36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 149: My Google ranking drops; about the Blog


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 149 — My Google ranking drops; about the Blog
29-December-1971 (Wed.)


A good day. Spent whole day working in electronic music lab. Got a lot (which was a little) done.


1971. Nothing.

My Google ranking drops to zero. Why? I’m not certain. I know that a couple of weeks ago, there was news that Google changed their search engine rankings. They certainly did.

Posting content is not enough. I don’t do anything special to stimulate my Google page ranking. I just try to post interesting content. When I first started the blog, I didn’t appear on the Google radar at all for a month or so. I read that “content is king” and that continual posts of content generally give a good ranking. For a few months, this was true. Certainly, outside page links to the blog and perhaps number of unique visits also influence the rankings. I don’t do well here.

#1 and #2 on Google. After a couple of months, I got “noticed” by Google. In the time period of 3-4 months, if you typed in “36yearsago” into a Google search bar, there were many hits and I was #1. Of course, you are typing in a very unique and specific term. If you typed in “36 years ago” into the search bar, I used to come out on the first page, usually between #6 and #2; #2 a fair amount of the time. The only item beating me out was the “36 years ago – Apollo Moon Landing” page. 36yearsago.com was in pretty good company.

Zero ranking—content is no longer king. Today, if you type in “36 years ago,” I don’t appear at all. ZERO. Thanks, Google engineers. As I browse through the rankings of the other sites, I can see some being ranked higher than me—Apollo Moon Landing, President Lyndon Johnson, and so on. However, “What Happened to Michael 36 years ago?,” a news story on an ABC site, and at about #6 or so, is only a single-page story. Although I sympathize with the story, it is only a single page. Thus, content, or continual posting of content, is no longer king. Not even Queen. Apparently, page visits and page links are king.

Blog marketing. I don’t market this blog, though I would like to start. I just tell friends and colleagues verbally. Most people seem to read a few pages then move on. A few friends and colleagues revisit in moderation. I may start marketing, and have some ideas on this. Perhaps I will write a few articles for papers or magazines. Time is the issue. I suspect that joining blog groups will not help because there are millions of blogs out there. You and I are just one of them. Someone once said that “Blogging is a desperate cry for attention.” Yes, we want people to read about our postings. That’s the dilemma—how do we get the attention. People are too busy in their lives to go reading or browsing more than a few online websites.

Social networks don’t work. I’ve joined a bunch of social networks where I point people to this blog. Doesn’t work. The few friends I link to already know about this blog. Social networks consist of mostly your friends and I don’t have many colleagues, friends, and family members that are big into blogs, podcasts, and social networks. It's just not a part of their lives. (By the way, that is a big market yet to be tapped.) Then, there is the issue that your friends won’t be your friends for very long if you “broadcast” each days post to them via the Internet, RSS feeds, email, Twitter, or Jaiku.

The need to belong; to be recognized. One thing is for certain, everyone in the entire world, has (1) a need to belong to a group (whether family, friends, relatives, a social network, a specialty website on photography, film composing, and a million other interests), and (2) to be recognized by others (here’s my band, my songs, my screenplay, my photos, my diggs on Digg.com). Bands, musicians, artists, writers, composers, songwriters, photographers, authors, poets, dancers and others want to be “discovered” and have their creative work seen and recognized by others. Or, sometimes, it is trying to drive traffic to a business. Hopefully, discovery leads to success, new opportunities, and financial rewards. Believe me, I’m one of these people as well. Almost no one knows me, has heard my music, or knows of the many things I have done in my life. This blog is just a one-year sliver of my life’s experience. You and I are the same. You also have interesting stories and accomplishments to share with the world. We, together, have a “social” need to share, to belong, to be recognized.

The future. In the future, I hope to launch a website or two to address a couple of these issues. I’m just saving the money and looking to find a good, high-quality, outsourcing database/web programming company in India to get me started at a reasonable price. Any recommendations? Can you program the next Virb, Bebo, Ning, Facebook, or Digg?

Google Analytics. I started Google Analytics late, after the point where I had already told most of my friends and colleagues. To date, I guess have had less than 100 unique visitors including those before Analytics. Most visitors seem to read about 3+ pages on each visit and spend 10-15 minutes on the site. Who wants to read about someone else’s life? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Target the audience. The target audience for this blog is young people and old people and those in between. Music students. College students. Creative people. However, my message is hidden in the many posts—don’t give up on your dreams; take those first steps on your journey. In my life, I sometimes feel that I have given up a bit early on trying to accomplish my lifelong creative dreams. Sure, we have to work to make a living. However, many of us have a creative side to us. Discover it for the first time; or revitalize it. For the last few years, I have felt that my lost creativity has been revitalized. I want the same for you.

The blog’s message. On the surface, this blog is just a transcription of the daily events of one year of my life. My reflections are the commentary that I hope will sometimes offer new ideas and perspectives to anyone reading this. My saying from the Welcome page summarizes this: “It’s never too late to start; it’s never too early too start.”

Fame plays a part. This blog, in my mind, is actually a book. It is difficult to read any blog, chronologically. This blog would make a nice coffee-table book and the chronology in book form would be obvious. However, the question is, does anyone really want to read about someone else’s life? Most of the time, no. However, if my other ventures suddenly catapulted me to fame (alongside Sergei and Larry of Google fame), would anyone want to read about my life? Yes. It would be a New York Times bestseller. If Sergei and Larry write a book, I am buying it. How did they start Google? Where did their ideas come from? What did they do in college? Of course, that fame will not happen to me, nor do I want that amount of success. A bit of success, yes.

Larry and Sergei, call me.



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