The Web Authority
Wednesday, May 30
  Got a Site Too Big For Online Sitemap Generators
Here's the solution! Most online Google Sitemap generators only spider up to 500 pages. If you have a site with an active blog you are out of luck. Well until now. Click our blog post title to visit a site that I have just found today that allows you to make a Google Sitemap for up to 5,000 pages fairly easily.

Okay you have a few steps, but if you can not install Python on your web server, are not programatically literate, or like me, simply want to not have to reinvent the wheel, then this may be a good solution for you too.

You need to set up a free account at Free Site Map Generator, then install a special blank text file in the root just to verify your site and click start. The spider creates a site map for you and then allows you to download it as a .zip file.

Here's where you need to manipulate it a bit, open the zip file and then create a .gz file. I use a free utility called win-gz which I found on the Web. Then upload your new sitemap.xml.gz file to your server and feed it to Google Webmaster Central. Why take the extra step to .gz it? Well if you have a big site, do Google a favor and make it easy to snatch the files. Google Sitemaps do understand the .gz format. In fact at the very beginning of Google Sitemaps this was the only format in which you loaded your sitemap. Now Google will take just plain .xml files, but they do stipulate that for big sitemaps it is best to provide the compressed .gz format.

I have tried a number of other sitemap generators and here is one that I really like for small sites This generator creates a .xml, .xml.gx, ror.xml, and urllist.txt file and is very easy and fast.

So now you have choices for making a Google Sitemap online whether your site is big or small.


Thursday, May 24
  Keep An Eye Open On BBB Claim Scams
I just got this in my email and it is enough to shake up any business owner. My email stated that a William Jackson had filed a complaint against me with the Better Business Bureau.

First I have never had a customer by this name and so I figured it was a scam or virus hoax, but the note sure looked legitimate, but I did not open the PDF attachment. I sent the BBB a note for clarification and then did a search on the Web.

This is what I found. First PDFs can now be exploited for virus attacks. Second the BBB has posted a notice that this is a scam and a new way to embed VB Script using their name. The link in our blog post title will take you to the Better Business Bureau site so you can read all about it and make sure that you are not a victim.

For me, I was a bit shaken up. I really pride myself on offering total customer satisfaction and work really hard to assure it, so to think that there was a customer who had a problem I did not know about threw me for a loop. Until I realized I had no customer by this name.

In fact one of the triggers to identify this may be a hoax was the messages headers were masked and the PDF file had a funny name.

Make sure you are not a victim, just delete the message if it comes from the fictitious address .
Wednesday, May 23
  Google Supplemental Index
Just what is that? Find out if your site is included in Google's supplemental index by using this to do a Google search *** -sjpked of course insert your correct domain name.

I have a few sites that we have designed and not provided content for (the client sent us content) that just have not placed well. I have really struggled to understand why those sites were not well placed as typically we have great success in moving a client in or up. Well now I have the answer and can help future clients. When a client simply snatches content from other sites and passes it off to you, the webmaster, as original content, they are cutting their own throat. The site will typically go right into the Google's supplemental index as Google is too smart to simply let the duplicate content go right into the main index.

There are some times when content across the Web for a specific topic may be similar. Let's say for example you are a merchandise broker and you and others are promoting a set of the same products to the world. This may happen in the franchise business or if you are an affiliate marketeer. The information may be similar. Be careful to take time to make your site's content interesting and create unique features. Consider introducing a questions and answer section on the product or top tips or special reasons for consideration. Do not simply copy content and pass it off as your own. One it is wrong to do this and can cause a copyright issue and two Google will catch you and your new site will end up in the supplemental index. Sometimes we, the webmaster, simply do not know where you have gotten your content. If you have copied it, please let us know so we can rework it (for an extra fee unfortunately) and keep you out of the supplemental index.

Once you are in the supplemental index, it is a hard thing to move out. Some webmasters recommend abandoning the page URL completely and re-creating content under a new URL. This requires one a full revamping of content and typically a rework of the navigation, plus 301 redirects. Ka-ching. Why not help your webmaster and web designer by being up front initially and investing in unique content. The remediation to repair a problem can be expensive!

Google is really cracking down on duplicate content. So for me, I will have a more frank talk about this specific topic with all new clients and if you are a site owner, please don't take the easy way out and snatch content and just change a few words and pass it off to your web designer as your own. Invest time in making your site unique by creating interesting content that is not a match for what is already out there.

We offer inexpensive content creation charges when we design your website. Invest in your placement on the Web with content that will win with Google, bring you new customers, and keep you out of the supplemental index!


Tuesday, May 22
  MFA Sites to be Banned From AdWords June 1
MFAs or sites Made For AdSense, also known as AdSense Arbitrage sites are being banned from the Google Content Network effective Juan 1, 2007. Personally I think that this is good news, but in the professionals forums you should hear the squawking.

Made for AdSense or AdSense Arbitrage sites are somewhat shady sites that play on the misspellings of popular domains and exist for one reason to entice people who really land there by accident to click an ad and generate click income for the site owner. A whole cottage industry has been developed catering to this particular strategy with huge AdWord's spend budgets being used to actually drive traffic to an arbitrage site. Typically the site owner moves in and out of domains quickly, sometimes even using the three day domain period and then returning the domain to ICANN at no charge to work the traffic. What you should know is that this is not a legitimate business making opportunity and shaded in gray.

There are many involved in the field who would hotly contest my comments and say that this is free enterprise at its best, but I have long felt that these were not legitimate business efforts and finally Google has recognized that and is actively shutting down these account. Webmasters involved in this "industry" will now have to look for another avenue to scam people into clicking their links and inflating their profits at the expense of "real advertisers". I say thanks Google for getting rid of this blot in the AdSense program.


Monday, May 21
  Sending Large Files
I just spent quite a bit of time trying to send a client photos for their printer. The files were large. Even zipped, the file got bounced. Even sent one at a time the files got bounced.

Enter in YouSentIt to the rescue. I was able to upload my one zip file with the 15 300 dpi photos for the printer and load it and send the client a link. How very convenient. I won't waste time trying any other way next time.

Oh I know I forgot to say it was FREE for the Lite version. Click my post title and check it out yourself, you may want to book mark the site for when you get in a jam.


Friday, May 18
  Want a $50 Click Credit for Yahoo Sponsored Search?
Now's the time to get a $50 credit when you open a self-serve new Yahoo Sponsored Search Marketing account. Just click our post title and set up your new Yahoo account.

If you need professional help, checkout our website for pricing for Yahoo Sponsored Search account set up and account management. We call it our Easy Start program.


  Commision Junction Woes
Commission Junction is one of the biggest services for webmasters to make money with their sites on the web, but I have to tell you I personally feel that they are very difficult to work with.

One, they have this infuriating policy about disabling your account for non-activity, but non-activity in their eyes. I have to tell you, you should watch your account regularly. Then have you tried to use their reporting system? Talk about non-user friendly!

For me, I am a Yahoo Ambassador and so get a preferential commission rate for Yahoo Search Marketing sign ups. Yahoo had moved into a CJ managed program earlier this year, and that's when my problems started.

Currently I have Yahoo and CJ working to resolve my problem, but am I hopeful that it will be fixed and be paid? Actually no I am not. I will most likely not be paid for any activity that had occured in my account in the last 6 months because of a glitch in their system that approved me and sent me a welcome letter, but in their control panel denied me. I am currently going around and around with them and am getting exhausted by it.

The biggest problem that I see is that Yahoo has outsourced this important aspect of their business. Google has this all done in house with their own AdSense program for Google AdWords, and Yahoo really should take notes. By outsourcing their commission payment for referral programs they have brought in a cadre of people who really don't care if someone is frustrated and drops their program.

The amount of contact to try to resolve a problem is just unbelievable. So far I have worked with Yahoo's Ambassador team at Kowabunga, (they outsource this aspect too - shame on you Yahoo), and Yahoo directly, as well as the Yahoo team at CJ (who from my point of view is totally in the dark).

Okay I'm done with my rant for the day, but good grief, the web is rife with complaints about Commissions Junction and this is just another one.

Here is one tip though. If your Commission Junction account does get deactivated at CJ, get on the phone and get with Technical Support. Here is the Commission Junction phone number 800-761-1072 and boy was it hard to get! They can actually re enable it for you to give you another chance. As for me, this is it. If I get deactivated, I will go back to my regular program and get rid of all CJ links.


Wednesday, May 16
  Google AdWords Compared to Yahoo Sponsored Search

You'll want to click our blog post title to download our newly updated Google AdWords Compared to Yahoo! Sponsored Search White Paper.

This 8 page white paper contains detailed case study analysis and recent updates to include the new Yahoo Panama interface and first quarter 2007 client case studies. You will need to share your email address with us to download the paper. This will subscribe you to our monthly e-newsletter, but you can easily unsubscribe if you don't like your first newsletter issue.


Tuesday, May 15
  Google AdWords Recertified
I have just completed and passed my testing to re certify my Google AdWords Qualified Individual credentials for another two years.

Google has changed the exam and I found it easier than the first, but they have not updated all of the information in the exam to reflect new account improvements. Plus I studied so hard on Google Analytics and AdWords Editor and there were no questions on the exam on that topic. For example the information on invoicing does not match the test. The training module states that an account with three months of activity of $1500 per month would qualify but the exam had two case studies that matched that and yet it appeared that they were looking for an answer for $5000 a month and that was the old figure. There were also questions on how to calculate quality score with case studies and no training modules on that specific topic. Hmm, Google you need to update to be fair.

The training modules need to more closely match the exam as I wondered how some of the questions could possibly be answered given the training information. Well so much for griping, I will not have to look at the training program unless something new is released for a while.


Thursday, May 10
  Nancy McCord Interviewed on Ghost Blogging for Investors Business Daily
Today in the Thursday May 10th print issue as well as in the online issue. Nancy McCord of McCord Web Design was quoted in an article on ghost blogging.

You can click our blog post title to read the full article online. The article appearing in the Internet & Technology section is titled "Writing Blogs Can Be So Hard, So Get Help" by Tony Kontzer.

I think that you'll find the interviews by Nancy McCord and several others on the topic of using blogs for business and hiring a ghost blogger interesting reading.
  Vista Compatiblity
You know my Tech Director is pushing me to move into Vista. I have been longing myself to move to Office 2007, but unfortunately I will have to wait to do both.

I researched on the Web yesterday which of my workhorse applications will have problems with Vista and all of my key applications are not compatible at this point with Vista. All have the comment noted on the various websites "should run but there are documented problems". Well that's enough to keep me from moving to Vista at this point. I just can't have downtime or application issues.

Another consideration is to use Vista, I will have to upgrade Flash Professional 8, Photoshop CS2, Adobe GoLive CS2, Acrobat 7 Professional, and the list goes one. Upgrades for each of these items is any where from $150 to over $200. Now I find out that Acrobat Professional doesn't even work with Office 2007. Yikes, every contract and report I send to clients is a Word document turned into a PDF.

Good Grief Microsoft! Did you think this all through? Personally I want to move forward with my technology but not at the expense of crashing my business or having to use two computers to get my work done - one for Vista and one for all things that won't work on Vista.

So for me, I am going to have to wait until the software manufacturers post on their website yes we are Vista compliant, or here is a patch to upgrade your software, or no you must upgrade to the next version and yes then it will work on Vista. Until that time, I am the XP Pro gal!


Tuesday, May 8
  New Improved Google Analytics on Its Way
Click the post title to watch the summary video from Google of what the new Google Analytics provides. At first glance it seemed like it was being dumbed down for the average person and no longer a professional tool, but watch the video and then you'll know that assessment is wrong.

It appears that Analytics has added some easier ways to access your information without having to endlessly drill down to find reports. Analytics has not necessarily been an intuitive tool. Now at least it will focus on being more visual on main control panels.

I think that it is a good change see if you agree!


Monday, May 7
  AdWords Preferred Cost Bidding Analysis
You've probably seen this new type of bidding in your account by now - preferred cost bidding versus maximum cost per click bidding. But should you use it?

I tried the settings on my own account for a week and this is what I found. I got:

25% less clicks
16% less impressions
8% less click throughs
a 4% higher overall average cost per click
I spent 5% more overall

For me preferred cost bidding increased my costs and decreased my performance.

When would I even consider using preferred cost bidding?
If you have a product that you are selling online that is a set price and you want to have a set advertising cost to hard code in for your ROI equation, then I feel preferred cost bidding would be right for you. Would I recommend other advertisers change to preferred cost bidding. You may want to try it like I did, but Google did not make a billion dollars in profit last quarter for nothing. I just don't think that this new option will replace the maximum Cost per Click bidding that is used more frequently. I think that in the long run to have a set average bid will cost you more and not deliver the clicks and impressions that you want when tested over time.


Friday, May 4
  Just Launched Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics
We've just launched a new website for Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics.

What an improvement over the old site. This content rich site and optimized for search engine performance on global fulfillment and fulfillment outsourcing is ready to start bringing prospects to our client. We have used the My Contact Form for the processing of the fees form and contact form on the site if you want to check them out.

The site is set up with a static layout that is wider to accommodate larger screen sizes and yet not alienate the decreasing population of smaller screen size user's too badly. With significantly improved navigation and site architecture this 24 page site finally addresses all of the client's service offerings in a concise way.

We provided additional content creation services as well. Make sure to read the Case Studies page as the studies are so well written they read like a novel - kudos to our copywriter Sue Guirl for an exceptional job on them. They are real, interesting reading, and quickly portray a picture of the company and their services.

If you are looking for fulfillment services make sure to click in. If you just want to see a new site and browse around we invite you to visit Medallion too.


Thursday, May 3
  Our Bright Idea Tip: Microsoft's Online ClearType Tuner

You'll love this bright idea tip and online Microsoft tweak for your computer screen. It's a ClearType tuner. Just visit this Microsoft link and follow this very simple three part online wizard to get your screen set up properly. (You must at least have Windows XP to use the tuner.)

This is what the tuner application does: "ClearType delivers improved font display quality over traditional forms of font smoothing or anti-aliasing. ClearType improves readability on color LCD displays with a digital interface, such as those in laptops and high-quality flat panel displays. Readability on CRT screens can also be somewhat improved."

The steps are easy and you will simply be asked to select which paragraphs appear better to you as you move through the process. The tuner will work directly with your computer settings to improve your on-screen readability. You can always return easily to the default settings, so click in and tune-up today! Thanks Microsoft!


Wednesday, May 2
  Blog-World Watch
Well I finally have my other blog for blog topics all set up. It is called Blog-World Watch. The real reason for the set up is not to make more work for myself, but that I am doing a white paper on the use of Blogspot publishing and custom domains versus FTP publishing on with archives and posts back on your own hosting server.

I will be analyzing traffic over a two month period and am tracking site traffic with Urchin on this blog and Google Analytics on Blog-World Watch. Not only am I trying to really determine in quantifiable terms whether you do of do not get search engine benefits with Blogspot, but I am also trying out all of the very cool new Ajax widgets that the new Blogger is showcasing and will be reviewing them as well. Look for major changes in our blog section of our website as we identify what will work best for our client needs.

This should be a very interesting white paper so stay tuned. I'll make sure to announce it here when it is ready. In the meantime, I encourage you to build my traffic :0) (hint, hint) on Blog-World Watch, by kindly going to visit it every now and then. I would much appreciate that so that I can have some traffic to evaluate.

Blog-World Watch will be focused on ghost blogging, blogging for search engines, how to make money with your blog and can you make money, new blog platforms and widget reviews for Blogger. I think that you will find it as interesting as this blog. I look forward to seeing you there!


  Solutions for Blogspot Custom Domains
I have it figured out - how to set up custom domains on Blogspot. Click in to our sister blog Bog-World Watch for the full information and set up steps. It is not complicated, but why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from my mistakes.


  Custom Domains in the New Blogger
I am in the process of launching a new blog called Blog-World Watch in preparation for a new white paper that I am thinking of doing on blogging.

I love the ability to use the new features but I do want to issue a warning about them.

  1. If you are using FTP settings to send your blog to your website server now, you will not be able to use the best new Blogger features. They are not compatible with FTP blogging.
  2. To use the new Ajax Blogger interface, your blog needs to be hosted at You may want to consider using a custom domain, but I am a power user and even I am having trouble setting this up. Trouble, I mean BIG trouble. The Web is rife with complaints on the custom domain setting and configuration problems. If I figure it out, I will for sure post the resolution here.
  3. I have real concerns about posting a blog to blogspot and whether your site will garner any search engine benefits as you do with FTP blogging. This is my reason for considering a white paper on the topic.

At this point, you can click my blog post title to see absolutely nothing at this point as the custom URL is still broken, but hopefully over time this will be resolved.

So, do I love the new Blogger - yes, but will I use it? Only if I can get the custom domain issue resolved. It appears that it requires a CNAME update in your DNS server information and possibly even the set up of a subdirectory domain on your server.


Tuesday, May 1
  My Contact Form: Online Form Processing Made Simple
We've run into this problem occasionally - where a client's web host does not have a cgi-bin installed, the host does not supply preferred scripts for contact form processing, or the scripts that we have in our library will not work. No longer does a site owner have to live with just an email link as a contact option on their website now there's My Contact Form.

My Contact Form is an online script processing service that allows any website on any server, using any platform to easily and seamlessly integrate code into their web pages and use My Contact Form's server to process a contact form script. No longer will you need to pay $150 to $250 to a programmer to try to troubleshoot your server settings to get a contact form to process.

We have now used My Contact Form on three client websites and have found the service to be cost effective, easy to use, easy to implement, and very reliable. We recommend the unbranded premium version with no advertising links or pop-up. There is a free version available, but why irritate readers when the premium level is so cheap? For $24.99 per year, $14.99 per year if we set it up for you if we are your webmaster or web designer, and you are up and running. My Contact Form allows you to have an unlimited number of forms and with the upgraded version that we use for our clients and up to 5,000 forms submitted per month per account. Plus you can start with their templates or use their online wizard to design free form contact forms.

The final form that you create generates its own HTML code which even the inexperienced user can install in the code of any web page using FrontPage or other HTML editor. Experienced users, such as myself, can easily restyle the appearance of the form and form elements for a totally custom look. When we integrate the form into your website, they appear totally seamless. We have our client forms set up to email an auto-responder confirmation record to the person who has completed the form and then email the completed form using the processing script to the account owner.

You'll never lose a prospect's information again with My Contact Form, as the premium level, which we recommend, also stores a copy of all form submissions online within your account. You'll be assured that you'll receive all your contacts and that one does not end up in your bulk folder unknown to you with their online form filing system.
Follow Web Diva, Nancy McCord, as she teaches you how to develop Web authority for search engines and to improve your Web visibility by positioning your company for strategic success.

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Location: Waldorf, MD, United States

I am the President of McCord Web Services LLC. My firm has been providing Internet services for over seven years.

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