Link Directory Submitter Review

I’ve been promoting Directory Maximizer for directory submission for some time now. I use it myself, and count at least a portion of the blog’s PR4 to the links from directories I’ve gotten from them. And while PR itself isn’t particularly valuable to a blog that doesn’t sell advertising, it does represent a large number of backlinks that provide SEO benefit.

I just bought Directory Submitter, though. Why?

Directory Maximizer is very inexpensive, at about $0.14 for each submission. It’s actually a bit less than that, because every time you pay them anything they give you a small rebate that can only be used to pay for other submissions. For a person who has a single site that needs directory submissions, that’s not bad.

I submit multiple sites to directories quite a bit, though, and the cost adds up. Directory Submitter is a one time payment, so after a certain number of submissions I’ll effectively be making the submissions for free.

The program has over 2,700 directories it knows about, and you can add your own, too. Sorting their initial list by PR shows Dmoz at the top, followed by a handful of PR7 and PR8 directories, a bunch of PR6 directories, a whole lot of PR5 directories, on down to PR0 directories.

Each website you want to promote via directory links is added via a profile in the program. Each profile can have multiple link titles, descriptions, and keywords that are used in a rotating fashion. Having some variety in your site’s descriptions can help avoid search engine penalties, so this is a nice feature. I was able to easily copy and paste this information from my Directory Maximizer account.

A bit more annoying is needing to go through and mark all the directories that you’ve already submitted a site to as used in the program. It’s far more convenient if you start using the program from the start on a site, so you don’t need to do this. But it’s a one-time chore and after that you keep track of new submissions from within the program.

If you use directories that require reciprocal links, Directory Submitter comes with a script you can upload to your website that allows the program to automatically configure the reciprocal links, saving your from an administrative chore. I can’t say how well this works, since I don’t use those sorts of directories, preferring one-way links.

Directory Submitter is not an automatic submission program. Rather, it will prefill all the fields on a submission form for you with the appropriate information from your site’s profile, rotating descriptions and titles as directed. You then choose the most appropriate category for that directory, click the Submit button, and move on to the next directory. What used to be a time consuming chore to do yourself turns into a fairly quick thing to churn out dozens of submissions.

I still recommend spacing your submissions for a single site out, so that you’re gradually accumulating links in a manner that search engines find natural. Dumping a link for a site out to all 2,700 directories as quickly as possible isn’t going to do your site much good in search engine results. You’ll end up with a great PR, but it’s search engine results positioning that drives traffic, and search engines look for continued growth in backlinks over time to maintain your position.

The program also came with some free bonuses, including an article submitter, article generator, and an article directory script. I haven’t had a chance yet to play with those, but will report back if they look like they’re worth using.

Click here for more information about Directory Submitter.

Ad Tracking and Link Cloaking, When To NOT Use Them

I’ve written before about the benefits of ad tracking and link cloaking.

Using ad tracking you get to see how many times links are being clicked on, which can help you fine tune your writing and give you insight into the psychology of your readers. And since ad tracking links are basically cloaked links, you protect your affiliate links from tampering.

But, there are times when you do not want to use ad tracking and/or link cloaking.

The main reason to not use them is when you are trying to gain some SEO benefit from a link. When a search engine sees a link titled, make money online that leads to, then the blog gains a little bit of credibility for that keyword. This is true whether you’re linking to your own site or to someone else’s.

But, if I was using an ad tracker or link cloaker for that link, it would go instead to something like That’s the URL that would get the SEO benefit, not So by using an ad tracker or link cloaker for that link, I’d be giving up the SEO benefit for my blog.

Typically we find that loss acceptable for affiliate links, because the benefit from knowing how many clicks on each link we get outweighs not giving some SEO benefit to an affiliate program. But you don’t want people to use ad trackers or link cloakers for links to your sites.

If you’re running an affiliate program, you can remove the need for people to use ad trackers when linking to your site by providing ad tracking functionality built into your affiliate program. This doesn’t help with cloaking the affiliate link to make it harder for others to tamper with the links, but at least removes one reason someone might be motivated to hide your link.

So, before you use an ad tracker or link cloaker, think about whether you’re trying to get (or give) some SEO benefit from the link or not. If you are, use the naked link instead of the ad tracking or cloaked link.

The Wall of Blogs

I figured I’d plug Enkay Blog‘s latest project (better late than never!)

The Wall of Blogs is a way to get a permanent link back to your blog, and to get some advertising at the same time. You can see the original announcement here.

This is similar to the pixel purchase sites that pop up now and then. I typically stay away from these sorts of projects for a few reasons.

1) The amount of space you get isn’t really worth it. You get a tiny space to fit a blog logo into, so the advertising value is almost non existent.

2) The sites themselves need to gain PR to give you much value for the link, and there are a lot of clone sites out there competing for attention.

I did purchase three blocks on The Wall of Blogs, though, for these reasons:

1) Well, it’s done by Enkay, which makes it cool!

2) You get a lot of space, plenty to show a blog logo so it’s actually readable.

3) I expect all the blogs that buy space will post about it and link to The Wall of Blogs, because of #1 and #2, so in the next PR update a link from it could be a nice boost.

I found out about The Wall of Blogs late, since I’ve been neglecting my RSS reader again. So I ended up with the first set of blocks on level 2 of the site. The plan is to rotate ads, though, so every ad will display above the fold for at least a few days during the month. This is a great move, and provides continuing value even to late adopters.

At $5 a block, this is one of the best values in pixel advertising I’ve seen.

Go get your blocks now!

Unexpected Keyword Success

A funny observation on ranking for unexpected keywords.

Thanks to my post recently about keywords used to find this blog, I now rank #1 for many of those keywords just on the strength of a single occurrence of each in that post.

The chances are good nobody will ever search using those keywords again, but if they do, I’m ready!

Keywords Used to Find This Blog

As you add more and more content to a blog, you’re going to find yourself more and more surprised by the keywords people use in search engines to find you.

Here’s a selection of keywords used to find Online Opportunity over the past couple of months.

a hungry crowd: I was actually on page 7 for this search term when I checked. That’s one of the surprising things about looking at these keywords, some are quite deep in Google’s search results. I can only imagine that the person searching didn’t find what they were looking for on the first page.

make your own websyte 4 free: I was on page 2 for this misspelling of website. None of the results actually used the misspelling. Could be a niche!

get paid to click advertisements for 1 dollar per ad: I was #1 in Google when I checked, but have now dropped out of sight. Not sure what happened there, but it’s just as well since I only wish I knew how to get paid $1 per ad clicked.

make money just by filling forms without paying something: Lots of people out there looking to make money without spending money. I was on page 10 for this one, so they were looking hard for a solution and not finding one.

creating oppurtunity from nothing: #1 for Google for this misspelling. Not that I can help anyone create opportunity from nothing, but it’s nice that Google has such confidence in me.

online opportunity sleep autopilot: Page 2 when I checked, but not there now. I’m hoping this person wants to make money while they’re sleeping, and that they are not a pilot looking for autopiloting software. I was #3 when I checked, but am missing from the results now. I used this domain as an example in a post.

im 14 i want to earn money:
how are 14-year olds supposed to make money?: #4 when I checked, but not there now. This traffic is thanks to Carl Ocab posting a comment in my John Chow review post.

find a hungry crowd case study: #4 in Google, thanks to my Autopilot Profits review. I’m afraid that post didn’t help the searcher much.

randall cornett: on page 1 in Google. If you want to rank highly for someone else’s name, just use it freely in blog posts. Especially if it isn’t a common name to start with. I’m not quite sure why anyone would search on Randall’s name, though, and bypass his own blog in the #1 and #2 slots to get to this blog. Unless it was the big “$100” in the title of my blog post (that was my original review contest post).

Some of the things that struck me going through these keywords: first, many people are looking pretty deep into Google’s search results to find the blog. Second, when I first checked for many of these keywords, I ranked for them. When I just checked before posting this, I’d dropped out of the search results for some. Search engine results positioning is very fluid, and changes all the time.

You can try to optimize for specific keywords, but expect Google to change its mind quite frequently. And you’ll end up ranking for keywords you never expected based on chance phrases you use in your post, and on comments. So don’t spend too much time worrying about SEO. Do the basics, and write enough content that you’ll rank highly for something, even if you’re not sure what.

What strange keywords have people used to find your blog?

Trackback Submitter: The Dark Site of Blog Comments

After installing DoFollow, the blog started getting hit by a peculiar sort of spam comment.

Akismet had always been catching the porn comments, and those submitters didn’t care whether DoFollow was installed or not. The latest spam comments are from someone using a tool called Trackback Submitter. The comments were obviously auto-generated, and included a programming bug. Here’s the one that keeps showing up:

This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title nline Opportunity. Thanks for informative article

Note the title of the blog is missing the first O. The sales page (link omitted because I don’t endorse this software) for the software claims it’ll help your SEO efforts by providing your choice of anchor text submitted to thousands of targeted blog. Never mind that you’ll be spamming all those blogs with automated comments.

One of the interesting selling points of the product is this:

The only trackback submitter on the Internet which bypasses comments anti-spam plugins used on blogging software. That’s right! It does not matter that your website is not any kind of blog and you do not link to blog where trackback links are submitted, because unique Anti-Spam Killer feature makes your website to look like a standard blog which is linking to victim’s blog. Make other webmaster to worry – “How the hell this trackback got approved by anti-spam plugin, if it is not any kind of blog and even does not link to me!?”.

That’s funny, since the first I saw of these comments was in Akismet’s spam folder. Another selling point was the autogenerated comments that appear natural, when the only one I keep getting in my spam folder is the one I quoted above.

When you run across products like this, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the bloggers you’ll be spamming. They have full control over their blog, and can easily delete comments they consider to be spam. The only thing you accomplish by using a product like this is to alienate thousands of blogs on subjects similar to yours.

Put the time into making productive comments on those blogs and you’ll see much better results than by using a spam engine such as Trackback Submitter.

Get on the First Page of Google, Guaranteed!

I saw that headline, or something similar, while exploring the web today.

The advertisement was for a company that guaranteed you’d be on the first page of Google within 48 hours, for only $5 for 7 days. There were testimonials from customers exclaiming about the service. One gentleman was mystified as to how it had been done.

Of course, anyone who has been looking into Internet Marketing for any length of time would read that sales page and understand exactly what the company was offering.

They would create a Google Adwords campaign, and pump up the cost per click of the ad until the ad was on the first page of listings. A nice little bit of fine print stated that the $5 cost did not include Google click costs.

While the company would do exactly what it advertised, the hidden costs could be enormous. Competitive keywords could require cost per clicks of up to $5 or more to get on the first page. The conversion ratio of your website, and the amount of profit you would make from each sale, might not pay for the advertising costs.

I’m a bit saddened to see this sort of thing, and to know that people who don’t know better probably buy into it.

Directory Maximizer Review

We all know that backlinks are an integral part of a site’s search engine optimization strategy.

The anchor text used in backlinks is key in obtaining high rankings for given keywords. Look at John Chow’s review scheme for the keyword “make money online”. Through offering backlinks for reviews that used that specific anchor text, he gathered thousands of backlinks that pushed him to #1 in Google for the keyword.

Most of us won’t get the same results, since we don’t have blogs that are as popular. But we can get backlinks just the same, many with our choice of anchor text. And one-way backlinks give us more “juice” in SEO terms than reciprocal links.

There are numerous free directories on the web that list web sites in appropriate categories to help people find what they want to find, and don’t require a reciprocal link. is the most well known of these free directories, but getting a backlink there often has a waiting period measured in years. And a single backlink isn’t as important as multiple backlinks, even if the single backlink is from a high page rank site (regular readers will remember my views on page rank…for those new to the blog, I consider page rank of linking sites to be less important than the quantity of backlinks, for search engine optimization purposes).

Submitting to directories is a time consuming process of filling out web forms and, for each directory, finding the most appropriate category for your website. Software for submitting to directories automatically does exist, but typical claims are about “blasting your link to thousands of directories”. For search engine optimization purposes, you don’t want your link blasted all at once to thousands of directories.

Search engines know what natural, organic link growth looks like. Links build over time. Search engines that see a thousand backlinks instantly appear will tend to penalize the site they point to in search engine rankings. Backlinks must appear gradually over time to mimic natural linking.

Directory Maximizer is a manual submission service. This means that your web site is submitted to directories by a real person, not an automated piece of software. This is helpful because the real people can adjust the category of your site to match the directory.

Another nice feature of Directory Maximizer is that you can submit to only as many directories as you want. If you tell them to submit to 25 directories, they’ll randomly pick 25 of their directories to submit to, and do it over the course of a few days. In a few weeks, you can choose to submit to another 25 (or 50, or whatever). You’re in control of when submissions are made, so you can mimic the appearance of natural linking over time.

Varying your anchor text and directory descriptions is also important, as search engines will recognize too heavy a use of one anchor text and description. Directory Maximizer allows you to give them five possible anchor text and description combinations, and a weighting to say how often each should be used. They’ll rotate among them for directory submissions.

Directory Maximizer has, currently, 683 directories they use for submissions. So you’ll only get a total of 683 backlinks using the service. I assume they’ll add new directories over time, but probably not in bulk. Each directory they use is chosen because it provides one-way links, and allows your choice of anchor text to be used.

Given that directory submission is a tedious, manual process, the fact that they charge only 14 cents per submission is a good deal. I’ve recently used the service for about 35 directory submissions for Online Opportunity, and everything went off exactly as advertised.

Some directories require confirmation of a submission, and those confirmations will come to your email address. Out of the 35 submissions they made for me, about a dozen required confirmation.

Overall, I’m quite happy with the service, and will continue to use it over time to build backlinks for the blog. To give it a try yourself, go to Directory Maximizer. Note that while they charge 14 cents per directory submission, they have a minimum $5 payment, which works out to about 35 directories.

Using RSS Thieves for Backlinks

A few days ago I got a trackback from a site that had copied Tyson’s review of Online Opportunity without providing proper attribution. I’d suggested to Tyson that he use a signature plugin to include a link back to his blog in his RSS feed.

I belatedly realized it’d be a good idea for me to do the same, so downloaded DD Sig. You can see the signature this adds on the single post pages:

If you found this post interesting or helpful, consider subscribing to our RSS feed. If you’re already a subscriber, thank you!

Unfortunately, I discovered that DD Sig doesn’t add a signature to the RSS feed. But I liked automating the call to subscribe, so I left it active. I then located RSS Signature, which does add a signature to the RSS feed (and nowhere else).

So now the RSS feed has this at the bottom of every post:

© Online Opportunity – This post was written for Online Opportunity, a blog about how to make money online. If you found it interesting or helpful, consider subscribing to our RSS feed. If you’re already a subscriber, thank you!

You’ll notice that I don’t use a simple link back to Online Opportunity, but rather use a keyword link I’d like to rank higher for in search engines. I figure that if my posts are going to be stolen and used somewhere else, I might as well get a backlink with my choice of anchor text out of the deal.

The main benefit, though, is that anyone who sees this post on another blog will know it didn’t originate there, and be able to click through to come here to see more posts like it. And even if they don’t realize the post was stolen, they may still subscribe to my feed and start picking up the posts from the original source.

As a funny note, a couple of days after my John Chow post resulted in a backlink from, I got a trackback from a blog that regularly stole John Chow’s posts, including the review posts. So for the one John Chow post I ended up with two backlinks.

The moral is that if you’re writing a blog, and doing the right thing for your readers by providing a full feed, your content will get stolen someday. Being a bit proactive can turn the event into a benefit to your blog.

John Chow Back at #1

It’s sad, but it appears as if Google has not changed its algorithm to discount John Chow’s review scheme.

It’s too bad. I rather liked the idea of Google taking some sort of action, based on their distaste of paid and solicited links. It would have kept things interesting, and forced bloggers to be more creative in their reciprocal linking. A sign of continued evolution, if you will.

A few days after dropping out of the #1 slot for “make money online” in Google, John’s blog is back in #1. Despite promising to share how he did it, John cops out and simply hints that Google’s webmaster tools are your friend. Note that I’m deliberately not linking to his post, since he provides no useful information beyond that hint.

Over at the SEO Refugee, amid a rant about self-proclaimed SEO experts, is some information on a possible cause of’s drop from the #1 spot. Apparently John recently heavily modified his robots.txt file.

For those of you new to running websites, the robots.txt file contains hints to search engines. You can ask Google, for example, to not look at certain pages on your website. John had a post recently detailing robots.txt changes needed to prevent Google from seeing too much duplicate content on your WordPress blog. Shortly after that post, he dropped out of the #1 spot for “make money online”.

The hint John dropped makes sense if you assume that a change to his robots.txt caused Google to stop seeing many of his pages. Google’s webmaster tools have a robots.txt analysis tool that allows you to evaluate potential changes in your robots.txt file and see what effect it would have on Google’s ability to see your web pages.

Seems like the kind of thing he should have done before making sweeping changes.

So John screwed up his ratings in Google by changing his robots.txt file, and fixed it by removing those changes and allowing Google to everything, duplicate content and all. Since his site is no doubt crawled daily by Google, it would not have taken much time for this change to push him back into the #1 position for “make money online”.

What do you think? Is this the final answer, or is there something else involved? We might as well speculate, it’s unlikely John will share the info.