Update from 30,000 feet

This is the first flight I’ve ever been on that has wifi access, which is pretty cool. In years past I’ve been traveling exclusively on Continental and they are still in the dark ages when it comes to having Internet on the plane. It’s been over a year since I’ve flown with them, but as far as I know they still don’t have it. It seems like most of the other major carriers have installed wifi, which makes traveling so much more enjoyable. For people like me who have a hard time staying “unplugged” it helps even more. Anyway, today I’m heading back to Dallas from Philly and this American Airlines flight has wifi.

If it feels like it’s been ages since I posted to my blog, that’s because it has! My last post was in early December and since then a lot has been going on in my life. I’ve obviously been really busy with work, which never seems to change, but there has been a string of people visiting us and then some traveling too. The reality is setting in now that this is going to be a really long post to catch up on everything‚Ķ.

Google News Update

Since the last post I made was about getting accepted into Google News I think it’s fitting to lead off with that… Since getting accepted into Google News in early December we’ve been posting about 3-5 news articles per day Monday – Friday and then a couple over the weekend too. The traffic results are simply stunning. I predicted a traffic increase of 2x-3x once we got accepted, but it’s been more like 5x or even 10x on some days. Some individual articles have brought upwards of 10,000 unique visors in the 48 hours Google News was giving that article exposure. The image below is from Google Analytics and shows the impact Google News has had. The dips are the weekends and / or holidays.

Google News Traffic

Google News Traffic

SEO Update

The next thing I wanted to update everyone on is the progress we’ve been making in terms of SEO across our sites. I feel like we’re right on track, or even ahead of the game in some instances. Remember, we’re going after some pretty competitive terms, so we have a 12-18 month outlook for a lot of these terms. Here are some examples of some of the rankings we’ve been able to achieve:

IRA.com – “Rollover IRA” – 1st page, 2nd position
IRA.com – “Open An IRA” – 1st page, 9th position
IRA.com – “IRA” – 1st page, 4th position
OnlineDegree.com – “Online Degree” – 2nd page, 1st position
OnlineStorage.com – “Online Storage” – 1st page, 6th position
OnlineStorage.com – “Best Online Storage” – 1st page, 2nd position
GraphicDesign.com – “Graphic Design” – 1st page, 7th position

A trip to Hawaii

One of the reasons I’ve been absent from blogging is because of some traveling I’ve been doing. My wife and I went to Hawaii from Jan 3 – 15th and the weeks before that were kind of crazy with work. I wanted to take as much time off in Hawaii as possible, so that didn’t leave time for much else. I did a pretty good job taking off the first week we were in Hawaii, but the second week it was a little work and play. Overall it was a really great trip. It was my first time to Maui, but my 7th trip to Hawaii overall. It’s by far my favorite place on Earth and if I had it my way I would be living there. I love the warm weather and the water – it’s a perfect combination. The issue is I’m married and my wife is against being a 12 hour plane ride from family on the east coast.

I could write a 1,000 word post about this trip alone, but this post is already getting too long. In a nutshell, it was a really fun trip packed with SCUBA diving, sightseeing, hiking, swimming, diving off cliffs, swimming to waterfalls, snorkeling, boating, lots of good eating, etc etc. There are some pictures below, but they are only a small sample of the 1000’s we took. None of them do any justice of just how pretty this place is.

7 pools

7 pools

Sun Set In Clouds

Sun Set In Clouds

Road To Hana

Road To Hana

Road to Hana 2

Road to Hana 2

Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater

Blow Hole

Blow Hole

A Trip to Philly

I spent the past week in Philly with a good friend of mine / business partner going over various Terran Marketing projects. It was a very fun & productive week. My friend lives right in the middle of the action in downtown Philly near Washington Square. It’s a great location that makes it easy to walk pretty much everywhere; I estimate that we did over 12 miles of walking in the 7 days I was there. It was pretty cool seeing Independence Hall, Reading Terminal, a 76ers game, the Italian Market, and much more – not to mention all the food. I’m scared to weight myself when I get home, but I wouldn’t doubt that I gained 2-3lbs this week – even with all the walking.

In addition to the time in Philly I took one of the days to take a ride down to Atlantic City to visit my family. My grandma, uncle, aunt, and several cousins live in the area, so it was nice seeing them.

Finally, I also got to visit with another good friend of mine who lives just north of Baltimore. Since it’s only a 50 minute drive for him, he packed the family in the car and made a day out of it. It’s been close to two years since I’ve seen them, so it was a nice treat. My friend lost almost 50lbs since the last time I saw him (which I’m ulta proud of him for); it was such a big difference I didn’t recognize him at first. Not to mention his kids who grew almost 2 feet! One thing that sucks having friends scattered all over the county is stuff like this. Hopefully it won’t be almost 2 years before I see them again.

10 Comments

  1. Great pictures, mike!

    It’s really inspiring to see how much your traffic spiked when you entered google news. Since I have been reading about it here I have put that on my long term goals as well, however, this is a quite difficult endeavor being the only contributor to the site. I guess I just have to work harder :)

    Reply
    • You defo need to find more contributors before you submit to google news. I suggest at least 6. They don’t have to write that often, maybe once a month, but you defo need them to get accepted. They need to be real people too.

      Also, let me know if you want to link exchange with your site.

      Reply
  2. Hi Mike,

    Love your blog and sites. Just wanted to say a few things.

    Firstly, I guess you’ll be happy to hear I see you ranking 6th for Online Degree on Google.com (I’m in the UK).

    Secondly, I’ve been running my own similar affiliate blog at ukpokeraffiliate.com for the last year which I’ve just moved to AffiliateFYI.com. If you could let me know if we could do a blogroll link exchange or if I could buy a link on your blogroll that would be awesome. I’m just trying to drive traffic to my blog now and start monetising it!

    Finally, I’ve been thinking from past experiences about Google penalties/sandbox’s/filters whatever you want to call them. I’m starting to think regardless of the quality of content on your site, if you have a site that is less then 12 months old and you buy a lot of links for it, than there’s a good chance you’ll get filted by google, dance or lose rankings for a while (e.g. 1-3 months). I don’t think this is really a punishment per say, I think instead Google just uses this as a precaution for new sites in their first 12 months to prevent spammers. It also think this is virtually independent of the quality of your SEO or site.

    In light of this observation, I was wondering if your company invests in SEO for new sites from the word go, has experienced these kind of lost rankings from Google for a while, or whether you tend to let your sites age a while before you do any SEO work. Also, since you’ve been in the industry for a while and have a lot of experience, have you ever had “timed” penalties where your site has disappeared for extended periods of up to 12 months in the SERPs and then returned all by itself?

    Also, I apologise for my ridiculously long comment.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Adam,

      Thanks for the kind words and the comment.

      In regards to selling links on my blog, that’s something that I just don’t do. Actually, I’ve never sold a link on any site of mine and like to keep it that way. If you email me directly we might be able to work out some sort of link trade though.

      In terms of your other questions about the sandbox etc, I have defo been though all that. I find that each situation is different and the big determining factor is how many quality (authority) links you can get. I do have a policy of not buying any links the first 6-9 months on any site, and we really keep those to a silly minimum at all times. The main focus and goal is always just putting up great content, establishing relationships in the niche, doing press releases, etc, etc. I think you would be shocked at just how few links we buy – it really can be done very white hat. With something like affiliatefyi I would seek out people in that industry and do link exchanges, guest posts, write PRs, get the affiliate programs to feature your site, write amazing content that will help affiliates (and will naturally be linked to), etc.

      Hope that helps some?

      Mike

      Reply
  3. Mike, tx for sharing your expriences with GoogleNews, and other business related tips. Much appreciated.

    Apropos keeping up with close family and friends. I am having really good luck with Skype video calls with my son & dil and 17 month old grandson. You may want to try it, perhaps get wife into the habit of skyping, might help convince her that hawaii is only a ‘skypeaway’

    Remember fondly home exchange I did in Hawaii on Big Island, with memorable side trips to Maui and other islands.

    Best
    paul

    Reply
    • Paul,

      Thanks for the comment. I actually use Skype almost everyday and love it. To me it’s almost as good as being in the room with someone and is a great way to keep in touch. The downside is that my parents generation doesn’t feel the same way. I can IM with my mom everyday and then when I talk to her on the phone she’ll say “you never talk to my anymore”. I think the bad news is I’ll never convince my wife and family that Skype is a good alternative to being close by.

      Mike

      Reply
  4. Mike are your writers western.

    And are they on staff or contractors ?

    What type of rice points would you expect to pay for that type of content.

    P.S. really appreciate your sharing this btw.

    Reply
    • Jock,

      All of our writers are native English speakers from the USA, Canada, or the UK. All of them are contractors writing anywhere from 1-30 pieces of content each. If you have any other questions feel free to email me directly.

      Mike

      Reply
  5. Wow I had no idea that airlines have installed free wifi on the jets! I am a speed freak and I just have to ask, what kind of speed did you get off their wifi? if you didnt test it this time next time please do!! :) I plan to take a flight up north soon and would love to know what airline you used! I am going to keep your blog book marked!! :)

    Reply
    • I didn’t do a speed test, but I would rate the speed “totally acceptable” to do Internet browsing and emails…

      Reply

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