Thursday, November 27, 2008

Crucial Webhost Went Down

For several hours today, several of my sites went down with the disruption of service from CrucialWebHost. It was the first time that it happened to me in my almost one year with them. No explanations were given aside from the fact that the VPS where my account sits in is down.

To their credit, they were able to restart the service after a few hours. Support promptly replied to my ticket but then again, you wouldn't know how much was lost in those hours. It's a small glitch but a costly glitch. And it came when most of my visitors come -- between 5pm to 7pm when most of the corporate users starts to browse their favorite websites before going home.

But will I move to another host with what happened? I don't think so. My experience with them is commendable since I signed-up with them. But it sure taught me valuable lessons.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Where is Boy Bastos?

Do you wonder where the creator of is? Well, I assure you that he is free as you are. He continue to setup new sites and posting in his blog much like everybody. He may have been 'arrested' last September but we all know that he's out of the NBI headquarters in no time. We don't even know if he was charged with anything or not. Actually, the real term is that he was 'invited' by the NBI. I think it's just a kind of political circus brought about by Ms. Loren Legarda which the media bought and made the issue fly high in the clouds.

The scandal may have served Loren for her political ambitions but they may not know it, Boy Bastos has gained more than anybody else. It made Mark's site more popular in the internet and for sure, he's still there operating sites like that of Boy Bastos. Boy Bastos is just a victim of political persecutions because if Loren is serious with her so called convictions, the sites I know(and sometimes visit?) must have been shut down already. As a matter of fact, Mark's other sites include, Bembang, Bembang Blogs, Jolaks and Thoughts in Binary : A Secret of Mark Venzo. Oh, did I say that he has even interviewed a lot of actresses that made his Bembang Girls site even more popular and added some class with it.

But as an online enterprenuer, we must be aware that Mark was treated with some kind of political persecution. He had it coming, of course, when he use used Loren Legarda's name as the registrar of his site, Boy Bastos. That kinda grabbed the senator's attention (or at least her staffs) and made war on him. In order not to experience what Mark went through, Yuga has listed down 10 ways to avoid political repurcusions from so called moralists. If you ought to know, you can go visit Yuga's post at

It's still good to be aware of what's happening around. Though the law in the Philippines is lax, we must still be careful with who we play with... stay away from the influential and powerful.

Friday, November 21, 2008

CBOX Annoying Pop Up Ads

I have been using cbox shoutbox plugin (free version) for a while now and never took notice of the pop-ups that it has been serving on my site. I know that the free version has ads in it but I thought it's not through the annoying pop-up. All the while, it was the chiklets that was installed in the site that was the culprit. Besides, cbox already displays link ads inside the shoutbox and pop-ups will be an overkill. And I was DEAD WRONG!

I have since removed cbox from the sites where I installed it and replaced it with wordspew. It's a plugin for wordpress started by jalenack and is being continued by Pierre. During Jalenack's time, I did not use his plugin due to sql injections issues but contributions from users and the successful handling of the project by pierre solved most of the issues. You can download the plugin at

Hopefully, my visitors will take notice of this. At least, they will have one less annoyance when visiting my site. But more than anything, I hope Google will take notice of the improvements that we've implemented.

Monday, November 10, 2008

SEO Experiment : Strike While The Iron is Hot

A little experiment last week surprised me when in less than an hour after I posted an article, hundreds of users visited one of my sites. Oh man, that site is just actually a test bed for my SEO expiriments but somehow, google noticed the post a few minutes after I published it.

What I Learned Here?

  • Strike While the Iron is Hot - I saw an issue worth posting from a news website. It's about three hours after the original story was published online and five hours after the actual event showed on TV though the issue is already clogging emails for the past few days. I immediately created a post regarding it after realizing that there's not much results in google if you search for it. I created the post in 15 minutes and after 45 minutes, I got 250 visitors.

  • Read your Inbox - there's a reason why people send those nonsense emails, including the chain-emails. They either like the contents of the email, they share it with their friends or they believe on what the chain-email tells them and do what it says. Either way, it generates interest and therefore, you may hit a gold with it.

  • Post Title - it works, believe me. I carefully selected the title and basically, it was the keyword that I used in searching in google.

  • Choose your keywords very well - A little hint. It's a controversial topic. People like controversies, people falling from their pedestal and things like that. A giveaway... SEX sells!!!

  • Do it Even if you don't like it - I don't even like the topic but it sure gave me a lot of traffic. So as long as you give your visitors what they want, people wouldn't care if you like the topic or not.

  • As always, Google is your bestfriend and Big Brother. So follow him and be obedient, OK? It's for your own good.

Unfortunately, I did not expect it and the template of the test blog is not optimized for adsense. As a result, it did not generate a lot. The CTR is less than 1 percent but that's ok with me. It proved something and whatever I learned from it will be definitely used later. As a matter of fact, I might create a niche blog for it. I think that post will give me a good number of visitors for a while. I would be more than happy if it stays for a week.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Start to Follow Webmaster Guidelines

Feeling the wrath of Google dawning on the rest of my sites, I decided to finally follow the Google webmaster guidelines. First in my list is the NOFOLLOW requirement. All links from my wordpress sites now are already converted with NOFOLLOW tag. At the same time, I asked for reconsideration from Big Brother G for one of my websites. Again, that's through the Google's webmastertools

But applying the changes in a number of wordpress-powered site would be a pain in the ass. I sure not going to update my posts manually. One way to go around with it is to perform a SEARCH and REPLACE in the database but I'm too lazy to do that and that would also mean if I fail to monitor the outgoing links later, I'll again have DOFOLLOW links. And so I chose to use a modified wordpress NOFOLLOW. Presto, my links are good but except those in the sidebar. But that's manageable.

I say modified version because I the downloaded plugin is specific for Wikipedia. And since I want to implement the NOFOLLOW tag in all my links, I updated the code in the plugin. Huh! Do I need to explain that in detail? Maybe not. Am I going to share the modified version to you? I guess so but wait a little. I'll update this post later to provide you the link.

As I have said, revenue from Adsense has already become a vital part of our budget and i already have a quota to follow. And since the Big G is my main source of online income, I better follow the rules(which I always do, anyways).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Online Vagabond October Revenue Report

It's time again to give you an update on how much we earned for the month. You see, this endevour has already made my wife join into it. Two heads are better than one, right? Actually, she's been helping me for the past year already. So without further delay, here's the report..

Oct 2008 Earnings Report

  • Adsense : $418.35

  • TLA : $133.15

  • Total : $551.50

Despite the slump in organic referrals from google for one of the sites starting at the second half of october, adsense revenue is still higher than the previous month. It could have gone higher had that site not drop from the ranking. But thanks to Yahoo, revenue for the problem site rebounded. It's still below the usual target but I'm still happy with it. We expect a slump for the month of November so we are trying to find new avenue to earn money online.

But one thing we learned here is that we really need to keep our site updated. I think it's one of the most important things that SEO gurus always say. One new post every week would be good enough but if there really is no time, at least once every two weeks. I know frequency also depends on your niche but we should strive better to give our readers something new or otherwise, they will no longer revisit your site.

Also, I might start converting the live links at the sidebars to NO FOLLOW to conform with the Google Webmasters Guide recommendation. Yeah, I know that I should have done that earlier and it may have been the cause of my drop in search engine rankings. But hey, I'm just human. :) Hopefully, google will reconsider my sites again.

As for this site, I think a template change is in order. Though it doesn't carry ad units, I think it is still good to make it look better in the eyes. By the way, the revenues from our online properties has already been vital to our budget, it helps pay some of the bills already. In that note, there's more pressure to keep the revenue at a certain level. To be specific, adsense revenue should be at least $300 a month.

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