Category Archives: NevBlog

Nordstrom Return Policy Traffic and Hilarity

For the longest time I’ve looked at my Google Analytics for NevBlog.com and noticed one post consistently in the top 10:

My Nordstrom Return Policy post!  Weird huh? This was a simple little post I did back in…2009..no…2007….no….2005 which has somehow topped the rankings for the search term “Nordstrom Return Policy.”

As I recall, up until a year ago it was #1 in the Google search results, now it resides at number 2:

What’s HILARIOUS to me is how many clicks, comments and stupid debates the post gets!  I’ve actually deleted many of the comments in the past, but now I’ve just plain stopped reading/moderating them.

The ONLY REASON I expect someone would visit that post is because it’s ranked so highly in Google, and on the actual Nordstroms page you can’t leave a comment.

On my dinky little post, people can feel free to air their opinions.  It seems like a lot of pissed off Nordstroms sales people visit the page.

Often these people are anonymous, so who knows how accurate their feedback is….

While that post does give my blog a lot more traffic, that traffic has an astoundingly high 94.71% bounce rate! This tells me that people searching for information about the Nordstrom return policy are not that interested in me.  What a shame.

It’s always funny to see what random articles gain traction!

I’m feeling adventurous

I’m doing something right now that might be really fucking stupid:

I’m going to publicly name something I don’t like.

I’m going to publicly denounce something that might be totally my fault.

I’m also going to say something that MIGHT be better just left unsaid.

Posting something like this has been on my mind for a long time, but I think it’s sudden re-emergence is a combination of being a little ballsy from having to blog everyday, and re-reading a fantastic post Adam McFarland wrote.  <– Go read that and the comments.


Let me jump right in then explain (before I start getting rational and cancel this post):

There are two companies I do not like.  One is called RaveWorx.com and another is RaveHaven.com.

These companies were both started because of me. Not BY me….but because of me.

I love to share information to some extent.  I enjoy it because it gives me something to do, and in the process it often helps people.  So a while ago I created a six part series about how a business I created called HouseOfRave works.

Now there’ve been MANY clones of HouseOfRave, but most of them never get fully setup.


RaveWorx.com:

This was started by a guy named Karl Weinmeister who lives in Austin, TX. (which is funny because I live here too).  A few years ago I saw this “rave products” website sprout up (nothing wrong with a little competition)…but a little research showed that the same Karl Weinmeister who owned the website WAS ALSO A VISITOR TO MY BLOG.

Innntteerresstting  ::strokes beard::

I dug a little deeper and noticed he’d been involved on NevBlog through the comments and through direct email correspondence with me (he asked questions about how I setup my drop shipping business).  Now he “all of a sudden” had the exact same type of business.

I rang up Karl (someone I’d never directly spoken to) and told him over the phone, “Hi, this is Neville.”  He was stunned…but knew exactly who I was.

We met up for dinner a few times and talked.  At least if I have a competitor I’d rather be on good terms with him.

I was glad my post had helped fuel Karl’s foray into starting his own business…but flat out copying my model…not cool in my book.
Did he do anything illegal? Technically no.  I freely posted all that information out there for free.

RaveHaven.com:
A guy named Haroon Saleemi (who also was a reader of my blog and asked questions through the comments) popped up with a website called RaveHaven.com one day.  I dug around and found out he had a blog.  His blog was documenting him starting some businesses.

His 1st business: RaveHaven.com = Based off my HouseOfRave.com

His 2nd business: PartyRhino.com = Based off my BodyMonkey.com

It was almost HILARIOUS to read his blog posts about “How he came up with selling rave products online” without mentioning me.  After I left a few comments on his website, he stopped blogging.

When I called Tarun, he pretended he didn’t know who I was, but quickly dropped that charade.  He then said, “Well, you shouldn’t post what you do online.” Maybe he was right. Perhaps I should just hoard all my useful information to myself?

Anyhow, he was moderately cooperative with me (although not as much as Karl).  I made it very clear that he was not to use any of my original photos or videos or copy.  To his credit, I’ve never seen DIRECT rip offs of my site….although there has been been VERY obvious “renaming” of his products to reflect mine, and he once did a re-design of his website that used the HouseOfRave slogan “Light Up Your Night”.  I called him about it…and to his credit, he changed it right away.

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. Whether it’s rational or not….those are some people that kind of ruined blogging for me.  There have been a BUUUNCCH of HouseOfRave copycats….and probably the ones I should be most worried about I’m not naming.
While I’m being all honest here, I may as well try to list my subconcious fears of some of these copycat businesses:

  • I probably fear them a little
  • I don’t want them to make them more motivated to improve their businesses
  • I don’t want to reveal any big secrets of mine that have improved sales
  • I don’t want to reveal time-sensitive secrets that give me a competitive advantage

Here’s a little excerpt from a comment I left on Adam’s post that inspired this post:

I admit I put up a guide which essentially shows you step by step how I built House Of Rave….however it’s meant as a LEARNING tool, not as a “How to copy me” series. The VAST majority of people who email me about that love the post because it inspired them, and they went on to create a similar MODEL businesses, but in a totally different industry. That’s FANTASTIC that a small series of posts I did helped someone start a new chapter of their entrepreneurial life.

Weird Alexa Rankings

Do you ever use Alexa to quickly judge a website’s traffic?  I do…all the time.

On Google Chrome tab I use an SEO extension that quickly grabs all sorts of info on a website, including Alexa traffic rankings:

In case you don’t know:
The lower the number, the higher your traffic (kind of like golf).

Google is the #1 most visited site in the world, so its Alexa rank is 1.  Got it?  Good…

NevBlog is currently ranked: 170,476 (at one point I was #75,000)!
and my business HouseOfRave is ranked: 492,856

The funny thing is, House Of Rave gets a lot more visits per day than NevBlog (it used to be the reverse a few years ago).

So here is a monthly Google Analytics snapshot of NevBlog traffic (keep in mind the number is usually higher as I don’t have Google Analytics installed on all my visitor pages):

Here is a monthly Google Analytics snapshot of House Of Rave:

You’ll notice that House of Rave gets something like TWICE the traffic NevBlog gets every day, yet NevBlog’s Alexa rank is nearly THREE times lower!  Whhaaa!?

Theoretically the Alexa rankings should be switched, but they’re not. It’s not hard to figure out why:

NevBlog draws a lot more people who might be web designers or tech people….this means they’ll be more likely to have the Alexa Toolbar installed (or some variation of it), which is how Alexa gets their rankings.  I’m also presuming the larger the site, the better stat accuracy you’ll get.  Compete.com seems to have a more accurate view:

They got the traffic wrong (although they can’t ever TRULY know without you telling them), but they got the comparison estimates pretty close.

For January 2010, Compete.com says:

  • NevBlog got 10,386 visits
  • House Of Rave got 15,202 visits

In reality, according to Google Analytics:

  • NevBlog got 14,259 visits
  • HouseOfRave 34,970 visits

    It seems the webmaster tool bar effect also applies to Compete.com…but their results seem far more accurate.

    I’m curious, do your website and Alexa/Compete rankings add up??