Sunday, August 25, 2013

PPC Versus Squidoo

Make Article Writing Pay

The pay-per-click world is still doing a lot of business, even though you yourself may have gotten tired of tiny payouts and the less-than-exciting world of clicking. The practice is definitely not entirely white-hat, though I'm sure there are plenty of proponents out there who would argue that point. Let's just say that if you're a webmaster and suddenly find yourself the recipient of 500 $.004 clicks, then you'll probably have a less than positive opinion of PPC.

One method that these sites often encourage is to write articles related to a hot topic, and then lard the article with referral links. Once people sign up to do PPC through your referral link, you'll get a slice of the proceeds. It's not nothing, but it does take a long time to add up to something.

Another way to make writing articles work is to write for an online publisher like Squidoo. This site is just getting more and more popular, even after recent Panda and similar Google search updates knocked similar sites off their PageRank pedestal. For some reason, Squidoo has proven to be resilient to the ever-tightening nets meant to keep gray and black hats off the internet.

I'm not suggesting that you write Squidoo articles and put a bunch of PPC referral links in your articles, because sooner or later the Squid Gods will notice. When that happens, they'll lock all of your lenses and all of your work will be gone. There's a reason that Squidoo survived Panda -- they keep the PPC's off the site as best as they can.
Instead, write your article for your PPC links, but instead of posting it on one of those useless article index sites, post it on Squidoo. Add some photos. If it's a halfway decent article, it will get some viewers. If you keep at it, you might just find that you're making a little money on the side. And if you're like me -- a refugee from the PPC world who made a new home on Squidoo -- you might just find yourself with a top-ranked article, and over $100 of passive income a month, and rising.

Once you get some traction writing on Squidoo, you can write your own eBook and pass along your new-found wisdom. Here's mine: 

No guarantees, of course. But I'm finding that my new white hat fits pretty nice.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Smart Pricing and Click Abuse

Back in 2004 Google started a policy known as "Smart Pricing." Smart Pricing basically recognizes the fact that click abuse and other end-runs around good internet practices can cost advertisers big-time. With Smart Pricing, advertisers pay less for clicks that come in from sites that are likely spammy or click-abusive. It just makes sense -- if I'm an advertiser and some jerk in China spends all day sitting around clicking my ad just to make a few dollars for himself or a click-abuse client, then I'm going to stop advertising with Google. They's very smart at Google, and they are always working to counteract the best attempts of those who want to exploit the money-making possibilities on the internet.

If you have an Adsense account, and you start getting a zillion page view and a bunch of clicks that are all worth a few pennies each, Smart Pricing may have kicked in. BE CAREFUL, because that means people, or you yourself, are click-abusing your sites.

Here's part of Google's announcement about Smart Pricing:

‘We’re introducing automatic price adjustments for certain clicks you get from the Google Network. Google’s smart pricing model has always provided better placement for better performing ads, and reduced the cost of a click to the least amount possible to stay above your competitor’s ad. And now, with no change in how you bid, Google may reduce the cost for a click if that better reflects the value it brings to advertisers like you.

How smart pricing works

We are constantly analyzing data across our network, and if our data shows that a click is less likely to turn into business results (e.g. online sale, registration, phone call, newsletter sign-up), we may reduce the price you pay for that click. You may notice a reduction in the cost of clicks from content sites.

We take into account many factors such as what keywords or concepts triggered the ad, as well as the type of site on which the ad was served. For example, a click on an ad for digital cameras on a web page about photography tips may be worth less than a click on the same ad appearing next to a review of digital cameras.

Google saves you time and hassle by estimating the value of clicks and adjusting prices on an ongoing basis. With improved smart pricing, you should automatically get greater value for clicks from ad impressions across our network, all with no change in how you bid.

So be careful, be smart, and play by the rules!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Black Hat SEO, White Hat SEO

We see these terms a lot -- Black Hat, White Hat, SEO -- but it's sometimes hard to tell exactly what it all means. I have been around the block now and am back to report for those of us who still haven't quite grasped what these terms mean, and what they mean to us.

After a lot of searching and trying and failing, I have learned how to see the signs -- a blog or website or ad that tells me I'm being dumb, that I am missing opportunities to make money from adsense, or make quick cash on the internet, or "optimize" my website for search engines like google -- all of these come-one I now see for what they are -- sure signs of the dreaded Black Hat SEO. Not sure what that means? Read on!

First of all, "SEO" mean Search Engine Optimization. If you don't have a website or a blog, this doesn't concern you! But if you would like to try making a little money from the internet by owning your own monetized website or blog, then it's really all you care about. Simply, SEO means improving, or "optimizing," the chances that someone searching the web will find you. The gold standard here is on Google, but there are other search sites like Bing and Yahoo.

So let's say you have a blog about barbecue sauce. If someone types "barbecue sauce" into Google, you want them to see your site, right? But there's a lot of competition -- a lot of barbeque sites out there. How do you get your blog higher on search engines? How do you get your site to show up on the first page of a google search? It's hard, my friends -- and Google makes it harder, because if they didn't everyone would be hard at work gaming the system.

Well, there are a lot of people hard at work gaming the system, and they are know as "Black Hat" SEO sites. Tese people are REALLY smart, and they are always trying to find ways to get around the rules, or the blockades, that Google sets up to keep the internet "fair." For example: what if I got a bunch of people to sit around and click on my site so it rose in the rankings? Black Hat SEO includes this tactic, but they are sophisticated about it -- so you have places that will pay you a fraction of a penny for every click on their clients' site, or on their ads for their site. It all ads up to scam, since the "clicks," as they are known, are not coming from real customers who are really interested in the product. They're coming from people being paid to do nothing but sit and click, sit and click. It's not exactly illegal, but Google hates it, and they're constantly trying to put "click abuse" people out of business.

So that's one little glimpse into "Black Hat" SEO. There are lots of other methods, old and new. I'll talk a little more about them, and about "White Hat" SEO in a future post.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Free Traffic System

This site,, is one of a new wave of backlink-building businesses that I think of as "gray-hat SEO" -- somewhere between black hat and white hat. It remains to be seen what Google et al make of these sites, but for now it at least looks more legit than some of those sketchy no-follow backlink mills. On FTS, you "write" "articles" and include highlighted keywords that link to your website. They say that the topic of the article needs to match the blogs you choose to post them on, but I have my doubts. There are other things they don't tell you, too, like free postings go to no-follow sites, while paid postings, which range from a few cents to several dollars, go to decent do-follow sites but then sit and wait for the webmaster's approval. If you do any on-line adsense marketing at all, you know that you can wait forever for a webmaster to get around to looking at your submission. And then they could still turn you down.

That said, the FTS system is pretty plausible. I have only been on it for a few weeks so it's way to early to tell,. The $20 I paid to get into the worthwhile blog posts promptly disappeared into their confusing user interface, and I had to eamil them to figure out why. To their credit, they got right back to me. But then again, Kenyan email scammers are known for their attentiveness to the people they are milking for cash...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Is Passive Income for Real?

We're about to find out. For the entire year of 2012, we here at makinbuxblog are going to put as much effort as possible -- free time, free brain cells -- into accumulating a grand total of $1,000 by purely "passive" means. By this I mean affiliate cash, monetized websites, ad sales, and so on. This might not sound like much, but I have never been successful at this -- after three years of more or less casual trying and learning, I have about $100 total to show for it. 2012 will be our last chance to actually make the internet, and passive income, work for us.

More to come!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Writing for

Hi folks -- the latest here is considering a site,, that pays 80% of adsense money for articles they publish... Question is, do we really NEED a site to take 20% of our cash? Why not simply go the adsense and monetize the sucker ourselves? Other sites like Squidoo might make more sense -- we're looking into those now.

By the way, PPC is dead!

Friday, February 12, 2010

PTCBux is Back

After a solid 24 hours of "server not found" messages, PTCBux is back on-line. We were concerned that the situation could be permanent, but fortunately for those of us with clicks logged on the site it is back and open for business.

This incident, small as it may be, is still a reminder to CASH OUT whenever you cross the payout threshold. That way you are less likely to get stuck with no reward for your click-work if a site goes down.

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