Mon Feb 06, 2006 4:05 pm

I have to say I don't really understand the extensive criticism... I started making (and I do call them this) 'Martell-style' sites a little over a year ago (but have been making sites for 4 years), and work about an hour a day on them, and so far they generate $750-$1000/month - which, I think, is pretty good for an hour/day, and they're all still in the sandbox so that's without Google traffic.

What I don't understand is, for one, why people are so critical of Martell but not of SBI methods, which pretty much teach the same thing - to create lots of high-quality content on a focused niche.

Quality, unique content is really the perfect starting place for a site, isn't it? - and Martell does say to add your own special things.

I also checked out Colin M's site and signed up, and the first email I got was filled with fear marketing, which was a big turn off for me (see:)
http://www.associateprograms.com/discus ... 14883.html

I like to be informed, but that much doom and gloom just doesn't work for me...

Honestly... there's been a lot of 'net gossip going around about certain people having a falling out with James... I don't know what that's all about but I'm guessing that might explain some of this increasing (and somewhat harsh) criticism?? (If someone knows something could you please fill us in ;) )

I *would* like to hear more about adding those extras to sites, and maybe even mention of concerns like experience with the so-called 'sandbox' on the buzz... but I do think the Handbook contains a wealth of valuable info for those starting out, and will even go so far to say that I still believe one can make a business from solely following the manual... though it's not as easy as it once was.
modestmouser
 
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Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:44 pm

modestmouser wrote:I have to say I don't really understand the extensive criticism... I started making (and I do call them this) 'Martell-style' sites a little over a year ago (but have been making sites for 4 years), and work about an hour a day on them, and so far they generate $750-$1000/month - which, I think, is pretty good for an hour/day, and they're all still in the sandbox so that's without Google traffic.


Do you follow the JM handbook to the letter or have you put your own spin on things? I'm not trying to be critical of JM's system, I'm genuinely curious.

modestmouser wrote:What I don't understand is, for one, why people are so critical of Martell but not of SBI methods, which pretty much teach the same thing - to create lots of high-quality content on a focused niche.


I think SBI is a little more complete picture in many ways. Pay per click, list building and building relationships with your visitors is much more of a focus than with the JM method.

I think they also always pushed high quality content to a greater degree than the Martell system. JM has only started to promote writing content that's of real value to the visitor relatively recently.

If you look back on this forum, you'll find lots of criticism of SBI as well. I think you'll find criticism of any popular system, it's just that being as close as we are to this particular model, it jumps out at us.

Personally, I don't want to follow anybody's system without constantly trying new things and putting my own touch on it. The trick for me is to learn new things without getting all caught up in the soap operas that develop. The net gossip about who had a falling out with whom that you mention and threads like this one come to mind :D
flexprimo
 
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Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:02 pm

I do have to put my own spin on my sites, too, and have on most of my "Martell-style" sites. I do different things depending on the topics, on some of my JM sites I have a forum, some have photo galleries, and some have newsletters... I do *try* to add something more interesting and unique to each one. I'll add one to my sig as an example, I just put a gallery on the glass one.

I guess you're right, all systems get criticized, just seemed like it was a lot more for his methods and I didn't get why. I do understand some of it, though, his is just a starting point for a good site. And James didn't start mentioning quality until recently...

I do try different types of sites all the time, and like to keep out of the drama as well - I've just had several people comment to me on it :)
modestmouser
 
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Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:06 pm

You're smart to " keep out of the drama ". Compare other methods (e.g. Rosalind, SBI) and the missing element is the drama. Modest. You've been on this board a long time. People were upset by the reason James gave for the zero listing. Complaints that more information was expected.

So pay more to listen to his Buzz to get some inside scoop. He says don't go to the forums, don't go to conferences. It will only confuse you. Is that a joke? He's at both.

If I only read his book and buzz, I would be broke by now.
Last edited by BobShark on Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BobShark
 
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Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:27 pm

I just thought it would be only fair to say that it was working alright for me, and like I said, I also have several non-JM sites... I like to try out different ways of site-building... so I'm not just riding on the JM bandwagon.
modestmouser
 
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Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:32 pm

To each their own IMO :) However, in case anyone is unaware, a LOT of what Colin is saying come from Matt Cutts, Google engineer. I believe Matt is in charge of wiping out spam in the index, but don't quote me on it ;) It seems to me though if someone who's in charge of getting rid of spam in the Google SERP's says dashed domains may suffer, and suffer badly, it's time to listen. YMMV. I hope it's not true since my first 4 sites are dashed domains.

But Colin is not the only one who's saying this, I've read it in a few other places. So, I'm now making sure any new domains I buy are non-dashed and registered for as long as I can afford. (I try for 10 years but some registrars are only 5 years max and some I just can't afford $150 at a time!)

Jen, I 100% agree with you that for a noob, Martell's system is a good tool. However, with how experienced you are (which I know;) ) I think you're beyond Martell's system. I also think as it stands now, no one following his system will make high 4 digits per month. But that's IMHO. Take it for what it's worth ;)

As for any falling out between certain people having a falling out with James, I would say you won't find anyone airing dirty laundry on a public forum :)

Tara :)
dabrat76
 
Posts: 165
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Location: Montreal, Canada

Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:55 pm

Hehe, I had to throw that falling out bit in there - I've just gotten several different comments on it.

I do add more to my sites, but I just had to say I thought the manual was valuable as a good starting point... I guess we all agree on that.

The thing that gets me about the dashes (to quote what I just posted in your blog :) ) is that on Matt Cutt's site he uses dashed-keywords for his pages, and even says he recommends using dashes here:

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/dashes-vs-underscores/
(could be old news)

I realize that stuffing a domain name or a page with keywords is a big no-no, but Colin's warning seemed extreme to me, his email just screamed "fear marketing" and it was a big turn off (to me, I personally didn't like the delivery).

Also, TONS of merchants, ezines, and companies use keyword-dashed domains, are they seriously gonna penalize them all?

I'm about to buy some new domains, I may just test things out using short ones and ones w/out dashes.

And trust me, I do understand your frustration, and do want to know what's up with the new sites, JM and otherwise - cause my non-JM-style sites are in the 'box too, while my old established one keeps on truckin' in Google.
modestmouser
 
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Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:22 am

Well, I think that article is a little outdated, though his point is valid - if you HAVE to, use dashes. But from what I understand Colin got from him that there will be some changes, as Brad talked about on my blog today. How severe no one knows.

As for the sandbox, well, I think there are ways to avoid it, but those I won't spill ;) I sent you an email, let me know if you don't get it.

Tara :)
dabrat76
 
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Location: Montreal, Canada

Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:19 am

Back on August 25, Matt Cutts posted in his blog:

...Google doesn?t algorithmically penalize for dashes in the url.

If you read his words then and acted on that advice and bought a domain name with hyphens in it (that's what they're called where I live), it would seem mighty unfair if Google now suddenly penalizes such sites after telling us they're OK.

If there are penalties, it will be very interesting to see how severe they are.

(Edited to fix a typo.)
Last edited by AllanGardyne on Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
AllanGardyne
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Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:38 pm

dabrat76 wrote:I believe Matt is in charge of wiping out spam in the index, but don't quote me on it ;) It seems to me though if someone who's in charge of getting rid of spam in the Google SERP's says dashed domains may suffer, and suffer badly, it's time to listen. YMMV. I hope it's not true since my first 4 sites are dashed domains.


But keep in mind that it's in Matt's best interest (and Google's) to propogate policies that lead to better search results. For example, Matt could say that don't do this, this, and this - but theoretically it would be near impossible or in a long time to address some of these issues.

IMO, the dashes issue is to mainly address keyword stuffing and that Google wouldn't make a sweeping penalty that "dashes=bad." That would be throwing out the baby with the water.
robertb
 
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Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:04 pm

That would be throwing out the baby with the water.


And when has Google ever stopped to think about the baby?

and that Google wouldn't make a sweeping penalty that "dashes=bad."


Agreed. From what I've heard it's probably 2 or more dashes, but only time will tell.

Tara :)
dabrat76
 
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Location: Montreal, Canada

Wed Feb 08, 2006 1:30 pm

Don't focus on just one item... like a dash... it's all part of the overall scoring.

All the Best,

Gary
speedguide
 
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:37 am

Here's one little tip for those who might doubt it a little bit.. Do a Google search for a major keyword... see how many results it takes to find a dashed domain :) I got bored first...

Tara :)
dabrat76
 
Posts: 165
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:02 am

dabrat76 wrote:Here's one little tip for those who might doubt it a little bit.. Do a Google search for a major keyword... see how many results it takes to find a dashed domain :) I got bored first...

Tara :)


Is that an indication that Google penalizes dashes, or is it an indication that people who use dashes in their domains are more short-term in their goals and sometimes launch sites that aren't as qualified to rank well?

I'm not promoting either viewpoint, just asking the question.
rlray216
 
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:08 am

Is that an indication that Google penalizes dashes, or is it an indication that people who use dashes in their domains are more short-term in their goals and sometimes launch sites that aren't as qualified to rank well?


Well, maybe both. I think more of the former than the latter, but I'm no expert. However, most people I know have dashed domains and get no love from Google, and I don't think we're all spammers, I'm certainly not. Draw from it what conclusions you will ;)

Tara :)
dabrat76
 
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