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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Squidoo LensRank

I noticed today that my pixel ads lens on Squidoo has a LensRank of #56. Cool! First time I've had a lens in the top 100. If you're considering buying pixels or just curious about pixel advertising, do read the lens. It should save you some time and/or money. Also, explore Squidoo by playing a game of Squidoo TagMan!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Krugle Hype

What's with all the hype surrounding Krugle? Yes, it sounds interesting, but it doesn't even launch until March 8th. There are already plenty of source code search engines and sites to download open source software. What's so special about Krugle? Maybe the fact that is hasn't launched and they've successfully engaged in web 2.0 hype. I've noticed that Krugle has been a top search on Technorati for the past couple of days and has sometimes been in the top tags.

I'm curious about Krugle and signed up for the beta yesterday. Looks like I'll have to wait until March 8th to see what's so intriguing. In the meantime, here's some open source code for you: Technorati Tracker. It's web 0.2.1 code.

Looking at Krugle's save and share screenshot, looks like they're using tags. One problem with open source code on the web is that, unless you know the author, you won't know if it's solid code or garbage. I wonder if they'll add tagging features. If a large number of Krugle users tagged some source code with a common tag, that might confer some sort of usefulness value to a piece of code, similar to a large number of users bookmarking a page. Well, while you're waiting for Krugle, play a game of TagMan. Who knows? Perhaps you'll see "_ r _ _ l e" if you start off guessing RSTLNE. I'm sure I'll be posting about Krugle once I hear back about the beta. I wish them luck. Enough with the hype, though.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Pixel Advertising Site Reviews

Since writing about pixel advertising on my site, creating a pixel ads lens on Squidoo and blogging about pixel ad results, I've had people contact me via email, blog comments and the Squidoo feedback form asking for thoughts on their pixel sites. I've also had my fair share of pixel ad site spam (PASS). Naturally, I've decided to PASS on all of those sites. ;-)

Rather than continue conversations with pixel ad site owners via email or blog comments, I've decided to post some thoughts in the blog. You might consider these reviews but they're really just a collection of thoughts. Most of the pixel advertising sites are a waste of time and I'll PASS on those. The ones I comment on have at least some redeeming value (or the site owners do) so I'll link to them. Visit them and make up your own mind. Here are my thoughts...

A Piece of Internet History
See the blog comments by exivus (Ken Vuncannon?) on the Pixel Ads Case Study Update post for background. From the site's launch announcement press release: "A new Web site has launched with a plan to showcase the best of the Internet’s culture and community as a mosaic of artwork and logos. is poised to become a threefold phenomenon on the Internet’s shifting landscape: a Web site that is unique, lasting, and beautiful." Amid all of the pixel advertising clutter, I don't think this site will last. It's not unique. It's just another pixel ad site. Lasting? Advertisers don't care about lasting. They want to know what you can deliver now, not five years from now. Beautiful? That's very subjective. Even if each individual logo/plot is beautiful, a collection of hundreds or thousands of these is going to be ugly. Pixel advertising's not about beauty. It's about delivering results. What's the marketing plan for the site? The fact that the site will be up for many years is irrelevant. How will the site be found now? How many of the existing advertisers actually paid for their plots? I'd like to see some disclosures, like on The Six Million Dollar Cube's blog.

The Web2.0 Million Dollar HomePage
These guys (Srinivasan & Vinay) have been leaving blog comments all over the place and sending out tons of email. I do like their enthusiasm and they seem rather polite. That's rare with all the PASS these days. Read their comments on the AdSense, Tagvertising or Pixel Ads post to see what I mean. I'm also impressed that they have blog comments turned on for their site. That's very web 2.0 - open interaction with the end consumer. However, as with, I don't think this site will sell many pixels. It's simply another pixel advertising site. The original Million Dollar Homepage worked because it was unique at the time and managed to create a buzz surrounding the story of the site. It was the idea and the story more so than the site itself that became the content. A new site that sells pixels for the same price just isn't going to work.

The problem with both of these sites is that they have little or no useful content. If you were launching a new magazine, you wouldn't have each page full of ads. Advertisers are looking for content that will attract visitors. Ads themselves aren't content. This is why I think pixel advertising will only survive if it evolves. Sites that sell small pixel blocks instead of Google AdSense or other forms of advertising might do well going forward. But, an entire site full of pixel ads only worked once. Now perhaps some sort of tagvertising might just work...

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Pixel Ad Brrreeeport

Here's an update on the pixel ads (read Pixel Advertising Case Study and Pixel Ads Case Study Update if you want the full history) trend. These are the top 5 pixel ad sites for this past week, looking at unique visitors sent to from the ads on these pixel sites:

62 Million Dollar Homepage
37 Rent Pixel Ads
30 Fosfor Gadgets
21 Smash My Viper
19 Pixel Wars

For more details on why my firm has bought pixel ads from these sites and my thoughts on the future of pixel advertising, see my Squidoo pixel ads lens. Note that the Million Dollar Homepage has sold out. Currently, I'd avoid buying pixels from as the site has just been sold. I had purchased a 100x100 ad on their site at a fixed rate of $27 per month. The new owner is now charging $47 per month. Come on. You have to first prove your value before asking for more money. If anything, the new owner should offer existing advertisers an incentive to renew. Foolish. Besides, pixel sites for the sake of pixels is not the way to go. Advertisers want to advertise on a site that has good content. From the above list, Fosfor Gadgets is the best of the bunch. I'd highly recommend buying pixels from that site, particularly if your target audience fits with theirs.

If the tags below seem a bit strange, read TagMan brrreeeport and Z-lister - and proud of it for an explanation.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Pixel Ads Case Study Update

Now that the Million Dollar Homepage has sold all of its pixels, it appears that interest in pixel advertising is waning. I wondered if there'd be a renewed interest in pixel ads due to pixel advertisers looking for other pixel pages for advertising opportunities. From my research, that doesn't appear to be the case. The trend I do see, though, that could be a viable use of pixel ads for the long term is to use small pixel blocks instead of or as well as more conventional advertising choices such as Google AdSense. I've updated the pixel ads information page to reflect this change. I'll also be updating my Squidoo Pixel Ads lens to reflect this trend.

When I last blogged about pixel advertising traffic levels, sites like were doing quite well. Back then, they were delivering ~23 hits/day which has since dropped off to ~5 hits/day. In December, they were sending ~47 hits/day. You could argue that the drop in hits to my firm's site is due to selling more pixels. As the site has become more crowded, my firm's ad is being lost in the clutter. That's valid, to some degree. However, I found that with MDHP (Million Dollar Homepage), the traffic did quite well even as the site filled up. Plus, as the press periodically recycled the story, the MDHP traffic would surge as would clicks from my ad. Here are the unique hits from MDHP over time:

Sep: 138 (bought ad on 9/26/05)
Oct: 423
Nov: 152
Dec: 296
Jan: 665 (renewed interest in press)
Feb: 100 (through 2/6/06)
Sum: 1774

I bought $200 worth of pixels from Alex Tew. So far then, this works out to $200/1774 clicks = $0.11 per click. I'll take that, considering the minimum bids on Overture / Yahoo! Search Marketing are $0.10 these days. I expect there to be periodic interest in the MDHP so this CPC (cost per click) will only go down. For a fixed cost of $200 and no worries about click fraud, this was a pretty good deal. However, I don't believe it's worth buying new pixel ads on a site that's simply a MDHP clone. I suspect, though, that pixel advertising will find its niche. Read the pixel ads page on my site or my pixel ads lens on Squidoo and you'll see what I mean.

Oh, before you do that, though, try a game of Squidoo Tagman. >8-)

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Monday, February 06, 2006

AdWords Help Google Group

A recent post on the Inside AdWords blog referenced a Google Group called AdWords Help. Reading both the blog entry and many of the responses in the group, it seemed like there were more questions than answers. I joined the group and will be posting under the name Rich@Apogee as I think I'll be able to help AdWords advertisers. Just realized I made 14 posts in the group today. Wow, had no idea I'd responded to that many threads. Hopefully, the Rich@Apogee posts will be helpful. I'll be posting Google AdWords tips.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

New Blog for TagMan

I've decided to create a separate blog for TagMan. I've been pleased with the interest in the game and I hope people are enjoying playing the game and exploring tags from various web 2.0 sites. I'll devote that new blog to TagMan and will keep this blog focused on my core business, online marketing.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

carcasherdotcom seocontest

Normally, I keep clear of these SEO contests. However, Jennifer Laycock who's the editor of Search Engine Guide asked for help with this one, carcasherdotcom seocontest. I know her because I write articles for Search Engine Guide (not as frequently as I should). If she wants help, I'll help her out. For those of you working on your Thursday Thirteen lists, please consider helping her out. If you read her carcasherdotcom seocontest page, you'll see she's going to donate any winnings to a good cause. Thanks for considering helping her with the carcasherdotcom seocontest.

[Update: See the carcasherdotcom seocontest Squidoo lens]

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