Lie Detector For Bloggers or Another Guesstimate: urlmetrix.com

Looney Tunes opening title from mid-1950s.

Courtesy Looney Tunes Wiki

Chicago Sun-Times published this deansguide article September 23, 2008

The challenge: finding a traffic measurement tool that will allow a person to accurately analyze a blogger’s traffic or company website’s traffic.

The reason: Bloggers and companies make outlandish, blatant, and false claims of traffic (page views and uniques) that just do not pass the smell test. When a person is attempting to control their budgetary expenses when attending networking events, one of the best methods is to perform due diligence on a blogger, SEO expert, or someone claiming to have lots of traffic.

Urlmetrix.com is a fun and handy tool, powered by Google App engine, that provides measurement for many statistics for your blog. By simply placing your url into the search box, urlmetrix.com retreives 15 site statistics that provide a blogger with information vital to their efforts.

Warning

Many of the sites in this measurement tool utilize statistics derived from toolbar downloads, extrapilated projections, and statistical sampling. No tool to my knowledge gives precise statistical information on blogs. If anyone has a set of better tools please let us know. One of the most difficult problems is verifying a sites traffic when they make claims of page views and uniques that seem far from realistic.

urlmetrix.com’s Returned Results (for my outside blog) deansguide:

1. Title: deansguide

2. Alexa Rank: 346,275

3. Compete Rank: 38

4. Quantcast Rank: 266,768

5. Technorati Rank: 433,097 Authority 16/ Google 80

6. Google Indexed: 991

7. Yahoo Indexed: 1,720

8. Google Back Links: 132

9. Yahoo Back Links: 4,100

10. delicious book marks: 2

11. Wikipedia External Links: 1

12. DMOZ Links: 0

13. Google Blog Search Links: 80

14. Technorati Blog Reactions: 72

Analysis

urlmetrix is a quick tool that gives a blogger measurement, pinpoints areas that need work, helps bloggers discover their strengths and weaknesses, and it allows bloggers to compile this information in seconds without having to download any one toolbar for access.

Press Releases For Viral Marketing Power And Traffic: Realtors Small Business Marketing Tip #8

One of the most effective marketing professionals happens to be a nationally recognized hyper local blogger by the name of John Harper aka theharperteam.com. One of John’s strategies is to utilize Press Releases to maximize the reach and viral power of his web-blog site. John utilizes a site called I-newswire.com. The following tip provides benefits to any small business, entrepreneur, organization, non profit, charity, public relations officer, or giant corporation.

What is I-Newswire.com?

I-Newswire is press release aggregator. Simply put they allow you to write a press release on almost any subject, submit your release to their network, and then push your message out to a vast network of media websites around the globe

Note: A good press release IS NOT a sales pitch for you, a listing of a property, or something that sounds like a self serving message. Like the blogoshpere, the tone of a press release needs to be valuable, informative, relevant

What Are The Benefits?

1. I-Newswire.com: press releases are seen on hundreds of news websites such as PressRadar.com.

According to I-Newswire.com:

“We are not able to track the exact reach because most of the outlets obtain our releases automatically using our XML feed at http://www.i-newswire.com/xml.php. In addition, your press release is hosted as a webpage on our site, and will be indexed by search engines such as Google and Yahoo, giving you additional exposure.

2. Journalist and Editors: these are the people who visit I-Newswire on a daily basis looking for newsworthy information.

3. Exposure: I-newswire.com has an Alexa.com ranking of 72,434 worldwide. Similarly ranked sites have in excess of 3,000 visitors per day and 20,000 pages views per week–that’s power

4. Press Release Writers: a best of breed listing of press release writers are available if you are not confident in your ability to produce your own. To acces this go to data bank pr-firms on the site

Strategy

This strategy is all about bringing readers to your website or blog. One of the best methods to bring fresh new readership is to make news yourself, report breaking news, or report breaking news (news that happened within a day or two) with your analysis and solution

Example Scenario

You are a realtor specializing in foreclosures. Your area is full of foreclosures and a Nationally syndicated news agencies writes a story on the state of foreclosures and investors waiting in the wings.

1. Take this article and make an aggressive headline announcement. Ex- “Foreclosure Market Saving Realtor Jobs.”

2. Write a short succinct few sentences about the core message of the media article

3. Use your succinct few sentences on the media article as the lead-in to how Realtor jobs are being saved by the added business that investors represent in your market

4. Offer a free pdf or podcast that provides a market report for your city or region’s foreclosure market and describe your free giveaway as a tool for investors or Realtors from other regions

5. Point readers to your website or blog in order to receive their free pdf or podcast “bonus”

Analysis

Small business owners are discovering that they can write multiple press releases about current events that relate to their niche or speciality. They then can leverage their knowledge, free information, or bonus as a method to give readers added value while bringing awareness to their website-blog.

Understand Your Readership Tool #1: Alexa.com A Free Method To Understanding Your Marketing Power

The key to online marketing through blogging is understanding how your efforts are working to bring in new leads, sales, and effective viral awareness. One of the best tools of measurement is Alexa.com and it is free!

Alexa.com

Computes traffic rankings by analyzing the Web usage of millions of Alexa Toolbar users and data obtained from other, diverse traffic data sources. Information is sorted, sifted, anonymized, counted, and computed, in order to come up with an accurate computation of your blog or website’s traffic statistics.

Traffic Stats

1. Traffic Rank: based on 3 months of aggregated “historical” statistics it is a combined measure of page views and users (reach)

2. Reach: Reach measures the number of users. It is typically expressed as the percentage of all Internet users who visit a given site

3. Page Views: measure the number of pages viewed by your visitors. Multiple page views of the same page made by the same user on the same day are counted only once. Hits mean nothing and should not be considered accurate or even worthy of discussion

Alexa Tools

Alexa Toolbar: This tool when loaded on Firefox provides meters that measure Reach, Traffic Rank, Traffic Trend, and Related Links

Search Engine: This tool searches any input and returns numbers for any given blog or website

Traffic Graph: The most useful tool. This graphs all the stats in increments from 7days, 1month, 3months, max. It allows you to compare your site to 4 other sites traffic and then graphs it. In addition you can download a widget to your site showing your Alexa numbers.

Global Information: here if your site has accumulated enough traffic and data, Alexa will return your numbers globally and how you rank within the US.

deansguide.wordpress.com Alexa rankings as of 6/24/2008: 109,416 (up from 105k last week) in the US and 358,548 (up from 350,233 last week) overall. I receive 75.8% of my traffic from the US and the rest outside. For

Is Your SEO “Expert” Really An SEO Expert: 3 Keys To Verify Their Substance Factor

I am no SEO expert, no marketing expert, and no blogging expert but I do have expertise in all of these categories. In my travels around the SF Bay Area I attend upwards of 10 networking meetings or keynote events per month.

The hot topic is Web 2.0 SEO aka How to drive traffic to your site.

Unfortunately time and time again when I do my due diligence on the speaker’s background, their substance factor, and how their blog or websites rank I have recently been surprised by the results. Many speakers are knowingly misrepresenting themselves in regard to their credentials. Often times these speakers are leveraging their business accomplishments in other categories, unrelated to SEO or Web 2.0, as a means to securing these speaking “gigs.”

Cost

Simply put the average networking event keynote speech here in the Bay Area runs anywhere from $30-$65 per event. That adds up quickly and is of great concern when I am choosing events to attend

3 Key Factors To Check

When an “expert” claims they are going to speak about methods to increase your site’s traffic, Google rankings, and add links to your site you MUST perform some background checking if you want to understand if the speaker can deliver on his/her claims

#1 Alexa.com: Alexa.com (free service) remains one of the easiest, most telling sites in measuring traffic (page views and unique visitors) to a site either website or blog. Go to Alexa and input the url of your “expert’s site” for instant rankings. Alexa will return Global traffic, US rankings, and a mix of page view and unique visitor numbers.

Note: If an expert claims to be able to make your traffic “explode” then they better have an Alexa ranking of UNDER 1,000,000 at the very least.

Note 2: Alexa.com like any other measurement tool can not capture all web traffic. It is best to combine other traffic measurement tools with Alexa for a solid idea of a site’s traffic. Try Quantcast too

In my last two due diligence investigations on SEO “expert” speakers the first one came back with an Alexa ranking of over 19million which equates to about 10-20 visitors per day to their site. The second guy had a ranking in the 6million range which might provide 30 visitors per day

#2 Technorati: Links are considered the measurement of a site’s Google authority and a big part of the SEO formula. If you go to technorati.com (free tool) you can input the url and check on the number of hyper links which are coming into your “experts” site. If your expert has fewer than 10 links and they are old–he probably isn’t writing a worthwhile blog or he is not writing with consistency

#3 Evaluate their site: Do they write a blog? How often do they write per week? What is the date of the last blog post? Do they have a blogroll? Do they have widgets like mybloglog directory on their sidebar? Does the platform look dated? Do you like the way their sites looks?

Hits Myth

If your “expert” begins to speak about “hits” you might just want to bail. The term hits, although that is the only traffic measurement widget offered on wordpress blogs, is out dated and misleading. Hits can refer to any visitor who arrives at your site, clicks on any pictures, articles, or other documents. Each item is tallied as a hit.

You want to understand how many page views your expert’s blog-website receives; how many UNIQUE visitors, and their over all traffic ranking

Remember

If the “expert’s” site does not measure up in these 3 critical ways then how can the expert teach others how to increase their traffic and SEO power?

Guy Kawasaki’s Hard Line: What Is Your Unfair Advantage?

One of the many nuggets of invaluable wisdom offered at last night’s Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs event was provided via a story about irrepresible powerhouse Guy Kawasaki. The story was told by Entrepreneur, Google and Co-Founder of Jaiku charismatic Jyri Engestrom.

As Jyri first explained he was invited to a Guy Kawasaki presentation to a group of entrepreneurs from Finland. Jyri is of Finnish heritage and acted as one of the liaisons. During one of Kawasaki’s talking points, Guy made the following statement:

“What is your unfair advantage?”

First Impressions

Jyri’s first impression of this statement was that it sounded very arrogant and confrontational until he had a moment to process. Then the statement made perfect sense and was one of the most important tips a entrepreneur could adopt.

Your Unfair Advantage

Your unfair advantage is the one powerful piece that makes your business unique, powerful, successful, and the envy of your competitors. Guy Kawasaki’s unfair advantage is the fact that he can instantly reach a huge audience due to his popularity online. When Guy says something thousands of people listen and often follow his lead

I Don’t Have an Unfair Advantage

According to Jyri, Kawasaki’s posit is simple. In the beginning, very few entrepreneurs or new businesses have an unfair advantage. They don’t have name recognition, fame, monster online audiences, or technology that is unique and ahead of the competition.

Instead most entrepreneurs and businesses begin with no unfair advantage according to Guy

The Solution

If your business does not have a unfair advantage or you the entrepreneur do not have an unfair advantage then you might consider the following:

1. Identify the unfair advantage that would make the greatest impact on your business

2. Hire the human capital, technology, or other entity that will provide you with your unfair advantage

Jyri’s Story was a simple case of recognizing a new industry trend, microblogging aka blogging platform for mobile devices (phones etc.) and chance. At a conference, Jyri met a developer he described as the #1 microblogging developer in the world. Jyri immediately accessed the opportunity and hired this man and the rest is Jaiku history.

May 27, 1937 A Day In San Francisco History: The Golden Gate Bridge Is Open

The south (San Francisco) tower and the south tower pier, with the north (Marin) tower in the background; circa February 15, 1935

Courtesy of http://www.co.marin.ca.us

One of the most recognizable, visited, and beautiful landmarks the world over, the Golden Gate Bridge was officially open for business this day May 27, 1937. Although the Bridge is not Golden in color, the official color is International Orange, it is golden in the hearts and minds of native San Franciscans. It is both a landmark of fame and infamy.

The Facts

1. Longest Span: 4,200 ft
2. Total Length: 8,981 ft
3. Width: 90 ft
4. Height: 746 ft
5. Annual Average Daily Traffic: 100,000 vehicles
6. Toll $5.00
7 Engineer of Record and Fame: Joseph Strauss

For more information on the Golden Gate Bridge go to goldengatebridge.org.

Realtor’s Sales Nightmare #1: Top 10 Cities With The Worst Traffic

FoxBusiness.com published my article April 17, 2008

Commute? What commute? A recent list of the “Top 10 Cities With The Worst Traffic” conditions were presented over at Tom’s therealestatebloggers.com with some surprising results:

1. Washington D.C.
2. Atlanta
3. Los Angeles
4. San Francisco
5. Houston
6. New York
7. Riverside-San Bernardino, CA
8. Chicago
9. Dallas
10. Boston

My vote for the worst traffic, and I have driven LA morning rush hour dodging gunfire and limos, is found on the Japanese Subway system. Such an ironic twist on a formal, custom filled culture.