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Internet Marketing Robot

Reviews

Zeus – The Internet Marketing Robot
by Bill Gentry,
Academy Product Reviewer

Greetings! I hope everyone has recovered from his or her turkey coma and is
ready to tackle link popularity and strategies. This was one of the more popular
topics at the Search Engine Strategies Conference in Dallas, TX in November.
There were quite a few questions regarding linking asked of the speakers;
especially the various search engine representatives that attended.

Before I begin telling you about a terrific tool to help you with your linking
strategies, let me pass along a couple of notes of interest from the conference
regarding linking.

A site that links to you can only increase your link popularity not decrease it. This is
because you don’t have control over who links to you. While you can request that
your link be removed from a "bad site," the webmaster does not have to. The
search engines understand that you don’t have this control and will not penalize you
if a "bad site" links to you. Conversely, if you link to a "bad site" you can be
penalized. So I suggest that you thoroughly research the site to which you are
considering linking, such as checking the site for tiny or hidden text. If the site has
either, both and/or other search engine spam techniques, you would be best served
not linking to it.

With that out of the way, let me introduce to you a terrific program that will help
you find hundreds, if not thousands, of sites related to yours to which to link: Zeus
The Internet Marketing Robot. In a nutshell, Zeus goes out onto the Internet
looking for sites, guided by the keywords that you teach it. It then looks at sites,
reads the titles, meta tags and page content, and gives the site a score. The higher
the score the better the match. It also retrieves any e-mail links on the site so that
you can use it to send e-mail later on, and outbound links to follow later on. Once
Zeus has found some sites that meet your criteria, he stores them in a database for
you to sort in various ways and review each site found. While you review each site,
you put them into categories or themes. After you have catalogued some or all of
the sites that Zeus has found, you can then have Zeus build a link directory for you
to upload to your site directory. Finally, you can use Zeus to e-mail site owners that
you have added them to your link directory and ask them for a reciprocal link. If
the site owner adds your link, then you can designate the site as a link partner,
which gives that site greater visibility in your link directory. If this all seems a little
confusing, don’t worry; I’ll be explaining each function in more detail below.

Training Zeus

Zeus is fairly easy to train although it can take some time. If you want to get started
immediately, all you have to do is point Zeus to a web site similar to yours (or even
your own if you already have some outbound links) and click the teach button.
Zeus goes off to the web site to which you pointed him and he analyzes it. Any
word or phrase that he doesn’t understand, Zeus will ask you to classify it for him:
ignore, common, slightly unique, unique and very unique. The goal during training is
to classify a minimum of 100 keywords and phrases in the slightly unique, unique
and very unique categories. Once Zeus has learned at least 100 keywords and
phrases, you can send Zeus out on his own to look for sites without having to
actively train him anymore during his travels.

You can also manually add keywords and phrases to Zeus’ vocabulary to speed
up the training process. I suggest that you do so, because it gives Zeus a better
starting point than having no slightly unique, unique or very unique keywords with
which to start. It also shortens the training time Zeus requires.

After Zeus adds a few "theme sites" to the database, start looking at what he has
found. You may find that he has found some totally unrelated sites. In this case you
should go into the Keyword Manager and reposition keywords and phrases that
you have taught Zeus. You may find that some of the keywords you taught him as
unique need to be downgraded to slightly unique, common or ignored altogether, or
upgraded to unique or very unique. If you go under 100 keywords while
reclassifying your keywords, you will have to train Zeus some more until he has
more than 100 keywords again. However, by doing so, Zeus will find better web
sites for you to add to your link directory.

Categorizing Theme Sites

Once Zeus is trained well enough to search for sites without your help, go to the
Theme Viewer and begin reviewing the theme sites that Zeus has found for you.
Remember, you don’t have to use all of them. If the site is unrelated, just delete it.
If it’s a good site, then put it in a category, or theme. I also suggest that you make
some additional notes, such "No Links Page," "Affiliate Program Available," etc.,
so that you don’t have to spend time going through all of your theme sites over and
over. I also suggest that you mark any site that you wish to include, but that does
not have a link page, to have no email sent. This will make it easier for you to
determine which sites you want to send email to later on.

If you improperly categorize a site, it’s simple to change its theme or category. If
you want to change the name of a category and move all the sites into the new
category, it’s a little more involved, but not overly difficult.

Don’t wait until you have hundreds of sites to categorize. You can send Zeus out
into the realm of cyberspace while you are categorizing theme sites he has already
found.

Additionally, you can manually add sites to your theme site list easily. This comes in
handy when you know of sites that you want to have in your link directory, but
Zeus hasn’t found them yet. It’s also handy for adding sites that use Flash or
advanced programming. Remember, Zeus is a spider and cannot view frames,
JavaScript, and other advanced site techniques and programming.

Creating Your Link Directory

Once you feel you have enough theme sites, it’s time to start creating your link
directory. This can be the most difficult part of working with Zeus. If you have
purchased the Pro Model [more information below], then you can customize your
link directory to fully integrate with your site design and layout by editing the
templates supplied in the help files. If you have the Free Model, you are limited to
changing the background and a few other items.

Since I tested and reviewed the Pro Model, I decided to make my link directory
fully integrate in appearance and design with my web site. Since my web site uses
extensive use of layers, stylesheets and dynamic HTML, this proved to be rather
difficult, but not impossible.

Once you have created your link directory to your liking, upload the pages to your
site directory in a subdirectory called, appropriately enough, "links."

Getting Reciprocal Links

After you have uploaded your link directory, it’s time to start asking for reciprocal
links. Open the Theme Viewer in Zeus. I suggest sorting on "Email Not Sent, Not
Link Partner" since you want to send e-mail to site owners that you have not sent a
reciprocal link request to yet and are not Link Partners. Zeus comes with some
suggested e-mail content for you to use. I strongly suggest that you edit these to
make your e-mail different from other Zeus users, and to give your e-mails a
personal touch. It’s not difficult to do and you can do it right from within Zeus. You
can also create your own e-mail content without difficulty.

In many cases, Zeus has found multiple e-mail addresses. I suggest that you review
the site again to find the correct e-mail address to which to send a reciprocal link
request. Don’t send an e-mail to all the e-mail addresses. Site owners might
consider it spam and refuse to respond. Zeus keeps track of when you sent e-mail
so that you don’t have to do so in a separate program.

Once a site owner adds your link to his or her link page, find the site in the Theme
Viewer and check the Link Partner in the lower right corner, recreate your link
directory, and upload it to your server. That site is now listed in your Link Partner
section and you have a reciprocal link. Congrats! You are on your way to better
link popularity.

Putting It All Together

Zeus is a real time saver. Using Zeus, I was able to find more than 130 good sites
to add to my link directory in about 48 hours of computer time [over the course of
a week, including training time]. Not all of them have link pages to ask for a
reciprocal link, but they are important enough to add to my directory anyway.
Training Zeus was not difficult or all that time consuming for me. If you have a good
idea of the "theme" of your web site, or the keywords you are targeting for search
engine marketing, you should have no trouble training Zeus to find good sites for
you to include into your link directory. Imagine the time I would have spent
combing through search engine and directory listings for that many sites.

As I previously mentioned, the most frustrating part of the program for me was
customizing the theme index and theme page templates, because I use a lot of
dynamic HTML, layers and stylesheets. Be prepared to spend some time
developing and fine tuning your templates, especially if you use complex page
structures and advanced HTML like I do.

The e-mail function is a breeze to use. Just remember to edit the supplied e-mail
templates and/or make your own, so that they are personalized and not like those
of other Zeus users who don’t take the time to edit them. I like the fact that it keeps
track of which e-mail you sent and when it was sent right in the program so that I
don’t have to use another program to track them.

Pricing

You can actually get Zeus for free! However, the free version has limitations.

You must put up a link directory in 14 days or Zeus is deactivated. If this
happens you’ll have to download and install a new copy of Zeus.
The free version incorporates sponsored banner advertising on your link
directory pages.
You can only customize the background, header and footer information.
You cannot customize the actual directory layout using the templates.

The Pro Model is $195. I highly recommend that you purchase the upgrade. The
Pro Model allows you to completely customize the actual directory layout,
including fonts and colors, in addition to the background, header and footer
information. The Pro Model does not require sponsored banner advertising, and
also allows you to purchase cgi-script add-ons, such as turning your link directory
into a search engine, allowing your visitors to search on any topic in your link
directory. There is no time limit in which you must upload your link directory with
the Pro Model either.

Final Thoughts

Zeus The Internet Marketing Robot is a fantastic program that helps you create a
focused, themed link directory. It’s a huge time saver and beats wasting time going
from search engine to search engine looking for the sites to add to your link
directory. You can run Zeus while you are categorizing your theme sites or working
on other projects. You can even have Zeus work while you sleep! Zeus isn’t all
that difficult to train and use. If you are working on link popularity and strategies for
yourself or your clients, I highly recommend buying Zeus to assist you. You’ll be
glad you did. One final advantage to using Zeus: if you send him off to your web
site, you’ll be able to see it as a search engine spider sees it!

If you want to see the link directory I created while testing Zeus for this review, you
can find it at http://www.rookiesnstars.com/links/

Finally, thank you to David Notestine and Peter Ridley, who supplied me with a
free registration code so that I could test and review the Pro Model for you.


***About Bill Gentry:

Bill Gentry has been a professional Web designer since 1999 and a Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing specialist with The Selling Source [http://www.thesellingsource.com] since February 2000. Earning a Bachelor's of Science in Geology and a Master's of Business Administration in addition to his employment as an Aircraft Armament Systems Specialist for 10 years contributed to his attention to detail. E-mail: billg@acws.com

 
 

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