A Happy Labor Day to all my readers!!

Here for you is another issue that I hope you find
interesting and can use to help make your business
a success.

As summer draws to a close with school starting -
it's time to look ahead and get ready for the big
holiday season. Thanksgiving and Christmas are
right around the corner. Time to stock up and get

eBay is at it again with lots of new upcoming
changes to their selling policies. You can read
more about the changes below with a brief overview
of how this may affect you.

I get lots of questions about online advertising
and using Google's AdSense program. Included below
is a great article to help get you started with
some tips on how to begin.

The next issue of "here and NOW" comes out in

To Your Success,
Coach Danny


- Questions From Readers
- eBay: Shoppers, No Checks or Money Orders
- Cleaning Up Your Marketing
- Cuil Launches Biggest Search Engine
- Guide to eBay's Latest Changes
- Cracking the Google Adsense Code

"If you're walking down the right path
and you're willing to keep walking,
eventually you'll make progress."

-Barack Obama

Questions From Readers

Q: I am new to selling on eBay and I wanted
to know if I should accept personal checks as
payment for my auctions? What do you think?

Terry G.

A: A timely question in light of eBay's recent
policy change in not allowing payments via
paper check or money order - unless requested
by the customer.

The danger in accepting personal checks comes
from having the check bounce after you have
mailed out the item.

The best way to get around this problem is to
clearly state in your item description - on
sites other than eBay - that you will not ship
the item until the check clears, usually 7-10
days. This works well for most sellers.

eBay's new policy will however, no longer
allow the posting of this type of payment in
ads placed on their site. You can read more
about this in the next article.

Accepting checks can be risky. I have read
about sellers receiving fake checks and
getting calls from investigators about a
month later saying the check was from a
stolen account.

Another option is ask your buyer to send a
money order. Then you can usually be assured
it's good and send the item once received.
You may want to at least deposit the money
order to make sure it's authentic also.

eBay's new payment policy can hinder those
businesses that deal with many international
customers who can't use PayPal. PayPal is
not available and will not work from most
areas in the Middle-East, Africa and many
Eastern European countries.

Many of my shoppers on eBay have complained
that they do not like to use PayPal, so hopefully
you have a merchant account, other than PayPal.
But, you can't say in your eBay ad what company
that might be, such as Google Checkout.

I suggest simply stating in your eBay description
that online credit card purchases can be made via
my merchant account, by invoice sent to your email.


eBay to Tell Shoppers, No Checks or Money Orders
By Ina Steiner

Sellers are saying eBay's ban on checks and
money orders is, in effect, a move to a
PayPal-only policy - at least for the many
sellers who don't have their own credit card
merchant account. Buyers may be unaware of
the policy that goes into effect during the
holiday shopping season - and it's unclear
what those shoppers who can't or don't wish
to use PayPal and credit cards on eBay will
do in response to the policy.

Soliciting Paper Payments
eBay confirmed that sellers may still
accept checks and money orders after the policy
goes into effect - as long as the request comes
from the buyer and sellers do not solicit paper
payments in listings or via email.

Many sellers remain unaware of this fact, and
others may be reluctant to accept paper anyway
out of fear of eBay's Trust & Safety
enforcement team.

Seller confusion could lead to buyer confusion
if they receive conflicting information from
sellers about whether or not they may accept
paper payments.

Google Checkout
The ban on paper payments will take effect in
late October and eBay will continue to ban
competitive online payment services, except
for a service called ProPay.

eBay had for several years cited concerns
over Google's track record of providing safe
and reliable financial and/or banking related
services, as well as concerns about privacy
issues, as the reason for banning its Checkout
payment service.

But eBay added messaging to its website
last week saying it would ban Google Checkout,
Checkout by Amazon or Amazon Flexible Payment
Services because "Google's and Amazon's
products and services compete with eBay on a
number of levels, so we are not going to allow
them on eBay."

Antitrust Lawsuit
It's not clear what effect, if any, eBay's new
payment policy may have on the class-action
antitrust lawsuit filed against it in 2007.

In its motion to dismiss last year, eBay wrote,
"Plaintiffs acknowledge, as they must, that eBay
sellers are free to accept a wide variety of
payment forms. They can accept Visa, MasterCard,
Discover or American Express. They can accept
cash, checks or money orders. They can accept
online payments from at least four online payment
services other than PayPal: Bidpay, Propay.com,
Checkfree.com, and Hyperwallet.com."

eBay banned cash payments in 2006 and further
limited payment methods last year. Beginning in
late October, eBay will limit acceptable payment
methods to merchant credit card accounts, ProPay,
and PayPal.

Cleaning Up Your Marketing

by Charlie Cook

Has your once well-organized marketing plan come
to resemble the jumble of stuff in your closet
(not to mention the garage and the attic)? If you
are like most people, each time you come across a
new marketing idea you try to adopt it and add it
to your existing approach.

Strategies and tactics tend to accumulate and
linger even when they may not be working as well
as you'd like. Like the ill-fitting clothes that
accumulate in your closet or the broken tools
still in the garage, they are hard to get rid of,
whether because of habit, emotional attachment or
just plain not getting around to cleaning them out.

To improve your marketing, you'll need to clean out
some old ways of working. While I don't want to get
anywhere near your closet, and in fact I could use
some help with mine, I can show you how to clean
up your marketing plan so you're ready to take
advantage of the New Year to grow your business.

Cleaning Up Your Marketing Plan Every morning my
friend Michael Angier of SuccessNet.org sits down
at his desk and asks himself the following three
quëstions about his business.

1. What's working?
2. What's not working?
3. What can I improve?

You may not want to review your marketing plan
five times a week, but it is a good idea to do
it at least once a year. So take out your pencil
or fire up your computer and assess your
marketing plan:

Your Marketing Plan
1. Is your plan working?

2. Do you have a well defined marketing strategy
that helps you achieve the
three phases of marketing:
Getting Attention,
Positioning, and

3. Do you need to write or rewrite
your marketing plan?

4. Do you need additional information
or coaching to complete your marketing plan?

5. What are you going to do to
improve your marketing plan?

Getting Attention
6. Does your marketing message
prompt prospects to contact you?

7. Do your ads, letters, and
web site motivate prospects to contact you?

8. What are your conversion rates?

9. What steps can you take
to improve them?

10. What are you doing to establish your
credibility with prospects, to help them
know and trust you?

11. Is it working as well as you'd like?

12. What could you improve?

13. Is the value of your products and
services clear to your prospects or
do they quëstion you about merits and price?

14. Want to learn how to ensure that
your prospects understand the value of
your products and services?

15. How successful are you in selling,
that is, in getting commitments for
everything from appointments to orders?

16. What's your conversion rate of
prospects contacted to clients
and customers?

17. Do initial sales generate repeat
sales and referrals for years to come?

18. Want to learn how to generate
more sales from each client?

Evaluating Your Marketing Plan
Use three quëstions to summarize
your comments about your marketing plan and
your success in getting attention, positioning
and selling.

1. What's working?

2. What's not?

3. What do you want to improve?

The hardest part about cleaning out your
closet, attic, garage or your marketing is
getting started. It may be time to straighten
up or throw out some of your old marketing
strategies and tactics and replace them with
new more effective ones.

Start with a well organized marketing plan,
one that helps you get attention,
position your products and services and
sell and you'll find your business growing
in leaps and bounds in the coming year.

The author
Charlie Cook, helps service
professionals and small business owners
attract more clients and be more successful.
2004 © In Mind Communications,
LLC. All rights reserved.


Cuil Launches Biggest Search Engine on the Web

Technology Company Offers New Look at Search
Cuil, a technology company pioneering a new
approach to search, unveils its innovative search
offering, which combines the biggest Web index with
content-based relevance methods, results organized
by ideas, and complete user privacy.
Cuil (http://www.cuil.com/) has indexed 120 billion Web
pages, three times more than any other search

Cuil (pronounced COOL) provides organized and
relevant results based on Web page content analysis.

The search engine goes beyond today’s search
techniques of link analysis and traffic ranking to
analyze the context of each page and the concepts
behind each query. It then organizes similar search
results into groups and sorts them by category.
Cuil gives users a richer display of results and
offers organizing features, such as tabs to clarify
subjects, images to identify topics and search
refining suggestions to help guide users to the
results they seek.

“The Web continues to grow at a fantastic rate and
other search engines are unable to keep up with it,”
said Tom Costello, CEO and co-founder of Cuil.
“Our significant breakthroughs in search technology
have enabled us to index much more of the Internet,
placing nearly the entire Web at the fingertips of
every user. In addition, Cuil presents searchers
with content-based results, not just popular ones,
providing different and more insightful answers that
illustrate the vastness and the variety of the Web.”

Cuil’s technology was developed by a team with
extensive history in search. The company is led by
husband-and-wife team Tom Costello and
Anna Patterson.

Mr. Costello researched and developed search engines
at Stanford University and IBM; Ms. Patterson is best
known for her work at Google, where she was the
architect of the company’s large search index and
led a Web page ranking team. They refused to accept
the limitations of current search technology and
dedicated themselves to building a more comprehensive
search engine. Together with Russell Power, Anna’s
former colleague from Google, they founded Cuil to
give users the opportunity to explore the Internet
more fully and discover its true potential.

“Since we met at Stanford, Tom and I have shared a
vision of the ideal search engine,” said Anna
Patterson, President and COO of Cuil. “Our team
approaches search differently. By leveraging our
expertise in search architecture and relevance
methods, we’ve built a more efficient yet richer
search engine from the ground up. The Internet
has grown and we think it’s time search did too.”

Cuil’s methods guarantee online privacy for
searchers. Since the search engine ranks pages based
on content instead of number of clicks, personal
data collection is unnecessary, so personal search
history is always private.

Summary of Cuil’s features:

* Biggest Internet search engine—Cuil has
indexed 120 billion Web pages, 3x more than
any other search engine

* Organized results—Cuil’s magazine-style
layout separates results by subject and allows
further search by concept or category

* Different results—Unlike other search
engines, Cuil ranks results by the content on
each page, not its popularity

* Complete privacy protection—Cuil does
not keep any personally identifiable
information on users or their search histories

Guide to eBay's Latest Changes

By Ina Steiner

eBay has once again announced a host of major
changes to its site this year, leaving sellers to
figure out how best to adapt their selling strategies
in light of the changes.

In addition to changing the BIN Fixed-Price format
fee and duration, eBay announced a new
electronics-payments only policy prohibiting sellers
from accepting checks and money orders. The policy
states that beginning late October 2008, all items
listed on eBay.com must be paid for using one of the
following approved payment options:

Direct credit or debit card payment via a
merchant credit card account;

PayPal; ProPay;
or Payment on pick-up.

Overview of Changes on eBay.com
eBay's Buy It Now (BIN) Fixed-Price format is
changing to a 30-day duration with a 35-cent
listing fee and Final Value Fees that vary
according to category.

Sellers are no longer able to accept paper
- only merchant credit card accounts,
ProPay, and PayPal will be acceptable,
effective late October - see exceptions here.

eBay is suspending selling activity on accounts
that fall to 4.3 in any of their Detailed Seller
Ratings (DSRs).

eBay is changing the mix of inventory on the
site and will score fixed-price and auction
listings separately in Best Match, but display
them together on the search results pages

eBay will also create a new factor for its
Best Match search algorithm for fixed-price
listings only, called "Recent Sales." This
will reward multiple-quantity listings that
have had recent sales over single- and
multiple-quantity listings with fewer or
no recent sales.

eBay is putting limits on Shipping & Handling
charges in the Media category, effective

eBay will give incentives to sellers to offer
free shipping in all categories. It will give
items with free shipping more exposure in search,
and will offer additional discounts on FVFs
(Final Value Fees). The discount will apply to
individual listings, so sellers can choose which
listings, if any, on which to offer free shipping.

Cracking the Google Adsense Code

By Kim Roach

Google Adsense has empowered web publishers of
all shapes and sizes to make money from their
web sites. Whether you own a hobby site that
gets 100 visitors per day or a popular finance
portal that is flooded with millions of visitors
per month, you can benefit from the Google
Adsense program.

Simply sign up for a free account, grab your
Adsense code and paste it up on your website.
Well, it sounds good anyway. In reality, that's
not the whole story. Maximizing your adsense
earnings requires a little more care.
Fortunately, you can quickly increase your
earnings by reading every word of this article.
I will cover the basic necessities and also
reveal advanced tips that you won't find on
every digital corner. So, if you're looking
to put more money in your pocket with a few
tweaks of code, I urge you to read on.

As you are reading, keep in mind that Google
is actually one of the best resources for
finding information on Adsense optimization.
Think it's hard to believe that Google would
give good advice? Well, it makes sense when
you think about it. The more you make as a
publisher, the more they will make. Google
has a big incentive to help you perform well.
Not to mention, they have tons of data to
research what works best.

So, for much of my research, I took quite a
few tips from Google. But don't worry, there
are also some advanced tips here that Google
will probably never reveal to you.

Most Effective Ad Formats
In general, wider ad formats tend to
outperform the taller ads. This is because
the wider ads are much easier on the eye.

According to Google, the following ad formats
result in the highest number of click-throughs:


Tim Carter of AskTheBuilder.com increased his
revenues by 20 percent after placing the large
rectangle (336x280) in the upper left corner,
positioned within his articles.

Text links are another ad format that often
work well. Using text link ads, you can create
Adsense ads that blend in seamlessly with
your navigation.

For an example of this, go to

Tim Carter saw an 18 percent increase in his
revenues after placing link units in the upper
left corner under his site search bar.

Number of Ads
Multiple ad units can sometimes help optimize
your performance. This is especially true for
pages with lots of text, forums, and
message boards.

However, it could possibly lower your revenues
as well. When you show more ads, the ads
that are placed lower on the page often have
lower bid prices than the ones on top.
Therefore, you must test the number of ads
on a page to see what works best for you.

When using multiple ad units, make sure that
the ad unit with the highest click-through
rate appears first within your HTML code.
This will ensure that your prime real estate
is occupied by the highest paying ads. You
can use CSS positioning to get your highest
paying ads placed in the location with the
highest CTR.

Ads that blend in with the colors of your
site generate the highest click-through rates.
In most cases, it is best to use the exact
same color scheme for your ads that you use
on your web site. To see some good examples
of this, check out:


By using ads without background color or
borders, your ads seamlessly integrate with
your content.

Keep in mind that blue text links seem to
perform best for Google Adsense. Blue is
the assumed color of links on the Internet.
Therefore, our pyschie expects links to be
in blue.

However, you may want to rotate your colors
every once in a while to spice things up.
This way, your visitors don't get used to
your ads, which can cause banner-blindness.

Ad Placement
Just like in real estate, location is the
key to success with Adsense. Fortunately,
Google provides us with a heat map,
showing the best spots for ads.

One of the best places for your Adsense ads
are at the top-left of the page. Because
people are used to seeing navigation on the
left side of the page, the eye naturally
gravitates to this section of your web site.

Many studies have been performed to see how
the eye travels across a web page. You can
see a demonstration at
Knowing how people view your web site will
help immensely when optimizing the placement
of your ads.

In addition, you should also place your Adsense
ads next to rich content and navigation elements.
These ads often do well because users are
focused on those areas of a page. You can see
examples of this at
Ezinearticles.com and Lockergnome.com.

As you can see, these sites have placed their
adsense ads next to search boxes and
navigation links.

Keep in mind that you shouldn't change the
layout of your site to fit the ads, but rather
use the ad formats that best fit with your
site layout.

Many publishers have started using images around
their ads. As a result, many of them have
doubled their revenues.

One of the most successful implementations of
this techniques is to use the 728x90 leaderboard
with 4 thumbnail-sized images above each ad.
You can see some good examples at:


Of course, you can't use images of blinking
arrows because this would be enticing visitors
to click. However, it is perfectly acceptable
to place related pictures beside your ads.

For example, if you have a page about laptops,
you could place a leaderboard with 4 laptop
images above each ad. In this way, you are
using images to complete the story.

In fact, Google is currently testing an ad
format that would blend images together with
related text ads. It seems that even Google
thinks that images are a good idea to bring
attention to ads. To see an example of the
Google ads in beta, go to

If you have a forum, I hope you are monetizing
it with Adsense. Many people include Adsense
within their web site, but when it comes to
their forum, they simply let the ball drop.
Forums can definitely be an extra source of
income when optimized properly.

To find out about the best placement for
Adsense within forums, I went to Google for
some advice. To my surprise, they also have
a heat map for forums .

One of the best ways to monetize your forum is
to place Adsense directly within the threads.
To see an example of this, go to
Google advises that you place a skyscraper
above the fold on the left side of your forum
and they also suggest placing a leaderboard
directly below the top navigation and below
the first post.

If you are looking for additional ad space, you
can place a horizontal link unit near the top of
the forum, just below the header.

The next Adsense tactic is one that isn't talked
about much. However, when used appropriately, it
can be extremely powerful.

If you own an newsletter list, then you could
easily leverage that list in order to earn more
Adsense revenue. Whenever you send out your
newsletter, simply link to an article on your
site within the email. By doing this, you can
draw people to your Adsense pages and easily
increase your Adsense revenue.

This is one of the best things about building
your own list. You are able to direct traffic
to any place at any time.

In the end, the key to increased revenues is
testing. Not all sites are the same. You have to
experiment to find out what works best for your
particular site. What works for one site may not
work for another. Only by testing can you find
out which styles encourage your visitors
to respond.

About the Author
Kim Roach is a staff writer and editor for the
SiteProNews & SEO-News newsletters.