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High Rankings Advisor: Making Sense of Google AdSense - Issue No. 060

June 25, 2003
________________________________________________________

~~~IN TODAY'S ADVISOR~~~

*Introductory Comments:
---->   Tell Me What You Want

*Search Engine Marketing:
---->   How To Redirect Multiple Parked Domains

*This Week's Sponsor:
---->   Google AdWords Report -- Save $100

*Guest Article:
---->   Making Sense of Google AdSense

*Other SEO News:
---->   Interview With Jill
---->   New Toolbars and Deskbars

*Stuff You Might Like:
---->   Recap of Past Stuff

*Sound Advice:
---->   Every Page is a Gateway to the Rest of Your Site

*Advisor Wrap-up:
---->   Independence Week
________________________________________________________

~~~Introductory Comments~~~

Hey everyone!  How's it going?  We finally got some summer weather
here, which is nice, but now it's TOO hot!  Oh well, beggars can't be
choosers I guess.

Thanks to those who volunteered to write guest articles for me.  I've
got the first one for you today.  Please let me know if you're
interested in writing one yourself, because I still have slots open
for summer guest articles.  Also, please email me different topics
you'd like to see covered even if you can't write one yourself.  Some
people want to contribute, but aren't really sure what to write about.
So, please send in your suggestions.

Enjoy today's newsletter! - Jill


~~~Search Engine Marketing Issues~~~

++How To Redirect Multiple Parked Domains++

One of the questions I get asked the most often concerns multiple
domains.  Using them for promotional purposes has been a misguided
search engine optimization technique for many years.  The idea was
that the more domains you have, the better chance you'd have of
showing up in the search engines.  Who knows, maybe you could even
take all of the top-ten positions for your keyword phrases if you have
enough domains.

Which, of course, is nothing more than your everyday, garden-variety
search engine spam.

As you know, I always advocate using your one *real* site and making
it the best it can be for the search engines and your users.  There
are so many advantages to doing things this way, one of which is not
having to worry about search engine penalizations or bannings.

Use one site, and one domain name, and you can sleep easily at night.

Do I hear someone out there saying, "But Jill, how come you have a
whole bunch of domains?  You tell us not to spam the search engines
with multiple domains, and then go out and do it yourself?  What are
you, some kind of a hypocrite?"

That's a very good question.

I do have multiple domain names.  For starters, I have my very first
domain, webwhiz.net which points to my current domain,
HighRankings.com.  When I was a designer back in the mid-nineties, my
company was Whalen's Web Whiz and webwhiz.net was my domain name.  As
I started to get more interested in search engine optimization, I
dreamed up the name HighRankings.com and lo and behold, it was
available!  I simply parked both domains at the same IP address, as
I've recommended to you guys many times.

Since then, every now and then I dream up a new domain name that
sounds cool, and if it's available, I snap it up.  I've got maybe 10
or so that I like but am not doing anything with.  And again, I just
buy 'em and park 'em at my HighRankings.com IP address.

So, I have one site, but multiple domain names, that bring you to that
one site.  A change to my one site is reflected across all the domain
names, because it's just one set of files taking up one area of server
space.

I've been hearing a lot about how permanently redirecting an old
domain to a new domain with a 301 permanent redirect is your best bet
to avoid getting into trouble when you have a setup such as mine.  But
I could never understand how I would do that, since I only have one
.htaccess file to work with.  (One site, one .htaccess file.)

Since I never understood it, I simply left well enough alone.  I
wasn't having any search engine problems, and Google especially seemed
to see my different domain names as just one site -- as they should.

Recently, I was reading I-Search
<http://www.adventive.com/lists/isearch/summary.html>, and Detlev
Johnson, the moderator, was explaining to someone how you could
perform the 301 redirects even with a setup such as mine.  But the
explanation he gave was really complicated, and it definitely didn't
seem to be worth the trouble of figuring out what he was talking
about.  However, in the next issue of I-Search, Bruce Clay
<http://www.bruceclay.com> sent in a post that made it finally make
sense to me!  He had a wonderfully easy solution that I could
implement in less than 10 minutes and be done with.

Basically what he said was to take one of your extra domains and make
it a "real" domain, as opposed to a "parked" domain.  Then simply
create an .htaccess file for that second domain which redirects it to
your main domain, and then go back and "park" all your other domains
to your second domain.  BINGO!

If you're still confused as to how to do that, here's exactly how I
did it with my domains:

HighRankings.com is my main site.  I also have webwhiz.net,
winning-web.com, site-pros.com, successrankings.com and a bunch of
others all parked at the HighRankings.com site.

So with this new method, I took webwhiz.net and unparked it.  I just
made it a regular site on my server.

Now, if you know how to set up a permanent redirect, that's what you
do next.  You can often do it from your domain's control panel.  I do
it directly through the .htaccess file.

I created an .htaccess text file for webwhiz.net and set the permanent
redirect line of code in it as follows:

Redirect permanent / /

That's it!  That's all you need in the .htaccess file.  Then I
uploaded it to the webwhiz.net server.  (Unfortunately, I forgot that
I have some email accounts set up on webwhiz.net which I had to go
back and re-enter once all was said and done, so keep that in mind if
you do this for your own sites.)

The next step was to then unpark all my other domains because they
were parked on the HighRankings.com domain.  I needed them to now be
parked on the webwhiz.net domain instead.

So I just went into my server control panel and unparked them all from
highrankings.com and re-parked them all on webwhiz.net.

The reason for this is because I wanted all the domains to have that
permanent redirect that I set up in the webwhiz.net .htaccess folder.
When parked at webwhiz.net, they're essentially using the same
.htaccess file, and therefore all get permanently redirected to
HighRankings.com.

Now my domains are set up in a way that will not inadvertently confuse
or trick the search engines and will keep everything on the straight
and narrow.

Plus, now if you try to go to webwhiz.net or any of my other domain
names, you'll see HighRankings.com in the location field of your
browser.  This is exactly as it should be, whereas before you'd see
the other domain name.  This way is better for branding my domain
name, also.

Once I had everything up and running, I checked with Bruce to make
sure I did it right, and he confirmed that I did.  So please feel free
to use the same method for your domains as necessary.  And here's a
big virtual thank-you to Bruce Clay for the simple and clear advice
needed to finally penetrate my thick head on this matter!

Jill

__________________________________________________adv.

Would you prefer to pay $49 -- or $149 -- to learn Google AdWords?
__________________________________________________

You can learn everything you need about Google AdWords from
Andrew Goodman for $49 if you act quickly (like right now)!

Very soon the price will be $149, and you'll have missed out.

"21 Techniques to Maximize your ROI on Google AdWords"
</issue006.htm#seonews2>
__________________________________________________


~~~Guest Article~~~

++Making Sense of Google AdSense++

Long-time subscriber, Aravind, writes today's guest article.  I've
emailed back and forth with him quite a few times, and when he offered
to write an article on Google's new AdSense program, I told him to go
for it!  Aravind holds a bachelor's degree in Electronics and
Communication Engineering and is currently an in-house SEO consultant.

Making Sense of Google AdSense
By Aravind

AdSense is an ad program run by Google which allows Website owners to
place advertisements on their sites for a share of the revenue.   For
every ad clicked on your site, you will be paid a percentage of the
per-click price.  AdSense ads are like the AdWords ads you see on the
right-hand side of Google whenever you type a search query there.

Eligibility for the AdSense Program

Any site that is content-related is eligible for the AdSense program;
however, the Google AdSense team has to approve your application.
Currently it appears that Google prefers content-rich sites (sites
offering information).

Setting up an AdSense program is a free and easy task.  Just fill out
the online application at <http://www.Google.com/AdSense> and within a
day or two you should get a reply on whether you are approved or not.

If your site is approved, you'll be given a login account.  The next
step is to log in and pick up your HTML code.  Copy and paste into
pages you want the ads to appear (just one instance per page), and
upload your pages to your server.  That's it! You should now be up and
running.

Having completed the above two-step process of understanding and
setting up the AdSense program, let's take a closer look at how it all
works.

AdSense serves ads that are related to the content of your Web page.
Google uses a sophisticated algorithm in order to display the most
relevant ads for your page; the algorithm picks up factors like
keyword density, word frequency, font size and link popularity.  For
best results, try to avoid frequent changes in the content of the page
where you're serving up AdSense ads.

To illustrate, let's use europeforvisitors.com as an example.  Since
the site is about travel options to Europe, the ads that are served on
the site are generally only related to rail travel in Europe and rail
tickets.

If you're concerned about showing competitor's ads on your site, this
is addressed by simply blocking those particular URLs from showing
ads. The AdSense Program's advanced filter option allows up to 200
sites to be blocked/filtered by you so that they won't appear on your
site.

Design and Navigation

Google allows you two types of navigation for display of your AdSense
ads. You can display horizontally with a space of 468x60, which allows
you to display up to 2 ads.

The other option, which is the most popular and also Google's
preferred method, is vertical.  This is like a skyscraper ad; it
occupies a space of 120x600 and allows you to display up to 4 ads.
You can see an example of this model at <http://www.80211anews.com> (a
case-study site used by Google).

Sites that may not be approved:

1. Sites that already serve text ads may not be approved; however, you
can explain your case to Google, as the AdSense editorial team decides
each case on a site-by-site basis.  The europeforvisitors.com site
mentioned earlier serves text ads as well as AdSense ads.

2. For sites that don't have text content, like Flash sites and other
all-graphical sites, the AdSense program relies on text content of the
site to decide what ads to serve, so it's not likely that the
editorial team will approve sites that have no text content.

3. Sites that require a login are not approved.

4. Sites that serve banner ads *should* get approved; however, if the
banner ads are from a third party whose ads might appear in Google
AdWords as well as on your site, then you will not be approved. It's
best to remove third-party banners that might be related to your
content before you apply for the AdSense program. If you cannot remove
third-party banners due to prior commitments, alternatively you may
block those sites from appearing in your Google ads and let them know
that you will not be showing double ads.

5. Any site with a particular ad appearing twice on the site -- once
due to Google and once due to being an affiliate -- is either not
approved, or the AdSense membership is terminated immediately after
this happens.

6. News sites and sites that serve search results may not be approved.

Economics and Advantages of AdSense

Google states that they will pay as much as or more than other
advertising networks pay site owners for advertisements.  AdSense
earnings are presently based on cost per thousand impressions (CPM)
and clickthrough rates. The final payment is made at the end of each
month once the earnings reach $100.

With this kind of economics, the money each website earns depends on
the ads they are serving, the competitiveness of the industry, the
visitors to the site, the number of impressions, clickthrough rates
and cost-per-click.

The additional advantages of using the AdSense program are as follows:

* No hassle of writing emails, making phone calls and running after
advertisers to place ads on your Website.
* No hassle of managing various affiliate URLs, banners and accounts.
* Due to its large pool of ads at Google's disposal there's a
continuous stream of them available, allowing for sustainability of
the program.
* Lastly, because of the credibility and reputation of Google, a small
Website's own credibility could be enhanced when it displays Google
AdWords ads through the AdSense program.

I believe the AdSense program is a noble move in helping small content
publishers, and also in raising the overall standards of the Internet.

Aravind
g_aravindprasad@hotmail.com


[You can learn more about AdSense at their FAQ page here:
<https://www.google.com/adsense/faq>. - Jill]


__________________________________________________

Ding-dong!   Meta Keywords are DEAD!
__________________________________________________

So where do I place my pesky keyword phrases?

In the copy, silly!

Purchase the "Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines"
by High Rankings Advisor editor Jill Whalen.
Only $49 </nittyhra60>.
__________________________________________________


~~~Other SEO News~~~

++Interview With Jill++

Alyice Edrich conducted a fun interview with me last week for her
Dabblingmum online magazine for busy parents.  You can read all about
how I went from plain old mom-at-home to "one of the most
knowledgeable persons in her field" (according to Alyice!) and lots of
other stuff.  Check it out at
</dabblingmum>.


++New Toolbars and Deskbars++

The search engines are all clamoring for more space on your monitor!

Google just announced a brand-new beta version of the Google Toolbar,
which has some cool features including a pop-up killer and a function
to help you fill out online forms.  (Sounds a lot like what my
ClickGarden browser does already!)

Don't worry; it still has the ever-more-maddening PageRank graph.  I
was hoping they might actually get rid of it this time around in order
to lessen PageRank Mania
</issue004.htm#seo> and the frantic emails
and forum posts it creates.  But no such luck. <sigh>

You can learn more about the beta toolbar and download it here:
<http://toolbar.google.com/index-beta.php>.

Also new is the HotBot Quick Search Deskbar.  This one is different
from the Google toolbar in that it doesn't integrate with your
browser, but with your Windows taskbar.  In fact it's touted as "a
tiny textbox designed for super searchers, allowing users to search
while performing other desktop functions like e-mail, word processing
and more, without starting a Web browser."

I'm really not what one would call a power searcher, nor did I want to
install more stuff on my computer, so I haven't tested this.  However,
it does sound interesting and it looks like it has all sorts of cool
uses.  Check it out for yourself at <http://www.hotbot.com/tools/> to
see if it might be worthwhile for you.


~~~Stuff You Might Like~~~

++Recap of Past Stuff++

Here's a quick recap of some past stuff I've told you about, with
links to their full reviews:

* SEO Research Labs: </issue056.htm#stuff>

* Sound Advice for Search Engine Optimization CD (US & CAN only):
</issue048.htm#stuff>

* Step-By-Step Copywriting Course (revised and updated):
</issue049.htm#stuff>

* Search Engine Marketing (all new 2nd edition) - The Essential Best
Practices Guide: </issue018.htm#stuff>

* Search Engine Optimization Fast Start:
</issue014.htm#stuff>

* Search Engine Visibility:
</issue041.htm#stuff>

* CloudMark's SpamNet:
</issue053.htm#stuff>

* PayPal Companion:
</issue045.htm#stuff>

* Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines:
</issue043.htm#stuff>

* Search Engine Yearbook 2003:
</issue038.htm#stuff>

* Ergonomic Computer Chair:
</issue058.htm#stuff>

My new Web site, "StuffYouMightLike.com," is in the process of being
designed, and will hopefully be all set for you in a few weeks.
That's where I'll be categorizing all the product, ebook and software
reviews I've written, so you (and I) won't have to keep digging
through my old issues to find what you're looking for.  Can't wait
until it's done!


~~~This Week's Sound Advice~~~

++Every Page is a Gateway to the Rest of Your Site++

</soundadvice>


~~~Advisor Wrap-up~~~

Next week is our U.S. 4th of July holiday weekend (and my birthday).
My family is heading down to Virginia to visit my friend Debra and her
family, and to visit my brother who lives in the same general area.
As of now, I'm still planning to do next week's newsletter, but may
skip it if things get really crazy.  I figure many of you will also be
on vacation next week and won't miss it if I skip it, but I'm
definitely gonna try to get it out.

Have a good week! - Jill
 
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