John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

johnon.com  Competitive Web & SEO
July 20th, 2007 by john andrews

Selling Images Online: Stock Photography Affiliate Programs

This is a reference post about selling photographic images online. The photo world is rapidly changing. You don’t need to be a professional photographer, and you don’t need to give your images away for free, either. These sites sell your images through their online stock photo catalogs, for a commission. They also run stock photography affiliate programs (follow the links to see):

Know any more? Please comment.

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July 19th, 2007 by john andrews

rel=nonsensical

A long time ago I learned that if I link to some product website from this blog, it will get investigated.

I was contacted by a small business webmaster who wanted to thank me for the link and introduce himself. We chatted, and of course I asked for information from his log files. Sure enough, the initial traffic spike he got was from whois.sc. People investigating his domain. You are all so predictable.

Anyway last month I linked out to a few websites that I appreciate for products, and wondered about two things: would they be interpreted as promotional outlinks, paid or otherwise, and would they be investigated for whatever reason you people tend to look into web sites that get mentioned? I can’t tell the later because I don’t have log access, and I can’t tel the former because rel=nofollow makes no sense at all.

I initially rel=nofollowed the links because I wanted to send the message that no, these were not my sites or my clients and no, I wasn’t trying to boost them from this blog. If I had to use this blog as a source of page rank for real business, I think I’d be in sad shape as an SEO.

When I looked at the post a few days later and saw the rel=nofollow, I thought “they look like paid links marked with the special Google code for paid links”. So I removed the no follows. WTF. This rel-nofollow makes no sense at all.

So Dear Matt Cutts. If I link out to a site that I recommend, do I nofollow? If I don’t nofollow, does it suggest I am boosting them for profit? If I do nofollow the links, does it suggest they were paid links?  Man, I am starting to understand how tuff it must be to be Google these days.

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July 19th, 2007 by john andrews

Organic vs. Natural Foods Traffic

I’ve seen type-in traffic referred to as “natural” traffic. In search engine optimization, we refer to earned search referral traffic as “organic” traffic. I suppose now all we need to do is define “artificial” traffic, and we’ll be ready for government oversight in the form of a Food and Drug Adminsitration for Internet marketing!

The food analogies go even farther. We already have “local” traffic, just as you have “buy local” initiatives in food and farming. How about GMOs? genetically modified foods…. let’s see, how about sneaky redirects?

I think click-bots can represent artificial. What about preservatives? Hmm… exit traffic might be a good choice. You can build web properties that draw traffic and maintain a constant stream of useless but long-lasting traffic from the exits. The more you know about exit traffic I think the more this analogy makes sense.

Artificial colors? Hmm. that’s harder. Of course exit traffic qualifies, as does redirected and cloaked traffic, but they all get combined when so “artificially colored“. Add in some MFA sites to match the FD&C red controversy that didn’t change anything.

What about paid traffic? I immediate thought of corruption, but that’s funnier than it is accurate. Correlates to GMO seeds, where you pay for seed to grow your crops but are contractually forbidden from harvesting next year’s seeds. Sort of the opposite of organic SEO, but kind of like leasing a plant to harvest it’s fruit. Too expensive, too many controls, too much profit for the provider. Yup.. all matches pretty well.

How about “nut-free“? I doubt that can be matched in SEO world, LOL.

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