Aaron Wall’s SEO Book Community Review

This is a pure and clean. Unbiased, un-requested, unpaid for review.

If I had to start from scratch and learn how to become a millionaire using the internet, I would definitely use SEO and PPC as my main traffic drivers to help me achieve my goals. While SEO is slowly becoming harder, there is still a fortune to be made in the next two or three years.

For me, there is only one place to learn SEO and that’s the SEOBook community. It’s truly packed full of successful people that are the best at what they do, which is predominantly making money from Google. I’ve been around for many years now and all the other forums and communities pale in comparison. SEObook is for people that are serious about making money or are already successful and want to find out what the best techniques and tools are before anyone else does. This is sometimes a long time, if ever.

The community is incredible, the members are friendly and there are several super successful moderators that are patient and kind. No question is too noob-ish to answer, it’s really a special place. However, it’s mostly aimed at medium to advanced discussions and questions. This suits an experienced Internet Marketer better than many of the other established forums and communities which are usually filled with “noise”.

Aaron also puts out a VERY useful newsletter each month, highlighting all the important findings. It’s worth the membership just to read that newsletter, its pure gold. Aaron does most of the work and then just sends it out to his members once a month for nothing as long as you’re a member. I’m super busy and don’t have a lot of time to spend on the forums discussing things. His newsletter saves my at least twenty hours a month and there is always super things in there that 99.9% of people wouldn’t have hear of. It’s amazing value.

Finally, he offers extensive training videos as part of the membership, they are extremely comprehensive and are an excellent tool for learning or closing off some holes in your skill-set that you may not even know exist.

I get calls sometimes with people wanting to employ me as a consultant and as I don’t take on much work anymore I usually always refer them to the SEObook community and tell them that it’s the best investment they will ever make by over 100x if they are serious about learning and then applying that they have learned.

It’s a place to hang out and meet REAL people that have made some serious money and are happy to share how they did it.

If you want to join the community click HERE

Lewis Hamilton: “Maybe it’s because I’m black. That’s what Ali G says.” WTF

Hamilton you Berk.

You were my favourite driver until yesterday, now you’re my least favourite.

Playing that race card was pathetic, there is only one thing worse than a racist and that’s a racist with a chip on his shoulder.

Sky Broadband Survey – Takes Two Seconds, Only One Question

Are you unhappy with your Sky Broadband? Then please vote in this survey and help stop Sky Broadband misleading consumers and deliver Broadband at speeds that remotely represent what they are advertised at. It’s one click, that’s it, just a single question!

You can see the Sky Survey Results here: http://www.pingpongpie.com/2011/04/sky-broadband-is-slow-and-rubbish/

Sky Broadband Problems – Sky Broadband Slow

Don’t complain and then do nothing about your Sky Broadband! Speak your Mind and Vote in our Survey and help towards getting a better deal.  ————->  CLICK HERE TO VOTE IN THE SURVEY – IT TAKES 1 SECOND!

Sky Connect Broadband is so slow its completely dishonest. Read below and leave a comment if you’ve been affected.

Help the cause and Stop Sky Broadband from misleading consumers.

This is hardly my first blog post venting my frustration at Sky Broadband and it’s problems. Mainly speed problems, it’s outrageous how they can sell Broadband and the advertised speeds and not get into trouble for it.

My latest download test was atrocious and I’ve taken a screenshot of the actual download window below:

Sky download Slow

My 10MB file tool 3:29 to download, which means that my download speed it less than pre-broadband days when we all had dial up modems. YouTube just doesn’t work and browsing is so slow it’s hell.
Here are the statistics based upon my download speed:

Promised Broadband Speed: 8MB

Delivered Speed: 0.048MB

Difference between what’s promised and what’s delivered: 166 times slower!

Price charged per month: £17

What I should be paying for this speed based on what I’m getting charged: 11 Pence a month!

This is a scam, it really is.

I’ve done some research of the top phrases (in descending order) that people type in Google related to Sky Broadband and listed them below, have a look at how many of them are negative rather than general informational queries:

sky broadband
sky broadband router
sky broadband route
sky broadband router password
sky broadband router firmware
broadband router ps3
sky broadband router sagem
sky broadband router settings
sky broadband router upgrade
sky broadband router problems
sky broadband checker
sky broadband calculator
sky broadband usage tool
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sky broadband usage meter
sky broadband problems
sky broadband help
broadband speed test
sky broadband speed checker postcode
o2 broadband
o2 broadband coverage
o2 broadband customer service
sky broadband
talk talk broadband
vodafone broadband
o2 mobile broadband
o2 broadband forum
o2 broadband review
sky broadband review
best broadband provider
broadband speed test
broadband reviews
sky 16mb broadband review
best sky broadband
sky\x27s the limit review
sky broadband good
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sky broadband help
sky broadband home
broadband speed test
sky broadband max
sky broadband help line
sky broadband help forums
sky broadband helpline
sky wireless broadband help
sky broadband help number
sky broadband contact
sky broadband customer service
sky broadband tel
sky broadband address
sky broadband telephone
skyview help
sky broadband home
broadband speed test
sky broadband help numbers
sky broadband problems
sky broadband fix
sky broadband speed problems
sky broadband wireless problems
help needed with phone sky broadband
logging onto sky router
sky broadband help problems
sky broadband problems connection
sky broadband problems 2010
sky email
sky email status
set up sky email
sky email issues
sky email pop
email sky broadband
sky email settings
sky phone number
sky email address

1 Reason why Google’s +1 Button won’t succeed.

My buddy AJ sent me a blog post that said five reasons why Google’s +1 button will succeed. Unfortunately, I have to disagree with him and I think it will be +1’ed out of Google faster than you can say “WTF is +1?”

The reason: SPAM.

When or if Google start using it as a ranking signal, people will figure out how to get lots of +1’s to benefit themselves and raise their own websites visibility in the SERPS. I can already get people as many Facebook Likes, Digg votes or any other votes as I wish including 1+’s as soon as they launch. I can even get them from a different IP every time and clicking through from a SERP as well as behaving like a user and not a bot. Now, imagine the abuse by a couple of hundred smart spammers.

If you want 200,000 +1’s, you can have them, tomorrow if so choose. With natural click intervals, IP ranges and even real verified Google accounts. Automatically and legally. I don’t even have to Crowd Source to get the votes, let alone even contemplate using real people.

There we have it, I think that Google’s +1 will be the single biggest opportunity of abuse ever to hit their Algo.

Here is my buddies blog post which advocates the +1 button.

C’est la vie

Skype is Down Again – The Skype Server is offline #Fail!

Skype has been plagued with problems recently and it’s becoming a little tiring to be honest.  They had a major outage in December 2010 which was really annoying, then my Skype was hacked along with thousands of other peoples as well as going down today. Again…

Here is Skype’s latest Tweet:

Skype

Technical instructions to fix the current Skype issue affecting a small number of users – easier solution coming soon!http://bit.ly/iLbgpy
6 minutes ago
Skype, sorry, but this is becoming all to regular, and I am going to move over to another VOIP provider asap.

Skype Skype

Between nodes and super nodes going down, now it’s Skype’s own servers. While I’m against Microsoft extending it’s monopoly, at least they should bring the service up to a level where it’s not going down all the time.

Social Media – The Super Bubble

I’ve been planning an article on Social Media and its failings for sometime. In this post I will point out out some super obvious signals as to why Social Media isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and we’re heading to an almighty “pop”, which will be even bigger than the 1990’s dot-com crash.

Two blog posts have been published recently fighting both corners, I recommend reading both of them and using them to make your own mind up as to the usefulness of “Social Media”.

The first is by Peter Shankman and you can read his argument against here.

The second argument which is for Social Media and can be found here. It’s been written by SEOmoz owner Rand Fishkin.

For the record, I don’t believe in Social Media as channel to generate business. I have tested extensively as well as some close friends and colleges as to the ROI generated by Social Media and the results have always been huge. Hugely negative. I work with some of the smartest affiliate marketers who are able to extract every last 1/10th of a cent out of each dollar and they cannot get it to work, not even break-even, not even lose a little – it just doesn’t work. Spend a dollar and lose 90 cents kind of not work.

Businesses need money. No money, no business. Why do Social Media platforms have millions of visitors work now, well they have money. It’s just not money they have generated, it is venture capitalists money and other poor investors that will lose their shirts if they don’t sell to the next fools quickly enough.

Social Media isn’t designed to produce revenue and the money aspect always seems to be an after thought, that doesn’t work. If you want a sustainable, long-term business then you need sustainable revenue.

Facebook and Twitter have hundreds of millions of visitors, yes they do. But they are not revenue generating visitors, they are “lurkers” than don’t like interruptions or are blind to them. It’s very difficult to create seamless adverts in social media, so difficult that even Social Networks like Twitter and Facebook that have not been able to pull it off. Twitter is losing millions a month and Facebook isn’t exactly doing “well”. Facebook is still raising money!  To validate my point, I used to work on Digg extensively and was paid thousands of dollars to ensure an article reached the front page of it’s website, we did it for back-links, that worked well. However, if the article even had a “whiff” of commercialism, it was buried – at lightening speed and would never reach the front page of Digg. Social Media users not only don’t like being interrupted, they hate it! You can’t make a business work under those conditions.

To put this in perspective:

Facebook’s P/E ratio is 125 on revenue’s of $1.6 billion, nett earnings of just $400m

Google’s P/E ratio is “just 35” on revenues of $20 billion and nett revenues of $7 billion (If my math is correct, which I’m sure it is)

You don’t need to be Einstein to figure out that  something is so horribly off-kilt that it’s going to fall – and break. Actually, fall and then explode. The day Facebook does their IPO, I will short their stock with everything I own. Seriously.

Social Media can exist as a “hybrid” of what it is now, but it needs to be able to stand on it’s own two feet and actually add some value instead of the faux value it doesn’t contribute now. The most laughable part of Social Media are the “joke” amazing results you get. You can go to your boss or clients and say “Look I got a billion tweets and Facebook likes here” and that looks impressive, sort of. If your boss is dumb he’ll look all pleased and keep paying your salary, if he’s smart he’ll say “so what, what has that done for the bottom line”. When enough people are brave enough to stand up and shout that “Social Media Marketing is bullshit”, the bubble will burst and the Internet community will have thousands of bullshitters out of work. Oh well, bullshit baffles brains so I’m sure they won’t be out of work for long.

People are worried they are missing out on “something” or are too shy to say they can’t get Social Media to work for them and are just blindly throwing money down the toilet.

There are examples of “Social Media successes”, but by enlarge they are highly unusual and that’s not a case to call Social Media the best thing since colour television. If it doesn’t work for 99% of people it’s not going to work.

You maybe asking yourself why I’m so aggressively calling Social Media out as the biggest bubble ever to be seen, here’s why:

Social Media isn’t driven by business, it’s driven by “fun”. “Fun” gets boring, people get fatigued and leave. Hello MySpace, Hello Digg. Hello Bebo. Hello Buzz.

People will get bored of Facebook and Twitter and will leave. Then there will be no more…

Whereas, money doesn’t get boring, Money stays “fun”. Where there is money, there is life. At the moment, there isn’t a breath of life in Social Media, bar artificial life being breathed by ignorant VC’s.

Grammarly.com Review

Whilst looking for a solution to Google Panda and a Google Panda recovery, I came across a company called Grammarly.com. At first glance, it seemed like a very useful solution to improving my writing and reducing the amount of time it takes me to get a blog post into a position where I’m comfortable enough to press the publish button. Grammarly is capitalising on Google Panda and trying to sell their service to business owners that have been affected negatively by the latest Google algorithm update.

I’ve included my opinion on the service, and where it’s strengths and weaknesses lie, I’m making an effort to reduce the amount I spend writing posts for this blog so this review is a list with a few examples at the end to put my comments and opinions in context. I reviewed this blog post as an example. Feel free to read it and see if you think Grammarly has done a good job. :)

Without further ado, the Grammarly.com review.

Positives points:

1. Grammary does improve grammar, without a doubt, it shows you where you went wrong, tells you why it thinks that portion of your writing could be improved and then shows you examples of how best to correct what you’re trying to say.

2. It’s fast in processing and takes about thirty seconds to process 1000 words.

3. It’s a lesson on how to write properly every time you review your work. I think that my writing improved years – literally, by reviewing just one piece of writing.

4. The depth of the service is enormous and I found functions of the English language I didn’t know existed.

Negative Points:

1. It’s very thorough and complex. Unless you have a degree in English some of the complexities around using the correct written instruments appropriately actually slow you down as you attempt to turn your article into perfection and understand where you have gone wrong.

2. It’s of little use to help you resolve your Google Panda issues, more of this at the end of the post.

3. It’s very repetitive and you have to keep ignoring the same problems time after time.

4. There doesn’t appear to be a function to insert words into the dictionary so it stops flagging the same words every time you review your work.

5. It is a machine and that makes it imperfect. At that level, it is worrying that it maybe actually worsening your work in certain situations.

6. it strips out the HTML. Super annoying to re-insert links into blog posts! My biggest gripe.

Real Life Examples: (Set to “casual” with the plagiarism filter to “off”)

1. I scored 77% on this blog post here before I spent ten hours correcting it.

2. Matt Cutts scored 88% on his post here.

3. Danny Sullivan scored 77% for this post here.

4. Seth Godin scored an impressive 88% for his post here.

5. Charles Arthur from the Guardian scored 77% on this article here.

Summary:

While Grammarly is an amazing tool, I can’t see Grammary being used to solve any Google Panda issues, this is because Google would not delve into that level of detail when analysing linguistics to determine if a document is “high quality”, 99.9% of people do not write to this level of perfection.

Using Grammarly to improve anything but a handful of pages at a time is impossible, while I’d suggest you use it for your Thesis before you hand in your Ph.D, it’s wasted on “run of the mill” content. It does not scale at all, especially as it doubles the time it takes to write an article.

Do I recommend Grammary? 100% I do, even if you use it for a few months, your writing will improve dramatically, it should be mandatory when it comes to higher degrees. However, I would not suggest using it to improve websites, unless they are academic.

Viral Marketing Secret: Use StumbleUpon for Feedback

If you are a viral marketer, link-baiter, infographic designer, viral video maker, or in the past attempted to produce a viral marketing project then you will probably be familiar with the frustration and disappointment that occurs when viral projects fail to perform as you had planned.

Part of the challenge is objectively assessing your work when you’ve spent your time and money creating something you are extremely proud of, similar to constructively criticising your children, somewhat difficult.

More often than not, most people will assume that their creation is a masterpiece and will believe that it is quite possibly more special than the Haywain by John Constable. It might well be, but others need to think so to, if it is to spread like Chlamydia in a college dormitory. Most people wrongly believe that once their viral creation is thrust into the public domain that people will forward it onto their friends who will in turn send it to their friends and their friends and their friends and their friends until eventually the entire Internet population is familiar the viral project that they created.

It is completely normal for viral campaigns to fail; only a tiny number of them ever become viral and much of that is accidental. The Internet is completely awash with amazing “things” already: crazy video clips, hilarious pictures and more neat games than anyone could ever consume in a lifetime, much of which is better, more interesting and funnier than what most people could create themselves.

However, it is possible to produce successful viral campaigns; if people are willing to be honest with themselves and listen to the feedback that is given to them to try and improve and learn, then there is a good chance they will eventually create a winning viral campaign. The rewards of a successful project include lots of ego points (by far the largest benefit most of the time), website traffic, backlinks and or whatever other metric you use to judge whether your viral marketing campaign was a success.

There are mechanisms to get feedback for your work from real people in the form of social networks. They will honestly and objectively vote whether they like it – or perhaps not, with a simple “yes” or “no” click of their mouse. All without worrying about hurting your feelings, not being your friend or perhaps getting fired. One can utilise several social networks for real-time feedback by buying a small amount of advertising from them, my favourite is StumbleUpon.com. This is mainly because of the highly detailed, almost granular feedback it offers. For just $250 or less, I can get an accurate assessment of a project and find out whether a couple of thousand people like what they have just seen.

The most basic viral marketing campaign will cost at least a few thousand Dollars and considering that getting feedback is only a tiny fraction of what an entire project may cost, it would be prudent to grab the opportunity and get several thousand people to vote objectively whether what you have created is any good. If the campaign does happen to fail, look at the feedback you have and see what can be learnt. If the viral campaign spreads as it planned, I still suggest that you still look at the data and try to understand if anything can be improved for future projects. Looking at the data will increase the chance of success and reduce the odds of failure. Create. Learn. Improve, Always.

I’ve included a screenshot at the end of this blog post of various StumbleUpon reviews; these are of viral marketing campaigns I’ve created over the years. I’ve included a range of projects to illustrate the different levels of feedback. If the reviews are negative on StumbleUpon, this is generally reflected by the performance of the viral campaign. I apologise for the quality of the screenshot it is slightly unclear due to the constraints of my blog theme.

Once you have setup your viral campaign with Stumbleupon for feedback and it’s up and running, look the “score” column. A project needs to score at least 85%+ for it to be considered successful in my opinion. If the percentages are much lower than my suggested minimum, then you will need to try and figure out why it didn’t work as planned. I’ve promoted a few viral projects over the years that have done quite badly and received less than a 50% “approval”. The feedback enabled me to learn and not to make the same mistakes again.

A positive spinoff to all of this StumbleUpon feedback stuff is that by sending StumbleUpon users  to critique your project, there is a possibility that the viral effect you desire will be started by the reviewers themselves. That is, if they happen like the project and want to share it with their friends and family. A Double bonus! :)

You can sign up to StumbleUpon advertising by clicking this link.

NOTE: I’ve recommended this service because I believe it’s a terrific tool to gauge how effective a viral campaign should have been. I don’t have a relationship with StumbleUpon other than buying their advertising through their online platform, nor have I received money to write this blog post or even been asked to review their advertising service. It’s a pure and clean review, uncorrupted by compensation of any kind.

The score column ———————————————- ↓↓↓↓↓↓
StumbleUpon Feedback

O2 UK – Mobile Phone Network Contract Review

O2 have the biggest market share of mobile phone subscribers in the UK with 28%. I’ve been a customer of theirs for almost two cycles which will be three years by the time my contract runs out in early July. It’s been my least favourite mobile phone contract supplier thus far and I’m hoping to leave them as I find the service they provide extremely underwhelming.

The main reasons why I don’t favour them over my previous mobile phone network is as follows:

1. O2 Mobile phone signal is poor, where I live and where I’m moving to next. This happens to be the lovely City of Oxford and some of the trendiest streets have NO signal at all which isn’t good when you’re out with friends.

2. They are highly inflexible, I called them up a few months ago asking for an early upgrade and they were not interested, I threatened them with leaving and their attitude was “fine, but you’ll have to buy yourself out of your contract”.

3. They have several “reward” levels which enable you to upgrade early and get other benefits depending on your level of spend. However, it’s worthless and I wouldn’t fall into the TRAP of thinking that it’s of any value whatsoever if I were you. I was right on the cusp of being eligible for a three month early upgrade and decided to spend a little more so I could get an iPhone 4 as I wanted a new phone sooner rather than later. The problem is as follows: They only review the “reward” levels periodically, so to move from one level to another, you need to wait for a review of your account which could take six months! Most mobile phone contracts are between one and two years and that means you’ll likely to be eligible for an upgrade by the time they review your account any way. Pffft – rip off. Also, it’s not clear that roaming charges do not count towards your spend, well executed lack of transparency there O2. The membership “levels” are: Blue –> Silver –> Gold –> Platinum and to move up  the reward levels you need to spend money, a lot of it too when you get more minutes than you’ll ever need for free. It’s nearly impossible to spend the money to push you over the cut-off point between “reward tiers” with normal usage these days. I tried to increase my spend so I could upgrade early by using my phone overseas more that I usually do. All I got was a big fat bill and the middle finger, I still qualify for a one month early upgrade but they can stick their contract up their arse. I’m leaving a.s.a.p.

4. O2 roll the contract on at your FULL rate unless you cancel (one months notice) which isn’t exactly ethical since you’ve already paid off your phone and they’re collecting virtually pure profit from you while keeping their mouths shut about an upgrade. I think most networks do this but it’s gross anyway.

5. O2 are expensive! When I enquired about leaving and moving to a Simcard only contract as I wait for the new iPhone 5 to arrive, they quoted me £26 per month which is over £10 more expensive than near identical packages from other networks. I currently pay £35 per month AND I get an iPhone every eighteen months. The Sim only contract they offered me was day-light robbery! I’d rather go into contract and get a free phone than pay them extortionate monthly fees for nothing. Beware: “Simcard only” deals are terrible value for money, especially on O2. Three (3) network seem to offer Sim only deals that smash the other networks in terms of cost, however, I’m not sure about their coverage :( I would love to support the underdog though.

During my foray into attempting to get an early upgrade from O2, I’ve learnt that I don’t use much of my Internet allocation a month even though I’m a prolific Internet user, while I connect to my router at home I never use more than 160MB a month and I’m ALWAYS checking my phone when I’m out of the house. I found it really surprising and I need to check how many megabytes I use when I am overseas as they seems to clock up faster than a fuel pump gauge.

The market share here in the UK is divided by the mobile phone networks as follows: O2 have the largest mobile phone subscriber base with 28% of the market, followed by Vodafone and Orange with 23% each, T-Mobile has 19% and Three (3)  has by far the smallest share at 7% percent.

I specifically moved over from T-Mobile to O2 for an iPhone when O2 won the exclusive iPhone contract, I’m hoping to go back to T-Mobile though. Their service is great, their signal has always been good where I live and they tried really hard not to get me to leave by offering me almost outrageously huge incentives to stay. These were Satellite Navigation gadgets for my car and highly favourable prices on mobile phone contracts. They are also significantly less expensive than 02, as far as I can tell.

My current iPhone is on it’s last legs, it’s crashy and the battery that runs flat in about five minutes. O2 could’ve had my business for another year and a half IF they had upgraded me two months earlier than I was entitled to. However, I’ve relented and bought an iPhone 4 with my own money as an interim mobile phone while I wait for my contract with 02 to expire and the iPhone 5 to come out. I couldn’t bear the thought of being locked into another long contract with O2 and their arrogant “take it or leave it” service.

Thanks but no thanks O2, I think I’ll leave it (and your network). The signal sucks, it’s expensive, the “rewards” are deceptive and they don’t seem to be bothered about doing a deal to keep me on-board.