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Discussing Web Design & Marketing Since 1998


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earlpearl last won the day on March 20

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  1. When I left/stopped playing fantasy football I had withdrawal symptoms for two entire seasons/years. I didn't go back. Saved me ENORMOUS time and admittedly money. Haven't gone back.
  2. In light of the news about Cambridge Analytica and how much information they grabbed about Facebook users here is a little how to method for you to find out exactly how much info, history, data that FB has on you: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/23/how-to-download-a-copy-of-facebook-data-about-you.html Haven't downloaded this yet but I'll be very interested to see the volume of privacy I've given up to these guys.
  3. Following this news about Cambridge Analytica I'm curious about Facebook going forward. Frankly while I am an enormous reader of news, this is one piece of current events I have specifically ignored due to time limits. I'll start catching up on this over the weekend. From what I gather this is one ugly situation.
  4. yeah. Great niche to have entered in the early 2000's. build it and sell it before the behemoths took it over!!!!
  5. Rae Hoffman Dolan, aka Sugarrae, Retires from SEO

    I never met her. If that kinship was helpful to you, great. Good luck to her going forward.
  6. I've gotten that data from adwords. I don't like it. I'm sure its value(s) depend on types of sites. For both types of local business sites we have an independent data base that starts getting filled out after a lead/potential customer/contact contacts us. Its sortable on dates. We separately look at sales and sale dates (when the first payment is made or it could be the full payment at first payment). We do look at time differences between the first contact date and purchase date. I frankly don't give a rat's backside about google's data from adwords. They have no insight into how or when our sales are made. I actually don't know the average time between contact and purchase. I do know that for the simpler service some folks by the day of first contact. I do know it occurs far more often if it is accompanied by two elements. We are running a discount AND we have effective sales people on our staff responding by phone email text etc. Without both elements it occurs infrequently. Google CANNOT help us on the second essential element of that formula. Then we know there is a PRIMARY "strike time". Its a relatively short term range. We accordingly try and be effective on the sales effort during that time period. Then we know that a type of sprinkling of sales come in over moderately long periods and extremely long periods which can extend upwards of 5-15+ years. One reason is because our existing data base of contacts is plus 15+ years old. And because of that we can track those long term evolving sales. Anyway in that context average is meaningless to us. Recently (over the last 3.5 months I've been cutting adwords costs on 2 campaigns. I'll hit another one shortly. I've known the costs were ever increasing. I also knew the full extent of large scale changes were going to include a lot of tedious work. These are very old campaigns. The thinking behind them when first set up is no longer relevant. It stopped being relevant a good while ago, but I didn't want to spend the detailed time to make the full scope of changes. We were able to afford them. I avoided spending big time effort on adwords. I was making cuts around the edges. My mistake. But as I've made these cuts I'm p***ed at google. Scum suckers. When they make substantial changes in how they do things THAT WILL increase your costs--they DO NOT ANNOUNCE this stuff--and frankly I've never found coverage on it. It well could be that I'm not following adwords closely enough and those that publish about it. Could be my mistake. I discovered some after the fact through review and being in touch with others that work adwords. Those others have helped and guided me. Never google. Right now on the largest campaign we have cut costs comparing March to date this year against same time period last year by over 40%. Over the last 30 days about 40%. From when I first started this effort in early Dec about 25% from same time a year earlier. I've also compared costs these current time periods to different earlier years. The percentage cut in costs is a function of how one defines it against which time periods and phenomena. Big drop in impressions between time periods. Historically I've looked at impression data as a measure of economic DEMAND as the largest account is in a niche where search is critical. (I'm a big believer in demand and supply impact). The drop in impressions is a function of reducing our geographic coverage. It was knowingly overly large. At times (and longish times) we extended it into competitors territories. We've made big cuts using negative keywords. Some of those neg keywords are geo oriented and oriented toward those overly expanded geo areas. We have about 5% fewer clicks between early Dec and now compared to same time period last year. Of the fewer clicks over half of that number are via a reduction in a neg keyword related to one of the cut geo territories. Average cpc (cost per click) is down by a LOT. I repackaged adwords campaigns into campaigns that enabled us to get high adwords positions w/lower costs. Big difference. Other things have also helped. Anyways I'm not a big fan of google data. Its good for them. Its not necessarily good for the advertiser. GO EU!!!!! Split that big monopolistic monster up!!!!! (rant over)
  7. We've seen that to be true. On the one hand we have opened additional smb's of both types in different regions. Our local partners have a lot of weight on decisions. On both types we have seen them debate what we have learned over long and hard experience. In some cases we "bowed to their judgement" until they saw for themselves that which we learned while watching consumer behavior. In the other example we have spoken to the owners of smb's like ours in other regions. We know some fairly well. We listen to their comments. Most haven't learned what we have learned and don't apply it. We have had long long conversations. Ultimately we learn about their volumes and conversion rates. Relative to those wherein we have a basis to compare and who have not applied what searchers/visitors tell them--we do better. Coversions???? Listen to your visitors.
  8. Of our two types of smb sites one type offers a simple service the other more variety. On the simpler one through multiple visits over multiple sites in different markets the same pattern repeats itself, even as the sites are different and operator partners have their own say in how to develop/highlight market. Regardless of how they choose to emphasize different elements there is a dominant pattern among visitors. These sites invariably convert to sales after phone conversations. The dominant path invariably defines the significant questions and issues that precede purchase. Our staffs are trained to be well versed on these issues. We have simply found that many competing sites across the nation don't emphasize this issue or approach. Too bad for them. On the other sites there are two different dominant paths. The different paths represent the different emphases and foci of potential and actual buyers with each representing a potential direction if and when purchasing. In our limited cases the dominant paths visitors take also represent buying decisions. How freaking telling!!!!!!
  9. I'm pretty ignorant about wheelchair accessibility but several years ago I wheeled someone several blocks from one urban point to another destination. The area is wheelchair accessible with curb cuts from sidewalks to the streets and back to more sidewalks. It doesn't seem pleasant or comfortable. I felt like apologizing for every bump on the route. Sidewalks are uneven with cracks. It might be wheelchair accessible but its not easy. And did you find dominant click tracks?
  10. Perhaps. The path is well worn down. That represents current usage. In any case its such a vivid image. Nice lesson/reminder
  11. All that being said, and being rather skeptical of the name SEO/Google lover society, there is value in these type of commentaries when through effort they identify elements that seem to have changed vis a vis rankings. Having paid close attention to the serps for Local/Maps google for a long time I completely concur with how IamLost identifies the changes that effect SERPS. The local algo's have long been simpler, less complicated than the overall SERPS. It is easier to identify when and how google amplifies and/or changes core elements. In fact deep in the relative past of local I specifically recall a time when Google's Local Spokesman stated that they "dialed a signal down". At the time, maybe 7-9 years ago, every butcher, baker, candlestick maker, plus doctors, lawyers, insurance agents, etc.....all of whom had local sites were being impacted by an overwhelming weight google had placed on business names/titles etc. If a dog walking business in Pittsburgh managed to name itself Pittsburgh Dog Walkers....it was likely to lead the local Serps on a huge volume of relevant searches including often getting a ONE BOX treatment that essentially killed all competitors. There was an overwhelming response from commentators within the Google Local Forums and Mike Blumenthal led an effort to consolidate and organize the large volume of complaints on this issue. Google did change the WEIGHT of this impact on the serps; there was a vast sea change in local serps across cities and verticals....and the only one's that remained in that ONE BOX context were those with both the name and enormous quantities of links specifically using the city name/industry vertical. Later that impact was also reduced. It was a very visual impact that completely represents how Lost describes algo changes.
  12. @EGOL Funny. I've always thought they should give ranking bonuses to sites that use adwords. heh. We definitely make $ for them. Those firetruckers. I've been in the midst of cutting the adwords spend for 2 sites with bloated adwords costs. Okay, in the aggregate goog has charged(ripped us off) for some hundreds of thous of $$. That goes back 14 years. So they aren't that huge, but that is a lot of cash they took from our pockets without delivering like they should. These 2 campaigns are definitely bloated and antiquated. I have been cutting them around the edges for the last couple of years as costs got too high...but now I'm attacking them. Cost reductions of about 20-30% from year ago comparisons and a year ago they had seen some cuts from previous years. I have a couple of more steps to update these campaigns and slice out the extraneous garbage. Those firetruckers are full of CR@P. They don't do what they say. They'll charge through the nose when they can. Back to the Opening thread. That search result is simply a death knell for traffic to sites that rank for phrases like that. Bye bye traffic. One of our local sites had an image that was ranked #1 in google for an image phrase and some variations some years ago. I really had no idea how it occurred. Relative to the site it got large volume traffic from all over the world. It didn't convert into the local smb and we haven't slapped ads on the site. When google killed image traffic...that page lost virtually all of it. It didn't hit our business so we didn't react...but I could see how the image sites were KILLED by google. They killed them. THEY KILLED THEM. Nothing happened to google. So they keep doing this cr@p. GO EU. Fry em!!!!!!!!!!!!! rant over
  13. I saw this from a tweet by Barry Scwhartz/ RustyBrick from a few days ago. Its still running. Search in google for the time in a certain city and the only result is an answer by google. Of course you can click for more responses....but lets face it. Aint gonna happen much. When I did click on more responses, those links to websites below the google answer were all carrying adsense. Take a look