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Archives for : Tickifieds News

Tickifieds Site Changes and Blog Update

At Tickifieds we strive to provide a safe and friendly place where buyers and sellers of event tickets can connect.  Since we opened our doors (as FreeTicketClassifieds.com) all the way back in 2008, we have tried our best to manually review all ads posted on the site and remove the spam and the scams.  We think we have done a pretty good job over the years but as the site continues to grow, it has become more popular with the spammers. As such, it has become increasingly time consuming keeping up with the spam and has starting restricting our ability to focus on what we all care about…more eyeballs on our ads.

So, in order to cut down on the amount of spam we get, we have decided to charge a nominal fee to post ticket listings at Tickifieds.  Previously, users were allowed to post up to 10 ads at no charge.  Starting on August 21st, we will begin charging $1 for those same 10 listing.  We hope that this small fee will prevent a large proportion of the spammers from impacting the service we provide to both ticket buyers and sellers.  This charge is also considerably less than similar services like Craigslist (now $5 per ad) and Backpage ($1 per ad).  We certainly think a mere 10 cents per ad is a bargain.  For our Premium Members, we will continue to offer unlimited posting packages for as low as $25 per month.

Our last announcement is that we have decided to start another Tickifieds Blog (Tickifieds Daily Ticket Trends) that will focus on the most popular events and on sale updates.  Now that we no longer have to continuously check for spam, we have more time to focus on our marketing efforts and provide additional services for our members.  Since the majority of our paying members are ticket brokers, this information has proven to be very useful for event ticket marketing.  After http://freeonsalelist.com/ stopped posting on sale updates, many ticket brokers were left in the dark.  At our new blog we will featuring daily updates on what tickets went on sale and what tickets are currently hot.  If you haven’t already, please check out our new blog here.  If you have any feature requests or suggestions please let us know in the comments!

How to Link your Tickifieds Ads to a Google+ profile

If you are a ticket broker or own a ticket related website you know first hand getting visibility on the major search engines is no easy task.  Every year, many ticket websites spend thousands of dollars optimizing their websites for the search engines with hopes of getting more traffic.   Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is a multi-billion dollar industry.  However, is such a competitive industry such as ours it can be difficult to get and maintain search engine visibility when the rules are constantly changing.   From Pandas to Penguins, it can be really hard to keep up with all the latest algorithm tweaks.

While we certainly do not have any magic formula to help you increase the visibility of your ticket website, we do have a way to increase the visibility of your ticket ads listed at Tickifieds.com.  If you have been paying attention to Google lately, they have been on a mission to build up their social network aptly named Google+.  Many SEO experts have hypothesized that Google’s dip into the social network arena is not only an attempt to attract more users to their products but to also improve their search results.  One of the ways they are attempting to tie their social platform to the search engine results is by employing the rel=”author” tag.  Unlike other social platforms, Google+ allows you to connect your social profile across the internet, and in a sense, validate your identify.  This is done by identifying a Google+ profile id as an author of any type of content across the web.

One of the big advantages of tagging your content with your Google+ profile is that, over time, if you become a trusted source of valuable content, Google may show preference for your content when it displays search results.  Although the above sentence is largely speculation, there is no doubt that Google is encouraging users to link their content to their Google+ profile.  As a reward for people who employ the authorship markup, Google will display your Google+ profile picture next to the associated search engine result.  These images have shown to drastically increase clicks-throughs so even if authorship doesn’t provide a boost in the search engines, people will be more likely to land on your page or ad.

Here is an example of a Tickifieds Ad as it is displayed in the search results with Authorship verified.

Here are a few examples of a how a Tickifieds Ad looks when displayed in the Google search results with verified authorship markup.

So, now that we know its probably a good idea to start using the author markup on all your web content, how does one add this markup?  Well, at Tickifieds.com we made it really easy!  Just follow these steps below.

1).  If you haven’t already, sign up for a Google+ profile at https://plus.google.com and be sure to include a profile picture with a “recognizable headshot”.

2).  Find your Google+ Profile url.  It should look something like mine :  https://plus.google.com/u/0/114868684757175395718.  To find yours, just log into Google+ and look for your profile picture in the upper right hand corner and select “View Profile”.

3).  Log into your Tickifieds account and select “Edit My Profile”.  Look for the field titled, “Google+ Author Profile” and paste in your Google+ profile url from step 2.  Click submit to save your profile.  We automatically add your Google+ profile with the rel=”author” tag to each of your ads.

4).  The next step of the verification process is to add a reciprocal link back from your profile to Tickifieds.com.  To do this, Click Edit profile, then click the Contributor To section on the right (depending on how many photos you have, you may need to scroll to see this section), and then click Add custom link.  Enter Tickifieds.com, then click save.

5) Test your markup and see what author data Google can extract.  Go to the Google structure data testing tool at:  http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets.  Go back to Tickifieds and find the url for one of your ads and copy it.  Paste the copied url to the Structured Data Testing Tool and click “Preview”.  If it is all setup correctly, you will see your profile image appear next to the preview search result listing.

6). That’s it….you’re all done!

If you have any trouble setting this up feel free to let me know and we’ll get you setup!

 

Tickifieds Launches Android App and Mobile Website

Tickifieds Mobile Screen ShotIt’s no secret that the world has gone mobile.  With over 750 million smart phones and tablets in use throughout the world, more and more people are browsing the web and shopping from mobile devices.  While smart phones and tablets have standard web browsers, most websites are not optimized for display on smaller screens.  As such Tickifieds is happy to announce the official launch of our new and improved mobile website and Android App.

We decide to discontinue the beta version of our Android App after nearly a year of being in the Google Play Store.  In that time, we racked in over 13,000 downloads which resulted  in over 150,000 unique sessions and over 900,000 page views.  That is no small feat for an application in which we did little to no marketing for.  While the new version of the Tickifieds Mobile application is much the same as the beta version, we plan to extensively market this version.

We decide to produce only an Android version of our mobile app as there are over 480 million active Android users compared to only 244 million Apple iPhone and iPad users.  If our Android App continues to be successful we may go ahead and develop an iPhone Application as well.  However, smart phone and tablet growth seems to be geared towards Android.

If you have a chance please check out our new Android App:  Tickifeds Ticket Classifieds.  Any feedback, reviews, and/or comments would be appreciated.

Stubhub Buying Links From ESPN?

While doing some research on college football for a blog post, I visited ESPN’s College Football Scoreboard to see what games were scheduled for week 1 (see here).  While there I noticed the page absolutely loaded with links to Stubhub.  Not only does each game have “Ticket” link directing you to the appropriate page to purchase tickets for that game, but there is also a “Stubhub Ticket Center” with dynamically generated football links on the right sidebar.

I have visited ESPN hundreds of times over the years and never thought anything of this.  I figured big deal, Stubhub probably has an enormous advertising budget and can afford to slather ESPN with advertising – something us small business owners could only dream of.  However, I decided to take a closer look as I have been paying a lot more attention to search engine optimization after Google’s latest algorithm change (dubbed “Penguin“) put Tickifieds.com on life alert.  What I noticed was rather shocking….none of the Stubhub links I examined were designated as purchased advertising links (typically noted by the rel=”nofollow” tag).  Here is just one  example of the HTML code used to link to Stubhub:

Stubhub Buys Links

Here is an example of a game specific ticket link.

HTML CODE:

<a href=”http://www.stubhub.com/vanderbilt-football-tickets/” onclick=”this.href=this.href+’?gcid=C12289x459&amp;keyword=Vanderbilt+Commodores+Football'” title=”Vanderbilt Commodores Football Tickets”>Tickets</a>

Notice that no where in the code does ESPN denote that this link is a paid advertisement.  There is just the “onclick” tag that allows them to track clicked links.  Google has made it extremely clear over the years that paid links that affect search results (i.e. followed links that pass PageRank) are a direct violation of their Webmaster Guidelines.

Anyone that has attempted to optimize their website for search engines to increase this online visibility knows that the name of the game is getting backlinks from trusted sources.   Getting legitimate backlinks pointing to a commerical site from trusted sources is extremely difficult.  That is, unless you have a massive budget and can buy links while the search engines like Google turn a blind eye.

So Google, and in particular Matt Cutts, my question to you is why are mega corporations like ESPN and Stubhub seemingly allowed to violate these Webmaster Guidelines on such a massive scale yet still dominated the organic results?  Call it sour grapes but I am beginning to lose faith that Google really has any semblance of a level playing field.