Don’t get hung up on domain names

(September 1, 2009) I’m seeing a disturbing trend lately of affiliates buying crazy ugly domain names, just because they’re keyword stuffed or match the phrase they are targeting.  Things like etc, where XXXXX is the poker room name.

Domain names these days don’t hold the same weight in search engines as they used to.  There are many SEO gurus that feel they don’t matter at all, as long as you do good search engine optimization for the phrases that you are targeting.  Honestly in tests I have conducted I find that the domain name still helps, but not anywhere near as much as it used to years ago.

The fact is that the domain name doesn’t make the site – it’s the other way round.  Sure a good, keyword matching domain would be nice and really lets the visitor know what the site is about from the get-go, but it’s not critical to success or anything.

Before poker rooms like Party Poker or Full Tilt Poker were born, what if I told you to register those domains?  Pretend Full Tilt Poker never existed.  Is a valuable domain then?  No, of course not – but it’s the product that makes their domain and website so valuable.  Think about some of the bigger affiliate sites.  10 years ago, would you pay more than $100 for a or a

Of course not.  The domain names aren’t valuable – it’s the website that was put on that domain, the content etc that made the domain and brand name valuable.

Exact match keyword domains may be okay for mini sites, but when you create your next big site, think of it five years in the future.  Try and think of it as being a huge poker brand, something that will be the “go to” site for poker players for whatever content it is that you serve.  Would you rather have a or a

A domain name isn’t everything.  If anything, it’s one of the least important factors when building a successful website.

Affiliate Manager Correspondence

(August 4, 2009) Like every poker affiliate, I receive the standard form template e-mails from affiliate managers asking me to promote their poker rooms, promising “the highest revenue”, “the best conversions” and all that other garbage.  I’m usually polite and respond to them that I am not looking to promote new rooms at this time, but will keep their e-mail on hand for when I am adding new poker rooms to promote.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from an affiliate manager asking me to promote their poker room, as they felt it was a great fit for my portals.  Unfortunately I received this e-mail 3 different times, at 3 different addresses, related to 3 different portals.  Seriously is it that hard to do some goddamn homework?  Even worse, I ALREADY PROMOTE THIS POKER ROOM.

I’ll be nice and not mention the name of the poker room, instead referring to it as XXX Poker.  So I replied to the person:

I already promote XXX Poker on a couple of websites.  But when I receive this same e-mail to a couple of different e-mail addresses, it makes me want to promote a little less.

I was expecting any response I would get would be apologetic.  Instead I get another fucking sales pitch!

Hi Graeme,
Thank you for your swift reply 🙂
We didn’t see XXX Poker on TheUltimatePokerGuide and with the release of the flash version, we thought it would be a great fit in the “Mac Poker Online” section of your website 🙂
Graeme, have you ever benefited from the current affiliate promotion we are running with the 70%, 60% and 50% revenue share offer during 3 months? We could adjust your account to reflect this promotion even if you are not new to the program 🙂 Also, we could create a customized bonus code to offer on your websites with a 150% bonus up to $600. Is this something you would be interested in?
Graeme, if you want, you can also send us a list of your various websites so we would avoid contacting you again in the future on the different e-mail addresses as I understand this is frustrating.
Many thanks for your time and I look forward to reading your feedback 🙂

Jesus H. Christ.

The Best Online Task Manager Application

(July 22nd, 2009) My website to do list was a mess.  Everything was all over the place, and I was losing track of everything I had to do.  I also had added some new employees to the Dealer Dan staff, and I was finding that everything was all over the place – I had tons of e-mail correspondences going, MSN messages etc.  It was pretty crazy.

So I set out to find a program that would make life a lot easier.  I checked out some support ticket systems but they didn’t really meet my needs, and were overcomplicated.  I wanted something simple, where I could say “Here’s a list of my websites, here’s a list of stuff I have to do for each website, here’s the people who will be doing it”.  Nice and simple.  Then those users can log on each day and see what tasks are set to them, and write comments on each task and keep track of what is being done etc.

After trying out a few, I finally settled on Taskfreak.  Took two minutes to install, and the setup process is minimal at least.  Within seconds I was up and running with a great system that is easy to manage my ever expanding to do list.  Here’s a sample image of it:


This is from an administrators point of view.  I blurred out the Title of the tasks, and the user it was assigned to, but you get the general idea.  From a users point of view they only see the tasks they are assigned to, or projects they are assigned to.  It is very customizable.  You can see a demo and it’s all free BTW – check out the TaskFreak site.

Also if you end up using the application be sure to donate to them – donations are what keep these people putting out awesome free products.