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Good Ideas - But Lacks Tips on What Can Really Help
on November 21, 2011
For over 10 years I have developed hundreds of websites, gotten them ranked well on Google, and have made my clients a great deal of money. But like any experienced web marketer, I'm always looking for fresh ideas for my clients and for myself.
Free Marketing is a good primer if you're new to promoting yourself on the web. Where the author succeeds are the chapters on what he is most experienced with, which is email marketing. Web newbies are provided with useful tips on newsletters, mass mailouts, and automating your marketing emails.
The book also offers useful ideas related to blogging, marketing through the use of original content, and the benefits of promoting your business through Youtube videos.
Having purchased at least 50 sales, marketing and web promotion books through Amazon, I was surprised that the author was probably the first to print an extremely important technique related to Youtube promotion. Google owns Youtube, and tends to mix videos into many of its search engine results. That being the case, a business owner can find their videos on the first page of Google for a search of their target keywords. It's an effective strategy that I've been surprised more web marketing authors haven't emphasized.
Having said all this, the book is unfortunately light on the type of marketing tips that could help most. The author admits that he isn't particularly savvy when it comes to social network marketing (Facebook, Twitter), so the chapters on how to capitalize on using them are lacking. Other books dedicated solely to social networks provide case studies that prove just how powerful promoting yourself through those websites can be with respect to free marketing.
The author's lack of knowledge on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) also hurts how comprehensive a book on free marketing could have been. While the book does provide a simple breakdown of how Google ranks websites, the author paints a grim picture of maintaining a positive ranking.
But the truth is that I have clients that were first on Google eight years ago that are still first on Google today, simply because they meet Google's largely unchanging criteria for ranking well. There is no "Google Code" (as he puts it) to crack, it really boils down to proper on-site optimization, original content, and scoring quality backlinks from other sites. Despite the author's dislike of informational websites, my clients have generated millions in revenue thanks to having deep sites with interior pages that also ranked well for highly-specific keyword searches (long tail keywords).
The author's misfires on SEO are most obvious when he suggests leaving comments on blogs with links back to your site to improve your ranking. Most experienced web marketers, however, know that almost all blogs include "nofollow" attributes to links that appear in the comments area. A nofollow tag instructs search engines to not place any value on the link, making it worthless unless someone actually clicks on it. Long story short, blog comment links won't help you at all with respect to Google ranking, nofollow was created to discourage spammers from trying to game search engines. [update on author's response at end of my review].
Overall, this is a good primer when it comes to web marketing, but it's definitely not a comprehensive book. Having a focus on SEO and social network marketing would multiply the results you get from this book's techniques. If you're new to web marketing, buy it, but also supplement it with other books such as:
SEO: The Ultimate Web Marketing Guide, Web Marketing All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies
Content Marketing: Content Rules, Get Content Get Customers
Sales Copy & Psychology: Ca$hvertising, Words that Sell, The Copywriting Sourcebook, The Copywriter's Handbook
Social Network Promotion: Likeable Social Media
I hope that you found this review helpful, feel free to comment if you have any questions you want answered with regards to SEO and web marketing.
[2/11/13 Update. The author of this book commented on my review that he made no reference to using blog comments to improve search engine ranking. So in response, I have included in the review comments the chapter, page and paragraph of where he suggests this technique. It is literally the first suggestion of Chapter 16 "Get Found on Search Engines."]
[3/27/13 Update. The author has since deleted parts of his earlier reply, and offered a hasty explanation. But here are the facts: 1. His book was published late 2011, 2. Nofollow was introduced in 2005, 3. Blogs like Wordpress from version 1.5 (released 2005) and onward used nofollow for comment links. This wasn't something that occurred a year or two before his book came out, his suggestion had been outdated six whole years before publishing.]