Any Questions?

My new years resolutions for 2011….

#1: Blog more often.

#2: Steal John Lamertons’ Ask Lammo feature.

You see, I love blogging – but I lack inspiration.

I’m not interested in writing about the same old nonsense you hear across the SEO blog echo chamber (‘Will Google penalize me…‘) or affiliate forums (‘When will Mark Pearson finally realise that…‘).

Like Lyndon at Cornwall SEO, all that bores me & I don’t blog to pick up clients.

What I want is to hear your questions on…

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Buying/selling websites
  • Dabbling in domains
  • PPC
  • Organic Search

In short: any topic I might have both experience and opinions on – provided that it’s not been done to death elsewhere.

  • What one thing would help you take your sites to the next level?
  • What insider secret can you not get anybody to spill the beans on?
  • Why the hell should you brainstorm blog post ideas for me?

Wait – not that last one…

Ask away via my contact form or @QualityNonsense on Twitter. If I can’t answer it, I’ll tell you. If I can answer it, I’ll blog about it.

Be sure to give me your site’s URL, so I can give it a plug, too.

Then go join Easy Content Units to make up for me pinching John’s feature idea…

PS. Picture c/o this Flickr user.

InTrust Domains: Is It a Scam?

Lots of people appear to be asking “is InTrust Domains a scam?”.

You can decide for yourself in a moment. Ever get one of these emails?

Below is some handy advice on how to cut them out & save $1000s when acquiring domains.

This won’t be news for domainers or others well versed in WHOIS spam, but hopefully will save some regular people a little hassle & a lot of money.

What’s Going On?

InTrust Domains contacted me regarding a ‘similar’ (read: near identical) domain for sale.

InTrust Domains were very concerned that I should hear that the .COM would soon be available for sale. As such, they spammed me via my WHOIS info.

However, InTrust Domains did not own the .COM domain. Yes, you read correctly.

I own the .NET, somebody else owned the .COM – but the .COM registration had lapsed and was about to drop.

That means anybody – you, me or hell even “Arthur Simmons” – would be free to register it once the registration lapses.

Reread their pitch email – they don’t offer to sell it to me, or say they own it. They merely ask if you are interested in it.

I’ve no idea what InTrust Domain’s busines practices are. However, I’ve heard rumours of other unscrupulous companies using emails like this to decide which domains to dropcatch – and then trying to sell domains on for $1000s.

What Is Dropcatching?

When a domain registration lapses, it becomes available (after a period) for anybody to register. Dropcatching is the process of buying lapsed domains the moment they become available to re-register.

Since many people are often trying to reregister these domains – for traffic, backlinks or simple domain value – competition can be fierce.

That’s why you need to use a dropcatching service to snipe the domain for you the millisecond (literally) it becomes available to register again.

How to Dropcatch a Domain

There’s no need to pay Arthur Simmons or InTrust Domains $1,000s to do this – anybody can do it themselves, typically for c. $69.

#1. Join

#2. Backorder your desired domain before it drops. Minimum bid is $69.

#3. Cross your fingers & wait to hear if they catch the domain.

If others are also bidding on the same domain – as will happen with popular keywords – the domains enter an auction, starting at the top bid received pre-drop. If not – your base bid wins at $69.

I use SnapNames all the time, and the service is excellent. Good luck, and let me know how you get along in the comments.

We Buy Websites Under New Ownership

Last year, I setup a mailing list called We Buy Websites to help people buy/sell websites & domains away from the ‘usual suspect’ sites, like Flippa and Digital Point.

Alas, it took a back seat as other projects took off, so I didn’t give it the time it deserved.

A few months ago, I struck a deal to sell We Buy Websites and the mailing list to Farlex Inc.

Now you may not know the name, but Farlex publish some HUGELY popular sites that you’ve almost certainly used, such as

I’ve spoken at length with CEO Steve Boymel & know that that they will be turning We Buy Websites into everything I always planned to (but never got around to!).

Expect to see way more sites for sale, way more often. What’s not to like?

7Books: For Fans of Books 1.0

While I love the internet – I love books more.

By which I mean heavy, inefficient, analogue, paper-based books – not ebooks. Books 1.0, if you will.

My mate Tom feels the same way, and has just launched his very first ever coding project to tell the world.

The site is called 7 Books, and it’s a site for users to share lists of their favourite books. Think Amazon Wishlists had they not been hit with the ugly stick. It’s built using Google App Engine & Python, uses your Google Account to login & looks beautiful.

Check out the discussion at Hacker News or try 7 Books for yourself.

PubCon 2010: Who’s Going?

Wynn Hotel, Vegas

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Pubcon is the best webmaster conference bar none.

I arrived in Las Vegas for PubCon 2010 last night. If you’re attending, I’ll see you in the Wynn Parasol bar. If not – Raven SEO Tools have setup to track Twitter coverage of the conference sessions.

Google Suggest Scraper

I know I’m not the only one looking for one: here’s a handy Google Suggest Scraper. Enter a keyword, select a language & it’ll tell you what keywords Google suggests their users may be looking for.

Of course, it won’t work with words on the Google Suggest blacklist