The State of Estates On the Web

wwwThis post is about the internet and clicks and how people are making money off of a jazz master’s name.

This post may seem a bit non-artistic to those that know me. I just feel the need to get this out there, and it goes in line with my JTTB Records 2015 Vision of creating a non-profit record label that promotes a sustainable music industry. More info about website services coming soon…. look for it summer 2015.

Dear jazz friends,

I am writing to try to bring attention to an issue that I have noticed, over and over again, regarding the internet and the names of the great jazz musicians. Basically, every time someone searches for something on Google and then clicks on a link, someone makes money off of that click.

There are a lot of really popular and amazing jazz musicians who don’t have websites, and thus lose all that traffic to a directory, which then makes money off their name.

Now, it might not be a lot of money, but it’s really easy money called passive income.  Once the site ranks #1 in google search results, people show up, click on ads, and you make an income without having to do anything.

I have nothing against directories, but when they rank #1 on Google in a search it bothers me. Why? Because they are making money off the name of the jazz master. Perhaps this money should go to the estate.

Let me illustrate.

Right now, if you go to the Google Keyword Planner Tool, you will see that there are between 300k and 500k searches a month for Louis Armstrong and related keyword strings. Now, don’t get me wrong, Google Keyword Planner is not super accurate, and is designed to give you a price for ads, but generally, you should know that it’s a good free way to see how many people are searching for something every month. Now, you might say, what’s the big deal? Half a mil searches? Ok? So What?

Well, put Louis Armstrong in the search bar on Google. What pops up? Wikipedia is number one. Then a PBS article. (no offense intended to PBS, sorry). Number 3 is a biography.com article. And then, what the heck? Smart Passive Income blog? Because someone with the last name Armstrong left a comment on a super strong site? I love that blog, but really??? Pat Flynn is getting traffic for a Louis Armstrong search??? OK so I love Pat Flynn (full disclosure – I’ve bought his course) but I’m not sure he should be ranking for Louis Armstrong. Ok then, finally, on number 7 in the search results is the Louis Armstrong charity.

OK, so the real Louis Armstrong is #7 in Google. What’s the big deal?

Well, 90% of people click on #1.

And for every 4,000 visits a month, you can easily make $40 in ad income for one little banner ad.

Therefore, with 90% of 400,000 visits a month, Wikipedia is getting 360,000 visits a month about Louis Armstrong. They monetize that by using that huge number of visits to try to get donations. Whether they use ads or donations, someone somewhere is making money off of Louis Armstrong’s name.

Imagine if you put up a site that ranked #1 on Google for Louis Armstrong. And on such site you put up 10 ads. For each ad you’d make $3,600 per month (360,000 / 4,000 = 90. Therefore 90 x $40 – $3,600.) Therefore, if you can create a site for Louis Armstrong that ranks #1 in Google you can easily make $36,000 per month in passive income from just a simple search for that name. That’s $432,000 per year.

Now do you see what I mean?

Off soapbox.

This is all perfectly legal. There’s nothing you can do, except to make a site as strong as Wikipedia and then SEO the heck out of it to get it ranked #1. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a procedure you do to get your site ranked #1 on Google.

Now don’t go doing this at home, ladies and gents. Be careful with SEO. If you hire the wrong guy, you are putting yourself at risk of being ostracized by Google forever. You have to do it right.

Actually, someone could go ahead and do this without getting the estate’s permission, and they would get all that traffic completely legally. This has already happened to one jazz master who is still living, I can’t remember who – someone else made a website about him, and he can’t get his own site ranked against the fake one, and there’s nothing he can do. So, basically, if an estate doesn’t have a website up for their jazz master, they are essentially saying to the world that it’s ok to go ahead and take all that traffic.

This actually already happened to me for my Bullettes. I made a Yolasite and then dropped it. Someone else took that yola site domain name and turned it into a plumber site. It took almost a year to get that stupid Yola plumber site out of the rankings and have my own website rank #1 for the search, “Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes.” In the mean time, the #1 search result for Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes was a plumber site from San Fransisco that had nothing to do with my organization. I complained to Yola and they said there was nothing I could do, “ask nicely” for them to take down the plumber site. Thankfully now my own site (and all sites I have created or have control over) rank in the first page on Google. Lesson to musicians: don’t ever let go of your domain names, even the free ones through Yola or whatever.

Dear musicians, please make a website and get it ranked #1. Thank you. Let me know if you need help with that, especially the white hat SEO part, and especially if someone else is getting ranked for your name.

PLEASE NOTE:
1. please don’t come to me with dollar signs in your eyes asking for a website and expecting to get rich. It takes time, like 6 months to a year, to get ranked for your name sometimes. The income is negligible unless you have a large number of clicks.

2. I want to just say that I adore Pat Flynn, he has been an inspiration to me, and I know he will see this article because I’m pretty sure he has a google alert on his name. Thank you Pat for all you do and thank you for teaching me so much about the internet. This article is in no way meant to defame your name, or make you feel bad, it’s just an illustration of your amazing SEO and how you are ranked for Louis Armstrong. I feel like I know Pat well enough through listening to his podcasts and reading his blog posts that he wouldn’t be too upset at me for pointing this out, and for possibly eventually losing his ranking for Louis Armstrong.

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