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10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Dreams

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Dreams

Did Inception leave you wanting to know more about dreams? Here are 10 facts about the universal phenomena:


About 12% of people can only dream in black and white. Curiously, the majority of people in 1915 to the 1950s dreamed in black and white. Scientists suggest that this is because of the switch from black and white to color in television and films.


The brain doesn’t invent new faces  in dreams, so every person you see in your dream, you’ve met in real life–whether it’s your best friend, or a stranger you met on the streets several years ago.


At least 95% of dreams are forgotten. Brain chemicals needed to convert short-term memory into long-term ones are absent when a person is dreaming.


Dream recall is notoriously inaccurate. A good idea is to jot down your dreams in a dream diary as soon as you wake up, which aids in long-term recall.


Oneironautics refers to the ability to move in your dream. The first step is lucid dreaming, when you’re aware that you’re dreaming. Dream recall often helps with lucid dreaming.


70% of males have dreams where only other males are present. Females tend to have a more 50/50 split.


With anywhere from four to seven different dreams. That’s why sometimes the progression of dreams seem so random and chaotic.


A false awakening is a dream about awakening from sleep and performing morning rituals, or a dream within a dream.There have been reports of about a hundred consecutive false awakenings.


It is common for people to believe their dreams can predict the future. However, psychologists believe that people merely distort their memory to fit.


There is an entire genre of art dedicated to painting what you’ve dreamed. Dream art is extremely popular, and spans all forms of media.


Sprites – The Computer Chip-Sized Spacecraft That Will Send You a Text Message (for $300)

Sprites – The Computer Chip-Sized Spacecraft That Will Send You a Text Message (for $300)


Sprites, microchip-sized spacecraft, will form swarms by the thousands and transmit sensory data individually back to Earth.

This past August we reported on Sprites, computer chip-sized spacecraft that travel through space and explore as a swarm. Now a member of the research team has launched his own effort to harness the power of the swarm with a Kickstarter pledge campaign to raise $30,000 and send the Sprites into orbit.

In case you missed it, each Sprite measures less than four centimeters on a side and weighs less than 10 grams. Because their size makes it impossible to carry propulsion fuel, these very unconventional satellites will travel through space by being pushed along by photons shot from the sun, pulled along the gravitational currents and eddies known as the Interplanetary Transport Network, or by gravity assist upon nearing a planet. Eventually they will be equipped with sensors such as CMOS cameras – the kind found in common digital cameras – as well as chemical sensors and sensors that measure impacts made by space particles. Each Sprite will operate individually to record and transmit data back to the Earth. When taken together, data from an entire swarm of Sprites will provide a 3D picture of space impossible to achieve with single satellites. Another advantage is cost. While a typical satellite costs between $50 million and $400 million to launch into orbit, the 100 kilograms that 10,000 Sprites weigh would be a negligible add-on to any vehicle already scheduled for orbit.

The wafer-sized spacecraft already have one space mission under their microscopic belts. Last May three Sprites were flown to the International Space Station aboard the space shuttle Endeavour. They were fixed to the outside of the ISS for a two year test to see how they stand up to the harsh elements of space. But their ability to perform as a swarm, however, remains untested – a shortcoming that Zachary Manchester, a graduate student in Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University and part of the team that built the Sprites, would like to remedy. To this end, Zachary has placed the Sprites on the project fundraising website called “KickSat – Your personal spacecraft in space!” You can find it by going to

A Sprite.

KickSat is the team’s modified version of a CubeSat – a standardized, cube-shaped satellite that can cost-effectively bring payloads to orbit. CubeSat’s are small themselves, typically measuring 10x10x10 cm. But that’s plenty of space to house an eager swarm of Sprites. And people like you and me can personalize the mission through a series of donation incentives. For a $25 pledge you get your name printed on one of the KickSat panels. For $75 you get your name printed and a non-functioning Sprite replica. Those who pledge $300 or more will be able to name the Sprite and, when “Chipper” reaches space it’ll actually send the donor a short (up to 4 characters), personalized text message such as their initials. For developers with the means, $1000 will get them a Sprite development kit that includes a fully functioning Sprite, schematics, source code, and programming tools that will enable them to write their own flight code. Within certain limitations that developers would have to work out with Zachary before the launch, the flight code will be run during the test to control their Sprite. These donors will also receive instructions on how to set up a receiving station so they can directly listen to the signals as the Sprites send them from space.

Anyone pledging $5,000 or more will get all I’ve mentioned plus a VIP tour of Mission Control in Ithaca, NY where they’ll learn how the KickSat and the Sprites are built, and they get to be present when “The Big Red Button” is pushed to deploy the Sprites from the KickSat. And for $10,000 you get everything, and you get to push The Big Red Button yourself. Of course, there can only be one Big Red Button pusher, so hurry up and pledge your $10,000 before it’s too late!

KickSat is a CubeSat, a standardized way to deploy small payloads to orbit.

I myself pledged $75 because I want to be a part of this space revolution, this ushering in of a new era, this spawning of off-the-shelf, DIY, poor man’s satellite exploration.

And I wanted a replica.

All kidding aside, the Sprites could be the spark for a paradigm shift in the way we explore space. There’s strength in numbers. The major advantage of a Sprite approach to space exploration is the added certainty that a mission will be completed. If a few hundred fail out of 10,000 or tens of thousands you probably wouldn’t even know the difference. I asked the senior scientist on the Sprite team, Mason Peck, what excited him most about his chip-sized spacecraft. He responded in an email:

“The most powerful idea here is that a cloud of Sprites offers statistical certainty in the completion of a mission. In contrast, a large traditional satellite (say…Cassini or Voyager) has to work with similar reliability, but it has a sample size of one or two. The statistics of a cloud of thousands or millions of Sprites offers so-called statistical confidence that is much higher. and if you want even higher probability of mission success, just add more Sprites; there is no need to rebuild or rearchitect an exquisite single spacecraft to extract higher performance.”

Their incredible light weight also means they can go where no other satellites have gone before. “I want to see these things shot out of the solar system as high-energy projectiles,” says Peck. “The smaller they get, the worse their performance, but he easier they are to accelerate to very high speeds.” Consistent with the group’s mantra of Sprite personalization, Peck is asking how our tech-savvy Singularity Hub might make that happen. “Invite your readers to come up with a way to treat these things as particles in a particle weapon, using a technology that lets them approach maybe 10% of the speed of light. [At those speeds] they’ll reach the nearest star in our lifetimes, and our kids will hear back from them.”

So readers, would you like to be part of the Sprite team? For as little as a buck you can help Zachary get the Sprites to orbit. And for a deep understanding of particle physics and interstellar space travel you can help Peck get the Sprites to Alpha Centauri.

Now didn’t space exploration just get that much more fun?

[image credits:]
images: Sprites

Martin Ford Asks: Will Automation Lead to Economic Collapse?

Martin Ford Asks: Will Automation Lead to Economic Collapse?


Martin Ford's new book asks how automation will effect the near future of the economy.Martin Ford’s new book asks how automation will effect the near future of the economy.

Will the future be filled with cool technologies and endless opportunities or will our own creations lead to eventual doom? I tend to think the former. Technology has seemingly endless ability to improve the health, freedom, and happiness of our lives. Even optimistic futurists like Ray Kurzweil and James Canton admit, however, that the road to advancing technology is fraught with dangers. Super viruses, artificial intelligences run amok, environmental calamity – science has its threats as well as its promises. Yet there could be one near term problem that even futurists tend to ignore – economic collapse. Martin Ford, a silicon valley computer engineer, entrepreneur, and blogger has written The Lights In The Tunnel, a book which explores the economic implications of a world which is becoming increasingly automated. Ford proposes that in the upcoming years robots and computer programs will edge human workers out of their jobs and that unless we take drastic actions this will reduce mass market purchasing power, destroy consumer confidence, and shut down the global economy. Ford has the reader envision these changes during a thought experiment where lights in a tunnel represent purchasing power in the mass market (hence the title). Even after discussing the book with the author, I’m not convinced that The Lights In The Tunnel is an accurate prediction of our future, but I wanted to spread the question: what does increased automation mean for our economy?

It’s hard to deny that robots and computers will eventually take over for humans in many industries. Already we’ve seen how robots like the Flexpicker and Adept Quattro excel at sorting and moving goods in a manufacturing environment. More humanoid creations, likeKawada’s Nextage or Honda’s ASIMO, could take on even more human-like tasks. And then there are the software programs. We’ve recently showcased how sports journalists and other news people could one day face serious competition from virtual writers and performers. Everywhere, automation is progressing and taking over more jobs. Even vending machines are starting to eliminate the needs for some human workers.


Is the Fallacy Itself a Fallacy?

Yet even as technology removes some jobs, it creates others. For every worker taken off the assembly line there’s another added to the maintenance team, or two who become consultants. We’ll never automate away all the jobs, will we? Depends on how advanced the machines become.

Back in the industrial revolution, a group of English textile workers protested the use of mechanized looms. These were the Luddites, who believed that jobs lost to machines would lead to economic ruin. Obviously they were wrong. From these protesters modern economists have derisively coined the Luddite Fallacy – the belief that labor saving technologies will increase unemployment. That fallacy is one of the key issues debated in The Lights In The Tunnel (here after TLITT).

In TLITT, Ford argues that the Luddite Fallacy will only remain a fallacy so long as human capability exceeds technological capability. That is, as long as humans are able to improve faster (or as fast as) machines, humans cannot be fully replaced. Ford worries that we’re approaching a point where machines will exceed human performance to such a degree that the Luddite Fallacy will fall apart. Once a superior automated workforce is created, it could take over a large portion of the jobs in our global market.

Much to Ford’s credit, he considers the implications of technology far beyond the loss of manufacturing jobs. TLITT emphasizes that many high paying positions (research lawyers, software engineers, radiologists, etc) could be automated before more mundane ones (mechanic, housekeeper). Specialized fields with algorithmic approaches to problems can be synthesized. Already, the US and many European countries outsource tech support and similar positions to India. Eventually, Ford argues, they’ll be outsourcing positions to computers.

TLITT goes on to predict some pretty awful results from this widespread automation. With few high paying jobs, there will be less people able to buy goods. Sure, a few robotics corporations and software companies will create a new generation of trillionaires, but the number of consumers with middle class purchasing power will diminish. People will sense that purchasing power is dropping and consumer confidence will also decrease. Eventually all the wealth will be consolidated in a relative few, but with no one to sell to, those wealthy will struggle as the economy continues to wither.


While Ford proposes a good thought experiment, and pulls no punches as he explores all of its implications, I don’t think his assumptions can go unchallenged. First, there are jobs that may never be automated, or even if they could be, consumers will want humans in those positions. Artists, counselors, public officials, entertainers, teachers, and others provide a “human touch” in their work that is unlikely to be achievable by any but the most impressive of artificial intelligences. If such AI comes to exist, the economy may be the least of our concerns.

Second, we may simply transition away from production and service jobs. Just as the bulk of our workforce has shifted from hunting/gathering to farming to crafts to manufacturing to service, it could continue on to entrepreneurship. Owning capital, and developing it, could be the job of the future. Already we’ve seen how open source projects can help you become a mini manufacturing, information, software or robotics mogul. These trends could continue and define the future economy. Or, even if they don’t, we could all heavily invest in public robotics (and software) companies, thus owning the capital of those firms and spreading the wealth.

Finally, while Ford’s “lights in the tunnel” thought experiment is logically sound, it doesn’t come with a lot of numerical evidence. TLITT includes a reasonably enlightening discussion on the slave economy of the Confederacy during the US Civil War, but otherwise dodges finding historic proof for its assumptions. To some degree I understand: the looming global automation would be unprecedented. Still, I feel like the predictions that Ford asserts should come with some sort of hard evidence.

The author was gracious enough to correspond with me and address my concerns. (He was also patient enough to help me understand the important distinction between industrial and end-user consumption.) Ford’s responds to my first critique by pointing out the sheer number of jobs that could be replaced by automation. He has a table on page 59 of his book that describes the largest occupations in the US. The top positions (sales people, cashiers, office clerks, and food preparers) represent millions of workers, none of whom need a college education. The list goes on to describe other positions which could all be automated. Ford asks, can we really expect all of these people to become artists, and performers, and counselors and teachers? Would most people in these new positions get paid enough to support themselves?

As for the rise of a new capitalist society full of entrepreneurs, Ford’s already had that debate before. He and Robin Hanson (a blogging economist) have discussed that very idea (and other ideas presented in TLITT) in various posts on their respective blogs. Can we all own enough shares of a (robotics) company to replace a general lack of employment income? Hanson implies yes while Ford worries the answer is no. You can catch Ford’s first critique of one of Hanson’s academic papers here, Hanson’s response to that critique here, and Ford’s retort here. It’s hard to summarize the eventual tone of the debate, but I think it boils down to: technophiles don’t adequately understand the market (Hanson) vs. automation will cause disruptions that the market may be unable to compensate for (Ford).

The Cure (and other fantasies)

Ford doesn’t leave his readers with just another doomsday scenario, he does his best to find a solution. No, he doesn’t think we should (or perhaps even can) avoid automation. Instead, TLITT explores some pretty radical ways that we could put purchasing power back in the hands of the masses and create non-traditional jobs with economic incentives. He speaks of ‘recapturing wages’ by imposing capital/labor taxes on industries as they automate, and value added taxes to goods as they become cheaper. These taxes should not be large enough to discourage automation, but they could (Ford proposes) provide revenue for a new kind of job.

Ford’s ‘virtual jobs’ are incentivised programs that would reward people for pursuits such as education, civic service, journalism, and environmental responsibility. These jobs would be paid for by the state through the revenue gained through recaptured wages. Those who accomplished more in their virtual jobs would receive higher wages, thus providing the financial incentive that everyone needs to feel like they are really working. There would be some industries and some workers that exist outside of this new system, and plenty of space and encouragement (Ford says) for entrepreneurs, who would still have the most potential for monetary gain.

So, to paraphrase Ford’s solution in my own words: we should take money from automating industries to fund a state guided program that gives money to consumers in exchange for working at bettering themselves. Sounds like a decent plan. Never gonna happen.

The US is freaking out simply at the mention of socialized healthcare, socialized work would be dead on arrival. Maybe when 75% of all jobs are automated (the level supposed in TLITT), the governments of the world will see the benefits of such a system, but even then I doubt it. Ford’s solution requires that the wealthy consent to (or that the public impose) increased taxes to avoid economic ruin. I think that those institutions (or people) in the business of acquiring wealth would sooner face ruin than impediments to their financial gain. Even if everyone wanted to switch to such a system, the scope of the change is monstrous.

But then again, so were the changes brought on by the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions.

For all my critiques of TLITT, I find myself unable to completely argue it away. Automation is increasing, and the economic fall out from that change could be disastrous. Or it could usher in a utopia. We don’t know, and not knowing could prove to be fatal.

After talking with Martin Ford, I’m most impressed with one aspect of his book: it asks a question few seem willing to contemplate. Even if there always are enough jobs for humans, even if a superior automated workforce doesn’t cause economic disruptions, I still think discussing and debating the possibility is an important task. I encourage you to pick up a copy of The Lights In The Tunnel and consider the scenario it warns against. Then add some comments below to get the discussion going. In order to reap the benefits of technology we have to stand ready against the possible threats that it presents, whether or not they ever arise.

How to get traffic from Facebook

How to get traffic from Facebook

Facebook is not the first social network but it is the most popular one. There have been many other social networks before Facebook and while some of them were popular at some point in time, none could reach the popularity of Facebook. In addition to keeping in touch with your friends, Facebook can be (and is) used for business. You can use it to promote your products and services, to acquire new clients, or to get traffic to your site.

Like Twitter, Facebook is just one of the many ways to get some traffic to your site. Many marketers believe that it is just a matter of time for the traffic from Facebook, Twitter and the other major social networking sites to surpass the traffic their sites get from Google.

While this time might come, don’t take this as a promise that even if you do everything right, Facebook, Twitter, or any other similar site will do traffic miracles for you. For some people Facebook works like a charm, for others it doesn’t work at all. The same applies to Twitter. You can’t know in advance if Facebook and/or Twitter will crash your server with traffic. Just try both and see which one (if any) works for you.

Unlike Twitter, which is very simplistic, Facebook offers more possibilities. Yes, you might need more time in order to explore all the possibilities and take advantage of them but hopefully these efforts will have a great return in terms of traffic. Here are some tips that can help you turn Facebook into a traffic monster:

1 Your profile is your major weapon

As with Twitter and any other social network, if you don’t make your profile interesting, you will hardly become popular. Give enough background information for you and don’t forget to make your profile public because this way even people, who don’t know you, when they encounter your profile, they might become interested in you and become a supporter of yours.


2Include information about your site on your Wall and in the photo gallery

Facebook gives you the opportunity to write a lot about you and your endeavors, as well as to include pictures, so use all these opportunities to build interest in you and your products. It is even better to post videos and fill in the other tabs, so if you have something meaningful to put there, just do it.


3Build your network

As with other social networking sites, your network is your major capital. That is why you need to invite your friends, acquaintances, and partners and ask them to join as your supporter. You should also search for people with interests similar to yours. However, don’t be pushy and don’t spam because this is not the way to convince people to join your network.


4Post regularly

No matter how interesting the stuff in your Facebook profile is, if you don’t publish new content regularly, the traffic to your Facebook profile (and respectively the Facebook traffic to your site) will slow down. If you can post daily, it is fine but even if you don’t post that regularly, try to do it as frequently as you can. If nothing else, updating your status regularly is more than nothing, so do it.


5Be active

A great profile, an impressive network, and posting regularly are just a part of the recipe for success on Facebook. You also need to be active – visit the profiles of your supporters, take part in their groups and other initiatives, visit their sites. You are right that all this takes a lot of time and you might soon discover that Facebooking is a full-time occupation but if you notice an increase in traffic to your site, then all this is worth.


6Arrange your page

Unlike other social networks, Facebook gives you more flexibility and you can move around many of the boxes. If you put the RSS feed with the links to your blog in a visible space, this alone can generate lots of traffic for you.


7Check what Facebook apps are available

Facebook apps are numerous and new and new ones are released all the time. While many of these apps are not exactly what you need, there are apps, which can work for you in a great way. For instance, MarketPlace widget/plugin or Blog Friends widget are very useful and you should take advantage of them. You can also use the widgets for crossposting (i.e. posting directly on Twitter from Facebook) because this saves you time.


8Use Facebook Social Ads

If you can’t get traffic the natural way, you might consider using Facebook Social ads. These are PPC ads and starting a campaign is similar to an Adwords campaign.


9Start a group

There are many groups on Facebook but it is quite probable that there is a free niche for you. Start a group about something related to your business and invite people to join it. The advantage of this approach is that you are getting targeted users – i.e. people, who are interested in you, your product, your ideas, etc.


10 Write your own Facebook extensions

While this step is certainly not for everybody, if you can write Facebook extensions, this is one more way to make your Facebook profile popular and get some traffic to your site.


11Use separate profiles

Unfortunately, social networks do expose a lot of personal information and you are not paranoid, if you don’t want so much publicity. Many people are rightfully worried about their privacy on social network sites and that is why it is not uncommon to have one personal profile for friends and one business profile to promote their business. You can have one single profile for both purposes, but if you have privacy concerns, consider separating this profile in two – you’d better be safe than sorry.


Facebook is changing all the time and no matter how hard you try to follow these changes, there will be new and new possibilities for you to explore. That is why it is not possible to compile a complete list of all the tactics you can use in order to drive traffic from Facebook to your site. Anyway, if you try just the basics for Facebook success we listed here, chances are that you will see a considerable traffic increase.

For more info contact :,

10 Ways to Get Traffic for Free

10 Ways to Get Traffic for Free

Getting traffic is one of the most important tasks for any web master. What is more, you can’t get traffic once and then just reap the benefits. Getting traffic is an ongoing task and you must be constantly doing it, if you want to get traffic and keep it. Here are some of the ways to get traffic for free:

1Optimize your site for search engines.

Search engines have always been a major way to get traffic for free. That is why you need to do your homework and optimize your site so that it ranks well for the keywords you target. SEO is still the most powerful way to get traffic for free and you really need to invest some time and efforts in the optimization of your site. SEO is not that difficult and if you want to get familiar with it in a nutshell, check our SEO Tutorial. If you are too busy for that, you can start with the 15 Minute SEO article.


2Frequently update the contents of your site. .

If you expected some shocking secrets revealed, you might be a bit disappointed. One of the first steps in getting traffic for free is trivial but vital – get great content and frequently update it. In terms of SEO,content is king. If your content is good and frequently updated you will not only build a loyal audience of recurring visitors, who will often come to see what is new, but search engines will also love your site.


3Take advantage of social bookmarking sites.

Social bookmarking sites (especially the most popular among them) are another powerful way to get traffic for free. If you want to learn how to do it, check the How to get Traffic from Social Bookmarking sites article, where we have explained what to do if you want to get free traffic from sites such as Digg, Delicious, etc.


4Use your Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Social networks are also a way to get traffic for free. If you are popular on networks, such as Twitter or Facebook, the traffic you get from there can easily surpass the traffic from Google and the other search engines. It is true that building a large network of targeted followers on Twitter and supporters on Facebook takes a lot of time and effort but generally the result is worth.


5Get links with other sites in your niche.

Another way to get traffic for free is from other sites in your niche. Getting links with other sites in your niche is also good for SEO, especially if you manage to get links without the famous nofollow attribute. But even if the links are nofollow (i.e. they are useless for SEO), they still help to get traffic to your site. If you manage to put your link in a visible place on a site with high volumes of traffic, you can get thousands of hits from this link alone. If you need list of sites within your niche where you could get backlinks from, check the Backlink Builder tool. However, be careful if you exchange links because linking to bad neighbors can do you a lot of harm.


6 Use any chance to promote your site for free.

Free promotion is always welcome, so don’t neglect it. There are many ways to promote your site for free and some of the most popular ones include free classified ads, submissions to directories, inclusion in various listings, etc. It is true that not all free ways to promote your site work well but if you select the right places to promote your site for free, this can also result in tons of traffic.


7Create a free product or service.

Content drives most traffic when you offer something useful. There are many types of useful content you can create and they largely depend on the niche of your site. You can have articles with tons of advice, or short tips but one of the most powerful ways to get traffic is to create a free product or service. When this product or service gets popular and people start visiting your site, chances are that they will visit the other sections of the site as well.


8Use viral content.

Free products and services are great for getting free traffic to your site and one of the best varieties in this aspect is viral content. Viral content is called so because it distributes like a virus – i.e. when users like your content, they send it to their friends, post it on various sites, and promote it for free in many different ways. Viral content distributes on its own and your only task is to create it and submit it to a couple of popular sites. After that users pick it and distribute it for you. Viral content can be a hot video or a presentation but it can also be a good old article or an image.


9Use offline promotion.

Offline promotion is frequently forgotten but it is also a way to get traffic for free. Yes, computers are everywhere and many people spend more time online than offline but still life hasn’t moved completely on the Web. Offline promotion is also very powerful and if you know how to use it, this can also bring you many visitors. Some of the traditional offline ways to promote your site include printing its URL on your company’s business cards and souvenirs or sticking it on your company vehicles. You can also start selling T-shirts and other merchandise with your logo and this way make your brand more popular.


10Include your URL in your signature.

URLs in forum signatures are also a way to get traffic for free. There are forums, which get millions of visitors a day and if you are a popular user on such a forum, you can use this to get traffic to your site. When you post on forums and people like your posts, they tend to click the link to your site on your signature to learn more about you. In rare cases you might be able to post a deep link (i.e. a link to an internal page of the site) rather than a link to your homepage and this is also a way to focus attention to a particular page. Unfortunately, deep links are rarely allowed.


Getting traffic for free is a vast topic and it is not possible to list all the ways to do it. However, if you know the most important ways – i.e. the ways we discussed in this article and you apply them properly, it is guaranteed that you will be able to get lots of traffic for free.

For more info contact :,

Top 10 Costly Link Building Mistakes

Top 10 Costly Link Building Mistakes

Link building is one of the most important SEO activities but this certainly doesn’t mean that you should build links at any price ? literally and figuratively. Link building can be very expensive in terms of time and money. There are many costly link building mistakes and here are some of the most common:

1 Check if backlinks have a “nofollow” attribute

Link exchanges are still one of the white hat ways to build backlinks but unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous webmasters, who will cheat you. One of the scams is when you pay somebody for a backlink, it suddenly disappears or has the “nofollow” attribute. That is why you should check from time to time if the link is still there and if it doesn’t have the “nofollow” attribute.


2 Getting good quality links but with useless anchor texts

It is great when PR of the site you are getting links from is high but when the anchor text is “Click here!” or something like that, such a link is barely useful. Keywords in the anchor text are vital, so if the backlink doesn’t have them, it isn’t a valuable one. Analyzing the anchor texts of links takes time but the Backlink Anchor Text Analyzer tool can do the hard job for you.


3 Getting an image link (when a text link with keyword is possible)

Sometimes when web masters hurry to get backlinks, they skip minor details, such as anchor text. Yes, an image link is great and it could even bring you more visitors than a text link (if the image is attractive, of course and users click it) but for SEO purposes nothing beats a keyword in the anchor text.


4 Not using ALT text if image link is the only possibility

Image links might be the worse option than text links but if an image link is the only possibility to get a backlink, don’t reject it. However, make sure that the ALT text of the image link has your keywords ? this is more than nothing.


5 Getting backlinks from irrelevant websites

Now, this mistake is really a popular one! When hunting for backlinks, you should concentrate on relevant sites only. If you have a dating site, getting links from a finance one is not valuable. It is true that it is not easy to find relevant sites to get links from but unless your site is in a very narrow niche, chances are that there are hundreds or even thousands of relevant sites you can get a backlink from. If you need a list of such sites for your niche, try the Backlink Builder and see what suggestions it can give you.


6 Getting backlinks from sites/pages with tons of links

A backlink is more valuable, if it comes from a page, which is not cluttered with tons of other backlinks. Many pages have 200, or more links and if your link is one of them, this isn’t a great achievement. On the other hand, many directories put the “nofollow” attribute on nonpaid links, so actually even if there are 200 links on page and most of them are “nofollow” (but yours isn’t), this still counts.


7 Links from pages spiders can’t crawl

A link might look perfectly legitimate (i.e. keywords in the anchor text and no “nofollow” attribute) and still it might not be a link. This is especially an issue with link exchanges because you put a link to the other site but the other site doesn’t do the same for you. Links Google can’t index can be placed on dynamic pages or simply on pages, which are not indexed by Google because robots.txt bans it. That is why it doesn’t hurt to check from time if the pages your links are placed on are accessible to spiders. The Search Engine Spider Simulator tool can help you do this in no time at all.


8 Explicitly selling links

There is hardly a web master who hasn’t heard that paid links can hurt your rankings but still many web masters don’t miss the chance to make a few bucks. If you really want to sell links, you’d better use the specialized link selling services, such as because they are more discreet. However, have in mind that while some of the paid links networks try to hide the fact that the links are paid, the rest are not that discreet. Also, maybe the worst gaffe you can make is to include phrases in website like “Buy 5 PR links for $10”or any other hint that you are selling links. You can include “Advertise here!” or similar messages and still de facto sell paid links but this is not as explicit as listing your prices for links.


9 Linking to sites with poor reputation

Linking to sites with poor reputation, also known as “bad neighbors” is one of the worst mistakes you can make. When you link to such sites, for Google this means that you endorse them and this results in penalties for you. That is why you must absolutely always check the sites (and their reputation) first before you link to them. Even if you are offered a lot of money to link to a site with poor reputation, you’d better decline the offer because otherwise your rating with search engines will suffer and this will cause you a lot of problems.


10 Linking to good sites gone bad

Even if you check carefully the sites you link to, sometimes it happens that a site, which used to be more or less decent all of a sudden starts publishing porn ads or other objectionable content. That is why it doesn’t hurt if you check not only that the outbound links you have are not broken but also where they lead to.


Links are very important and that is why you should pay attention to what links you are getting. It is not a waste of time to monitor what’s going on with your links and in addition to the tools listed in the article, you can also try the Backlink Summary tool.


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Make money from your website

Make money from your website

For millions of people web sites are the major source of income. Thanks to the various ways to monetize a site, it is possible to make a living as a web master. However, this doesn’t mean that every web master is a millionaire. Well, if you know how to monetize your web site, you might not get rich but at least chances are that under the worst possible scenario, you will be able to cover your hosting fees and the other expenses you make for your site.

Currently the most profitable ways to monetize your site are CPM ads, CPC ads, CPA ads, direct sales of ad space, and selling merchandise/goods/services. These ways are described in this article.

CPM Ads Can Bring In Cents

CPM ads (an abbreviation for Cost Per Thousand) is the oldest type of site monetization. You put banners on your site and advertisers pay you based on the number of unique impressions/page views your site has.

CPM ads are the easiest form of site monetization because they require almost no effort on your side, but they are also the least feasible because as a rule (unless you have really high traffic and your audience is well-targeted), the rates are low. Some CPM ad networks pay as low as $.05 per 1,000 uniques, which means that you need millions of visitors in order to make $100-200 a month.

Popups and layer ads pay a bit more ($.5-2 per 1,000 uniques/pageviews). They could bring you a few dollars a month but many visitors find them especially irritating and this is why many web masters are not willing to put popups and/or layer ads on their sites.

There are high-paying CPM ads – for instance ads paying $2-5 per 1,000 uniques but usually the networks that run them have very high traffic and quality requirements for the sites that are eligible. As a result, it is very hard to get into these networks and take advantage of these well-paid CPM ads.

There are many CPM networks we can recommend. For sites with lots of traffic the choice better and some of the good options are Advertising.comTribalFusion,CasaleMedia, and ValueClick because there CPM rates are good. AdBriteAdTollRight Media, and BurstMedia are also good. Some of these networks are CPM-only, while others have other types of ads as well. Google also has CPM ads, so you may want to try them.

CPC Ads Are a Profitable Way to Monetize a Site

CPC ads (an abbreviation from Cost Per Click) are different from CPM because with CPC you get paid not when visitors view ads but when they click on them. The good news is that CPC rates are much, much better and as a result, it is possible to make a decent income even with a small site with not so high traffic. The key with CPC success is to have a well-targeted site in a niche where there are a lot of advertisers.

The most popular CPC network is Google Adsense and even though there are other CPC networks, the income you can make from Adsense is much higher. The reason is that Google Adsense has many advertisers and if your site is in a profitable niche, CPC can be the best way to monetize your site. Additionally, unlike some of the other CPC ad networks, Google Adsense is open to publishers from all over the world.

Usually CPC ads are text ads and you publish them in blocks. However, there are also intext ads, where the keyword is underlined and when the visitor puts the mouse on it, a tooltip with CPC ads appears. Intext ads are less obtrusive but it takes much more effort for the user to notice them (and above all – to click them), which means that your chances to make money are further decreased. Kontera is one of the most popular networks for intext CPC ads.

The list of good CPC ad networks is not as long as the list of CPM or CPA ad networks but still there is a choice. For instance, Google AdsenseYahoo! Publisher Network (YPN)BidVertiserChitika, and Clicksor are generally considered top choices but since many CPM ad networks pay decent rates for clicks on their CPM ads, you might want to try them as well.

CPA Ads Could Make You Rich

Currently CPA (an abbreviation from Cost Per Action) is the most profitable way to monetize a site in a profitable niche. CPA, also known as “affiliate programs”, pays you a commission when your visitors perform an action. Most often this action is a purchase, but it could also be something else – i.e. download a free trial, or signup for the service of the advertiser.

Affiliate programs can make you rich because there are many products with really fat commissions. For niches such as health, finance, travel, etc. affiliate programs are a real golden mine.

However, affiliate programs require a lot of efforts on your side and still there is no guarantee that the offers you pick to promote will convert well and will make you money. Sometimes even the highest converting offers won’t convert on your site and the only thing you can do is replace them with other offers, hoping that they will convert better.

There might be hundreds of CPM ad networks but for CPA they are thousands. It is practically impossible to try all of them personally and this is why we would like to recommend some of the best to start with. Amazon,eBayShareASaleCommission JunctionClickbankMax BountyAzoogleNever Blue AdsLinkShare, orPepperJam are just a few of the greatest CPA networks we can recommend.

Direct Sales of Ads

If you are not happy with the CPM rates of ad networks, or CPC and CPA don’t convert well with your site, you could try to find direct advertisers. However, have in mind that such an endeavor is not necessarily bound to succeed and if your site doesn’t have audience advertisers can’t reach elsewhere, you will hardly be able to negotiate good prices. Still, for some sites direct sales of ad space are a viable alternative and this is why you could also try it.

Openads Ad Server and OIO Publisher Ad Platform are two of the sites where you could try your luck. AdBrite also allowa you to price your ad space. In fact, almost any major network gives you the chance to put a widget on your site to invite advertisers directly to advertise on your site.

Sell Merchandise/Goods/Services

In addition to CPA ads, where you are selling other merchants’ products, you can try selling your own merchandise or products/services with your brand. This technique works well mainly for popular sites with loyal audience and is hardly the easiest way to monetize a site. You could try to sell merchandise/goods/services as a supplementary service and if you see that this monetization technique works, you can expand the business. CafePress is one of the best places where you can sell merchandise with your logo and the greatest thing is that they print on demand, which means you don’t have to keep your merchandise in stock.

The monetization techniques we described here can be combined. You can run CPM ads together with CPA or CPC. You can also combine multiple ads from the same type (i.e. CPM, CPC, or CPA) from different ad networks, provided that this doesn’t violate the terms of these networks. There isn’t a universal prescription about the best way to monetize a site. The basic rule is that you need to try and see what works for you. The fact that a given monetization technique works for somebody else doesn’t mean that it will work for you, so you need to try and see for yourself.

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