To The February Experiment
challenge this month was to drive traffic to a new
website which I launched in January 2006 - and get
on with my "normal" work
website which I launched was a "template" site, which
I got through my memberships of "Niche Products Monthly
(currently closed to new members). It is a site aimed
at people who want to learn Yoga, and it generates income
through AdSense ads and the sale of an eBook. You can
view it at www.learning-yoga.com.
my January Diary opens in
new window), I described my intense flurry of
activity, customising and tweaking the new site before
uploading it to my web server. The site was launched
on Wednesday 11th January 2006, my final acts being
a check that Google had accepted my "XML Sitemap" and
some tracking systems in place.
the "February Experiment" actually started on Monday
16th January. Here's what I did in the 6 weeks up to
the end of February. My work in this period was not as
intensive in the frenetic launch phase. In fact, I did
little with the new site in the last two weeks of February.
As with the my January diary, I've marked recommendations
in this way and my major
tasks like this. Note: all links open
in a new browser window, so you won't lose this page.
1: (week ending 21 Jan 06)
immediate challenge is getting
the site indexed by Google.
no sign of the site (to
check how many pages in your site are indexed
by Google enter site:www.mywebsitename.com
into the search box). I haven't
got too much confidence the the power of Google
sitemaps to hurry up the indexing of a site;
and they don't guarantee it. Still, you have
I'd try the power of linking from a couple of my
well-crawled websites. Google is
more likely to index a new site if it finds it
linked on another website it crawls regularly.
Magic website has a Page Rank ("PR")
of 5, and was last crawled by Google on 10th January
(you can check when a page was last crawled
by finding in on a search results page and clicking
on the "cached" link).
So I added a relevant link top-left of the Marketing
Magic home page. I also added an entry to my Marketing
Sparks blog, which has a PR of 4 and
was last crawled on 12th January (the search
engines will crawl a site more frequently if you
continually add content). The blog entry
had links to this experiments page (which has now
got a PR of 3!), to the home page of the Yoga site,
and also to the sales page for the eBook. This
latter link was possibly significant - see my later
notes. (Whenever I add an entry to my blog
I always 'ping' the various blog services with
one click through Ping-O-Matic).
to start a bit of reciprocal
up for a free account at Link
I haven't used them before, but I thought
I'd try them out. Before I did, I set up
a reciprocal links page so I could put links
to other sites. (Note
for NPM members - I took a pre-prepared page,
the content, saved it as "resources.php"
and then added a link to this page in the
"Google_160x600.php" file in the "Includes"
Link Metro lets you list details of your
site. You can then search for sites you want
to exchange links with and / or wait for
invitations to come from other Link Metro
members. I exchanged links with 4 members
who'd requested an exchange, and invited
4 more. I noticed another Niche Profits Monthly
member's site there; had a look at their
site and noticed that they'd cut the number
of article categories and increased the number
of articles in each category. Good idea;
seems a bit daft to have loads of categories
with only on article in each one. Success with
Google index - well, partial success! Got
one page in the index! But I'm beginning
to have doubts about the home page of the
site being a rotating page (a different article
page picked at random). Will Mr. Google like
it? Tried another strategy and used the Google
"submit URL" on Golexa.
2: (week ending 28 Jan 06)
do much this week. Noticed on Thursday that
the Yoga eBook sales page was now in the Google
index, but still only one page indexed in the
main AdSense article pages. I really am having
doubts about the wisdom of a randomly rotating
home page. I'm going to change it to a static
page with a few welcoming paragraphs. But, interestingly,
why is the eBook sales page still indexed. Is
it because in my blog entry on 17 Jan I'd included
a separate link to this page? Could be. Possible
strategy: get inbound links to different pages
on your website. Don't take this as a definite
"yes", but it's worth trying. On Saturday,
exchanged some more links through Link Metro
- I've now got 8 reciprocal links, but they're
not very high-grade in terms of Page Rank.
3: (week ending 4 Feb 06)
to look very carefully at the quality of
reciprocal link invites
via Link Metro. Most of them were spammy
blogs for pharmeceutical
products. Ran a mile from them and rejected
them. The quality of a reciprocal
link is more important than the number of
in-bound links you have - be selective or
your ranking could suffer! Bummer
- Google has
dropped the home page of the site, and is
now only indexing the eBook
sales page. OK, time for drastic action.
Converted the rotating
home page to a static page with a
few welcoming paragraphs (Note
for NPM members: as with the new "resources.php"
page, I stripped out the content from a prepared
page, added some content and saved it as
"index.php"). I also added
some ClickBank affiliate ads to the new home
income streams is the name of the game!) It
was a real pain because the structure of
by me) made it impossible
to add a neatly formed table with these ads
into the home page. I had to mess around
with layers which (a) took ages and (b) didn't
work with every browser and / or browser
window size. If
you're designing a site for others to use,
make sure that
they can change it easily. This was a lesson
that I learnt when I built a new website
for owners of my Newbies
Starter Kit. Whilst I
was at it, I thought I might as well design
a new banner to differentiate myself from
all the other owners of the website. Here's
the old and the new:
that feels better! I like to be different.
Oh, and I changed the file name of
the banner. Whilst the search engines can't
actually see images, they can read
file names. If you're using "template
websites" which other people will be using,
change the file names of the image files.
of requests for reciprocal links via Link
Metro. They were all rubbish. Rejected them
all. I'm going to get increasingly picky.
4: (week ending 11 Feb 06)
site's home page is back in the Google
but still only one page indexed apart from
the eBook sales page. Rejected another 9
rubbish link requests via Link Metro. This
strategy ain't working!
Friday: Yipee! Google
has indexed 85 of my pages! OK, let me qualify
this. I checked the site (remember
- enter "site:www.mywebsitename.com" in a
Google search box) in
one of Google's new "Bigdaddy" data centres.
Please read the following panel carefully..
The Google "Bigdaddy" Change
Google is currently undergoing a massive upgrade
to the way that it indexes and ranks websites.
This is nothing like previous re-indexing
exercises which have caused webmasters' (and
webmistresses') hearts to flutter nervously.
It is a deep change in the formulae which
it uses to index and rank websites - formulae
which are more closely guarded than the Coca
Cola recipe! This huge change is known as
reasons for this change are to try to
root out "spammy" websites (sites with
duplicate content or content "scraped"
from other sites) and websites which try
to cheat by showing the search
engines one page and human visitors another
- and many other "black hat" tricks; generally,
Google wants even higher quality search
results than it's currently producing
The Bigdaddy changes are being slowly
introduced during the early part of 2006
by gradually converting the many Google "data
centers" over to the new system. It's difficult
to tell whether or not your search results
are coming from an old data center or from
one which has had the Bigdaddy upgrade.
But here's one data center which you can
try and which has had the Bigdaddy
treatment: http://188.8.131.52/ If
it produces different results from your regular
Google search page, then the chances are
that your regular search page hasn't had
the Bigdaddy treatment.
But this is very hit and miss because
each time you use Google, the chances are
that you are using a different data center.
It can all get very confusing!
Week 5 & 6: (week ending 18 & 25 Feb 06)
Only did a couple of things
with my Learning Yoga website. I need to
be able to continually
add content to the site. So I got hold
of about 80 articles on Yoga, added a couple
and set my PC desktop timer to remind me once
a week to add one of these articles. I also
added a section on my new static home page
"Articles Recently Added" with links to the
new articles, so that the search engines will
see that the site is being updated regularly.
This will be a 10-minute job every week.
I also worked out my AdWords
strategy to drive traffic to the eBook's
sales page. Although
the website package came with a list of yoga-related
keywords, this told me nothing about which
ones to target in my AdWords campaign. So I
fired up my AdWord Analyzer software and
rapidly got a load of keywords, complete
with the number of searches for each keyword,
the number of pages the search engines returned
for each keyword, and how many advertisers
were bidding for each keyword. This latter
statistic was vital. I'd worked out that
if the sales page converted 1 per cent of
visitors into customers, and the eBook sells
for $27 - about £15 GB Pounds - then I'd
break even if each visitor cost me no more
15 pence. I also knew that my AdWords ad
would get onto the first page of the search
engine results if I bid the minimum of 5
pence if there were no more than 7 competing
advertisers. And I wanted to start off paying
no more than 5 - 7 pence per click. So, using
AdWord Analyzer, I was able to list the keywords
which met this criterion. If you're
going to use AdWords, then AdWord Analyzer
is indispensible. I use it several times
a week. You can get more info on it from
The reason why I've neglected the site over
the past fortnight is that I've been setting
up a new site for owners of my Newbies
Starter Kit to get them going
with making some money online. Because of
changes, I've had to make it possible for
them to easily customise the site
so that each site set up by one of my Newbies
different from all of the others. And what's
this got to do with the February "Experiment"?
Simple. I learnt a lot from studying the
way that my Yoga site was structured. If
you're wanting to develop your web building
skills, look at how other people have done
things. You'll learn a lot this way - I have.
Just be careful not to breach copyright. You
can have a look at the kind of site I've
set up for them - www.becomeabetteryou.com.
28 February 2006
,the end of another month of experimenting
with the new Learning Yoga site. I spent
a bit of time today checking some statistics
for the site. Here's the situation as of
Index: Only 24 pages indexed by one data
center, but 137 pages indexed by a Bigdaddy
datacenter. Sounds promising for the future!
Index: 240 pages in this search engine's
Index: Only the home page in the index
search positions: #3 for "yoga resources
site" #19 for "articles on yoga" (out of
24,800). Nowhere to be seen for "learning
yoga" or "yoga positions". Still, it's a
Page Rank: PR2 for both the
home page and the eBook sales page. Better
than I'd expected.
and AdSense income: Some. Not a lot. But
Over 1,000 page impressions in February.
Traffic and sales: Several hundred
page views (probably from readers of
No sales. Probably
the same big zero for the cheeky chappie
who copied my entire sales
page, even down to the same bonuses I'd
carefully sourced. Unfortunately for
him, he'd also
copied my page tracker code!!! Careful,
Mr J.C. - the Webmaster is watching you!
- Overall: About normal for a new website launch without
doing a lot. Now that it's got a bit of momentum,
there'll be some organic growth. If I just
leave it as it is, it'll possibly generate
about $100 per month with half an hour's
work per month.
Oh, and I also checked the situation of another
Yoga website from the same stable - the one
I mentioned in Week 1, Thursday (above).
This website owner had kept the rotating home
page - and still had a good many pages in the
site indexed by Google. So my theory that a
non-static home page prevented me from getting
a lot of pages in the Google index was not
valid. Mind you, the site has a zero Page Rank,
compared with my PR of 2.
I noticed, incidentally
that this guy (or gal) seem to want
to remain anonymous. This is not a good idea,
especially if you're selling something. Would you buy
from someone with a balaclava over their
head? No, nor would I!
I need to do next - and some conclusions
I'll need to implement my AdWords
Shouldn't take long to set it up, although
it might need a bit of tweaking from time to
time. And I'll need to keep up my short weekly
schedule of adding new
articles to the site.
Oh, and I might spend half an hour building
a blog, as I did for my new "Self Improvement"
site (the blog is here).
It's another useful way to cross-link and drive
traffic to the site.
probably shown you over the past couple of
months that to even get
something out of these "instant" template websites,
you need to put a bit of work into them. That
will be particularly true as Google's Bigdaddy
change becomes universal.. and other search
engines are also getting picky about duplicate
content. OK, dynamic content, such as these
websites from Niche Products Monthly, is
one way to go, and will probably be effective
for a while. Even so, you do need to customise
them as much as you can. The more your website
is unique, the more successful it is likely
got a six month membership at Niche Products
Monthly, and I'm aiming to use one of their
three monthly websites every month. Customising
and launching the Yoga website has been an
interesting learning curve for me, and I
hope that you've gained some benefit from
these rambling diaries (use the feedback
form below to tell me what you've gained).
I'll certainly be able to rebuild and launch
a lot quicker.
won't be reporting on this website in the
March Experiment; I'll move on to another
topic. So, if you've come to this page
via the NPM forum, and you're not a subscriber
to my weekly "Marketing Update" newsletter,
I suggest you sign up now. Go to Marketing
Magic - you won't be able to
miss the sign-up form!
That way you'll be sure to read next month's
Marketing Experiment - and a lot more besides.
I built these sites using materials available through the
Niche Products Monthly membership site (currently not accepting
new members), the same principles apply to most sites. There
are many systems
items available which make building content-rich websites a snip.
And many resale sights products come with a ready-made sales
page - which you need to modify.
So, hopefully, you will have learnt something
from this "experiment",
which will help you with your own website development.