Archive for February, 2007

Google Adsense Tips, Tricks n Latest Gossip Part 1

Yesterday I was lucky Revenue Sharing and Your Blogenough to attend a conference here in Brisbane, Australia that was typically well attended by Googlers ready to give great tips and advice.

After the conference I managed to steal a few moments with a Googler from the US by the name of Michael Gutner and ask him a few questions. His answers were revealing and informative, and I thought I’d give you the inside track.

The advent of ‘Pay per Blog Sites’ is upon us – basically, under this revenue sharing model, website owners offer space on their blog for other contributors to write unique content, and pay a proportion of advertising income from that author’s content as a form of comission.

Some people are concerned this will create alot more ‘made for adsense blogs’ – blogs written purely to make money from adsense, rather than provide information to people. I personally think it will have a really great effect – At the end of the day, sites get popular because people are interested in the quality of the content – if no-one visits a site, no one clicks on the ads – simple.

I have other views – I reckon it’s a great isea because it will be a great enabler for those people with great ideas and insights to showcase them to a much wider audience, and get reimbursed, without the overhead of running their own site.

One of the problems of such revenue sharing schemes is the mechanics of splitting the revenue – basically there are two ways to do it –

  1. Use google channels to measure income from the contributors page and write them a check or money transfer on a monthly basis for their proportion.
  2. ‘Swap Out’ your Google adsense ID with your contributor’s id on their page part of the time (ie, if their commission is to be 80%, show ads using their adsense ID 80% of the time, and yours 20% of the time)

The first is probably the fairest, but also has a high administration cost for the website owner – making it probably only feasible for large, commercial blogs with heaps of traffic.

The second approach has less administration effort, but a few other negatives. Firstly, it takes a fair bit of coding to implement, and is imperfect as it relies on chance – you can never be absolutely certain that revenue is being evenly shared.

A potential problem with both approaches is that neither allows the author to be ‘absolutely sure’ that they are being paid their fair share of revenue.

I mentioned this conundrum to Michael, and said that I thought this presents a great business case for google. Why? –

  1. Google has the economies of scale to handle payments, and is considered a ‘trustworthy brand’ – this would be relatively easy for them to implement, and would be seen as a godsend by most webmasters… and..
  2. By encouraging ‘everyday people’ to join the blogging revolution and become adsense publishers, google both increases their brand awareness, and (here’s the cynic in me) the potential return on holding millions upon millions of small publisher’s income in escrow until the required minimum $100 for their adsense balance to be transferred to their chosen bank account is enormous.

Indeed, if I were Google, I’d have to have rocks in my head if I didn’t consider this idea as a top priority..

But it seems, as often happens with Google, they already thought of it 🙂

Michael gave me the scoop that in fact, Google is developing this functionality and it will become available in the near future as an addition to their existing adsense product range. As Michael said, Google has many, many new projects on-line at any given time, but he did say that he is certain that this feature is one that is in active development as we speak.

Anyway, that’s my small but signficant little tid-bit for tonight – But the fun will continue tomorrow – I have some more great tips from the conference which I’ll be writing about.. one particularly interesting one was how to ‘train’ google to serve ads that are more likely to get clicked.. it’s a good one.. 🙂 see the second part of my article here.

See you!

TheDuck

7 comments February 28th, 2007

So.. do you like my new header image?

I’ve been doing a bit of paid blixkrieg wordpress blog customization work for a lady called Joni Solis.

Joni owns and runs the site A Love for Horses.

Joni is an artist, and a horse lover, and her site gives advice for other horse enthusiasts and provides horse clip art and horse logos for horse enthusiasts across the globe.

During our conversation, I mentioned to her in passing that I have horses, and used to be an active participant in a peculiarly Australian sport known as ‘Camp-Drafting’.

Joni pointed out that I should probably incorporate horses in to my site heading, to which I replied that my old header, with the sheep herd, had taken my artistic abilities to their absolute limit.

Well whaddya know.. within a couple of hours, Joni had sent me this new header – which I love… it fully conveys my desired message, and fits heaps better with the colour scheme of this site.

Thanks Joni – and if you’re in the horse business, check out Joni’s site – well worth a read.

Cheers and best wishes,

TheDuck

19 comments February 27th, 2007

Blix Krieg 2.1.4 update released

Today I’ve released the newest update to the Blix Krieg theme.

This update corrects the following errors:-

  • Unusual characters appearing below the sidebar on the index page when using internet explorer.
  • Search Page sidebar disappears.

This update adds the following functionality:-

  • An extra configuration parameter in adsense.php – users can now choose to hide ads on certain parts of the website.
  • Ability to display header ads on content pages

The major modifications in this release occur in functions.php, adsense.php and pages.php. If you have a customized set-up, replacing these files will suffice and should cause minimal disruption.

You can view the latest update in operation at beta.utheguru.com, and you can download it HERE

Add comment February 20th, 2007

HELP ME PLEASE!…

Now I admit it – I’m decent at cutting code, but absolutely shithouse when it comes to web design – as you can see by my new header – hot off the press.

I was really proud of it until my dog Jazz walked over for a pat, took a look at the screen, tilted her head over to one side as kelpies tend to do, and let out a low drawn out growl…

I’m not the artistic type – I’m one of those annoying science types that’s always completely amazed by (but incapable of imitating) the amazing feats of artistic creativity that some people just seem to be born with. I don’t have that ‘interior design’ gene – if you want proof, come visit my office! Just modifying the sheep picture pushed my photoshop skills to the absolute limit.

So folks – PLEASE! If you have an aesthetic bone in your body, can you give me a few pointers on a better colour scheme, or a better header design (or both)?

I need it to be simple, eye-catching and appropriate to the motto of the forum.. that is, that this is a place where hopefully everyone can contribute their knowledge freely to help each other improve our websites / knowledge.

AND – please don’t worry folks the new header is NOT – I repeat NOT a part of the Blix Krieg Theme – I wouldn’t be that mean 😉 The Blix Krieg theme still has Sebastien Schmieg’s original minimalist charm.

You can always see the current stable version of the blix krieg theme at beta.utheguru.com – in all it’s original blix style glory.

Hope you’ve had a good weekend so far!

TheDuck

5 comments February 18th, 2007

New update to Blix Krieg WordPress Theme (2.1.3) released

Hi folks,

I’ve just updated the blix krieg wordpress 2.1 compatible theme. This version makes the following changes.

  1. SEO upgrade – For the index page, your title bar will now show your blog name a dash and your blog description (eg www.utheguru.com – where we believe YOU are the guru). For content pages, it shows the page title FIRST (previously after), a dash, and then the blog name (eg ‘New Update to Blix Krieg – www.utheguru.com’). I think this is an important update as it makes your page titles, rather than your blog name, jump out to search engine users.
  2. Tagline changes – I have implemented the changes spoken about in my recent post (How to add a custom Tagline) into the stable version.

Read more about the changes here

Continue Reading Add comment February 17th, 2007

Great SEO Tools?

Susie, one of the 1000+ users of my Blix Krieg theme, recently asked me what the best tool is for web development – I told her firefox (the alternative to internet explorer) is a really useful tool.


You can get heaps of plugins for it that show you things like PR and validate your HTML – it really is great (for some good plugins, see John Muellers Oy-Oy site, in my blogroll). So anyway, if you want firefox too, just like Susie – click on the link above to get your own copy..

And yep, everytime you download it from here, I get a donation from Google, so if you haven’t got it, and you like my blog or my theme, help me out and get it here 🙂 Out of interest, Susie has an interesting post on her blog about “where she is from” – she’s entering it in a competition and wants our help to vote for it – I’d suggest you visit – she’s an ex journo, writes well and her blog is a nice read Susie’s Competition Entry

Enjoy!

TheDuck

7 comments February 17th, 2007

Custom Tagline in Blix Krieg

A user of my wordpress 2.1 compatible Blix based theme, Blix Krieg, recently asked how to add a custome tagline to the theme.. YES! It is possible – here is how to add a custom tagline to Blix Krieg

Continue Reading 7 comments February 16th, 2007

Headzoo Live WordPress Plugin

Live

It is a lovely thing to watch your efforts hit pay-dirt as more and more people visit your blog, and start contributing off their own bat.

Here’s the ultimate wordpress plugin for the inner guru in you – if you derive as much satisfaction from your site as I do – It’s called LIVE, it is free, and I think it’s fantastic.

This is easily one of the best designed, coded and documented wordpress plugins I’ve ever seen. I strongly recommend you click here and read more about it

Enjoy!

TheDuck

Continue Reading 1 comment February 14th, 2007

Off Topic: How to ruin dinner time..

I came across this rather cute little clip whilst trawling the net…

Sheesh kids can be brats 🙂

2 comments February 14th, 2007

Modifying the Blix Krieg Theme Header

Susie J, who uses my BlixKrieg Wordpress theme, recently wrote in to ask if it was possible to modify the theme to accomodate a different header.

The answer is ‘YES’. Blix Krieg is based upon the older Blix theme, and that theme was notoriously simple to modify.

In this short tutorial, I show Suzie how to go about modifying the theme to suit her tastes.

TheDuck

Continue Reading 5 comments February 14th, 2007

Aussie John Howard versus Barack Obama ‘bin laden’

Many of you today will have seen the triumphant entry of our Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, into the US political scene. (See the video here).

Never mind that John’s own son just recently spent his time doing work experience in the white-house.

Never mind that John likes Bush’s great ‘Texas Chilli’ down on the ranch..

Never mind what I think of John’s views, or Obama’s views for that matter…

What I’m perplexed about is WHY has our great leader waded in with his attention-grabbing comments about Obama? Read my take on it here..

Continue Reading Add comment February 12th, 2007

Blix Krieg updated…

Hi Everyone,

I’ve just uploaded a new version of Blix Krieg (2.1.2) which overcomes problems with the sidebar (missing blogroll headers and recent posts) that slipped through my previous upgrade.

The new version should install directly over the top of existing Blix Krieg installations, and can be downloaded from the usual place – http://www.utheguru.com/blix-krieg-info/

Ciao,

TheDuck

12 comments February 11th, 2007

You ARE the Guru – so…

We want you to post!

The utheguru community is growing rapidly – it’s our first month and we already have 300+ unique visitors per day.

So now is your chance to jump onboard – I’ve decided to open up my blog to everyone who can contribute novel information that other readers of this blog will find useful or interesting.

Help utheguru grow, become a guest poster – read more here

Continue Reading 4 comments February 10th, 2007

We’ve come a long way, baby!

Today marks a few major milestones for UtheGuru – our first month of operations, and achieving 1000+ inlinks to our site.

This rapid growth hasn’t happened all by chance, however, it’s been part of a broader plan (which you can read about here).

Ultimately, we are attempting to become a place where users can find niche answers to niche IT related questions. We WANT YOUR INPUT about how best to achieve this – please see the rest of this post for more information. Your comments needed.

Continue Reading Add comment February 9th, 2007

Ballpark?

One of my friends is currently being sued by a bunch of litigious wallies.

I think imitation is a form of flattery, so in a case of blatantly stealing someone else’s idea (and perhaps even improving it), I put together this little picture for his lawyer to send to their lawyer

BallPark

TheDuck

Add comment February 8th, 2007

Ad-free BlixKrieg Theme Released

Hi everyone!

We’ve been having tremendous interest in our Blix Krieg theme, but some people have asked how to remove the Google adsense ads from the theme.

It’s actually not that difficult – there is a configuration option in the adsense.php file that allows you to turn off the ads site wide quite easily, but I realize now that many people that use Blix don’t really know how to edit a configuration file.

So, to make it easier for you folks, I’ve released an ad-free version of BlixKrieg. You can read about it and download it here.

Continue Reading 14 comments February 8th, 2007

Yahoo Sidebar Link Badge Widget For WordPress

Yahoo has released a great little tool called the ‘Yahoo SiteExplorer Badge’ – it gives your users an idea of just how popular your site is, and also helps you keep track of exactly how many sites are linking to yours… which we all know is not a strong point with other search engines (Google, for instance).

I like this tool so much that I’ve included it to the right, and written a free wordpress widget to make it quick and easy to add one to your site too.Learn more about it here.

Continue Reading 20 comments February 7th, 2007

Lenovo / IBM T41 Laptop Random Crash

Does your Lenovo T41 Laptop randomly Freeze / Hang / or Crash? This problem seems to be associated with a faulty power management software upgrade from Lenovo / IBM. A solution to the Lenovo Thinkpad T41 random crash problem can be found here.

Continue Reading 4 comments February 5th, 2007

Google Earth – Crime Fighter

Over the last month or so, a rather cryptic message has kept cropping up on the Google Webmaster Help Forum. The message gives a lat and long, and asks for anyone that can provide ‘streaming satellite imagery or satellite photos’ of a certain location at a certain time. This piqued my interest a little, so I went to google earth, and here, for what it’s worth, is what I’ve found…

Continue Reading 4 comments February 4th, 2007

Configuration

Using the BlixKrieg Theme

First things first 🙂 :-

  1. Do you want ads on your site? If not, read no further – all you need to do is open the adsense.php file, and add a ‘#’ in front of the line that says ‘define(AdsenseOn,1)’ (about three lines down) or just delete that line altogether.
  2. You need to change the $GoogleADID variable in the adsense.php file to reflect your own adsense ID. If you don’t, the default is my adsense ID, and I’ll make cash from your traffic – I don’t mind, but that’s not my intention.
  3. Please don’t remove or modify any of the footer links – I link back to wordpress, the original author of the Blix Theme (Sebastien Schmieg) and (my sponsor) utheguru there – it’s only fair we get credit for our work, and it’s not only ethically wrong (considering the theme is made available free on the basis of acknowledgement), but also a violation of the principles of the GPL if you remove these links.

Ok… how to use it.. well, as I said, it’s heavily based upon the Blix theme, so anyone who has used Blix will be pretty familliar, but anyway, here goes – if you don’t understand a step, just come and blog me at http://www.utheguru.com

Step 1:- Unzip BlixKrieg in the right place – how? not difficult.. If you have command line access (eg linux ssh) place the BlixKrieg.zip (or BlixKrieg.tgz) file in your themes directory (usually in wordpressroot/WP-content/themes/) and unzip it – in linux, you just type ‘unzip BlixKrieg.zip’ in a command line, and it will create a folder called BlixKrieg-Adsense in your themes directory. Alternatively, if you use a hosted system like C-Panel, you can unzip the file on your windows PC, and transfer the resultant directory BlixKrieg-Adsense over to your themes folder using FTP.

Step 2:- Get it working.. Go to your admin control panel, go to the presentaton menu, click on themes, then click on the ‘BlixKrieg with Adsense’ theme which should now be there – you should now get a message saying your theme has been changed. Right – check it out? You got ads? all look ok? now on to the customisation..

Step 3:- Customisation Really, some of this stuff is a bit more advanced than what many of you will need to do, so I’ll just start with the basics –

Basic Customisation

  • In the themes folder, open the BlixKrieg folder, and then open adsense.php
  • a few lines down i’ve commented “put your google adsense ID here..” – the line says $GoogleADID = “pub-1310268436182119” – you need to replace pub-1310268436182119 with your adsense ID. If you need to join adsense, or you don’t know how to find your adsense ID, no probs – just come to my blog at http://blog.utheguru.com/blixkrieg-a-new-wordpress-theme-with-google-adsense/ and I’ll explain it more.
  • another few lines down, you have $GoogleAdChan = “9858673772”; – change the 9858673772 to your custom channel ID (again, see my blog for more details). If you don’t know what this is, just change “9858673772” to “”, or even just leave it.
  • The next little section is all about colours etc – you shouldn’t need to change these because they are already blended with the theme, but if you do need to change them, that’s where you do it. the lines I’m talking about are something like this:- $Googleborder = “A3C159”; $Googlebg = “FFFFFF”; $Googlelink = “000000”; $Googleurl = “FEC42D”; $Googletext = “000000”; Ok, the rest of the stuff in the adsense.php file is for us guru’s… you can change the shape, size, format etc of each and every one of the ads on the site.. I think there is like 12 different ad units.. If that scares you, read no further, and make sure you come along to my blog and say hi!

Advanced Customisation

Ok everyone – so – you want to change my defaults and have different sized ads.. for instance, you don’t want a 120×600 text tower in the Right Hand toolbar, you want a 200×200 image ad –

NO WORRIES! Easy Done..

Here is how.. – this is directly out of the adsense.php file…


/*****************************************************

** each adunit can be set by changing the numbers after it. 

** The two number seperated by a comma represent the style 

** and whether you want the ad displayes as image, text or 

** no preference respectively. The codes are below… **
********************************************************

/*************************************************
** The first number represents the type of ad **
** you wish to have.. the codes are:- **
** **
** 1 = Leaderboard(728×90) **
** 2 = Banner (468×60) **
** 3 = Button (125×125) **
** 4 = Half Banner (234×60) **
** 5 = Skyscraper (120×600) **
** 6 = Wide Skyscraper (160×600) **
** 7 = Small Rectangle (180×150) **
** 8 = Vertical Banner (120×240) **
** 9 = Medium Rectangle (300×250) **
** 10 = Square (250 x 250) **
** 11 = Large Rectangle (336×280) **
** 12 = Small Square (200×200) **
*************************************************/

/******************************************

** The second number represents how **
** you want the add displayed **
** 0=image only **
** 1 = Text Only **
** 2 = Don’t Care (this is the default **
********************************************/

// Footer = the ad at the bottom of the page, sidebar = the ad in the right hand
// navigation pane, and Indent = the ad in the middle of the post.

// Front = main (index) page of the site..
$FrontFooterFormat = array(2,2); //eg, 2,0 represents 2=Banner 468×60, 0=Display as image.
$FrontSidebarFormat = array(5,0);
$FrontIndentFormat = array(5,2);

// Static are non-blog pages on the site – like, for instance, the about page.
$StaticIndentFormat = array(10,2);
$StaticFooterFormat = array(2,0);
$StaticSidebarFormat = array(6,2);

// Blog are what you see when you actually click on an individual blog topic –
// like http://blog.utheguru.com/blixkrieg-a-new-wordpress-theme-with-google-adsense/
$BlogIndentFormat = array(5,2);
$BlogFooterFormat = array(2,2); //this first footer pops in between post and comments.
$BlogFooterFormat2 = array(2,0); //this second footer is for posts with no comments.
$BlogSidebarFormat = array(5,0);

// Archive – Last months posts..
$ArchiveSidebarFormat = array(7,2);
$ArchiveFooterFormat = array(2,2);

// Error – when user tries to go to a page that doesn’t exist
$ErrorFooterFormat = array(2,2);

// Search – when user gets search results.
$SearchFooterFormat = array(2,2);

YOU CAN CHANGE THESE NUMBERS AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE – YOU WON’T BREAK ANYTHING.

_________________
Ok –

CIAO!

TheDuck

5 comments February 1st, 2007

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