Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Google Fire - stocks

Could the Sports Illustrated Jinx, where teams and athletes featured on the cover famously flounder soon after publication; have spread to their fellow Time, Inc. weekly Time Magazine? This week the boys from Google are gracing Time's cover and from their easy smiles (and a byline that mentions Internet domination) you'd think that the transformation is complete: Google has finally "pwned" ( http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pwned ) us all! Well, a theory that there is some kind of jinx fits because Google seems to be getting it from all angles now. But with all the piling on, it's important to remember that Google's core business, search advertising, is still very much a winner.In regards to lofty stock prices, it's been said that the same breeze at the bottom of a mountain is a gale at the peak, meaning it doesn't take much negativity to knock a few dollars off the price of a stock that's performed well. And Google's peak so far has been among the loftiest a corporation has ever experienced to date. Their success stuns - individuals netting billions, a stock price (NASD: GOOG) skyrocketing to $475 as influential analysts hint at future valuations of $1,000, $2000. Runaway success has been associated with Google since even before their IPO in November, 2004. This aura, however, may have fostered a false sense of invulnerability for the giant Mountainside, CA-based search engine.ICMediaDirect.com, by virtue of being an online advertising company, has much to thank Google for, particularly the interest they generated in our field. Their brand recognition alone has served as advertising for our industry in recent years. Google was so hot for so long, that just being in a related space may have opened doors for us that might have otherwise been closed.There have been some cracks in Google's façade for some time, but little notice was given to them in the wake of relentless success. However, the record skipped last month when Google disappointed the public with their earnings and the stock sold off about 25% from its high. Still, public scrutiny was more focused on Google's earnings, not their business.That is, until Barron's, the influential weekly financial newspaper, featured Google this past weekend. There was nothing playful on their cover, just the familiar Google logo being submerged into water, like the Titanic. The article makes a compelling case that Google's success is overvalued.Among the issues discussed was a genuine peril unique to search based advertising: click-fraud. Barron's wondered how anyone presently could gauge the depth of this problem when; a) this problem technically enriches Google, while robbing thousands of their customers, and b) it's almost impossible to distinguish how much is committed. If Google knows, they're not saying. So we see an incalculable problem within online advertising, the very business that's finally measurable. Go figure. But Barron's mentioned other problems that are vexing Google, as well. The very guys on the cover of Time, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page along with CEO Eric Schmidt, are feverishly selling their stakes in the company as is the rest of top management. While much of these insider sales registered and scheduled for execution long ago - what's truly disconcerting is that no insiders seem to be buying any stock in their company. It's a spooky one-way street.Even the puff piece in Time Magazine contained this loaded bon mot from Schmidt, "The company isn't run for the long-term value of our shareholders but for the long-term value of our end users." I had to read the quote twice to make sure I had actually read it correctly and then again to make sure I could figure out what he meant by "end users".This is what the CEO of Google thinks of the people who've made him worth 10 figures. It made me think of Bill Murray's character's advice to the students at Rushmore Academy, "Take dead aim at the rich boys. Get them in the cross hairs, and take them down." Sorry, Eric, but this Robin Hood approach elicits this sort of reaction ... especially when it is directed at the people who made them rich.I believe that Google was rabidly over-hyped and is still overpriced, but it's their chosen business, the one they perfected, and the one that I admire. Now that some Google bashing is somewhat en vogue, be sure some uninformed opinions will form. The same minds that assumed all things Internet were about to be ruled by King Google, they too will be claiming Internet advertising to be a false business, an unworthy venture.This couldn't be more wrong. One of the signatures of the Web 1.0 bubble of 2000-2001 was that these overheated interactive companies weren't making money. Not only were they unprofitable, many couldn't even generate revenue. They were drenched with the promise of new technology and nothing else. Yes, the Internet was wondrous then, but making money off of it was not possible, at least not before some of those burn rates contributed to global warming. (Don't laugh; check out the data, it matches perfectly.)Then along comes the search wonder of Google. Google is merely an overpriced stock, not a collapsing bubble. Their contribution is both simple and stunning. They came up with little text boxes to correspond and link properly with searches on their network. That's all.99% of Google's revenue comes from search advertising. While Barron's was right to question whether this technology really warrants partnership with NASA for space exploration, the article also boils Google down to a machine that is merely "hawking ads" in providing contrast to Google's self-billing as a global technology leader.Search advertising made Google bigger than Coca-Cola in only a few short years. If that's the end result of "hawking ads", then Google is doing something right. Microsoft and Yahoo apparently want to hawk ads like Google, too, as Barron cites the increased and inevitable competition.Google's lesson for us at ICMediaDirect.com, and for anyone in Internet advertising, is that you cannot separate Google's success from Google's search. Everything else is a side story. Stock prices, jet planes, R&D (billions spent for that remaining 1%) - all of it serves to distract from this: 99% of Google's revenue is derived from search advertising. Search advertising works.This isn't the next bubble burst, just a story of a company that did its job so blindingly well that the public overvalued its stock. Now it's time for its stock price to cool off. I'm happy to see the sector grow more competitive. That's terrific. I think that everyone, even Google's shareholders, view this as a healthy sign for the search advertising industry, if not a certified validation

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Ask, Ask, Ask

by: Jack Canfield and Mark V. Hansen, Chicken Soup for the Soul

The greatest saleswoman in the world today doesn't mind if you call her a girl. That's because Markita Andrews has generated more than eighty thousand dollars selling Girl Scout cookies since she was seven years old.
Going door-to-door after school, the painfully shy Markita transformed herself into a cookie-selling dynamo when she discovered, at age 13, the secret of selling.
It starts with desire. Burning, white-hot desire.
For Markita and her mother, who worked as a waitress in New York after her husband left them when Markita was eight years old, their dream was to travel the globe. "I'll work hard to make enough money to send you to college," her mother said one day. "You'll go to college and when you graduate, you'll make enough money to take you and me around the world. Okay?"
So at age 13 when Markita read in her Girl Scout magazine that the Scout who sold the most cookies would win an all- expenses-paid trip for two around the world, she decided to sell all the Girl Scout cookies she could - more Girl Scout cookies than anyone in the world, ever.
But desire alone is not enough. To make her dream come true, Markita knew she needed a plan.
"Always wear your right outfit, your professional garb," her aunt advised. "When you are doing business, dress like you are doing business. Wear your Girl Scout uniform. When you go up to people in their tenement buildings at 4:30 or 6:30 and especially on Friday night, ask for a big order. Always smile, whether they buy or not, always be nice. And don't ask them to buy your cookies; ask them to invest."
Lots of other Scouts may have wanted that trip around the world. Lots of other Scouts may have had a plan. But only Markita went off in her uniform each day after school, ready to ask - and keep asking - folks to invest in her dream. "Hi, I have a dream. I'm earning a trip around the world for me and my mom by merchandising Girl Scout cookies," she'd say at the door. "Would you like to invest in one dozen or two dozen boxes of cookies?"
Markita sold 3,526 boxes of Girl Scout cookies that year and won her trip around the world. Since then, she has sold more than 42,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, spoken at sales conventions across the country, starred in a Disney movie about her adventure and has co-authored the best seller, How to Sell More Cookies, Condos, Cadillacs, Computers ... And Everything Else.
Markita is no smarter and no more extroverted than thousands of other people, young and old, with dreams of their own. The difference is Markita had discovered the secret of selling: As, Ask, Ask! Many people fail before they even begin because they fail to ask for what they want. The fear of rejection leads many of us to reject ourselves and our dreams long before anyone else ever has the chance - no matter what we're selling.
And everyone is selling something. "You're selling yourself everyday - in school, to your boss, to new people you meet," said Markita at 14. "My mother is a waitress: she sells the daily special. Mayors and presidents trying to get votes are selling ... I see selling everywhere I look. Selling is part of the whole world."
It takes courage to ask for what you want. Courage is not the absence of fear. It's doing what it takes despite one's fear. And, as Markita has discovered, the more you ask, the easier (and more fun) it gets.
Once, on live TV, the producer decided to give Markita her toughest selling challenge. Markita was asked to sell Girl Scout cookies to another guest on the show. "Would you like to invest in one dozen or two dozen boxes of Girl Scout cookies?" she asked.
"Girl Scout cookies? I don't buy any Girl Scout cookies!" he replied. "I'm a Federal Penitentiary warden. I put 2,000 rapists, robbers, criminals, muggers and child abusers to bed every night."
Unruffled, Markita quickly countered, "Mister, if you take some of these cookies. maybe you won't be so mean and angry and evil. And, Mister, I think it would be a good idea for you to take some of these cookies back for every one of your 2,000 prisoners, too."
Markita asked.
The Warden wrote a check.

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Previous Article : How to Grab a Good Top Level Domain

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How to Grab a Good Top Level Domain

With the recent explosion in the availability of website domain name suffixes (such as .eu, .ws, .cc and so on) it's never been easier to grab a domain name that is directly related to the subject matter of your site.For example, if your site were to be about Persian Cats, you would probably want to use a domain name including the phrase "persiancat".
Unfortunately, however, persiancat.com is no longer available. Nor is persiancat.net, .org, .biz or any of the other top level domain name suffixes.As I write, persiancat.ws IS still available, so you could buy that name if you wanted to.However, the truth of the matter is that most people who are searching on the net are going to give first priority to sites with top level domain names, such as a .com or a .net.At least partially, this is simply a function of these being the original suffixes, and therefore the average surfer believes that they have more credibility and authority.This is especially critical if your website is selling or promoting your business or products, as these factors translate into "trustworthy" in this situation.
Simply put, a top level domain name is one of your strongest sales tools.Search engines will also consider your domain name when considering your site for that all important search engine ranking Therefore, there needs to be some clear relationship between your domain name and site subject, to give you any chance of featuring when people search using Google or Yahoo.So, what can you do? Well, here's a couple of very simple tips that I have used to bag top level names for some of my own sites.
First, try a plural version of your key phrase, rather than the singular version. So, in the example above, we could check on the availability of top level names using persiancats, rather than persiancat.
However, used on its own, this tactic is a bit too obvious, and in my experience, when the singular version of a phrase has been take, more often than not, so has the plural.The second little trick is, however, far more effective and well worth trying if you are looking for a top level name for your site.
The trick is - numbers!Not numbers at the beginning of the domain address - that's really "old hat" and you only have to look at a list of expired domains to see how many owners of such addresses just allow them to die. Why? Because they don't work particularly well with either search engines or with real people - and something like "0000persiancats.com" just looks plain silly!No, I'm talking about numbers in the "body" of the domain name itself, especially the numbers 2 and 4. Why? Well, the number 2 can be substituted for the word "to" and 4 can be read as "for".Now, tie that in with one other little substitution trick - take the word "you" and substitute the letter "u" - and we have a method of finding a good top level domain name that still relates very closely to the site subject matter.Let's go back to our persiancats example to demonstrate how effective a strategy this can be.
Using all three of the highlighted tricks, we try searching for "persiancats2u.com" and "persiancats4u.com". And, guess what? At the time of writing, both are still available!Two top level domain names, both closely related to the site content, either (or both) of which clearly and concisely indicate exactly what the site is about.There you have it. A simple but effective method of grabbing a top level domain name for your site.Next time your are searching for a good domain name, try it because, remember, your customer will always look for a .com website first!

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Previous Article :How To Choose A Reliable Web Hosting Company

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Article by : Ian Williamson
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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

How To Choose A Reliable Web Hosting Company

  1. First & foremost do searches in the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo & MSN. Simply enter terms like "Complaints about 'Your Potential Host's Name'", "Hosting Reviews ", etc.....You will find a lot of stuff regarding your potential host. Search for web hosting forums; there are numerous such forums on the web that contain all kinds of information. Look for and read articles written about web hosting. If you find too many complaints about your potential web hosting company....beware!Note: A company that is offering too many features for too little is suspect! If they are offering huge amounts of bandwidth and disk space for a very low price, be careful!. Here is why: The company will most likely be forced to host numerous websites per server, resulting in congestion and server overload. The result: Your site may be too slow and may experience lots of downtime.
  2. A foreign based hosting company may be too far away from your customers. It won't serve you well if your host is based in Australia and your targeted customers are based in The United States. On the contrary, if your are marketing to customers exclusively in Australia, a web hosting company in Australia would be OK. If you are marketing worldwide, your choice becomes a little bit more complicated....unless of course you are Google, Yahoo or MSN, big companies who host their websites almost everywhere worldwide! Generally, we prefer web hosting companies located in The United States. Here is a good list of web hosting companies country-wise.
  3. How fast is your web host? Find a couple of sites that are hosted by your potential web hosting company and test how fast their pages load on your computer. You also may execute the "PING" and "TRACEROUTE" commands on these websites to determine their suitability. Executing the ping command is called "pinging" a website and it determines how quickly a server can receive and send back a piece of data through your connection. When you run ping it sends a small packet of data and calculates the time it takes to get a response from the server. It is executed four times by default and a small report of average, minimum, and maximum response times will be displayed. A ping output typically consists of the packet size used, the host queried, the ICMP sequence number, the time to live, and the latency. All times are given in milliseconds. A ping output indicating large values and/or lost packets consistently over a period of time ....is a red flag!. Please note that if you have a bad or restrictive connection(Your ISP), the results may be skewed. Firewalls and proxy servers installed in your system or network can sometimes interfere with the ping operation. Also, some web hosting companies do not allow "pinging" of their servers, in which case you will get a "Request Timed Out" message. The Traceroute utility displays the connection [path] through the Internet between your computer and the potential web hosting company's server(s). The path between these two locations has many routers, computers and other devices along it which help move Internet information. Each movement from one device to the other is called a "hop". Too many "hops" is cause for concern ....do several Traceroutes for comparison!.

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Article Source : Club Afrika

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Affiliates - Does This Damn Thing Work

What Are Affiliates ?

Affiliate Marketing is a popular method of promoting web businesses in which an affiliate is rewarded for every visitor, subscriber and/or customer provided through his efforts. It is a modern variation of the practice of paying finder's-fees for the introduction of new clients to a business. Compensation may be made based on a certain value for each visit (Pay per click), registrant (Pay per lead), or a commission for each customer or sale (Pay per Sale), or any combination.

The Above Paragraph Source : wikipedia

Wikipedia defines it better than me so I just posted their definition here.
its just a salesman job you do, bring the product seller's some customers with/out the help of your site and you get paid in commissions or sometimes even if you send traffic to other sites they give you commissions per visitor .


Do They Work ?

It definitely works for sellers because In most affiliates they have to pay only if the desired result/sale is achieved

But For Salesman like us it depends on a lot of factor like

  1. Website traffic - The website traffic is important in all advertising of your site ,you need visitors to click on ads or to buy your affiliated product
  2. Quality of affiliate product - The Quality of your affiliated product/ site should also be good so that your readers don't feel fooled , if they buy any of your affiliated product and are satisfied they might also buy some of your other affiliated product.(and just hope they forget the link of the site they brought the product first and everytime they go through your site hehe)
  3. Target readers for particular affiliates - This is a really imp factor because if your readers are not the product targeted people ,the affiliate simply wont work let me give you an example if I put a yoga online class link here ,you guess whether it will be successfully on a site like this one where only those who are passionate about earning money comes.
  4. Cost of affiliated product - make sure the product is not too costly but your commission is.
  5. The brand name of the company that's selling product - A product of a good brand has more possibility to get sold ,because of buyer's familiarity with the brand
  6. The commissions you get - what's the use of selling thousand dollar products and earning in cents .Make sure the affiliated product gives you a decent commission
  7. Space on your site to place the link or banner - make sure there is enough space on your blog/site to place the link.
Regular inventory of which affiliates work and which don't is a must . If an affiliate doesn't work just try another one and I m sure you'll be earning a lot with the affiliates program
Best Of Luck To All

And i made a record only 15 spelling mistakes!!!!

Next Article : How To Choose A Reliable Web Hosting Company

Previous Article : Making an Income Online - Is it really a viable option?

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Making an Income Online - Is it really a viable option?

Additional income means an amount earned on top of your regular income that you earn from employment or normal work. This can be used to supplement your normal income so that you are able to pay off your outstanding debts, build up your capital, or spend it on some of life’s luxuries that you could not normally afford. So does having the extra income make you happier? This is a contentious point though, I have little doubt that being debt-free would definitely create less stress and, consequently, would lead to an improved lifestyle.People always compare their income relatively with what they consider the norm and the norm continues to escalate all the time. This norm is what increases the spending, more or less in direct proportion to the income. With the advent of the internet and internet marketing, there has come an avalanche of business opportunities for generating an additional income. Network marketing and affiliate marketing have been largely successful for those people willing to put in the work. Other income opportunities on the internet include simple technical jobs, writing, and advertising. Obviously, the amount of income you can earn depends on your skills in the field you select.Picture yourself being able to get up at any time you feel like it and not having to hurry to get to work. Imagine not having to fight the traffic on the highways and not being choked by pollution. Picture yourself as your own boss, being able to work in the comfort of your own home without answering to any bosses or pushing yourself to meet deadlines.In recent years, home based businesses have become a widely accepted form of business. Online businesses are spreading like wildfire and have become very desirable for a number of reasons. Extra income does not come for free. It involves hard work but of the kind you would want to do. It is not hard work when you are doing what you always wanted. A little bit of inspiration could get you off the mark, wouldn’t it?So, let’s look at the reasons that you would want to start a home business:
1. You would be your own boss with freedom to set your own goals, time, and finances.
2. Your time is flexible so you would be able to work around your children or any other commitments.
3. Do whatever you want whenever you want.
4. Work your normal job until your online income is enough to live on…flexibility is yours.
5. No fears of unemployment or job security
6. Pride…knowing you have achieved something as an entrepreneur.
7. Self confidence
8. No limitations on your earnings.
9. Many countries offer tax benefits for home based businesses, since it is considered extra income.
10. Choose your own retirement ageBecoming successful is something you can measure by your own standards rather than that of others.
Your personality as well as your finances are noticeably better as your business grows into a successful enterprise. Surely these are very good reasons to look at beginning an online business as a way to become successful and independent in life.As long as you are aware that this requires work and commitment, you will be in the right frame of mind to succeed. If you are told by anyone that you can make an income with no effort or by only working for half an hour a day, do not believe them. Like any other business, you get out of it what you are willing to put into it
diadvantage : you may get fat sitting on the comp daily

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Article By : Anne Wolski
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