Marc Goldman had suggested on the Howto forum that Goldbar.net would fulfill all my tracking needs. I got fed up waiting for a promised review account, so I signed up for their 30 day trial.
It doesn't come close to fulfilling any of my needs, let alone all of them.
For PPC I am better using adtrackz and creating campaigns "on-the-fly". From what I could see, Goldbar only provide for manual campaign creation. What a nightmare.
Maybe there are some hidden features. The documentation was very lacking.
What I really needed was the ability to track across domains, as I funnel traffic through to a pre-sales page, and then on to an affiliate site where I can track a conversion.
I can't see any sign of being able to do this. There are no tools for tracking traffic around a site.
I also need to have adsense clicks tracked in the same system, as that is one return of revenue.
The SEO tools provided are worse than free tools provided on sites like Digital point. There is no way to setup a large number of domains and keywords to track over time.
Checking your backlink was just reporting how many you have, no analysis of anchor text.
There is a tool that shows keyword density on a page, but no attempt at suggestions, or other page analysis. You would be much better off with a free version of WEBCEO or what I use extensively, SEOElite.
I didn't test the shopping cart and autoresponder, maybe they are more refined, but what I did test was "klunky" and time consuming.
Maybe I will give those a trial sometime in the future, but I am loath to signup to any autoresponder service that won't sometime in the future integrate with onsite tracking.
Goldbar.net falls far short of what I expected.
Update 20/11/05: You will notice Marc Goldman has made a comment here, questioning the integrity of my review of Goldbar.net.
I have made a comment in reply, but I believe this situation also warrants an addition to the post.
1. First of all I didn't title this post in any way an "in-depth" review. Far from it, I filled out the forms, logged in, went through the initial presentation of the system (which didn't tell me anything), and then went searching for information and services I needed to use... immediately (I seriously had a team of people pushing for a decision)
2. I went through all I could on the tracking. The only tracking I found on any of the menus was for tracking links. You had to manually define things like campaigns.
On one of my projects I want to track the whole of the Clickbank database... no way in hell I am going to define all of that one item at a time.
I looked at help files available. Most were just a title with an empty page. Maybe a database error, maybe a browser incompatibility. I don't care. I didn't find any answers I was looking for.
3. I looked for some kind of site tracking, or a hint that all the different types of tracking could somehow be linked together with a single overview... I didn't find it. Maybe it is hidden? Seems to me a fairly major feature to hide somewhere though, and if it existed, it would be highlighted extremely well on the sales page.
4. So I went looking at other tools. I decided to play with the SEO tools. I honestly found them worthless. Worse than the free tools at Digital Point. No tracking of SERPS over time. No indepth tracking of large keyword lists. No import of keyword lists. No support for multiple pages. The keyword density analyser does a single page, and doesn't even suggest anything to do on the page to improve it.
There wasn't even a way to bookmark all your VRE/niche sites so your could check each of their performance in sequence.
The free tools do a much better job, but could still be improved upon. There are loads of ways SEOElite could be improved as well.
When I cancelled my account, they give you an option to give some feedback. I gave them some feedback. It is only now, more than 2 weeks later, that they are responding, in kind, with a comment on my blog.
If the intention was to help me find a solution, they would have been back in contact within hours of me cancelling my account.
Thus the only reason they are now responding in some way is damage control.
If you do a little search on Google for "goldbar.net", this short review is in 2nd place in the SERPS. Unlike many posts on this blog, I haven't done anything to promote what I have said about the product. Thus no backlinks specific to the term.
I have no intention at this time of taking a second look. I haven't got time and quite frankly I don't have the inclination either.
The sales page isn't dishonest, though I would question how state-of-the-art some of the individual components of the whole system are.
niche website , tracking , adsense , Search Engine Optimization , seo , anchor text