Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Wrapping around the post to the ads

After doing some Adsense experimentation, I have come to the conclusion that wrapping around your blog post to the Adsense advertisement generates a higher click thru rate. The use of wider ads like 336 x 280 works best. Blending ads to your background color and removing the borders gives higher click thru rate.

Many readers are asking me, how were you able to wrap around your blog post to the Google advertisement? Simple, just follow the following steps.

First, limit your total number of post on the main page. If you don't use the ads on your sidebar, use 3. Just make sure that you don't go more than the 3 ad units per page. If you have 2 ad units on the sidebar, set it to 1. If you have no other ad units placed anywhere on the main page, set it to 3. Ok? How? Read this.

After setting up the number of posts, go to Settings > Formatting and set Enable Float Alignment to No.

Then, insert the following code on your template just before the <$BlogItemBody$>.

<table align="right"><tr><td align="left">
YOUR 336 x 280 Adsense Code HERE
<table align="right"><tr><td align="left">
YOUR 336 x 280 Adsense Code HERE

Then, republish your blog. If you followed all my instructions, you'll be able to see your 336 x 280 Google Adsense advertisement on the main page and on every permalink page where your blog post wraps around it, just like the one I have right now here at the time of this writing.

That's all folks!

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Friday, August 18, 2006

The Title Tag

The title tag is one of the most important tags in your website/webpage/blog if we are talking about SEO. Search engines prioritize this tag when someone search for a certain keyword. Though to the ordinary blog readers, it is nothing but a simple title at the upper left hand side of their browser, to the search engine, it gives a hint of what your blog contains. And they give so much weight on this tag. Therefore, we must manipulate this tag in order for our blog to have a better search engine ranking.

By default, most Blogger blogs have their blog title inside the title tag, because all the default templates have this code on their template:


However, if you are talking about a specific subject in your blog, it is better that the title of your post be included in the title tag, so that search engine can easily see your blog post and give your blog a better ranking on their results page. In order to do this, modify the above title tag as follows: (Simply copy and paste it on your Blogger template replacing the title tag above)

<title><$BlogTitle$><MainPage><Blogger> | <$BlogItemTitle$></Blogger></MainPage><ItemPage><Blogger> | <$BlogItemTitle$></Blogger></ItemPage></title>

With the code above, your title tag will contain the title of your blog plus the title of your blog posts seperated by the pipe sign (|) on the main page. Just limit your blog post to 2 or 3 on the main page, otherwise, you will have a very long title tag which search engines might ignore. Same thing will happen on the permalink pages, with the blog title and post title on the title tag. Just navigate this blog to see the results of that code if you don't get what I mean. =)

That's all folks! Happy weekend!

UPDATE: For Blogger Beta, refer to this Widget-Based XML post.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Link exchange

When I started learning SEO, I found out that one of the common activity that a blogger do that makes SEO easy is link exchanging. It was already my habit exchanging links with my fellow blogger. Most bloggers I know do the same. Link exchanging as soon as their sidebar goes longer and longer. My personal blog got a long list of blogs on the sidebar that I decided to use a dropdown menu to save some space.

My goal when I link exchange is just to have a list of bloggers on my sidebar and to have my blog listed on them. I just want to make my blog popular. The more links out there, the higher the probability that readers of their blog will click on it and visit my blog. I never thought that the link exchanges I made can boost my search engine ranking. Only now that I studied SEO I understand the value of link exchanging. Aside from the fact that my blog became popular, the search engines saw it as a credible source of information, putting my blog on the first few pages of their results page. With a higher ranking on the results page, I got search-engine-reffered visitors. Visitors that came looking for something. Visitors that click on my Google Adsense advertisements when they are not satisfied with the content of my blog, which in turn gave me some blog money on my Adsense account. Cool!

Let's exchange links to optimize our blogs. The more links to our blog, the more search engine-reffered visitors we have, the more blog money we can have!

Just an update, I'm already on my $60 mark. $40 to go and Google will send my first Adsense paycheck. I'm hoping to receive it by October.

That's all folks!

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Blogger beta launched

If you are using Blogger in your blog, you probably noticed the change on the sign-on screen. It says, "Sign in with your Blogger or Google account." Hhmmm, when I first saw this, I thought, they are doing some major changes on Blogger. And yes, they are! They launched Blogger beta yesterday! A new range of features are waiting for us. I just hope I can switch to Blogger beta soon. Read more about this development here.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Spams in blogs

First. What are spams in blogs? These are comments made by spammers to promote their site. These are usually done by a spammer application, spamming hundreds or thousands or millions of blogs in just one crawling.

You may ask, what do they get from spamming other's blog? Nobody click on those links, anyway? Yeah, you are right. I don't even click on them either. So, why are they doing this? They do these to influence search engine rankings. You see, the more links you have to your website, the more "credible" your site is to the point of view of a search engine. The more credible your site is, the more likely it goes to the first page of search engine rankings. Imagine a site having millions of incoming links versus a site with 10 incoming links. Surely, search engine will display the first site first.

Now, who among you like spams? Nobody. Of course, if I want a comment in my blog, it should be relevant to what I'm talking about and not from anyone giving his poker or casino site. Hehehe. The proliferation of these comment spams gives every blogger a headache. And Blogger blogs are among the victims of these comment spams. As a solution, Blogger provided a new feature to fight these comment spams. This is the word verification option, which is also known as captcha in the computing world. But this feature is not automatically available by default. You need to do some setup changes in order to enable it. When this feature is enabled, you are sure that humans are the one making comments on your blog and not machine doing its spamming job. Refer to this article in Blogger help to enable this.

That's all folks!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Optimizing your Blogger template

Inside AdSense, the official blog of Google Adsense has a very good article on optimizing AdSense on blogs. Read about it here. I religiously followed their suggestions and saw significant increase on my blog money. But still, I'm not satisfied with the result that I continued experimenting. You'll notice that my ad positioning now is quite different from their suggestion on that article. After wrapping around the blog post to the ads, I see a significant 50% increase on my average blog money per day. So far, this positioning is the best for me. But I'm not yet done. If I can still think of a better ad position, I might test it again next week.

The challenge of putting Google AdSense on Blogspot blog is the Adsense maximum ad placement of 3 ad units, 1 link unit, 2 Google search box and 4 referral button (1 per product) on each page. This is the first challenge that I have to face when I started my blogtimization. The article on Inside AdSense shows proper positioning, but how to do it exactly on Blogger was never mentioned.

My initial thoughts were these: If I am going to put an ad after each post as a "commercial break", and I limit the post display to 2 on the main page, it's fine on the main page but what will happen to the archive page? Surely, I will have one ad per post, and if I have 10 post in a month, that will be 10 ads in a single archive page! It's a sure violation of Google Adsense policies. Then, what if I remove the archive page? For me, a blog without the archive page is not a blog.

Well, I was able to sort things out after searching the Blogger help. I found three Blogger tags that solved my problem. These are the MainPage, ArchivePage and ItemPage tags. What do these tags do? Blogger call them as conditional tags. Read all about them here.

Using these tags, I was able to manipulate how ads display on each item page, archive page and main page. You can check this blog, or my text messages blog and you will see that I display ads differently on the Main Page, Item Page and Archive Page. But still, I stick with their policy on the maximum number of ads per page.

If you are serious on putting ads on your blog, start learning these tags so that you can blogtimize your template the way you want it.


Now, as promised, I'm giving away free blogtimized Blogger templates. I'm going to share with you my templates I used on this blog and on textmates. You are free to edit the templates in anyway you want. I just want one favor in return for this free template. Simple and easy, just write one blog post in your blog about this blog. Say anything you want, it doesn't matter, as long as you have a post in your blog with a link to this blog. Then, send me an e-mail at marhgil(at)yahoo(dot)com stating your name and the link to the blog post. And a bonus, if you link my four blogs (kukote in a jar, textmates, kukote meets the beauties and this blog) on your sidebar, I will give you a copy of "SEO Made Easy" pdf file from which I learned much of the SEO practices that I applied on my blogs. I'll send the templates at least once a week depending on the number of requests. Deal or no deal?

Let's blogtimize to blognetize!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Know Thy Visitors

Know your visitors first. What countries were they coming from? Were they reffered by search engines? If they were, what keywords did they use to find your blog? What is their browser? Did they use Firefox or Internet Explorer? What screen resolution are they using? Is it 1024x768 or 800x600? After reading your blog, which link did they click?

You need to know these data so that you know where to start. You need to optimize your blog based on these data. As for me, I optimized my blog so that they are both viewable on Firefox and IE, 1024x768 resolution and 800x600. Majority of my visitors use those settings on their computer, so, I have to make sure that my blog is viewable on these settings.

You don't have to do too much SEO if your blog is already performing well on search engines. If you are using one of the default blogger templates and already blogging for more than 6 months, chances are your blog is already search engine optimized. All you have to do is Adsense optimization.

You might be thinking, "Hey, how would I gather these data?" How would you know if your blog is already search engine optimized? I am using Performancing service and Google Analytics service. They are free, all you have to do is sign-up, put a little amount of code in your template and you are set. Actually, I just recently signed-up with Google Analytics. After signing up, I was overwhelmed because they provide too much information. Well, Performancing is good enough to gather these data, but if you want more information, try Google Analytics.


To keep us inspired on blogtimizing... see what Abe of Yugatech got because of blogging. Click here!


Do you want a blogtimized template for your blogspot blog? Watch out for my next post to know how you can get one.

Happy weekend guys! Happy blogtimizing!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Let's blogtimize to blognetize!

This is a continuation of my previous post.

So, you're interested in blognetization? Based on my experience, the key to blognetization is blogtimization. When I say blogtimization, it is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Adsense Optimization combined.

Why is this so? Let me give you an example: My textmates blog. Regular visitors will never click on any ad even though it's Adsense optimized. When I say Adsense optimized, ads were properly positioned on a higher click rate percentage. Text addicts that came back every week to copy the text messages will not click on any ad. Not ever. Trust me. They'll just come, copy the text messages and go.

But hey, I'm earning much of my blog money on that blog? How come? Because that blog is also search engine optimized. Try searching "text messages" (without the quotes) on MSN, and you will see that blog appearing on the first page of their results page. Out of millions of website having the keyword "text messages" (without the quotes), my text message blog appeared on the first page. Try searching "funniest philippine text messages" (without the quotes) on Google and see where my blog ranks. Based on my statistics, 60% of my visitors came from search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. These search-engine-referred visitors are the source of my blog money. Why?

Imagine this. I am a web user. I want to look for websites where I can copy text messages. I went to MSN and type "text messages" and I reached the textmates blog. But I'm not satisfied with the result. I want more. Do you think, I will still go back to MSN to search again or will I click on the ads on that blog? Google Adsense is intelligent; it shows relevant ads depending on your content. In my textmates blog, you will notice that the advertisements from Google are related to text messages. And it is positioned strategically (Adsense optimized) so that visitors can easily see it. Once the visitor clicked the ads, a certain amount of money is transferred to my Google Adsense account, which will be sent to me when it reached $100.

I started blogtimizing my blogs last June 15 when I started that textmates blog. After 1.5 months, I already earned $40+. Click here for proof. I saw dramatic changes on my earnings after 2 weeks, after a series of experimentation on ad positioning and after that blog started showing up on search engine results page (SERPs).

This is the purpose of this blog. We'll learn blogtimization for an ultimate goal of blognetization. Why should we blogtimize? In order to blognetize. You enjoyed blogging, you're blogging for free. Why not enjoy blogging and get paid on what you enjoy doing? Search engine optimization is easy, Adsense optimization is easy, and you’ll just blogtimize for the first couple of weeks or months depending on your goal. After that, blog money will start pouring in your Google Adsense account.

I think, I already talked too much. I think, you already see my point. Let's blogtimize to blognetize!