Archive | January, 2009

Cash4Gold : SEO and Reputation Management

31 Jan

Many of you know I did SEO for a number of years and still try to keep up to date on the latest techniques. Seems Cash4Gold is even more interested in SEO than I am.  Cash4Gold is also wisely monitoring SERPs for repuation management. 

Over at http://www.cockeyed.com/citizen/goldkit/reputation.shtml they blogged about Cash4Gold’s interesting marketing and business practices.  He determinded that Cash4Gold was paying as little as 30% of the going rate for scrap gold and how to better negotiate with them for a better return.

Check this out. This is straight out of a movie.
Remember the “Cash4Gold” article I wrote following Brent K’s experience sending them gold?Cash4Gold Will Offer One-Third of the Actual Value for your Gold

You should read it…later. In a nutshell, Brent sent in scrap gold valued elsewhere at $180 and was offered one third of that amount by Cash4Gold. Brent balked at their $60 check and called their customer service line, where he immediately got a new offer: $178!

On October 6th, that Cockeyed article was featured on Consumerist.com  (http://consumerist.com/5059452/how-to-avoid-getting-ripped-off-by-cash4gold). Consumerist is so popular that thousands of people read the article, and the high Consumerist pagerank meant that the Cockeyed article would take its place at the tippy-top of  Google results on searches for “Cash 4 Gold”. Anyone searching for “Cash4Gold” had a very good chance at this new insight: Their cash offers for gold are measly.

I guess someone at Cash 4 Gold noticed, because a week later, I got an email from Joe Laratro:

I work on the Cash4Gold site. We are trying to clean up their first page of results in Google. Your article: http://www.cockeyed.com/citizen/goldkit/cheat.shtml is ranking very well for term “Cash4Gold”. The site looks like you may do well from Adsense.

Is there a financial arrangement we can come to that will offset your Adsense income and make it worth your while to take down or at least “de-optimize” it for that phrase? I would be happy to speak more about this on the phone…

Thanks,
Joe Laratro
President
Tandem Interactive – Trendy Online Marketing Solutions
Hollywood, FL 33020

How about that? A polite letter, with a clear goal: Bury the “Cash 4 Gold” name in my article so that it doesn’t scare off every would-be gold seller with an internet connection. I was kind of thrilled.

People approach me all the time looking for ways to promote keywords, but this was the first time someone else was trying to buy me out of their Google search results. This was just like in the movies, right? Guy writes an article exposing underhanded business practices, business leader arranges a meeting to kill the story.

It was fun to fantasize about how much they might pay, and how much editing they would want to contribute for their investment. It was a genuine real-life business dillema! But I wouldn’t ever actually take them up on an offer like that. I’m just not like that. I didn’t do anything.

Two weeks later, he sent a follow up.

Rob,
I work with Cash4Gold on the reputation management. Your article is ranking #3 on their brand term. They would really like to make it worth your while to take it down or make it more positive. They did something similar by joining (OTHER CONSUMER AFFAIRS WEBSITE)’s advocacy program. Is it worth a few thousand to take it down? If not, maybe a donation to your favorite charity is more to your liking?

Feel free to call me anytime to discuss further.

Thanks,
Joe Laratro
President
Tandem Interactive – Trendy Online Marketing Solutions
Hollywood, FL 33020

 

Hey! $3,000! That’s more than I made on the Dwight Shrute Bobblehead Costume article! Finally I’ll have an appropriately fashionable tracksuit to wear while puttering around on my Segway. Sweet!

Just kidding. I didn’t bite.

Can you believe he outed another consumer “Rip-off” website? They totally took the bribe and let Cash4Gold write the rules on their website!So, loyal readers, there you have it. This is my declaration of not selling out. I think it will work out better this way, don’t you?

Still, I’m left wondering, was this their best offer or was it just one third of what I could actually get?

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Google Takes Net Neutrality Stand Against ISP Throttling

29 Jan

From Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE50R6W020090128

Google Inc on Wednesday unveiled a plan aimed at eventually letting computer users determine whether providers like Comcast Corp are inappropriately blocking or slowing their work online. The scheme is the latest bid in the debate over network neutrality, which pits content companies like Google against some Internet service providers. The ISPs say they need to take reasonable steps to manage ever-growing traffic on their networks for the good of all users. Content and applications companies fear the providers have the power to discriminate, favoring some traffic over others. Google will provide academic researchers with 36 servers in 12 locations in the United States and Europe to analyze data, said its chief Internet guru, Vint Cerf, known as the “father of the Internet.” “When an Internet application doesn’t work as expected or your connection seems flaky, how can you tell whether there is a problem caused by your broadband ISP (Internet service provider), the application, your PC (personal computer), or something else?” Cerf wrote in a blog post. The effort aims to uncover the problem for users, Cerf said. Cerf is widely known for his work for the U.S. government in designing the Internet protocol in the 1970s and 1980s. In a precedent-setting decision last year, the five-member Federal Communications Commission voted to uphold a complaint accusing Comcast of violating the FCC’s open-Internet principles by blocking file-sharing services, such as those that distribute video and television shows. The case became a flash point in the Net neutrality debate. Comcast is fighting the decision in the courts. COX MAKES MOVE In a move likely to fuel further debate, another large cable company, Cox Communications, said on Wednesday it would begin testing a plan to give priority to time-sensitive traffic like Web page views and streaming videos. Less time-sensitive traffic, such as file uploads and peer-to-peer file sharing, could be delayed under the plan. Cox said it will not discriminate based on owner or source of traffic. Still, Net neutrality advocates are wary of such policies. “The lesson we learned from the Comcast case is that we must be skeptical of any practice that comes between users and the Internet,” said Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, an advocacy group. Researchers are already using tools to test connection speed and determine if an ISP is blocking or throttling particular applications. Google’s effort will allow an expansion of that effort.

Google Sites Ranks as Top Internet Site Worldwide

26 Jan

The most popular property in the world in December was Google Sites, with 777.9 million visitors, followed by Microsoft Sites (647.9 million visitors), and Yahoo Sites (562.6 million visitors).
Global internet users (defined as those age 15+ who access the internet from home and/or work) in the Asia-Pacific region accounted for the highest share of internet users at 41%, followed by Europe (28% share), North America (18% share), Latin-America (7% share), and the Middle East & Africa (5% share), reports MarketingCharts.

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