Archive for the 'Review My Site' Category

If you are creating a web site that requires images, is a great place to look. They provide royalty free images for anyone to use. The site is incredibly easy to navigate and all the images are provided by the users. “User generated content” is the wave of the future and was way ahead of this trend since 2004 when they first launched. When the owner approached me to write a review on the site, he said he has not put as much time into the site as he would have liked and hopefully after some of the feedback I provide in this post, he can have the site reach it’s full potential because I think it can be marketed very successfully.


The layout is very clean and easy to navigate, but the images need a little revamping, especially the header banner. A web 2.0-ish redesign of the banner would work wonders for the site. Besides that, the other areas positioned well.

Domain Name

This is a great domain name for the services offered. It allows the site to rank well for great keywords such as:

  • “free photos” - 12th in Google
  • “royalty free photos” - 29th in Google
  • “free stock photos” - 47th in Google

These are great keywords to rank for. With a few more SEO tactics, the site can move its way up the ranks for pertinant keywords like “free images” and “free pictures”. The fact that the site has been around since 2004 is great for it’s SERP rank.


The functionality of the site is great with one minor problem. As a new user, you must sign up to  upload and download photos. All of yesterday I was trying to sign up using the “Sign Up Free for full access!” link in the top right corner which didn’t work. I later found a much simpler ”Sign Up Now” option on the home page on the left sidebar. FreePhotos should fix their full sign up page, but keep the easy “Sign Up Now” option on the home page as I prefered that one.

Once I signed up I received a nice email that mentioned going to the forum, but I couldn’t find a link to the forum anywhere on the site so I would remove the forum part in the email. As I searched through other members I saw that has an impressive 9951 existing members with over 2800 photos available. I am not surprised by this because the photos they have are great quality. I know I will be using some of their images for my upcoming projects!


With everything going for this web site, the only thing left is to improve the monetization methods used. Currently, FreePhotos uses one skyscraper ad on the right side which (probably) doesn’t make nearly as much money as it can. If a leaderboard fits just below the top navigation, I would insert one there. If not, you can run a 468×60 text only banner ad. If you want to keep the skyscraper banner, I would move it from the right side to the left side as research shows that visitors are more likely to click ads on the left side rather than the right side. To further monetize, they can include banner ads at the very bottom of the page for products (Azoogle) that match your topic.

To dramatically improve your click through rates once you implement ads on top of the page, be sure to set the hyperlink color to match your existing font color on top.


I just had a quick marketing idea for, which would be to market to the same crowd that uses and is responsible for the Photobucket and Flickr success - the Myspace crowd. This would take some manual labor but could attract a lot more photos if targeted toward the right groups (just a quick thought I had).

When I do reviews, I don’t often recommend a product to my readers unless I would personally use it and this is a site that I know I will use in the near future. If you need free stock images, I highly recommend you check out

If you would like your web site or blog reviewed on this site by me, then contact me here.

If you liked this post, be a nice person and buy Jane a beer.

Welcome To Egonitron

Today is an epic day for Jane May Blogs!  Well, kind of…It’s the first Review My Site I am hosting on my personal blog.  I have gotten a lot of personal requests to provide feedback on people’s new blogs and web sites, but nothing compares to getting a review on this blog.

Today, I welcome Egonitron as my public review.  You are probably asking what is Egonitron - I know I did.  Well, the URL stems from the owner’s name, Egon.  Egon is an everyday blogger who writes about the things he likes including computers, cars, technology, music, money, movies, tv, blogging, and other generally cool stuff.  He needs some help narrowing a niche, and we can help him with that.  But let me tell you more about his site first. 

Egon uses a TechnoBlue Wordpress layout. I like this layout because it has a 3 column field.  Let me show you what I mean:

Egon homepage

I like this theme because it is very easy to navigate and read.  The 3 columns provide room to write the main post, have a sidebar with the usual sidebar trinkets (feedburner subscription, latest posts and comments, categories, etc.), and lastly an advertising column.  I like the third column a lot because you can not only include an adsense block, but you can have direct advertising on your blog using 125×125 images…similar to a banner, but a lot smaller.  Egon is using this space wisely.  I like the RSS subscription icon too!

I do want to make a few recommendations:

  1. Include a “friends” or “blogroll” category on the sidebar so that you have a few links to helpful sites for your readers.  This will not only be a resource, but can help with having other bloggers link back to you and help with your rankings.  Just make sure they are sites that are relevant to your topic (Google really likes this).
  2. Narrow down the list of categories. A long list like the one currently posted can be intimidating for a visitor.  If you only have one post in a category that can also be a part of another category, combine the two and get rid of one of them.
  3. Since you have the feedburner button and people can add it to their individual browser, I would take out the “Add this feed” icon below the RSS.  It just makes it confusing for the newbies out there. 

One of the first things I noticed on this site is the gap in time between each post.  For any blog to be successful, it MUST have consistent content written.  If you know you can’t do it daily, then do it 3 times a week on the same days each week.  If you can’t do it 3 times a week, do it once a week.  Keep in mind, the less frequently you post, the better quality your posts should be to capture an audience.  If you post everyday, you can get away with less quality content, but the majority should be quality.

When navigating through Egons site, I came across his archives.  As you can tell from the archives, he has some interesting posts, 26 total to be exact, in a wide range of areas.  Some of the articles that stand out are:

Tech News

Google renames Froogle to boring Google Product Search

Netvibes Upgrading for Universe

Google Adding Doubleclick Text, Changing AdSense?

Blogging Tips

Get Rid of Your Wordpress Blog’s Meta Links

Top 5 Must-Have Blog Monitoring Tools

Alexa and the Search Status Plugin


Ah, crap. Yeah, I know…

Check out my kick-ass new shoes

As you can see, there are many topics here.  When identifying the specific niche for your blog you want to reflect on what you value and what interests you.  For example, if your interests are what’s new and exciting in the world of technology, then focus on that since you’ll be happy writing about it. If you want to help others succeed online, then write more about the blogging world and opportunities for online success.  You can do both, but the wider net you cast, the less focus you will have. 

If Egon can keep up his consistency and narrow his focus, I think we may have a successful blog on our hands.  Pay him a visit to see what you think.  If you disagree with the recommendations I’ve given him then tell him; or if you agree, let him know also :-)

If you would like your web site or blog reviewed on this site by me, then contact me here.

If you liked this post, be a nice person and buy Jane a beer.

The get a free backlink from a pagerank 6 site promotion got some great immediate responses. We had 10 reviews within the first 2 days. Right now we have 3 reviews complete for the 3rd batch of published reviews and need 2 more until I can post them.

If you’ve read any of the review posts on Career Ramblings, John and I pick 1 or 2 of the best reviews in each round and write a bit about the blog and author. We’ve received good feedback from those blogs saying that they are receiving excellent traffic from the backlink, in addition to the good SEO benefit of a backlink from a PR6 site.

If you would like to participate you still can. Just head over to the rules post to find out how.

If you liked this post, be a nice person and buy Jane a beer.

It is commonly viewed that the single best way to move up Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) is by the quality of backlinks coming to your web site or blog.  The higher quality the linking web site is, the more value that is placed on that backlink.  It is better to have a few incoming links from high Page Rank and traffic sites rather than a bunch of backlinks from lower quality web sites. 

How Do I Get More Backlinks?

Advertise: One way to get more quality backlinks is to buy them from directories or niche sites similar to your topic, but that is questionable because rumor has it that Google is trying to develop a system to figure out which links are paid and which are not.  They might punish paid links if they can figure out an algorithm to track them.

Review My Blog: I’d like to offer everyone an easy opportunity to get a free backlink from a Page Rank 6 site.  This is an idea initiated by John Chow several months ago which he has had a lot of success with.  All you have to do is write a review about Career Ramblings (Page Rank 6), with a minimum of 200 words and email me the link to your story.  I will post all reviews on Career Ramblings with a free backlink to your site. For complete rules and details, please read Get A Free Backlink From A PR6 Site.

Unique, Excellent Content: Linkbait is another common method to getting backlinks. There are endless ways to spin your content into an interesting story that the masses will enjoy. This web site that focuses on providing unique content for blogs had a great linkbait post comparing Britney Spears to Blogging.

Social Bookmarking: The 4th method is to submit your stories to social bookmarking sites such as Digg, Reddit and Delicious. Tons of fellow bloggers read the front page of Digg to get interesting and popular stories to link to. With one Digg front page story, you can accumulate hundreds of backlinks. This is the biggest value of social bookmark sites.

If you liked this post, be a nice person and buy Jane a beer.

Since I often write about Career Ramblings as a case study, I thought I would offer my readers a chance to get a free backlink from a PageRank 6 site. It is a very simple promotion and receiving a backlink from a high traffic, PR 6 site can really boost your Search Engine Ranking and also help you get a higher page rank.  Here is a post about How to Improve Your SERP Position

Criteria for getting a free backlink:

  • The review must Career Ramblings homepage using the anchor text “Career Development“.
  • It should be a minimum of 200 words.
  • It must have a link to the Get A Backlink From Career Ramblings post somewhere in the review (Not a link to
  • You can use any tone you want in the review.

For every 5 reviews we receive, we will write a post linking to your site from Career Ramblings.  Why not take 10 minutes to write a review and receive a valuable backlink in exchange?  Be sure to email me the link to your review when you’re done so we can link to it. I look forward to reading your reviews! :)

If you liked this post, be a nice person and buy Jane a beer.