The Step by Step Guide to Successfully Promoting a Web Site
by John R. DeUlloa, PromoteOne
107-Page Wire-bound book, $95
Published May, 1999
Recently I bought a movie on DVD because I remembered seeing it as a kid (many times!) and remembered how great it was. I brought the movie home excited about it now being available on DVD and I can watch it just as often as I did back then. I popped the movie in the player and proceeded to, uh, well, I didn’t really enjoy it. While the movie was a good one when it cam out, it just didn’t hold up over time, especially when you consider all the technological advancements, such as the advancements made in actual acting!
Reading the step by step guide, I got the same kind of feeling. While I’m sure it was a great book THEN (back in 2000) it certainly is not a great book now.
As soon as I pulled the book out of its shipping package I was disappointed. This wasn’t a “real” book, you know, a real publisher, real binding, real distribution, no, the Step by Step guide looks like it was printed and bound at a Kinkos.
I started reading a few pages and then decided to check out the author’s web site “PromoteOne”. the first thing I notice is no Google PageRank. Then I see no Google cache and very few Google backlinks. Now I’m a bit upset. The site doesn’t appear to have been updated since 2002!
Inside the book is login information for password protected data on the web site. No surprise, that didn’t work. And the email address for help with logging in? Bounced.
Now I start thumbing through the table of contents and see a section called “What to know about each search engine”. I see Yahoo, Excite, Go.com, Webcrawler, HotBot, Lycos, AltaVista and Clickey. Clickey? I’ve heard of all the others, many of which are now defunct or might as well be, but I’ve never heard of Clickey. And no mention of Google? OK, so the book is clearly dated.
I have to admit that the first three chapters (or “Steps”) contained some good general marketing information. Step 5 got me worried. Here the author advocated “leader” pages, a.k.a. “doorway” pages. In fact, the author claims to have invented doorway pages and throughout the book advocates their use as good strategy. He even recommended submitting a “leader” page to the Yahoo! directory instead of the home page! Yikes!
The author does try to make the point of following the rules, and I suppose that at the time of publishing there were no rules against creating many duplicate doorway pages. In today’s promotion efforts, doorways and following rules certainly don’t mix!
The most extensive section was walking through each search engine. The author was thorough but this is the bulk of the information that is simply just out of date. A couple more chapters were decent reading with some good tips on web design and choosing an ISP. The information in those chapters was just as timely today as it was then.
When this book was written, it is clear that the author knew his stuff. But without an update in 5 years this book does not contain anywhere near the value of the purchase price. I’ve emailed Barns and Noble and let them know that they have no business selling this book for the price and will be returning it promptly for a full refund.