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In Net We Trust has been a member since July 16th 2010, and has created 14 posts from scratch.

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Domains, Traffic & the Corporatization of Search Results.

Domains, Traffic & the Corporatization of Search Results.

Before the “beginning,” there were corporations. Ads on TV, full page ads in the Yellow Pages, newspapers and magazines. Everyone knew the big guys – ATT, State Farm, Bank of America…
Then the internet came into being. So in this “new beginning” (umm, about 1997-1999), there was net… It was fair to one and all. Little guys went toe-to-toe with the big guys and won.

It was a time when someone like YourFavoriteCarInsuranceCompany.com could create a site and then rank first for car insurance. All was good for the little guys who toiled in obscurity. The playing field was level allowing the little guy to compete against the big guys. Little guys everywhere rejoiced.

Then Google figured out what people were searching for and what the users wanted in their results – i.e., the bigger players. So now GEICO, Progressive and maybe a single keyword rich url CarInsurance.com, assuming it is active with great content, rank at the top of the heap. Now, the little guys have faded back into obscurity again.

While not apparent at the time, this corporatization of search results would soon become the model for all keyword searches.

The Google Mayday update seems to have caused a few major changes, especially impacting PPC landing pages for domain owners:

1) Most PPC landing companies (and the domainers who use them) have seen their revenue go down, some report by as much as 50%+. It was pretty easy for Google to look at the DNS and determine if it was a parking page.

2) Matt Cutts indicating that the searches for long tail traffic keywords, will now favor sites that have greater value (high content, high inbound links, high recognition, visitor utility, quality off site links). You don’t need a secret-agent decoder ring to understand that this generally means results from bigger companies. They have bigger sites, tend to get links, etc.

So, the Mayday update means the corporatization of search results will now pervade into almost every search.

Furthermore, this will impact domain holders in two ways:

1) They will be willing to pay less for dropped domains at auctions, since it will be much harder to recover the investment via PPC revenues.

2) The overall portfolio valuation have decreased due to less revenue being generated.

So, the internet is going into its first cycle, much like short, short skirts, then long skirts, then short, short skirts. As you know, everything old, becomes new.

So here is what is new. We are going back to, before the beginning – big companies will again outrank little companies.

This corporatization of search results will continue with the other major search engines and continue to decrease the revenue and valuation of domain holders (Of course, quality domains will hold their values).

There are some strategies to fight this, but that is for another post…

Google Earns 99% of Their Revenues Online – Here is How You Can Too.

For Advertisers: Google AdWords

* Advertise to people searching on Google and our advertising network
* Reach people actively looking for information about your products and services online
* Easily control costs – pay only when people click on your ad

For Site Owners: Google AdSense

* Maximize your site’s revenue potential with contextually targeted ads
* Customize ads to complement the look and feel of your site
* Track the success of different formats and locations with online reports

Peak Oil Theory Bell Curve and the Future of .Com Domain Prices

The Hubbert Peak Theory

(Of course this article was written before the onslaught of new domain extensions)

In 1956, Marion King Hubbert stated that for any individual oil field, or for any country, or for the world as a whole, the rate of petroleum production tends to follow a bell-shaped curve. This became known as the Hubbert Peak Theory.

There Are Some Similarities Between .Com Domains And The Oil Industry.

Obviously the peak is at the top of production. Essentially the Hubbert peak theory shows that once oil findings peak, so does the amount of oil that can be produced (duh). And, that once we are on the downside of the bell curve, which we are, we should be examining other alternatives, because there will be no more oil.

Now, What Does This Have To Do With .Com Domain Names?

Well, there is a finite amount of oil, and for the most part, there is a finite amount of .com domains (unless you count 1plna889qqqzz.com as an option).

Peak Oil Theory Bell Curve

Hubbert theorized that after all fossil fuel options (oil reserves, coal reserves, and natural gas reserves) are identified (there hasn’t been a major find in 30 years), production increases almost exponentially at first. Then as more value is recognized (i.e. demand) man creates more efficient ways to “drink the oil” and extract at a greater pace. At some point, the peak output of a field (or a country or the world) is reached (the top of the bell curve), and then production begins declining until it also has an exponential decline.

As the decline begins, even more efforts are attempted to get at the remaining oil reserves, i.e., Canadian sand tar and injection of various liquid or gases into previously dug holes to force any residual to more easily be captured and extracted. At some point efforts turn towards such proposals as drilling in Alaska, off the shores of California or areas like Sudan.

Lastly, alternatives to oil are being more closely examined, such as solar, wind, nuclear, etc.

Peak Domain Theory Bell Curve

Back to domains… The same thing happened here. At first there was the discovery of domains, followed by a slow build up of the “extraction” of domains. Not long after that there was more sophisticated mining of domains including scripts to take keywords, add a .com after the keyword and then check for availability. Before too long, in a very short period of time, we hit the peak in that every dictionary and “money” keyword (and keyword phrases) were totally depleted.

The peak of domains was hit, and now on the downside of the bell curve more innovative activities are incurring such as examining dropped domain lists and then subsequently using high tech programs to bang the domain databases on the day of the drop, or even going to individual domain owners, one by one, and asking if they would sell their domain. This last method is akin to the injection of air or liquid into a dry well, in order to see if anything is left.

Lastly, as the .com reserves of domains were being depleted, alternatives were being created, and we know them as .mobi, .info, .biz, etc. Most of these domain extensions were only slightly more effective than cold fusion research.

There Are More Similarities Between Oil And .Com Domains

Oil consumption peaks in the US was approximately in 1970 (remember the gas lines) and world oil depletion should be occurring right about now, although oil-producing companies continue to “enhance” their oil reserve projections, not surprisingly, upwards, which masks the true amount of oil available.

Also, in the 70’s, about half of all global consumption was used by the US. Domain consumption is predominantly a US activity, as indicated by ownership.

As the world realizes an oil shortage, especially with the continuing massive consumption of oil by the US, and the staggering increase of oil by China and India, the price of oil should not only increase, but increase rapidly. Plus there over 700 million motorized vehicles worldwide. We have already experienced the first of a price increase in gas and related oil products over the last year or so.

So What Does The Future Hold For .Com Domains?

I heard on the show, “A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash,” about oil, that the stone age ended not because of the lack of stones, the age of using animals, such as horses, ended not because of the lack of hay, and they theorized that “necessity is the mother of invention,” and that advancements were made in the past, and we should be able to “figure out” some sort of solution to the dependence on oil. Maybe…

The .com domain age won’t really end, for the most part, because unlike oil, .com domains live on and are recycled, resold and redistributed from sellers to buyers.

The “Crude Awakening” documentary also emphasized how “cheap” oil still is. They used a simple example comparing oil to Starbucks. Gas is about $3 a gallon and Starbucks in $50 a gallon. Their conclusion? We have it cheap and prices will go up substantially.

In Conclusion…

Will oil products ultimately go the way of the 8-track, 5 GB hard drives and pay phones? Definitely.

Will domains fall to this extinction as well? Probably not, in that domains are limited in their numbers and they are not consumed. In short, unless some QUALITY alternative to .com domains is somehow created (which could happen, but hasn’t so far), .com domains should continue to increase in value as scarce and valuable resource.

Conclusion, while the consumption of all quality .com domain names has peaked, the value of the domains continues to rise. Hold onto your domain portfolio as long as you can.

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Social currency: How Proctor & Gamble Are Manipulating Your Friends to Manipulate You

Wod Of Mouth

Some people have learnced how to exchange social standing for monetary gain. Now, there is nothing wrong with that as when you see an engaging salesperson, with a vibrant personality, leading the company in closed transactions. Hey, that is what they are suppose to do. The people being “sold” know how this works and they elect to buy the service or product from the salesperson of their choice.

Social currency is established over time with trust and compassion. You develop a following of friends who believe what you say.

John H. Clippinger writes that social currency and reputation go hand in hand. He cites eBay, “In eBay, for example, a seller acquires a reputation score given to them by their buyers. Different reputation score levels not only make it more likely that others will do business with them, but it confers a certain status among other members of the eBay community.”

The Dark Side of Our Friendship

Proctor & Gamble claims to have mastered the technique for getting you to talk about their products. Umm, it’s called money. Smart guys, those P&G fellows.

Magnoticism writes, “Capturing Connectors Fueling the Tremor engine are the 250,000 teens that P&G calls “connectors.” One major insight from P&G’s initial research, Knox says, is that Tremor’s connectors “exist throughout the product adoption curve.” That sets them apart from trendsetters or early adopters, those consumer warhorses of Tipping Point fame. Although trendsetters and early adopters are quick to glom on to new ideas and products, they are not necessarily avenues for successful word of mouth; in fact, some trendsetters might be cul-de-sacs of buzz, hoarding secrets that distinguish them from peers. A connector, by contrast, is anyone—even the last person to find out about something—who always taps the nearest shoulder to point out a new purchase or a cool song or TV show or movie. They are people with “really broad and deep social networks and a deep propensity to want to talk about ideas,” Knox says. “The first question connectors ask is, ‘Is this idea worth my advocacy?’ It’s their social currency on the line, so it has to be a product that they at least believe in.” – Steve Knox, CEO, Tremor “

Sis, Boom, Buy…

In the April 19th, 2007 edition of the Wall Street Journal, talks about P&G providing products at cheerleader camps and cheerleading events. “Putting in an appearance on the cheerleading circuit is becoming mandatory for marketers hoping to connect with teens through word-of-mouth marketing. These marketers, including P&G and PepsiCo Inc., recognize cheerleaders can be among the most popular people in high school, able to influence opinions on deodorant, shampoos or other products. Many cheeerleaders have told her friends about products she’s seen at cheerleader camp.

“Marketing to cheerleaders is “a unique way to get involved with an influential set of our consumers,” says Dave Knox, teen external relations manager for P&G Beauty. P&G estimates there are about 14 million cheerleaders in the U.S. between the ages of 13 and 20.”

Word of Click

Obviously, here I would like you to tell your friends if you found this article informative.

Internet Marketing is Like Marketing Sex

There is often a bit of confusion about the blurry line of distinction between sales and marketing, but everyone seems to understand a bit more about sex.

Little Sizzle, a Dash Of Appeal, a Bit Of Allure

Internet marketing is a lot like marketing sex. You need a little sizzle, a dash of appeal, a bit of allure and something that meets and satisfies the user’s desire.

There is a great illustration of the distinctions between marketing, branding, public relations, sales etc., it goes like this.

You see an attractive person at a party. You march across the room, go up to the person and say, in a matter of fact tone, “I’m fantastic in bed. How ’bout it?”” — That’s “Direct Marketing.”

You’re at a party with a bunch of friends and see an attractive person.
You give your friend ten dollars to approach the attractive person and they say, “Hi, my friend over there (pointing to you) is great in bed, how ’bout it?”. — That’s “Advertising.”

You see an attractive person at a party. You go up to them and get their telephone number. The next day you call and say, “Hi, I’m fantastic in bed.” — That’s “Telemarketing.”

You’re at a party and see an attractive person. You give two of your friends ten bucks each to stand within earshot of the attractive person and point over to you and say, “I hear that person is fantastic in bed.” Then they talk about what a great person you are. — That’s “Public Relations.”

You’re at a party and see an attractive person. That person immediately walks over to you and says, “Hi, I hear you’re great in bed, how ’bout it?”. — That’s “Brand Recognition.”

You’re at a party and see an attractive person. You talk them into
going home with your friend. — That’s a “Sales Rep.”

Your friend can’t satisfy them so the attractive person calls you. — That’s “Tech Support.”

You’re at a party when you realize that there are many attractive people in attendance. So you start at one corner of the room and go to each person you find attractive and shout at the top of your lungs, “I’m fantastic in bed!” Soon you are asked to leave the party.
That’s “Spam” marketing.

Your Online Marketing Efforts

Now, how does all relate to your online marketing efforts? Are your visitors looking for something sexy, or are they seeking something more substantial?

Direct Marketing: Contact related companies and ask for a link from their web site to yours.

Advertising: Use pay-per-click efforts, buy keywords at various search portals, advertise in newsletters and opt-in ezines.

Telemarketing: Call companies in other cities and states and offer to exchange leads for customers you cannot service.

Public Relations: Do postings in various newsgroups and moderated newsgroups providing helpful information. Also add a features that might be helpful, like a home loan company offering a mortgage calculator on their web site that anyone can use without logging in our having to complete a sign-in process.

Brand Recognition: This is something that is earned.

Spam: Unsolicited emails can produce short term results, but the negative connotations and possible loss of your ISP or web site host can destroy your business.

Other Ways Sex Sells

A few other ways “sex sells” (or “sex doesn’t sell”) for your mortgage web site:

A Pretty Face: Make sure your web site is attractive and pleasant in appearance. No one likes to see a mortgage site constructed with a FrontPage 97 template and with 13 different color fonts.

A Tight Fitting Outfit: If you are selling mortgages, don’t offer anything else. Links to Amazon, your favorite sites, the IRS, are detrimental to you. Customers are hard to get…keep them on your web site.

Scantily Clothed: Don’t skimp on information on your web site. If a visitor has to search, or heaven-forbid, call for ANY reason other to complete an application, then you haven’t done your job. ALL information on rates, procedures, about your company, should be on your site.

Movies Are For The Theaters: Do NOT make your customers watch a Flash introduction of spinning houses, swirling interest rate symbols, flying dollar bills and end up at some monolithic edifice that is your office building. Visitors want info, not entertainment.

Talking Dirty: Never bad-mouth the competition from your web site.

The Promise of More Than You Intend to Deliver: Don’t blink and blast a coupon or special on your site if it only applies to people who buy $1,000 worth of merchandise, today. Show ALL your specials, not just the eye-stoppers.

Tricks are for Dogs: Any traffic generating trick, such as creating a Pamela Lee Anderson worship page on your site, that works will stop working next week when everyone wise to what you are doing and no one will fall for it.

Romance: People like to treated nice, they like to be cared for — so, do this for your visitors at your site. Make it easy to navigate your site, answer their questions before they have to ask them and be responsive when they email you.

Stepping Stones To Acquiring And Maintaining Customers

What web site owners are really seeking, is the same outcome that often occurs via sex… a marriage. Web site owners want a relationship that is good for both parties to occur. The sex and romance, while an integral part in the courtship maze, are simply the stepping stones to acquiring and maintaining customers.

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