Here Comes The Spam

Since the bog has been up with Wordpress (under 24 hours and only now beginning to be seen by Google) I’ve gotten 46 comments. 41 were spam!

While setting up this new iteration of the blog I made a decision–all my older entries would again be open for comments. A few years ago faced with a plethora of blog spam comments were shut off after a week or two.

You know what spam is, but blog spam? It’s much more insidious!

Did you create your own blog or did a program do it? Could you please respond? 18 – Leila Caracci

Looks harmless, right? Except Leila’s email address says she’s There’s more.

My blog’s comment form allows you to enter a website address. Leila/Gail has attached MLBH0TD0G.TK (I have sanitized the site by substituting zeros). There lies the rub.

If that comment had gotten posted, accompanied by that URL, the named website would get a little rub of my Google glory. It would rank a tiny bit higher in searches. Multiply that by hundreds or thousands of sites and the effect can become enormous.

I would have spotted this on my own, but WordPress comes with Akismet, a filter which performs the job silently and very well.

This blog is great. How did you come up witht he idea? 6 3 4

That’s another one appealing to my ego. Notice the random numbers at the end to try and throw off filtering. It didn’t work.

Great site! Your writing is so fresh compared to most other bloggers. Thanks for writing when you get the chance to, I’ll be sure to keep visiting!

That’s another with a non-matching email/name combo. The linked website soft sells French Press coffee makers with an affiliate link to Amazon. These folks are resourceful.

Any time anyone has something of value others want a piece of it, like my Google karma. What the Internet does is make tiny inconsequential pieces easy to aggregate. I would guess getting many Geoff’s to post your URL produces significant income for little effort!

Since the bog has been up with WordPress (under 24 hours and only now beginning to be seen by Google) I’ve gotten 46 comments. 41 were spam!

As long as Akismet holds its ground I’ll keep everything open. I am only marginally optimistic.

I’ve Been Working On The Server

I finally broke down, and with the help of Gary, upgraded this blogging software. This is scary stuff. It is possible to break the website! Sure, everything is repairable, but restoring is punishment at best.

Amazingly, it all worked… except comments. I’ve left a question on the MovableType forum, which will hopefully bring an answer.

I know it’s probably been boring to hear about my Google problems. Give me another day… maybe two and I’ll be done. To me, this blog is like a diary and I want to chronicle the things I do.

I’ve used this time-out with Google to rethink my search engine optimization. Google should be my friend. I’ve created a few files which will make this site more visible to search engines and more tightly focuses on its real content.

Google only checks one of the files, robots.txt, once a day. After waiting since last evening, Google finally hit it and immediately threw up an error flag. I left out one word! I wait one more day.

Today’s traffic is around three times yesterday’s. Google’s return is felt.

Making Your Website Popular

I got a call from a relative tonight. We were talking about his business and its web presence (something more and more critical by the day). He was disappointed because search engines weren’t bringing a lot of traffic to the site. In fact, they brought almost none!

He’d looked into the idea of ‘search engine optimization’ or SEO and realized he had a problem. I opened my browser, looked at his site and realized the more he knew, the less happy he’d be with his site’s usefulness in the real world.

Search engines don’t see the Internet the way we do. They can’t understand pictures. There are also various methods of page markup that are, at best, difficult for them to understand.

My relative’s site was nearly 100% written in Adobe Flash. That’s one of those tough to read methods.

The site looks good to a human and horrendous to the machines that really decide what we’ll see. There are some small improvements he can make, but his problems are deep seeded.

I was having this discussion about SEO at work a while ago. I offered an opinion on story headlines and how they should be written. In TV, headlines are teasy. They promise to deliver something in the future, but give you almost nothing now.

On the Internet they can’t be done that way. People are searching online for what they scecifically want . They’re not looking for a play-on-words pun or ironic little twist. Headlines that tease and don’t convey the gist of the story are counterproductive on the net!

The intelligence built into Google or Yahoo isn’t as clever or adaptable as you are. Some very good content is lost, because it’s ‘too fast for the house.”

I will help fix my relative’s site, if asked. Sadly, I won’t be improving it for the end user. My goal is to make it more attractive to machines!

The Factory Is Online

There was no ribbon to cut, no bell to ring. Our little business website,, is online.

We need to get the word out. First step is Google’s AdWords. I turned that on late this morning.

Holy cow – it’s confusing! There are so many choices to make, and who knows which is the right one?

My friend Bob, who’s in the ‘search engine optimization’ business took a look at some early ads and fired off an email telling me how wrong I am. He’s right, but I’ve just jumped in the deep end and need a little time to float back to the surface.

We’ve gotten one click so far. I’m now into Google for 34&#162. Oh – the click was from my friend Bob!

The days of a store opening and pasting their first dollar to the wall are over. Now you screen capture your first Google ad.