the heat being generated there.Google Bombing DiscussionThe general gist of the...

Google, Wherefore Art Thou Google? Sites Abandoned by Googlebot!
Google, Wherefore Art Thou Google? Sites Abandoned by Googlebot!   by Mike Banks ValentineGoogle, Wherefore Art Thou Google? Sites Abandoned by Googlebot! © August 30, 2004 As a search engine optimization specialist I often optimizeexisting web pages for small business clients, upload them tothe site and see pages re-indexed by Google within a week.This only happens with existing business sites that have beenonline for a few years. Google seems to be updating theirindex as often as every other...

List Host Nightmares!
List Host Nightmares!   by Mike Banks ValentineFor three weeks as I was putting out my weekly newsletter,I saw a promotion on the log-in screen at my list host,ListBot Gold, suggesting I could upgrade from Listbot Goldto a new bCentral service being launched called ListBuilder.It would give me the opportunity to gather more demographicinfo from subscribers and provide the ability to sendHTML email to those who choose it on subscribing. I'd been wanting to be able to provide advertisers a...

Email Appending Erodes Privacy!  
Email Appending Erodes Privacy!   by Mike Banks Valentine"Psssst! Hey buddy, check dis out over heeya. If ya give me yerdatabase of customas' offline info, I'll give you email addresses tomatch! Waddaya say pal? $2 per name, awright?" That's how it might godown in a dark alley in privacy advocates' nightmare, but the realityis that the email appending industry uses bright chirpy banter andphotos of clean-cut staffers to tell you the story. The following linkwill take you to the site of a...

Email Don't Get No Respect!  
Email Don't Get No Respect!   by Mike Banks ValentineIs there any doubt that ecommerce and a presence on the webhas become de rigueur for every business, large or small? I submit that there is no longer any doubt that clients andcustomers expect that every legitimate business must have,at the very least, a "business-card" web site listing contactinformation, business location and a simple "about us" page,along with a contact email link or web form.I don't think anyone can argue any longer that...

Bioterrorism Affects Email  
Bioterrorism Affects Email   by Mike Banks ValentineAt a time when critical issues of national importance are beingdiscussed in basement rooms at the US Capitol due to Anthraxlaced letters sent to government offices, email has become moreimportant than ever for person-to-person communications.Bioterrorism has now impacted even email. No worry that you'llget sick when you next check your email inbox since terroristshave not yet figured out how to send those powdery spores viaemail attachments...

I Am Not A Number! Are You?  
I Am Not A Number! Are You?   by Mike Banks ValentineHow often do you give your email address to clients and businessprospects? Is it memorable? Is it meaningful? Does it say some-thing about you or your business? Does it suggest your role inthe company? Does it project meaninglessness or generic empti-ness? Is it playful, respectful, descriptive or bland beyondwords? You may believe it is none of these, but you are wrongif you think nobody cares. Your email address speaks volumes.In 1979,...

JohnDough@MadeOfMoney.com  
JohnDough@MadeOfMoney.com   by Mike Banks ValentineIf you are a typical entrepreneur online operating asmall business website from your office PC there is nowa very effective way to increase the visibility for yoursite with very little additional work. Did the title forthis article catch your attention? Typical email addressesrarely grab anyone's attention with domain extensions ofaol.com or mylocalISP.com and especially yahoo.com or themost common of all, hotmail.comHow do you seize the...

Target the Little Guy. This Could be a Reely BIG Shoo!  
Target the Little Guy. This Could be a Reely BIG Shoo!   by Mike Banks ValentineOut once again to illuminate the dark corners of internet showsfor the tiny shining light of small business tools, I have justreturned from AIIM 2002 where they describe the show thusly: Enterprise Content Management creates successful SYNERGIES between paper, document, and web content. It focuses your best marketing on the best opportunities. It streamlines processes. Cuts costs. Edges your competition. Boosts...

eShopping Carts: Comparing Apples, Oranges and Tuna Fish!  
eShopping Carts: Comparing Apples, Oranges and Tuna Fish!   by Mike Banks ValentineHave you ever bought a book, then plopped down on a pillow onthe couch with a cup of coffee and some snacks ready to devourthat books' contents, sip some French Roast and munch biscotti? Maybe it's Folgers and Doritos at the computer screen in thiscase as you open up Adobe Acrobat reader and Dr. Ralph Wilson'sebook "The Shopping Cart Report". Either way you've gone shopping and when you put that bag ofrich,...

Shopping Cart Abandonment Solved!  
Shopping Cart Abandonment Solved!   by Mike Banks ValentineImagine yourself at the local Sears carrying a shopping basketdown the isles looking for the perfect gift for your spousewhen you come to a great looking watch in the jewelry department.You know she'll love the design, but also know she has a curiousallergy to white gold and call over a salesperson to ask themwhat the bevel surround is made of. She reassures you that it'smade of platinum so you cheerfully purchase the watch, smilingas...

To Be or Not To Be, That is the Domain Question  
To Be or Not To Be, That is the Domain Question   by Mike Banks ValentineAdaptation by Mike Banks Valentine with apologies to ShakespearTo be, or not to be: that is Domain question.Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of slow, free servers,Or to take arms against a sea of wannabees,And by opposing, end them. To search: to seek;No more; and, by anonymity to say we endThe heartache of a million useless search resultsThat eBiz is heir to, 'tis a relevancyDevoutly to be...

Affiliate Programs Worthless for 80% of Affiliate Marketers
Affiliate Programs Worthless for 80% of Affiliate Marketers by Mike Banks ValentineNo doubt you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule – which states that20 percent of affiliates generate 80% of affiliate income, andconversely, remaining 80 percent of affiliates generate only20 percent of all income for most affiliate programs.There are ten basics that will put your affiliate marketingin the top 20 percent of affiliate earnings. Ten suggestionsthat will transform your affiliate income from a...

This Twenty Six Hour Day Is Not Fiction! A Book Review  
This Twenty Six Hour Day Is Not Fiction! A Book Review   by Mike Banks ValentineVince Panella might have been accused of writing a work offiction when titling his book "The 26 Hour Day, How to Gainat Least 2 Hours a Day with Time Control". When he beginshis "Introduction to Time Control" chapter by stating on thefirst page that he's . . . "come to the conclusion that -- time management does not work!" he immediately had me hooked.I was charmed by the intensely human approach he takes fromthe...

Do You Know Who Owns Your Words?  
Do You Know Who Owns Your Words?   by Mike Banks ValentineWriting for the web creates a lot of new questions about whoowns all those words circulating out there on web sites, inezines and in ebooks. What about the CD's created from manyof those words in all those digital forms all over the web?Instead of books or articles or columns, it's all being re-named "Content".In a 2nd Circuit Court decision last year, six freelancewriters won a case against the New York Times, Newsday andTime for...

Advertising Is Dead! Viva le SEO!  
Advertising Is Dead! Viva le SEO!   by Mike Banks ValentineThe King is dead! Long live the King!The death of Louis XIV. was announced by the captain of thebodyguard from a window of the state apartment. Raising histruncheon above his head, he broke it in the centre, andthrowing the pieces among the crowd, exclaimed in a loudvoice, "Le Roi est mort!" Then seizing another staff, heflourished it in the air as he shouted, "Vive le Roi!"—Pardoe: Life of Louis XIV., vol. iii. p. 457.Now I'll be the...

1-800-Get-Rich Can Toll Free 800 Number Domains Pay Off?
1-800-Get-Rich Can Toll Free 800 Number Domains Pay Off?  by: Mike Banks Valentine The toll free number 1-800-Get-Rich belongs to the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. Perfect vanity number for a casino, right? Well apparently not. Their website shows the actual numbers, 1-800-438-7424 for the marketing department of Resorts Atlantic City. Those NUMBERS are nowhere near as memorable as is the mnemonic device of letters representing those numbers on the telephone keypad. It makes you...

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