Google in Search of Intangibles

Everyone has heard or seen the acronym SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation, but few actually understand what it really means. Google has maintained its place, as, by far and away, the best search engine for decades. When a consumer seeks a product or service, via selected keywords, Google ranks the websites chosen to, hopefully, deliver the desired result, with ten spots per page of organic search results. AdWords may top and tail this ranked list with a few click per view ads, but it is that first page position that businesses so desperately want.

Google Search Algorithms

Google achieves these page rankings via some highly complex algorithms, which remain shrouded in more mystery than the Catholic Church’s equation for achieving sainthood. As consumers we all appreciate the thought and effort that those Google people put in to their SEO. Businesses, however, are always seeking shortcuts to the top. Many companies and trading entities have sought to game the system through keyword stuffing and excessive backlinks to high traffic websites. Google has fought back with a nest of avian titled updates to their search parameters. There have been Penguins, Pigeons, Hummingbirds, and the odd Panda.

Metatags, Cloaking and Deep Linking

If you talk to the average Joe in the street, he and she, often, have no idea how the whole search rigmarole actually works. Mention things like high trust flows, citation flows, black, grey and white hatted SEO, backlinks, metatags, cloaking, and deep linking, and they will look at you with a glazed over expression and change the subject. I suppose, it is like the fact that few have ever understood how vinyl records trapped sounds, how cars actually work, and how computers do what they do. People just want them to perform and are not much interested in how they are able to do what they do.

The Subtle Realities of SEO

Business people are forced to try and get their heads around the SEO equation, because traditional means of marketing products and services, like print media advertising are dying off. Once again, however, the marketing manager wants results for his firm and products, but, often, fails to grasp the subtle realities of SEO. Companies try different SEO approaches, like in-house and out-sourcing with a variety of people and agencies, without ever really comprehending the nuts and bolts of the business. Sometimes they think they have got it in hand, but, then, Google will change the rules and their website rankings plummet. Updates will catch out those excessive external links and the blatant anchor text employed within posted articles. New strategies have to be quickly embraced by businesses and their SEO experts to right the good ship SEO.

The Standard of the Writing

The two chaps who founded Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, are the sons of academics. This is why the PageRank system is predicated on things like citations and high trust flows, because academic publishing is based on these premises. Google is, I think, also, interested in the quality of content on the internet. We have all heard the statement that ‘content is king’; and that the most honest strategy you can have when it comes to the internet, is to populate your website with high quality, relevant content. The standard of the writing, indirectly or directly, contributes to achieving that outcome.

 

Businesses Who Scrimp on their Content Marketing

Businesses who choose to outsource their content marketing to SEO firms who access dirt cheap writers in the third world are kidding themselves in the long run. They will have to pay the piper, sooner or later, when it comes to the quality of the text in their onsite content. Google will not adjudge second rate, misspelt, grammatically incorrect text to serve the best interests of those seeking, via keyword searches, whatever the product or service may be. Businesses who scrimp on their content marketing by paying peanuts to writers with English as a second language, will not sustain their rankings or achieve them to begin with.

The Internet: Our Repository of Languages

If books are going the way of the Dodo and the internet is to become our repository for the languages, with which we will teach our children, do not pollute the sea. Google does not want the internet full of poor communication and websites stinking of careless expediency. The written word remains an important art form for learning and inspiration; it is not all about making money my short-sighted friend. Midas Word writes quality articles and is committed to our “SpeakTruth” mantra in everything we do.

Top Articles this Week: Curated Content

Midas Word invited readers to enjoy Top Articles this Week: Curated Content. A collection about art, human faces,  craft, furniture design, history, golf and more…

Portraiture: Facing Up to the Painted Mirror

“The human face has fascinated us for millennia. In this narcissistic age we now live in, the selfie has become an accepted form of personal expression. We are told that we must nurture and develop our own personal brands in this digitally obsessed world of gadgets and devices. The portrait has had great currency in the art world for a long time. It has waxed and waned over the centuries, but returns to us now renewed by the cultural obsession with social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Basic colour filters are available on these applications to allow us to manipulate sharp digital images with some mood lighting machinations.”

excerpt from http://artworldmagazine.com.au/portraiture-facing-up-to-the-painted-mirror/

 

Famous Australian Furniture Maker: Fred Ward

“Fred Ward 1900-1990 (close enough to Fred Wood) is considered to be a cult figure for those that idolise antique furniture in this country. Born in Victoria, he attended the school of drawing at the National Gallery of Victoria. He began his artistic career as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist for the Bulletin and had a stint at the Melbourne Herald in 1929. Fred began designing furniture in that same year, initially for his house in Heidelberg. His early influences were Georgian architecture and American colonial furniture design. Joints were a feature of his early work, with a crafty focus on function in form.

Fred Ward Father of Furniture Design in Australia

He swam against the tide initially and designed original pieces rather than copies of European furniture. Fred did not use a dark stain on lighter coloured timbers, but employed local timbers like Blackwood, myrtle, coach wood, fiddle back and white gum for his furniture. Fred Ward opened a shop in Collins Street in 1932 for his interior design and furniture pieces. European modernism influenced his furniture designs, and asymmetry, geometry and negative space came to the fore. Ward exhibited his furniture in several leading exhibitions of the era. Myer Emporium invited a young Ward to manage its fine-furniture workshops in North Melbourne in the years before the Second World War. Fred Ward’s austere and modular designs for Myer were successful during the Depression. Was he our own IKEA trailblazer, decades before the Swedish behemoth took off?”

excerpt from http://www.habitatfurniture.com.au/famous-australian-furniture-maker-fred-ward/

 

 

Playing Pennants or Doing Penance?

By Robert Sudha Hamilton

 

“It is early on Sunday morning; it is cold, raining and windy. A collection of golfers, clad in beanies and wet weather gear, are framed by mist and moisture. The ground beneath their feet is sodden and muddy. These are serious golfers, the cream of the club-golfing crop; out early to represent their respective golf clubs. Pennant’s golf (we play for a pennant, awarded to the overall winner of your division) is the peak of the amateur game for this gathering of inter-club golfers. There are some young guys among them, with a spring in their step, but the majority are grizzled looking fellows who have been around the block a few times. A few secret smiles are shared between repeat offenders, as they greet the green cathedral under grey skies.

 

Time is of the essence, as the clock ticks toward the allotted hour for proceedings to begin. Solitary golfers, and golfers in twos and threes, brave the inclement conditions to practice a few swings. Putts are struck across very damp greens. Chips are fluffed and duffed, quietly. Best to get that sort of thing out of the way early on. Tall trees clothed in heavy condensation line the fairways. It is wet underfoot and golf shoes are already letting some seepage in. There is that tell-tale nervous energy surrounding this scene, like some web of expectation that we are all trapped in. Everyday blokes are putting their hopes and fears on the line. Having sacrificed the comfort of their beds and warm homes for this squelchy arena, brought to you by nature in winter.

 

Team golf is a fairly rare beast on the golfing calendar, as we all usually go about our hacking and thwacking on an individual basis. Being one of seven playing members on your pennant’s squad pits you against another septenary of similarly handicapped golfers from a competing club. We are all, however, playing scratch golf without the safety net of our usual handicaps. This is the real deal, mano on mano, there are no catches, no mathematically adjusted excuses, just par golf, or bogie golf, as it used to be called.

“you fervently pray that your opponent is similarly confounded…”

excerpt from http://www.goolwafind.com.au/latest-post/golf-playing-pennants-or-doing-penance/

Drain Hydro Jetting

When we first had our drains cleaned in the café kitchen it was incredible the difference it made. The sinks drained in record time and the nightly mop up of the floor was no longer a waiting game for the cleaner; which was costing me money because he was being paid on an hourly basis. And, most importantly, it removed a certain lingering pong that had been a part of the café for as long as I can remember. That bad smell was, I thought at the time, a defining sensory identifier of the café. I would come home to my wife, and kids, and my clothes were infected with that smell.

 
The drain hydro jetting got rid of that malodorous definer in just one session; the pong had been coming from the drains beneath the café kitchen. The built up grease and glug down in those drains was causing the stink, and the drain hydro jetting just blasted it away. It was like Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry had made my day with his Magnum, and the years of grease and grime, not crime, had been blown away. Although, looking back now, it was a crime that we hadn’t done anything about it for all those years, but we didn’t know we could do anything about it.

 
Until the drain plumber, who had come out to unblock a sink, told us about the state of our drains, and that the stink was coming from them. The plumber then told me about the drain hydro jetting process and how it would cut through all that built up grease and clean those drains completely. I didn’t immediately believe him, but he explained that the drain hydro jetting used pressures of up to five thousand psi, and that was blasted out of a tiny eyelet, and that the drain hydro jetting could snake down the drains and get real close to the interior surface of those drains, but would not damage them. It sounded too good to be true but I am so glad that I gave it a go.

 
The café smells clean now and the kitchen drains function so much better. I have made a commitment to have the drain hydro jetting process done once a year, as part of our super spring cleaning of the café. I thank that plumber every time I walk into that café kitchen.

©Robert Hamilton

Daughters Dripping Hot Water

As a father of five girls, do you know what I hate the most in the world? Dripping hot water. When I walk into the bathroom, amid the steam and condensation, usually many hours after the first of my daughters has begun the shower sequence, and I ask myself, whether this is my bathroom or a swamp scene from the time of the dinosaurs? And I look down and see dripping hot water from the shower head, and the hot tap at the basin, I silently curse within, and I count the dollars it is costing me.

 
I call out, “Rachel, did you leave the hot water dripping in the bathroom?”
“It wasn’t me Dad, it must have been Wendy,” comes back the reply.
“Wendy did you leave the shower dripping hot water?”
“No way Daddy, it was probably Bronwyn,” she shouts down the hallway.
“Bronwyn did you leave the hot water tap dripping in the bathroom?”
“You always accuse me of that Dad. I did not, it was Freya,” comes the heated answer.
“Freya, Wendy said that you left the hot water dripping in the bathroom, you know how I feel about that.”
“It wasn’t me it must have been Margaret. You are such a liar Wendy.”
“Margaret did you leave the hot water tap dripping in the bathroom?”
“Margaret? Margaret can you please answer me?”
“Margaret’s gone out,” comes the unison reply from several female voices.

 
Dripping hot water is one of the most frustrating sights in my domestic world and every now and then, it is due to something faulty, apart from my girl’s lazy sense of environmental responsibility. When it is a worn out washer on the hot tap, that really annoys me, as it is money dripping out of my wallet and disappearing down the sink. Dripping hot water burns a hole in my equilibrium and I suffer vertigo, as I phone the plumber. Dripping hot water must be fixed, as I am not a millionaire, and I cannot fix taps or plumbing.
When you have dripping hot water problems, which are not caused by errant daughters, then I recommend you call a hot water plumber.

Barbie in Hot Water

“Welcome to another episode of Blue Hills“, I heard the disembodied voice say to my grandmother’s living room. The walnut legs of the chairs and the paisley motif, maroon and yellow carpet was what I could see from my childish vantage point, that and the thick ankles of my grandmother herself, tightly tucked into a smart pair of strapless shoes. I was playing with my Barbie and she was trying on some new clothes, a stylish pale pink jump suit and poker dot boob tube. Barbie had such lovely long legs and I thought to myself, looking at my own stumpy limbs, I wonder if I will ever have such shapely legs? Grandma shifted her feet and I noticed a varicose vein bulging in her, overweight, leg. Life in my world was very different to the perfect, plastic sheen that emanated from Barbie.

 

I heard my mother call out.
“Mum I think the hot water has gone.”
I wondered to myself where hot water goes, maybe on holiday, like Barbie, to Malibu or somewhere equally exotic?
Grandma answered.
“Are you sure Gwen? Do you think dear, it may have just run out, with all the extra showers happening?”
“No Mum it’s been stone cold for hours. You will need to call a hot water plumber, would you like me to do it?”
“Hang on Gwen, I am coming. Now, where did I put that hot water plumbing fella’s number?”
Barbie did not have to have hot water baths or showers, she was lucky like that. Barbie never smelt bad or got particularly dirty, she was always perfectly preened and presented. Barbie was like a smile that would never go away.
Grandma rifled through several kitchen drawers and eventually emerged with a business card held tightly in her fingers. She had her reading glasses on and they were connected to a pretty chain which went around her shoulders, so that she wouldn’t forget where she had put them; although sometimes she still forgot that they were hanging down her front.
“Here it is Gwen and they even take Bankcard!”
“Shall I call them, for you Mum?”
“No dear, I better do it, they will probably want to speak to the owner of the house.”

Tapware

She leant excitedly up against the showroom window and gazed in, lost in rapture. The display collection of shiny tapware was breathtaking, jutting chrome spouts in a myriad of sexy designs. Tapware, erect and bent, gleaming in expensive ways, and calling out to her desires for the perfect bathroom. Tapware emerging from every surface, some like UFO’s or alien beings, their angles definitely not human in design or scale. Tapware on show everywhere and she breathed a sigh of overwhelmed contentment. Some tapware was not shiny silver but black and sexy, she wondered whether her dream bathroom would warrant some black tapware.

 

Currently her bathroom was old and cracked, with a vanity from the nineteen seventies, exhibiting shades of green. Her existing bathroom’s tapware was so boring, and so dated, that it hardly deserved to be called tapware. Tapware in her mind was bling for bathrooms; the silver chains and rings worn by rapsters and Hollywood stars. Tapware was tied up with status in her mind, and only when her bathroom made a statement, would she feel like she belonged. Bathroom renovation was rarely far from her thoughts, and that was why she had found herself in front of this bathroom warehouse showroom.

 
She had heard that bathrooms had replaced kitchens as the must have domestic designer make over rooms in twenty first century homes. She had read that some Hollywood stars had up to six designer bathrooms in their mansion homes. She desperately wanted a new bathroom in her home, and she wondered which tapware would go best with which vanity. When her women friends visited hotels, clubs, restaurants, and other homes, they always commented on the bathrooms; how amazing this one was or this one. She wanted to earn their admiration, to have her bathroom spoken of in hushed and reverent tones.

 
It had all started with brief visits to five star hotels, romantic stop overs, and dirty weekends away. She would marvel at the hotel suite’s bathroom and day dream about a life of sinful luxury; servants, sex, fine foods, rooms with a view, and gleaming tapware everywhere.

©Robert Hamilton