Second Video Released This Month!

Taking another step forward in my plan for world domination (and to replace Howard Stern as The King Of All Media!), I am pleased to announce my second professional-quality video for the preschool/early-elementary crowd.

Following just over 2 weeks after the release of Yellowberry Jam on YouTube (now at nearly 10K views), today I have released The Fantabulous Cumulo-Nimbuli Pump. This story (actually, the only one I’ve ever written!) is about a boy who…frustrated with frequent rain-outs of sporting events, asks a scientist friend for help…and becomes the proud owner of a vacuum that sucks the clouds right out of the sky!

More videos are on the way in the weeks to come, as I move to push further into a market where I’ve had significant influence for some time…but am now focusing on the video end of things…both as an individual artist and as a part of several new partnerships with friends.

Because I’m starting almost from scratch here and it’s going to take time to get established in this new venue, I especially appreciate those of you who are sharing these two videos via email or social media.

In addition to my three popular web sites for kids:

FreeKidsMusic.com
LightUpYourBrain.com
TheColoringSpot.com

I also launched, earlier in the week, two new touchpoints for children’s video in the same market: BestVideosForKids.com

and the brand-new YouTube channel: YouTube.com/BestVideosForKids

Thanks for your interest and support!

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We’ve all just finished another round in “the Google Dance”…those periodic interludes where the engineers take center stage…and we all watch the awkward movements as sites suddenly appear on…or disappear from…the front page of the search results.

This time is always fascinating to those who pay attention to such things, or whose job it is to track them and improve the rankings of the sites of others…and incredibly frustrating to those whose income is based in large part on being found in the search engines. It’s times like these that can kill a business deader than anything…

After a quick review this evening…there seem to be some subtle moves, as well as some dramatic ones. We won’t know for a while what factors went into this…or how webmasters and SEO types might adjust to the changes.

Here are the results reflected in changes of the rankings of five of my sites over a one-week period. Before proceeding, let me note the following:

  • I always have link-building campaigns happening…so some of the changes may well be due to progress on that fron…and not just on what Google has done recently.
  • These are only the terms I am currently tracking. Many of the keyword phrases for my sites are as high as they could ever get a (rankings of #1 or #2,  for example). Thus it is frequently a waste of time to track them over and over again (though not always… as we’ll see in a minute).
  • These are 5 out of the 55 or so sites that I currently own…and I intentionally ignored some which barely moved.

Key:

  • Keyword # is keyphrase number for purposes of this report
  • Avg: XXK/mo uniques is the average number of unique visitors to that particular site each month according to Google analytics
  • Searches per day is estimated daily searches (per Wordtracker) at the time the tracking was launched
  • 02/17/11 is the site’s rankings in Google results on Feb 17, 2011
  • 02/25/11 is the site’s rankings in Google results on Feb 25, 2011

Site #1:
Related to free, legal MP3 downloads within a particular tight niche.
History: 6 years old…ranked at #1 for its most targeted keyword phrase for a good 4 years now.

Site #2:
Related to free, legal MP3 downloads within a particular tight niche.
History: Virtually identical to #1 in concept and execution.

Site #3:
A 6-year-old site that is a great example of taking existing content and doing it better…nice presentation, interesting content, very decent traffic
History: Has been bouncing between the first and third pages of Google (almost inexplicably) for years now.

Site #4:
Clean, well-executed within a particular niche appealing to a tight demographic.
History: Less than 1 year old. Has been steadily gaining ground in rankings over the past few months.

Site #5:
A friend’s real estate site appealing to a top 60 metro market.
History: 8 years old, mostly page 1 & 2 rankings for selected keywords…though rarely in the top 5

OBSERVATIONS:

Site #1 is the real surprise. In addition to holding the number one spot for its primary keyphrase for the past four years, the content of the site makes it, by far, the very best site in its category… hich was reflected in its dominant ranking for so long.

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One of the great lessons I’ve had to learn over the years of doing business online is that of “standing in the stream”. In essence, what that means is that people are looking for stuff they want/need online…and they are going to search for it in whatever way makes the most sense to them. In the old-school model, you first needed to create a perception of need and then brand your product so that it was tied (in people’s minds) to your product as the solution. But, in the internet age, it’s backward…if you’ve got a product that meets a need, you find out what “they” (the peeps) are looking for already, and then you get out there and “stand in the stream” where they are already searching.

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Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN) vs Google AdSenseAdSense has been the King of contextual advertising for awhile. But, before AdSense, there was Overture…which was acquired and rebranded by Yahoo some time back as Yahoo Publisher Network. I was approved for the program a couple years ago, but haven’t done much other than toy with it from time to time. Recently, I had occasion to pull AdSense off a bunch of my sites for awhile, and I decided to give YPN a closer look. It doesn’t completely suck, however, it doesn’t match up well with AdSense, either…at least not on my sites and in my content niches. I find this sad…since competition is generally a great driving force, and MSN seems to be…well, who the heck knows what they are doing with contextual advertising from a publisher side? Anyway…regarding YPN, here are my observations:

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angry phone customerI saw an interesting article in the NY Times this morning, called Innovative Minds Don’t Think Alike.

It’s about why an increasing base of knowledge tends to results in less functional products and services. The concept is this: “it’s nearly impossible to look beyond what you know and think outside the box you’ve built around yourself”

This has been a pet peeve of mine for the longest time. As consumers…sometimes we don’t notice it, sometimes it’s irritating, sometimes we’re enraged by it, and for me, I frequently find myself taking my business elsewhere (having concluded that…if a company wants my business, they’ll find a way to allow me to get what I need without killing myself). Here are recent examples from my own experience:

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Branding YourselfIn this world of “regurgitated content”, how does one stand out? Well, first of all, I think that it’s generally a good idea NOT to invest yourself in just absorbing and then restating what everyone else is saying. Unless you’re an amazingly entertaining writer, or have a demonstrable talent for taking certain subjects and reframing them in a highly compelling way…for the most part, I can’t imagine what you think you’d be contributing. The way it’s usually implemented, I would describe this as “the path of the unimaginative”. Look, we all share cool things we’ve heard. That’s only natural. But…when you mix in a personal agenda for profit, things get a little dicey. Isn’t that obvious? Maybe not. So, I’ll say it again. Mixing business with relationship-building has to be handled delicately. Why? Because it’s too easy for motives to become mixed.

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