The People History Webmaster Ramblings II

Advertising Or Not

I have tried many forms of advertising on The People History and the most successful had been Google AdSense , but for some reason it is now at the point where it is not worth continuing .

I am not sure why and have tried using the competitive filter and even tried PPA but it seems the site is not suitable any longer ( maybe my visitors do not buy from the advertisers ) .

When I last checked the demographics for the site, the highest percentage of visitors were ladies ( 35 -- 55 ) , this changes when schools and colleges go back as thousands of kids use the site every day for research for anything from history, prices, culture, book research and much more and I would understand it then as I would not expect them to be potential buyers.

It's a shame and I will need to have a rethink on strategy on how to finance the site, I may well try YPN again .

My visitor numbers are not great on the site during the summer but honestly I would rather leave the site add free than receive couple of bucks for each thousand visitors as the site looks better without adds.

So back to the drawing board.

Steve


Catching Up
well we restarted This Day In History and trying to catch up and it's proving harder than I expected even getting Zoe to help , so far have caught up to

This Day in History June 6th

This Day in History June 7th

This Day in History June 8th

This Day in History June 9th

This Day in History June 10th

This Day in History June 8th

This Day in History June 11th

Am hoping to catch up to date and ahead by Thursday as on Friday we have a weekend down as an introduction to Zoes University she starts in August
University Of Missouri Mizoo

We are very proud of her she passed out 7th in her year with a GPA of 4.1 overall and 4.6 on her last term and she got a number of scholarships which will help with the fees including from her school and from the university itself.

But I am sure Callie and I will miss her when she leaves but you have to let them go and even encourage them to step out into that wide outside world

Maybe We are getting somewhere

Well it's nearly 12 months since I started the process of working with a company for some TV advertising and promotion and hopefully the actual adds will start airing on CNBC this weekend, I have never done this before . I have used Adwords, Stumbleupon and a few other forms of advertising but this will be a first and was interesting.

The site is now nearly 2 years old and I have spent large amounts of time and money on research and promotion so hopefully this should be the icing on the cake.

I do not have advertising on the site as it was so poorly targeted so this will be my final hurrah at trying to promote the site and what I am hoping to achieve.

I do have a reasonable AdWords campaign running alongside the TV Adds as I believe multiple campaigns complement each other rather than work separately

I am still so pleased I did this if for no other reason than to capture on film a great memory from the depression years by Ed ( bless him ) for sharing

Link below to eds memory

Ed Depression Years Memory

And a link to my wonderful supportive wife remembering her dad and childhood

Callies 70's Video Memory

And of course my own very bad video trying to tell the cameras what the site is trying to achieve

Video Why We created The People History

It is difficult to work out if a project is a success or not when you are not using money as the yardstick , but I think the site is a success because we have already received some great memories from our visitors which should provide others with an idea of the living history created through our memories.

Please check out our memories section on The People History as that is one of the main reasons we set the site up in the beginning



Our Visitor Memory Section

And if you have a memory that can be shared with our visitors and future generations please take the time to add your memory

One last note on this post

There are so many sites that just rehash the same stuff on the internet day after day it is difficult to explain how much longer it takes to find and publish something that is not rehashed which is why our this day in history section is taking so long to complete . but please check out what we have completed sofar to get an idea of why we are different from many other online social history sites out there



This Day In History

Thanks

Steve



Why I Enjoy Working On The People History
I started my This Day In History section way back in April and due to other work on other sites I never kept up with it and I do regret that but in late August I did catch up ( catching up means I have to be 3 weeks ahead or any little thing could cause the same problem as before )

I must admit to catch up I had to ask some friends to help with research as well as doing my own and here we are today , I am currently half way through October Kathy is 1/2 way through December and Julie is getting started on November after finishing off March for me.

So my hope is I will have completed the whole year by late September .

That is great because it means I can put up a good show for each day but I now have to relook at earlier months to make sure they are all standard in format and layout , but when looking at some I also realise I can make them even better especialy any I look at and consider weak or not interesting so I suspect although I will be up to date late September I will still be working on this day in history for three months after that and hopefully be finished by XMAS so I can start on the next The People History Section / Project

I must admit I do love doing the research for this section as I never know what interesting tidbit I will come up with and because I do not have set ideas of what news / story / tidbit I will find it is great fun.

Below are just a few that will be included in October when it is released

A taxicab war in chicago

Keyhole For Victory a push by the US government to collect scrap keys to turn into tanks in the Second World War

deaths caused by Tuberculosis continues to rise

I did not realize Sputnik was that small
Sputnik weighed 184lbs and measured only 22inches in diameter

and I just loved this story
The American Museum of Natural History has returned to Peking with a wealth of fossils from animals never seen before from outer Mongolia, they had been in constant battles with Chinese outlaws trying to get the food, supplies and cars that the expedition had but they managed to out wit and outrun the outlaws using brain work and the much faster cars than the outlaws horses.

Now I know why I spend so much time on The people History instead of my commercial projects

steve


Good Links In = Good Traffic

I posted a while ago about getting traffic to your blog , so I thought I would do an additional post on

Links In --- Links Out

I did cover in an earlier post about how to get links and traffic to your blog and there are a number of bloggers who who have sites dedicated to helping you get links / traffic ( I do not run any of those sites )

But this is just about getting your blog indexed and getting traffic

I am afraid just because you have put up a great article about a subject you know a lot about does not mean you will get thousands of visitors sent by the search engines and sometimes your great post may not even get indexed so here are a few tips.

When I made the first statement Links In --- Links Out not only does it cover links to other sites but also links to your own site, I will try to explain the best I can.

Search Engines use a series of mathematical calculations ( called and Algo ) to decide if a site / page is worthy to be listed for a specific search term,

These range from

The content on the page
The Title and Headings
and
Other Links pointing to that page ( your own and from other web sites )

Now your own is fully under your control so if you have a page about green frogs and your link says green frogs that counts as a link ( sounds Great ) but here is the problem

Most search engines expect your site to have links coming from other sites the more the merrier and each site / page has a sort of power rating ( often called Page Rank or Trust Rank ) the better power rating the site that links to you has the more power / trust / page rank they share with you.

Now this is where the problems start to pass power / trust / Page Rank to another page ( even a page on your own site ) you need to have some power on the page you are linking from and if you have no links to your page / site you will have no power to pass.

So here are a few tips to do the best with the power you have

Do not have to many links out to other sites or even your own site from any page so you can do the best you can with what you have .

I will try to provide a real example using this blog ( it is a PR2 which is very low but it is a personal blog ) so I do not expect any more than that

This month I did quite a few posts 40+ and my blog WAS SET UP TO DISPLAY ALL POSTS FOR THIS MONTH so combined with these 40 links to older posts and any labels , archives, links to The People History and Other Family and friends sites I worked out I had over 100 links out from my main page .

What this meant was no page got any power worth having so the only pages indexed were just an odd few not the 90 pages I have in total.

You can also think of it like a water pipe .

We have only 1 pipe with poor water pressure coming in and we are trying to supply 50 pipes out . It is easy to imagine just a dribble out if you are lucky

Now lets imagine we have 5 water pipes with good pressure coming in and only 10 going out , this would mean although we have less pressure for each pipe going out at least it's enough to be worth while


Sorry if I didn't explain it that well but the point is you must find the balance of power gained through links coming into your blog / page / website to power leaving that page / blog / website.

So if you are running a fairly new site with little inherent power from links from other sites try to keep the outgoing links to minimum and get other sites to link to you

I will try to post my next tips for how you can accidentally trip a filter known as
OVER OPTIMISATION FILTER
Some time next week

Research The Joy and Sorrows
I have been asked a few times do I do ALL of the research for The People History so I thought I would document what I have done and what I have had help with

All the information found for each year and decade including prices of clothes houses cars electrical etc. etc. has been researched by me and pages also created by me .

Now comes the part where I must thank some of the people who have helped research additional sections.

I did try outsourcing to another country for 1 bit of research ( what a bloody disaster ) the english was worse than mine and when I checked all they had done was steal other peoples work.

So I looked for researchers / writers closer to home including USA, Canada and UK.

I have ended up with a core of 5 great researchers who produce some very valuable research to help The People History Grow and I would like to thank them ( they know who they are ) in general about 2 articles per week per researcher , this means iether existing pages have much better content or occasionally new pages are created

Research can be booring and tediuos but the one thing my researchers like is they do not have to write for search engines with keywords and all that crap just for our visitors so they all tell me they enjoy doing research for the people history

I do still do the This Day in History pages because i personally enjoy the research and there must be some perks for being the boss!! / Webmaster !! / GoFor / Creator of the site


Is Natural Traffic Better Than Paid Traffic
As I have posted before my wife loves her horses and decided to create a blog about her love of them .
Like a dutiful husband I have tried to help her get her blog known and done some advertising on Adwords and StumbleUpon and her visitor numbers do increase but very few of these visitors who are paid for comment whereas other bloggers who run horse blogs comment a lot, so I am wondering is traffic that is paid for suitable for sites that are not selling anything and therefore get a very poor return on investment.

The thorny issue of using No Follow
The Internet changes so quickly and one of the latest changes is the use of No Follow

Google and the others originally introduced it to stop comment and blog spam from gaining rankings but the SEO community quickly realised it was a way of hoarding your Page Rank and not passing it to sites you linked to

Google has now extended its use by recommending sites that take paid for advertising should use no follow ( raises a big question mark as to why do sites use link advertising in the first place )

Like many of the changes by the search engines it is a response to stop webmasters gaining higher search engine positions but each time webmasters are quick to react and often not in the way the search engines thought they would.

I as a webmaster have decided not to use No Follow on any of my sites if the site is good enough to be listed they should be good enough to gain something from that listing

On The People History I think I have a total of 15 to 20 outgoing links on the whole site not because i am worried about sharing my PR juice but because the site is not designed for giving lots of links





history of The People History Online
First just a brief summary of the history of The People History Online

Purchased Domain in February last Year , I knew what I wanted to achieve but unsure how I would achieve it.

In March booked and paid for a dedicated server ( based in Florida ) I was still unsure of what and how I would create a site to achieve goals of "creating an online social history" , bought various software including V Bulliton, and tested a few other Forum Packages, Did not like what I could achieve with them ( Suspect my lack of technical expertise more than the packages )

I then talked to a company in the UK about a solution but am afraid the price went over my budget.

So I have used a combination of a basic HTML website and the power of Blogger to help me with my goals

I did try Adwords and Overture to get people to leave memories but quickly realised that with out VC type funding I would be very broke before I would achieve much.

So I sat down and had to rethink how else I could get people to visit and hopefully leave memories to share with others.

I did look round at other sites that had Modern History ( last 80 years ) and realised many were run by Historians or by people who had specialist knowledge and I did not want to just rehash others work.

It was at this point a light went on that gave me an idea , nearly all the sites had loads of the history you may read in history books but few had researched history and how it related to the ordinary man and woman , While thinking about this I was curious on how much things cost and after much researching found hardly anything on the Internet and even less in History Books. I then had to find a way to get an idea of how much things cost by year / decade and I hit upon checking old newspapers ,

The site is slowly becoming more known and used by students for research of all kinds of things

The Year They were born
Finding ideas on what life was like during a specific time in History ( have found a number of students and teachers use the site to gain better understanding of what life was like when researching a book E.G. To kill a mocking bird

Finding how different life was for their parents or grandparents


We all know the joke about grandad or dad saying "In My Day" but these memories from our elders are very important as they give us an insight into how our lives have changed and how we need to thank our older relatives for the great heritage they leave behind for our generating


just my ramblings

steve




External Sources
I have been considering creating a directory of other useful history websites for a while but today after finding a truly great and very comprehensive resource I decided that I could not create anything as good as
Teacher Oz's Kingdom of History so will just guide my own visitors looking for other history sites to Teacher Oz's Kingdom of History

We have therefore just created a link from our front page for those seeking more history information

The People History is not listed there I am afraid but I suspect that is because we are a fairly new site so I can not hold that against them

This is truly a great resource for those of us who like history websites so if your a school or college I recommend adding it to your resources for students

steve




How To Get Visitors To Your Blog / Web site


Sorry This is a fairly long article

Visitors come from 3 main sources

1 Search Engines
2 Recommendations from other web sites via a link or recommendation
3 Social networking sites
3 Repeat visitors who have found you through the other two and bookmark your site to read more

I decided to write this article to try and help new bloggers to attract visitors and is a very rough guide to how to attract more visitors

IT IS SPLIT INTO
1 What are they and who
2 How They Work


What They Are

Search Engines
Traffic from Search Engines comes when someone enters a query and your site is listed in the results ( often called SERPS ) 4 main Search Engines ( Google, MSN, Yahoo and ASK )

Other Web sites
You may get another web site link to you because they feel their visitors may be interested in your site or because they are friends or family or because you swap links or it may be a directory you have asked or paid for a link, to many to mention but some ideas of best ways and who to ask / request link from in next section.

Social Networking
This is the growth area in the last couple of years because it is driven by user recommendations
( DIGG, Stumbleupon, Delicious plus specialist sites like neatorama )

Repeat Visitors
This speaks for itself if your content is unique and interesting these are your best visitors as they will recommend your site to others through e-mail or on the social networking sites or just while chatting


So How do they work and how can you use them to get visitors

Search Engines

Each search engine is different and uses a different algorithm to decide how close the top in search results your page / site / blog should come ( and just important is your page important enough to even index into their search engine )
They use a number of things in the algo to decide and each Search Engine uses the same things but with different priorities

These are not listed in priority just how they appeared while I was writing

1 Page Title
2 Page Content
3 Header titles ( e.g. H1 H2 etc. )
4 age of site / page
5 number of links to the page from other sites and QUALITY OF SITES LINKING TO YOUR SITE and your own
6 how many times the word being searched for is on the page ( can count against you if repeated to many times )
7 how many other sites link to that page using that word
8 the relevance of that word to the rest of the words on the page
9 how much overall unique content there is on your page
10 Could the site be considered an authority on that subject
11 are the links going out from the page going to other related sites to the content ( i.e. could they be considered helpful to the visitor for further reading )

THESE PLUS A FEW MORE THINGS ARE WHAT A SEARCH ENGINE ALGO LOOKS AT WHEN DECIDING WEATHER TO INDEX YOUR SITE AND HOW HIGH UP THE RANKINGS YOUR PAGE WILL BE FOR A SPECIFIC SEARCH QUERY ( each search engine has its own way of using these and may well apply different priorities for each )

There are a few more but I thought I would just start with these
many should just be created naturally when you do your posting TITLE, CONTENT, HEADER TITLES, HOW MANY TIMES WORD IS ON PAGE, RELEVANCE OF SEARCH WORD TO REST OF CONTENT ON PAGE, just one quick tip try to make the number of words enough to make the Search Engine Think it's worth including in the Search Engine.

AGE OF SITE / PAGE we can do nothing about this as it the Search Engines way of trying to stop spammers creating new sites on a daily basis to fool the Search Engines

So as you can see it leaves us with only a few odd things we can do outside of creating the page to get search engines to index the site and they all involve LINKS so I will just talk about how to get links


1 Find blogs that are somehow related to yours and ask if they will
link to you and you can put a link back to them

2 Check if any blogs allow guest writers and offer to write a blog
posting providing you can have a link at the bottom of your blog post

3 Use some of the counters provided by blog directories that do
provide traffic back couple of examples

4 If you have good content join some of the social networking sites
like stumbleupon and ask a few people to check your site and if they think it's worthy
to give thumbs up

I have left this to last as this is possibly the one that will cause the most problems in terms of time ( but also in todays world can also start to cost money ( you need to think of this in terms of advertising your wares and I am afraid in todays world there is no such thing as a free lunch ) and will help you to focus your decision on are you writing your blog for you or a wider audience
5 Submit your blog / web site to directories

There are literally thousands of directories you could submit your blog / web site to so where do you start and what will be free and what will the others cost and how do you tell the ones worth submitting to or paying for from the crap.

So where to start

1 find directories that are related to your niche and submit to those
2 check out some of the sites with large lists of directories and filter that the list by the following for example DMOZ or Yahoo and there are web sites with great lists

1 If free and do not require a link back then submit for example DMOZ ( please also be aware that when you do this you may be opening your e-mail address to large amounts of spam as that is how some of the free ones make their money so use a THROW AWAY EMAIL ADDRESS )

Thats the easy one out of the way what next
Now you come to those requiring a link back ( my advice is to only have 1 for counter giving link back and maximum of 3 others with link back )

Next is the paid ones these would include Yahoo and the thousands of others
So how do you decide where best to spend your money many will say Googles Tool Bar value ( the little green bar ) PAGE RANK is the most important but this can be fixed and does not guarantee to give true value of a sites worth or even that the page you will be listed on will have page rank ) And one more thing many directories are now using no follow so the SE's will not even see it as a vote of confidence for your site

So here is what I do I look at any money I pay to a directory as advertising and as with any advertising i like to know how many visitors the directory attracts there are 2 main places I know to find this info
Alexa ( can be manipulated very easily )
Compete ( only truly gives good data for US Visitors )
Quantcast ( pretty good idea not perfect but helpful )

So number 1 check out the sites amount of traffic the more traffic the site gets the more likely that you will get visitors from the site AND the better chance the Search Engines will see it as an authority and count the link towards your own authority status

Well sorry it ended up so long post any questions or queries you have with this article post a comment and i will try to answer them







steve



We all take for granted that we create our blog and people will visit and comment and our hard work will have been worth it!!!!

HAHA i am afraid the days where people would be sent from search engines are slowly disappearing for the ordinary blogger.

My wife's blog is a good example she loves horses and decided to create a blog dedicated to horses , a number of other horse blogs were kind enough to swap links and they visit her blog and leave comments sometimes up to 5 for each post more than i get that's for sure , so that means her style of writing and the content she writes about are of interest to others, Midwest Horse

BUT NOW HERE IS THE RUB , she does not get any visitors from search engines just this small group of people who know about her blog.

In some ways we can blame the search engines for this as they have so many tools in place to stop spammers gaining high positions in the search engines that they hurt the ordinary blogger from ever having their pages seen.

This leads me to the point of this post
All the major search engines use something called an Algorithm ( which is a set of rules run by a computer program to rank web pages in their results ) they each use slightly different variations of the signs of quality of a web page to do this but the 2 that effect the ordinary blogger are ( links to the site ) and ( age of site )

now how do you ever get over those hurdles if you are never found in the results and you are a new site.

Maybe it's time for a new Search Engine to emerge that is based on a human grading system , we can only hope

steve
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