BOTW 25% Discount Ends Shortly

Title pretty well covers it. Just wanted to remind folks that the biggest discount of the year is rapidly approaching it’s expiration. We’re offering a 25% discount on BOTW products until the end of April. The promo code is  BDAY25. Click on image below for promotion details.

Best of the Web April promo code BDAY25

Best of the Web 17th Birthday Promo

This discount code can be used multiple times, but is only valid until April 30. You know the drill, you snooze you lose, so if you’ve got plans to boost visibility of one or a few sites… be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to save some bucks in the process.

Aside from that, hope everyone has a great weekend, and congrats to the UK guys, the wedding was lovely. :)

     

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.

     

Best of the Web 17th Birthday Promo

The Year Was 1994
Sheryl Crow assured us “All I Wanna Do is Have Some Fun…”. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana had a good year on the charts, despite dying in April. Newt Gingrich and his Contract for America crew staged a coup in the US House of Representatives. I acquired outstanding tickets to the new Ballpark in Arlington, just in time for Major League Baseball to go on strike and end the season before I got to use them.

“What IS the internet?” ~ Bryant Gumbel, Today Show, 1994
And in the tech world… NCSA Mosaic introduced a more user friendly browser, making it easier for non-geeks to access the then fledgling Internet. From that effort sprung a new company named Netscape. And if you think the internet has always been here, take a look at this clip of the Today Show as Katie Couric attempts to answer Bryant Gumbel when he said “What IS the internet?”.

Best of the Web is Born
In April of that year an awards program was launched at the University at Buffalo to let those already on the web vote on which sites they considered “Best of the Web”. The awards were announced in May at the International W3C Conference in Geneva. The awards were to serve two purposes:

  • Promote the Web to new/potential users by showing its highlights
  • Help information providers see what they can do with HTML/HTTP

The awards ran until the late 1990′s, and later BOTW was purchased from the founders by the current owners and turned into a general directory, BOTW.org. The goals are still largely the same, we provide users improved access to the best sites on the net, but it has developed into a family of products.

Current offerings in addition to the BOTW Directory include the UK & Ireland Directory, BOTW Blog Directory, BOTW Local, BOTW Verticals Software Directory, the recently launched Senior Housing Directory, and finally our brand new Online Degree Directory.

Contests & Such… are you missing anything?
If you’re interested in the history you can view the original awards in our archive, but for keeping up with little things like promos, contests and the like, you really should keep an eye on BOTW via Twitter or Facebook. Those tend to have a few spur of the moment “gimmes” that don’t make it to the blog, so if you miss ‘em, don’t blame me, you’ve been alerted now. :)

BOTW Birthday Promo
Anyway, in honor of turning 17 Best of the Web is offering its biggest discount of the year: 25% off on ALL directory submissions. You’ll save $100 on submissions at the Lifetime rate (usually $399.95), and about $40 on the annually recurring rate (regularly $149.95). These savings are also available for category sponsors. All customers get a 30-day free trial for their first sponsorship, and the discount will knock off $12 on the monthly renewal rates (normally $49.95).

To obtain these savings, use this promo code:  BDAY25

This code can be used multiple times, but is only valid until April 30. Take advantage of this year’s biggest discount by submitting today.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print, hope you guys are having a great week. ~ Rob

     

Directories: Who Uses ‘em

We were having one of those conversations the other day. You know, the ones you have when various people in related parts of an industry are still online at weird hours cause they don’t have the good sense of an air traffic controller and just go to sleep when they’re tired.

One of the new guys chimed in with a comment that, considering we were in the Directories section of a webmaster forum was possibly meant as a dig, but at least it explained why he was doing marketing instead of motivational speaking.

“Seriously… Does anyone ever USE a directory anymore?”

For starters I do, but I’m in the directory field, so I’m not exactly the average user. Can’t speak for everyone, but I find for some purposes they’re easier than search engines. More targeted, less unrelated stuff to wade through. Just a matter of picking the best tool for the job.

For example, when I was trying to figure out where the nearest pizza delivery joint was the other night I *could* have just used a search engine, but instead I hopped on BOTW Local and typed in the name of the town and “pizza” and got a list in order of proximity.

Couldn’t I have just done so in a search engine? Absolutely. Of course I’d get a certain number of returns that involved people in that town with blogs that had the word “pizza” in it or something, but I’d have gotten there.

The thing is, the “there” I’d have gotten to was the search engine returning results of local directories for the most part. Whether he uses directories or not, the search engines definitely do.

Kinda like saying “No, I don’t use any dairy products, I get my milk at the grocery store”.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. :) – Rob

     

Getting Social at BOTW Local

No, they aren’t sending staff to charm school… we’re talking Social Media in this case. If you peruse the various BOTW products you’ll start seeing more social media integrated into the listings and pages.

For example, on BOTW Local even the FREE “Jump Start” listings have newly added fields for Twitter, Facebook, and Linked in. Not bad for a freebie.

Incidentally, while most directories SAY they offer a free option but pretty much just ignore their free queue… I can assure you the Jump Start queue in BOTW Local is very actively worked. In order to not accidentally over-promise, our documentation says we’ll make an up or down call inside 6 months… BUT… the Local Team had actual times down to a month a while back.

Oddly, even though that’s a fraction of what’s needed to meet our promise, even *that* wasn’t good enough. Staff asked us to add people to that team so we could get it down even lower. Last I checked it was hovering around 2 weeks out. If we add anybody else in there we’ll be approving them before you send ‘em. :)

Anyway, just thought I’d mention that if the marketing budget’s too tight to go for an upgraded route at present, do NOT just walk away empty handed. The BOTW Local Jump Start listing is IMO one of the best bargains you’ll ever find on the web. “Free” is a tough price to beat… and if the business qualifies for a listing it WILL get listed in a timely manner.

Hope everyone has a great week out there. ~ Rob

     
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