Wednesday, September 25, 2013

SEO Without Keyword Data From Google

Google is no longer going to be providing keyword data on visitors to your website. 

You won't be able to know what keywords your customers are typing into Google to find your website. Conversely, you will not be able to build a new webpage around a set of keyword synonyms, and know if it's attracting web visitors who are typing those keywords into Google.

This can be seen as a big change in SEO, although it may be that Google has been moving away from keywords for a while now, to focus more on mobile and local searches. 

Some speculate that this is Google's way of destroying organic search and keyword manipulation so that only Google Adwords will be available to target keywords to drive traffic to a website.

SEO will be flying blind, in some respects, perhaps but consider these points:

Instead of playing SEO games with keywords, you're now forced to do serious work with key themes and key customer research. You arise from the micro-content realm of isolated terms, to ascend into the loftier regions of categorical topics and wide-spectrum issues.

Instead of fishing for customers in the internet ocean, using keywords as bait, you must now use throw the net of need fulfillment out there to catch the zealous seekers. 

Instead of thinking: "Customers are using these keywords in high volume, so let's use these keywords in our web content."

You now think: "Intelligent discussion of this topic includes the use of these keywords, so let's use these keywords in a webpage on this topic." 

Or you think: "Here is what real customers are actually saying, in forums, social media, and blog comments, about this topic, so let's be sure to use the same language in our website."

Intelligent discussion. How do you find it? You must discover the most authoritative, reputable experts in a field.

Real customers. Where do you find them? In your own corporate or product blog. In the blogs of your competitors. In your testimonials section of your website. In your dealer locations, branches, and stores. In Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GooglePlus. 

Your website must be more authoritative, have richer, deeper content -- and you must get closer to your customers and how they think, rather than depending on Google-generated data on internet search behavior.

Combining the expertise of authorities with the folksiness of real customer expressions, you accomplish two goals: 

(1) demonstrating to Google that your webpage knows the right things to say about a topic (product, issue, etc.) 


(2) gaining insight into what customers are probably typing into Google when searching for what your company offers, thus enabling your website content to match the query string of the customer. 

You can have customers fill out a questionnaire that asks them what they type into Google when they are looking for ___________________. And keep asking that question about all your products.

You can invite some local customers to a usability study and watch what they type into Google when they attempt to find information on a list of products, services, issues, or ideas related to your business. Tell them they are helping you test the website, rather than testing them on their web surfing skills or computer knowledge.

Keyword data, including how well a website ranks for a given search query or set of keywords, was always in flux anyway. Chasing keywords was a never-ending drama that had no final achievement. Since the way customers talk about their needs and possible solutions is always changing, keyword usage in search is also changing.

With keyword data now unavailable, SEO will need to be based even more heavily on a true expertise related to the product and the solutions it provides to customer needs. SEO will need to put a more intense emphasis on customer research, customer relations, and customer psychology.

SEO must concentrate on:

(1) Content that completely but concisely answers customer questions.

(2) Content that proves to Google that it's a smart and ungimmicky treatment of a topic.

(3) Knowing intimately how a product fulfills the needs of customers.

(4) Talking in the language of both customers and experts.

(5) Watching how the most successful websites in your field are talking to customers, and how those companies interact in social media.

(6) Page level SEO data: instead of what keywords did a customer use to find our website, you ask "what are our website's most popular pages -- themes, issues, topics, products."

(7) Building webpages that contain content to please human customers, not search engines.

(8) Creating web content that answers the questions your customers are currently asking, in the language they're using.

The bottom line in SEO was never improving ranking for keywords, even if many clients thought in those terms and demanded reports on this metric.

The bottom line in SEO is increased sales.

SEO is all about conversions first. Everything else is just preliminary work. When your website is bringing you more paying customers, that is the main result that you should care about.  

If your SEO program is driving more traffic to your website, and a lot of that those web visitors are converting into sales, then your SEO program is successful. 

If that's not happening, but you're ranking really well for a bunch of keywords, what's so great about that? Keyword ranking success is not necessarily the same as sales or marketing success. Even ranking well for high volume keywords is meaningless unless it leads directly to more conversions and increased revenue. 


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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Popular Science Wimps Out, Shuts Down Comments

Too much trolling and spambotting -- so Popular Science is shutting down all comments? 

It's like getting rid of your telephones because you're annoyed at telemarketing calls.

Science can't hold its own against pseudo-science trolls?

Science must run and hide from the mean old unorthodox thinkers?

Wait a minute. What is Popular Science shutting down?

Debate. Discussion. Conversation. Argument. Clarification. Confirmation. Dissent. Criticism. Questioning. 

In other words, the interaction and testing of other minds and ideas, which is the very foundation of scientific progress.

Popular Science wimps out and disallows feedback. What's disconcerting is their neurotic, victim-mentality  reaction to problematic comments that are posted on Popular Science articles online.

They, rather unscientifically, blame the trolling on some paranoid vision they cooked up, of a "politically motivated war on expertise." 

This reminds me of the Anti Blogging Bloggers and the Cult of the Amateur book author, blaming the web revolution for growing disinterest in opera and burgeoning distaste for hierarchy, elitism, and authoritarianism.

No, the war is not on "expertise." 

It's a war on unilateral propaganda, one-way messaging, without the democratic participation of reader input and response. To shut down comments altogether, because negative comments skew the perception of the article, is just irrational and absurd.

What ticks off the ruling class and the establishment media is when average people start voicing their questions, critiques, and challenges. 

The blog or news website, with reader comments added to each article (or post), right there under and along with the article, not shoved off in some Letters to the Editor or Readers Forum section on some buried page -- this is what they fear and despise.

To make a declaration, then have immediate feedback from absolutely anybody in the world -- this Wild Wild West of public communication is not their cup of tea. 

Instead of regulating the feedback, monitoring it and only publishing what is sincere, sane, and enriches the discussion, Popular Science is eliminating the democratic process of civilized, moderated, but not censored, reader input. 

Shutting down comments is not a really mature or smart way to deal with the situation.

CAPTCHAs filter out most spambots.

Disallowing anonymous comments and moderating comments, with delayed posting of comments that are approved, that's how you deal with trolls, without censoring genuine but contrary points of view and allowing expressions of all opinions.

I have been a hardcore blogger, often inflammatory or provocative, since 2004. I have administered wikis, participated in forums, and published a large number of blogs on various issues.

Early in my blogging experience, I perfected the Art of Troll Smashing, and have posted many tips and techniques on how to deal with trolls and abusive, off topic comments.

A troll is just an immature, unintelligent person who gets sadistic but empty pleasure from annoying, interrupting, angering, humiliating, and otherwise harming other people online. It's a form of cyber bullying.

Most troll comments should be deleted and the troll banned/blocked. In some cases, a dignified response to a troll is in order, but generally, the more you interact with them, the more trouble they try to stir up.

Trolls, as you naively attempt to "reason" with them, will quickly deteriorate into racism, false allegations, filthy language, hate speech, and crazy talk.

It's very EASY to ban anonymous comments and to enforce commenting rules. By not publishing any comments until they are moderated and approved is what the big boy do, Popular Science.

To wimp out and disallow interaction with articles is very disappointing. It's not popular. It's not science. It's defeatism and cynicism.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Great Writing in the Wild

I'm collecting specimens of exceptional text, sentences and paragraphs that are great examples of clear messaging, adding my specialized marketing psychology commentary, and putting them into a book called "Great Writing in the Wild."

As a web content developer, I pay close attention to how language and design are used, words and images, in all contexts and environments. It's all content. The content on a website needs to communicate as effectively as a simple cardboard box in the garage.

From a deconstruction viewpoint, I'll point out what seems to pointedly leap up and out, like a too loud vocal "escaping" from the mix of a song, dominating by shooting up above the sound, so that vocal track has to be mixed down, reduced in volume, to contain it more securely and seamlessly in the mix of all the other sounds.

"How to Use Box Handles" is the first entry in this exciting new compilation. Obviously, it's an attempt to clearly communicate an action to a person who is unfamiliar with how to interact with a cardboard box.

Real world vs. Digital realm.

You can get away with using ALL CAPS in the real world. It's how IMPORTANT messages and vital WARNINGS are conveyed. Often government statements are in ALL CAPS. In the real world, you can SHOUT IN ALL CAPS and people are okay with it.

But TYPOS are strictly prohibited in the real world, as they make a person seem uneducated and spelling really is a school subject, not a program called spell check.

Lest we get too self-righteous about the superiority of the real world communications, notice that headlines are played loosey-goosey.

The headline promises to teach how to USE box handles, but the step by step directions are on how to CREATE a box handle, leaving you completely in the dark as to what to do next, after they're created.

So it qualifies as "great writing in the wild" if you overlook the fact that it delivers something other than what it said it was going to deliver.

I especially enjoy this jarring declaration:

3. Pull the long ways like zipping a zipper (2)

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Str8 Sounds martian disco VIDEO

Str8 Sounds "Martian Disco" techno music video.

From "Music For Mars" CD September 2013.

Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12.0 and Sony Acid 7.0.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Str8 Sounds done deal b/w i like it a lot VIDEO

Official video. Str8 Sounds "Done Deal" b/w "I Like It A Lot" featuring Im Dangerous on vocals.

From Str8 Sounds "Music For Mars" CD September 2013. 

Techno music from the 95 degree wilderness heat of Peoria, Illinois. 

Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12.0 was the video editing tool.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

SEO and Googling the phrase "search engine"

What do you get when you Google the key phrase "search engine"?

Do you think that if any website has great SEO, it would be Google?

Do you think the Google search engine, is going to be #1 on the results page?

Here's what you get:

(1) Wikipedia article on Web Search Engine.

(2) -- Google's main competitor.

(3) Search Engine Colossus -- international directory of search engines.

(4) Dogpile search engine.

(5) Yahoo search engine.

(6) Ixquick search engine.

(7) The Search Engine List.

(8) DuckDuckGo search engine.

(9) Search Engine Watch

News for search engine:

"Jonathon Fletcher: forgotten father of the search engine"

In Depth Articles:

(10) "Google's Impressive New Conversational Search"

(11) "Human Flesh Search Engines in China"

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hillbilly Fan Cleaning and Beyond Perfection

Here we see me engaged in Hillbilly Fan Cleaning.

Too frugal to go buy a new fan, and in ideological defiance of disposable culture, yet robust and industrious, I proceed to wrap a washcloth around a butter knife, then stab repeatedly the rectangular slots of the fan chassis, scrubbing and pulling out chunks of black dust.

Hey, a computer guy has to be creative to think of physical labors to perform as a break from staring at a screen and analyzing query strings.

Every job is the same.

Mine is web content development. I help companies with web usability, SEO, and website content writing. My goal is to enable the companies to make more money. More and more, this prosperity is linked to a very aggressive internet marketing program, which is my chosen specialty.

What's your job? I'd love to hear about it.

I ask people I meet what they do, then I ask for an insight or anecdote that will surprise me. They look at me funny for a second, but quickly launch into an interesting story or fact that I did not know. I ask them to tell me the strangest thing that ever happened. Or what is the hardest part of the job. Or your favorite part of the job.

I admire people who do any job on earth, no matter how high or low the pay and prestige. I don't care about that. I'm just as astonished at a hamburger flipper working a late night closing shift as I am with a retinal surgeon who saved my eye from blindness.

I read Studs Terkel's book "Working" in my early years, which gave me first person accounts of what it's like to work at various jobs. The impact of that book never departed from me. Huge respect for all workers and jobs and duties.

Every job involves doing something meticulously, fantastically, completely, perfectly.

You are convinced that, within the scope and time restraints of the project, with the ultimate goal in mind, the work must be absolutely and altruistically perfect, resulting in the best it could possibly be, and even better.

After you've practiced perfection for a while, you realize that perfection is not good enough. To go beyond perfection means no matter how good it is, it bothers you to know that nothing is ever past tweaking, enhancing, re-modeling, messing with to improve it.

Even perfection, while even impossible to perfect is still lacking something that is somehow beyond perfection. It's a transcendent quality that rises above the objective reality of the object and suspends it elastically above it.

It's no big challenge or learning experience to go to the store and buy a new fan. It's more refreshing and rewarding to make do with what I currently have, the dirty fan, and convert it, transform it into a clean fan, without spending money, without taking the easy way out.

My work, your work, is always like that.

We work at something we either tolerate or enjoy, but regardless of our feelings about the work itself, we are driven to do it as pluperfectly as we can, then push ourselves some more.

When we all keep learning and training and expanding our capabilities, embellishing our expertise, adding new trinkets and bells and whistles all the time, our entire society starts renewing and rehabilitating itself in excellence and efficiency.

Your inner critic is ruthless, but knows that life rewards smart work, hard work, and conscientious work.

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Progrock as Background Music for Computer Work

I enjoy listening to old albums as I work on the computer, by visiting YouTube and looking for "full album."

Type into the YouTube search bar "[band name] [album title] full album" to see if someone uploaded the whole LP recording.

Often even seemingly obscure record albums can be found on YouTube. It's nice when they include the list of song titles and times (like 3:46 meaning the song is 3 minutes and 46 seconds long), date the album was released, and other information.

You can also type in just "full album" to search YouTube for all the entire albums that have been uploaded. Or type in a band name and then "full album" to search entire LP uploads by that band.

I personally find 1970s "progressive rock" to be among my favorite genres of music to accompany my computer work. Progrock tends to be virtuoso, whimsical, calming, melodically intricate, innovative, smooth, philosophical, funny, and happy.

The most famous progrock bands are Pink Floyd, Moody Blues, Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Gong, Van Der Graaf Generator, Henry Cow, and Tangerine Dream.


Progressive rock was an attempt to give greater artistic weight and credibility to rock music. 

Bands abandoned the short pop single in favor of instrumentation and composition techniques more frequently associated with jazz or classical music in an effort to give rock music the same level of musical sophistication and critical respect.

Songs were replaced by musical suites that often stretched to 20 or 40 minutes in length and contained symphonic influences, extended musical themes, fantasy-like ambiance and lyrics, and complex orchestrations. 

Music critics, who often labeled the concepts as "pretentious" and the sounds as "pompous" and "overblown," tended to be hostile toward the genre or to completely ignore it.


Progrock tends to blend elements of art rock, space rock, jazz, folk, psychedelic, synthesizers, classical, and experimental music. To me, it's timeless and quite possibly the most perfect music ever made.

William Shatner to release a progrock album October 8, 2013.

Here are links to some full albums that I like, mostly progrock, plus a few psychedelic and hippie bands:

The Mandrake Memorial "Puzzle" FULL ALBUM

The Amazing Adventures of the Liverpool Scene FULL ALBUM

Liverpool Scene "Bread on the Night" FULL ALBUM

Caravan "In the Land of the Pink and the Grey" FULL ALBUM


Henry Cow "Unrest" FULL ALBUM

The Pretty Things "S.F. Sorrow" FULL ALBUM

Tangerine Dream "Zeit" FULL ALBUM

Tangerine Dream "Hyperborea" FULL ALBUM

Tangerine Dream "Force Majeure" FULL ALBUM

Tangerine Dream "Cyclone" FULL ALBUM

Gong "Planet Gong Live/Floating Anarchy 1877" FULL ALBUM

Matching Mole FULL ALBUM

Hatfield and the North "The Rotters Club" FULL ALBUM

National Health FULL ALBUM

Focus "Focus 3" FULL ALBUM

Kevin Ayers "Joy of a Toy" FULL ALBUM


Sun Ra "Atlantis" FULL ALBUM


Ultimate Spinach FULL ALBUM

Ultimate Spinach "Behold & See" FULL ALBUM

Van Der Graaf Generator "Pawn Hearts" FULL ALBUM

Camel "Moon Madness" FULL ALBUM

Univers Zero "1313" FULL ALBUM

Beacon Street Union "The Eyes of the Beacon Street Union" FULL ALBUM

Fifty Foot Hose "Cauldron" FULL ALBUM

Strawbs "Dragon Fly" FULL ALBUM


Pearls Before Swine "One Nation Underground" FULL ALBUM

Pearls Before Swine "Balaklava" FULL ALBUM

Love "Four Sail" FULL ALBUM

Popul Vuh "Affenstunde" FULL ALBUM

The Rascals "Once Upon a Dream" FULL ALBUM

Can "Soundtracks" FULL ALBUM

Klaus Schulze "Kontinuum" FULL ALBUM


The Sons of Champlin FULL ALBUM


The Soft Machine "Volume Two" FULL ALBUM

Curved Air "Airconditioning" FULL ALBUM

Tonto's Expanding Headband "Zero Time" ALL SONGS OF ALBUM

Nektar "Recycled" FULL ALBUM


Bangor Flying Circus FULL ALBUM

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

What does jumping the shark mean?

"Jump the shark" is meant to be a mind picture. 

Get an image in your head of some guy clowning around dangerously, by agreeing to get in a scene in the fifth season premiere episode of American TV comedy show Happy Days, titled "Hollywood: Part 3", written by Fred Fox, Jr., which aired on September 20, 1977. 

In your imagination, picture this goofy person leaping over a shark. Got it? A nutty, comical, zany image of somebody, in a leather jacket, leaping over a shark. That's what you must think of whenever you hear the phrase "_____________ just now jumped the shark."

It means that someone, or something, from a TV show to a leader of a nation, just did something really stupid, in a last ditch attempt to get attention, save face, or prove something. 

But instead, all they accomplish is being thought pathetic, ignorant, scraping the bottom of the barrel in a desperate ploy to not fade away into the wastelands of the unhip and outmoded, ghosting around nostalgically through some cable channel in re-run syndication.

Weird, silly guy...leaps over a shark. 

Don't be like that. Don't use a gimmick to attract attention. Instead, earn attention by continually improving what you do, increasing what you know, and learning new techniques and skills.

Don't "jump the shark." 

Ascend with the eagles toward mastery of a talent, a prowess, a process. Excel in something that's hard, complicated, and very much needed in society, even if only in a specialized niche.

Have you ever seen a TV show, political party, individual jump the shark?

Did you rightly predict, "Well, that does it. I'm never watching this again. It has officially gone off the rails. It's a trainwreck without remedy. This heralds The End. They're done. Adios, amigo." ???

That feeling you might get, having witnessed a "jumped the shark" event, could be a mix of outrage, revulsion, anger, sadness, disappointment, and a strange, lingering sense of tragic loss. 

"It could have been so much greater. There was still so much territory it could have covered. So many developments that could have made it endure much longer. Oh, well...."

This significant event, called "jumping the shark," is hitting the point of no return in a journey to rock bottom, universal scorn, and oblivion, the "negative tipping point" of perpetual inclement weather, when things embark on a relentless and inevitable downward spiral, with no chance of turning it around.

To "jump the shark" means to do something reveals the fact that you're already dethroned and can no longer disguise the descent, or that irrevocably sets you on the wrong course, the road to ruin, the demise that is final. It means you have entered the dismal path of Impending Doom. 

According to Wikipedia:

In the Happy Days episode, the central characters visit Los Angeles, where a water-skiing Fonzie (Henry Winkler) answers a challenge to his bravery by wearing swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket, and jumping over a confined shark. The stunt was created as a way to showcase Winkler's real-life water ski skills.

For a show that in its early seasons depicted universally relatable adolescent and family experiences against a backdrop of 1950s nostalgia, this incident marked an audacious, cartoonish turn towards attention-seeking gimmickry. Initially a supporting character, the faddish lionization of an increasingly superhuman Fonzie became the focus of Happy Days. 

The series continued for seven years after Fonzie's shark-jumping stunt, with a number of changes in cast and situations. 

The phrase implies a belief that the show began a creative decline in this era, as writers ran out of ideas, and Happy Days became a caricature of itself. 

As a nod to the episode, Henry Winkler's character jumps over a beached shark in the 2003 show Arrested Development.

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