My little piece of manna from heaven appears to have dried up.
My little experiment in the wild world of the Internet is a collection of open directories called Community Color. The web site is just a collection of links to web sites from the community. The sites really don't have any support from the community. I feel, that the do a positive service by helping people find local artists, community service programs, etc..
Some people consider my project to be spammy.
My little manna from heaven was that, for some strange reason, I scored position two for the key words "Sears Home Center" in Google and Yahoo. The indexed page provides almost no intrinsic value to Sears. It says that there is a Sears in Salt Lake City.
The fact that I had scored well on a lucrative keyword meant I was average $150 a month for a page that provided nothing of deep value to Sears.
Essentially Sears paid the web hosting fee for my site, despite the fact that I was providing very little in service to their firm. Since I provide free listings to local furniture makers. One could even argue that I was doing a disservice to sears.
Google and Yahoo finally dropped this page. Another lucky bastard will be getting this manna from heaven.
The whole web thing is really quite amusing. It is impossible to get from the people who directly benefit from the site. When I tell business what I could do for them, they usually toss me out the door. However the site makes accidental income from a company that was underserved by the program. Very odd.
Having just a few search engines dominate the Internet market means that the market is irrational.
One of the really strange things about the web is that you often make more money by underserving people, than by providing them what they want. For example, one of my sites scores well on the term dialectics. People who find an answer to their questions about this term are satisfied. It is only when someone is unsatisfied that they click on the ads.
The same thing happens in day to day business. I often find myself paying more for jobs that were done poorly than for those that were done well. A crappy programmer will generate more man hours and receive more money than a quality programmer. In my own career, I've made a lot more money for the mistakes I've made than the small number of programs I did well.
I can see why so many marketers turn negative.