Online Dating and Personals Network - LoveCompass - Weblog

Online Personals & Dating Services Network
All about dating services business, online personals websites, changes in overall e-commerce world affecting dating, matchmaking, mail-order brides and online personals websites. Most recent LoveCompass announcements, reports, and plans. 

April 30, 2003

How To Increase Link Popularity Without Links Exchange

This article suggests methods of increasing your web site's link-popularity. Simple links-exchange campaign is an old and questionable method. We suggest more effective methods. Although they are sometimes more difficult to accomplish, you may feel safe using them - Search Engines Will Not Ban Your Site.

1. Content-based


You add lots of useful and interesting content and people start linking to you. They just refer to specific page or the main domain when quoting or just link because they like your site. Or you can send an article to LoveCompass and we will publish it in this Blog with a link to your site.

Advantages:

No need to reciprocate links, hence the links have higher weight; in most cases links are relevant.

Disadvantages:

No control over anchor text and destination page.

2. Paid ads


Banner or text links placed on others' sites for money on monthly/ppc/ppi basis.

Advantages:

Full control over anchor text and destination page.

Disadvantages:

Have to pay money ; some sites use tracking software that prevents SEs from counting the link.

3. Search box / content column


If you are a search engine, you may provide a search box to sites that would like to place it on their pages and it may also contain a link, or you may provide a news/links/quotes content column for sites that seek for additional content.

Advantages:

More than one link may be placed, interactive tools for visitors attraction may be used.

Disadvantages:

Possibly the hardest thing to find link partners for.

... to be continued.

Posted by LC at 10:33 PM | Comments (4)

April 29, 2003

LoveCompass Linking Strategy Change

... as well as our /linkto.htm page. From now and on we do not ask for a second link to the category where our link partners list their site. We will rather ask for a link to our Online Dating Search Engine.

Old reciprocal linking offer will still stay applicable, however our main priority is a Preferred Banner now or two links - one to http://www.lovecompass.com and another one to http://search.lovecompass.com.

Please refer to How To Link To LoveCompass page for more details.

Posted by LC at 11:49 PM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2003

Calculation of Partners’ commissions, finance and payments explained

This article explains principles of commission calculations, terms and conditions of payments to partners, meaning of “Finance” table in LoveCompass Partner Account, and all other issues related to financial structure of LoveCompass Dating Partnership Network. This particular article will be constantly updated and will be kept as current, so this will be the best source to track and discuss all money issues.


Part 1 – Prices and commissions


Prices

LoveCompass partners may set different price for every profile. The price may be anything between 0 to 10,000 USD. Prices may be changed both during manual profile submission, and for a profile already submitted from Partner Site. Default price is set globally by LoveCompass and it is 3 USD now. IN the nearest future we are going to let partners set their own default price for men and women separately.

Commissions

  • Partners set their price for members' contacts - we call it base price.
  • LoveCompass adds 10% - sellers’ commission - the money paid to a partner that owns a partner site, where the purchase occurred.
  • LoveCompass adds 10% - buyers’ commission - the money paid to a partner that adder a member profile of the person that made a purchase.
  • LoveCompass adds 10% and $1 - it is our revenue which covers billing and running expenses.
    Thus, if a partner sets $5 as a price for a contact, the final price will be as follows: $5 + $0.5 + $0.5 + $0.5 + $1 = $7,5

    … to be continued
    Posted by LC at 11:19 PM | Comments (2)
  • April 26, 2003

    Dating Search Engine Update

    Looks like it is time for update of LoveCompass Dating Search Engine database and for LoveCompassBot to go and index our link partners. Last update included about 40 dating, matchmaking, personals, and love sites. This new update will include over 200.

    Crawl and update are planned on Tuesday. We are going to ranking algorithm a bit and the way of results representation. From now and on we are going to show same titles for listings as the pages' title tags.

    New update will grab up to 50 pages from each site. Those who don’t want to have their site indexed, feel free to exclude LoveCompassBot by your robots.txt. Results of the update will be announced accordingly.

    Posted by LC at 11:55 PM | Comments (0)

    April 25, 2003

    Partners Forum rebuild expected

    Since LoveCompass Partners Forum seems to have too many unused sections at the moment, we decided to remove some of them for now.

    New sections will be added when required. At the moment there are some sections that stay completely useless, however we will still leave such sections as Scam Reports because of their significant importance. This Weblog is also designed to attract more interest from partners, which may in turn lead to more active discussions in forum.

    LoveCompass Partner have to understand that Partnership Network should be a community and all of us help each other earn money and provide good services. LoveCompass Network success heavily depends on partners’ activity and feedback, so if you are a partner and have ideas, comment or complaints, please share them with us in this Weblog and/or LoveCompass LoveCompass Partners Forum.

    Posted by LC at 11:55 PM | Comments (0)

    April 24, 2003

    Google Personals - Coming Soon?

    Google™ is the Internet's most popular seach engine and personals business is one of the web's biggest revenue streams. Most big search engines, news portals and enterteiment site have online personals communities added to their sites. We know of Yahoo! Personals, MSN Personals, even New York Times Personals… WHY we don’t know about Google Personals? LoveCompass suggests its opinion based on very basic research and our subjective opinions. There is no such thing as Google Personals as for now, but maybe…

    What do we have now?


    Google™ is an extremely fast-growing search engine, portal, advertising agency and God knows what else; they are known for constant improvements of their services quality and variety – there is always something new you may find out about Google™ next month, and very often it is something spectacular!

    Another important fact is that Online Personals industry is one of the most profitable Internet businesses. Even though its development tempo slowed down a bit during the year 2003, we are still awaiting for its tremendous success. Article posted in Internernews.com - Consumer Spending on Online Content Fell in Q4 states the following:

    ”By far, 2002 was the year of personals sites. The study said spending on personals and dating sites more than quadrupled to $302.1 million. Business and investment sites, despite a gloomy year on Wall Street, saw spending increase 36 percent to $292 million. Spending for content in the entertainment and lifestyle category more than doubled to $227.5 million.”
    Google™ is not a charity, they do work for money, even though they have a mission, money still matter and they have more than enough advertising resources to launch and promote Google Personals.

    Big Dogs ARE playing “Personals”

    Let’s just make a simple search in Google for “Personals”. Look at the results:
  • #1 is the Google’s old friend and biggest traffic competitior – Yahoo! With their Yahoo! Personals. Google guys must know and they do know that Yahoo! makes big money from that listing alone and Google could have a good stake if they had their own online personals facility.
  • #2-3 is New York Times Personals, which is a “Match.com powered” service. Oh well, you all know what that “powered” thingy means, but tsssss… who said “affiliate” or … “dupe content”?
  • #4 is Match.com itself – yeah, they are making real good money from personals services and Google sure knows about that too.
    Ok it looks like a lot of big dogs have it, many of them, and I would say, most of them: Canada.com Personals, Salon.com Personals, Boston.com Personals, Montagar…, GlobeandMail…, and even MSN Personals (geez… how come Google doesn’t want to k’em out of the game, btw – “powered by Match.com” again ;) )


    What we may expect to see in future


    Ok… let’s face it, we don’t know much about Google games, plans, changes, and that leaves us a lot of food for guesses, hopes and expectations. There is no any official or at least competent information about anything at least closely related to Google Personals stuff, however some people have been already talking about this particular phrase.

    Old debts and Yahoo! Personals

    Yahoo Personals! is getting more active this year and it now overbids Match.com in most Pay-Per-Click search engines, they invest a lot of money for all sorts of advertising trying to be indefinite leader in Personals business. Thus Yahoo!’s interest in this market is obvious and they wouldn’t be happy to see… you know whom as a competitor. Looking back to the history, we may recall that Yahoo! gave a real boost to Google popularity when it started powering Yahoo!’s secondary search results. Now, what? Yahoo! search uses Google even more now and Google, in turn, doesn’t run Google Personals. Does it make sense for you? On the same hand we know of recent acquisition of Inktomi by Yahoo!, which must sooner or later lead to the end of historical Yahoo!+Google contract and maybe then we’ll see a new logo, similar to the one that Biz Stone saw in his dream:


    Google Personals – possibly the world’s best cupid

    Being one of the most popular web site and with its huge hardware and software power, Google might become an absolute winner dating and personals industry. Do they make more money from their Google News? Or Google Images? Add the fact that connecting people has always been a good mission. The only reason for the delay I can imagine is that Google wants to make it DIFFERENT. Again and again they would prove that Google is unique and the best. This point is nicely described by Matt Pfeffer in his "Why Google really bought Blogger" article:

    ”It's all about personals. At first, I was stunned. But the vision is pure genius. Forget plain old web surfing! Think big. Think, the biggest killer app of all time: Love. Google will become the ultimate engine for finding ... romance. Just imagine it: Every search you make, recorded by Google (and stored in a cookie for 35 years — and now we know why!) and used to match you to your perfect mate. The news stories you click on, the goods you shop for — Google will throw everything into the mix, more data about you to better ensure you find that special someone. Google already has almost everything it needs to do this.”
    Nothing is clear yet, however the possibility to have a new major player in Online Dating / Online Personals business is quite obvious. We’ll keep track on changes and we’ll keep our readers informed about anything related to possible launch of Google Personals.

    Posted by LC at 08:23 PM | Comments (5)
  • April 23, 2003

    Virtual Kisses - Protecting members’ privacy and right to choose

    Members of LoveCompass Network happen to ask why they can't buy membership which would give them an access to all other members’ personal contacts. We do not make this information available unless a member decided to become a Gold Member and make his contacts available for free. In all other cases, members have to pay for contacts. This shows their serious intentions about initiating real dating contact. Spammers wouldn't pay per e-mail – they just don't value e-mails that much. But there are some other cases of fraudulent use of our system which we are trying to evaluate, but the best we can do is to inform our members about possible offence.

    The main problem left is SCAM. All sorts of it: Russian brides scam, “African/Nigerian/Columbian letters” scam, fake credit cards scam, etc. Unfortunately there is a whole bunch of “people” trying to play with feelings of singles looking for soulmates. Most of our members are potential victims and we can do little about that. We are also victims as we are having great financial losses because of these phenomena. Vast majority of singles posting their ads consists of not Internet savvy people and it becomes easy to cheat them with a begging letter written “with a fear of God”. But, believe us; scammers do not know what God is. God is their tool for money-making and nothing but that.

    Our Dating Scam article already informed about the main types of scam, but I would like to repeat once again that there are two simple pointers that should make you VERY suspicious: IF the letter is from Nigeria/Africa/Cote Divoire/Columbia and has fancy looking story about bazillions US dollars you could earn for helping the poor sender, this is SCAM; and IF the letter is from former USSR country and the lady wants you to transfer her a few hundreds dollars for visa arrangements, ticket or mother’s surgery, this is SCAM.

    Internet community tries to fight scammers, but all they can do is reporting and publishing of the cases and informing people about scam patterns. What LoveCompass does is keeping members’ privacy by establishing Virtual Kisses system which leaves the right of choice for everyone. Once you got a Virtual Kiss, go and see the member’s profile, be VERY SUSPICIOUS, and if and only if you feel that this member is a safe bet, buy the contacts or grab e-mail (if he’s a Gold Member). This decision was not just from the top of the head, but we understand that it is not a panacea and there is still a lot of things that might be implemented in order to make the whole Network operation more secure and accurate.

    Partners and members of the entire LoveCompass Online Personals and Dating Services Network are welcome to comment and suggest new ways of protecting members’ privacy and broadening variety of our services along with keeping them secure.

    Posted by LC at 11:14 PM | Comments (2)

    Preferred banner for linking back to LoveCompass

    New banner has been added to Link to LoveCompass page. Although link partners may choose any of the banners or text links to link to us, we would appreciate adding the preferred one a lot.

    The new banner has both image and text links, but it is still smaller than most other banners and will not take too much time to load on your site. Total size of the image and code is less than 2Kb, and the image loads from our server, not taking your precious bandwidth. The code of the banner and the example are as follows:

    Code (copy and paste to your page):


    Example of the banner:
    Online Personals & Dating Services Personals Dating Services Online Dating Search

    Posted by LC at 11:06 PM | Comments (0)

    April 22, 2003

    Detailed finance report added to LoveCompass Partner Account

    Brand new feature has been added to all partners accounts. From now and on LoveCompass Partners may see statistics of the transactions they are taking part in. This will help to track sales and possible chargebacks.

    Log-in to your Partner Account and look at the top menu. You will find new "Finance" link which leads to the detailed report of all transactions where you got commissions from. Bolded numbers indicate the money passed to your account, other numbers show stakes of other partners and of LoveCompass itself ("to LC" column).

    Partners are welcome to comment on this new feature and report bugs or inaccuracies.

    Posted by LC at 11:45 PM | Comments (0)

    April 21, 2003

    Content-based marketing opportunity for dating Webmasters

    Web publishers and dating webmasters are welcome to post us their articles related to dating, personals, matchmaking, romance and love.

    Please e-mail us your article and it will be posted with all your links and references. Thus you will advertise yourself and your site/services without need to place a reciprocal link or whatever. Content-based advertising is most legitimate and effective way to promote your site, especially when we are talking about easily indexable, high-ranked LoveCompass Weblog pages.

    Please note that only unique, new articles are accepted. We are not going to publish text already available somewhere else.

    Posted by LC at 06:56 PM | Comments (0)

    April 20, 2003

    First Partner Site with Gold Membership - Texas Dating Personals

    Today we are going to start installation works and testing of Gold Membership feature on one of LoveCompass Partner Sites. Other partners will have it with the new aePartner package pretty soon.

    It is Texas Dating Singles Partner Site that will have this feature installed. We truly hope that integration will be successful and all partner will be able to enjoy this, really sound improvement.

    Posted by LC at 06:18 PM | Comments (11)

    April 17, 2003

    LoveCompass Dating Directory Vacant Places

    Our Dating Directory is growing real fast, but there are still some categories that have little or no links. Placing a link in such category would give both good traffic and high value in terms of search engines rankings. But remember - only relevant links may be approved! So, if you have a site which you consider as relevant to be listed in one of these categories, take your chance!

    The list of categories is as follows:

    http://www.lovecompass.com/Alternative/Fetish/
    http://www.lovecompass.com/Special_Dating/Sports_Lovers/
    http://www.lovecompass.com/Special_Dating/Students/
    http://www.lovecompass.com/Special_Dating/Teens/
    http://www.lovecompass.com/Webmasters/
    http://www.lovecompass.com/Webmasters/Search_Engines/
    http://www.lovecompass.com/Cards_and_Gifts/Other/
    http://www.lovecompass.com/Entertainment/Love_Games/
    http://www.lovecompass.com/Entertainment/Love_Jokes/
    http://www.lovecompass.com/Entertainment/Quizzes/
    http://www.lovecompass.com/Entertainment/Love_Tests/
    http://www.lovecompass.com/Love_Services/Matrimonial_Services/
    http://www.lovecompass.com/Love_Services/Appointment_Scheduling/
    http://www.lovecompass.com/Love_Services/Marriage_Agencies/Ukraine/

    Posted by LC at 03:11 AM | Comments (0)

    April 16, 2003

    Search by USA states to appear in PERSONALS system

    LoveCompass development team made a desicion to expand PERSONALS browsing system by adding search categories for all USA states.

    This add-on will change quite a lot in the entire system. Needless to say that we will need to add this field on joining process for both LoveCompass and partner sites. Additionally, search profiles form and results page will be affected. As for the PERSONALS browsing system, it will just have deeper categories when looking for singles from USA.

    Posted by LC at 12:00 AM | Comments (4)

    April 15, 2003

    Major Changes in LoveCompass Dating Directory Expected

    LoveCompass is different and we want to keep it different. This made us think on how to make our Dating Directory more interesting and attracting for visitors. Some research together with obvious need for more quality content seem to help us find the decision.

    LoveCompass is different and we want to keep it different. This made us think on how to make our Dating Directory more interesting and attracting for visitors. Some research together with obvious need for more quality content seem to help us find the decision.

    Not all changes are obvious yet, and the final result may be finally different from what you read now, but there are some aspects that are more or less clear already.

    We have asked SEO specialists about the best ways of building it. Here is the result:

    Q: We are now going to rebuild our links directory. The main purpose is to make it content-rich destination, not just stupid collection of links. Now we have categorized structure and we show 10 external links per page. What we are going to do is to force our advertisers add more detailed descriptions and create their site's profile with a few screenshots and even more details.

    The question is... should we change links of the directory to link to the profile and then place just one link to this site in its profile, or should we leave direct link from the directory page and add link profile, which will in turn have one more link to this site.

    Profile of the site is going to have about 5 times more description text, 3 screenshots, and editorial review.

    What are the pros and cons of new structure IMHO:

    1. + More text content on each listing
    2. + More pages with content and with one external link each
    3. + No PageRank leaking on directory pages (really not sure about this one)
    4. + Makes our directory different, gives more power for advertisers, more info for visitors.
    5. + Title of the link points to the profile, being a good anchor text
    6. – Visitors have to view profile and may not go to the site directly from category.

    ---- Another way is if we keep direct link and add a link to site’s profile on each page.
    1. + More text content on each listing
    2. + More pages with content and with one external link each
    3. – Link to profile has poor anchor text (ex. “view site’s profile”)
    4. – Amount of links per page gets even bigger thus diluting power of each of them
    5. + Advertiser has direct link from the directory page as well as from profile (all in all two direct links)
    6. + Visitors don’t necessarily have to view profile and may just go to the site directly.

    Which variant you would choose and do you think it is going to be beneficial?

    A: Use whichever way is better for your site visitors only. I like the first group.(Doug Heil – Search Engine Optimization Services)
    A: I agree. What's best for your visitors is best for you, IMO.
    Keep the higher level direct link. Your visitors will find it easier to visit multiple sites if they are presented in list format.
    Also link out from the new more informative pages. If you are going to have a detailed page about a site, it has to include the site's URL!
    (Alan Perkins – e-Brand Management )

    There were some other replies, but finally we figured out that our best bet is to make two links per site - one from category and one from profile page of the site. Additionally, we are going to make profiles editable, so all advertizers will be able to modify them for better relevance.

    Well, now we'll have to finalize all other TO-DO list items to make it happen.

    Posted by LC at 04:18 AM | Comments (0)

    April 14, 2003

    Beware SCAM! Russian scammers, dating scam, Nigerian letters, etc.

    You've probably heard of some kind of Internet scam. Unfortunately dating and personals sites have scammers pretty often. What is dating scam and what you can do to be safe?

    There are two most popular types of scam over the Internet - Dating Scam and so-called "Nigerian Letters". And, there are two most frequent scammers sources - Russia (with other ex-USSR countries) and African countries.

    Both types of scam have similar layouts and both are easy to identify - cheaters correspond with you, write kind and affectionate letters and finally beg you for money. Simple as that. They will need money for dieing aunty, visa arrangements, ticket to fly to you, pay for Internet, have an urgent surgery, etc. Professional scammers deal with hundreds of credent people and make really good money.

    You need only two tips to be safe and not become a victim:

    TIP 1 (how to identify scam): If you got a letter from an African country and you see any mentioning of huge money amounts proposed to you – this is scam; if you got a letter from a official relative – this is scam; if you got a letter proposing you money for some kind of service from a person that you don’t even know – this is scam; if your pen pal asks you to send a certain amount of money for visa, bribe, surgery, etc. after a few tender letters – this is scam.

    TIP 2 (how to avoid scam): Very simple! DON’T SEND MONEY to anyone until you met her(him) in person.

    And, please, report scam. Reports are by far the only way to fight it. We at LoveCompass do our best to detect scammers and take measures against them, but we can do little without your help. Go to LoveCompass Dating Forum to report and discuss scam.

    Posted by LC at 05:08 AM | Comments (2)

    April 09, 2003

    AEnetwork technology now patented!

    LoveCompass administrators got great news today – network technology patent application has been assessed and approved.

    The core idea of the technology and the name of the patent is “Organization of commercial network of web sites based on common remote products database, connecting via sockets”.

    The actual Patent Certificate will be issued within one month. We will announce it and publish a scanned copy. Copyright notes will be added to all downloadable products from now and on. Any violation will be prosecuted legally.

    Posted by LC at 07:03 AM | Comments (0)