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Uncover the Net > Blog > Uncover the Net Blog: December 2004

Friday, December 31, 2004

Many New Features to Be Added

Well, you spoke and we listened. Many of our customers have sent us feedback about things they'd like to see in the directory. Some were great, and we are going to include some of your suggestions! In the next week we are working on integrating several new features into the directory. Just a taste of what we are adding are:

  1. Business Phone Number on the Business Card Page
  2. Email Address on the Business Card Page
  3. Business Address if they have one and want to use it
  4. Extended Description on the Business Card Page of up to 5 paragraphs
  5. Their own logo on the Business Card Page. Ideas for demensions are about 250x250
  6. Better and more streamlined add url forms
These changes will make your listings on UTN much like a listing on a Yellow Pages website. It's also great for people who have businesses but don't have a website yet. This new business card page will help serve as your own personal business web page with your contact information on it.

This literally invloves rebuilding the database from scratch and importing everything, but it's better we do these upgrades now when we only have about 4k listings as opposed to 1 year from now!

Comments / Suggestions? I'd love to hear 'em!

Mass Submission Binge

In the last 24 hours, myself, the editors and our customers have added almost 300 sites! We're growing rapidly! :)
Thursday, December 30, 2004

Some Major Changes

In the next few days, we will be implementing a system that will insert a robots no index, no follow tag on all categories that do not have any listings in them. We also excluded the add-url and suggest category pages from being spidered. We'll also be deleting some of the categories that are empty and do not seem to be a popular category.

What we'll end up doing is adding categories as we need to based upon the number of similar sites in one topic.

So,what does this mean for users? It means more direct traffic (it wont be as hard for people to find sites), and more targeted link popularity since it's not spread out to so many categories.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Too Many Categories?

Recently there has been lots of buzz about too many categories on directories, and possibility of getting penalized for tons of empty pages in the index. Now that we have like 20 million pages in the directory,I'm thinking of deleting some of the categories until they have website listings to populate them. Maybe even locations as well.

Is Google Cracking Down on Directories?

Recently it was posted at V7 that Webatlas was banned by Google. When in fact a search for the domain in Google does appear that it was removed from the index. But, after talking with the owner and creator of the site, it seems that she wanted to redirect http://webatlas.org to http://www.webatlas.org and she used a 302 redirect which we all know from the Business.com instance that Google treats as spam. In other words, it's a problem/ glitch with Google, not Webatlas. Now, I'd like to see how quickly it will return to the index. She emailed them and hopefully they will get back to her soon with reinclusion.

Once again, directories will be banned or penalized for the exact same reasons that a normal site will be penalized or banned. And not just because they are a directory. Google & Y! knows crap directories from quality ones, I assure you. :)
Monday, December 20, 2004

Traffic Doubles

Got about 2300 unique visitors today. I know it's not much for most sites, but we're still growing :)

Marketing Online

Yesterday I ran across one of the coolest marketing quotes from Davenetics...
If you want to get in front of a few thousand potential orthodontics patients, you might have to figure out something more creative than the words teeth and braces.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Google Search Appliance

Recently, I've been looking into Google's search appliance. Basically it's your own google.com type search results on your own website. They factor in over 100 factors in ranking your documents. If you do a search on the directory now, you'll see that the results certainly leave something to be desired. There are studies that state that people will leave your website if they don't find what they are looking for (eg, the correct category or relevant website etc).

So anyway, more info about it is here. Now whats the down side? It costs $32, 000 for 2 years. So it's very expensive, but the question that begs to be asked is whether or not it will pay itself off. Now to help make the purchase more "worth it", they are willing to make a case study for us, which would be posted here kinda like this one for USA Today.

What do you think? Is it worth it? Will it help our users out?


New Editor - Branson

Today we added Branson as the editor of Health & Medicine. He's a super nice guy who's very particular about the quality of sites that he ads...just what we want :)

I also want to thank the other editors for their hard work..I really do appreciate it. Especially Michael, he ads between 20-50 websites a day!!

Clicksor - New Contextual Advertising

There is a new contextual advertising out there in addition to Adsense. From what I can tell, it looks to be pretty good. I'm going to try it on some of the seo articles to see how it works. You can choose either adsense style ads, banner ads, or text ads with your content (kinda like what seochat does on their articles)

Here's the banner..

clicksor contextual advertising

New Affiliate Program

Do you have a website that talks about directories or site promotion or seo etc? If so, apply to be an affiliate for UTN and make money for every customer you send over! :)

See the affiliate section for more details.

Back to Blogspot...

For some reason I couldn't publish any new posts when it was on UTN's servers, so I moved it back..
Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Be the very first listing in the top search engines immediately!

I can't tell you how many of these emails I get every day.  Some days its gotta be over 30.

Pure 100% spam. Hopefully no one actually signs up for these. Email is below :)

Dear Customer,

Be the very first listing in the top search engines immediately.

Our company will now place any business with a qualified website
permanently at
the top of the major search engines guaranteed never to move (ex: Yahoo!,
MSN, Alta Vista, etc.). This promotion includes unlimited traffic and is
not going to last long. If you are interested in being guaranteed first
position in the top search engines at a
promotional fee, please contact us promptly to find out if you qualify via
email at (n_larrea@spymac.com). Please include the URL(s) you are
interested in promoting. This is not pay per click. Examples will be
provided.


Sincerely,

The Search Engine Placement Specialists
Saturday, December 11, 2004

December Holiday Special

If you are a subscriber to our newsletter, you should know by now that we are offering a holiday submission special.

For those of you who are not subscribers, you can subscribe here. Or read below for the newsletter contents...


Hello,

First let me say, thanks for signing up for the UTN Directory
Newsletter. This is our first edition of the monthly newsletter.

As you should know the holidays are upon us and everyone likes holiday
shopping specials! So to thank the webmasters who help us grow, we're
offering a holiday special that involves free submissions! Basically,
you get a free listing for every paid listing that you submit. It's
valid until the end of the year. For complete deatils, please see this thread.

Thanks & Happy Holidays!
Shawn Walters
http://www.uncoverthenet.com

Massachusetts Governor Declares December 2004 "W3C Month"

I thought this was pretty cool. If you live in Massachusetts maybe you saw it on the news :)

Anyway, the Governor of Mass declared December to now be known as the W3C Month!

Here is the link to the official document...
Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Blogspot is Sooo Slow

Everytime, I tried to access the blog it took like 5 five minutes just to load the page. So I moved it from Blogspot to our server @ www.uncoverthenet.com/blog/ :)
Thursday, December 02, 2004

A Christmas Present for the W3C

In the spirt of the holidays, we donated a Dell laptop computer to the World Wide Web Consortium today. See here for more info. And don't forget the 10th Anniversary of the W3C is being held this week in Boston! :)
Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I'm going to start a directory and get rich...

That's what I hear every day in forums. All about how someone has this great idea on starting a directory and then is gonna charge for submissions and make tons of money for doing nothing.

How foolish they are. Today we added 127 websites to the directory, and guess how many of thoese were paid submissions? Well, let's just say not as many as people think. Now considering we've spent probably over $20,000 in the past 2 months on advertising, that's not exactly raking in the dough.

It just kinda makes me sick to see new directories spring up, then spend no money on promotion, and slap adsense on it to make some cash. This is what gives directories bad names.

Anyway, this was my friendly public service announcement for the day. :)







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