Hope you had a
good Christmas, ours was small, calm and nice. It's easy to look at
difficulties in my life, and not see the good things. It's really
nice to see all the kids buying and wrapping presents for each other.
They have to, because they don't get much from me. My income is
sporadic, when I do finally get paid for a job, I scramble to keep
the bills paid, and little else. That, and the fact that I was raised
in a home where Christmas was a huge deal. I told myself that when I
was on my own, I'd take a break from the Christmas stuff. I guess
I've been on break for 30 some odd years. But look at what people go
through; all the expense and stress, no thanks. Still, it is good to
see the way the kids care for each other. We're all gathered in a
warm house, no fighting, no drinking, no hurrying, no TV. Homemade
pancakes for breakfast, one of the kids got me a box of my favorite
Earl Grey tea. I need to start getting presents early in the year;
My oldest son
brought home a CD of the “Piano Guys” Christmas album. These guys
became popular on u-tube. I really like this album, especially the
secret agent/spy movie version of God rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.
Seriously, that's what it reminds me of. Maybe I'm a sucker for all
music that's over the top cliché, I don't know. Maybe that verifies
the name of this blog, whatever, listen for yourself.
I see that the TV
show “Duck Dynasty” is causing a stir. I've never seen an
episode; never saw an episode of Friends or Jerry Seinfeld either.
I'm not the least bit deprived of entertainment, in fact, I have to
be careful not to play too much. Earlier this year, when I heard that
the guys on the show were Christian, I was concerned; I figured the
adversary would send some slinky temptation to make a very public
fall of one of them. I guess that didn't work, so he decided on plan
B, to make an example out of them. I'm glad to see them set an
example of standing for what's right.
There's an SEO
trick, scam, whatever it should be called; it's been called
technology from the last century. For the uninitiated: SEO is search
engine optimization; it's where you try to get the big search engines
to favor your site, and give you better page rank. They can't
possibly go to each site and see if it meets their criteria of an
informative site; so they have computers do it for them. One of the
indicators of an informative site is that people have linked to it
from other sites. Consequently, web site builders are always trying
to get links to their sites. The trick mentioned above involves
making a link to a site, then, the automatic webstats part of that
site generates a link back to the first site. Webstats is a place
where a site manager can go daily and look at records of activity at
his site. There is a page that shows which sites have linked to his
site; but these sites are recorded as actual links, not just a
written web address. I guess for convenience sake, so that you can
just click on it and view that other site. Even though this list of
links is hidden in a file where visitors to the site won't see them,
they're still links.
My little bit of
research indicates that since this is such a big problem, Google
won't hold it against you, even though there appears to be a tech way
to stop this kind of link activity. A big amount of this activity
comes from .ru sites, which is a suffix for sites in the Russian
truly, who was a short time ago unaware of the method. I noticed the
.ru sites continually linking to my site, but just figured that for
whatever reason, there were people over there interested in my
donahuesignarts site. It has quite a variety of pages on it, from
paint tutorials to historic restorations. Being that I'm becoming
fascinated with things over there, I went and looked at the sites
linked to mine. There were nice looking sites for building supply
places, dentists, and even a retailer of small, high powered magnets.
It's not unusual for people to exchange links, so I decided to make
links back to some of these .ru sites.
Big mistake. At
least it looks that way; my visitors went from a steady 900 a day
down to 250 a day, and have stayed there. I'm not the SEO expert, and
don't work at it a whole lot, so it took years for it to get to that
900 level. All is not lost; even though I get probably 80% of mt work
leads from the internet, I have two sites which both generated a
similar amount of leads. So the alternate one is still showing up for
searches of my services. All that to say two things: first, don't get
stupid and do that link back thing yourself. Second, I'm planning on
making another blog or site just for .ru links.
I've spent a bit
of time learning about the country via the internet. They have some
beautiful things over there. I guess I assumed that the former Soviet
Union forbade all things stylish, and compared to the style saturated
West, they would be in the position of catching up. But not so! Their
web sites, their architecture, so much of it is stunning. So...I want
to post links to what I've seen; but after the great rank crash I
just suffered at the other site, I'm very wary of making any .ru
links here. The link blog or site will be so I can show you some of
the things I find there.
I've also been
wanting to establish a web presence in Russia. The reasons for that
_I read that
Russians are more likely to interact with a Russian website.
_This country is
unstable, I want a site physically hosted elsewhere.
_One of the
criteria for page rank is an older site, so getting one established
right away is important. That way, if I do move there, or anywhere,
the site will have some page rank, and can inform people of what I
do. There are a number of things which one must comply with in order
to get a visa; one is where do you work, and what is the position.
Well gee, I've always been self employed, so I'm not sure how to be
in compliance with that part. At this point, I'm wanting to start a
unique on line design service. I had what you might call my first
client, so maybe I can show that as employment.
The truth is, I
have a number of things I think about doing for income, but I'm
prepared for the reality that things are so different overseas, that
I could end up doing something else entirely. Enter: teaching
English. What's likely is that I will do there as I do here, a few
Rubles from this activity, a few Rubles from that activity. Or Pesos,
established a blog in Russia, and will post links to it as well.
I wish you and
yours a safe and happy new year. The optimism I espouse is to be adaptable, and to know that compared to eternity with Christ,
our time here is short.