Oh Earth, What Changes Hast Thou Seen


We're a blue state now............, North Carolina, USA
August 21
Mother of boys; favorite magnet says "coffee is my only friend"; closet bodybuilder; once in a professional class, the teacher asked if anyone in the room was a geek and I was the only one who raised my hand; my liberal arts education has led me to know just enough about everything to consistently get the daily trivia at Caribou correct; always welcoming opportunities to build more character on my journey to self-actualization.....


DECEMBER 26, 2008 3:11AM

I Have a Rejection Letter From Harvard Law School....

Rate: 18 Flag

is a line I use sometimes with my clients.  I have to explain contracts and always add a disclaimer, "Despite having a rejection letter from Harvard, I am not an attorney. "  It is amazing  how many people are somewhat impressed by this, before they start to giggle a little (the giggle is the intended effect).   I had acceptance letters from a few schools also, but decided to follow my ex-husband to his fabulous new job (notice I said ex).   I have a delightful 12 year old child instead of a law degree and a different career I enjoy immensely.  All this being said, the purpose of this post is to explain a key element of internet marketing that is being used by a few "bloggers" on OS.

I am in a business that is heavily marketed on the internet and blogging for search engine optimization has been the buzz for several years.  Incoming links to a website from other websites are a major factor in getting a higher rank.  So, when someone reads a blog on OS and clicks on a link to the blogger's website, the search engines pay attention. 

Referring links from quality websites that are active communities are even better for generating ratings.  Keywords, backward links, fresh content and posting on a community oriented, active blog are all factors the search engines are looking for.   The "quantity" of the links is important, but so is the "quality" of the referring site.  OS would be considered a quality site as opposed to setting up multiple websites and linking back to your main website to generate traffic.

How do we know, when reading a post, if the blogger is really a participant in OS, or simply trying to rise to the top of a Google search?

Here are some popular bloggers on OS that we can test using this criteria (keywords, backward links, fresh content) to see if they are real bloggers or simply peddling a product:

  1. Freaky Troll I LOVE Cake
  2. Umbrellakinesis :   What a Glorious Feeling!
  3. Dr. Amy:   Discussion or Debate?
  4. Odetteroulette : Red or Black?
  5. The Squirrelnuts to you
  6. Bob Keefer Tales of a Reckless Driver
  7. Tequilaanddonuts:  My Night on the Town or Mom and the Police
  8. CatamitebastardChristmas Boxes

Upon closer examination, we might be suspicious that some of these posters have ulterior motives.  (Hint: #3 and #6)

Some of the "bloggers" generating complaints on this site are, in fact, just trying to drive business to their websites using the latest techniques for search engine optimization.  Some of them have paid advertising on their websites, so driving traffic and then having people click on the ads actually generates advertising revenue for them.   It is a tough virtual world out there and search engine optimization is everything.  If OSers would not click on the posts, and absolutely not click on any links, this might be a deterrent, although the benefit achieved by posting original content is still probably worth their efforts.

Interestingly, some of the fake "bloggers" are not willing to engage in the communty by participating in discussions, while others engage and thrive on the controversy.  I have decided to generously offer myself as  an  OS  "expert".  Don't click on the fake "blogger" posts because that will encourage them.  Just send me, the fake "expert", your questions.  After all, I have a rejection letter from Harvard Law School.  I hope to be receiving the rejection letter from Medical School soon, and will be available to answer those questions as well.

In the meantime, perhaps we can focus our attention on the things that matter in the world:  the incoming administration; the world economy; the state of the planet; the creative and artistic talent that overflows on Open Salon.  Attention to the fake "bloggers", good or bad, is just what the search engines are looking for.

For more information see How to Get Ranked High on Google

(Disclaimer:  I swear I am not peddling an internet optimization business, I am just providing a reference.)


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Wow, now that was informative.
As far as giving attention to the things that matter, you forgot to mention cake for Freaky.
I've wanted to enjoy all the "free money" floating around the internet by starting an on line business. I can't do construction for ever and need an income. If you make a living on the internet I must take my hat off to you. All the promises and all the scams out "there" is over whelming. After spending sizable money, I'm still interested, but am lost on what to to.
Loved your post.
Both informative AND hilarious.
Funny and informative!!! I have stopped even opening the spammer blogs - it's my little part to "drive them away" - well maybe to at least not build their hit numbers. Thanks for the post.
O so that's how it works...Thanks MB!
My former website partner was the SEO guy, while I wrote and did lay-out. I knew just enough about his end of it to be astounded at how much info is out there, especially at the macro level. If this much info is available to low-enders like we were, I shudder to think what the NSA types know abot us. Surely, the Internet/Phone Tappers make J Edgar Hoover look like a rank amateur.
UK - you are famous -- but remember, it's only for 15 minutes.
Michael: I didn't leave Freaky out! She is a shill for Betty Crocker:-) (My business doesn't actually sell anything on-line, but website presence is important.)
Dr. Jeffrey: Given the sensitive nature of some of my posts, anonymity is critical for me so I can't use this blog to push my real business higher on Google:-) However, in my opinion, you seem to blog informative posts and are actively engaged in discussions on the OS community, so if a higher rank on Google is achieved- congrats! You don't seem to be blogging for the sake of self-promotion.
Very interesting and informative, thank you MB... especially considering the fact that before long I hope to launch a website to promote and market my two novels. I would like to do so without being accused of sodomy or blog whoring or being a world wide ass. My work is inspired fiction, and I think it needs to be out there where it will be read. However, my participation here on OS is not something I want to be trivialized by commercial interests. I don't intend to advertise here, or start spamming my OS friends with requests to visit my site or buy my books. I was thinking I'd merely list it as one of my links. If you have any feedback on that issue, I'd love to hear it.

BTW, there's no connection between me and "Good times" or "Nickelodeon's TV Land."
dynomyte- I thought you were JJ Walker. Glad you cleared that up. Two months ago I was passing through Havelock, NC ( a Marine base town in eastern NC) and JJ (the real one) was "headlining" at a seedy dive in town. Talk about a career dive!
Happy to qualify. I didn't know who JJ Walker was, (still don't) and he spells his dy-no-mite - whereas mine is myte. A small aside, but notable. I'm also a short white guy; and my career can't take a dive.
I am wondering why Salon back links don't show in the standard Google "links:www.anysite.com"

I have noticed that OS seems to be highly indexed - & OS posts often show high in Google search results
UK- Rejection letter isn't framed, but that might make me even more of an expert! I will wait for the med school letter.
Grif- Good job a doing your part!
Tom- I am afraid to even think what they must know about us.
Dynomyte- I think there is a big difference between blog whoring and tasteful self-promotion.
Artfish- I agree- they are very high ranking. The bad thing will be if more fake "bloggers" discover this fact. We will have a lot more of people peddling their wares...
MB: I really need to get more business oriented. Great post.
M B:

You left out the most important point about SEO. The value of links is directly related to page rank. Since my personal websites are higher ranked than OS, I could drive traffic to my OS blog with my other websites, by OS is useless for driving traffic to my other websites.

If you don't want to read what I write, don't read it. In the meantime, please refrain from lying about me and my so-called "motivations."
Lying would indicate that MB knew for a fact your motivations, but purposefully misrepresented you. I think it would be appropriate if you said that you object to her opinion, but calling someone a liar is somewhat beneath the belt.

In my opinion.

Also - I am curious which page ranking statistics you are speaking of? Google goes by a __ out of 10 ranking system. Your AskDrAmy site is 4 out of 10 , while OS (and your blog on OS ) are ranked 5 out of 10. So by Googles own rank reporting, your blog is lower ranked than your OS blog. (Individual posts are n/a for rank)

"So by Googles own rank reporting, your blog is lower ranked than your OS blog. (Individual posts are n/a for rank)"

Ask Dr. Amy.com has over 2000 inbound links and a approximately 7,000 visits per day. My post here have no page rank and even if they did, they would make no difference to the rank of Ask Dr. Amy.com.

The bottom line is that M B's assertions were both malicious and wrong. If she doesn't like what I write, she shouldn't read it, but writing a post specifically to discredit me (and others) by including lies (deliberate or inadvertent) is pathetic.
Artsfish, para. 1: Total agreement regarding the nature of this. It is M B's opinion.

Dr. Amy - stop writing like a simpleton. A lie, by nature, cannot be 'inadvertent'.

"A lie, by nature, cannot be 'inadvertent'."

Feel free to call it whatever you want. It was both malicious and untrue, and M B should publicly apologize. I'm not holding my breath, though.
Amy, you said this:

"...lies (deliberate or inadvertent)..."

An untruth is always specifically an intended act. You know that. Disagree with M B's opinion, fine. But don't call her a liar. It's not like she said you were the second gunwoman on the grassy knoll.

Question - why do you only get involved in discussions which involve...um...you? Do you think of yourself as part of this give and take community only in the context of yourself? Sometimes I don't WANT to look at cakes, but I do it! And I find out it is worthwhile.
Dear Dr. Amy M.D.

Physician, heal thyself. No one objects to your success as a physician, as a person, or as a "personality." People do, however, object to anyone acting like an ass, even if you put an M.D. after it.
Lighten up, will ya'. Read the following quote from you:

"You can attack me all you want. It drives traffic, and that's my highest priority. I've worked on the Web since it came into existence, more than a decade ago, and if I couldn't tolerate the attacks, I'd have given up long ago.
There are many people here who are venturing into writing for the public for the first time. Why should we risk silencing their voices because of fear of attack from people who entertain themselves by hurting others? "

DECEMBER 07, 2008 10:15 AM

Amy, I have seen plenty of similar comments from you on OS and other blog sites to the effect that you relish attention of any type. That is all you are doing here. You post "authoritative" topics that are gleaned from all types of sources; some from medical journals and some from the popular press (e.g., the NY Times) in order to attract readers.

Now get over it and stop being such a blogbully. Thanks.

"I have seen plenty of similar comments from you on OS and other blog sites to the effect that you relish attention of any type"

That doesn't mean that I countenance lies.
I reiterate, no lie occurred here.
Odd I have tried to post a comment here and it is not working. I think there is a bug (block?) regarding too many links , so I will try to post it in sections
ok part 1 of 2 ;

It is very easy to be confused regarding the value of incoming links towards building rank. Since we're talking about google here (and google does have the majority market share 60%+) Let's now focus on Google.

Google gives you a very easy way to check incoming links (they discard redundant links, link farms, and irrelevant links)

using link:www.askdramy.com you will see that there are less than 40 incoming links attributed to your page. If you look at Alexa.com , you will see listed just under 50 incoming links for your site. Don't be mislead by links that don't count.

And - visitors, or "hits" also have little to do with what we are discussing here.

"Since my personal websites are higher ranked than OS"

.......is exactly what I discussed in my above comment. Your main blog page here on OS is ranked 5, as is the main OS cover page. We were not discussing individual posts. (this is irrelevant since the sidebar with the links to your commercial/personal sites exists as a div on both you main page and the individual posts).
Part 2 of 2

Your personal/commercial site is ranked a 4. I do apologize if I was not clear before, but it is obvious that a rank 4 is below a rank 5.

But perhaps the ultimate source for ranking statistics is alexa;

go to alexa dot com and get the stats on on your open salon blog - http://open.salon.com/user_blog.php?uid=1808
(sorry you will have to paste this link, the comments box wouldn't accept it)

The above uRL is for the stats for your blog, UID 1808, not the main OS cover. There is an option to compare you Ask Dr Amy site with your OS blog - just enter your URL. You will see that there is a vast difference between your low ranking askdramy and your high ranking OS blog (UID 1808).

Also, according to Google there seems to be a problem with your sitemap, which is vital to indexing. You might want to check that out.

Or I could be completely wrong. After all, I am an artist, what do I know about such geeky things.

Google links are not the only links. I have thousands of Yahoo and Microsoft links. Furthermore, I'm already on the first page for my most important key words.

I realize that in this world where everything is measure by money, it is very difficult to imagine that someone would do anything unless they were motivated by money. Since I don't make money from my websites, and since I can't really get any higher in Google anyway, and since I assumed the page rank of my OS blog was 0 or 1, I'm not posting here to make money.

Unless people can prove it, they should stop trying to insinuate it. If it pleases you to pretend otherwise, there's not much that I can do.
Just to clarify - I have made no mention of money nor any insinuations,only of how the mechanics of rank function.
Now - with regard to the ranking of your site vs. your OS blog. Lets re-establish that you were talking of RANK in regards of establishing the value of backlinks.

You say;
"Google links are not the only links. I have thousands of Yahoo and Microsoft links. Furthermore, I'm already on the first page for my most important key words.

With this statement you are now diverting the subject to individual links that are NOT CONSIDERED WHEN establishing rank , and therefore haven othing to do with either MB's opinon or your argument here on this post
changing your argument

(It is important to note here the search market share again; Microsoft search use is so minimal it has little impact on traffic, and Yahoo is only 20%.)


[[[ I engage the keyword subject just to clarify the use and importance of keywords and keywords vs. "Meta keywords" or, search phrases defined by you;

These are your Key words;

"home faqs articles links store pregnant quiz wondering questions pregnancy check message woman birth stories amy book month due calculator contact story fertile far along read symptoms tell baby born new post provide medical advice tuteur degree harvard school ovulating test mean"

The most dense keywords are "pregnant" and pregnancy" , neither of which are on either the YaHoo or Google search first page.

Perhaps you were talking of your Meta key phrases? "Am I Pregnant, how do I know if I am pregnant, know if I am pregnant, could I be pregnant, Am I Pregnant Quiz, pregnant, pregnancy, missed period, late period, pregnancy test, pregnancy quiz, signs of pregnancy, symptoms of pregnancy."

Those specific phrase searches do get you on the first page, but again this has nothing to do with rank or backlinks and - the individual would need to search exactly the key phrase as defined. ]]]

**All of the above information specific to the SEO of your site is quickly available on any number of sites, I use SEOQUAKE.
oops - a buncha typos , sorry it is hard to hold a focus when bouncing back and forth between morning kiddie cuddles and typing about SEO rank :-)
There are a few women who decide to give up their career and to put family on first place.Also sometimes a woman may regret this because they fail in marriage and realize that they have nothing.You are a brave woman and also a successful one.Even if you didn't become an attorney you've chose a very interesting field of activity.Hannah Jones Life Insurance
I am confused. Was your blog on the Harvard rejection letter or SEO? lol. Do clear the confusionOutdoor BBQ Grills

Jonathan Volk
Diamonds for Princess