The Australian Small Business Blog

Monday, July 30, 2007

FAQ How to Get Insanely Rich on the Internet

by Linda Cox

Welcome to the Total Idiot's Guide to Internet Success!

Let's begin:

Q: How long will it take me to get insanely rich?
A: Depends on you. Probably two weeks. Some people take as long as a month.

Q: Does it take hard work or long hours to get insanely rich?
A: No. This is the internet.

Q: Can just anybody get insanely rich?
A: Yes. This is the internet.

Q: How do I proceed?
A: As you're surfing around the net you'll see banners and links that say things like "Make Fourteen Million Dollars in Ninety Days, Click Here to See How!" Simply click the link to get started.

Q: It won't really take ninety days though, will it?
A: Of course not. They just say that so you'll be pleasantly surprised and so it doesn't sound like hype.

Q: Okay, I've found one that says "Retire to Your Own Caribbean Isle in One Month!" Is that good?
A: Perfect.

Q: What does MLM mean?
A: Nobody really knows. Morons Lose Money has been snidely suggested by the little-brains.

Q: I signed up and now I sell low phone rates. They say it's the easiest thing to sell because everyone uses a phone. And since it's MLM, by the time my third level is operating I'll be making $345,915.45 per week.
A: Conservatively.

Q: They say the first step is to get my mother into the program. Why is my sponsor happy that Mom has Alzheimers?
A: Your sponsor is a shrewd business person. People with any sort of memory disorder make the best targ... uh, clients. You can switch your mother's long distance carrier for her, and then start calling the other members of her support group.

Q: That sounds a little fishy.
A: The ends justify the means. You are offering people substantial savings on long distance. It's for their own good.

Q: How else can I get new business?
A: Spam. Spam. Spam.

Q: I thought spam was bad.
A: No, spam is good. Anyone who says it's bad is just jealous because their brains are too small.

Q: But won't I lose my web host and ISP?
A: In the get-rich-quick business, it's important to cultivate a zen-like non-attachment to service providers.

Q: What else can I do to promote my new business?
A: Here's a list of suggestions:
-- Sign up with a free website provider and fill your site with zany colors and flashy banners.
-- Join every free banner exchange.
-- Get your own free-for-all links page.
-- Join every opt-in email list with the word Money, Rich or Lackwit in the title.
-- Buy software that submits your site URL to the 15,000 most important search engines.
-- Buy software that submits your ad to the 50,000 most-read free classified sites.
-- Buy software that submits your link to the 100,000 most popular free-for-all link pages.
-- Hire a bulk emailer.
-- Sponsor a golf tournament.

Q: Okay, I've done all that and I'm still not rich. I haven't even driven my hitcounter to its knees yet. What am I doing wrong?
A: It's possible that you're not very bright. Consult one of your friends who has retired on their internet earnings.

Q: What if I don't have any friends who have retired on their internet earnings?
A: Then contact someone on the internet who has retired on their internet earnings.

Q: What if I've never heard of anyone retiring from their internet earnings?
A: Well, then maybe you can be the first.

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Linda Cox (J.A.M.G.) was actually a real-world corporate marketer for many years before going on the net without a net. Now she's Just Another Marketing Guru. (Link unavailable.)

Share This Article: FAQ How to Get Insanely Rich on the Internet

To send this article to a Friend, click here
Share this article with your online social network when you click on the links below.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Godzilla (ACCC) vs Google

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has decided to take on Google. This should be fun. The ACCC has recently been taking on (and losing) a lot of high profile cases. It has now taken on Google. But first the facts.

An advertiser on Google used keywords of a competitors to show their ads in Google Adwords. This is quite common. But then what they did was to use these keywords as the headline of their ad. I would regard this as unethical. The businesses involved were two car companies, Kloster Ford and Charlestown Toyota. The company using their keyword phrases (the actual business names) was Trading Post, a competing business. What Trading Post did that was unethical, was to have in the headline of their ad, the names of their competitors’ businesses. So that people may have clicked on these ads thinking they were going to Kloster or Charlestown websites, only to be taken to Trading Post. (More here.)

Trading Post settled with these businesses, but it didn’t stop there. The ACCC then decided to go after Google for allowing these ads to appear in the first place, and also for not making sufficiently
clear the difference between advertising and organic search links.

As an advertiser on Google, I do have some strong opinions on all these matters.

Firstly, I believe that the Trading Post use of the business names of its competitors in the headlines of its ads was deceptive conduct. This was passing themselves off as their competitor which is not only unethical, it is also illegal. However, I am unsure whether this was deliberate. One of the little known features of Google Adwords is the ability to insert the chosen keywords into the ad headline automatically. So you may have a hundred keywords, and rather than writing out a hundred ads, one for each keyword phrase in a headline, you can do it once. So Trading Post may have identified this as a keyword phrase they wanted, and it automatically was added to the headline. I would regard this as careless, or even negligent, but maybe not deliberate. But, of course this is wide open to debate.

The second issue is the use of others keywords, so your ad appears alongside your competitors. Now, as long as you are not passing yourself off as your competitor, I don’t see this as such an issue. It is like parking a car with your signage on it in front of your competitor’s store in a public parking space. They may not like it, but it is not illegal. As long as the signage says nothing defamatory, this is ok. I may not do it myself, but in the commercial cut and thrust, it is ok.

If you type in well known brands of cars such as BMW, you will see ads for other car businesses. But unless they are trading in BMW’s you won’t actually see the name BMW in the ad. What Trading Post did, was to use their competitor’s name in their headline- a step too far.

Putiing aside the morality of this, I also question the value of this type of advertising. If I type in “Kloster Ford” and I click on a headline saying “Kloster Ford”, it is pretty clear I am looking for their website (as opposed to just Ford Dealers). So if I get diverted to Trading Post, I am probably going to be annoyed. Not a good first impression for your website visitors to have! The marketing value of being on the same page, but without the name “Kloster Ford” in the ad is more debatable. Since in adwords, you only pay if someone clicks on your ad, if you have a compelling call to action, there is little downside. Unless the ACCC decides to get involved!

While the issues with Trading Post are fairly straight forward, the question of taking on Google is less clear. They are being held to account because they allowed this type of advertising in the first place. The only way that Google could stop this kind of advertising is with human screening of the millions of ads on their website. And even then, they would not stop the really determined. We have also seen similar issues with people unethically putting ads in eBay. It is my belief, that there should be an easily accessible complaints process to Google where someone feels they have been hardly done by, with Google sanctions: like ejection from their search engine- for the worst offenders. This is probably the best penalty you can think of. It would be like being barred from the Yellow Pages.

If the ACCC is successful, and I am sure this would be appealed if they were, you would have the situation of a small market trying to dictate to Google. May they then introduce special pricing to Australia, or maybe just decide just to make their search engine unavailable here.

The other ACCC complaint is that there is insufficient differentiation between organic and paid listings. I believe they are clearly marked, and the statistics are that organic listings are three times more likely to be clicked on than the ads. So I think that is a clear sign that most users can differentiate between the two as well.

Another point is that you can optimise your website (or I could anyway) so that you are on the front page in organic search. So is there really any difference in the end? It is all advertising.

This case is being watched worldwide as it has major implication for the search engine industry.

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems.

Share This Article: Godzilla (ACCC) vs Google

To send this article to a Friend, click here
Share this article with your online social network when you click on the links below.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Is Yours an Emerging Business?

There is a bubble growing in Australian Small Business. Are you part of it?

The ABS defines Small Business as those with less than 20 employees. These businesses provide over 40% of the jobs in the country. It also reports that the average annual growth in active, employing businesses over the last 3 years as 9%. Which is an incredible statistic. But this hides an even more astonishing statistic. That fuelling this growth are, what is somewhat dismissively referred to as, micro businesses. That is businesses with less than 5 employees. This sector has had an average growth of 11% over the same period and makes up an amazing 61% of all businesses.

What is happening here? A bubble is forming in the under 5 employee range. While there were exits and transfers to larger categories, this sector is growing faster than any other. Most micro businesses seem to be trapped within the bubble. With only a few emerging. Actually, the numbers look like this:

New Micro Businesses each Year: 17%
Annual Micro Business Failure Rate: 5%
Net Annual Micro-Business Growth Rate: 11%
Micro Businesses Emerging from the Bubble: 2%

(Note: These numbers are approximate and contain rounding errors)

So within the group defined as micro-business, there is another group that I refer to as Emerging Businesses. These businesses differentiate themselves from all the other micro businesses as the movers. The action takers. The Emerging Businesses are leaving their fellow micro businesses behind. I call those, the Micro-stayers.

The Micro-stayers can be defined as those who remain as micro-businesses, don’t fail, but don’t emerge from the micro-group. This may be as a result of a number of factors. It maybe lifestyle choice. Work-Life balance is becoming more and more important to many people. It maybe because they don’t have the knowledge to take their business to the next level, and become frustrated Micro-stayers. Or they may have progressed from frustrated to resigned Micro-stayers and have adjusted lifestyle and ambition in recognition of this.

The Emerging Businesses, on the other hand, retain their ambition, and where they have found they are lacking in skill or knowledge, have sought out advice. No-one knows it all, and everyone at some point requires help. This may be in the form of education through a course or reading, or it may be with a mentor or a professional advisor or coach. The choice here is a matter of personal style, and how quickly the owners want to achieve their ambitions. But as you see from the statistics, very few people know this and do it!

To become an Emerging Business just requires a determination to do so. The alternative is to become a Micro-stayer within the micro-bubble.

Where will you be when the bubble bursts?

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems.


Awarded Top 100 Small Business Blog

Award from Feedspot, the international RSS blog syndicator.

Featured Book

Dr. Greg Chapman is also the author of
The 5 Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success

The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success




Goggle Plus

Atom Feed