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November has been a busy month with a great Thanksgiving topping it all off. We went to San Antonio, TX to celebrate with my son, Justin and his family. Travis and his family came from the Dallas area. Susanna, our daughter, spent Thanksgiving with her future in-laws in Houston.
On Friday, Travis and Linda Lee then came to Kingsville to get Mark-Thomas his first haircut by Dave Morris at the same barber shop where Travis got his first haircut 31 years ago. Mark-Thomas did fine with the scissors but did not like the electric clippers at the end.
Click on the picture to enlarge picture.
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We sent an email to you about a drawing for a free SBI that we are holding on January 1, 2009. Some of you have already signed up, but that is only a small part of the total subscribers of Boomer eZine.
We encourage you to sign up and take advantage of this offer. Site Build It is a $299 value that includes a domain registration. John will help the winner learn the Internet and coach her/him to build the website.
Sign up now at this link
We published a previous article about Mechanical Turk in the June 2008 issue at http://www.boomer-ezine.com/V3I3_060108.htm You might want to refer to it for additional information.
You know that I am a great believer in article marketing. I just published my seventieth article on Ezinearticles.com this month.
I have been looking for a way to make my articles more effective and bring more traffic to our web sites.
I read in a recent ebook how to use Mechanical Turk (mturk.com) to increase the number of times your article is viewed. If the article is viewed enough, it will rank in the top 15 articles for the category and will be placed on the top 15 list so more people see it and read it. Once it makes the top 15 list, it acquires a life of its own for traffic.
I read all the various regulations on Ezinearticles.com to see if there was any provision that specifically prevented me from doing this and I could find none.
I set up several HITs (human intervention tasks) on mturk.com:
I was amazed at how quickly workers jumped on these HITs and performed them.
The article is located at
If you go there today, you will see that it has 14 comments, has 98 votes averaging 4.39, and has been viewed 493 times as of when this article was written. It is in fifteenth place in the most viewed articles in the Home Business category.
For some reason, Ezinearticles.com will not show it in the top 15 ranking when it is the article being viewed so you will have to view another article in the Home Business category to see it in the top 15. Don’t ask me why.
You can do me a big favor and link to the article and read it. This will give the article another view. It is about Site Build It. Even though this particular article targets work at home moms (WAHMs), it contains valuable information for everyone.
Making the top 15 for this category caused Google to pick it up and rank it number one for the keyword “best work at home moms web host”. This is a long tail keyword, but that is how very focused viewers find your article and your website.
The total cost of the HITs was
100 votes =$5.00 plus Amazon fees ($.05 each)
15 comments = $1.50 ($.10 each)
245 reads = $12.25 ($.05 Each)
Amazon Fee = $1.875
Total - $20.625
The last paid entry gave the article 458 views to get to #15. The article was also viewed by non-paid viewers during this time which helped its climb to #15.
I thought this was a successful project until I received a “nastygram” from Ezinearticles.com:
It has come to our attention that you are using an unethical method to inflate the views of your articles (Amazon Mechanical Turk).
This is not something that we allow and continued use of this will result in removal of your account.
Please remove any link to your EzineArticles Articles from this program and let me know when completed. Failure to respond back within 48 hours will result in an account suspension until the issue is resolved.
I value my relationship with Ezinearticles.com so I responded immediately.
I immediately terminated the HIT for reading an article and I will not use MT for anything on ezinearticles.com again. I did not realize that this was forbidden since it is a suggested technique on several websites and blogs.
I respect Ezinearticles.com for its position. Your direction to cease this procedure is sufficient for me, and I thank you for the warning.
In my defense, before I started the MT project, I read through all the information on your website, and I did not see where paying readers was forbidden.
Thank you again for the warning. I have taken it very seriously.
So much for that experiment. I will not do it again. I am passing this on to you so you will be aware of this technique and how Ezinearticles.com views it.
I did learn something from my work on mturk.com:
TIP: Don’t make the number of assignments per hit too high. This requires that many unique people to work on the HIT since mturk.com will only let a worker work on the HIT one time. If you keep the number low, the HIT will expire and the same people can work on the new one.
You will notice that when you post a HIT, workers descend on it like vultures. The completion rate is fast at first, but slows down the longer the HIT is posted. I stated posting projects needing 100 individual workers, but I changed this to 25 and just kept renewing the HIT when it was completed.
When you perform a Google search, Google always tells you how many pages it found for the keyword that you entered. In the following example the total pages is 2,800,000.
Sometimes when you are evaluating a keyword, this can be scary, but I read a fact recently that you should remember when checking this number.
This is from Ken Evoy, creator of Site Build It.
Search Engine numbers include countless spammy pages. Did you know that 90% of all Web pages are junk, created by scammers and spammers to make short-term money? They are not true, long-term competition.
If you build a good quality content page, you are probably competing with only ten percent of the pages that Google lists.
I worked on our new website www.successful-wahm.com this month and want to share some revelations with you.
I decided to dress up the website and make it more appealing to work at home moms. I went on www.dreamstime.com and found a seamless wallpaper to use as the background. You can specify a background picture for your web page and the browser will paste the picture in “tiles” next to each other in your webpage. You use the HTML command (opening and closing greater than and less than signs removed).
where “images/SWahm-Wallpaper.jpg” is the location of the wallpaper picture.
The wallpaper image looks like this (without the HEX characters).
I needed to create a header block and a block on the left side of the text area and I wanted these to complement the background.
I used a free program called Color Detector (see article in March 2007 issue) http://www.boomer-ezine.com/V1I49_031607.htm to help match colors.
With Color Detector I was able to determine the colors of various items in the background pattern so I could specify the color for the blocks on the web page. The six digit HEX codes are shown on the picture for the various items.
Once I learned these codes, I experimented with the various colors to get the final version that you see on the website. I created the blocks by specifying the background color (six digit HEX code) for a table that made the block.
Since I gained familiarity with mturk.com, I decided use its power to get feedback on my website design. I posted a HIT restricted to USA work at home moms. I asked the question:
Describe your initial reaction when you first see the landing page. I am looking for first impressions.
With an hour, I had the ten responses that I was looking for:
Some liked it and some didn’t. I am still thinking about what to do with this design. Any feedback from our lady readers would be appreciated since this site is targeted at work at home moms. Send me an email with your opinion at jvwh (at) jhowe.com. Thanks.
What should you take away from this article? Use mturk.com to get quick, cheap feedback on a project if you want to see what others think about it. You can get a one question HIT like this done for $.05 each and the quality of feedback is pretty good.
The poor economic times have caused all of us trouble, but it has helped the traffic for www.retirement-jobs-online.com. People are concerned about their retirement savings and are looking for retirement jobs to supplement their retirement income. Some of the searches decline which makes sense. Keywords dealing with anything after retirement or with the keyword "retired" did not increase.
Look at the traffic increase of October compared to what the average has been. This picture is from Google Adwords Keyword tool.
This helps us since we have Adsense ads on our website, and the increased traffic increases our Adsense income.
As I said in the last issue, it seems that the Internet is getting busier in these bad times.
That wraps up this issue. Until next month, stay tuned.
John and Linda Howe
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