Spring Fashion – The New BOTW Blog

Thanks to the Beers Design Team

I suppose now that we’re officially on the new URL and have the new interface in place it’s time to thank the folks that made it happen. A hearty thanks to the guys at Beers Design for setting up this WordPress theme.


The old one was getting a little threadbare, didn’t allow pictures of the size I’d have liked, and just looked its age. This is a vast improvement. I’d also like to thank our own Rob Schmidt for working with them to get it done. You guys did a great job, and that makes mine easier. Gracias gents.

And Another Writer to Enter the Fray

Also, rumor here at BOTW-land is that one of the talented folks from corporate is going to join me in the blog, so you can look forward to upcoming posts from Danielle. It’ll be nice to have another hand at the oar and a different perspective. You can find her bio info on the BOTW Corporate website. Actually if you’re reading this, that’s where you are now. Just hit the button up there that says “About Us.

It’s Official: Facebook Causes Divorce

You Just Can’t Make Up Stuff this Fun

An article published today in The Tech Journal had this solemn headline…
“Facebook is the new cause of divorce”

The story leads off as follows:

The number of divorces occurring because of Facebook and other social networking sites has been on the rise since these sites have become increasingly popular, research claims. ~ Published in The Tech Journal – 5/13/2011

They may have a point
After all, I keep seeing a box on the other side of my FB page that shows a very attractive girl (about the age of my own kid) with a skimpy outfit and a caption that says “Guess who’s looking for you!”.

I suppose it *could* be true, but most likely it’d either mean  (*a) daddy issues are really getting outta hand at colleges or (*b) collection agencies have started using people we might really let find us.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
Seriously folks. Did the number of deaths by plane crash climb when people started using air travel? Did football injuries mysteriously rise when schools added the game to their athletic program? Heck, I’ll bet gunshot accidents rose significantly after the invention of firearms.

If they look REALLY close they’ll also find an increase in the number of people that got married as a result of Facebook since people started using it, not to mention a shocking (!) increase in the number of people who got unfriended on Facebook, and yes… a dramatic jump in meaningless statistics about people who do things as a result of using Facebook. Somebody needs to check into these things too, there’s a good chance we’re onto something.

On the bright side, the number killed in buggies powered by horses continues to decline in a figure inversely related to automobile sales.

There had to be government grant money involved in this powerful research project. Surely nobody came up with such an amazing statistical correlation without a considerable endowment with which to ponder such deep thoughts.

Obligatory Mention of Daily Trivia Challenge on Facebook
As you might guess, the only correlation that is totally escaping me is how to tie this all to internet directories, but it was just too classic to pass up. Guess I could say I put it here to plug the daily contests we’re doing on BOTW’s Facebook page. Yeah, that’s it. Go win some easy money on our Trivia Challenge… you may need it to pay the lawyer later.

Gotta love the internet. You guys have a great weekend, and for those that are married, behave yourselves on Facebook or I’m telling. :)

Blog Commenting: Do’s and Don’ts

Blog commenting is a typical part of link building campaigns intended to raise the visibility of a site, but of course as with anything that helps, there are guys that over-do it to the extreme. When that happens, the big SEs make adjustments that decrease the effectiveness in a way that affects more than just the bozos that employ it wrong. Such is life.

You can go to any webmaster forum and find someone willing to take a small fee for a link building campaign, and in most cases they’ll describe it as “manual link building” and assure you they’ll be adding “quality” comments. Then they’ll quote you a fee of $50 to comment on a billion or so blogs.

I have to believe somebody is paying for their services, if only based on the amount of spam comments I see summarily canned by Askimet and similar spam guardians on blogs I work. I also have to believe that given women are just as involved on the web as men these days… roughly half of the people employing such services are female.

Here’s my question:

Where the heck were all these gullible girls when I was single?

Anyone that pays someone to spam the heck out of blogs is just dreaming. Sure, there are blogs that are unattended or built solely for the purpose of accepting such nonsense comments, but generic machine driven comments on any blog worth a backlink will be deleted manually if not tossed automatically. The few places they stick will be populated with a hundred similar comments… all guaranteed to fool people that’ve been on the net less than 5 minutes only.

Thank you for this marvelous post dear! I was searching for this most worthy information. Please post more about this topic. I have bookmarked this site and will come back often!

Yeah… obviously the work of someone that felt a burning need to commend the writer. For the record, its always a treat to hear from you, mister QualityTransmissionsRepairandHairSalon.co.whatever. Please stop in again (you dork).

I don’t think blog commenting is a waste. Anyone that actually takes the time to write a blog instead of relying on similarly worthless “auto-blog” software is always thrilled when somebody takes the time to read their work and make a comment that shows a sentient being engaged their brain and posted a reply.

Of course I figure when I finish this one… if nobody replies I can assuage my loneliness by going to the spam filter to see the comments no other human will ever see. No doubt I’ll have at least one that says…

“Thanks for your share!!! I am adding your RSS feed!!!”

~ QualityTransmissionsRepairandHairSalon.co.whatever

Argh. Lord, please take me now. ~ Rob :)

PS: If you’re looking for blogs on the topic of your choice that are NOT auto-written… see the BOTW Blog Directory.

Congrats to Wes LeFebvre – Reseller Contest Winner

Small World These Days
Always amazes me how small the world gets in the age of the internet. Yeah, I know, that dates me a bit since a lot of the guys reading this were probably born post net. Hey I’m a fossil, sue me. Anyway, when Rob Schmid told me the name of the winner of our October BOTW Reseller Contest the name rang a bell.

Winner: Wesley LeFebvre of SEOrankings.com
Wesley LeFebvre owns a media publishing company which runs network of websites focused on search engine optimization and internet marketing. Reason the name sounded familiar is I’ve noticed some quality posts from him over at the V7n Webmaster Forum, including one where he offers a free SEO Book just for signing up at his blog.

You can follow Wes at SEOrankings.com, a regularly updated search engine optimization guide for people interested in learning how to make money online through improved search engine rankings.

Anyway, made it a little more special to get to write this post for someone that wasn’t just a name on an email. Reminds me of the time Microsoft transferred me to a tech in India and it turned out he and I knew each other in several net venues. Gotta love the internet.

Congrats to Wes on winning the Ipad for his October efforts. We appreciate the BOTW Reseller crew, you make our jobs easier while you earn.

Note to BOTW Owners: IPads make great gifts for staff members too.

If you’d like to become a BOTW Reseller…
You too could be earning a 25% commission on all sales. Here are links to BOTW Reseller Information and the Best of the Web Reseller FAQ. In a nutshell, it’s a great way to be able to offer customers, friends, and even yourself a great deal on submissions to the oldest directory on the web… and set up a nice passive income in the process. [Who doesn't like that?]. Tends to add up, and you effectively lock in a super discount for yourself as well.

The BOTW Reseller program’s a win-win for all involved. Check it out, and as always, hope you’re all having a great day. ~ RobJ

Taking a Blog Viral!

Best I admit up front this post won’t tell hardcore SEOs and pro-bloggers anything they don’t know. Having lived on the fringe edge of the webmaster world for a decade +, most of the success I’ve had came when SEO included a lotta stuff we call spam today. That was when the web was young.

I know good SEOs, but I am a modestly talented amateur at most. As such, this page is really an SEM 101 post, not a revelation from heaven. Maybe it’ll help somebody, but if not, reading it won’t make you walk away dumber.

Then vs Now
In what now seems like the dawn of time, in the late 1990′s+ I took a site to PR7 thru trial and error. Back then, white-on-white keyword laden text was considered skill, not something to laugh about, and sending 50 adds a day to the same sources every day was “persistence”, not spam. Things I did then would get me banned by Google in a heartbeat today. At one point I had a lock on some SERP s I could sell for enough to retire on if it were done today. That was then, this is now, and the system is vastly changed.

Dusting off the Webmaster Suit
Recently I needed to rejoin the webmaster workld because a friend had an emergency that required assistance, both medical and financial. Her daughter was facing cancer for the third time and needed a bone marrow transplant. The insurance co-pay alone is predicted to run around $80,000… and I was volunteered (by my wife, who else?) as the guy to help make the financial side of it happen. Not having $80k laying around, it seemed that taking the case to the web was the answer.

Last week I built a site… Got-Marrow.org, for the purpose of fund-raising. My first website was built using Microsoft Word, and soon-after enhanced using MS Frontpage. You can laugh all ya want guys, but we didnt have WordPress, Dreamweaver, CSS, Joomla… and I wasn’t a code-kid who could write HTML code on sheet of text. This time I have WordPress to work with (thank heaven).

If You Build it, They Will Come
LOL. That is the movie version of the old saying… “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door”. Unfortunately it’s horse-hockey, and as a professor told me in a college marketing class, a helluvalotta guys with great moustraps died broke. A mediocre moustrap that can be found sells faster than a perfect one nobody’s heard of.

Using ALL the Golf Clubs
Being something of an addict to webmaster forums, I’m constantly amazed to see people get into heated arguments over whether you oughta use this directory over that one, or should you use Social Bookmarking or Blog comments… or are you better off using sig links or banner ads. To me that’s like asking if you should go to the golf course with a driver or a putter… or should you just take a sand wedge.

DUH! You go to the golf course with every club you can fit in the bag… and you’ll probably need all of them.

We have a limited time to work with in the case of the blog I’m promoting, so we’ve used a shotgun of SEO tactics that’d run one man ragged. Medical emergencies have a short timeline, but on the bright side, it’s easier to get volunteers to save a life than it is to promote a blog about Audio-visual Equipment Reviews. Manpower hasn’t been our limitation, we’ve had many volunteers and  LOT of donated directory links, sig links, FB mentions, etc.

What have we done? Just about everything that can be done fast and easily, and in large quantity. Sig links, Facebook links, a FB group, twitters, re-tweets, press releases on multiple venues, Digg adds, you name it… we have a guy doing it. We added a How Can I Help page and have volunteers and amateurs assisting. We’ll take more if you’re up for it.

The Response?
We started the site midweek. By the third full day we were getting visitors from 43 countries, and money was starting to come in. Not in huge chunks, but little donations add up. It helps that it’s pretty apparent that it isnt a scam site, and I’ve been hesitant to put adsense on it for fear somebody’d think it was an MFA.

That’s a hard call to make because adsense might help boost the bottom line for the cause, but if it jaded the view of onlookers it might have a reverse effect. That one is still under consideration. Bottom line, the traffic is growing rapidly and the site is indexed and starting to generate SE traffic in addition to the direct and referral traffic that started it off.

The Lesson I’ve Learned
There are a lot of folks in web forums that offer advice. Some will solemnly intone that directories are dead, or that Twitter has seen its 15 minutes of fame. Others will tell you their pet profile spam method is the only thing needed to move into the ranks of SEO.

What I’m seeing is there are more ways to boost a site than ever before, and anyone that doesn’t take advantage of as many white hat methods as possible is missing results he could have seen. We have not touched on any complicated methods… there are no radical link schemes, no fake forum IDs, no blackhat, just simple stuff that tends to snowball.

Another thing I’ve learned in the process is that people in the webmaster community are pretty much the same across the world when it comes to humanity, and they’re generous to a fault in giving their time and skills. Can’t thank them all here, but they know who they are. I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the guys at the V7n forum community, cause they’ve busted their rears helping.

Should YOU have a similar project… Let BOTW Help
Don’t forget that BOTW offers a free add for Charity sites. Go to the applicable category and click on the BOLDED submit site button (not the light one at the top of the screen) and you’ll see …

That queue has been drastically reduced recently, but obviously still gets more spam than the commercial queue where we are required to respond in a certain timeframe. If you have a charity website sitting in the free  add queue…  you have my personal invitation to drop me an email.  I’ll see that it is tracked down and reviewed. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to help, so is Best of the Web.

My thanks again to all who have assisted ~ Rob Jones

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