Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

"Thanksgiving" by Natalia Vetrova (2011)

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Early Morning Yelling

A few nights ago, at 4 AM actually, I was walking down the street. As I passed a gas station, intending to cross a highway, some guy starts yelling "Hey! ..... HEY!!!" at me, like a lunatic. He said "hey" a few times, each time he sounded more hostile. I ignored him, then looked back at him after he gave up trying to get my attention.

He was standing off to the side of the gas station mini-mart's front entrance, a shifty presence in the shadows, wearing a snorkel coat and holding a plastic bag.

My name is not "Hey" and I don't respond well to a stranger, looking losery, yelling at me, that early in the morning. I lost count of all the strikes against him.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

SEO to the rescue: increasing website productivity

A website can look nice, have professional design, say the right things, show the right images -- and still be a dud.

One way to track website productivity is to have a dedicated phone number used only on the website. If the phone's not ringing, something's wrong.

An SEO audit will discover the problems, which are typically easy to fix, but up to date, Google-compliant SEO expertise is rare.

The secrets of SEO revolve around correct HTML tags (title, metadescription, H, img alt attributes), properly formatted content, and new content based on trending topics. The entire foundation is user-centric, not focusing on transient gimmicks, but customer behavior and search query terms.

Ready to test your website's SEO power?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Howard Alston Streight, speed painter

One of my ancestors, Howard Alston Streight, eccentric speed painter did lightning fast portraits and landscapes accompanied by a music box. (1836-1912).

The New York Times called him "America's greatest landscape painter," but now he's obscure. Became a "social recluse" at the end of his life.

PAINTING ABOVE: "Forest Fire at Night".

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Link Velocity and SEO

Getting lots of backlinks suddenly to your website could harm your SEO.

Is it a good idea to invest in link acceleration? Should you want to increase your backlink velocity (the rate at which other websites link to yours)?

Generally NO. Be suspicious of any claim to get you tons of links quickly. These tend to be low quality, or even spammy or malicious, links that will hurt your SEO due to both poor link quality and speed of link acquisition.

This is interpreted by Google as an attempt to manipulate your search engine rankings for your website, to trick Google into thinking, "Wow. With all these links going to XYZ website, it must be an authority on a topic, or a source of news about a trending topic." But Google is hip to such black hat gimmicks.

Goodroi gives a good explanation of Link Velocity in Webmaster World thread.


I would guess that the more links you have the more links you can gain. The New York Times gaining a thousand links overnight is not a big thing. A brand new 20 page site gaining a thousand links overnight is a big potential red flag.

I would also suggest that not all links are equal. I suspect some links are high quality and other links are very poisonous. If you gain a small number of very poisonous links from websites that obviously exploiting Google, I would expect you will have ranking trouble sooner than later.

I value links by the odds that the link will send me real traffic that converts. The more chance the link will perform, the more effort I exert in developing that link. My focus is building up external traffic sources so I am not dependent on Google. The more I do this, the more traffic Google sends me. People that tend to target low quality links that don't send any traffic tend to have more ranking issues IMHO.


In a Google forum, this was the Best Answer (by RainboRick) to a question about link velocity.


Google employees have occasionally indicated that when a site suddenly gets a burst of links, it can be taken as a sign of attempts to manipulate the rankings. But this is in the context of a manual review or a situation that might trigger a manual review.

Since a page about a hot topic might well see a sudden surge of links, it isn't automatically going to damage a site's rankings in and of itself. But if the links look like they're artificial in some way, they could become a problem.

Generally speaking, this shouldn't concern most webmasters. Sites go through peaks and valleys of link building, especially when they're new.

As long as you're not out there buying links or getting a lot of site-wide links from unusual or unrelated sources, it shouldn't be a problem.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

How To Improve Your Reading Skills

You Can Improve Your Reading Skills - in 5 Easy Steps

Someone on Facebook said he wanted to quit his job bagging groceries, and get a better job. He knew this meant he must increase his skills, which requires reading, but he's not that good at it. 

This inspired me to make this list:

(1) Read things that you're really into, from rap lyrics to books on basketball and football, written by players, coaches, fans, news reporters.

(2) Keep a good dictionary at your side and look up every word you don't know as you read.

(3) Realize the subversive nature of this activity. Reading and writing were feared by ancient kings. In the old days, people memorized large texts. Word of mouth ruled. Writing and printing words was considered revolutionary, anarchist, threatening.

(4) Once in a while, read something way too hard to understand, and try to force yourself to learn a little something. Stretch the mind -- and see reading as fun and needed to increase income.

(5) Read your favorite books and blogs in a comfortable place, where you feel happy, safe and private. Concentrate your mind and enter the magical world of literature. Keep rising higher and higher in difficulty, which is making you smarter.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Jump To the Top of Search Results with SEO

Drive more qualified customer traffic
to your website.

Your website will rise to the top of search results,
with Search Engine Optimization.

SEO = tweaking HTML code and content enhancements
based on new Google Hummingbird requirements.

Prompt web visitors to take
actions immediately.

Get other websites to link to yours.

Empower your website
to achieve business goals.

Make your website more productive.

Cash register rings.

Phone calls for
appointments flood in.

Registrations skyrocket.


Organic SEO
and Linkbuilding.

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