Now let’s think about purchasing expired domains with PR that have expired. Well that sounds just wonderful, doesn’t it? I did that at first myself, being brand new to the entire concept of blogging and getting paid for blogging. I had no idea that anyone would have any kind of problem with that. Until, that is, the company that I was blogging for (which was an Izea company now called inpostlinks.com) sent me an email telling me that one of their advertisers accused me of “cloaking” which was a violation of their Terms of Service, and they suspended my account and froze my payments for ninety days! Well, at the time that was the only company that I blogged for, having never heard of any other company, and I had never heard of “cloaking” before. I was very upset, as I was in a very bad financial position and desperately needed the income! So there were a lot of emails sent back and forth about what “cloaking” is and I learned a lot. Although “cloaking” is different than having purchased a domain with an expired page rank, they explained that they considered it to be a misrepresentation of the true worth of the blog and they would not allow me to use that blog again until the next re-indexing. They said that they considered it to be a form of “cloaking”, which is a violation of their terms of service. Their reasoning was that at the next re-indexing (sweep) Google would give an updated page rank and then it would be OK.
At that point in time I learned that buying an expired domain with existing PR was very risky and I stopped doing it. Whether “right” or “wrong,” “ethical” or “unethical” the consequences of buying expired domains could (and did) cost me money, and I did not like that!
Web hosting can get really confusing and expensive. Who can blame you for signing up for cheap web hosting? You probably did not know that Google has defined some of those cheap web hosting companies servers as “bad neighborhoods.” I know that when I first started blogging I had no idea at all that there were “bad neighborhoods” in the Google universe. As for how to find out what web hosting companies have “bad neighborhood” servers, well I see there are sites that claim that they can check for you. I do not know if any of them work, and for the purposes of this discussion I really am not interested right now in pursuing that. Maybe sometime in the future, maybe not.
But the fact remains, Google, as the all-knowing and all-seeing and omnipotent ruler of the almighty much coveted Google page rank and Google Search Engine Results Page KNOWS where your domain is hosted. When Google does its quarterly re-indexing (or “sweep”) one of the things that it looks at is what “neighborhood” your domain is in. If it sees your website/blog is on one of those “bad neighborhood” servers, then they will at least penalize your website, which reduces the page rank, and at most they will “ban” or “black-list” your website. What that means is that they will put YOUR website on their list of naughty boys and girls that get ignored from that point on until Hades freezes over and a gay woman becomes the Pope of the Catholic Church.
Not very long ago I installed JetPack on my WordPress theme. Although I have had personal computers since the early 80’s, and being online since the Internet became available where I lived, I do not consider myself to be an expert on anything related to computers and the Internet. Even though I was the network administrator of the construction department of the Augusta Maine office of Verizon, and even though I was heavily involved in writing code with their programmers for designing the system used in the construction department, I know that there will always be new things to learn. One interesting thing about education is that the more I learn, the more I understand that there is a lot more “out there” TO learn!
A couple of days ago, I did a presentation at a networking group about how bloggers can help a website with their marketing efforts. I thought that the presentation was well received, and was hopeful that the information that I shared would be useful to them in the future.
So anyway, imagine my surprise when a couple of days later I received some anonymous but very critical comments on this blog about some of my thoughts on the next update.
These critical comments were delivered by someone too cowardly to provide a real email address so there is no way to attempt any form of civilized discourse. Apparently the person who posted the comments is feeling a sense of competition; feeling threatened by me in some way.
Since in the past my comments have all been from spammers trying to get me to approve their comment so that they can get my Google juice to their site, (although I have no Google juice yet from this site) this leads me to believe that this person made an attempt to look me up personally. No real effort has been made on my part to get the word out that this blog even exists; it is such a new blog that it really is not worth marketing yet. So I find the timing of these hateful, critical comments very interesting.
The JetPack statistics have been instrumental in my detective work about where the hate is coming from. I am impressed with all of the features that it has! I still have a lot to learn, and I am looking forward to learning as much of it as I can! And although I would have hoped for some nice comments on my page resulting from someone reading my posts, I am really quite happy to learn that there really is someone out there that is actually taking the time to read through some of my posts and try to pick them apart! That can’t hurt my traffic stats, can it?
For the purposes of this discussion, I am using the word “syntax” to represent proper spelling, grammar, and sentence structure in the English language.
From my recent discussions with people in the networking groups that I go to, in association with the Fauquier Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Warrenton Chamber of Commerce I have come to understand that up until the Panda and the Penguin updates Google did not have algorithms in place to recognize syntax. “Relevant, or good syntax” basically means “does this sentence make sense?” Some advertising agencies were (and some still are) telling their clients that any and all links were good links and they were extremely happy to be able to take advantage of the willingness of desperately impoverished bloggers in underdeveloped countries to work for pennies in their desire to build back links to their web pages. At this point in time Google does not like those tactics, and as technology advances the programmers that work at Google have been able to modify their algorithm to recognize proper syntax and reward it, and recognize improper syntax and penalize it. I think that it is a pretty safe bet that will be used consistently in the future as part of their sweeping algorithm.
Perhaps at one point in time you used spinning and/or scraping to create content on your blog. And perhaps these “Black Hat” methods were providing you with much needed income. Spinning/scraping articles, however, might end up giving you duplicate content.
Many advertising companies and their clients now have access to software that will check for duplicate content (trust me, I’ve seen it in action and if I were them I would use it!) There is even a free plagiarism checker online that anyone can use. So if your clients decide that what you are providing is duplicate content they may refuse to pay you, and may even ban you from working for them in the future. Who needs that kind of aggravation? I sure don’t!
From what I understand, Google checks for duplicate content and penalizes the websites that uses duplicate content. At least that is what I understand from reading the Google Webmaster Guidelines page about duplicate content. In addition, duplicate content can be construed as plagiarism and you could be sued if the original author finds out about it and decides to sue you. Now you may feel safe from being sued, but for me, well, I don’t want to take the chance. Lawyers are expensive around here. So I work very hard at posting unique content in my blog posts.