Saturday, 15 September 2007

Why India has the Online Advantage

Internet economy offers new opportunities to developing economies

Access to the internet is picking up in some large developing countries. The internet offers low risk possibilities to earn money. Citizens of developing countries have a very low income in USD, and thus have relatively more to gain from the internet.

When someone lives in the United States or in Europe, he has to earn a high income in absolute USD to live a decent live. In the U.S., the average GDP per head lays around 44,000 USD per year. In some European countries, this number lays even higher, for example Luxemburg with 88,000 USD and Norway with 72,000 USD. For citizens in these countries, earning a living through the internet is quite difficult. Their internet activities have to yield over 100 USD to even approach the U.S. average income, and even over 240 USD to get the Luxembourgian average. This basically means that only the people who are really good at something can ever dream of making enough money online to not need another source of income.

How different it is for inhabitants of countries with a much lower price level. For a set of products that costs you 10USD in the US, you will have to pay a lot less in a developing country, if you look at the actual price level and the exchange rate. This means that a citizen of the U.S. or Europe can buy a lot less for a dollar than a citizen of a developing country.

On the internet, the location of a person does not influence his opportunities for profit as it does in the physical world. Creating a website and earning money through advertisement can be done from New York or from New Deli without a difference in income for the same effort. Because the relative revenue is much higher for the person in India than it is for the person in the U.S., it is much more attractive for the Indian to earn online than it is for the American.

What does one need for earning money online?

First of all, one would need an internet connection. Currently, this is still quite a rare commodity in many developing countries, but this is changing fast, especially in the larger cities. Looking at the big picture, estimates are that in Asia, internet penetration is 11.8%, and in Latin America 19.8%. This means that in these regions, internet connectivity is sufficient to connect millions of people with the internet. [World Internet Usage by Internetworldstats]

Secondly, one would have to be able to communicate in a useful language. Currently, English is the main internet language, with 260 million English speaking users. Furthermore, the majority of websites are written in this language [Global Internet Statistics by UNESCO]. Most of the advertisement revenue possibilities prefer English usage, so writing in English is highly beneficial. Other useful languages are Chinese (120 million users), Japanese (80 million users) and Spanish (60 million users). This means that anyone with the proficiency in English, Spanish, Chinese or Japanese has a good starting position for earning some money online.

Considering that English is the most useful language, and considering that there are just a few low-wage countries where English is spoken, India has a really high potential starting position. The country has an internet penetration of only 3.7%, but this equals a total number of users of 42 million people. This number can be expected to grow fast in the near future. Because in India the average yearly GDP per capita lies at around 800 USD, only around 2.30 has to be earned daily to reach this average income. This is a number that is very easily achievable online through the use of advertisement programs and article writing websites. This means that the internet opens up a lot of new opportunities for Indian citizens to improve their income position.

To make use of this, I recommend the use of a website like Xomba, which allows a user to write content (articles, stories, news, opinions, observations, anything), and shares its ad revenue with its users. This works much more efficient than creating a stand-alone website, because the xomba site generates traffic to the content, and achieving an income of a couple of dollars a day becomes fairly easy, does not have any start-up costs and requires very little time.

More about making money with Xomba can be found here.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Writing titles for Digg

Nice experiment about the power of Digg

I made a nice looking blog with a list with twelve (or eleven) points about Digg and a couple of strange and even more irrelevant pictures on it. I wrote a Digg entry about it, and put it on the Digg website.

Of course, no-one is going to Digg this blog, especially because I called it Twelve Reasons not to Digg this, which is in itself already pretty lame I think. So in a matter of minutes, the Digg entry was pushed from the first page with the upcoming stories, and probably no-one will ever see it again. But in these first 15 minutes or so, I attracted about 25 unique visitors, and one even left a comment on the Digg site about the blog.

Now, I do not want to claim that 25 visitors is a lot, but it shows that people are really watching these upcoming stories, and they check out interesting or weird sounding links.

I am very convinced that giving a good and attractive name to your Digg entry heightens the chance that people will click on it and come to your site.

The other side of this, is that you also have to offer something attractive before people actually Digg your page or website, and that is where I went wrong (obviously). The blog I made does not attract anyone on its own, it is rather stupid actually, but that is not the point.

The point is that writing good Digg titles is half the work.
This, by the way, also goes for all the other social website collections and news aggregators. After doing some research on high-rating postings on such sites, I came to the conclusion that users of such services like fast titles and numbered lists. You do not need to describe your whole story or article on Digg, you just need to trigger curiosity, and traffic will come to your website or blog.

If you want them to stay longer than 5 seconds, and actually Digg the article so more people will come to it, you have to offer a bit more than that, for example good content. Visitors like to read about how things work, about how to do things, or about news scoops.

Also, a very strong design helps a lot, especially if you are targeting StubleUpon visitors, which just have a short glance at your page to decide if they like it.

Conclusion: as you already knew, Content is King. But a good title for your Bait is at least a good Crown-Prince.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Keyword Anchor Text Capture: The Experiment

Time for another experiment: how easy is it to capture very obscure keyword searches on Google? Normaly, Google searches on content, which is what a search engine should do. However, the way Google indexes its pages, and decides which ones are the most relevant, also depends on other factors. One of those is the anchor texts used to link to websites. Anchor texts are the words you see as a text link. These words do not have to contain real information about the website, they might also say something irrelevant like Click Here or something. So, although the anchor text does not have to say anything about the linked website, Google regards it as if it does.

On the one hand, this means that it is very important to always use good anchor texts when linking to your own websites. If you have, for example, a blog about Inflatable Elephants (just to name something), you do not want to use Stone Frogs as an anchor text, because it won’t help people find your page when they type in Inflatable Elephants. You also do not want to use Elephant, or Inflatable, as an anchor text, because these two things are so general that your page will end up on page 320 in the Google search results for these terms anyway, whatever you do (except if you really really put a lot of effort in it, then you might just reach page 230 or something).
So, to cut this too long story short, what you would want to do, is use the anchor text Inflatable Elephants. This is what your website is about, and this is a keyword phrase that is not highly popular, so you can compete on it, and rank high. Accidentally, this anchor text will also help your blog to be found when people use Elephant or Inflatable as anchor texts, and click on through to the 230th result page :-).

On the other hand, this means that when you choose some very obscure anchor text, like a combination of words that no-one has used before, and link this anchor text to a website that has nothing to do with it, search queries in Google for this phrase should show your website.

To test this, I will use a very nice and meaningless anagram of The Incredible Badger:

Glacier Indebted Herb

Well, I checked on Google, and there is no such thing in the searchable universe (hitherto). What I will do, is leave some links on different places on the internet, which have the above mentioned phrase as an anchor text. They will lead to a website having very little to do with any of the words in the phrase.

The experiment is to see if the website I use for the experiment will turn up in the search result for this phrase, although it has nothing to with it, and the words do not even appear on that particular website.

It should not really make a difference which website is used for this, because it is not the website that is being sought for, but the anchor text other websites use to link to this site. Thus, the website used for this experiment can be about anything irrelevant. Therefore, I will use one of my own websites, 70sDesign. It i s not like any normal person would use the above phrase to look for anything in Google anyway

This experiment could use your help: Place a link on your blog or website, explaining about the experiment (or without any explanation, if you like to confuse your visitors :-), and link to using the anchor text shown above (I do not want to repeat it the whole time, because Google will see this page as well, and thus it runs the risk of becoming the number one result for a search on the above phrase, making the whole experiment less useful).

Anyway, you can also easily see the outcome of this experiment by searching in Google for the above phrase. If 70sDesign turns up on top, it will be clear evidence that these anchor texts are important.

The next experiment then might by to try to ‘hijack’ some other obscure search terms which already have a few other (irrelevant) search results, and try to get on top. But that’s for a lter date.

For now, once again The Incredible Badger thanks you for your cooperation in this Internet Experiment about Anchor texts

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Digg Blog Function, The Experiment

Digg Blog Function, The Experiment

Digg offers its users the possibility to directly post stories from Digg on you blog. Could this be a good way to get visitors to your blog? The Incredible Badger investigates.

Once again, I think this shouldn’t work, because the original website where the original story was written should be much, much more popular, because all the Digg links point to it, as well as many more from blogs and news sites (that is, for the very popular Digg stories).
Another problem with this could be that Google doesn’t lists the stories in its search engine, because the stories are copied from the Digg website, and thus do not count as original stories. Furthermore, many story outlines are probably too short to qualify for genuine blog posts for the search engines.

Whatever the case will be, I will run this experiment for a couple of days, posting popular Digg stories from the last 24 hours or 7 days. I look for attractive sounding titles that are somehow a bit unique (improving the chance of someone finding my blog post about it in the Google search engine). I will also write a comment for some of the stories, so I can see if this significantly improves the visitor rate the website attracts through Google.

I use Google Analytics to track the traffic to the website, so I can distinguish between visitors directed from other websites, and between all the different search keywords that people used in Google to find the blog posts taken from Digg.

It is also for this reason that you are free to visit the experiment blog to see how the different Digg posts look like (the ones I added my comments to can be recognized by the Italic texts under the Digg cotent).
Because I can see in Google Analytics that you were referred from The Incredible Badger, you will not jeopardize the outcome of the experiment. The Experiment Digg Blog site is called Trends For Now

In a week from now, I will write an update to let you know if using popular stories from Digg does have a traffic attracting effect.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007, an Experiment

This is an experiment. is currently a hot in Google Trends, and I take the liberty to use as a keyword in this Incredible Badger Post to see if hot trends can be used to attract visitors through search engines.

For everyone who is actually looking for information about, I have good news, because I will write a bit about the website. Your time here will not be wasted, and at the end of this post you will find a link to so you can go there if you want to. is a website that specializes in offering coupons to consumers. They website features mainly food and other consumer products. The coupons on can easily be printed, and the page is made to look like your standard coupon leaflet.

I think is actually quite a nice business concept, because they get paid by the companies that want to offer coupons. The service that offers these companies is to get the word out about their coupons. For this, they also offer a nice corporate access to their website.

For consumers, is also very attractive, because it is a very fast and easy way to find out if there are coupons you could use. This can be checked quickly, for example before going to the mall. is an American page, which is logical, because the United States is practically the only country where so many coupons are used. In many other countries, for example in Europe, the use of coupons as a promotional activity is much less wide-spread. The page thus would not be very useful there.

This is the end of the experiment, thank you for cooperating :-) !

and now, the link to

Monday, 18 June 2007

Popularize your blog, get reviewed

-attention, this is a self marketing post :-) -

One of the best ways to make your blog more popular is by having other people write about it.
The best way to that is to get others to write reviews about your blog. I have a site that is dedicated to doing exactly that, and it has the higly original name BlogReviewBlog.

There, you can get a review for free, which includes great feedback and a free Backlink to your blog, so the visitors of Blog Review Blog can easily visit you, and you get ranked higher in Google.

My opinion about your blog is expressed in Bricks, with which you can build a virtual monument for your blog.

All topics are welcome, I wrote about Guitars, Football and Web 2.0, so your blog topis probably fits in without problems.

Request your review today!

Nice News: Xomba writing for money

I found something nice on the net today:

It is called Xomba , and it offers the possibility to write articles inside a community environment. The Nice News about this Xomba is that they offer a way to earn money with your articles. They do this not by offering some obscure points collecting plan, but by putting money right into your AdSense account.

If you have an AdSense Account, you can earn 50% of the total ad income your Xomba article generates. Although the share of 50% that Xomba takes for itself is quite large, their website attracts many users, so it is possible to make quite a bit of money on the long run for just a small amount of work.

You do need an AdSense account for this, so for which I offer on this site a nice affiliate button (click the button on the right, and follow the instructions, it is easy and a good money maker!).

Well than, good luck writing on Xomba!

I can be found on the Xomba website under the pseudonime The Incredible Badger.