Community Building on Other People’s Content

by Jonathan Goodman on September 7, 2013

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Hi everyone. It’s Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. It’s great to have you with us. Today’s episode is “Community Building on Other People’s Content.” The Google Algorithm forecast from today is a comfortable 69 degrees, which was the high for the week. The low for the week was 64 degrees. So not much is changing with the Goggle Algorithm.

And now the news….

Social Media

Facebook will no longer require businesses or organizations to run contests and promotions through apps. Companies will now be able to use likes or comments on a status update to count as a legitimate contest. This will allow users to utilize the Promoted Posts feature to advertise it. This is of course how they will make their money, which is why they changed the policy. Users will have the option to either continue running contests through the old method or take advantage of this new option. I personally use and like and I’ll give it a full review on one of the podcasts in the coming months.

The former CEO of Ticketmaster, Nathan Hubbard, is now the Head of Commerce at Twitter. Hubbard was hired to make Twitter more retail friendly. Establishing partnerships with merchants will likely be one of the key goals Hubbard has for the new role. One idea Hubbard can play off of is the already established partnership with American Express, which allows credit card holders to purchase items through Tweeting.

Your Sematic Minute

The Goggle search mobile app has added a new feature called Google Now Cards. These cards are pieces of information that are compiled from the user’s search terms. It uses predictive technology to create a collage of information the user might be searching for. The Google Now Cards appear at times that are most convenient to the user, such as when the user is located in a certain city or on a specific calendar day.

Trust you, an all-inclusive review and ratings website, recently launched its restaurant-oriented campaign. It pulls reviews from major websites like Yelp, FourSquare, Facebook and Twitter. A direct quote from Angela Guess: “The key semantic categories featured are restaurant (overall experience), food, beverages, location, service and price. Restaurant clients using the tool have a centralized dashboard that makes identifying trends, responding to reviews and tracking management responses incredibly simple and streamlined.” On the horizon for the TrustYou restaurant platform is the TrustScore, a simple metric of reliability given to each restaurant based on total guest feedback.

Hacker News

Welcome to the police state. The ability to remotely switch off your camera or Wi-Fi is the newest technology released by Apple. If certain areas are deemed sensitive, then the functions can be shut off by an outside source. Apple claims its users will be able to approve or disapprove the changes. I think it’s time to buy an Android, although I’m sure that they’re quickly going to follow up with this capability. So much for freedom of the press and the individual’s right to liberty and free speech. You’re now not allowed to videotape some police officers and their actions. So now they’re going to come out with this tool that allows them to simply shut off your phone.

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has attacked the New York Times, Twitter, and Huffington Post Internet domains. According to documents, the goal of the hack was a spear phishing attack to try and gain access to the Australia-based domain of the New York Times. The hack shut the times website down for a full day. SEA bragged about the hack by posting a picture on their Twitter account of their seal superimposed on the Twitter logo. Now I’m not clear as to whether the SEA is an Assad-associated group or whether it is some rebel group working to free the country from Assad’s regime.

App Highlight is a scam, and I’m going to walk you through how it works. I wanted to test this out. I said last week that I was going to have something interesting to talk about in the app highlight, so I spent a week and put in around $30 worth to see whether or not this was legit or not, knowing full well that it was most likely not legit. We’re going to walk though how this website works and why the FTC should get involved and shut this thing down. I have a website that has thousands of unique visitors coming to the site on a daily basis.

Uvioo is basically YouTube, but they’re willing to provide the person who is going to share the video or watch the video money back as part of their advertising. So if they’re doing a revenue share with YouTube and if you’re watching a video that comes up, and then an advertisement comes up over that, they’re sharing the revenue with YouTube and they, in turn, will share the revenue with you. The way it looks to me was that all these ads are the same ads you would find on YouTube. I think they’re just regurgitating all of that.

So I decided that I was going to put up one video, which I did because I have so many visitors to that site that I need to switch a video out every day. I did put it up on the home page, which is the most heavily hit page out of the entire site and watched the number of views grow. Because I had it on automatic display, I didn’t need anybody to click through and look at it. It just automatically loads when you load the page. Here’s how they trick you into thinking that you’re going to make money: You start off with 5 checkpoints. Each one costs $5 and they put $10 into your account. Then they want you to buy advertising positions on the page. The first one is you put in $9 and you make $1 each time an ad is sold in the specific slot you bought.

I wanted to test it, so I put in $9. Within a week, I had made back $2. Supposedly, that position is mine forever. There is no clarification as to whether I’m holding this position just on a specific video or on all the videos I share. I’m not sure how that all works, but by the end of the week, I’d gained $2. This all goes into an account and the payout doesn’t happen until you’ve reached $100. For affiliate marketing, you generally have to reach $50 or $100. That’s generally what the payout is. So that’s fair.

Now how they really get you is they want you to tell your friends about this service and have them sign up and put in $25 or $9 or whatever amount it is. Then you’ll get a payout for that. Of course, that’s multi-level marketing. I always thought that multi-level marketing was illegal in the United States, but they’ve found ways around it or they call it something else. They also will give you money when you install their toolbar onto your browser, which is beneficial to them because now they’re going to retain all of your data. They’ll probably get advertising revenue within that toolbar. In order to reach $100, I believe you actually have to put in $200 or $300.

Here is the interesting thing that happens. They ramp you up with those checkpoints. You get the $5 checkpoint and you make $10. They ramp that up really quickly. After that, you are making pennies on the click-through. So where you might have been making $.66 for each click-through or even $.80 for each view of the YouTube like video, you’ve now dropped down. I literally went from $.66 per view down to two cents per view. So now if 1,000 people come to the website at two cents, how long is it going to take you to make your $100? Or the other $50?

So I think they kind of goad you into this idea that you’re going to buy these advertising areas. If you do a Google search for Uvioo Scam, you’ll find articles and YouTube videos of people holding up checks and saying how much money they’ve made with Uvioo, but they all want you to click-through their links like an affiliate marketer so that they will get the multi-level marketing. In the end, I had acquired $51.56. I’d generated $3.00. I had $122 available and $100 had expired. None of those things clearly state which was the payout. So my App Highlight this week is actually a review of a scam. Believe me, there is no Holy Grail of free money. This is definitely a scam. Watch out.

The Main Event

Image representing Huffington Post as depicted... Image via CrunchBase

Today we’re going to talk about community building on other people’s content. I’ve been running a couple of tests to see how I can engage a larger community for some of the websites I run, both for my clients and for myself for affiliate marketing. I knew going in that there are RSS fees, which is simple syndication. My reluctance was always that I was under the assumption that if you put that on your site, it’s canonicalized.

We’re going to talk a lot about technology here. Canonicalized data means that it’s duplicated somewhere else and you’re taking it and putting it on your site. That’s total fine, but I’ve started to realize that Google has this thing called QDF, which means Query Deserves Freshness. When you combine QDF, which is about emerging news like Michael Jackson’s death, they’re looking for spikes in a Twitter feed and a Facebook comments and hashtag usage to kind of show emergency need or more immediate news need.

That’s what QDF is really for. But it also trickles down to when you juxtapose that against a website that updates a new article or a new page once a quarter. So there’s a fine balance there. I always believe that when we’re talking about building community, we want people to feel the website you’ve created for them is a place they can continually come back to and get their information. You kind of have to apply the Huffington Post philosophy, which is that we’re just providing a website that has great content. Yes, some of that content is coming from other locations, but at the end of the day, people like being on the Huffington Post. So therefore, we’re just providing a service.

That ideology happens to work very well when you’re building a niche community and you’re trying to retain focus from the people coming to your website. One great way to do that is to segment RSS feeds into your news stream. You can’t do this alone. You have to provide your own solid content. You need articles, news and things like that. You can’t work in a vacuum where it’s only RSS feeds being regurgitated. The way that I do it is: Any RSS feed news that’s coming in is going into a specific category that is different from the content we actually produce for that site. That category then gets a no index and is not allowed to be included in the sitemap file.

Here’s the interesting part. I’ve witnessed that when a site is larger and when the canonicalized data on a site is larger, that site is larger than the smaller website that originally wrote that content despite the fact that you’ve told Google not to index this data. They set down the rules, but they don’t enforce their own rules. I’ve witnessed on several occasions where your website that is larger and has more traffic will actually outrank the smaller website that originally had that content created. Not that you want to do that all the time, but you can understand where someone’s frustration might be that they spent the time writing content and then it goes up onto the Huffington Post and everybody reads it on the Huffington Post.

There is a link back, which is the way you must do it. So any content created on the community website that we put up is pulling in RSS feeds and links back to that originating website. But you can gain a community if you have a niche, whether it be lifestyle or sports. So if you have a website that specifically revolves around Major League Soccer, you can create a category. In my case, we just call it “News.” We use an app that resides on the server and pulls these RSS feeds into that category that has been listed as “no index.” The reason you’re doing it is to build a community. People will then Facebook you and Tweet out your messages when you build a solid loyalty fan base. Even though they’re reading articles that they could also find by doing a search, you’re aggregating everything together for them to make it easier for them.

What we do is look internationally. We’re not just going to talk about MLS, which is the Major League Soccer. We’re going to also look for RSS feeds in England, France and across the world. The great thing about having Google Translate installed is that you can bring in other content talking about soccer and provide an incredible resource of data and information for your community. Then you can push that content to your Facebook and your Twitter. So you’re pulling in the RSS feed and putting them up in your “News.” Your “News” is locked down and not to be indexed by Google. They may decide to index it anyway, but then you’re taking that RSS feed information and pushing it out to your social media. It’s worked great for us. It’s really an exciting way of doing it. I’ve gotten to the point where we really pitch new clients on doing this and we’ve seen great results with it.

Rant of the Week

My Rant of the Week is about automatic renewals. There are two ways to do automatic renewals and I’m really fed up with the sketchier way. When I had accounts over at GoDaddy in the beginning, they would send me email after email after email reminding me that this domain is going to expire and this domain you have on automatic renewal. That’s critical. You have to provide a reminder email. I had a situation this morning where I got notification of money being taken out of my account because of an automatic renewal for a software that I was thinking about now renewing. It’s very easy to turn that off, but I just have to say that the fact there was no prior email a month, a week or a day before that automatic renewal was a problem.

You’re probably saying, well, you knew it was an automatic renewal, but after an entire year, people forget. It doesn’t help that company when I go in and take that money out and say “I don’t want the automatic renewal. I want you to credit me those funds.” That’s a chargeback to them because I’ve refused that fee. So I think a better practice is give the user the ability to get an email when you’re going to do an automatic renewal and have them decline the automatic renewal. It’s in your best interest. If you want to do right by our clients, just send out a reminder email for the automatic renewal.

Speaking Gigs

I just finished speaking at Affiliate Summit East in Philadelphia. I liked Philly, but I guess a lot of people didn’t, so Affiliate Summit East 2014 is going to be back in New York. If you didn’t come to Affiliate Summit East 2013 because it was in Philadelphia, I think you missed out on a great town. I thought it was great. I thought the conference was incredible.

As far as future speaking gigs, I’ll be speaking at PubCon Las Vegas on October 21-25 at the Las Vegas Convention Center South Halls. You can follow me @HalyardConsult on Twitter. New episodes of the World of Internet Marketing can be heard every Friday. You can access the archives of my previous shows on – user name Jonathan Goodman. The podcast is also available with transcription at and one week after the episode airs.

Again, this is Jonathan Goodman. Thank you all for listening to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Don’t forget to pick up my book The World of Internet Marketing on Amazon, and if you like this podcast please share it with your network of friends and family. Have a great week.

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