Category Archives for "Computer & Internet"

How I Made Extra Money during the Current Economic Uncertainty

If you’ve been trying to learn how to make money online, I am sure you’ve came across claims like making money on the Internet is easy, you can become a millionaire overnight using a “fully-automated” or “turn-key” system. All you have to do is sit back and wait for the money to roll in.

But if it’s that easy why hasn’t everyone become an Internet millionaire by now?

Good for me that I started with no money at all so I couldn’t afford to buy every marketing product that claimed to have the answer to the secrets of Internet riches. I had to and still exercise good judgment and common sense when it comes to spending money on how to make money products.

At the same time, I knew there were many real people and those that running websites that became popular enough that their owners have quit their day job. I always wondered how they did it, how they got started and what they were doing differently that made them successful while others failed.

Once in a while, a product came along that really captured my attention. While money was still an issue, I strongly felt that using it as an excuse not to buy the product would mean that my curiosity on how some people become successful would remain unanswered.

Don’t get me wrong though as I doubt an ebook that has all the answers to the secrets of Internet riches exist. For me, an ebook is good if it doesn’t just dish out theories but proven ideas about specific ways of making money online.

I needed to treat what I do like a real business.  That means I needed to invest money in order to make more money. That seems obvious now but many newbies fail to see that including me when I first got started. And there’s nothing better than investing money in a good marketing education.

Spending money on improving your knowledge is one of the best investments you can do as you try to make money online. Your readiness  to invest in yourself shows whether you are really serious about becoming successful.

OK, let’s get straight to the point. If you want to learn how to make money from pay per click, the product that I am going to recommend is a must have. But…

  • If you are unwilling to risk losing some money in return for the opportunity to make even more than you can stop reading now.
  • If you want an easy way to make money, this product is not for you.
  • If you want to become a millionaire over night, this product is not for you.
  • If you want a fully automated or turnkey system, this product is not for you.

Anyway, this is what I’ve made from just ONE website in the first week of January (in USD) a few weeks after I implemented the methods. I made fantasy becomes reality because I took action, I didn’t just learn but I put what I’ve learned into practice.

Click image to enlarge

I used the extra money to indulge myself in my other newly found passion and got myself a Canon EOS 50D DLSR camera. Then I flew to Singapore for a couple of days for some shopping.

I am not telling you this to boast. I am just trying to show you the possibilities. Personally, I still need to work harder before I can say I’ve achieved my target, which is to make USD10,000 profit consistently monthly.

Can I guarantee that you’ll make money after reading this guide? I don’t know because I don’t know you. But what I can say for sure is that the methods really work for me.

The creator, Jeremy Palmer is using this exact technique (his personal way of making money online) that has made him millions of dollars in affiliate revenues annually.

Want to learn more? Check out The Black Ink Project

PS: Check out the bonuses. Jeremy is giving away PPC Classroom for free. I own this course too and paid USD500 for it when it was first released, serious…


By The Way… I’m Still Here

It happens once in a while, a period when this blog seems to switch into a hibernation mode where updates are like the rain that never comes during a dry spell.

I had received several emails and comments from my readers wondering if I’m still around to update this blog – the answer is yes I am still alive. Sorry if I’ve kept you waiting guys.

One of them came up with several guesses as to why the lack of posting and allow me answer those lingering questions

1. Gaman is giving this post high priority, tribute to Gobala (could be Gobala giving him big sum of money :p )

Well it just happens that it was the last post before the blog went temporarily quiet. Good for Gobala for the extra exposure 😉

2. Gaman is testing this page, can give big traffics or income return (i’m no SEO expert)

Not really, although the AdSense income has never dropped during those period.

3. Gaman is doing a couple of projects, testing this – the new millionaires – strategIES.

I am doing several projects but they are not directly related to the book.

4. Gaman is out of town, NO INTERNET CONNECTON.

In a way it’s true. I’ve been travelling a lot for the past few weeks so I have to admit that once the momentum is broken, it’s hard for me to pick up the pace and get into the blogging mindset.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post I rather not write anything for the sake of writing. If I am not in the correct frame of mind, I am not motivated enough to write and this will affect the quality of the post.

5. Gaman is in jail or under ISA Detention (although impossible – kakaka !)

Nah… I am not a political blogger.

6. Gaman is giving up this blog and leave it to be expired (unless this blog gives return more than USD100 monthly :))

I won’t let this blog drift off into Internet oblivion. It’s the only place where I share my personal experience making money online. I’ll be doing a disservice to my readers if I were to let that happen. Oh btw, yes this blog earns around that much monthly, which is not much unfortunately but that’s not the reason I blog or rather not blog.

7. Gaman is getting married and still in honeymoon for 40 days 40 nights (hey that’s Elvis Presley lah), if true then don’t forget to drink Kopi Tongkat Ali lah hehe.

May be I’ll have a 40 nights honeymoon when I get married

8. Now it’s mystery, and wait for the next post by Gaman

Now it’s no longer a mystery :). I just hope that you don’t take the lack of updates as a sign that I am abandoning this whole money making on the Internet thingy.

I’ve been doing this for a living since the late 90s and I can’t imagine not doing what I am doing now. Just that, I am not a full time blogger so thing can be rather quiet at times.

If you are blogging, keep building your momentum up. If you are learning to make money online, keep learning and keep your passion alive. You and you alone can make the difference if you’ll be successful or not.

Now, I’ve also received the following question from a reader via email recently.

I knew you good with blogging and so on. I really want to know on how your leverage your daily task as internet marketer. Im sure sometime we need to outsource our tasks and maybe you also can write a review about any forum you’re actively involved. I want to know a lot but maybe next issue

I have one full time assistant to help me in the daily maintenance of several websites as well as locating suitable products to promote using the pay per click search engines.

If I can do the programming, web designing, content writing, I’ll do them myself, but sometimes it’s more efficient to outsource some tasks via websites such as RentACoder.com and Elance.com

As for the forums, I used to be active in Sitepoint.com forum; sometimes I visited the DigitalPoint.com forum. For the local ones, I visited WebmasterMalaysia.com.

But that was before, these days we are managing our own general forum which has little to do with Internet marketing. It’s a rather crazy but fun forum where the members write in Sabahan Malay and English .

Ok.. I guess that’s about it for this update. I’ll write more again soon.


Gobala Krishnan – The New Millionaires – A Review

I imagine anyone who wants to learn about making money on the Internet and wonders if it’s possible to do it for a living would have their interest peaked to find a book addressing this subject.

If you don’t know this already, Gobala Krishnan – one of the most prolific Malaysian Internet marketers – has released his first paperback book with a fascinating title: The New Millionaires: Work From Home Make Money Online Live Like a Millionaire.

The book should be available in book stores near you as you are reading this.

I got a complimentary copy from Gobala a couple of days ago and I initially flipped through it to see if there are new nuggets to pick up. This book is written by someone who has been there and done it, so of course I did expect to find something interesting.

While reading the first few chapters, I found myself scribbling down on sticky notes marking interesting paragraphs and then continued scribbling in my notepad. By the time I was finished, I had several pages filled with points that I wanted to pay attention to.

Making money on the Internet is a vast subject and your imagination is the only limit as to how you want to make money online. The book explains not only the How part but the

  • Why (why should you do it)
  • When (part-time of full time)
  • What (what to do and what to avoid)
  • Who (success stories of Malaysian Internet marketers)

The Who part fills about half of the book. It’s a compilation of interviews with 12 Malaysian Internet marketers making money from various methods from eBay and dropshipping to the well known Google AdSense and affiliate programs.

What’s so valuable about this chapter is that, people are sharing their own experiences giving you some insights into things behind the scene. You’ll find valuable tips and tricks as well as pitfalls to avoid.

Be warned though, the variety of business ideas may overwhelm you especially if you are just testing the water. Most newbies make the mistake by thinking that they probably have to learn everything in this chapter in order to become successful.

As explained by Gobala in the book, the problem starts when someone starts researching into hundreds of different ways of making money online. First they read about eBay and they dream of becoming an eBay powerseller, then they came across this thing called blogging, and they want to become a successful blogger making tons of money from it. They spend all their time learning but still fail because they never really put what they’ve learned into practice.

There’s one element that must absolutely present if you want to make money on the Internet – that is to identify things that you are passionate about and these are things that should be the foundation of your online business. As they said, find your passion and the money will follow.

In any online endeavour, often times it begins with you making no money or little if any for a while and it would seem like throwing the towel is the only sensible option. Passion is what will keep you going during those trying times and this book talks about this early to help you start off on the right path.

That said, you’ll also have to be realistic in that your business idea has to be feasible. No matter how passionate you are about it, there’s little point selling ice to the Eskimos for instance!

I find the discussion about How to grow exponentially on page 186 really inspiring. While they are not entirely new to me, they’ve definitely reminded me to pay attention to those things that I’ve been tossing in the back seat.

This includes things like not to put off the creation of new products, realise that residual income won’t last forever without constant “nudging” from you to keep things rolling and focus on things that bring the most return.

The book touches on other subjects including how Gobala made RM31,500 selling a 12 page ebook (an insightful chapter I must add), how exactly he makes money online, an introduction to keyword research, email marketing, understanding resell rights and so on.

While most people can draw something useful from this book, I’d have to be realistic here, reading this book alone won’t change your life unless you are able to extract useful ideas and apply them in your own online business endeavours. In a nutshell – you have to take action!

If I were to start a new online venture here’s what I’d do:

  • Discover whatever I am passionate about at the moment
  • Create a website, a product or a service
  • Drive targeted traffic and continue to improve on the website, product or service
  • Only then I’ll try to make money from it.
  • I’ll focus on this particular venture before I move on to the next business idea.

You can read more about Gobala’s book here



Coming Soon: Sabahan.com v2.0 On A Screen Near You

I’ve been working hard testing and customizing a brand new template for Sabahan.com. If everything goes as planned I hope to unveil the latest design, the latest tomorrow.

Since I plan to sell advertisement directly, regular readers may notice more ads on the sidebar. However the content section will remain like it is now with one inline AdSense rectangle ad.

I am also interested in incorporating a new, professional looking logo for Sabahan.com. Since spending some money hiring a designer to do that isn’t something that I’m looking forward to, I’ve decided to design the logo myself.

I was looking for inspiration when I stumbled upon this rather inspiring and informative article from evernerve.com

The new Sabahan.com logo design was based on the ideas I got from the article… let see if my logo designing skill is up to the standard 😉

As for the template itself, I’ve decided to spend a little money to purchase a commercial template instead of following my inclination to use a freely available template.

Actually I’m feeling a little under the weather right now; let’s hope it won’t get worse so that I can finish this upgrade ASAP 😉


Do You Need A Business Plan For Your Internet Business?

If you are reading this, chances are you are probably trying to make money online or are already generating some good money from the Internet.

Whether you are a full/part time blogger, an Internet marketer of some sort or someone who are just getting his or her feet wet in the world of netpreneurship, there’s a benefit to be had by having a business plan that guide you along the way.

Talking about business plans, the recent silence period in this blog has to do with me trying to catch up with my own business plan schedule. The recent Internet outage has threw me slightly off the track and time needs to be spent to catch up.

Being self-employed with no boss looking over my shoulder gives me the flexibility to do as I wish as long as it keeps me focused on my main objectives. While the unfortunate blogging is not one of the priorities, it doesn’t mean this blog is destined for neglect. It’ll be updated as soon as I have the time and truly useful subject to write about.

So back to the question posed by the title of this post, do you really need a business plan for your Internet business?

You have no investors that need convincing, no lenders to fund your business, and no corporate objectives to define. All you have is your trusty computer, your Internet connection and yourself. I’d imagine most of Sabahan.com’s readers fall into this category.

Some don’t even do this full time so why wasting time writing about a business plan that nobody reads?

There’s a logic behind that reasoning. For instant I believe some full time bloggers become successful by “following the flow” such as LiewCF.com and PaulTan.org and not by having a business plan – correct me if I am wrong guys. As long as you consistently write about topics that attract the masses you are bound to attract the search engines spiders (when combined with a good SEO practice of course) and at the same time keep your readers interested.

On the other hand, not everyone falls into that category especially if you are not a full time blogger. In most cases having a business plan improves your chances of succeeding as an netpreneur.

If you are serious about doing business on the Internet, you need to treat what you do now as a business. Having a business plan is one way to do so. As I’ve said before, the real reason for creating a business plan is not having the finished results, rather the act of planning helps you analyze things more thoroughly by looking at your ideas critically.

Having a business plan help keeps you on track for success. Other benefits include the ability to determine whether your products have sufficient market demand, provide an estimate of costs needed to run your business, identify your target market, reevaluate your competition and how you could stay ahead and so on.

During the early days of my software development business, I laid our a plan for the year ahead where I broken down the activities on how my software projects should be ran. There’s nothing scientific about it, I just wrote down the timeline for each software development and marketing cycle. At the end of that year my Internet income more than tripled than that of the previous year.

Then, I stopped writing any business plan the year after. This non-action consequently resulted in the stagnation of my Internet business income, except the occasionally spikes or plunges which do happen when you leave things to chance.

How much details you want to put into your business plan will depend on what you want to achieve. More importantly you need to have a clear idea where you want to be in a year, or in three or five years time.

I personally prefer planning an annual business plan, any longer would increase the chance for me to veer off course as I would probably discover new trends or new ways to make money online as I progress along which could be a departure from the initial plans.

In addition, you’ll have to keep in mind whose your intended audience is. If you have investors to entertain, or intent to use your business plan to apply for a bank loan, you could delve right into the formality by including the description of your business, strategy, SWOT analysis, competitive analysis, marketing strategy, expected ROI, feasibility studies and the whole enchilada.

Writing a formal business plan is a big topic in itself, and it’s beyond the scope of this article. Google will be able to help you better if you want to learn more about it.

On the other hand, if you are the only person who read it then draw up a plan that’s right up your alley. You’ll need to focus on ways to get you ideas into the marketplace and start making money right away. So you can do without much of the formality and focus on how to obtain the results.

I personally draw up a business plan that focuses more on the actions part. Rather than trying to stick with the specific format of a typical business plan, I create a project timeline. I can afford to do that because I don’t have anyone to convince but myself.

Now I don’t pretend I have the best plan in the world, as long as it works and help me achieve my own personal goals such as make more money then I’ll go for it. The most important thing is to draw a plan that you will be able to follow and execute.

The level of detail is not as important as the ability for me to organize my time and resources.

The following is a sample of my own personal business plan. As you may notice, it’s nothing more than a rough project timeline. I find it’s more beneficial to do so as it keeps me focus on the actions rather than the theories. You don’t have to follow my way, just draw the type of business plan that you are comfortable with. Sorry I have to erase some details for obvious reasons.

Click on the image to view a larger version.

business plan

Running simultaneously, I plan to create a new landing page every two weeks. This would include keyword research for Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft AdCenter.

affiliate business plan


There are other plans not included which is mostly handled by my assistant. I am not telling you this to brag about my business plans or whatever ;). By all means, I could’ve spent more time crafting them to make them better in so many ways but that’s besides my point.

I hope this article will give you some ideas on how you could draw your own business plan, while at the same time telling others about it will remind me to keep moving if I fall behind.

If you haven’t written your business plan yet, spend sometime thinking about it and start writing today. Who knows where it’ll bring you one year, three years or five years from today.


How to Make 2008 Your Most Profitable Year Ever

For those of you who have been waiting for an update from me, sorry to keep you waiting. Things cropped up just when I planned to sit down and get back to my regular work routine. Nothing major though, so here I am. Welcome back to me 🙂

In addition, while I’ve started working since a couple of days ago, I didn’t feel motivated enough to do tasks that require too much attention.

As much as a workaholics that I am, shifting gears to return to work would be as hard as going away in the first place. I guess the thought of having to return to my regular routine, with all the disciplines it demands takes a certain amount effort.

With no boss watching over my shoulder or expecting me to return to the office, I can easily use those as an excuse to sit back and extend the vacation. Then again, that won’t help a bit if making 2008 a better year is one of my New Year resolutions. To overcome that thought, I reminded myself about the potential income that would be generated this year, which can only be done if I start working. That helps set the ball rolling.

There’s not better time to start ramping up your online business than now. Make sure to get your business off to a great start in order to make more money in 2008. Here are some of the strategies you can use to generate more profit this year.


Improve Your Blog

OK, there’s nothing new about this but some bloggers fail to realize that it usually takes a year or longer to generate a reasonable amount of income from your blog. You have got the whole year ahead of you. If you plan to make blogging as one of your major source of income, you should start providing useful and valuable content for your readers. Get some links from other reputable blogs, even better aim to get into the front page of the social networking sites like digg.

Good content will usually attract links from other sites and help improving your blog’s authority. You’ll rank well in Google and other search engines as they continue to serve relevant links to what their users are searching for. However, keep in mind that writing the best content in the world won’t be enough if nobody knows your blog exists. Continue to promote your blog in any opportunities you have. The amount of traffic you have can make or break your blog.


Explore Pay Per Click Marketing

Pay per click marketing is big in 2007 and it’s going to be even bigger in 2008. Market analysis firm comScore reports that American online spending during the end-of-year holidays increased 19 percent compared to that of last year. In total, consumers have spent over $29 billion during the 2007 holiday shopping season.

With the increased in consumer trust in online shopping, more and more consumers will continue to value the convenience of online shopping and more will choose to shop online. It’s likely that this upward trend will continue this year.

So what can you promote? The fastest growing product categories in 2007 holiday season will give you some clue:

Video games, consoles & accessories was the fastest growing online retail category, jumping 129 percent versus the 2006 holiday season, with popular consoles like Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation and games like Halo 3 driving strong sales in the category. Furniture, appliances & equipment (up 67 percent), event tickets (up 24 percent) and consumer electronics (up 23 percent) also experienced above average growth. After seeing substantial softness early in the season, online apparel sales picked up considerably in the latter part of the season, finishing up 18 percent. Meanwhile, sales of jewelry & watches declined marginally versus year ago as rising costs in precious metals like gold and platinum may have dampened consumer demand.


Fastest Growing Retail E-Commerce Categories by Dollar Sales for 2007 Holiday Season

Non-Travel (Retail) Spending

Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases

Nov. 1- Dec. 31, 2007 vs. 2006

Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations

Source: comScore, Inc.

Retail Category

Percent Change in Category Sales ($)

Video Games, Consoles & Accessories


Furniture, Appliances & Equipment


Event Tickets


Consumer Electronics


Apparel & Accessories


Sport & Fitness




Computer Hardware


Music, Movies & Videos


Books & Magazines


Pay per click,as usually, will be one of the areas that I’ll concentrate most of my effort on this year. If you don’t know how to get started, check out the AdWords category in my blog for some tips and tricks.

Just remember that PPC marketing changes frequently. New development occurs everyday so keep yourself informed by frequenting industry blogs and pay attention to the news. In addition to Google AdWords, you should start exploring other PPC search engines such as Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft AdCenter.


Develop Your Own Products or Services

If you are serious about running your own business, start thinking about offering your own products and services. While promoting other people products has its own benefits, you can potentially make more money by selling your own products.

Think about it, if you promote a US99 ebook from a merchant and get 30% commission for each sale, you’ll have to sell 44 ebooks to make US1000. However if you are the product owner, you can keep 100% of the profit and essentially earns over US1000 just by selling 11 ebooks.

The best products to sell online are those that don’t require physical delivery, manufacturing, stocking and packaging which can take a significant chunk of your profit margin. The type of products that fit these criteria is digital products such as ebooks or software. You just have to create them once and then ready to make countless copies of it virtually at no additional cost. Creating your own products is a big topic in itself. I’ll write more about this in my future posts.

Once you have your own product, you can start to set up your own affiliate program and let other people to do all the work promoting your product. You don’t even have to pay them until you see the profits they bring in.

Like anything on the Internet, having your own affiliate programs won’t make you rich overnight unless you follow the correct strategies. I outline some of them below:

  1. Offer great commission – Seriously, nobody will promote your products if you give them 1 dollar commission. The more you pay the harder they will work for you. I would recommend paying at least 30% commission if you are selling digital products such as ebooks or software.
  2. Provide marketing tools for your affiliates – OK I have to admit that I am guilty of not doing this myself so 2008 will be the year to do things better. Provide your affiliates with banners ads, product boxshots, good salescopy and great headlines.
  3. Find the super affiliates – Super affiliates are the top 2% of your all your affiliate that bring in more than 90% of your sales. These are affiliates who make good living by selling other people products. Sometimes super affiliates could generate more sales in a few hours than nearly all of your regular affiliates will make in a year.


Of course there are many other ways you can make more money in 2008 and the above are just a few of them. Start making some resolutions, and get busy growing your ideas into reality. One thing to keep in mind is that you have to keep your focus in what you are doing.

You’ll risk achieving nothing significant if you try to do everything all at once. Choose a strategy, and work on it until it starts to make money for you, and only then move on. It’s 10 January 2008 today, what will happen on 10 January 2009 depend on what you do, starting today.


Google Reducing Blogs PageRank Doing Paid Reviews to 0

For the past few days, a couple of blogs that were laden with paid reviews have experienced a major setback when their PageRank were removed completely.

PayPerPost CEO has voiced his concern claiming that it’s part of some sort of attempt by Google to deny the competition. Google has so much power in that when they change something, the repercussion could put some other companies out of business.

Then again Google has the right to act on something that could affect their search engine rankings unnaturally, such as selling and buying links.

Obviously, Sabahan.com wasn’t spared for selling text link ads when my PR reduces from 5 to 3. If your main income comes from selling text link ads or writing paid reviews, there’s no better time to start looking into other money making opportunity.


Are You A Victim of A PageRank Drop?

If you feel like you have been unfairly penalized by Google for selling paid links, paid posts, or simply you have no idea why they reduce your PageRank, it’s about time to make your voice heard.

To help you do that, Bill Lea of the Google PageRank Victims Anonymous has created several “PageRank Victim” badges for your blog or other website that suffers the unfortunate fate.

Note that if you use their code to pull the badge, you’ll be linking to their website – a good link bait attempt on their part. Check out some of the badges below:



The victim was found with over 2,000 kilos of paid text links on his person... The victim was found with over 2,000 kilos of paid text links on his person…

Nuf said... Nuf said…

For the Optimists... For the Optimists…

For the Pessimists... For the Pessimists…

Hahahahahaha! Hahahahahaha! Hahahahahaha! Hahahahahaha! Hahahahahaha! Hahahahahaha!

No sleep, no relationship, no life... no Google PageRank No sleep, no relationship, no life… no Google PageRank

You are SO the man (and/or woman)... now get out there and blog about it! You are SO the man (and/or woman)… now get out there and blog about it!

Anyway, it’s good to keep in mind that these badges are for entertainment purpose only. I apologize if the title made you think I was about to write something serious 🙂


[via Google Blogoscoped]


Latest Google PageRank Update – How Are You Doing?

I was reading 5xmom.com yesterday and noticed a post containing the word Sabahan.com in the title.

5xmom.com is one of the few local blogs that I like to visit for some dose of interesting insights about online making money issues that are often lacking in most local “how to make money” blogs.

The post mentions that Sabahan.com PageRank had dropped from PR5 to PR4. I don’t usually monitor my own PageRank regularly each time someone announces that an update is underway but this post has definitely caught my attention because it’s about me LOL.

In addition to Sabahan.com other blogs that have experienced a drop include Hongkiat.com and 5xmom’s personal blog at Chanlilian.net. Earlier, the popular JohnChow.com had also lost its PageRank 6.

So what’s happening here?

As mentioned in the post, I’ve never wrote paid posts in Sabahan.com so that couldn’t be a reason for the PR drop. Writing paid post means, you are not only spreading your PageRank amongst your internal pages but across the external site as well.

So instead of voting for your own pages, your vote goes to the external site. As a result, your internal pages will have a smaller share of your own Google juice. When you are leaking PageRank here and there it would be harder to climb up the PageRank ladder especially if you are just starting out.

While I’m aware that writing paid posts could offer a good source of income, there’s a balance you need to observe between putting money in your pocket and building a good reputation as far as Google is concern. That is if you are concern about your Google PageRank and search engine rankings. But then again, you don’t have to depend on Google to make money do you? 🙂

My personal opinion is that a site with PR7 or higher would likely be able to get away with almost anything, and emerge unscathed after each PR update. After you gain Google’s trust, your content will be seen as credible and useful for readers regardless of whether they are paid post or not. That’s not to say you are invisible though.

While I don’t do paid post here, I do sell text link ads but I’ve been careful not to accept ads that are remotely unrelated to my niche.

If selling TLA is the reason why I lost my PR, I wonder if AdesBlog.com, a blog with a PR7 will be next. Unlike Sabahan.com, Adesblog.com is more willing to accept text links from totally unrelated niches but so far it manages to sail through the PR update unscathed.

I can think of several other possible reasons for the drop in PR such as my Partner Page which Google might consider as an excessive link exchange attempt. Other reason could be perhaps some of the high PR pages have suddenly stopped linking to Sabahan.com

But at the end of the day, it’s not something that’s worth losing sleep over – it’s how the system works and the only constant is change. I have other websites that have been experiencing changes in their PR where one website has its PR juggled between PR5 and PR6 over the course of several years but it doesn’t affect the bottom line and traffic level.

While I understand that PageRank is important especially if you are writing paid post or selling text links ads, you’ll be better off spending your time building a better blog and not to worry too much about your PageRank.

Unless my PR drops to 0 overnight, it’s business as usual for me.


Malaysian Can Now Withdraw Money from their PayPal Accounts

Not that you can’t withdraw before this but the steps usually make your head spin. Some enterprising Internet marketers even took advantage of the complicated steps by selling ebooks telling people how to do it.

Anyway, Wayne Liew emailed me to give a heads-up about a new feature recently introduced by PayPal. Wayne’s post refers to the original post by Sweet Surrender about PayPal is allowing money withdrawal to credit and debit card.

I usually don’t much pay attention to such news before. While I spent thousands of Ringgit monthly via PayPal, I’ve never really used it to accept payments.

Some of you may recall that I promoted MaxBounty at some of my websites. My main gripe about this program is that it automatically converts my commission checks into Ringgit and there’s no way avoiding this. While this means shorter clearing time, I prefer getting paid in US dollars and put up with with the long clearing time.

This is because local checks issued by MaxBounty utilise a terrible exchange rate resulting me to lose hundreds of Ringgit per clearance. This problem is getting worse by the day as the US dollar continues to weaken.

So I told my affiliate manager about this and she recommended me to accept PayPal payment. In such case, I don’t want the money to sit quietly in my PayPal account doing nothing. I rather put them in the bank and earn some interest.

So that’s how I started paying more attention to news related to withdrawing money from PayPal.

Anyhow, to withdraw funds from your PayPal account to a credit, debit, or prepaid card, just add a card with a Visa or MasterCard logo. To do so, go to Withdraw under the My Account tab and click Transfer funds to your card.

It costs USD5 to use this service and there’s a USD500 daily withdrawal limit. For most people I think that shouldn’t be a problem. If you plan to withdraw regularly, I recommend waiting until your balance is nearing the limit to save on service charges.


So, I logged into my PayPal account and tried entering my Public Bank MasterCard but it was rejected with the following message:

This withdrawal cannot be completed because your card issuer does not allow withdrawals to this card. To withdraw funds from your PayPal account to a credit, debit, or prepaid card, add a different card with a Visa or MasterCard logo.

I tried calling PBB card customer service but nobody picked up the phone. I thought they were offering a 24×7 customer service… Anyway, I emailed PayPal and surprisingly within minutes, I got a reply:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your concerns. I am happy to assist you further.

Understand you are thinking about trying our new feature for money withdrawal to credit card.

By viewing your account, we found out that you added MasterCard ending with 0***. I am afraid MasterCard can not be used for money withdrawal at the moment, but VISA & American Express card. If you only have one credit card, what do you think about adding US bank account that bank must be located in US soil or VISA debit card?

It is my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing PayPal.

PayPal, an eBay Company

So apparently they don’t accept MasterCard credit card at the moment. Why don’t they mention this on their website is beyond me. So I guess I’ll have to get a Visa debit/credit card then. Is there a debit card for MasterCard?


Hits vs. Unique Visitors vs. Page Impressions – What You Should Know

Once in a while, I came across a blog post that proudly announces their blog or site is getting thousands of hits per month. Either they don’t know what hits mean or it’s like the bragging rights for those who don’t know better.

Hits shouldn’t exist in your vocabulary unless you are a server administrator. There are better metrics out there to gauge a site’s popularity and hits are irrelevant as far as the average site owners are concern.


So what’s a Hit?

A hit is generated when a file is requested and served on your website. The file can be anything from the ordinary HTML document, an image file, a video and so on. An HTML document with 10 image files on it will register 11 hits (1 HTML file + 10 image file) when the page is viewed by a visitor.

Therefore, a page containing 1000 images will register 1001 hits when viewed by a single visitor. The same visitor may reload the same page 10 times to register 10,010 hits instantly. Obviously, that doesn’t mean there are 10,010 people visiting your site

So really, using hits to gauge a site’s popularity is misleading and there’s nothing to brag about when you get thousands of hits per day. You might just as well talk about how much bandwidth your site is consuming daily.


What Is a Page Impression?

Page impression, also known as page view is just that. It shows how many times the page is viewed. For example, when you click a link and the page is loaded, that request is counted as one page view. When you click the back button on your web browser to return to the previous page, another page view is registered.

As you can see, there may therefore be many hits per page view.

Page impression can be used to gauge the ability of your pages to retain the visitors’ interest, sometimes called the stickiness of your website. High number of page view per visitor means your visitors may be browsing several pages during their visits. This can be a good thing to mention if you are selling advertising on your site.

Surely, most advertisers prefer to have their ads viewed as many time as possible.


What Is a Unique Visitor?

Unique visitors are what matters when you want to show off a bit 🙂

A unique visitor means a visit from a person to a web site, at least once, typically within a 24 hour period.

Several visits from the same person to that website within a 24 hour period are only counted once. The person is identified by his or her IP address and sometimes through cookies, which acts like an online fingerprint.

So, if a blog gets 1000 unique visitors per day, it means that 1000 different individuals have visited the blog within the 24 hours period. While several individual may have visited the blog several times during the period to read new posts or comments, each visit would be counted once only.

Next time if you’d like to talk about how popular your blog is, tell people how many unique visitors you have instead of hits.


New Features Highlights for Google Reader, AdSense & Search

I’ve been busy for the past few days planning and negotiating with the contractor on my parents’ house extension, which is probably evident from the patchy posting frequency you might have noticed for a couple of days.

Anyway, I’ll continue to update this blog as time permits.

I’d like to mention a few new features that have been added into several of Google’s applications these past few days.


Google Reader Search

If you are using Google Reader as your feed reader, you’ll be happy to know that they’ve just added search. This feature is one the main features I’ll look for in any feed reader.

Basically, you can search your feed right from the Google Reader interface. So, let’s say you recalled that I once wrote a tutorial about AdSense blend strategy. Without going to Sabahan.com, just enter the keyword into the search box and you’ll get what you are looking for.



Better Date-Based Searching On Google Search

Previously, you can restrict your search to return results that are less than 3 months old. Well Google search has just got better. The advance search page now allows you to obtain fresher results that are less than 24 hours old.


So what good this will do you ask.

Google estimated the age of a URL as the last time they fetched the page. However, the URLs returned on the search result don’t always represent the recent ones due to Google’s ranking algorithm.

This feature would be handy if you are following a fast developing new story from other sources in addition to the news search.

Matt Cutts points to a post by Alex Chitu where he mentions that the advanced date search affects a URL parameters called “as_qdr” and some of its possible values are.

d[number] – past number of days (e.g.: d10)
w[number] – past number of weeks
y[number] – past number of years


For example, there’s been a lot of fast progress on iphone stuff recently. A query such as http://www.google.com/search?q=iphone+source+code&as_qdr=d1 would show all the new urls for the query [iphone source code] within the last day, because d1 stands for 1 day.

Suppose you wanted to see all the new urls that Google found on your site within the last 7 days. For the domain mattcutts.com, I’d use a query such as http://www.google.com/search?q=site:mattcutts.com&as_qdr=d7 to find those urls (remember, “d” stands for days and “7″ stands for, well, 7). Previously, you could check whether Google had indexed a new url by (say) searching for content from that url, so this isn’t completely new, but it still simplifies life for site owners.

I’m already using this parameter in my power searching all the time. If you need a way to remember the parameter name, I think of as_qdr as “advanced search — query date range,” although I haven’t checked if that’s what the letters actually stand for.


AdSense Includes Allowed Sites

This new feature called Allowed Sites allows you to prevent other people from abusing your AdSense code by placing it on sites other then your own. Now you can ensure your ads only run on sites you’ve specified.

The Allowed Sites list can be access via the Allowed Sites link under the AdSense Setup tab. Sites that are not included in the list can still display ads using you code but impressions and clicks for these sites won’t appear in your reports and advertisers won’t be charge.


Basically, you won’t be paid for any click but the advertisers will get free advertising.

It’s up to you whether you want to use this feature or not. If you are worried someone might misuse your code, perhaps sabotage your AdSense account, this feature will become handy to prevent that from happening.

If you participate in any revenue sharing blogs or forums, just be sure to include those URLs in the allowed list or you won’t be credited with the clicks.

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