Google and the Meaning of Life

On Google’s “page rank” scale of 1-10 I was a 2. Now, I am a 3! A good ranking on Google is what anyone with a website wants. Higher rankings means higher placements in searches which translates to more page hits.

Since I don’t sell advertising and would actually have to pay more for my website if it became too popular, it’s obvious that this is an exercises in vanity. Fine. Guilty as charged.

I know some of how Google works (though they’ve kept as much of their methods for page ranking as secret as is humanly possible). I’ve optimized my site so all the content stands out, all the images have meaningful names, the archives are named after the content, etc, ad nauseum. Google is certainly here often enough, hitting this site well over a thousand times in September alone and returning every day or two for a little more.

The big deal in Google, and the part that I can’t control, is who links to me. If, for instance, The New York Times linked to me from their home page (9 out of 10) that would give me ‘street cred’ and up my ranking. This has created controversies over time as some people have developed sites that do nothing but pass links back and forth. There have even been lawsuits filed by disgruntled proprietors of these ‘link farms.’

I can see when someone gets here through a search engine. There are logs kept and analysis tools on my web server.

Google links, among others, are quite distinct. So, for instance, during the month of September, search engines sent people my way because they asked about the Pixo AT700S monitor (advertised recently at Staples) that I use, or Scotty Crowe (John Mayer’s road manager who was featured in August after Steffie and I went to see John Mayer) or the phony satellite and hurricane pictures I’ve posted. Even my friend Peter Mokover brought me 3 hits! For an esoteric subject, like Scotty Crowe (I hope Scotty doesn’t mind that characterization because he was very nice to Steffie and me), I’m 9th on Google’s list:

My Permanent Record
Scotty Crowe who is part of our road crew will contact you and make arrangements

for you and your daughter to get into the M&G tomorrow. – 28k – CachedSimilar pages

I could be the most interesting, insightful writer in the world, but without Google’s blessing, I’m a tree falling in the forest… no one hears.

After the first few entries I wrote in my blog, I realized how cathartic a process this is. So, I’d continue to write even for a few readers. But lots of hits is more fun.

After all this, I should admit the biggest sender of readers to my site is word of mouth. After I posted over 400 pictures from last week’s Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk, the floodgates opened. So far 400 people have looked through my gallery, each stopping at a few pictures and possibly coming here to the blog side to see what I have to say.

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