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Is there a shortcut to successful online business?
by Richard Grady. Copyright 2005.
There has been quite a discussion in my forum this week regarding the latest online 'craze' to generate fast money....
In fairness, this method of earning quick cash has been around for quite a few months but it is just starting to trickle out to the masses as more and more people realize the potential and jump on the bandwagon.
In case you have missed the forum chat, the overall concept of this opportunity involves using software products such as Traffic Equalizer ( http://www.thetraderonline.com/trafficequalizer.html ) to create websites. Traffic Equalizer and similar programs work by taking a keyword that you input and then building a website around this keyword. The end result is a directory or portal of related links to other websites/articles that are relevant to the keyword that you chose. Because of the way in which the automated site is structured, these pages have a very good chance of achieving high rankings within the search engines, which of course can mean lots of free traffic.
So, take things one stage further and add some affiliate links or Google Adsense adverts to the automated pages and suddenly these automated websites become sales tools which potentially can earn money from every visitor, which you will recall are all coming from search engines for free :-)
Now the fact is that each site may or may not earn you any money and the vast majority of sites will probably be doing well if they bring in $5 of Adsense income each day but here's the thing - it only takes a couple of minutes to build a site and once built, it requires absolutely no maintenance. Can you see where I am going with this?
Basically the speed at which sites can be built means that you can build lots and lots of sites and if each one can, potentially, earn you $5 or more a day, this soon adds up to a reasonable income.
So what is the downside I hear you cry?
Simple. In my opinion, this 'loophole' (or whatever you want to call it) to get free traffic is not going to be around forever. Search engines hate to have their results manipulated in any way and as more and more people fill the Internet with these directory-type sites, the search engines are likely to find a way of excluding them from their results.
I know for a fact that people are making thousands of dollars a month using these automated portal sites and they continue to upload new sites every single day (sometimes as many as 50 or more in a day!) and quite frankly, I don't blame them for taking advantage of this opportunity while it lasts. What worries me however is when people build their entire income around something like this without any form of backup plan in case the good times come to an end.
Let's look at a similar situation that arose a couple of years ago. Stephen Pierce (who was unknown at the time in Internet marketing circles) released an eBook about his online success. One chapter of the eBook covered something that he called 'Smart Pages'. There were, quite simply pages which had been designed in a certain way to rank well in search engines. They were completely different to the directory pages I have mentioned above but the concept was the same - fast, free traffic to your site from the main search engines.
Smart Pages were big business for, I guess, a year after Stephen's eBook was published - software was written to create them, more eBooks were written, I even tested them and wrote about them myself.
Gradually though their effectiveness started to reduce and nowadays, I doubt that any serious Internet marketer would even consider using Smart Page technology. I am sure however that for that period of a year, a lot of people made a lot of money from the Smart Page concept.
Just to illustrate this point further, I did a search on Google today for the term 'Smart Pages' and not one person is paying to advertise using Adwords for this search term - not one! How often does that happen?
As I say, the directory sites that TE and other software products create are completely different to Smart Pages and do at least have some content but the fact is that they are being mass-produced and in many cases people are not even bothering to change the standard page templates that come with the software. If Google (or any other large search engine) wanted to exclude the results of such pages, in most cases it would be pretty easy for them to do and if your only traffic comes from these very search engines, any income could stop overnight.
So what is the point of this article? Am I telling you not to use this technology?
Absolutely not - I have been testing the various software products available myself to see how well they work so I am certainly not saying 'Don't do this'. What I am saying is that you should be aware of the risks. You should be aware that you 'might' wake up one morning and find that as far as the search engines are concerned, your automated pages no longer exist and therefore don't rely on methods such as these for your entire income. In other words, don't put all your eggs in one basket - make hay while the sun shines but be prepared when it eventually goes in.
Plenty of people make a good living jumping from one fad or craze to the next but it can be a risky business. Just make sure you are aware of the risks.
About the Author
Richard Grady has been helping ordinary people earn online since 1998. He writes a free newsletter which is published every two weeks. To subscribe (and claim your free gifts), visit: http://www.thetraderonline.com/newsletter.html
Tags: Start and Run a Business