how-blogging-killed-yahoo-geocities

How Blogs & Social Networks Killed Yahoo! GeoCities

I have a question for you, when was the last time your facebook/blog-reading exhausted eyes looked at a GeoCities website? If you don’t know what GeoCities is, or was for that matter, you probably won’t be in shock and have any understanding as to why I’m chuckling while I write this post. GeoCities was founded in 1994 and became a popular web-based system that provided online tools to create your own website, ie. http://www.geocities.com/kingrosales or http://kingrosales.geocities.com. Yahoo! purchased GeoCities for more than $2.87 billion in 1999 at a time when GeoCities had more than 1.1 million users and was one of the original products for its present web hosting services.

I created my first GeoCities website in 1998 (over 10 years ago, hence the chuckling) and discovered how easy it was to create a site without having to rely on my HTML skills. I remember feeling like I was doing something very cool and revolutionary. I was so hooked in fact, I started making GeoCities websites for all these girls I had crushes on (I can’t believe I’m not erasing that haha – well, it did work 50% of the time anyway). They were great tools to learn from back then.

Having a GeoCities website meant that you didn’t have to worry about setting up a domain name and hosting account for your site. All you had to do was create an account, create some images and write your own html; that was it. The file manager was built in and it was really straight forward.

These days, telling someone you had a GeoCities website wouldn’t probably get you very far, especially if you were applying for a web design jobs; I’d leave that part out and stick with your Photoshop skills. From what I’ve been reading in some blog comments about this topic, you’d probably even get laughed at.

“So what’s happened to GeoCities?”

April 24, 2009 – GeoCities will close later this year

Just this past week, Yahoo! announced that it would be closing GeoCities later this year. Fortunately, for current GeoCities account holders, they’ll have time until about the end of the summer to create a new site elsewhere or do what would help Yahoo create new business by switching their free accounts to paid hosting accounts.

When I found out that Yahoo! was closing Geocities yesterday, the first thing I remember thinking was, “when was the last time I saw a Geocities website appear in any SERP? Over the last several years, the web has simply been evolving as a blogger’s playground; static and old Geocities webpages are simply not enough to keep up with the growing number of emerging blogs publishing new content frequently. When was the last time you saw a Web 2.0 product promoting static websites like GeoCities sites? Blogs rule the SERPs; there’s BlogCatalog and MyBlogLog which was actually acquired by Yahoo! in January 2008 for $10 Million. Blogging platforms such as Blogger and WordPress a tremendous advantage over static websites with the built in technology that gets their pages ranked higher and faster. Plus, why would anyone choose to build their website with a platform that had leaderboards and skyscrapers all over it when they have blogger and wordpress that don’t?

Google has Blogger, Yahoo HAD GeoCities… well, at least has MyBlogLog, and Microsoft has Live Spaces – when was the last time you saw the latter two in a SERP?

Im not ruling Microsoft out yet, I mean they do own part of Facebook and since their acquisition of Avenue A/RazorFish in May 2007, have not only managed Facebook advertising, Microsoft also manages advertising for top names like the Wall Street Journal; read, Microsoft serves up ads for WSJ. All that Microsoft can do now is either A) attempt another takeover bid on Yahoo! or B) Build another “me too” product and call it “Plugger”.

If you’re like me, you have so many social network accounts that you can’t even remember them all, let alone the passwords for them. I believe Blogging and Social Networking go hand in hand in taking down GeoCities. Before there was Facebook, there was this huge void in time after when only Friendster (which now has a primarily Asian user base), MySpace, Hi5 and maybe a handful of other social networks ruled the social networking landscape and when pre-Blogger and WordPress sites dominated SERPs (read, Wikipedia’s list of Social Networks). Thats when platforms such as LiveJournal and Typepad were at the top of their games. After that, more and more people started making their own blogs thanks to Blogger and didn’t have to worry about being fed ads on their sites and was really simple to setup. More and more people began contributing to blogs, commenting and then creating their own blogs; creating what we now know as the Blogsphere. Facebook became successful because it had the right formula from the start (despite the fact that its founder may have based its code off of Friendster). This formula is what made Facebook spread like wildfire and become this uber social platform.

When was the last time you went skipping along and thought, “I am going to build myself a free website on GeoCities!!!”??? I mean, when was the last time I told myself I wanted to build a website that did nothing but waste some space in a cold server room?

These days, more and more people aren’t simply creating static websites or even blogs. You know what they’re building? they’re building their own social network! I hate to break it to you Mr. “I just spent $100,000 on a development team building another Facebook”, but its called, “try Googling ‘free social networking scripts’”. I’m creating a “How To Build Your Own Social Network In 15 Minutes” product for clickbank, so if you want to know more about this in the future, you should subscribe to my feed.

The bottom line is that as much as we’re all aware of the fact that the days of static websites are long gone, Yahoo closing GeoCities gives us a significant event for our future’s history to look back and… blog about haha.

In a similar post on CNet News, JCPayne commented this: “The Yahoo CEO seems prepared to kill off everything other than search and then turn over babelfish, altavista, overture and all the rest over to Microsoft in the end.” – I found this pretty interesting and I’ll definitely be keeping notes as the rest of the Yahoo story unfolds.

How To Make $20 Per Day With Adsense After Only 3 Months

Ive been blogging consistently everyday now for two weeks. But I haven’t simply kept it to writing, I’ve been working on the layout and design elements of my blogs; time consuming indeed. Last month, I wrote a post about How To Make $1000 Per Day With Google Adsense which basically showed you how to use this website that could generate fake Google Adsense earnings. That post is actually one of my most visited posts via Google. I get visitors arriving to my site searching for, “how to money with adsense” and today’s most recent one, “make $20 per day with adsense”, and became my inspiration for this post.


So, I did the same search on Google and I found this forum thread on the first results page, Follow me to $100 a day in Adsense in 3 months from 1 blog. This 30 page forum thread was started by Steve Crooks (nevermind his last name hehe), who went out on a mission to show one of his “cash cow guide to adsense wealth” customers who asked if he could show him how it is possible to make a $100 a day from adsense from just 1 blog; he updated the forum thread practically everyday and blogged about it on a separate website for his goal, http://100buckschallenge.com

Unfortunately, on March 29 this year, he wrote his “End Of Challenge – Failed” post. Although he didn’t make the $100/day mark, he did get it making $20/day ($600/month). Read about his failure here.

Despite his failure, Steve Crooks was able to write out a detailed process of how one person can create a new blog and have it making $600/month after only three months. In the forum and blog, you’ll discover how he strategically planned and executed his know-how and shared it with the world:

(K, I just went through 10 pages of the 30 page thread to give you those links haha tiring indeed)

After reading about this challenge, I’ve decided to create a travel/tourism niche blog myself. I’ve worked with Travel & Tourism Industry organizations and I’m familiar with the kinds of budgets they spend annually; not to mention that its continuously increasing year after year.

Managing all these blogs isn’t as easy at it looks and from what I’ve been reading, so many people say that you should really focus on one blog and then after its making lots of money make another one:

  1. Focus. Stick to building one site at a time and reach a modest amount of success before starting another site.
  2. Build traffic. You need a lot of traffic to monetize through AdSense, especially in competitive niches and obscure niches.
  3. Fine tune. Don’t run AdSense on sites that are giving you low ad CTR (Clickthrough Rate). Try it out, but if after a couple of months the CTR is low, stop using it until you determine why.
  4. Refine. Make sure to blend ads into your blog/ site theme. Don’t hide your ads but don’t make them stick out like a sore thumb in terms of colors and borders.
  5. Refine some more. Try the rectangular and square AdSense formats. These apparently have higher CTR, though I didn’t keep track of any AdSense channels to prove it.
  6. Improve quality. Write quality content that you can promote with social media, and keep it up or you’ll lose readership. This will give you the traffic you absolutely need to monetize CPC advertising. If you have older posts you’re embarrassed to have, don’t delete them. Instead, when you can’t think of what to write, browse your archives and see if you can write a better version of a bad post.
  7. Choose the right niche. Consider that some niches simply don’t monetize well with any sort of PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising. One such is the “how to blog” niche. You’re better off running appropriate affiliate offers. It helps considerably if you some how introduce discussions of gadgets or software no matter what your niche. Any niche that has higher priced items tends to also have higher CPC (Cost per Click) ads.

(source: Hitting $100/month in Adsense – 7 Things I’ve Learned)

Picking the right niche is truly important. Its not all about how well your website is designed either. I have a new blog that is making more from Google Adsense in the three months its been online compared to another website that I’ve been running for two years.

Anyway, I’m going to keep blogging consistently and hope that you and I make it one day too. Peace!

Twitter Over Capacity? – I Just Want To Tweet, Is That Too Much To Ask?

So there I was, leaning over my laptop keyboard, reading this great article about the upcoming Pacquiao vs Hatton fight. The post had a “Tweet This!” button. Naturally, excited to tweet this story I liked and wanted to tell all my followers about what I just read, I clicked it and surprisingly I got a message saying, “Twitter is Over Capacity”. At first I was pretty shocked and bummed because I couldn’t Tweet! but after a second, I thought, “Well, its about time! :)”
Continue reading

Making Money from Google Adsense Search

*sigh* oh Twitter… I’m going to call this the “value add” for my “Using Twitter To Promote Websites” post I wrote yesterday. Because after I wrote that post, I went to check if I had any new followers (yes, I know I have the Twitter Counter on my website, but it only updates once a week). I had three more followers since I had last checked about two hours before that.


So, I did what I normally do, see if they’ve bothered to enter a bio (Oh, and I found out that if you hover your mouse over a user name in your followers list, the alt/title attribute is set to the “bio” part of their twitter profile – if they didn’t, it probably means its a new account or they’re too lazy to have entered something describing themselves; not worth checking out), check out their follower / following count, check out their website link and lastly if they invested some time into a custom background (but not that important).

There’s this one follower, ahzing, who I checked out and low and behold, became my inspiration for this post. Here’s a screenshot:

ahzing-com-serp

Besides the quite obvious 90 degree rotation of the serach bar, basically, what they’ve done is used Google’s free custom search script and rather than using it as simply a search component of an existing site, they’ve used it to power the site completely. If you’re asking “why”, the answer is to make money by adding Google Adsense ads (at present its only a 250×250 ad on the right side). Using Google Custom Search to power a site is not new to me, earlier this year, I was on an SEO forum and came across someone promoting their website, LuvBritney.com:

luvbritney-com

The only reason why I remember is because I was laughing so hard. We’ve all seen some horrible celebrity fan pages which I’m sure are just trying to capitalize on celebrity buzz. Come to think of it, I actually have a blog promoting Filipino Celebrities.

But back to my point, Ahzing.com. Although, their application of Google’s Custom Search script is not unique, the vertical search bar is pretty cool.

Will Ahzing, the Vertical Search Engine fly? I’m not so sure, but I’d like to know what you think and if you’ve seen other sites beisdes Ahzing.com and LuvBritney.com using Google’s Custom Search script – let me know in your response below.

SEO Debate – Text Links vs. Image Links

Text Links vs. Image Links. This is not a new concept. In fact, I debated about writing this post simply because of its elementary SEO level. However, The reason why Im writing this post is because a) I was recently tested on this SEO foundations level question and b) there are still many people learning SEO today and can teach them how to create SEO Friendly websites. In this post, I’ll provide an example of how a images within your website can be optimized using a combination of CSS and SEO basics.

Recently, I was tested on how I would optimize a catalog page on a website. The page was comprised of 12+ image-based links. At first glance, each link 1) had the text as part of the image and 2) switch when you hovered your mouse over it. So, my solution was use a technique that incorporates an Image Replacement Technique (read Mezzoblue on this technique) which does away with using an image tag within the link structure and replaces it with anchor text and then using CSS display the image in the background. But, after viewing the source code, it was easy to see that these links were more complex and that screen dithering can be deceiving.
Continue reading

TheWeal.com – My First News Publication Website Wins An Award

While I was studying at SAIT Polytechnic, I took a position as the Web Master / Manager for SAITSA (Sait Students’ Association) newspaper. I redesigned the look and implemented a content management system that won a 2009 Associated Collegiate Press Award. Read the Press Release

Today, I just found out that the site I completely overhauled in 2006, won the ACP (Associated Collegiate Press) Online Pacemaker Award for its Two-Year Category.

When I took over the reigns of TheWeal.com, it was a static driven website updated with dreamweaver. Unfortunately, having to update the content every week was quite cumbersome that left archiving a complete nightmare.


The solution:
1. Find the right content management system based on their present and future needs
2. Design a user-interface, inline with current online news publications, that reflects the current branding image of The Weal and SAIT Polytechnic.

There were several open source CMS available; Joomla and Mambo of course, but I found ExpressionEngine to be the best fit; due to its ease of use for future web masters and it was scalable. I made my decision based on the following criteria:
1. Is it SEO friendly? (SEF URLs, Customizable Title and Meta Data, etc)
2. Is it scalable? (Open Source, Plugins, etc) – Just this past November, I created the script that creates an RSS feed so that web could submit it to Google News
3. Its is easy to use? (I wanted to limit the amount of possible I.D.10-T errors in the future)

I also added the social media buttons for Digg, Facebook, Technorati and Delicious to increase traffic which ultimately contributed to about 50% of referring traffic. Organic search refferals didnt exist before, but now contribute to 60% of the site’s traffic.

Thank you to Suzanne Trudel-Peters who gave me the opportunity to make this happen and Kudos to Kent and Raeleen for taking over the reigns after my student term ended.

Visit TheWeal.com

theweal-2009