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Author Topic: Voluntary contributions for ads
RonHoll
Posts: 112
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: May 30, 2010 at 12:24:22)

 
Your items are showing up on Google Product Search (products.google.com). That was originally the Froogle shopping site.

Getting into the regular Google search is a difficult thing for the dynamic pages (which is where the listings are). This is the so called dark part of the web. We have every link submitted to Google, and in fact Google has over 2.5 million hits on our site this month, having downloaded 40GB of data. Most of that is from the listing pages. But they don't display most of them in regular searches. Everything their crawler finds that is not dynamic shows up... what it takes to get the links they find via site maps is a mystery. But we're keeping at it.

Thanks for all your support!
 
kncbooks
Posts: 8
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: May 30, 2010 at 00:34:05)

 
"Our one million plus listings are not enough for any book search sites to pick us up, or even look at us."

Sad, but probably true. But what about Google searches? I tried Googling a couple titles I have that are fairly scarce - my listing on Amazon showed up, but not the one here. (Yes, I list there too - I would rather it sold here, but I am in business to sell books.) I chose these titles because I actually have a customer asking about them. I'm no expert in SEO, but if we don't show up on Google ...

For my part, when i get done rebuilding my Website I will be including links to SM. I encourage others to do so as well. I think things will only get harder for the independents unless we pool our knowledge and support sites like this.
KnC Books
 
RonHoll
Posts: 112
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: May 27, 2010 at 19:51:02)

 
Hi Chris,

I believe the BookThink ad brought a few new sellers. Part of the problem with the recent slow rise has been lack of inventory from sellers that signed up. Currently, there are 192 booksellers with confirmed registrations, but 34 have not loaded any books for sale. I have no idea how that 18% rate matches with other sites.

We are definitely moving toward increasing the buyer activity now. With almost one and a quarter million listings, I'm very pleased with the response from booksellers. Erica has signed on to help spread the word to the buying public, and with a new ad or two in June we'll hopefully be getting more sales. Traffic has actually been up, so that is a good sign. In general, though, I keep hearing about how bad the market is right now all over. Our plan is to have these new marketing ideas in place when things turn around soon.

I think you are correct about that 150 Mil number. Our one million plus listings are not enough for any book search sites to pick us up, or even look at us.
 
hartmann
Posts: 43
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: May 27, 2010 at 11:49:44)

 
Hi Ron -

Did your ad on BookThink do any good pulling in a few more sellers? Is your focus still on adding new sellers to increase inventory, or more toward bringing in a few buyers now ? It looks like ScribbleM inventory is only on a very slow increase for now. That's fine with me, but I'm afraid the public may be brainwashed to only look at sites with 150 Mil. Have not had my first real sale through Scribble, but I still see a hopeful future here. Thanks again. I like the way you separated out the 'About Me' and 'Terms of Sale'.

Chris
 
RonHoll
Posts: 112
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: March 21, 2010 at 19:16:45)

 
I think they will soon own everything
Yikes.

Yes, I wonder what the cost is for that spot. I'll ask.
 
kgnature
Posts: 12
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: March 21, 2010 at 18:46:34)

 
Sorry, I meant the fact that Amazon owns Alexa.
I think they will soon own everything :(
First Abe Books, then the world.

the "Book Search" link that looks like it is part of the site

Really, I think it's a form of advertising. I've seen it done on other sites. I wonder what the going price for that spot is.


 
RonHoll
Posts: 112
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: March 21, 2010 at 18:33:03)

 
Sorry, I meant the fact that Amazon owns Alexa.

re Book Source Magazine: Are we talking about the same thing? I didn't mean the ad they have there, but the "Book Search" link that looks like it is part of the site, but takes you to biblio. Every other menu item on that bar takes you to a different part of their site (Book News, Book Fairs, Book Clubs, etc). All except the search.
 
kgnature
Posts: 12
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: March 21, 2010 at 18:11:30)

 
I think the data for Amazon is about right. They are having phenomenal success right now - even while B&Ms and other online booksellers are struggling. Publisher's Weekly Daily Newsletter has had several articles about this. And keep in mind that it's not just books. Amazon has the market in a number of categories. It's amazing and at the same time disheartening for anyone trying to compete.

Alexa has a toolbar that is used by webmasters trying to develop competitive sites that is a very useful tool. It is also a tracking device that allows Alexa to collect information about your web and search behavior. The same tracking device is built into toolbars and gismos provided by other companies and installed on computers around the world, and Alexa extrapolates web and search behavior based on this information. The tracking information is what helps pay for a lot of the "free gizmos" that you can download to your computer. It's kind of sneaky and surprisingly accurate.

re: Book Source Magazine - I don't think the fact that they have a search link to Biblio means that they aren't independent. It's just an ad that Biblio is running on that site. You can find that ad on other sites as well.

Jackie
 
RonHoll
Posts: 112
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: March 21, 2010 at 16:04:46)

 
Book Source Magazine has a Book Search link along the top menu bar. It links to Biblio; not real independent there are they?

I'll be contacting these places, as we are close to our first goal and ready for the next stage. Any other suggested places for us to consider advertising with, please post them.

Thanks Chris and Jackie.


re: Alexa: Not sure I trust numbers coming from Amazon.
 
kgnature
Posts: 12
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: March 21, 2010 at 10:07:49)

 
I didn't mean to indicate that there is no value in advertising on these sites. There is tremendous value in getting the name out there and seen by the right people, and having incoming links from high value sites can only help, but I wouldn't expect enough actual sales to make the ad pay for itself. This would be more of a move toward branding than generating sales, and it's not a bad idea.

I think Ron is on the right track. Getting a lot of listings if a good first step.

Jackie
 
hartmann
Posts: 43
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: March 21, 2010 at 05:50:17)

 
The rank for BookSaleFinder and BookThink are not all that bad, considering. The small sites I mentioned have the advantage of being niche book sites, which is a good thing. BookSourceMagazine ranks fairly low, but it has been around a long time in print and online and is viewed by some 'old school' dealers and collectors. Another good site for a small ad would be Fine Books & Collections Magazine. They have a nice website which is probably visited by quite a few excellent op/rare dealers.
 
kgnature
Posts: 12
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: March 20, 2010 at 20:35:25)

 
Ron,

I looked them up on Alexa.com. This is probably the most reliable place to get that kind of info. For the most part these sites don't have enough traffic to be tracked but you can still find useful information. For instance, the first one (sorry, I forgot the name) seems to be attracting people looking for magazines. Of the top 5 keyword searches that landed a visitor on the site, 4 of them included the word "magazine". You can pick up a lot of useful tidbits like this at Alexa. Also, once you find a site at Alexa look at the "compare to" sites. Sometimes you can find a higher traffic site with better keywork similarities that way.

Also, you can find whether a book is rising or falling in popularity. I try to find "risers" because you know someone is working to make that site successful. A bookselling site will have natural seasonal rises and falls because of seasonal variations such as textbook season, but in general you want to find the risers.

There are lots of metrics and analytics at Alexa to help you decide who you want to work with.

Jackie
 
RonHoll
Posts: 112
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: March 20, 2010 at 19:08:04)

 
Hi Chris and Jackie,

Thanks for the thoughts on ads, contributions, etc. We definitely will keep this site fee-free. We have started testing out advertising using Google, which I don't care for, and I would really like to get some fixed ads going. Those places you mention, Chris, are good ideas. Jackie, do you have an idea of what traffic they get?

We are just two months in, and our primary focus has been getting the inventory to a minimum level (I've always considered 1M to be a critical number). If an ad dollar drives traffic here, I want to have good odds on there being a hit on a book search. I certainly don't want to spend that dollar and have someone say "there's not much there". Thus, you haven't seen much in the way of advertising. But we are very close to the point where I think ads are worthwhile. I don't even mind if the sales don't pay for the ads... as long as folks that visit leave with a positive feeling, and the intention to return.

I do believe that any 'spreading the word' activity would be the best help, especially among other booksellers. Places like BookFinder, AddALL, etc won't work with us because the site has too few listings.

 
kgnature
Posts: 12
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: March 20, 2010 at 15:24:00)

 
Another thought - Maybe we could consider donating our time instead of our money. Rich content is the key to getting a natural Google boost. If enough people are interested, maybe we could contribute content. We could write articles about bookselling and book buying, book reviews, etc. It might be fun to write reviews of books for specific "days" such as mother-in-law's day, secretary's day, etc. and include links to our own books as an incentives to provide material.

To help even more with the rank, when an author is willing we could offer our articles to other sites with a stipulation that they provide a byline such as this article was provided by Scribblemonger" target="_blank">www.scriblemonger.com">Scribblemonger Book Exchange

I'm just brainstorming - I hope others will contribute ideas.

Edited to add: Sorry, the link didn't work, but I hope you get the idea.

Jackie
 
hartmann
Posts: 43
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: March 20, 2010 at 14:41:04)

 
Hi Jackie -

No, I certainly don't mind you adding your thoughts on the matter. I thank you for your thoughts!

Chris
 
kgnature
Posts: 12
re: Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: March 20, 2010 at 14:19:09)

 
I hope you don't mind if I add my thoughts.

I think soliciting voluntary contributions is a bad idea, especially since this is private, for profit business.

I understand that there is very little room for an advertising budget with this business model. Frankly, it takes a lot of investment to get something like this off the ground. I'm afraid I don't know the solution to that. One possibility would be to charge fees, but the site would lose sellers and have trouble getting new ones to sign up. I know a few sellers who listed here because it was free.

The sites you mentioned don't have enough traffic to generate enough sales to give a decent ROI, even if the cost if very low. One thing that advertising on respected sites like these would do is to help raise the google rank giving a higher placement in the search engines. Getting a high rank is the key to having your sites seen on keyword searches. However, it would only raise the rank if the site uses a direct link rather than a referal link.

What this site needs right now is some good word-of-mouth and some clicks on google and yahoo keyword searches.

BTW, Ron, I noticed that you advertise on some of the coupon sites. Did you know that they aren't using direct links?

Jackie
 
hartmann
Posts: 43
Voluntary contributions for ads
(posted on: March 20, 2010 at 09:53:57)

 
Hi Ron -

Do you think SBE should consider asking for voluntary member contributions for a small 'ad campaign'? I thought you might like to put an ad up at some websites like BookSourceMagazine, Hyraxia, BookThink, BookSaleFinder. You could check to see how much these sites charge and let us know.

Chris


 

 

 

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