More EntreCard Sucks Madness

EntreCard Sucks

Talking about EntreCard seems to suck in more traffic than the EntreCard widget sucks in itself.

Vic Demos SEO While Saying “EntreCard Sucks

Vic Says EntreCard SucksIn an impressive display of SEO skill Vic of Blogger Unleashed took my straight man setup when I said I was ranking #1 in Google for the term “EntreCard Sucks”.  Vic pulled out his magic Google wand and waved it at this post, Entrecard Sucks And There Is No Doubt, and POOF!!!, he’s outranking me. A few other people have also worked on the “EntreCard Sucks” keyword combo and have moved ahead of OpTempo. Of course, it’s all fun and games since we’re not talking a super popular, big money making, keyword like “California Foreclosures” or  “Mesothelioma Lawyers”, just a simple one that doesn’t earn anyone any money, “EntreCard Sucks”. It’s interesting to get a glimpse at how the search engine that everyone loves and hates at the same time operates on a simple keyword combo like “EntreCard Sucks”.

Sam Asks for Details on Why I Think “EntreCard Sucks

Sam Says EntreCard Doesn’t SuckIn my previous EntreCard post, Some Links: EntreCard Edition, Sam of Sam Freedom’s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog asked me why I thought some of his advice was bad in his article, 10 Simple Ways to Squeeze the Most Out of Entrecard for Your Greater Advantage. Since he deserves more than a quick drive-by EntreCard style quick blurb about it, I’ll go over it here.

I agree with his first point, have a nice looking custom 125×125 made and don’t use the default sucky graphic.

I disagree with point #2, placing the widget at the top of the page. This only encourages a quick click-thru while taking up valuable navigation and advertising space. Camouflaging it or putting it near the bottom or even the left side or mixed with content increases the chance for your content to catch the eye of the click-n-go visitor.

Points 3 through 6 are good advice.

I don’t think #7 is a particularly great idea since it borders on spamming, or at least bacning. This controversy also rages about StumbleUpon, should you thank or not thank people who review your site and stumble it?

Point 8, subscribing to the feeds, is OK although most bloggers already have enough stuff wandering in their feed window.

As for #9, participate in the EnterCard forum, and #10, Give Recommendations, I think you’ll get better social results by commenting on blogs you breeze by during a card run, mentioning blogs you liked that you saw while carding in a link post and by stumbling posts that you find that you like during the run. Participating there is OK, but I don’t think it’s the best use of your time.

I hope that clears that up Sam.

Can EntreCard Suck Anymore Than This?

While I seriously doubt that this post will even come close to overtaking the grandmaster SEO ninja Vic, it will be interesting to see how it fares in search results.

Have you read Vic’s post on how to get Google Juice and the follow up post linked above? Do you think this SEO fun and games stuff sucks more than EntreCard? Leave a comment and let me know.

 


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18 Comments »

2007-12-15 23:28:17

[…] some keywords indexed by Google in a matter of minutes.  You can read all about it here and here. Don’t Forget to Get Your BloggerBands Today! Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social […]

 
Comment by Vic
2007-12-15 23:48:27

I just love it Frank you know it would be cool in a later date if we could get like 5 more bloggers to agree on a key term we could all write about and see how we can beat each other on rankings.

Ok now to the grit of your post point #2 is totally dead on, why make it easy at least make them move down you never know they might see something that hooks them.

Comment by jfc
2007-12-16 00:02:07

Hi Vic,

Also search on “EnterCard Sucks”. I had to throw in that trick too.

Talking about Google Image Search at some point would be good too. I just did an image search on “entrecard sucks” and a lot of my ad graphics came up but none of the pictures name and alt’ed “entrecard sucks” appeared.

 
 
Comment by Markk
2007-12-16 04:29:01

EntreCard’s default widget is an eyesore. I agree with you on this forum thing, it’s a sheer waste of time there. Overall, promising traffic is not much of an incentive, just like BlogRush and all the other widgets.

Comment by jfc
2007-12-16 08:41:39

Hi Markk,

Right now it actually delivers traffic so it does beat BlogRush in that regard. Over time I suspect the traffic levels will wane as the novelty wears off and new widgets appear. Eventually I think monetization attempts will cause EntreCard to fail.

 
 
Comment by Saedel
2007-12-16 13:25:27

Hey Frank, good thing I didn’t really entertain the idea of Entrecard. The last widget-based traffic tool I have is BlogRush, which will soon vanish in my sidebar (before you do my site review :P ).

As for SEO, I know only basic stuff, but I’m learning more tricks by reading Vic’s blog.

Comment by jfc
2007-12-16 13:56:35

Hi Saedel,

EntreCard isn’t all bad. Unlike BlogRush it actually delivers some traffic. Of course, most of it is rather poor quality drive-by traffic but it doesn’t really hurt anything to have it around for now.

Comment by The Rookie
2007-12-16 20:15:27

@JFC - you make a valid point about Entrecard bringing in a decent amount of traffic. You are correct about the traffic not being quality - if you look at people who published any stats the bounce rates are in the 75-80% range with average times on site of about 30 seconds. This is just enough time to load the site and drop your card. This is the problem with Entrecard, all this “card dropping” just to get the same crappy traffic back is a waste of time.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by jfc
2007-12-16 20:41:53

Hi Rookie,

That is a problem with just about any traffic exchange program. I think that more and more flaws will show up in the system as time goes on, just like Vic predicted. However, it’s bringing in traffic, even if the quality is 80-90% poor, for now so it’s worth keeping until something breaks badly.

 
 
 
 
2007-12-17 03:45:15

Thank you, Justin. You’re a good sport and I’m glad you took me up on my suggestion. I am in the middle of writing an article right now that covers a few more things but it was started prior to this and wasn’t meant to rebut it.

I want to give this a proper rebuttal and it’s probably best done elsewhere than buried in the comments section which, once they grow long, many people, at best, tend to just scan.

But the link I’m using when I post goes directly to my Entrecard articles. The current one is going to be titled and will answer the “placing the widget at the top” reply.

But the short answers are

#2 - Placing the widget where it’s difficult to reach will do little more than make people hate you. It will do nothing but register that you really don’t understand why they are there. It’s the marketer/bloggers responsibility to set their blog up to capitalize off of such traffic rather than criticize it. As I say in my upcoming article, it’s like blaming an acorn for not being an oak tree.

Right under my widget, I created a friendly, compelling link specifically referring to my helpful Entrecard articles. I suggest you emulate me in that regard but you’ll first have to find something useful to say about Entrecard. ;-)

#7 - Your concern is noted but it does not apply to my point. I specifically mentioned thanking only those who placed ads with you. Entrecard advertisers are not the same as Stumbleupon stumblers who stumble 100s or 1000s of pages each day and who don’t have a cost-related decision associated with the process. If you spend credits on my site, as a business person, I’m thanking you, period.

That way, regardless of the kind of performance they experience from it, they’ll at least know the kind of person I am - appreciative and friendly - which are things you want to be known for in the business realm.

It’s not the same as thanking someone for a nonchalant stumble and, possibly, inadvertently spamming them to death. Entrecard advertisers actually had to spend their credits on it.

#8 - I think whether or not people have enough in their feed windows should be left up to them to decide. But if we really want to go that route, then I think it’s more useful to have a separate tab of feeds to remain aware of up-to-the-hour events that can give you an advantage versus feeds clogged with blogs that one only subcribed to based on one or two articles and which don’t necessarily give them an advantage with each post.

But that’s why I stated the tactic and just leave it up to each blogger to decide what his or her feed reader should look like.

#9 - I don’t want to belittle you but, quite honestly, you do not seem, to me, to display an experienced understanding of marketing online. In this example, I did not say to hang around the Entrecard forums. I gave specific instructions to simply go into the forums, originate 1 tasty message and reply to several other fledgling messages.

It is a huge mistake to underestimate the possibilities of such action which takes no more than 3-5 minutes and can bring in curious, interested and targeted readers for as long as those messages are there. Once you’re done, they go to work for you and, essentially, all those who promote EntreCard, and Entrecard itself, go to work for you by getting more users who will likely check out the forums at least once, if not more.

The article is appropriately titled, “How to Squeeze the MOST Out of Your Entrecard Experience for Greater Advantage” if I did not mention to leave a couple of messages in the forum, it would not be squeezing the most out of it - especially for the tiny few minutes that effort would have taken.

#10 - You also underestimate the power of a good recommendation. And I used to overestimate the level of experience of people all throughout the blogosphere. I used to think they were like you, very academic about things.

But, in this specific example, there are people who are new to blogging, new to marketing, new to Entrecard and Entrecard might or might not be one of their earliest experiences. But in ANY case, people DO look at your Entrecard info page and they DO look at the recommendations. And whether or not you think they are the best form of gaining traffic, they ARE a very good way of increasing your value networking and relationship building.

And they take mere seconds to write. And make blog owners feel good… don’t you know, people buy on emotion, not features… not opinions, but EMOTION. And it makes people feel good.

It also pushes them up the MOST RECOMMENDED list where I just passed John Chow. I don’t place too big an emphasis on that based on personality but it DOES leave an impression and it DOES attract more eyeballs.

In short, we all know that the best time is spent with our families and friends but taking a few moments to exchange gracious recommendations with people can do a LOT for your business and forge relationships that will continue on long after Entrecard.

While commenting on blog posts, if done well, can lead to greater traffic and recognition, it should not be an “either/or” proposition to compete with a simple recommendation exchange. They don’t take long, like maybe 2-3 blinks of an eye.

There, thanks for the opportunity to respond in greater detail. If you need a recommendation over at Entrecard, let me know. ;-)

Sam
ps. Would you like to see me storm past everyone for “EntreCard Sucks?” That would be fun but THAT would truly be a waste of time. I could be making new relationships by exchanging a few nice recommendations.

Comment by jfc
2007-12-17 09:44:52

Hi Sam,

I’ve always heard it’s best to save your long comments for posts in your own blog. :)

Primarily, I don’t see EntreCard as an effective marketing and sales tool. For now, it’s a decent enough blogger socializing tool like MyBlogLog and Blog Catalog so it gets positioned accordingly.

I’d also note that criticizing it has brought in more traffic than the widget has brought itself. As you probably know from your blog title, controversy brings people in while bland praise doesn’t.

On point 7, we’re also at a difference of opinion on is it really paid advertising or just socializing. I personally don’t care for getting a lot of bacn from social networks. I’d guess you place some monetary value on EntreCard credits while I think of them more like Schrute Bucks.

On forums, I’ve found them to be a huge time sink when it comes to marketing. You either get accused of spamming or else you have to spend an inordinate amount of time building a reputation. Maybe since the EntreCard one is brand new this isn’t the case there but it probably won’t take it long to get to that point.

I think the recommendation thing is just plain useless since it only allows positive recommendations. If it allowed any comments with neutral moderation or a simple thumbs up/down it would be a little better.

 
 
 
2007-12-17 12:24:36

I’ve always heard it’s best to save your long comments for posts in your own blog. :)

Really? I heard that, too. You should SEE my long comments… ;-) They ARE at my blog!

Primarily, I don’t see EntreCard as an effective marketing and sales tool. For now, it’s a decent enough blogger socializing tool like MyBlogLog and Blog Catalog so it gets positioned accordingly.

Well, I’m very aware that you don’t see it as an effective marketing tool but can we agree that you are tool-oriented, placing responsibility on the tool, while I am marketer-oriented, placing responsibility on the marketer? We might never see eye-to-eye but maybe we can, at least, agree then that our focus on who or what is responsible for how visitors behave is markedly different.

I’d also note that criticizing it has brought in more traffic than the widget has brought itself. As you probably know from your blog title, controversy brings people in while bland praise doesn’t.

Of course, that, along with the fact that I really can intelligently defend any of my ideas, is why I’m here. No matter what, we both profit. And people are welcome to line up on either side of the playing field or to deepen their inquiry as they wish but even I can’t resist the likes of something like “Project Runways” even though, until now, I’ve had not a shred of interest in the garment fashion industry.

On point 7, we’re also at a difference of opinion on is it really paid advertising or just socializing. I personally don’t care for getting a lot of bacn from social networks. I’d guess you place some monetary value on EntreCard credits while I think of them more like Schrute Bucks.

I don’t place monetary value on them. I place a value on them that is far more valuable than money - attention value. While it might be relatively easy to build up credits, they still cost some amount of a person’s time and energy. Unlike stumbling, the dropping of cards and advertising is not the primary enjoyment of the Entrecard user whereas stumblers primary joy is the stumbling itself.

So the stumbler, by stumbling, is receiving their reward. The card dropper, by dropping cards is only getting “credits” and the fact that they then choose my site on which to spend them requires that I take them more seriously than someone who just happened to nonchalantly stumble across my site.

I still maintain my position on number 7 that thanking advertisers who decide to spend their credits with you is just good business practice and can build quality relationships.

On forums, I’ve found them to be a huge time sink when it comes to marketing. You either get accused of spamming or else you have to spend an inordinate amount of time building a reputation. Maybe since the EntreCard one is brand new this isn’t the case there but it probably won’t take it long to get to that point.

To me, that’s an example of some negative experience that you’re allowing to color the present. It took me all of, literally, 3 minutes to make 2 original posts and 3 quick replies to others messages while including a simple link.

Until the day when some big fish in a little pond complains, I’ll keep it real… non-spammy… informative or thoughtful and my 3 minutes of effort will continue to produce for me until whenever it stops.

What I would hope to get across to you is not that you should spend time spamming forums or pushing the buttons of overzealous moderators but that following the simple instructions I gave can be done ANYWHERE, better if done genuinely, and the potential benefit to effort ratio is just a no-brainer.

Not that you don’t have a brain, but you get what I mean.

I think the recommendation thing is just plain useless since it only allows positive recommendations. If it allowed any comments with neutral moderation or a simple thumbs up/down it would be a little better.

Let’s just say that the recommendation section might not be the BEST source of information when making a high-risk decision about a marketer but, for starters, it’s just fine and, again, it’s one of those things that takes all of a couple minutes for some relationship building.

If anyone has a real negative comment about another user, they can always go to the forum. But drop-dead accurate reviews are not what the recommendation section is about. You suggested people could better spend their time leaving a comment on that blogger’s blog.

Is the blog owner any less capable of deleting a negative comment at his blog than he is at Entrecad?

Recommendations are for relationship building first. If you’re going to be purchasing a Ferrari from someone, I suggest alternative reference checks. ;-)

In the meanwhile, I think you are still underestimating their effect on people. You must be imagining that people do NOT make decisions based on emotion and that ALL people are as analytical as Gary Kasparov, or something.

I think you are a bright person but that you are completely missing the boat on understanding the REAL benefits of Entrecard and, therefore, the real benefit of anything else that doesn’t immediately make sense to you.

Cheers,
Sam

Comment by jfc
2007-12-17 13:38:17

Hi Again Sam,

You’re right, I am tool oriented since I am a programmer by trade. I’m likely to look at hard numbers and make a choice based on statistical information and past performance of similar tools. From my work experiences, I’m likely to be skeptical of a lot of marketing hype since I’ve seen it fall flat on it’s face so many times.

Speaking of attention value, you want a visitor’s attention to either be on your content or advertisements that will make you money. You don’t want their attention to be focused on finding a button on a generic widget so that they can leave your site as quickly as possible.

Forums have become more and more marketing resistant. Forum marketing may have worked in 2003 but it isn’t as viable of a option now in many niches. So far as the EntreCard forums go you have a bunch of self-centered people marketing their own site and talking about taking advantage of other people. Blah.

Recommendations that can be totally managed by the member are useless. They should have something more like the eBay feedback system or SU if they want it to have any credibility at all.

 
 
Comment by Evil Woobie
2007-12-20 05:01:51

I see Sam already made his mark on every blog that says Entrecard Sucks. Good man, this Sam.

If you’re good, you get your readers’ attention, if you,re not, then you’re card-drop fodder. It all depends on quality.

But the service is great, and Sam’s tips are dead-on correct. No exceptions.

And yes, Sam, I’m stalking you. *evil grin*

Comment by jfc
2007-12-20 09:29:19

Hi Woobie,

Yes, I do hope people follow Sam’s placement advice and put the widget where I can find it instantly as the page loads. That way I can easily and quickly “click and go” :twisted:

But, more seriously, on catching the EntreCard visitor’s attention it seems to depend on the eye candy and headlines you’re displaying. Sorry to say, I’ve “speed clicked” through your site a few times because nothing caught my attention. Sam’s site is like walking onto a used car lot where they’re giving away hot dogs and popcorn. You may not buy a car but you’ll remember the place.

I think Sam is right that you can optimize to some degree to capture EntreCard traffic, one of the main ways is talking about EntreCard, positive or negative. For example, I saw a considerable increase in EntreCard stickiness on days when I had a featured article about it on my front page, about a 65-70% bounce rate. Now that I’ve got other articles featured, it has dropped back into the 90% range. I’ll probably do another analysis article in early January that will talk about it more.

 
 
2007-12-20 09:42:13

[…] A lot of readers are now following his example and are spamming keywords: Entrecard Sucks Entrecard Sucks […]

 
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2008-03-19 00:21:03

[…] and Blogger Unleashed; Blogger Unleashed Review, Ouch! It Hurts! by Markk and Frank Carr’s More Entrecard Sucks Madness. If you’ve got a some transactions I would feature the articles and intend to undergo a […]

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