SeoSpyGlass - what an amazing tool! Finally a way to get the full dope on your competitors or even check out a niche to see whether it's worth trying to rank for. Forget all those other tools out there. Believe me I've tried them all. This is the one. I was up 'til 4 a.m. the other night running the wheels off this thing and it's blown me away. You can get a FREE TRIAL to check it out. You need to download it. Works on PC and Mac (I'm on the latest Intel 24" iMac) but will only give you results for 370 search engines - including Yahoo and MSN but not including Google - which is what you want really. If you're serious about this business, cough up $87 (Price goes up in a week) for the Full Version. Buy it here and line my pockets with the affiliate commish ;-) SEO SpyGlass Review
Scroogle - great tool for checking your site's Google SERPS - without being tracked by Google. Not just your site - your competitors site as well. That first link is the Tool and this link is to Scroogle Homepage where they say
Google can't set a cookie, doesn't see your I.P. address, can't tell which searches are from the same person.
Here you go. Cody over at The Guru Crusher has written some tracking code for you.
"Someone asked me if i thought direct linking was dead. My response?
No, direct linking isn’t dead, in fact many people make a ton of money from it.
To track clickbank links, simply add “?tid=KEYWORDS” to your affiliate link.
For example: http://examplehop.djkshadow.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=ADWORDS or ?tid=DOMAIN
And this would be the link you would use for your redirect domain.
Now, you can only add 8 characters (numbers and letters) for your tracking id, so here’s how I track keywords:
UPDATE: Just a few days ago, Clickbank upped their tracking to 24 Characters! It’s awesome.
First, I create a list of shortcut strings that I’m going use for all my tracking ids, so figure out EXACTLY where that traffic came from.
Here’s an Example (feel free to use):
First, I use a letter for the search engines.
G = Google, M = MSN, & Y = yahoo
Then, I create a 2 character string for the type of advertising i used:
SM = Search marketing (adwords and PPC)
SQ = Squidoo
RD = Redirect Domain
HB = Hubpages
And so on. And if I used 2 of them together, then i will combine them:
SMRD = Adwords to Redirect Domain (or SMR for more space)
So now i still have 3-5 characters to work with.
Usually I use these last few characters to do one or more things like:
1) Define the ad group it came from. I will make another list, and define my ad groups by a symbol and/or number.
So my campaign might be ‘A’ and my ad group might be ‘1′.
So i use this chara string:
C = Campaign + A + 1 = CA1
If you run into multiple campaigns or ad groups, then you can just get rid of ‘C’ and start using double-digit numbers: X13.
Or double letters for higher up campaigns.
2) You can also split test pages. If you drive traffic to different pages on a site, you could use a letter ‘L’ (landing) to define different pages.
If you send traffic to page for one keyword, and a different page for another keyword, then you could use a string to differentiate between the two:
LP1 or LPA
There are some more, but really those are the most important ones.Note: You can use tracking on most affiliate programs like Clickbank, Pepperjamnetwork, Commission junction and so on.
Now go to His Site to get the last bit of it.
Here's EXACTLY How To Exploit Affiliate Direct Linking On Adwords
"This has got me so excited I can hardly sleep."
If you're into Affiliate Marketing you'll know what a struggle it can be. First you've got to find a good product to promote by trawling Affiliate Programs like Clickbank and Commission Junction. Then you've either got to direct link with your affiliate link or build a landing page and hope your visitors will click through to the merchant's Landing Page. All this takes time, energy and money. Then you wait to see if it converts and reach for the Valium as your credit card account is maxed out by Google "don't be evil" Adwords. At the same time Google is charging you $2 for keywords that other people are getting for .05 cents. You've seen that right? You know people are making big money by Direct Linking Affiliate Products they've found on Clickbank or whatever. People like Chris Carpenter at Google Cash Detective. How is it they are making a killing while everyone else struggles?
There's this Dirty Little Secret in the Affiliate Marketing world. Its called Redirecting & Cloaking your Affiliate Display URL so you don't have to compete with all the other affiliates trying to promote Clickbank products on Google Adwords.
If you play by Google Adwords Rules you get into a bidding war with the other punters trying to do the same thing. It usually ends up being a bloodbath. It's a Pyrrhic Victory - the winner might have won the battle but he's lost the war. The clicks end up costing heaps. I've paid as much as €4 ($6) for some keywords. Yeah, ouch. It's unsustainable. You're never gonna get a Return On Investment (ROI) at that rate. And even paying a buck is too much in a lot of cases - like when the affiliate offer only pays 16 bucks or something. And what happens if the buyer asks for a refund from Clickbank or whatever affiliate program is involved?
Still with me? So if you choose the direct linking method you really need an edge. Yes this method is against Google Adwords Display URL Policy but look at the date on that link - "February 2008" - and direct linking is still going on.
Here it is. Here's the secret (as taught by Google Cash Detective). Here's how those guys can swan off to Vegas and the Bahamas while you're tearing your hair out at the computer going "There has to be a way".
This is HARD CORE. This is NINJA...and get this - it slides past Google - they're not too keen on the little guys like you and I doing this. But they let Amazon and eBay and those kinda companies do it 'cause they spend millions on Adwords. But plenty of others do it too. They're able to get the clicks a lot cheaper - at least a third of what you and I are paying. I've found this out the hard way by dumping buckets of money into Adwords and playing by the rules. It's cost me an arm and a leg. Listen - there is no level playing field on Adwords. There's them and us. And they're laughing all the way to the bank.
Direct Linking By The Rules
With direct linking the traditional way it's dog-eat-dog and the top dog - the guy with the highest bid and best Quality Score and best Google Adwords history is given slots 1 or 2. But you and I both know that's not necessarily where you want to be. General consensus amongst internet affiliate marketers is that you want to be about the middle of the ruck on the right - about position 4 or 5. You'll get the clicks a lot cheaper and you avoid the tyre-kickers - the lazy surfers who just click the highlighted #1 and #2 spots on Google Search. And don't buy. Sure you might get great CTR - Click Through Rate - but your conversions suck. You know that after you check your Clickbank account or whatever ten times a day and keep seeing zero sales. It's demoralising.
Listen...I've been there. And I hated it. I had great Quality Score - 7/8/9 - on my keywords and what I thought were great little ads - and terrific CTR - in the 6 - 8% range. But no-one was buying. Nothing was converting.
It can be heart-breaking (I wanted to say ball-breaking but this is a family blog).
How To Make Money From Direct Linking
OK...let's get down to it. Here's how those Affiliate Whales are doing it - the Chris Carpenters of the world and the rest of the mob from Google Cash Detective.
What you do is Re-Direct and Mask the link. Yeah I know Google says you can't do that but you can. What they mean is IF YOU SPEND A LOT OF MONEY WITH THEM they'll turn a blind eye to it. And it's not like it's a human bean checking your ads. It's a spider - a computer running certain algorithms.
So to re-cap: Your Display URL and your Destination URL on Adwords are THE SAME. But the URL is being re-directed and masked by GoDaddy and goes to your Clickbank hoplink (or whatever affiliate program you're with) and then to the Affiliate product site. GoDaddy are the only (to my knowledge) Domain registration company who do both URL Redirect & URL Masking. And they throw in both when you register your domain. Pretty cheap too.
My latest campaign is steaming along. I'm paying about a third of what everyone else is paying. And that should go lower soon as the Clicks come on board.
Try it for yourself. Here it is again, Step by Step.
- 1/ your affiliate product is www.acousticguitars.com
2/ you register at GoDaddy something similar (using a good keyword) www.bestacousticguitars.com or www.acousticguitar.com or even a .net, .org, .info. But ideally you want to pick something fairly close to the original.
3/ you do a Redirect & Mask at GoDaddy (don't forget to fill in the Metas and titles) redirecting to your affiliate link.
4/ WAIT say half an hour at least for GoDaddy to propagate the Redirect & Mask. You could paste your new URL into your site or blog as a hyperlink and mouseover in Firefox Browser to see what you get on the bottom of the page. Then click on it. You shouldn't be able to see the Hoplink. If you do its not completely masked so wait a bit longer and try again. GoDaddy is sometimes a bit slow.
5/ go to your Adwords account. Put your new URL www.acousticguitar.info (whatever it is) as the Display URL & the Destination URL.6/ it will redirect through your affiliate link to the Affiliate's Landing Page.
If you want to make sure it's working - click on your ad and then do a "View" - "Source" and have a look at the code in the Frame - you should see your affiliate link. And the Meta tags and titles you entered in GoDaddy.
If you really want to completely outfox anybody checking out your display page URL (you know who I mean) you load a copy of the Affiliate Product Landing Page onto your server or Host account as a .php file. If someone comes snooping they will see an exact copy of the affiliate's landing page. This is how the big boys are doing it and getting away with it.
Why do this? So you don't have to compete with every other affiliate jerk out there direct linking to www.acousticguitars.com - it gets around the Double Serving Rule (also called "double-fetching") from Google Adwords.
Now this is where it gets really interesting. You have your URL. Then you buy this €88 program I'm about to flog you - say $130 U.S. - ($180 Australian) and you get yourself a HOSTED SERVER account with HostGator. Costs $4.95 a month. Peanuts. The program handles the redirect and the masking but it also UPLOADS & STORES an exact php file copy of the original affiliate landing pagesite - www.acousticguitars.com. So even if by some unlikely chance a G-Man checks out your Display URL they are still going to be shown an exact cloned copy of the affiliate page. And the browser will show what it should - www.acousticguitars.com - to match your destination URL. Is that INSANE or what?
You might need to re-read this to get it. I know I did.
But it gets even better. This software also allows you to find the HIGHEST PAYING KEYWORDS - you get a green highlight (profitable) or a red highlight (unprofitable). And that is done by uploading a TID - a tracking id - into your individual keywords on Adwords and tracking results (just like Amazon & eBay do).
Do you see what this means? Yes - Ker-Ching! And you can continue to direct link without having a site/landing page and without paying G. an arm and a leg.
The program's just come out of beta. Have a look and tell me that's not the greatest Affiliate marketing tool you've ever seen.Here's my Clickbank affiliate link below. Yeah you could screw me out of a comm. by buying direct but then you won't get my support will you. I've a few more tricks up my sleeve. Let's brain it together! BTW the guy behind this site, Peter Yoon, is a brilliant programmer but his website design skills, quite frankly, suck. And the copy is riddled with typos, spelling mistakes and lousy Engrish. Stuff like "with just a simple copy & paste to your webiste"..."no string attached". Don't hold it against him. He'll even install the thing on Hostgator for an extra ten bucks. No worries.
Want to know more? Email Me and I'll send you a 50 minute video on how to do this.
Malcolm Lambe lives in Paris and makes a living online with Adwords. He has two small children including 14 month old Baby Eleanor Mathilde on the left. Google his name or email him. He doesn't bite.
Caveat: Whilst I show you how the super-affiliates are using the Redirect & Cloak Direct-Linking method I don't necessarily endorse that method. It is, after all, against Google's T.O.S.. I still think building unique sites/unique landing pages with interesting and useful content is the way to go. But Direct-Linking is a handy way to quickly test an affiliate product campaign. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more.
GoogleCashDetective - even though I talk about GoogleCashDefective (stet) in this post and others, I definitely DON'T recommend it. In fact I think it a TOTAL CON - a completely over-priced (at least $2600 a year) mis-representation. Chris Carpenter should be drawn and quartered. As indeed should all the affiliates (like Frank Kern) that helped to sell it and enrich themselves in this fraud at the same time. The base commission on a sale was $450 but some of them made a lot more than that per sale - $1000 and up. But rather go into it here, the best thing you can do is read the rather long thread on it at The Warrior Forum. You'll see I've had rather a lot to say under my monicker Metronicity