Despite Its Reputation for Referring Traffic, Pinterest Is Blocking All Sorts of Links


 

Liz Gannes

 | http://allthingsd.com

In its short life as a top-tier Web site, Pinterest has earned much acclaim for sending gobs of good traffic to other sites. People see pretty pictures on Pinterest, and they click to buy things on other sites.

 

But Pinterest — which had 31.9 million global unique visitors in May, per comScore – has actually taken steps to disable sharing links, as part of its broader efforts to fight off spam.

Where many user-generated content sites have embraced their roles as distribution tools, Pinterest is hindering some of the common methods used by brands and marketers to track traffic referrals.

Specifically, Pinterest is blocking or stripping three types of links, when they are “pinned” by any user:

  • The service mark affiliate links from sites such as Amazon; Pinterest treats them as spam and has been doing so since April. Affiliate links help the original poster get a cut of sales from purchases made by people who click on the link. It’s actually atechnique Pinterest itself tested without telling users, making some of them quite upset.
  • Pinterest is also now flagging links posted with URL shorteners. So if you want to post something using an analytics service like Bitly or Awe.sm that redirects to the actual site, anyone who clicks on the link will see a Pinterest roadblock sign warning them not to proceed.
  • The site is stripping information added to the end of a URL, another common analytics technique. So if you use links generated with something like Google’s URL builder in order to track click-throughs, Pinterest will delete the additional information from the end of the link before making it public. This has been happening for about a month, according to sources in the e-commerce space.

To be sure… Leer más “Despite Its Reputation for Referring Traffic, Pinterest Is Blocking All Sorts of Links”

What is a Virtual Assistant?


See on Scoop.ithuman being in – perfección

Over a decade ago my wife Arlene and I decided to take the plunge into affiliate marketing, and we haven’t looked back since. We haven’t had the time. Well, to be honest, we have had the time, but are choosing to spend the extra time we now have with our family and friends, doing what we enjoy most.
Now, just because we have more time, it doesn’t mean we haven’t been successful. We certainly have been, more than we could have hoped for, actually. However, working from home has also garnered freedom that came with that success, far more than what we were experiencing from a traditional 9-5 job outside of the home.

Our Internet business is the result of a dream, hard work and determination, and a team we count on each day to help us reach our goals.
One of the reasons we have the freedom to work our choice of hours, travel, and spend more time with our family is because we are working with virtual assistants who help us find a balance of more production, as well as the freedom to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Perhaps it’s time for you to consider a virtual assistant.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant, often referred to as a VA, is someone who works remotely, assisting a company with administrative, technical, social media, or other varying tasks. They are referred to as ‘virtual’, because technology such as the Internet, conference calls, Skype, and fax machines are methods used to communicate and perform projects. Leer más “What is a Virtual Assistant?”

13 Options for Selling Digital Products on Your Website

There is no shortage of options for managing an e-commerce website. There are all kinds of shopping carts and e-commerce content management systems that have a wide variety of strengths and weaknesses. Finding the right option for selling digital downloads, however, can prove to be a challenge.

There are a lot of factors to consider when selling digital files. You’ll need an effective setup for instant delivery. There are choices to be made between a flat pricing structure or per transaction fees. You can either host the files on your own or go with a provider that will host the files for you. You’ll also have to decide what features are important to you, such as being able to offer coupon codes and managing an affiliate program. If you’re selling a large number of products and/or large files it will only make your decision process more complicated and pricey.


http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/tools/selling-digital-products/

There is no shortage of options for managing an e-commerce website. There are all kinds of shopping carts and e-commerce content management systems that have a wide variety of strengths and weaknesses. Finding the right option for selling digital downloads, however, can prove to be a challenge.

There are a lot of factors to consider when selling digital files. You’ll need an effective setup for instant delivery. There are choices to be made between a flat pricing structure or per transaction fees. You can either host the files on your own or go with a provider that will host the files for you. You’ll also have to decide what features are important to you, such as being able to offer coupon codes and managing an affiliate program. If you’re selling a large number of products and/or large files it will only make your decision process more complicated and pricey. Leer más “13 Options for Selling Digital Products on Your Website”

Design Business Plans… the missing ingredients

Before you jump into business planning – here are some important ‘missing’ ingredients that are worth considering…

If you are in the early stages of starting your own design business then you may be experiencing the internal ‘fear and doubt’ monologue that can often take place in one’s mind. The goal of this article is to help ease some of the heartache – ensuring that you ‘keep the faith’ all the way to success. The key to success in business is to revisit your plans often, making minor adjustments along the way – especially during challenging times.

Design Business Plans – Missing Ingredients:

* A good quantity of Passion
* Two tablespoons of Niche
* An ounce of Leverage
* A pinch of Lateral Thinking
* Two cups of Testing
* A clove of Efficiency
* 2 bunches of Lag
* 300g of Timing
* 4 tins of Action

1. Passion (a.k.a Do What You Love)
The number one missing ingredient in most design business plans is Passion. It’s a good idea to work in a business that interests you. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be in love with the product or service that you sell; however, you must enjoy aspects of the business otherwise you won’t be motivated to give it 100% of your focus. And it will need a lot of your focus and energy, especially in the early stages!

To help determine this point, you could ask yourself the following types of questions:

* What do you really like to do (in a business sense)?
* Are you an ideas or action type of person? Or a bit of both?
* In which 20% of your talents do 80% of your results come from?
* In other words, where do your key skills lie?

It really all boils down to one question though – what are you really passionate about?

2. Niche
Another missing ingredient in design business plans is the ‘spice’ Niche and it goes a long way to determining success. Without exception, the majority of successful on and offline business owners I know can tell you in a couple of sentences exactly what it is they love to do and why it has made them wealthy.

Without a precise understanding of your Niche your chances for success are greatly diminished. After all, it’s very difficult to hit a target which doesn’t exist or to win a game when you don’t know what it (winning) is.

Ask yourself what you are trying to achieve in this online business venture:

* Do you want to make quick cash?
* Do you want to develop and grow a sustainable online business?
* Are you interested in high cash-flow or developing assets? Or both?
* Do you have BIG aspirations or are you just looking to develop a hobby for some part-time cash?

Keep in mind that your Niche can always be adapted down the track if your situation or the market changes.

3. Leverage
You need to become a master of Leverage. It is one of the most powerful principles in online business. The majority of people who are successful in business and life use Leverage in a significant way.

To use the concept of Leverage you need to continually examine how you can access other people’s skill, resources and money more effectively. Furthermore, consider less obvious assets such as systems, marketing and time.

Leverage is about duplicating a high-value item or skill at a lower cost.

I will explore this topic in depth in future articles; however, at this point it is important to remember the following points:

* Focus on Money-Making activities
* Delegate to others as much as possible

By doing this you will see an immediate increase in your ability to work ‘on’ your design business, rather than getting stuck ‘in’ the day to day running of it.

Lateral Thinking shares an implicit relationship with Leverage…

4. Lateral Thinking
This is the concept of looking at things from a different point of view. You can increase profits significantly by doing simple things to “Add Value” in ways that others are not.

In other words, continually look at you business and ask yourself questions such as:

* How can we do, what we do, better?
* What do our clients want that they are not getting currently?
* Could we use affiliate marketing to grow our online business?
* Do we currently use the internet to effectively market our business?
* Could we join forces with another online business to cross-promote our products?
* Could we use our knowledge to create another product?



Design Business Plans… the missing ingredients

Before you jump into business planning – here are some important ‘missing’ ingredients that are worth considering…

If you are in the early stages of starting your own design business then you may be experiencing the internal ‘fear and doubt’ monologue that can often take place in one’s mind. The goal of this article is to help ease some of the heartache – ensuring that you ‘keep the faith’ all the way to success. The key to success in business is to revisit your plans often, making minor adjustments along the way – especially during challenging times.

Design Business Plans – Missing Ingredients:

  • A good quantity of Passion
  • Two tablespoons of Niche
  • An ounce of Leverage
  • A pinch of Lateral Thinking
  • Two cups of Testing
  • A clove of Efficiency
  • 2 bunches of Lag
  • 300g of Timing
  • 4 tins of Action

1. Passion (a.k.a Do What You Love)
The number one missing ingredient in most design business plans is Passion. It’s a good idea to work in a business that interests you. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be in love with the product or service that you sell; however, you must enjoy aspects of the business otherwise you won’t be motivated to give it 100% of your focus. And it will need a lot of your focus and energy, especially in the early stages!

To help determine this point, you could ask yourself the following types of questions:

* What do you really like to do (in a business sense)?
* Are you an ideas or action type of person? Or a bit of both?
* In which 20% of your talents do 80% of your results come from?
* In other words, where do your key skills lie?

It really all boils down to one question though – what are you really passionate about?

2. Niche
Another missing ingredient in design business plans is the ‘spice’ Niche and it goes a long way to determining success. Without exception, the majority of successful on and offline business owners I know can tell you in a couple of sentences exactly what it is they love to do and why it has made them wealthy.

Without a precise understanding of your Niche your chances for success are greatly diminished. After all, it’s very difficult to hit a target which doesn’t exist or to win a game when you don’t know what it (winning) is.

Ask yourself what you are trying to achieve in this online business venture:

* Do you want to make quick cash?
* Do you want to develop and grow a sustainable online business?
* Are you interested in high cash-flow or developing assets? Or both?
* Do you have BIG aspirations or are you just looking to develop a hobby for some part-time cash?

Keep in mind that your Niche can always be adapted down the track if your situation or the market changes.

3. Leverage
You need to become a master of Leverage. It is one of the most powerful principles in online business. The majority of people who are successful in business and life use Leverage in a significant way.

To use the concept of Leverage you need to continually examine how you can access other people’s skill, resources and money more effectively. Furthermore, consider less obvious assets such as systems, marketing and time.

Leverage is about duplicating a high-value item or skill at a lower cost.

I will explore this topic in depth in future articles; however, at this point it is important to remember the following points:

* Focus on Money-Making activities
* Delegate to others as much as possible

By doing this you will see an immediate increase in your ability to work ‘on’ your design business, rather than getting stuck ‘in’ the day to day running of it.

Lateral Thinking shares an implicit relationship with Leverage…

4. Lateral Thinking
This is the concept of looking at things from a different point of view. You can increase profits significantly by doing simple things to “Add Value” in ways that others are not.

In other words, continually look at you business and ask yourself questions such as:

* How can we do, what we do, better?
* What do our clients want that they are not getting currently?
* Could we use affiliate marketing to grow our online business?
* Do we currently use the internet to effectively market our business?
* Could we join forces with another online business to cross-promote our products?
* Could we use our knowledge to create another product? Leer más “Design Business Plans… the missing ingredients”

Can Google Detect an Affiliate Website

Now if the folks at Sitonomy can detect that 4% of the* links on a page are from CJ, I’m positive that Google can as well. I’m sure Google can tell on page level throughout the site and the site as a whole. I’m also quite sure Google has an idea at what point, whether by percentage or by total number of links, that a site becomes an affiliate website. It would also be fairly easy to say, once you cross that threshold, you need a higher level of trust to rank for competitive terms. This is one of the reasons I strongly disagree with Lori Weiman, who says affiliates should never cloak links.

UPDATED: the % is total links scanned not just links on the page, my bad.

So what are the takeaways here:

* Use a tool like Sitonomy to check your most important pages and see what they are able to find as far as affiliate links
* Look into redirection tools that mask your links, and make sure you block them from search engine spiders
* Obfuscate some of your other links as well even if they aren’t affiliate links: people should always be unsure of your intent
* Always make sure you comply with FTC regulations for disclosure. If needed, use a nice non-machine-readable graphic for maximum stealthiness


Michael Gray

By Michael Gray
http://www.wolf-howl.com

One of the questions that often comes up is does Google hate affiliate websites, and are they penalized in the algorithm?

I’m also quite sure Google has an idea at what point, whether by percentage or by total number of links, that a site becomes an affiliate website

The answer to that is slightly nuanced but, for simplicity’s sake, they don’t hate affiliate websites. Nor have I seen any evidence that shows affiliate sites are penalized. What Google does hate is thin affiliate websites with little or no trust. However, a better question to ask is can Google detect affiliate websites, and can they make it harder  for affiliate websites to rank … ? But those are entirely different questions.

If you’ve read the leaked quality rater guide from 2009, you’ll see that Google has set up lot of hurdles specifically making it harder for affiliate websites to “pass” the sniff test. One of the quickest and easiest ways that Google can determine an affiliate website is through “naked” links to common affiliate programs like Linkshare, CJ, ShareASale, and others. But, really, how good can Google be at detecting those links? Well, here’s a publicly available free tool put out by Sitonomy that checks what types of programming tools are being used by a website. Leer más “Can Google Detect an Affiliate Website”

E-Mail Named Tops for ‘Targeting’


– Mark Dolliver, Adweek
A newly released Datran Media survey of executives at Fortune 500 companies, publishing companies, media agencies and ad agencies finds e-mail and search regarded as the digital channels that worked best last year.

Conducted in December in conjunction with the Direct Marketing Association E-mail Experience Council “and other media partners,” the survey asked respondents to identify the digital channels that “performed the strongest for your company in 2009.” E-mail got the most mentions (cited by 39 percent), followed by search (24 percent), offline (9 percent), affiliate marketing (9 percent), display (7 percent), direct mail (6 percent), social media (5 percent) and mobile (1 percent).

Another part of the survey inquired into the objectives these executives have for their online efforts. “Reaching a target audience” topped the list (cited by 84 percent), followed by “generating high-quality leads” (74 percent). Smaller majorities said they’re using online efforts for “converting leads into sales” (63 percent), “measuring and understanding our audience” (60 percent), “retaining existing customers” (57 percent) and/or “digitally transacting with customers” (54 percent). Consistent with the interest in reaching a target audience, respondents put “targeting” atop the list of online “marketing tactics” they’ll be using this year as part of their online strategy.

When it comes to measuring consumer response to their digital efforts, what do the respondents’ companies currently look at? “Clicks” got the most mentions (72 percent), trailed by “conversions” (59 percent) and “impressions” (58 percent). Lagging farther behind were “transactions” and “audience” (43 percent apiece).

Elsewhere in the survey, 67 percent of respondents said they’ll be “leveraging online video this year.” As for social media, opinion was mixed on the question of whether it will “generate quantifiable results in 2010.” Fifty percent of respondents said they think it will, but 12 percent said it won’t and the rest were unsure.

http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/direct/e3ia1e34a9eb6562e5bdee985a9fa26607b

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