Saturday, December 1, 2001


======= December 11, 2001 ===========
From: Robert Massa

Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2001 12:46 PM

Subject: Portal Partner Press 12-11-01

The Portal Partner Press is sent each week for the education and entertainment of the people who own and operate a SearchKing hosted portal. It is intended to help you learn to better operate, maintain and market your own portal. Anytime you have a question about any item in an issue of the PPP, please visit our forums at and feel free to ask any questions or post any comments about your portal, about SearchKing or about internet marketing in general.
SearchKing Targets European Market Through Franchise Agreements
My whole purpose in going to Europe, (aside from the fact that if I have an excuse for spending three weeks in Europe, I'm taking it!), was to strengthen old relationships and establish some new ones. We have had a reseller in London for close to a year now. I mentioned this in an issue of the PPP back when we first made the deal.
Basically, his focus is on building and maintaining portals for corporate clients in the UK using SK software. For a small fee, we set up his own branded version of the SK portal program allowing him to use our products and resell them. He gets them for half of what we normally charge and then charges what he likes for the software and the maintenance. Kind of a "what the market will bear" thing.
We have also noticed over the last few months that we seem to be doing well in Europe. The UK, Germany and India, (I know, I know, India isn't in Europe), make up almost 40 percent of our total portal pluses. But, we have also noticed that very few of these portals ever upgrade or get involved in our forums. Of course the language barrier and the cultural barriers are the obvious reasons.
Even with the UK speaking English, (I found out while I was there, I don't speak English, I speak American), the way we communicate in America is not the same way people in the UK communicate. What we in America find to make sense, is not the same thing that would make sense to someone from Europe, even if they do have a good command of the English language. The cultural differences are as much a barrier as the language.
Watching the stats, it occured to me seveal months ago that there was little I could do to appeal to a non-American market. Not knowing or understanding the culture, the language or even the money left me at a real disadvantage. Now the Euro dollar is going to take over in Europe on January 1st 2002, so that may eliminate the money barrier to some extent, keeping in mind that Britain has refused to change and will continue running it's own currency in British pounds, but that still leaves the language and cultural problems.
My best solution was to approach it from the position that someone who actually lived in the target market could do a much better job of marketing to that market than I could. Since we had already done the reseller deal with one UK client and found it to work just fine, I could see no reason why we couldn't do it again.
So, we set up UKSearchKing as our reseller for mass market penetration. Actually, we will refer to UKSearchKing as a franchisee because it is a little different than the other reseller we have set up. The franchisee will have the rights to distribute all SK products within the UK, (with the exception of course of the deals we already have in place). Kind of a wholesale, retail thing.
We will set up a separate admin panel and give UKSearchKing access to all our promotional material letting them run their own branded forums, PPP, classifieds and marketing. They will sell in pounds and pay us in dollars. Their main responsibility will be to change the text on the pages from American to English. They will speak in pounds instead of dollars.
We will provide server and technical support for the franchisee, they will provide it for their portal partners. They will run their own forums, and their own PPP. They handle their own billing. They handle their own server costs and bandwidth costs and pass those costs on to their customers the same as SK does. Again, kind of a wholesale, retail thing.
This should give each country a community specific to thier intersts and needs, while securing a solid presence for SK in that market. It should also provide a viable business model for search services within that country.
They will get all developed software from SK at half the retail price. SK will retain rights to 30% of all advertising space, they get the other 70% and we will share databases so that they have access to global results and we have access to UK specific results. Instant search service and web hosting player in the UK market.
Assuming it works, we will then pursue the same strategy with other countries around the globe. We also made a deal with another company to represent our franchise sales in Europe on a commision basis. We're hoping this company ends up being able to handle all deals for franchises around the world. They have unique access to a lot of sales staff that covers a lot of languages. We'll see.
We should have everything up and running within the next 90 days. I'll keep you all posted.
Have a great week! 
See ya' next week. 
Publisher -- Bob Massa

======= December 21, 2001 ===========
Subject: Portal Partner Press 12-21-01
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2001 10:58:13 -0600
From: Robert Massa
The Portal Partner Press is sent each week for the education and entertainment of the people who own and operate a SearchKing portal. It is intended to help you learn to better operate, maintain and market your own portal. Anytime you have a question about any item in an issue of the PPP, please visit our forums at and feel free to ask any questions or post any comments about your portal, about SearchKing or about internet marketing in general.

Telling The World Who We Are
We're Taking the First Steps to Making SK the Traffic Generating Center for Portals
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We all make decisions in our life and it is those decisions that tell the world who we are. Where we go to church, what house we buy, what we teach our children, all these things say something to anyone who will take the time to look. Those decisions define who we are and what we believe.
As human beings, we take most of our decisions for granted. We rarely stop to think about the impression we make on people when we decide what to wear today, but the fact is that whether we think about it or not, we are making an impression. So what impression do we want to make when we do think about it. Well, that's what I'm hoping to do today. Get you to think about a decision I'm going to ask you to make. A decision to do something. Something that won't cost you any more than a few minutes out of your busy schedule, but those few minutes will go a long way in telling the world who we are.
When you hear someone on the net make a statement like, "telling the world who we are," I think it's safe to assume that most people would think you were referring to sending out bulk email or making a post in a popular forum or at least including something in your sig tags. Well, all those things may play a part in telling people who we are, but in this case, I'm referring to something a little more substantial. I'm talking about taking actions to not only tell, but to SHOW the world who we are. Doing something more than just putting text on a web page or using a sig tag at the end of our emails.
Last week, I had the great pleasure of getting to spend some time with a man whom I respect a great deal. A man who, like myself, is convinced that he can do something to make the web a better place.
Lennart Svanberg is the founder and organizer of a group called WAIM. That stands for the World Association of Internet Marketers. Lennart is from Sweden and I first met him at the Internet Marketing Conference in Las Vegas last April where I had the great pleasure and honor of being a featured speaker. Lennart is also the organizer for those conferences. This past week he was in the United States and made a special trip to Oklahoma City to see me.
While he was here, he never asked anything more of me than my continued support of his efforts. He doesn't even know I'm writing this about him now. He didn't ask for a link. He didn't ask for me to donate money. Just my support any way I wanted to give it.
I was impressed with Lennart when I first met him at the conference because I know how difficult it is to organize something like those conferences and I also knew that Lennart was not a wealthy man nor did he have a huge company to handle all the details and to foot the bill. I knew that he was like me in many respects and simply trying to build his business. Well, that takes a lot of focus and dedication, not to mention the kahonies to risk your own money on something you believe in. Pretty much the same reasons I'm impressed with most of you, the portal partners.
But what impressed me most was he was pushing hard for the World Association of Internet Marketers. He was obviously passionate about this organization. As we spoke about it, he told me how he felt it was important for there to be an organization that helped to establish standards for e-business on a global scale. Lennart knew how the focus has been on American companies leaving our foreign brothers-in-arms a little left out. He also knew that we were all facing a possibility of allowing the net and e-commerce in general to be completed dominated by big corporations with bottomless pockets and spammers - leaving the "little guy" who just wanted to start an honest business and do his best out in the cold.
Now he was singing my song. Over the last few months I have had the chance to read a great many posts from Lennart and speak to him personally on several occasions about WAIM. He, like us, wants to do what he can to build a better web. He believes in many of the same things we do. I decided that I would help and support WAIM any way I could.
WAIM is struggling the same as many of us are struggling. He is struggling for many of the same reasons we are. He has taken on a huge job because he believes that someone, somewhere has got to do what they can to make things better. WAIM is non-profit. Lennart doesn't do it for the money. He does it because he believes there needs to be standards set, a code of ethics established for net marketing as an industry and a support system in place to help those that would agree to adhere to those standards. I agree.
Now there is nothing to guarantee that WAIM will succeed and grow into becoming a major influence on the world of professional net marketing, but that's not why I feel it's important to support them. I feel it's important because they are trying to do something good, something better and they need our support, and we need to let the world know who we are.
If I can just get 5 of you reading this to go to their site and apply for membership, they would feel better and you would feel better too for helping someone who is trying to do the right thing. If I could get 50 of you, now, we as a group would have an impact on the entire organization. That is power. The power to make a difference.
Individually, we are just one voice trying to be heard above the clatter and confusion, but together we could be a force to be reckoned with. We could have the power to change things together.
Please, make a decision today, right now, to stand up for something and act on it. To show your support for something that tells the world who we are. Go to and click on the join waim link at the bottom of the page. There is no fee for joining at the time so it doesn't cost you anything to join. The application for membership is a little tedious. There is no form to fill out, just instructions on how to craft your email application, and due to them being short handed, (I'm sure they'd love to have some of us as volunteers), it can take a week or two to get approved. Just follow the instructions and be sure to let them know in your application that you are a part of SearchKing.
Think about this. What if it does become the world's first association of internet professionals? Do we NOT want SearchKing to be a part of that? Do we want to have to pay to join later? Do it now. Do it for yourself and your fellow portal partners and tell the world who we are!
If you'd like to see some photos of Lennart and I, click here

Some of you may recall some of our discussions earlier in the year in the Portal Partner Press and in the forums about strategic planning. In those discussions I stated that SK's goal was to become the foundation and traffic generating center of the world's largest network of independent portals. One of the best things that came out of those discussions was that it was pointed out to me that this was a mission statement and not a goal. Very important fact. So I changed that to our mission statement and set a real goal. Prudence dictates that I not make that goal publicly known mainly because it's not important so long as we accomplish our mission statement.
Well, a few months have passed and I can see where some might think that I have forgotten about that mission statement, but nothing could be further from the truth. Not only have I or anyone else on staff not forgotten about it, it is the topic of conversation on an almost daily basis. It just takes a little time. It is a little more complex than it sounds and it has to be thought through and then built according to plan.
There are a lot of developments going on that are all in line with our strategic plan and our mission statement. Today I'm finally getting close enough that I would like to let you know about a couple of things happening that show just how dedicated we are to that mission statement.
On Tuesday I called Mike Rotter, our webmaster, and had him start doing some things, (I'm not at liberty to disclose exactly what yet), to ensure that our portal partners get the lion's share of our search traffic. In other words, we are using some of the unique features of the SearchKing admin panel to boost the portals in our directory to the top of the regular search results. So, for those of you who are in the directory and NOT in the SK engine, you will be put there manually, but that means that you won't have the passwords to edit your own site. This is now very important as you can edit your title, description and KEYWORDS to control how you get listed. If you don't have your passwords to edit your site, you can contact Mike at
For those of you who have submitted your site to SK and have your passwords, you may want to pay a little extra attention to your listing because even though we can PUT you there, you still have to get the votes to stay there.
Secondly, we are getting ready to set up a page linked from SK's main page that will push advertisers to your portals directly. Dave has written a couple of routines that allow us to monitor page views from the portals. We will display portals based on categories, which we are also setting up, showing their title, description, url and page views from last month and to date this month. These listings can be edited separately from the regular SK database because the idea is that your title and description should be something to show the value of your service to advertisers rather than just the general searching public.
This will also be a way for each partner to be more involved in what is going on as a group and oh yeah, it will also give each partner site that gets listed another link from a site with a page rank in Google almost equal to one from Yahoo. In case you didn't know, Google has obviously decided that SearchKing is a hub worthy of superior linking power.
Those are just two of the very first things we're doing. Much, much more to come.
This will be the last issue of the Portal Partner Press until next year, (Wow, 2002. What a trip!), so I'd like to take this moment to wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and a happy new year from me and all the staff at SearchKing.
May you receive all the blessings of giving this holiday season as you share with your loved ones and may the coming year see your success bring smiles to the faces of all those you can share more with next year!
Thank you for all the wonderful things you have brought to us this year. We look forward to growing with you in 2002.
Have a great week!
Publisher -- Bob Massa