DJ Unification Project

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DJ Unification Project

Postby FDJA » Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:43 pm

Chris and Company... I hope you don't mind, I'm regurgitating a post I made over at the ProDJ boards earlier:

DJ Unification Project - http://djunification.org

I know, you're probably like "huh "...

Okay here's the deal in a nutshell:

Times are changing. When it comes to Internet marketing success, there's no one who knows this as well as your friendly marketers... The DJ Directories, The Wedding Directories... Those sites that are trying to grab as much opportunity for DJs as they can. For years they've struggled to compete with one another for high search relevance on your behalf. If you've been around a while you realize the "return on investment" a decent directory can provide right?... Some work better than others especially depending on the geo location or specialty and new search algorithms every six months make staying on top rough, but one thing's for sure, you've probably found benefits to one or several of them.

The trouble is, that just like several years ago when these vertical marketing sites started eclipsing the private DJ sites in the Top 10, today's search world is being highly influenced by overgrown and under-delivering "mega directories" and "information repositories" that list everything from peanut oil to disc jockeys. Their main purpose is to be a huge traffic hog and flip unsuspecting site visitors into a sponsored pey per click ad or paid banner ad the site sells. The business model is simple: grab millions of visitors, based on any and every search phrase they can dream up and redirect them to a site that will pay for their click via AdSense or Yahoo Sponsored Search. (Those are the "recommended sites" or "sponsored sites" you see on so many of these big sites). If they do that well, they'll be a cash cow for investors.

The DJ Unification Project is designed to help keep you seen by uniting some of those competing services you currently utilize, in a way that retains their friendly competiveness, yet gives them more leverage against the mega directories and repositories that Google and Yahoo seem to adore, (no doubt because they earn a fortune from them), and which are knocking you, your favorite directories and everyone else out of the top 10 organics results at major search engines. Google's latest update "Big Daddy" just made this even more apparent.

One of the biggest contributing factors, is when disc jockeys place their info on any site that will have them and then, maybe even give a link back to that site. When a mega directory, community site, classifieds, or info site latches onto YOUR information, they use that content backed up with the power of a giant page rank status and search optmization muscle to squeeze you and the directories you list at, right out of the top 10!

Truthfully, I hate to make it sound like the sky is falling, but you might be surprised how fast one of these big sites can knock your website and your favorite directories right off the relevancy ladder. They have shareholder money to burn, teams of seo developers and they throw more money into marketing in a day than you'll earn all year. Unless you're a super dooper web master, a Dj Directory or Wedding Directory is your last line of defense against these beastly sites. If these big sites full of nothing, knock out vertical directories, you will get less client opportunities plain and simple. Less oportunities = less business... Less gigs... You do the math. What can you do to help?

1) Recommend the DJ Unification Project to your favorite directory owner.

2) Stop placing "free ads" all over the Internet, unless it's with a vertical market directory i.e.; dj directories and wedding directories.

3) Don't advertise your dj service on MySpace or any other "community site".

4) Take any links down from your site that point to anything other than your favorite DJ resources. If you don't have links to dj resources, put them there. (if you don't like big gaudy banners, use a little bitty text link).

5) Don't contribute anything "dj" related to info repositories like wilkapedia.
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Postby CJ Greiner » Fri Jun 30, 2006 6:29 pm

I understand that you want to help the smaller DJ listings to be higher in the ranks... but how will that be done?
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Helping DJ Sites

Postby FDJA » Fri Jun 30, 2006 6:58 pm

Hi Cj... Just trying to help prevent the slow process of elimination that occurs as more powerful sites move up the ranks. For example, I found a hilarious example, (I see lots of them)... But anyway last time I went to Google, I typed in / disc jockey who plays music / and found a wilkapedia listing ranked number one... If that one is sitting at number one, it obviously shoved other sites out of the way to be there.
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Postby CJ Greiner » Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:16 pm

Right... but to be more specific: how is this unification website going to help?
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It's not the website it's the people

Postby FDJA » Sat Jul 01, 2006 9:17 am

CJ Greiner wrote:Right... but to be more specific: how is this unification website going to help?


It's not the website that'll do anything, it's the people who participate who make things happen. The site was simply a cover page for the project. I whipped the site together to give the djunification project an identity and for people to be able to contact me/us if need be. :D
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Postby CJ Greiner » Sat Jul 01, 2006 9:48 am

So is the goal of the website to set out a standard set of website marketing rules that will help individual DJs improve their own website standings?
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Goal of the project

Postby FDJA » Sat Jul 01, 2006 12:46 pm

CJ Greiner wrote:So is the goal of the website to set out a standard set of website marketing rules that will help individual DJs improve their own website standings?


Hi CJ,

I apologize for the lack of focus in the past couple of replies... I'm actually out of town and jumping online from time to time from the lobby of a hotel.

Basically, I sent an email message to 10 industry professionals who specialize in online advertiising for DJs. As I started to compose the email, I realized I should probably tie it together with a site, sohttp://djunification.org was born, simply to give it a face.

I speculated that the original email which I addressed specifically to the owners of these 10 sites, might be FW by them to others in the industry in viral fashion to some degree. The email basically requested their help in engaging some degree of networking to help the dj industry as a whole, remain in top search results for things related to dj searches. It's a loose plan... Just a concept really, but it would start by reciprocal linking to one another's sites from the home pages. Who knows where it would lead from there. Take a look at my Free DJ America home page and scroll toward the bottom to see an example.

The strength in the program is via the power of back links. Search engines like Google measure back-links as a "popularity vote" of sorts. The more links to your site, from a related site, the more relevant your site appears to be. It's goofy I know and back-links truly should not be a measure of a site's deemed value or popularity, but it is what it is... Google patented their process in 05 so it became public knowledge. Yahoo also measure back links. The concept is called "Page Rank".

Simply put, strong sites that link together will all appear more relevant because of their perceived popularity.

To understand this better, it's necessary to realize the revenue model certain sites have:

example: MEGA DIRECTORY XYZ

Mega directory employs Google AdSense to create revenue. Those are the "sponsored ads" that people pay for when they sign up for AdWords, (PPC or Pay Per Click). The AdWords customers listings appear on certain sites like mega directory. Mega directory may also employ their own "paid advertisments" as well. They might offer banners, or 1/4 pages, etc. So, the mission is simple for mega directory. They make money when people click on their sponsored AdSense ads. They make money when people buy advertising slots too.

In order to make money from the PPC ads, mega directory xyz needs lots and lots of traffic, from people from all walks of life. In order to sell advertising they need a big traffic history in order to justify the tall price of their ads. If a site can get a million hits a day, they're golden. Anymore than that and they're a cash cow. A site like mapquest or Yahoo can command huge money for their 1/8 page ads because with millions of folks visiting the site, the opportunity exists for advertisers to get some return on investment.

So... The challenge for mega directory becomes "how to get lots of traffic". The answer is simple: They must feature gobs of content that appeals to many people. They have teams of seo geeks dedicated to taking that content and "optimizing" it for search engine assimilation. They often employ tactics like offering "free business listings" or "article submission" to get the content in the first place. Of course the catch is, that you often are required to "link back" to their site. Or perhaps you are compelled to, to show off your article or business listing.

These sites will also employ seo firms to conduct link popularity building. I know of one these firms personally which charges anywhere from $799 per month and up, just to produce page rank for sites by slamming blogs, forums and other sites with back links.

Back Links = popularity = perceived relevance + clicks from people = continuous high search rankings = top ranking serach results = lot of clicks from lots of people.

Bottom line is, if I can convince dj sites that already have a solid page rank, to link to one another we'll all be golden and DJs will have more opportunity to be seen by clients looking for DJs. WITHOUT doing this, we ALL face the very real possibility that these mega directories, information repositories and community sites like myspace, will eclipse all other when search engine users are searching for "dj" or "wedding entertainment" type stuff. It's already happening. Stopping the momentum of this, will be like trying to stop a freight train with popsicle stick. The only thing we have going for us is strength in numbers and page rank. If we combine our strengths we will all remain strong equally yet still have that "friendly competition" that keeps us all different.

If there's any chance that there are those naysayers who think that there's no way this could ever happen... That MySpace or Wilkapedia or SuperPages can't possibly beat WeDJ or FDJA or DJGold for relevancy to "DJ searches", I'll remind you, that not so many years ago, that there were gobs of "private dj sites" (those owned and operated by a DJ company), who were thriving quite well on search engines. Since then, the majority of private DJ sites have been eclipsed by the more powerful DJ directories and wedding directories. Fast Forward a little to 2006: WE HAVE TRAFFIC THAT COMMERCIALIZED SITES NEED. They absolutely WILL shove relevant DJ sites, DJ Directories and Wedding Directories out of the way to grab that traffic. There will be a day in the not so distant future that these money grubbing, traffic sucking sites WILL be the only top 10 results a bride to be will find.

I think you'll agree that the strength of the larger vertical market dj and wedding directories are mobile djs "last stand" when it comes to having exposure in the top 10. I'm trying to let people know that we can help fight this by working together and building SERIOUS link popularity. It's the only thing that will prevent this relevancy take-over, at least for a while. I recall when I started FDJA in 2002, there were a handful of DJ directories that showed up in the Top 10 (mainly WeDJ, ADJA, USODJA). The other spots were held by those private DJ sites who had a decent webmaster behind them. Many of those private DJ sites that stayed on top were part of "web rings" which is sort of what I'm talking about... BUT just like a 100 "other" wedding and dj directories shoved those private sites to the 2nd, and 3rd pages of search results or worse), so too will this happen when the corporate greed fueled sites, staffed by pro developers and seemingly unlimited marketing reserves push us down, down, down, the relevancy ladder.

This whole thing might take us further than just linking... It's one step at a time though. All I know, is that right now the vertical market directories are the only "reasonably priced" online advertiisng left for the private DJ. UNLESS DJS are happy to pay more... If that's the case, the lead generation services like Respond, GigMasters, Decidio and DirectCatering have already started creeping into organic results. For the first few years, they all relied on PPC) sponsored ads for traffic. They were a joke when it came to organic listings. But now, they are obviously funneling resources into SEO work instead of PPC. They have built up their link popularity and are primed to take over. One year ago, WeDJ and PartyPop and yes even Free DJ America, had nothing to worry about when it came to showing up wayyyy ahead of the lead gens in organics.

I don't want anyone to think the sky is falling, but I can see patterns developing in search relevancy results. They are heavily leaning towards "mo money"... Full blown commercialization and heavy business model sites. It happened to radio, it happened to TV, it'll happen to the Internet too. The only thing we have going for us is that the major search engines still offer "Free Search Results". Lets take advantage of the resources at hand.
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Postby CJ Greiner » Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:06 pm

Thank you for your detailed response -- that certainly clears up some questions.

I think it's a great idea to help DJs take advantage of the tools out there (including the methods you mentioned) to get the best "free" listing they can for their website.

These free listings will never compete with paid listings -- that's just good business. If a DJ company decides to pay for placement in these search engines, then they have every right to expect that they'll jump in front of all the free listings. That's where DJ Search Engines / Directories can help DJs that might not have the funds to pay for these listings themselves (they can get VERY expensive.) DJ Search Engines & Directories can pool the low monthly/annual fees they collect from their members and get much better buying power for their website. Then it's simply up to the DJ website to list their paying members in a relevant order that gets the paying members the jobs.

For the folks that are still trying to get "free" advertising, they'll certainly benefit from improving their page relevancy using different known methods as you've mentioned here, and are also available in other discussions on this and other DJ discussion forums.

_______________________

One question: you mentioned putting links on the front page.... this is extremely ill-advised for companies trying to portray a professional image to their potential clients. Is there some sort of research somewhere that shows front-page links are somehow more relevant than links found on other pages of the website?

Thanks,
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Postby SirWolfy » Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:40 pm

I am in agreement with Todd for most of the points that he makes and was the basis for forming the PWV Link Exchange (PWVLX) in 2002. My biggest digression, that you brought up CJ, is that of placing all of the links on the home page of a site.

The PWVLX recommends placing a link on the home page that leads to the link exchange page and the results for those who have followed the simple rules and kept their pages up to date has resulted in better Google PageRank as well as coming up higher in the search results for MSN, Yahoo, Ask, Alta Vista and so many more. Since implementing these ideas, those that have followed the procedures religiously have experienced an average increase of one at least one higher page rank (e.g. going from a 4/10 to a 5/10) on Google over the course of the last eight months.

Todd,

If you are so inclined, may I suggest that we combine efforts for a greater and further reaching impact?
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Re: DJ Unification Project

Postby FDJA » Sat Jul 01, 2006 2:34 pm

Thanks guys... Wolfy glad to hear that you relaize the value in this, too.

When I mentioned "free" earlier, as in a dj posting their "advertisment" everywhere they can, is a common thing that djs on a show-string budget, do and almost always happens when they are building their website. Often they feel that the links to their website from all these "free" resources will help their website. It actually has the opposite effect. By placing free listings they are providing other websites with textual content. Typically that content will provide the site where they listed the "fuel" they need to get seen as relevant for that topic, but links are often buried in deep levels or disguised in "frames" or "no follow" code, so that it does not give that djs site any boost whatsoever... All they've accomplished is providing someone else's site with their content. The site where they listed will then "get seen", but often the djs "free listing" is painfully out of reach of the end consumer the party planning bride, etc.

Page Rank, not only is a measure of a site's popularity, but more specifically it is an indication of how deep the site will get spidered (in a file folder fashion). In other words, http://www.freedjamerica.com with a Google PR of 5 will be indexed 5 levels deep by search engines. When a DJ pays for a sponsored listing, they get a text link back to their site which WILL get indexed and provide a PR boost or voting link to the djs site. That's a good thing and often the small price for the ad, is far exceeded by the value of the link. for reference, the "average market rate" for a one way link from a PR 5 site is worth approx $300.

In regards to links on the home page, it's extremely important that's where they go because the .index page holds the highest page rank. On a private owned dj site with a PR of "0" , a link anywhere but the home page simply does not get measured. A link from the home page to a "link page" does nothing... At least not until the site earns a PR of at least 1 or more, provided the links page is within one click from the home page. In other words, if you had a PR of 1, and you have a link from the .index page to a page called "links" and then someone had to navigate to another page named "djs" or "resoruces" etc... Well that's beyond the first level that the search engine will crawl, so it's pretty much worthless.

Any outbound links on the home page are NOT for people who visit your site to be distracted by and possibly click off of your site, they are only there to help the site you're linking to get a popularity vote. The best links are textual. For example, if you had a site called prunemffin.com, and specialized in prune muffins, you'd ideally have everyone place a text link from their home page like this: <a href="http://prunemuffin.com>Prune Muffin</a> That way, the search engine see's the key search phrase "Prune+Muffin" and follows it to prunemuffin.com and catalogs it as a relevant site for searches containing "Prune Muffin". These text links can be as small and discreet as you want. They'll still help the site you're linking to.

FYI... See the lower portion of my home page at http://freedjamerica.com and you'll see what I'm going after and the initial sites I'd like to see daisy chained to boost each other's popularity.
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Re: DJ Unification Project

Postby FDJA » Sat Jul 01, 2006 2:37 pm

I forgot to answer CJ's question about reference or source for my statements... I'd suggest that if it interests you, you can subscribe to the seo forums where much of this is covered. Also Google filed for a patent in 2005 for their "Page Rank" mechanism, so that's public knowledge, you can see matt cutts blog too.
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Postby SirWolfy » Sat Jul 01, 2006 3:27 pm

Agreed. However, part of the problem has always been the general lack of knowledge in optimizing one's site as well as effectively keywording it. It is possible to have a site-wide PR of 5/10, but it takes diligence and of course knowing what to look for, etc.

While what you propose will certainly work, however what I propose is a much more thorough and encompassing program to accomplish your goals as well as giving participants site-wide deep rankings which has a far greater impact on traffic and ranking than just emphasizing the home page alone. The use of site maps, robots.txt, sitemap.txt and of course text links ensures that spiders make it to the link page while most human traffic has no interest in it, resulting in very little loss of potential customers. The PWV method will take a bit longer then your proposed method, which will have faster results, but won't help most of the rest of the site to rank or place well in the searches too.

Last but far from least, placing links to other related on the home / index page of a site is a favorite tactic of some unethical designers in an attempt to steal or divert traffic to their site when someone is looking for another company specifically. It has been becoming a rampant practice since the beginning of the year and I fear at least a segment of the DJs that would benefit from either of our ideas, have been avoiding both because of it.

Again I would like to emphasize that other than the placement of the links on a site, I am in fact in complete agreement with your summary. It is quite possible to rank higher in the searches than the "big guys" and I highly recommend to anyone to join either program!
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Postby Dj Sean » Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:48 pm

I would love to help too, I like the sound of the small guy beating up the big honcho.
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Postby SirWolfy » Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:59 pm

Sean,

You can learn more about both program by visiting the associated websites. Todd included the URL in his first post and you may learn more about the PWV Link Exchange at:

http://www.proweddingvendors.com/vendors-only.php

If you are interested in participating with the PWVLX, be sure to get signed up today as the July monthly update goes out tomorrow afternoon to all participants with the updated links.
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Re: DJ Unification Project

Postby Professor Jam » Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:54 pm

I'm particapating with that program and my site that links to it has a PR rating of 5
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Postby Dave Miller » Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:30 pm

I'm still not sure what is expected of my, or why I would want to do it. Or for that matter, if I'm not already doing what I should be doing.

There are parts of this that are fairly confusing to say the least. To key in on one confusing part, what is a "Mega Directory" and is Google one? If not, how does Google differ?

Whenever I get contacted by some DJ listing service, my first question is, how do they get the potential client to look at their service? A lot of my decision to use the service depends on the answer to that question. Part of my decision is that answer compared to the cost to join.
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PWV Link Exchange

Postby FDJA » Sun Jul 09, 2006 11:58 am

SirWolfy wrote:Sean,

You can learn more about both program by visiting the associated websites. Todd included the URL in his first post and you may learn more about the PWV Link Exchange at:

http://www.proweddingvendors.com/vendors-only.php

If you are interested in participating with the PWVLX, be sure to get signed up today as the July monthly update goes out tomorrow afternoon to all participants with the updated links.


I checked out the PWV link exchange and it seems that there are few participants who are using it to their advantage. The one site I saw which is doing it right, is http://www.avonleephotography.com but most of the others (I did not check all of them), don't seem to have it setup. I could not find a link to their "links page" from their home page.

I applaud you on your efforts. It's actually a cool idea.
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What's Expected, What I should do, What Im not doing already

Postby FDJA » Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:58 pm

DJ Teddy Bear wrote:I'm still not sure what is expected of my, or why I would want to do it. Or for that matter, if I'm not already doing what I should be doing.

There are parts of this that are fairly confusing to say the least. To key in on one confusing part, what is a "Mega Directory" and is Google one? If not, how does Google differ?

Whenever I get contacted by some DJ listing service, my first question is, how do they get the potential client to look at their service? A lot of my decision to use the service depends on the answer to that question. Part of my decision is that answer compared to the cost to join.


DJ Teddy Bear's reply actually has several parts to it, so I'll try to address them individually and see where that leads us...

1) What's expected of me... Actually the DJ Unifcation Project at this point is in a beta stage and may have several "phases", but right now it's infancy, it's designed as a call to action for reciprocal linking between like kind of sites which have high page rank and offer exposure for DJs on the Internet. There are some things you can do to help your own site's performance and your DJ Businesses exposure in directories which are outlined at: http://djunification.org/help_your_dj_biz_help_others_too.html

2) The question of "Why you would want to do it" is simple... It's to help your business stay in plain site on the search engines whether it's via your own site, or your paid or free listing at a dj directory or wedding directory.

To elaborate on this: For example, if I Google: brainerd, mn djs which is a geo targeted search for a comparitively abstract area, I found a brainerd.com directory site on top, followed by a result from wedj. and then a couple of completely unrelated results from a site called "city-data" and then gigmasters and then freedjamerica. SO... Analyzing this will be a little tough for someone not in the web business, but what it tells me very quickly is that Google is providing a high relevance to the "brainerd, mn" part of the search and not the "djs" portion of it. The site that shows up on top is called brainerd.com so it's a no-brainer in terms of url relevance and despite it's relatively low alexa ranking it's got a big "PR" or "Page Rank" of 6/10. The page that the DJ listings are on www.brainerd.com/weddings/music_entertainment.html has a PR of 4/10 which is excellent too. Chances are this site has a very strong "link back strategy" in place to acheive this. They may have either hired a company to do it (there are companies who can raise your PR... They charge $299 month and up), or perhaps they are handling it internally, or they have other folks in the directory who have linked back from their sites. By going to: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=& ... ainerd.com I can see that they have 180 measurable links from other sites which appear to be relevant to brainerd. This is an excellent example of a great linking strategy and is no doubt one of the main reasons they are in first place for that term... Above me, above WeDJ, above all private dj sites, etc. Even if you flip the phrase around that site is still number one. So... How'd they do it? Well you'd have to contact the company who owns the site (a web design and seo or keyword optimization company http://midwestcaptions.com/) to know for sure, but I can guarantee you one thing for sure... The main page at brainerd.com offers "free listings". That is the jewel that attracts all DJs right? "Free Listings" or "Free Classifieds". Ooooohhh boyyy! Woo Hoo!!! Free listings!

So after that last statement I'll hear a resounding "What's wrong with Free Listings Todd?". Here's the real deal guys and gals: There's no such thing as free. Whenever you drop your information at a directory and primarily when it's "free", it's not really so free after all. Those several DJs who listed their information at brainerd.com (whether it was free or not I don't know), essentially did was provide that directory with the contextual firepower they needed to knock their own websites and those they pay to list at, clean off the Top results. As a matter of fact, that site ensured that they provided little benefit to their members who listed, because they did not provide a link back. They don't have outbound links on those listings... Google Magic! Now, I know DJ Teddy is on that list and serves Brainerd, MN and might say well... People find me what's the big deal? There's only one problem. As that site gains relevance, your own site loses relevance. The more listings they acquire, the more relevant they become. The more listings they get, the less chance you have of being found. Right now you're one of 10... What happens when you're 1 of 100? or 1 of 1000 free listings? How many calls will you get? As a matter of fact, Teddy Bear Sound also pays to be at WeDJ.com... By placing his listing at brainerd.com he did a fantastic job of reducing his return on investment from WeDJ, as brainerd.com knocks wedj down to 2nd position at Google. And round and round it goes. Rinse and Repeat.

This brings me to Teddy's next question and point # 3):

3) What is a Mega Directory?
A "mega directory" is like superpages.com or marketingtool.com ... It's not like Google. Yahoo or MSN - Those are all search engines. A search engine is a starting point for someone who jumps on their computer but does not know which specific URL they want to type in. It's completely different than a mega directory which typically "specializes" in listing anything and everything ESPECIALLY if it provides any search traffic for them in some popular market. You'll find everything from plumbers to wedding planners and over time a mega directory may convert to a search engine if they can muster the financial cost to handle billions of gigabytes of storage and bandwidth along with massive marketing efforts but it's not likely. DMOZ.org is a directory too and they are still influential, but not hardly the force that Google is right? Yahoo was a directory that turned into a search engine. At first they used Google's search results to be "search engine like" and then finally when they could afford it they created their own search engine. I can only imagine the costs involved with that growth. Search engines by they're very nature they do their best to provide equal opportunity for all sites while retaining value for their shareholders, where conversely a directory can remain biased and provide more exposure for whatever or whomever they want. Search engines use "relevancy" for regurgitating results. A directory uses "placement". For example Teddys wedj silver listing provides him with more exposure than someone with a free listing or bronze listing, but not as much as someone with a gold listing.

This leads me to the real meat of this question of mega directories and What's Wrong With Mega Directories?: Okay... So we know now that Teddy Bear Sound has "given" his contextual info to brainerd.com to help them knock his own site out of the relvancy results AND knock wedj down a notch. But the shear "power of a mega directory" has yet to be seen! Perhaps what DJ Teddy does not realize, is that someone whom he does business with "Engraved Time Photography" has posted DJ Teddy's business name within a listing that Engraved Photography purchased from marketingtool.com... SO? Big Deal right? Well, here's the big deal folks: If I type in "Teddy Bear Sound" at google, I find the page at marketingtool ranked #10, or if I type in "teddy bear sound dj near milaca" the marketingtool.com page shows up in the #3 spot - just because Engraved Photography used Teddy's name in their ad on that site. I''m sure it was meant with the best intentions, but it is evident that MarketingTool is monster. It is a wayyyyy stong site and run by someone named Sean who will perhaps make Scott from WeDJ or Todd from FDJA seem like the brother in law who builds homepages instead of the SEO gurus we may be considered as right now. It's only one of several mega directories and I'm dead serious when I say there are sites that'll be so strong, so big and have so much Google and Yahoo Page Rank that they can send your own DJ site and all the directories you spend money with, right into the dumper. What good is wedj or fdja search result on page 3 or 4 at Google? What good does that do you? Not much. ALL IT TAKES IS A SIMPLE MENTION of the term "dj" or your company name in one of their ads and the power of their site backed with the textual content in them moves them up the relevancy ladder and all other sites down. It's really that simple. When you provide textual content about your industry or your business to a mega directory, they will be seen as relevant for the content you provide them.

That leads me to Teddys final point...
4) Choosing a DJ Directory and looking at how they get clients and what it costs to be seen there.


I suppose that this a very valid concern. It's one I consider as well when I'm evaluating my site's performance. Trust me... There's nothing I hate worse than hearing "I have not gotten any benefit from using your advertising". I scope out all the other directories and I keep tabs on my search competition. This is a tough racket and now that "others" outside of the dj industry have figured out that there is enough search traffic related to wedding stuff and dj entertainment, to benefit them by competing for that traffic, it's made it even tougher. The only thing a mega directory needs to survive is traffic. They'll get the traffic anyway they can. If they realize that searches for "wedding dj" can bring them 20,000 click throughs per month, then by God they'll go after that market - plain and simple.

Over the years, the DJ directories have established they're presence and provided many "Internet DJs" with a tangible source of income from new gigs. They've almost become the common thread between DJs and the Internet. The DJ Unification project is a wake up call to everyone from the DJ directory owner to the individual djs... Either we work together, or we will all suffer the consequences. We've supported one another for years. What was that investment for? Are we ready to see MySpace, SuperPages, MarketingTool, Wilkapedia, city-data.com, or even Brainerd.com become the only place for brides to find a dj?
Todd

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Page Rank System Encourages Spamdexing

Postby FDJA » Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:36 pm

FYI: I started up a Blog for the DJ Unification Project. It's accessible form the DJ Unification home page at http://djunification.org

:!: I know some of you who read this might already be familiar with "Page Rank" A.K.A. "Google PR", while others are not, so I'll try to explain what Page Rank is, why it's such a big deal and who uses it to their advantage. I'll also come full circle to explain why it's a critical part of The DJ Unification's Mission to combat this spamdexing by getting involved in the game of link-backs.

Page Rank A.K.A. Google PR is not just used by Google, but almost all major search engines. Google invented it I think and they filed for a patent last year in 2005 so it's mechanism and how it effects Google relevancy rankings became public knowledge. Essentially page rank is a measure of links coming into a site, which determines both the perceived relevance of said site plus determines how deeply that site should be spidered by their bots. The easiest way to demonstrate how this works is by examining a classic "Google Bomb": If you go to Google and type in miserable failure http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=miserable+failure the number one result is the whitehouse.gov site with a page title of George Bush and a link to his bio.

What does miserable failure, Google Bombs, George Bush and the DJ Unifcation project have to do with Page Rank? Well... The way that the Google Bomb works is by heavy textual back links which helps them accomplish a number one position for the site that is pointed to using those words. All one needs do is spend some time posting textual backlinks in blogs, forums, on web sites and in press releases with the "key phrase" text you want to attach to a site. There's probably 1000's of textual back links posted all over the Internet that read "miserable failure" and link to "www.whitehouse.gov/president/gwbbio.html". For those that don't know what a text link is or how to make one, it's quite simple: <a href= "DJGold.com>Cool DJ Forum</a> and in that example if Chris had several hundred text links on other peoples site all created the same way, his forum would come up in the top 10 for the search phrase "cool dj forum".

A Google Bomb is an exagerated sample of how page rank works. The search engine "looks" at how many "votes" a site has and has a way to determine how relevant it is to search phrase, based on the number of text links that match the phrase and point to the site. To put this in better perspective for DJs, I'll provide this quote I grabbed from another forum but is accurate and eloquent.
The source is: www.photo.net and is: The key component to page ranking is the quantity and quality of links back to you. WEDJ says, "sure, we'll list you for free, but you have to link back to us." That's a hell of a lot of links to WEDJ! On the other side of that coin, WEDJ does not openly link back to you for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Sure, they link back to you, but it's not indexed by the search engines. Unless you pay them. Brilliant! (sounding like a Killian's ad) Their ranking is high, and they get paid by enough to make it profitable


So to analyze this a bit more, all one needs do is examine how some sites (in this case wedj) want you to link back to them, which can be found at: http://www.wedj.com/wedjcom.nsf/banners!OpenPage : So in this example a recommended text link is: <A HREF="http://www.wedj.com" TITLE="Find a DJ or Photographer for you wedding or special event">Find a DJ for your wedding or special event</a> I personally know that the same link has been recommended for years and probably 100's or 1000's of djs have this snippet on their home page in lieu of a "free listing" and just like Google Magic the site shows up #1 for find a dj for your wedding or special event SEE: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Find+a+DJ+for+your+wedding+or+special+event&btnG=Google+Search AND... In case you're wondering, the answer is "yes" the search engine can look at just part of the text as a determining factor, so wedj also shows up number 1 for a shortened version of it like "Find a DJ for your wedding" and "Find a DJ". Just so you don't think I'm trying to slam Scott at WeDJ, I'm going to "pre-defend" myself by telling you that Scott came up with this years ago. He's a smart bugger and was perhaps way ahead of his time. His reason for recruiting linkbacks is no more different than 1000's of other sites and is not unethical, it's just a necessity to play the page rank game. I do it with my site too, except I'm targeting a different phrase than Scott. The other difference is that some sites "require" a link back while other's like mine do not. Scott's mandatory links from your DJ sites is a smarter idea and is one of, if not the main reason hs site is so strong for DJ related searches. AND Just so you know, I'm using Scott and his WeDJ as an example because it's undoubtedly the most widely recognized DJ Directory... Great job Scott.

Page Rank isn't just used for Google Bombs. Page Rank also effects how "popular" a site is and provides it with "perceived relevance" because of that page rank. That's one of the reasons it's so difficult for a private DJ site (like the ones you guys have and the ones I build for DJs), to acheive # 1 positions for anything, because they usually have little or no page rank and they are competing against sites like the DJ directories and others which have page ranks of 4/10 or more. My site has a PR of 5/10 and Scott's has 6/10. What this means is that pretty much anything I put on my site is not perceived as "relevant" as what Scott puts on his site and whatever either of us put on our sites is perceived as being more relevant than what any of you may put on your sites. That's also why a mega directory like superpages.com with a PR of 8/10 can just "mention" anything to do with a DJ and their site shows up as more relevant than WeDJ, FDJA, or your djsite.com.

Now you have a pretty good idea of what Page Rank is and how it helps a site gain relevance for certain keyphrases attached to the link right? Now, lets take this a step further and dive into the real meat of the DJ Unification Mission which is to fight something much, much nastier than the voluntary voting links you provide to my site, or Scott's site and the thing that has prompted me to attempt to have everyone join forces and link to one another...

Link Building Strategy, Reciprocal Link Programs, Link Generation, or whatever you want to call it, is the evil which has crept up and bit Google in the butt by exploiting their own ranking algorithm which is based so heavily on Page Rank, (links into a site). There are search marketing companies and powerful corporations which employ teams of people and dump huge money into exploiting Page Rank weakness. They get gobs of inbound links pointing to their sites and therefore the site becomes "perceived as relevant" by Google and other search engines. HERE IS ONE REAL EXAMPLE I FOUND LAST NIGHT WHICH SHOULD BE A WAKE UP CALL:
source: www.careerbuilder.com : Ref ID: Interactive Mktg Asst

DESCRIPTION

Interactive Marketing Assistant - Entry Level

Traffix is looking for an Interactive Marketing Assistant who will be responsible for researching and acquiring links to the Company’s sites from related web sites. This is a great opportunity to launch your career by learning Search Engine Optimization and other search techniques from top professionals. Successful candidate must have an interest in, and experience using major Search Engines as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. SEO experience a plus, but not required.

Responsibilities

Identify relevant sites based on criteria provided by Company

Follow guidelines to insure potential linking sites are SEO friendly

Contact webmaster of other sites to obtain a link pointing to our site

Document and track all relevant information related to linking practices of targeted and competing sites

Conduct regular review of sites that are providing links to make sure they remain SEO friendly.

Submit articles to relevant sites, documenting all links and published articles

Submit links to directories such as DMOZ, Yahoo and other major and specialty directories.

Ideal candidate must be a highly motivated, organized, creative self-starter with a college degree. Must be proficient in MS Office and an accomplished web surfer.

Salary is commensurate with experience. Benefits include health, dental, and 401K.

Traffix is a leading Marketing Company with offices on Long Island and in Rockland County. You will be joining an established company that is currently experiencing rapid growth with excellent opportunities for strong earnings potential. This position is in our Lynbrook, New York office, close to major highways and walking distance from the LIRR.


We all know that DJs are some of those that believe everything on the Internet should be free or at least dirt cheap right? The fact is, that there's tons of money being thrown into marketing tactics to show up good at Google. The ad above is but from one company (there are 1000's doing the same thing), and this one position pays $45,000 per year. Put this in perspective the next time you want to feel badly about the $40 per year you spend to have Top 10 exposure from a DJ Directory and then cancel because you don't feel that those high rankings on your behalf are "worth it".

One way links pointing to your site to increase your Page Rank are expensive. There are companys dedicated to providing sites with the ammunition they need to eclipse other sites, such as Zone Communications, Inc. www.Zonecominc.net which charges anywhere from $299 and up per MONTH to increase your organic search positioning via stratagies like link building. If you want to target a popular generic term it can cost $799 per month or more. If you set out to purchase one way links form a site with a decent PR, it'll cost you too... The going rate LAST YEAR for a one way link from a PR 5/10 site like mine was $300 per year. I have no idea what the value is now, but it's probably more.

So to wrap this up, I want to bring this full circle: Here is what we know to be true. These items highlight the challenges all of us face and the potential solutions.

1) Google Page Rank (from links pointing to a site) determines the "perceived relevance" of a web site. Yes it's stupid and really has nothing to do with relevance, but that's the way the game is played.

2) The higher a site's PR or Page Rank, the more relevant it will appear to a search engine ALMOST regardless of the quality of the site's content. A site with a higher PR always has a better chance of showing up before a site with a lower PR. In other words, if your personal dj site has a Google PR of 1/10 it carries less importance than a DJ Directory with a PR of 6/10. If Scott from WeDJ mentions you can "find a dj" at his site, it's 5 times more important than if you said it... Get it?

3) Mega Directories, Information Respositories and Community Sites have the very real potential to eclipse even WeDJ, FDJA, PartyPop and all of your DJ sites, because even DJ directories can't compete with the huge page ranks and massive efforts company's use to build up page rank for their sites. Just like in the # 2 example above, if a mega directory with a PR of 8/10 mentions that you can "find a dj" at their site, it will carry more relevance than if Scott says it on his PR 6/10 site.

4) With more and more "dj related" content being added to these mega directories, info sites and community sites, we face the very real possibilty of them having better search engine positioning than your favorite DJ directories and your own site. Everytime a DJ gets the itch to submit their info to MySpace or a mega directory it brings us one step closer to this happening. These mega sites use their big PR in combination with YOUR content to catipult them above other sites because they are "perceived" as being more relevant. Want to see this in action? Check out this result from Google:
google.com http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=& ... ub+setting "Disc jockey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaA club/rave disc jockey is one that selects and plays music in a club setting. The setting can range anywhere from a small club, a neighborhood party, ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_jockey - 82k - Jul 9, 2006


Wilkapedia has a Google PR of 8/10 so if THEY mention optimized search phrases having to do with "DJ" or "Disc Jockey" it's perceived as being much more relevant than if WeDJ or FDJA says it... Get it?

5) As one site moves up, another site moves down. That's Google's effect on the theory of relativity and their recent "Big Daddy" update made the page rank thing even more apparent than ever. Yes, they "tightened it up a bit" to try to weed out less scrupulous sites (thank God), but it's side effect was catapulting commercial sites with huge PRs to the top of the relevancy. Everytime you see a superpages, wilkapedia, myspace or even brainerd.com listing in the top results, it had to shove someone else down a notch to get there.

6) These bigger sites like I'm hammering in this topic, have the money and resources to be number one by exploiting Page Rank algorithm. I don't care how crafty you THINK you are, or how good you can slap together a meta tag, trust me, none of this matters... The sites with more resources (time and money) will smack you down using their Page Rank strategy. According to the masses, it's okay because they are playing the Page Rank Game and as long as they are playing by the rules anything goes. So they continue to employ private firms and hire people to build up page rank.

7) Spamdexing is when sites employ tactics like Page Rank and Google bombs to show up high in search rankings with the sole intent of grasping at that available traffic.

8) I'm sick of Page Rank SpamDexing and I hope you are too. Truth be told, I'd rather see YOUR site show up before my directory as long it's relevant. If you're a san diego dj you deserve to be seen in the top spots when someone searches for san diego dj. On the flipside though, I can't stand seeing your sites and the dj directories like mine and many others trying to help you, get shoved out of the way by these monster sites.

9) Page Rank Relevancy is BS, everyone knows it but everyone accepts it, because he who has the gold makes the rules and right now Google is Golden and everyone follows suit. If Google does it, so does Yahoo, so does MSN, so does every search engine. The "other" Dj directory and Wedding directory owners are not complaining as loudly as me, but I'm trying to get them to realize the catastrophic effect that this can have on their businesses and worse yet - YOURS. Truth be told, FDJA continues to have excellent search results for many search phrases and I've been blessed by your help but I have seen evidence that the end is rapidly approaching unless our commercial sites work together. THINK ABOUT WHAT THE SEARCH RESULTS WERE LIKE 4 YEARS AGO... Didn't some of you have Top 10 spots with your private DJ sites? Then what happened? The DJ Directories and Wedding Sites took those spots from you right? I'll bet someone in the industry probably even tried to alarm you about it and asked you to link together and so a better job with metas etc right? When not enough of you paid attention to those warnings you were soon eclipsed by the vertical market directories like mine and dozens of others. As a matter of fact, I think I still have some emails saved from back in 2002 when Djs were asking "What's freedjamerica.com? It's not even on search engines!" and now, just a few years later I'm well within the top 20 for most things DJ related and coincidently knocked everyone else out of those positions I now occupy right?

10) We can establish better page rank and compete with these larger sites by a good link strategy. We have strength in numbers, let's use that to our advantage. We can beat these big dogs, at least for a while, if we come together. Like kind of DJ sites, industry related DJ sites and private DJ sites, if we agree that we're in the business of helping mobile DJs to get exposure to party planning clients then we should agree that staying on top of search results is of paramount importance.

So WHY would I expect competitive DJ Directories and competitive Private DJs to help with this? It's similar to the old saying that "Blood is thicker than water". You might despise your siblings, but God forbid if someone outside the family beats up your brother right? Same thing here. I feel that even though we're in competition for the same relevancy positions (everyone wants #1)... That we are still "related" and therefore need to kick a$$ on those unrelated sites that would try to shove us out of their way for top ranking positions relating to DJ type searches.
Todd

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