".......and unfortunately nearly all make money online blogs are crap, so he, Dave, decided to write his own. It's pretty spankin."
Dalai Lama
Sep 052010

As promised in the comments section of the make money online blogs article I said I would do a free site review for anyone who put there name and site forward and got ten people to back them. Not sure if AaronK reached it or not but here is what he said in his comment:

Ok…for the good of all, well actually for some shameless linkbait I will put my site up for consideration. Let the scathing attacks, snide comments and ruthless jeering commence….


It is a site about American satellite TV as well as the companies that compete against….started nearly three years ago which is ages ago in the IM world. It would be what TKAers call a supersite. Hundreds of pages. Still not ranking on page one of google for the main keywords, though I do get lots of longtail traffic.

Not a Amazon site, unfortunately my Amazon account was deactivated because I live in a state (Colorado) that got into a pissing match with amazon about collecting state taxes and they just dropped every Colorado affiliate. So its mainly an affiliate site.

Since nobody else has stepped up to the plate, go ahead and vote for me unless you are willing to put up a site of your own!

Firstly Aaron has done a lot of the things that I recommend. Links directly to the affiliate offer in the side bar in prominent positions. You want people to get to the offers as soon as possible in many cases. He has two big images above the fold to grab people attention, but this is where I become a little unsure.

Personally banners convert terribly, and I know a lot of other people also find this to be true. But, I have not asked Aaron anything about his site so for all I know it converts like a dream and he is set to retire because of the earnings from this site.

But I doubt it.

What could we do instead?

Wait until you see me in High Definition!

Click HERE for our best package at the best price online. We have a special offer this month that has to be seen to be believed.

Satellite TV Deals that simply cannot be beaten. Compare prices NOW.

OK, crude but you get the idea. I just threw that out quickly, but without doubt spending some quality time with the layout of your site, especially above the fold is imperative to get a good number of clicks and a good number of conversions.

There is actually no doubt whatsoever that if you can create a sense of urgency about the product then you will get better sales. If there is a countdown timer, a special offer for only a limited number of people, or for just a few days, then you will get more sales.

Why do you think all the MUPPET Internet Marketers trying to sell their latest crap product always limit the number of sales for a lower price? People panic buy as they don’t want to miss out.

So it may be worth Aaron trying to think of some different above the fold ways to grab the sales.

I have actually had my best success with a simple centered list of the deals on offer. A simple list of prices and the packages may actually be the best way to go. And let’s not forget the trust factor of a visa symbol. People feel secure and confident when they see a visa sign and it certainly does no harm.

I think Aaron may get better conversions if he at least used only 1 banner above the fold and maybe moved up some of his sidebar affiliate links to look like Google ads, maybe on the left of the banner. We know how much people love to click a bold blue link don’t we. And I get the feeling that it may be worth looking for a very simple yet slightly more techie theme, it may just help too.

But as with all talk of layout the main thing is that we need the traffic in the first place. Aaron has plenty of links so if he had a real blast and got very good rankings then he is sure to make more money. At the end of the day even an ugly site makes money if you get the traffic. It is just that you should always try to test different layout options to see what works the best.

The main point of this review is actually to tell you that experimenting with layout is actually important. It really can make a lot of difference to the number of sales you make. Look at this site in competition with Aaron. They have a panic buy button in bright orange and a list of enticing numbers and deals to get you wanting to order.

This is short and to the point as I have a lot of work to catch up on this week. I want this to be more about your ideas for how Aaron can make more money from his site. I am sure he will chip in with more details about what he makes from the site and other things he may have tried to improve sales.

But Aaron:


Have you seen how many links the affiliate programs you are running already have, and you are giving them even more, not to mention bleeding link juice form your pages like a soggy blanket.

Anyway, let’s have some good opinions about what Aaron can do to make so much from his site that he can retire next year.

Me, I am off to write some backlink articles and begin my Christmas 4 month onslaught.

 Posted by at 2:05 pm

  35 Responses to “Free Website Review”

  1. Welcome back Dave, hope the holiday was awesome.

    I’d like to thank Aaron for stepping up, I think everyone can take something away from the constructive criticism. I ain’t no expert but know I’ve experienced how site layout can affect visit times/activity and ultimately clicks and conversions, so regardless of the site’s topic it’s relevant to everyone.
    As for nofollows, I made quite a few posts lately where I used my Amazon links and forgot to add the nofollow command. Pretty time consuming to go back and rectify, but if you don’t you’re just pissing in the wind!

    Thanks guys.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    Hey Jim,

    You still have the coolest gravatar ever Dude. The holiday was amazing, I would recommend Dubrovnik to anyone, what a fantastic little city. It is a pain when you forget about nofollows but you don’t want to boost the competition so it has to be done. Plus if you are interlinking your posts you lose the weight of your internal link structure.

  2. I actually really like the little sample post Dave put up with the hot gal. I guess crude works really good for me!!!

    I will not comment a lot of the site because lord knows…I have a lot to learn. But my first impression of the site was ok, just not enough call to action for me for some reason. Anyway, thanks to Aaron for stepping up to the plate.

    Layout can be such a tricky thing I have found, just simple changes makes a big difference at times. It is hard to say what works best…you have to test I guess.

    But I am finding out with my sites EXACTLY what Dave has been saying. It does NOT matter what your site looks like, you need to get traffic to your site and traffic that is in the mood to buy. I think if you do that even bad looking sites can do well.

    Get the content up and like Dave says, “Spend 90% of your time getting backlinks.”

    One more point, since reading this site I have focused more on buying keywords and that is starting to make a big difference. I had one post up that got a LOT of traffic. I mean a lot for this type of post and I made ZERO sales.

    So what I did was make a post very similar but with a buyers keyword phrase as the title and the main emphasis of the post. Wow!! It was basically the same info. as the other post but this time I am getting “buyers” to the new post.

    This Dave guy sorta knows what he is talking about. LOL.

  3. I also have a question here and it sorta seems stupid, but I really need to understand this.

    As far as the fee structure with Amazon why would someone go with the CLASSIC FEE STRUCTURE? You get 4% on everything.

    But with the PERFORMANCE FEE STRUCTURE that fee can go significantly higher after a certain amount of sales.

    So why you would anyone just settle for 4% with the Classic fee structure. I must be missing something here.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    Todd affiliates all over the world ask the same question. I have never understood it at all and I can’t imagine anyone goes for the classic structure. Quirky to say the least.

  4. I remember reading something about this, possibly on the comments on this site. Apparently, back in the day there was only the classic fee structure. So any affiliates that didn’t bother to update their options would stay on the lower rate. This could potentially save Amazon millions. But for the new kids like us. Get on the performance fee structure.

  5. Thanks for the review Dave. I will have a few more things to chip in on a bit later but a bit limited on time myself right now.

    The no-follow thing is spot on. I actually have been using php redirects for a couple of years and turned them off a month or so ago as statcounter doesn’t seem to follow the clicks on exit links, while just putting the plain affiliate link in gives me an idea of the keywords people use to leave my site.

    As far as the banners on top, this has been a point of ongoing anguish for me over the past few months. I have been experimenting with both the banners and two large adsense blocks up on top. The reason for this is I get a lot of traffic related to cable television companies as well as satellite stuff too. While the affiliate programs pay nicely based on actual satellite installations, the adsense is better for those who may be more interested in cable. Monday is usually the heaviest traffic, but because of the holiday here I will change it over late tonight so everyone can see how it looks tomorrow when I expect the most traffic.

  6. Re; http://www.dish-television.com/2009/03/09/satellite-tv-systems/

    Satellite TV Systems | Satellite TV

    Change your source title page to only include your keyword and nothing more Aaron. You Don’t want to confuse the search engines on what this page is about.

    Your page title is bang on and so is your title of the page itself, but not the meta stuff.

    If your keyword is Satallite TV Systems, then your meta description should have your exact keyword and it does not. You have new satellite tv systm – singular.

    I use one meta keyword per page or post. With my theme I can do it because its a professional theme from frugal.

    Get rid of Google Adsense in my opinion.

    You should try and include h2 and h3 tags that have your keyword in it.

    You should label 1 image only per page with your keyord but I see you haven’t done so yet.

    Go to warrior forum, look for people that do press releases. I used the following person and he did a really good job. His name is Gary and goes by sdkwriter.


    Why press releases?

    This is one of the few things you can do that will give you hundreds or thousands of backlinks from all kinds of places. Don’t worry about it being the same, because I will say this one time, there is no duplicate content penalty period. Anyone that tells you that doesn’t know shit about SEO and listened to knob seo guru’s. Your article is unique because each site its on is different from the rest. The spiders crawl sites and index not just on your article, but are looking at the entire content. Plus, if its yours, you can do as you please.

    The key with press releases is they are viral and over a few weeks you get lots and lots of fresh links. He will submit to 25 of the top directories and you will get an instant 25 plus good back links plus much more.

    The main thing is your page needs to be optimized more. The more it is, the less back links you will need compared to your competition. I know this for fact. I am on page 1 for a keyword around 200 targeted searches a day, got position 5 in under a week with less than 10 back links. My page is completely optimized.

    Hope that helps.

  7. I have submitted a lengthy comment to provide some constructive feedback or Aaron’s site. But, in reading Dave’s comments, I saw this one and something that needs to be addressed.

    Re; bleeding link juice form your pages like a soggy blanket

    A website can have 20, 30 or 300 back links and there will zero link juice bleeding. This is a false thing based on some research by Terry Kyle and Tom Goodwin over at backlinks forum (dot) com that have tested this myth out extensively. It is exactly that a myth. Google will treat all back links on a page as equal. So for example, say you have a page rank 5 site, and placed 20 or 50 or even 200 backlinks all on the same page. Guess what, you all will get the same link value if its on the main part of your page. Yes, there is some belief that G has devalued the blogroll links, but they have programmed that into there system. Google doesn’t split the value up otherwise.

    So before you come at me, please ensure you can point me to something specific to rebute this.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    Ooh, controversy. Let me get this right Darrell. You are saying that 300 links on a blog post will all give the recipients of those links the same weight as if the post only linked out to 1 other site with just 1 link on it?

    I simply can’t believe that to be true. Can you point me to the specific testing those guys did?

    I can’t see your comment about Aaron’s site though, did you submit the other comment instead?

  8. One other point and if you placed 1000 links on a page with zero content, you can bet your ass it will eventually be de-indexed. You need to make sure you place contextual links in articles for this to work without getting G pissed at you.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    Sorry Aaron and Darrell, I just checked the spam filter and your comments were in there, they are live now, probably the links in the comments alerted the filter. Great stuff Darrell and some good advice. There is definitely a difference in how easily posts rank if you have a number of H2’s in an article. Apart from anything else it looks better and it also appears that you are covering a topic more comprehensively, not to mention the on page seo factors.

    Aaron statcounter will follow exit link clicks just install it manually in the theme footer or a bottom sidebar widget. The problem is if it is in the header. It only follows exit links above where it is installed, an odd quirk and opposite to their installation guide I know.

  9. Interesting stuff from Darrell. I’d like to learn more about this, there seems to be an awful lot of SEO myths these days and it can be tricky to know how to get the best results, especially if like me you are still trying to get an appreciation for better optimisation.

    Re the exit links, I noticed that on my Amazon site the exit links weren’t showing up in my stat account even though the clicks are now appearing in my Amazon associate account. Now I know why! Cheers Dave.

    My link strategy is going well. Starting to rank pretty well for some keywords, page 1 in a few instances! Traffic increasing nicely and proportionately. Boosting this with plenty of Postrunners and checking Webmaster Tools to establish search terms the traffic is arriving for so I can use those keywords in the post titles. Will probably have to look at my layout too to get those clicks up.
    Really encouraging when the fruits of labour begin to show. No sleep ’til commission!

  10. Dave, I have also seen this report from Terry Kyle where he says that “Simply put, PR cannot be diluted by the number of Outbound Links on a page”. I believe this is the report – http://terrykyle.net/april15-2010-post1.htm

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    Oh my God, my brain is going to explode.

    That’s it, I give up, I’m off to live on a farm in Spain.

    Um, bugger, I already do 😉

    I have to be honest I am very surprised at this and it really does go against what I believed to be the case. i.e link juice is split between the outgoing links, and with an emphasis on the first outbound link. I am actually finding this hard to believe. I need to really think about this, or better yet do some real testing. This opens up a lot of questions, especially about internal linking. I have tons of high PR inner pages where I have a couple of links to other inner pages, but if I can send the same juice to other pages too, well, man, things could be quite different.

    I really need some help with this one, everyone’s experiences are more than welcome. Man, Internet spam would be out of control if this really is true.

  11. Following the linking discussion with interest. Not sure what to think.

    As regards the website in question, here’s my suggestion to increase conversions: change the layout of the blog so the column with your direct links to your affiliate are on the LEFT side, and not the right. Only very determined readers look at stuff on the right side of the blog.

    Also, place a text link to your affiliate in the very first line of the text (anchor it on “Satellite TV”, so it’s the first thing the reader sees.

    You might want to view your site through the following eye-tracking map from Google labs:


    They’ve set it up with an example donation site, but you can enter your own url and see how it fits in the zones.

    Basically you want your affiliate links and picture links all to be within the 99%-90% zone. This is also why wide templates work better than narrow ones.


    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    Good tips teatree and I have to agree about wide templates, I have my best successes with them.

  12. Dave, your head is going to explode?

    Well after reading this I just did a full 720 EXORCIST move! My God, what are people to believe!! LOL.

    I really do believe on page SEO is much more important than people believe and I think getting links is what it is all about. People can argue or debate all they want about links and if they get diluted and that….JUST GET THE DAMN LINKS!!! LOL.

  13. Hey Dave

    So thanks to Johric for providing the link, I was looking for it and yes that was what I was referring to exactly.

    You indicated you wanted some juicy meaty back linking tips when I posted a comment on another article last week. I just couldn’t give you blah blah stuff that didn’t invoke some controversy. So, I hope that I delivered something that gets your brain working in overdrive at least a little and get your readers to understand a little more today than they did yesterday.

    Terry is very methodical and actually goes about proving the SEO stuff at another level IMHO and his testing is as good as I have seen. If anyone wants to get more in depth with other back linking strategies that are kick ass, then I suggest they look up terry kyle and his new back links report back links hydra…Very good read…

    If people stick to the basics like you have mentioned over and over again and have on page optimization, and be willing to actually do the work – they will make some money. Do more, make more money. it really is not complicated once you have the basics down. But, clearly there are other back linking techniques that give more leverage. Bottom line, get back links from a variety of places.


    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:


    It certainly did get me thinking. It was a very interesting read. I had heard of him but never really read anything he had written. He sure does like to back up his ideas with a lot of proof.

    It is just actually hard to take as I was always of the opinion that link juice was split on a page between the outbound links and this is certainly what most people believe to be the case. I never thought a lot of outbound links on a page would hurt the page itself I just thought that the links would be pretty worthless. I am just thinking about how I can test this for myself.

    Being about as tech minded as a potato I really don’t want to get in to the fields of weeding out good domains to buy at the moment as I have enough on my plate and am trying to not get any new domains at all for quite some time but some high PR sites or pages for testing that I already own is definitely on the cards. Nice one for bringing this up, it is good to get some real meat on here and something to confuse everyone even more (me included) 😉

  14. @ Darrell
    I got BacklinksHydra and it really is in line with the direction of link building that Dave preaches.

    The report props up backlinksphillipines as well. That said, PostRunners are taking up all my time as of now. Once that is done, there are some golden nuggets in Hydra that I plan on using.

  15. I want to chime in on the topic on backlinks a bit more. I not a SEO pro or a guru, all this is just my understanding of things.

    The old PR (page rank) model was based on assumption that the sum of page rank of all pages on the internet is a fixed constant. In this model when you make a new webpage, and somebody links to it, the page rank flows from linking page to your page. Linking page loses a bit of PR, your page gains a bit of PR. Total sum of PR of all websites stays the same.

    The new model in my understanding refers to the PR as to the ‘trust rank’ or ‘reputation rank’. In this model the link is the vote of trust. The higher the PR (the trust in Google’s eyes) of page who links to your page, the more PR your page receives. And nobody leaks the Page Rank or ‘reputation rank’ by linking to other pages. Although there is an exception. Google Webmaster guidelines say that you should not link to bad neighborhoods. In other words, if your high PR page contains 10000 of links to V1agra / p0rn / etc sites (e.g. you are not moderating spam comments on your site), this page can lose the trust in Google’s eyes, which is, lose PR or gets de-indexed.

    Just my EUR 0.02 🙂


    I have noticed one more interesting linking strategy used by lady with Spanish name on Hubpages.

    She has a PR3 Blogger blog with 120+ posts. She puts links to all her hubs (200+ hubs) in the blogroll (or sidebar) of this blog. So each of her blogposts link to each of her hubs, giving each hub 120+ backlinks. ‘Conventional SEO wisdom’ says that each next link from the same domain gives diminishing effect, but at the same time I should say that her hubs rank on top of page one for their kws. Go figure….

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:


    I have to say that I found similar things back a year ago when I was even greener than I am now. Having no cash to spend, i.e the $8 a month packet was all we spent money on apart from hosting, I used to submit articles to the same directories day after day.

    There is meant to be a real lack of weight to links from the same places over and over but I did just fine. They may not have been seen as good after a number of submission but they were far from worthless. I ranked for very tough terms by just being pig headed and refusing to give up. Maybe not the most effective linking strategy that is for sure but we go with what we can at the time.

    I think sometimes being naive and just getting on with the actual work is probably by far the best way to go.

  16. Well, I think you just summed it up with your last sentence. People need to get on with doing the actual work.

    Ok, enough chatter from me today, back to work.

  17. Well, lets see. I have one blogger blog with 2200 posts and counting. OK, it is PR0, but still… Just added links to couple of my hubs to the linklist widget. I am wondering if 2000 backlinks from the single IP will help with the rankings…;)

  18. @Johric,

    That is one large site you have there Dude. Put it this way, it sure ain’t gonna hurt!

    Forgot to say, your link to Hubpages doesn’t work. Think you need to change it to your profile page.

  19. Can I still throw a link in here for you guys to look at? It is my first Amazon affiliate site and I have done some slow back linking using a couple of EZA and Goarticles, a few blog comments and a small number of postrunners.

    If you have time – (EDIT:hacked ?????????)

    I built this site under some guidance from a guy over at the warrior forums and he didn’t advise on adding any more content. I have since read that it would be worthwhile adding content based on searches in google that I rank for.

    Statcounter has told me that I rank for ‘canon pixma mx870 permet de scaner en jpg’ but my french is rusty :). There are a couple of other searches I ranked for such as

    brother mfc-6490cw wireless setup
    MX870 review scan pdf
    pdf of wireless printer reviews

    but all of them have only been searched for once so I don’t know if it worth my while chasing them with an article.

    I don’t know how to find out where I am on Google for my targeted keywords as well.

    The learning curve I went through with the guy seemed to have good techniques for choosing Amazon products which was basically find a product, search for 4 star reviews or higher with at least 10 reviews. I also checked the conversion rate of people buying that product too.

    I don’t mind writing at all but I don’t want to waste lots of time on my wireless printer venture.

    Can you guys offer some advice please?

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Colin Young,

    Colin, see my edit. WTF, it says it is hacked by some Dude when you click on a single post??????????????????

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Colin Young Reply:


    Oh man….

    Shouldn’t take long to fix but how do I avoid that happening again?

    When I saw this I wasn’t sure if I had overstepped the mark by putting a link into your comments or not :S If I did and you hacked me for it then apologies (just kidding :))

    The single pages are just the same as the front page for each product with some linking between products,


  20. Oh dear will need to fix that 🙁

    Hope you didn’t mind me posting my page there. Wasn’t sure if I was overstepping the mark but am concerned that I am flogging a dead horse with that site.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Colin Young,

    I don’t mind the links i am just concerned about links to hacked sites. How on earth would that happen?

    But to answer your questions it is hard to tell if the site will be any good or not. If you get traffic and sales then build it up in to a big site. If you don’t get traffic then it is impossible to tell if you will make money or not.

  21. I have fixed the site now. I have not been into the single pages recently but there was an attack on the servers recently so it may have been the problem.

    I do apologise, I didn’t know that it had happened.

    My dilemma is how to build it into a bigger site. I seem to have put all the reviews for the better products at the start of the site so if I start to add new posts then they will move away and no longer be on the front page. How would you deal with that?

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Colin Young,

    Colin you can just allow more posts on the front page or allow snippets. But it doesn’t really matter, you just rank the inner pages to show in the serps.

    I would go for all the items that people buy and then rank them all for the main terms, that should earn some good money I would think.

  22. Thanks Dave

    Thoroughly emaberessed about this whole escapade. Sorry about that

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Colin Young,

    It’s OK, sorry if I was a little grumpy about my help, I was just worried you were up to something sinister and I freaked out and had to do a virus scan so was in a bad mood then.

    Good luck with the site and just rank for all the products and you should be on to a good one (hopefully). Better, also stick them on Hubs or Squidoo and see how they do there too.

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