Archive for Business

A bit cynical – Internet “millionaires” do they really exist?

1127283_golden_money_51I’m sure everyone who has spent a little bit of time searching on how to make money online, has come across some of the greats of internet money making (and possibly a whole lot of rubbish along the way as well!)

Personally, I’m subscribed to Michael Cheney’s newsletter (god knows why), also I’m on Yaro Starak’s list (because he gave out a free ebook for new subscribers) and some other guy as well, Perry Marshall.. I hardly read any of those newsletters. Mainly because they try to sell me seminars and courses worth hundreds of dollars or pounds at any given point. And also because I have this sneaking suspicion that in order to make a lot of money online (especially if you’re trying to earn by blogging!) you need to live and breathe the internet. Content based online-money-making is especially hard. If you cannot churn out new articles every day that capture your audience’s attention, you’re doomed from the start. Unless you have lots of money to hire some content writers to do the hard work for you. And then you have to be social apparently. Build up a huge following on facebook, twitter, myspace and god knows where else. Be nice to people, talk to them, answer their questions, and subtly try to point them towards your site, hoping they will either click on some ads or buy an affiliate product through you.

Not only does this whole thing sound extremely tedious, but unless you’re targeting a market which is profitable and still not overcrowded, or you spend a hell-of-a-lot of money on advertising, chances are you will not attract enough visitors to get Google to send you your first Adsense cheque even.

So why are people still claiming they’re making thousands per day on the internet? Well it’s quite simple to me actually. What do these people usually sell? The one’s that seem to be rich and successful. They’re the ones with the “how to make money online” blogs themselves! They sell their courses and information packs and ebooks. And us desperate saps buy them and that is how they are successful.

The get-rich-online myth is still very much active, many people with limited or no technical knowledge or insight into ecommerce want to start up their own website and earn with minimum effort, in what seems to be a modern-age Wild West. The Internet.

Now the above all might sound very cynical. Hey that’s how I see it though. I’ve been making money either directly or indirectly through the internet for years now. So I know it’s possible to earn with a website. For us mere mortals it might even be possible to eventually survive with just online earnings. But it is NOT possible in my opinion, to make thousands per day or even per week, using content (as the internet gurus tell us “by following your interests and passions) and some affiliate / adsense links! That is just simply bullshit. I’d like to crush this myth once and for all! If you like model railways or remote controlled cars. Writing about your passion and marketing some related products will not pay that mortgage on the Chateau in France you’ve always wanted, while you’re out zipping around in your Ferrari. Hell no! It might give you some pocket money to enjoy perhaps. But here’s the real secret to online millionaires: The only way you can make a LOT of money online, is by marketing the idea that people can make a lot of money online. That’s right! The Internet Marketing greats of today are cashing in. And simply because us morons would like to believe in that ultimate dream of living a 5 star lifestyle just running a few websites about your hobby.

In essence it’s all just a big MLM type scheme. As long as you keep selling the illusion on, you will make money.. but the poor guy at the bottom of the chain won’t have anyone to sell it to anymore once the market is completely saturated.

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Zen Cart & Google Analytics

If you’re running an E-commerce website, and you are building it yourself, chances are you would be using one of the more popular open source shopping cart scripts; one of which is Zen Cart. Based on the osCommerce framework, it offers a LOT of functionality, as well as a vast selection of third party add ons to suit the needs of most small businesses.

Although to most Zen Cart powerusers, this topic is probably hardly a big deal, however, for all you newbies out there I would like to talk about an add on for Zen Cart that is very valuable indeed. The Google Analytics addon. We all know it is absolutely vital to know what is happening with our online businesses. We need to keep track of how profitable it is, and whether our (if any) advertising efforts are paying off. By signing up to Google Analytics, and linking your Google Adwords account with your Analytics account, you can trace what your paid traffic is doing. But in order to make the most of Analytics, you should implement Ecommerce tracking. Doing this is a pain, especially if you do not have much programming experience. Even more so if you’re using a shopping cart like Zen Cart.

But this Google Analytics add on, which is fairly straightforward to install, will do exactly what you want. Having just installed it on my two websites; www.alteregouk.com and www.aelingerie.com ; I managed to test it and must say it works brilliantly. It tracks transactions completed through your website; depending on what payment modules you are using, it will be fairly accurate. Obviously if you accept COD or any other form of offline payments, it will be impossible for Analytics to find out whether or not the transaction was actually completed – therefore I would suggest using this data only if your transactions are just online (such as through PayPal, Nochex or some other credit card processor).

To promote or not to promote – that is the question…

I’m bored. Bored with as I optimistically call it “steady sales” – bored with the fact that that automatically means when I open my mailbox in the morning, I don’t get many pleasant surprises …

I’m also bored with the fact that I’m roughly on page 50 of google search results for lots of things I would like to rank better in. And I’m bored with an – although steady – not very high number of visitors every day.

Now – newcomers (or those who missed my post from 11 November 2008 – You sell WHAT?! Sex Toys>! *GASP*) may be a little confused regarding what I’m aiming the above remarks at. Well read that post, visit my site AlterEgoUK.com and be confused no more….

So I’ve been thinking about different ways of promoting myself. Being too lazy to fully take online marketing as seriously as I should – considering the adult toy industry is an extremely crowded and competitive one – I decided I’d have to take my efforts offline. It’s not the type of shop, for which people would appreciate leaflets being shoved into their mailboxes at home… (Just imagine, the average Joe of suburbia, picking up the mail from the doormat “Mmm 15% off Butt Plugs and Bondage Gear! Yeah! That’s what I want!”) – In fact I think I’d probably get sued or something.

Neither is it possible for me to do marketing amongst “friends and family”. My family, being mostly abroad, is not my target audience. And my friends… well quite the same problem really. Also, colleagues are not an option, I wouldn’t want that kind of attention in the office… “Oh it’s the dildo girl!”

With the impending launch of my newest website – AELingerie.com – just around the corner, I would like to emphasize further what I’m trying to do here. Not only do I want my sites to sell (reasonably well). I am building a brand here. My second site showing my intentions a bit; I am in the process of launching a whole network of sites, all following the same AE theme. Recognizable through similar logos (incorporating the AE initials – which obviously stand for Alter Ego) and similar graphics (the flower and swirly accents that both my sites use in their design) as well as the use of models dressed up in Black Lingerie, boots, angel wings and Pink hair.

Marketing Strategy #1

The low budget variant – Do I attend every single adult themed exhibition and fair I can find, giving out discount coupons (with the logo, the pink haired angel girl and website URL) to the passing public – knowing that they would not be offended by my website’s topic? (Dressed up in AE style; with a pink wig, black angel wings, slutty boots with high stiletto heels and black mini dress.)

Marketing Strategy #2

More investment necessary – Do I set up an adult themed party service which – just like Tupperware parties used to – allows people to book me for a hen night or whatever to come over with a bunch of naughty products, and allow attendees to place orders for whatever they want. However; keep in mind that people would still have to find out about my service somehow, this would take time and effort doing SEO and offline networking – for which at the moment I have absolutely no starting point.

Please people – give me your insights. Leave a comment with the strategy you think I should follow, or if you can think of a better idea, please go ahead!

The demise of offline shopping

Well in case you’ve been living in a cave for the past 6 months or so, we’re in a recession, and it seems a big one! People I hear are staying away from watching the news, just afraid of what more bad news it may bring… Every time I go out to do some shopping, I’m reminded of the fact by the ever increasing numbers of shops displaying “closing down sale!” banners. With Woolworth being the first of the lot, more and more stores are facing closure due to decreased demand for anything  really; household goods, clothes, shoes etc.  People have diminished confidence when it comes to spending money; and that is what this economy really needs at the moment. If everybody hoards their money, it will be worthless. Money only has value when it is exchanged for goods or services.

So I did my bit today, going out to buy some clothes. Even though I don’t REALLY need any (according to what my mother would think – if it’s still in one piece and you can physically fit into it, it doesn’t need replacing!) and my bank balance is lower than it should be at this point during the month… But hey, the economy needs me! And I’m happy to oblige.

Although I’m a child of the “internet age” and very comfortable making online transactions, I do enjoy the activity of going out and browsing through physical stuff. Things I can touch and try on, before making a decision. Ironically, being an online entrepreneur as well, I still cannot imagine replacing the offline shopping experience with an online one. Sure you can order clothes and return them in exchange for a different size. But you still have to rely on usually fairly small pictures, in order to make your choice. And especially for girls, trying clothes on is a hugely important part of the decision making process.

But that being said, online shopping has its purpose. When trying on is not an issue (or not desirable due to hygiene considerations) I’m the first to check eBay and whatnot to see what the best deals are. And I’m not the only one. In fact many people, eager to save a few bucks, have started shopping for more and more items online. As the Telegraph writes, last year a 34% increase in online shopping was reported. As pretty much every internet-savvy person out there is aware of: online shops usually keep smaller profit margins, to pay for their much smaller overhead costs. Therefore, the real deals can be found online, no longer on the High Street. Even while I’ve known this for a while, I do catch myself getting outraged sometimes, when I’m looking for something and wander over to an actual shop, only to discover that the item costs twice as much as on some websites I’ve seen…
But to make a long story short, I believe the following – which many successful business people seem to agree with: This is a challenging time, which could open up interesting opportunities for those willing to pursue them. The number of people surfing the net, looking for various products, from clothing to shoes, electronics, CDs/DVDs etc. is set to increase further. Perhaps we will be facing a world in a few years where offline shopping has become outdated. The Ecommerce market is a crowded one to enter as a new player. But with low start up and overhead costs, what do you really have to lose. When 1000 people can survive already, what’s 1001?

And that is why, my new business is about to be launched – www.aelingerie.com –  For exclusive Lingerie, Swim wear, Club wear and fetish/alternative shoes!

Continuing beef with Google Adwords…. the saga continues

For anybody who missed my first post about my current issue with Google Adwords;

Read it now: My beef with Google Adwords

Summary of the problem: I started off with a voucher entitling me to £75 of Adwords balance. £5 of this was to be taken as an activation fee for the service to start. The rest was promised to me (by Google Adwords’ email which offered me the voucher) could be used up by running ads to test their service. Valid for new customers only. So After using around £20 of that balance, Google suspended my account claiming I did not have sufficient funds. I contacted their Support.. They first claimed that I had no money in my account and the balance I’m seeing (£49.80) is just an estimate which is updated every 24 hours and actually I had no balance at all. When I pointed out to them that my ad campaign in total cost only £21 and the activation fee was £5, therefore I should be left with approx. £49, I received the following reply:

Hello Hedonist666,

Thank you for your email. I understand that you do not not agree that your
funds have exhausted.

I apologise for the inconvenience caused.

I reviewed your account and noticed that your funds are showing as
exhausted because you have not made an initial payment towards activation
fee. Even though you are using a promotional coupon of GBP 75, you still
need to make an initial activation fee payment (GBP 5). Usually unless
this payment is made we do not let the ads to run in that account, however
due to technical issue your ads ran. This issue has now been fixed and so
unless you make an initial payment of GBP 5 towards activation fee, your
ads will not run and your account will show an alert saying ‘prepay funds
exhausted’.

You can easily make a prepayment by following the steps below.

1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.co.uk/
2. Select the ‘My Account’ tab.
3. Click ‘Make Payments’.
4. Enter the amount that you’d like to pay in the ‘Payment amount’ field.
Before doing so, please find the activation fee applicable to your country
and currency at https://adwords.google.co.uk/select/AfpoFinder. Your
prepayment amount must be at least twice your activation fee. In addition,
we strongly recommend choosing an amount that covers the cost of your
advertising for a week, so that your ads run consistently.
5. Once you have entered the amount, click ‘Go’ and then ‘OK’.

Now that you have successfully made your payment, your ads will start
running almost immediately and you can spend the remaining balance in your
account. You can see your payment record on your Billing Summary page
within 24 hours of the transaction.

I hope I have now clarified your concern.

If you have additional questions, please visit AdWords Support at
https://adwords.google.co.uk/support, where you will find answers to many
frequently asked questions.

We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising
available.

Sincerely,

*Name Removed*
The Google AdWords UK and Ireland team

Well that is very odd indeed! After receiving an email which tells me I get £75 to spend on ads, all of a sudden it turns out either the email with the voucher code, or what this Customer Support person is telling me; one of them is wrong…..

My response:

Hello *Name removed*,

Although this is an explanation for what happened to my account, I would argue that it is false. And if it is not, then the initial email in which the voucher for £75 was offered to me was misleading. NOWHERE in the email does it state that I need to pay the activation fee (£5) separately. Instead it clearly states that the fee will be taken from the £75 that the voucher covers and that I can try it out and use the full £75 minus the activation fee for running ads.

Let me quote to you the terms and conditions in the email:
” Terms & Conditions: Use of AdWords and redemption of the promotional credit is subject to ad approval, valid registration and acceptance of the Google AdWords Terms and Conditions. The promotional credit will be automatically credited to your AdWords account once you have entered your unique code and billing preferences. If you choose pre-pay billing the account activation fee (currently £5) will be deducted from your promotional credit. You will be charged for any advertising charges that exceed the promotional credit, and you are solely responsible for the payment of any taxes incurred. If you do not wish to incur additional charges beyond the promotional credit then you should monitor your account and pause or delete your campaigns before or once this amount has been reached. From the date when you pause or delete all of your campaigns, your account will not accrue additional clicks or charges. The promotional credit is non-transferable and may not be sold or bartered. If you indicate that your AdWords account should be subject to a different currency to the one in which your promotional credit has been awarded, then the actual amount of the promotional credit may be subject to foreign currency fluctuations. Offer may be changed or revoked at any time for any reason by Google Ireland Limited and/or any affiliated company offering the AdWords service in your country. One promotional credit per customer. Offer expires and promotional credit will only be granted to accounts created on or before 31st October 2008. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Google and AdWords are trademarks of Google Inc. and are registered in the US and other countries. Google Ireland Limited, Gordon House, Barrow Street, Dublin 4, Ireland.”

Which one is correct then, what you’re telling me that I need to pay £5 separately in order to use up the voucher credit, or what was written in the email which offered me the voucher code to begin with?

If you like I can forward the entire email to you so you can see for yourself that it says absolutely nothing about having to pay £5 in addition to what the voucher gave me. There must be some misunderstanding between various departments in your organisation regarding this issue.

Kind regards,

Hedonist666

Google’s response:

Hello Hedonist666,

Thank you for your email. I have forwarded this issue to our payments
team. They are currently investigating the situation and we will contact
you as soon as we have found a solution. We thank you for your patience
and apologise for any inconvenience.

If you have additional questions, please visit AdWords Support at
https://adwords.google.co.uk/support, where you will find answers to many
frequently asked questions.

We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising
available.

Sincerely,

*Name removed*
The Google AdWords UK and Ireland team

Bloody hell, I hope something comes out of this soon… And although I realise the person I’m dealing with is just an employee doing their job, and I’m probably being quite annoying; I can’t help it, I’m damn pissed off about it all! Either don’t give me stuff for free, or clearly state when there’s a catch to it…

Shameless Self Promotion – My other Blog!

I was already writing two blogs, perhaps not as regularly as I would’ve wanted to, but I’m changing the direction of my business: I have started a new blog here on wordpress ; alteregouk.wordpress.com.

This  blog will contain all sorts of relevant information to my business, new products, and various topics about sex! It has only been a few days, but there is already some content up there, so why not visit my Adult Shop blog.

Some highlights (early, I know, but there will be more to come!):

My beef with Google Adwords

adwords

I’m getting increasingly frustrated and angry at Google Adwords. Fine so it’s the only service of its kind worth using. People can get wonderful returns running Adwords Ads… BUT: (and this is a big but!) Their billing system is SHIT! I simply cannot put it into milder terms. When you sign up, and pay them X amount of money, use your account, keep a careful eye on your spending, one would expect that you will be able to actually USE UP the cash you put in. Logical thinking, right? Not so for Adwords. Below an outline of what I’m currently dealing with:

Mid September I signed up with Adwords. Put in £75 (OK I admit, it was a gift voucher I received, so I didn’t actually pay anything). Firstly Adwords tells you that a £5 admin fee will be deducted from your balance. Fine… Then you run some ads, get some clicks, set your budget perhaps at £2 per day. Towards the end of the month the ad charges of the whole month are taken from your balance. Fair enough. So basically at any given point, your account balance is NOT shown Realtime. For a company as big as Google, you would think that they would get the calculations right for determining how much money you still have to spend. Well I thought wrong….

I had £75, they took £5 admin fee, I spent around £21 on advertising during the months of September and October. And behold: There should be £49 left in my account… However, Google has suspended my ads claiming that I’m broke. Brilliant!

Dear Madam/Sir,

My ad campaign is suspended because supposedly my funds are exhausted. However, at the beginning of November I still have 49.80 left in my account, with no ads running, therefore no charges incurred in the meanwhile. I would like to spend this money before I add more to my account.

Thank you,

Hedonist666

Google’s Response:

Hello Hedonist666,

Thank you for your email. I understand that you are concerned that though
you have £49.80 left in your account your ads have been suspended for
funds being exhausted.

I apologise for the inconvenience caused.

I reviewed your account and noticed that your balance is 0.00. For the
most updated balance please check out the yellow space above the billing
summary table. It says “Funds remaining in your account”. This shows the
correct balance.

The “Balance remaining as of today” section gets updated only once in 24
hrs and is not accurate. I have attached a screenshot of your billing
summary page for better understanding.

I hope I was able to clarify your concern. Please feel free to send a
direct reply to this email in case of further assistance.

If you have additional questions, please visit AdWords Support at
https://adwords.google.co.uk/support, where you will find answers to many
frequently asked questions.

We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising
available.

Sincerely,

*Name removed for privacy reasons*
The Google AdWords UK and Ireland team

Brilliant! So the balance shown isn’t the balance you actually have. And the balance Google claims I actually have is nil. My reply:

Dear *name removed*,

I realize that it SAYS 0.00, which is False.

I have no charges for any ads unsettled because the last ads I ran were in October, and October’s charges have been deducted from my account already. Now at the moment, neither can I run any ads or do anything else to spend the remaining balance of my account.

Please check closely, you will be able to see that in the time I had my account I HAVE NOT SPENT a total of £75 (which was the starting balance of my account) and therefore my remaining balance CANNOT be 0.00. It would be interesting to find out how this figure is calculated to begin with. The logical way would be starting balance minus charges incurred for services used. Since I have not used £75 worth of services, the figure of 0.00 cannot be the outcome of any logical calculation. Even if we assume that nothing has been paid at all from the charges I incurred for running ads: The total of my campaign for ALL TIME is £20.21. This means I should have :
£75 – £5 (admin fee) – £20.21 (ad campaign total) = £49.79. Which is exactly what my Balance page says.

I would like someone to look into this closely because as it stands right now it means Adwords is just a moneypit that I have to keep topping up without actually spending what’s in it. This is not cost effective for me or anyone wanting to use this service.

I insist that I get my money’s worth and am able to spend the balance that remains in my account.

Kind regards,

Hedonist666

I am hoping for a quick resolution, although this has been dragging on for a few days already. I’m practically fuming.. I cannot stand it when a supposedly tech-savvy company makes stuff that doesn’t work, and then refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem! Assuming I actually do top up my account, so Google’s system is happy that I have money again, will this go on endlessly and they keep telling me I’m broke when they actually have almost £50 of mine gathering interest in their bank account??

Anyway, rant over, is there anyone else facing this or a similar problem?

“You sell WHAT?! Sex toys?!” *GASP*

A very funny thing happened last week. My husband woke up to get ready for work. The cellphone made some odd noise to signal that a text message had arrived… my husband’s cousin “Alter Ego?!?! What the f*ck?”

We couldn’t help but snigger away at this. Yes. My cousin-in-law (is there such a word?) had found my sex toy peddling website. Apparently it didn’t fit into his bourgeois ideals of what an innocent (?!), nice (?!?!?!), newly married couple should be up to in order to earn a few extra quid.

We both couldn’t quite help it. Having grown up a bit (ok well maybe not entirely), our teenage juvenile tendencies of wanting to shock and awe people surfaced once again. I suggested to my husband that he should reply “Oh, that… Yes, it’s Hedonist’s website. Want anything, I’ll give it to you at cost price!”… Imagining his distraught cousin, trying to catch his breath “Impossible! They couldn’t possibly suggest that I would want…..???”

Well either way. His cousin unfortunately didn’t want to buy anything. Upon asking how he found the website, he said “Someone told him”. Who this someone was, and how they had found it was not shared with us. But seriously it’s not rocket science. There is a (unfortunate?) law in Britain which states that if you operate a business, your customers should know who you are. So you are required to put your name on your letterhead or website or whatever. So that’s just it. Somebody had Googled our name(s). Well glad to see at least some keyword is bringing in traffic, althought not really my target audience… I should be thrilled my site is gaining exposure, but unfortunately I don’t ship to India… So it’s not really helping my sales at all!

A few days later, Odzer told me that apparently this shocking discovery is doing the rounds amongst people we used to hang out with regularly. I imagine it must have hurt their sensitive sentiments. Well don’t worry folks! We’re married. We’re allowed to be dirty minded now. Not that it stopped us before! Ha! (Oh did I just say that out loud? In my mind I hear a thumping sound of someone keeling over after having fainted).

I mean, I have been fairly reserved during most of my time in India.. But I do remember one fateful morning when the birds were chirping, and the sun was coming out… in a tent in a small resort somewhere in the middle of nowhere near Ropar, Punjab, there was a couple lying in bed. With some rowdy people coming in and threatening to pull away the sheets if we didn’t get our asses out of bed. It was the morning after a night of binge drinking to commemorate the anniversary of a motorcycle club. All very nice respectable people, who ride motorcycles. Who got together to have fun. I can tell you with complete certainty, IT IS A GOOD THING YOU LEFT THOSE SHEETS WHERE THEY WERE! 😉

I mean I don’t know whose idea that was, but if you have a couple in a tent, sharing a bed, after a night of sticking together being publicly affectionate. What did you really expect to find under those sheets? 🙂

Now I would like to ask, in all honesty. ARE YOU REALLY SURPRISED?

God I’m enjoying this. Nowadays I don’t need to dress up in “Cradle of Filth” t-shirts, black hair and heavy black eyeliner in order to shock people! I just have to tell them what I do: This is great!

I will bow in front of the crowd, my arms spread in a welcoming gesture “Please, don’t be shy, come in, come in my children, visit my website of perverted depravity. Buy from my temple of lust! Rabbit vibrators and chains and whips for everybody! There is no God! There is only Sin! *evil deep voice* Mhuahahahahahaaaa!”

Forum Rules?!

Life is tough for small business owners. Running your own online shop means a lot of legwork trying to promote your site in order to get traffic. And yes, I will bluntly admit that I engage in some seemingly social online behaviour with the underlying purpose of promoting my website, who doesn’t?

So I joined this Forum, relating to the topic of my own website; namely sex. And I engaged in conversation, gave advice, etc. Just like would be expected of anyone active on such a forum. I read the forum rules which seemed pretty much normal, but forgot to look at what I assumed were “comments” posted in the same sticky thread. My interpretation was, that as long as you don’t spam, you’re free to post whatever links you wish in your signature. As is the case with any other forum I am active on. Well apparently they changed their mind and decided that normal members of the community posting links in their signature would be unfair to their sponsors?! So it should no longer be allowed.

What bull! How can a small link compete with full colour banners plastered all over the rest of a website. As I’m seeing it, although it’s about intimate topics, and I’m not an expert by any means, me giving my opinion or sharing tips and suggestions, should at least be rewarded by some exposure of my own additions to the world wide web. Fine, so if you feel it’s unfair to the sponsors, disallow banners in signatures, don’t allow commercial links, but the fact that should I so choose, I cannot even post a link to my own non profit blog in my signature is preposterous!

All the forums I am a member of have sponsors, with nice big ads. And all of them allow self promotion in members’ signatures. It is a common web practice. And if it bothers you that people are just link building by posting comments, you could always make them “nofollow” for the search engines.

I believe they’re just shitting on the little guy. Even on this very blog, I moderate comments, but if someone has something valuable to say or add to the discussion, I will allow it, including promotional link. So post away my friends, so we may do what the web in its name already suggests: link stuff together to make one larger structure…

Google Base – The mystery is solved…

I have been complaining a lot about Google Base lately. Having twice submitted my entire product list from www.alteregouk.com (2500+ products!) and not being able to see any of them even while searching for only my own products, I finally decided to contact the Help Desk. Now there’s good news and there’s bad news.

I finally know why I couldn’t see any of my products! When you go to the google homepage, and you select Shopping/Products; in Preferences there is a setting that filters out Adult content. When I turn it off, all my products show up.

So that’s it. The only reason my products seemed to disappear. And I’m not happy finding this out. Because: while my products were nowhere to be found, all my competitor’s products seemed to show up just fine. And we’re selling the same (adult!) products! So in effect, somehow Google thinks my site isn’t decent enough, and my competitors are. Just the fact that there was such a setting was news to me, and I’m sure many people who search on google for Adult products are not aware of it either. So basically I’m never going to get the same exposure as my competitors. Very irritating indeed!

Google’s advice is “remove inappropriate language from your items and try again”. I’ll try to censor my listings and see what happens, but I think I’m just doomed to fail at effectively making use of Google Base.

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