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December 31 2012

Is that odesk contractor real?

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I was reading an applicant today for something I need help with.

It was a pretty girl, her English in her application was impeccable, she was in the Phillipines, and she wanted $3.00 per hour.

Too good to be true, the 4 hour marketers dream come true?

Here is one quick and fast way to find out.

Thanks to Micahael Demko, and my friends at 419 eater for the inspiration.

(419 eater by the way is a truly hilarious site motivated as a way to scam Nigerian scammers.)

Here is my system. I simply ask the person to take a photo of themselves with their thumb up, and close enough so you can see their face.

I am totally fine, hiring 50 year old Phillipino men. If on the other hand they feel compelled to fake who they are when they market themselves, it is not someone I am gong to be comfortable giving access to sensitive data of any kind.

If someone wanting to hire me on odesk asked me to put my thumb in my mouth for a photo, I am on!

December 16 2012

A new kind of email spam coming

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This will be one of my far reaching predictions that you will see come true over the next 3 to 5 years 🙂

Here are the steps.

1. Google Values Google Plus’s for SEO purposes.

2. People start setting up fake accounts to Gmail accounts to Google plus pages.

3. Google cracks down by only valuing Google pluses based on email history of gmail account.

4. Users in India set up tens of thousands of Gmail accounts that mail each other automatically to build history.

5. Google starts using algorithms to track user patters of gmail users, the way they analyze links now, to look for isolated neighborhoods that do not interact outside of their neighborhood.

6. Indian users start sending REAL emails to U.S. companies, asking “sort of” real questions, to build history and trust in their gmail accounts.

7. U.S. companies go, WTF?, as they are inundated with apparent customer requests and complaints at never before seen levels, and have trouble sorting out which requests coming in are from real customers, and which are not.

8. U.S. companies start insisting on customers validating they are not only a real person, but a real customer, before they will even respond to a seemingly real email.

December 2 2012

Tag Along Local SEO Rule

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It used to be that a highly ranked organic local site, could have its google local listing in the 7 pack and have an organic listing above it.

We noticed that this seems to have changed.

Today, we went and googled 50 different random local terms around the country and all of the searches supported my new theory.

If you can find a violation of this rule (Roseanna calls this the tag-along rule) please leave it in the comments below.

Here is how the rule works:

#1: Google follows its algorithm to determine which of the websites should be in the 7pack for the local term.

#2: Google then ranks the organic page according to its organic algorithm.

#3:If the google local listing is ranked higher than the organic listing on the first page for that term then google will list both of these listings on the 1st page.   This appears to take place for some domain in approximately 10% of local searches.

#4: If the domain we are looking at is in the 7 pack already and if the organic listing is in the same position or above the last listing of the 7 pack, then google will only list the 7 pack style local listing.  It will not list the organic listing separately.  The local listing seems to tag along with the organic listing as it moves up, like a drunkin’ friend when you are trying to hit on some classy hot girl.

#5: If an organic site is exceptionally strong, the organic backlinks are so strong that google naturally places the organic listing higher than the 7 pack.  While following the previous rule, google also breaks that listing out of the 7 pack and places the local listing at the height the organic listing would have been at number 1 or 2. This is like when the hot classy girl invites you over for thanksgiving dinner and your drunkin’ friend tags along in flip flops, a t-shirt and shorts to your new girlfriend’s house with the three car garage and he awkwardly sits down for thanksgiving dinner with her family when he wasn’t even invited.

We were able to find only 2 exceptions to this rule. In each case, the local listings formed a 3 pack instead of a 7 pack.

Let me know when you start to see exceptions to this rule and leave examples in the comments.

Or if you can figure out why Google violates this rule, only where there is a 3 pack, that would be interesting to know as well.



November 17 2012

Authority Labs Just Rocks

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We have been using them the past months to track all of our sites.

You pop in the domain name and keywords, and ka-blam! They track all the rankings.

They have just done a perfect job in every way.

They just f-ing rock.

Go buy their stuff. Now.


November 13 2012

Odesk finance security hole

I am really hoping someone is going to correct me on this post. I have been studying Odesk lately, and been putting together a bullet proof financial situation for Purpose Inc., as we start to expand at a good steady pace.

There is a massive upside to hiring contractors on odesk, but at a certain size, you can no longer manage them yourself, you need to bring on other managers.

The problem we are running into on Odesk is a bit of a security hole.

Hopefully by publishing this, and making it public, either someone is going to immediately point out a flaw in what I am saying, or Odesk will be pressured into putting in some controls that will handle this.

Let’s say you have ramped up to where you have 8 or 10 Odesk contractors busily working away for you or your company. You decide that there is just no way you can manage them all yourself, so it is time to bring on a manager to work under you.

You have a few options.

1. You have the manager set up their own Odesk account, and hire, fire and manage the contractors in this managers account. The downside to this, is what happens to the contractor if they run up a $10,000 payroll bill for the week, and you the owner of the company don’t pay. The manager is then on the hook for the money. I think the assumed position is that if Odesk can’t get the money from you, then Odesk is just going to have to pay themselves, and will never get you. If you are a real company as we are, Odesk would simply ask us for the money, and we would pay them. The manager you hire, who is making $30k a year, will probably not be comfortable, running up a $10k per week payroll debt.

2. The other option is that you give your login info to your manager and they hire, fire and pay, from within your Odesk account. There is a huge downside to this which I did not think of until last week. What if your manager decides for whatever reason on their own, that they deserve more money. They can then take a friend or family member and hire them. Then they can pay that person say, $1,000 per hour. The person can then do real work for 40 hours that week. At the end of the week, they are then rightfully and legally owed $40,000. Even if you fired the manager, as far as I can tell, you would still be legally responsible to pay the $40,000 to their niece.

What am I missing here?

If I am correct, then there is a very simple fix Odesk can make to this.

1. They could offer more options on what rights you give each user. For instance I could approve my hiring manager to hire anyone they wanted, up to a total of 10 people, and that each one could be paid no more than 45 hours per week, at $20 per hour.

2. The account could simply have a limit set, that if the payroll owed goes over $5k, then the entire account shuts down until the owner personally logs on, and approves a higher weekly spend for the week.

There are a bunch of ways Odesk could set this up.

One hack that we did figure out, handles things up to a certain point of expansion and then will break down.

American Express currently offers free insurance on employee cards against theft. I called them and their claims adjuster told me that this covers employees and independent contractors. Bottom line, from what I understand, you need a written employee purchase approval system, you have 75 days after the fraud to report it, and you must fire or get rid of the employee. If you do all of those things, Amex says they will cover up to $100k in losses.

Since we only have extremely honest people working with us, the above should be more than sufficient.

I still with Odesk simply just gave us more controls on spending limits and responsibilities.



October 15 2012

Advanced SEO EMD NDA presentation and discussion announced

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Tuesday 8:00 PM – Must have invitation to get in or security will stop you.
Full Information Here.

October 7 2012

Poker Tournament Sign Ups Now Open 20 people only

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Poker Tournament on Wednesday sold out.

We just got 10 more seats available.

Read the rest here, then click the link below to sign up.


Guests may come and hang out and drink for free.


We just opened the sign up.

It is limited to 20 30 people.

The signup page is here:

We also can have 40 guests who will be drinking on me.

While not literally on me, I will make sure no one pays but me 🙂

go here to sign up.

October 3 2012

Pubcon 2012 Parties Poker and Meetups

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The 2014 Pubcon party list is here including the poker tournament.

First off, the party to go to is the Purpose Inc. Link Building Poker Tournament on Wednesday night, which will be taking place just before the Internet Marketing Ninjas Penguins and Pandas fundraising party for the World Wildlife Foundation.

The poker tourney starts at 8:00 and the Penguins and Penguins party starts at 9:00.

It was fascinating as I just cruised around the blogs about Pubcon 2012, the only things I found were a few people announcing their speaking this year, and a bunch of people pitching the promo code so they could make their affiliate rip. Jim Boykin put up a cool contest on Facebook where you could win a free trip.

As the years go by, and we all become more successful, blogging has kind of gone by the wayside for most of us. I have great memories of Shoemoney with his party like a rockstar contest, and Chris Hooley’s rolling hard in his Little Rascals video.

We will be keeping the party pumping hard with our 6th annual Purpose Inc Link Builders Poker Tournament.

I first had this event so all 3,000 people had a place to come and hang out, whether you are connected or not. It is the biggest and most anticipated part of Pubcon. We will open up entries here in just a few days.

The tourney will be open to all Pubcon attendees and anyone making money with the internet. No pros allowed.

Texas Holdem.

Sponsors this year are Internet Marketing Ninjas, and Link Research Tools.

Info on the Advanced SEO NDA EMD discussion at dk’s penthouse at the Mirage – Details Here

A few more seats opened up at the Poker Tourney on Wed, also guests can drink for free alongside the players.


September 29 2012

Cait and Jeremy got married today

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September 19 2012

thinktank rocks

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All under NDA baby.