Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Google: Underscores are now word separators

According to Matt Cutts who spoke Saturday at WordCamp 2007, Google is treating (or will treat very soon) the underscore used in URLs as word separator. This is a great news and a new challenge for SEO professionals. Blog softwares such us TypePad or Movable Type are also affected because, by default, the underscores are used instead of hyphens.

Other presentation highlights:
  • Google treats URLs with a query string the same as static URLs.
  • The number of slashes in URL does not affect Google rankings.
  • The file extension from URL won't affect the rankings
And a final tip: if you want to have your blog included in Google News, the first condition is to be a multiple user blog ;)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Quick guide: Instant Payment Notification

Avangate has a very "sexy" feature called IPN (Instant Payment Notification). For every approved order, the software vendor can receive to a specific URL an automated confirmation containing all order information (order details, products sold, customer data, etc).

What can you do by using IPN:
  • add order information to internal database
  • add license to an internal application
  • create specific tasks (custom emails, specific alerts, etc)
  • etc (read: "use your imagination")
Every time when a colleague of mine or a software vendor asks me if it's possible to implement a specific action when a order occurs, I am getting a smiling face and I am giving the same answer: "Of course, you can do everything you want by powering the IPN feature" :)

P.S. I am writing this post to send a quick link to all related feature questions.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Avangate promotes e-commerce services in USA

Avangate attended Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. The overall feeling is that the conference is a "place to be" for any software business company. The audience is from Microsoft integrators/developers area and the first objective for everyone is to make a good business.

Avangate made a star from the myAvangate platform (Reseller Management System) by promoting the most powerful sales concept these days: combining the online sales channel with classical distribution channels.

SIC 2007
Avangate had also a good presence at SIC 2007 (also by sponsoring the conference). The conference is also a "place to be" for every software business or service provider for this area.

In my opinion the conference is still in the beginning stage. The majority of the people are from the US but the international presence seems to grow from year to year.

The conference is a great opportunity to build new partnerships, to discover new business concepts and to promote your products or services of course.

Adriana had a very good presentation about "Web metrics". The audience learned how to "read" the business behind the numbers showed by any website tracking system, how to calculate and interpret the bounce rates and conversion rates, etc.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Affiliates - a questionable business

The affiliate concept seems to be a revolutionary way to expand your business but if we are looking at what is happening in the real world we will see that the market is full of useless affiliates.

Everyday we are receiving spam from affiliates that are waiting the sales to happen or we are landing on websites made by some affiliate that doesn't care if the products he is promoting will be sold or not. Why did they do that? Because it is free! It cost them nothing to get the affiliate statute. At this point starts your role to sort out who you are doing business with.

Looking to the software industry I can say that these affiliates are more than useless; they spoil the "free to try" concept by adding thousands of download portals that are not helping the users at all but confusing them.

Of course, we have hundreds and hundreds of affiliates that are doing a great job. They are 100% involved in promoting the products and supporting the potential customers; the sales are going very well and everybody is happy! Our duty is to improve the relationships with these real affiliates and to ignore the rest of them.

In my previous article about the affiliates business I spoke about how to improve your sales through the affiliates channel.

In conclusion, the affiliates business can be a very good sales channel if we are permanently paying attention to the business relationships and we are not happy just to have thousands of affiliates (but doing nothing for real for our business).

When did you contact the last time your affiliates?