Adding Value to the Web

There have been a couple of good posts on my discussion forum lately about various "methods" for generating websites, and even generating content. Some of those conversations stemming from recent news of "the fall of Martell sites". Others from threads discussing the latest hyped-up mega tool that creates thousands of pages that "automatically rank well".

I suppose spam will always be around, and in various formats, so I wont even touch that issue. But I will say this: if you choose the spammy route, expect to continously work (and work hard) towards 'the next best thing'. Spam techniques are constantly outdated, forcing you to keep tabs on every site/campaign and 'stay on top of the game'. Rich today, poor tomorrow.

If you want to establish a long term income-generating eBusiness, then it's important to make your site(s) unique - to be creative, and to offer something of value on the web. If you put your thought into it from that end, you'll get much better results. Building sites just to make money is the "method" that gets people "delisted" more often than not.

If you are doing business online, then you are obviously a surfer and a searcher yourself. So put your own ads/sites to the test and surf your way over to them. Psyche yourself out, get in the mode, and pretend you are your own ideal visitor. Is your website helpful, useful... easy to navigate? Do you find what you're looking for - easily?

At PubCon last week, Matt Cutts made this simple statement during the Google lunch: "The idea is to get a good, clean web with relevant results".

That's it. That's what it's all about. Whether you are pulling information or pushing it, it's all about value and relevancy. Anything else is simply annoying.

I love to figure out new ways that I can contribute to the web. Ultimately this creates a better web for everyone, makes my 'job' more fun, and earns a better return in the long run.

Lately I've been revaluating some of my commercial websites and considering ways that I can add even more value to them. Those of you that have followed along for the last couple of years know that I am a big fan of the 'Rosalind Gardner Method' - which is basically to create quality affiliate sites and promote them via pay-per-click advertising. Of course, I like to 'SEO' my sites for free traffic as well, but I do like the model.

I have quite a few product-based affiliate sites that have the look and feel of a simple online store. These are the sites I'm taking a second look at right now. While they are functional as they are, I am considering ways to bring them up a few notches. More content, RSS syndication, user reviews, forums or blogs, etc.

All said and done, if you are offering something interesting and valuable then you will attract visitors naturally. The search engines will want to include your pages in their results. People will want to return to your site. Regular visitors will recommend your site to their friends. Affiliates will sign up for your program. Other webmasters will link to you without being begged, bribed or paid.

And that's the kind of site you want to own...

Lynn Terry, web janitor

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About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Thank you, Greg 😉

    You make some great additional points. More and more I am seeing the internet as 'my web'... and I find myself getting more particular about what I expect, which has had a big impact on what I want to 'put out there'.

    It will be interesting to see how things change across the web over the next few years. I predict things will change dramatically...

    -Lynn

  2. fantastic post!

    once you shift your paradigm to see your development efforts in this way, the rest of your job gets easier. additionally, if you are creating content of value, you will be able to rest easier at night, knowing that you are less prone to a delisting, or other catastrophic algorithm tweek designed to combat spammers.

    and to strengthen matt's argument, once you have created a site with value to the user, then your site becomes as valuable to the engines as they are to you. they need your good content site to help with their relevancy, and they will be happy to list you accordingly.

  3. Ralph Ruckman says:

    Excellent post Lynn,

    I too have been looking over my sites over the last few days. I've been stripping away some of the more commercial material and adding things like quotes, know how's and that sort of thing. Although I still want to make money from the sites, I sure feel a lot better about myself at the end of the day, knowing that I am providing something useful to someone, other than providing something useful to someone just to earn a dollar. Great work Lynn-a real eye opener:)

  4. As I understand it, the "fall" of the Martell sites was in 2004 with the big Google update. Why are they beating that horse to death? He talked about it many times in his Affiliate Buzz audio newsletter ove the years and what he was doing to correct the problem on his newer sites.

    Fantastic post, though.

    I e-mailed this part to myself for future reference:

    "If you want to establish a long term income-generating eBusiness, then it’s important to make your site(s) unique - to be creative, and to offer something of value on the web. If you put your thought into it from that end, you’ll get much better results. Building sites just to make money is the “method” that gets people “delisted” more often than not.

    If you are doing business online, then you are obviously a surfer and a searcher yourself. So put your own ads/sites to the test and surf your way over to them. Psyche yourself out, get in the mode, and pretend you are your own ideal visitor. Is your website helpful, useful… easy to navigate? Do you find what you’re looking for - easily?

    At PubCon last week, Matt Cutts made this simple statement during the Google lunch: “The idea is to get a good, clean web with relevant results”."

    Thanks Lynn. You rock as always.

    😉 Robert

  5. Thank you, Robert 😀

    >>Why are they beating that horse to death?

    I imagine because people are interested in finding out what works, and what doesnt. I think a lot of people are starting to realize that “inbound links” (as they’ve been done in the past few years) arent the be-all-end-all of ‘SEO’ anymore... or at least won't be for long.

    And honestly, I'm glad. Link building can be a tedious task with very little ROI (return on investment). There's just nothing enjoyable about it, in my opinion. But social networking... now that's a different story 😉

    That's not to say that good quality links shouldnt be sought after - because they should. But all of this link submission, link requests, links pages, submitting to directories by the hundreds, etc - it's just not adding value to the web for the most part. Some directories, yes - hundreds or thousands, no.

    I'm thinking I've rambled enough in this comment... perhaps I'll expand on this a bit in a new post this week 🙂

    Best,
    Lynn

  6. Letian Liu says:

    I hate seeing some of the e-books coming out to recommend those "insta-ranking" generator tools, only to hurt the internet marketing newbie's chances of success.

    It's a difficult balance that search engines have to play. Google may sandbox a lot of newer sites to avoid spam, but this can also hurt their results by not revealing newer, GOOD content that comes. MSN seems to update the quickest and thus able to mine content a lot better (both good and spam). Yahoo's dive into social tag searching will offer yet another set of results to this mix.

  7. If you want to establish a long term income-generating eBusiness, then it's important to make your site(s) unique - to be creative, and to offer something of value on the web. If you put your thought into it from that end, you'll get much better results. Building sites just to make money is the "method" that gets people "delisted" more often than not.

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