Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Has Your BANS Site Lost It’s SERPS? Start Making Money Again!

| January 13th, 2009 | 2 Comments »

I’ve been using the BANS software now for over a year, and let me say that it’s been completely automatic income.  For those of you who’ve been living in a cave or in Antarctica, BANS is short for Build A Niche Store.  It’s a software download that will allow you to easily setup a niche store that features Ebay items of your choosing.   The best part is that they’re not even you’re auctions, and you get paid a percentage of the sale price.  You need to be signed up with the Ebay Partner Network to take advantage of BANS.   You build a  niche site, publicize it a little, and watch the money start rolling in.  Here’s a BANS site if you’ve never seen one..

I had been working about 4 different BANS sites for several months.  My traffic was mainly organic search engine traffic from Google, and believe me, I worked my ass off to get top 5 SERP’s for those sites.  Then one day…boom…they all disappeared!   I had always heard that Google didn’t look kindly on BANS sites, as they felt they were just loose affiliate sites without any real content or value.  I even made sure that my individual store pages had original content, with good original Titles, Descriptions and all the normal SEO.  Guess that didn’t work, because I went from earning over $100 a day, do under $10 a day…overnight.  I tried more social bookmarking, link building, every trick I could think of to get my SERP’s back, but nothing seemed to get the job done.  My BANS sites seemed to be lost in the Google void forever.

About a week ago I was looking at the Ebay Partner Network Widgets & Creatives and I noticed that there might be a way to get my BANS sites back in business, but minus the “BANS’ association that Google seemed not to like.   If you go to “Tools” – “Widgets” – “Custom Banner” on your EPN dashboard, I found that it’s extremely simple to create a completely custom looking Ebay listing banner that you can insert into a webpage or blogpost.  It will look something like the image below, and you can tweak colors, categories, sizes etc.  When I saw this…the lightbulb went off and I got my ass to work.


I installed the latest edition of WordPress and found a simple 2 column theme. Something that looks like this will work well.


From there, I recreated all of my store pages that were in my original BANS site and made sure they were in the sidebar of my new template for easy navigation.  I basically tried to recreate the look and feel of the BANS site that dropped off the face of the earth. You may have to tweak your theme a bit to get it to look and perform the way you want, but then again, you could probably just keep it stock.

I then headed over to the EPN custom banner creator and made a ebay listing banner specific to each store page item.  Make sure you find the correct Ebay category number and use the search keywords you need for the page it will show on.  Be sure to blend your colors so they match your template scheme.  Remember, the more people think that the auctions are part of your site, the better your returns will be.  Creating all of the custom listing banners can take a while if you have lots of store pages.  Simply copy the code that is created and paste it into the code of your individual store pages.  The ebay listings will appear, just like they did with the BANS site.

Once you get all of the pages built and the EPN banner code installed, make sure your individual page titles & descriptions are done properly.  It’s also a good idea to include some content on your product pages, which you were hopefully doing on your original BANS site.  I deleted all evidence of BANS from my directory once the new site was completed, just so the big “G” didn’t

If you are experienced with WordPress, you can do all of this in about a day, but feel free to use any site building software you like.  The EPN code should work fine on most formats.

So what are the results?  Within A DAY after I recreated one of my sites, I was back to #1 on Google for the keywords I had previously ranked.  Overnight the site came back to the first page and started making money again.  I still have half a dozen BANS sites that need to be overhauled, but so far I think the “BANS’ penalty is gone and it should be business as usual.

I can’t complain about the Build A Niche Store software.  It’s a very good program, but if you plan on generating traffic through organic searches, it’s probably not the best way to go.  Once Google sees what you’ve got going, the odds of keeping any keyword rankings will be slim

Follow these steps to create yourself a custom, Ebay store and start making money again.  I wish you the best of luck.

Spice Up Your 404 Page with Google’s Custom 404 Widget.

| October 8th, 2008 | No Comments »

Let’s face it, 404 pages aren’t fun or sexy, but boy are they important.  When someone visits your site and the page they’re trying to find is no longer around, the difference between them leaving your site or sticking around can be your 404 page.  If you’re still using the stock, “Sorry This Page Cannot Be Found” message, you are giving people no option but to bail from your site and look elsewhere for the infomation.

You can solve this problem with about 5 minutes of work, and have a pretty cool 404 page as the result. First off, find out where your 404 page is so you can do some work to it.  It’s most likely in your root directory, but it may also be at your cpanel or hosting service, so go track it down.

Get rid of that stock 404 text.  Write something fun or witty that will at least make your visitor laugh, and not focus on the fact that the page they wanted doesn’t exist anymore.

Include a link back to your homepage or to your contact form, so they can make you aware that you have a problem with that page.  A cool widget you can add to your 404 pages is readily available at your Google Webmaster Tools account. Google provides you the script for a search tool that will allow your visitors who land on your 404 page to do a search of your site for more information, thus keeping them at your site.  Log into your account page and click on the “Tools” tab in the lower left.  Now click on “Enhance 404 Pages”.  Copy the script on that page and paste it into your the code of your 404 page template.

Now you’re all set.  You have a custom 404 page, with search capability, that will keep visitors on your site and hopefully help them find the information they wanted in the first place.

Google Pagerank & Why You Shouldn’t Care!

| September 30th, 2008 | No Comments »

Looks like Google updated Pagerank in some or most of their datacenters this week.  Just for fun, I checked a handful of my sites and guess what…THEY ALL LOST PR!  Whoopty Frickin Doo.  WHO CARES about pagerank anymore?

PR is not a valid representation of the well being or even popularity of a site and maybe it never really was.  I completely understand Google’s interest in finding some kind of “rating” system to rank websites, and while I don’t profess to understand 100 percent, how to increase your site’s pagerank, generally increased link building, increased traffic will give you a bump in PR.  I have a couple sites that have increased traffic by thousands per month, as well as good, relevant backlinks by the thousands, and they dropped in PR.

It’s not a game I even care to play anymore, to be honest.  I know, people still like to brag about how theirs is “bigger” than yours…but the only people who really care about PR now is the high dollar directory mongers who charge $49.95 for a yearly link on their PR5 directory.  Never mind the fact that the page your link appears on is PR1.

Do yourself a favor…forget about PR and just make a site that people want to visit and you’ll have loads of quality traffic and eventually a site that you can make money from and be proud of at the same time.