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The single most important factor in Google’s rank order of links on any search engine results page (SERP)

2016-04-30 in Uncategorized

I expect many SEO experts to have their own analytics and answers to this question, but I don’t care what they may think (they probably don’t even understand that I just made a little hat-tip to Vannevar Bush – or even who Vannevar Bush was, for that matter).

The single most important factor is whether Google might make money from putting a particular link on a particular search engine results page.

This is not a matter that is open for discussion – it is Google’s fiduciary responsibility to Google’s shareholders.

The rest of the details are left as an exercise for the reader. 😉

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New Feature: Literacy Quiz Questions

2016-04-17 in Uncategorized

I have a hunch that one of my friends – no: at least one of my friends – believes that I attempt to sucker people into following my ideas. In contrast: I believe pretty much the exact opposite of that, namely that retard media are designed to profit from suckering the illiterate masses into their propaganda schemes. To put it simply and succinctly: The way I see it, illiterate people follow (or „believe in“) retard media; only literate people (who are able to grasp my ideas) are willing and able to follow (or „buy into“) natural language.

For this reason, I am starting a new feature on nooblogs.com: Literacy Quiz Questions. As for almost everything on this site, you need to be a member to use this feature (well, you can read without being a member, but in order to participate and share your questions and ideas, you do have to be a member 😉 ). Luckily, it’s free and easy to become a member! 😀

The way it works is as follows: You can write a question into the activity stream – WOOHOO! 😀 In order for this question to qualify as a literacy quiz question, you must start your post with the string „#Literacy #Quiz #Question:“ – and then follow with the question. You can also add additional information, thinking, etc. but the question should immediately follow the string.

Of course anyone can answer any question, but I will try to be very focused on (at least) providing my answer to any questions any member of this site might have. 🙂

I’ve thought up a question to use as an example (and I already know my own answer to this question 😛 ) – see:

#Literacy #Quiz #Question: What is the single most important factor in #Google’s #rank order of #links on any #search #engine #results #page (#SERP)? #SEO

(I will post my answer to this question … maybe in a week or two 😉 )

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One of the Main Reasons Why You Should Thank Matt Mullenweg (and the WordPress Community) for Efforts to Increase Online / Digital Literacy Rates Worldwide

2016-03-27 in Uncategorized

More than one in four websites on the globe runs on WordPress… — but that statistic doesn’t actually matter (I will get back to this statistical issue in a moment).

Wordpress logo

WordPress logo

99.9999% of all comments on the Internet are completely worthless. This is why Google decided to create and champion the “nofollow” tag — in order to delist all comments from Google’s index. Google perhaps made a very small mistake (in throwing out the 0.0001% baby with the bathwater)… yet ultimately that comes down to 2 issues: 1. Whether you want to have any “comments” indexed at all; 2. How much you value that very small number of comments you might actually want indexed. Google was also very clever to stick the smoking gun of delisting comments into the hands of other people — perhaps there is indeed no need to cry “don’t shoot” when you’re not holding a gun after all.

In any case, the result is: Comments are not indexed. For that matter: I can’t remember if I have ever seen a facebook.com post come up in the top 10 results on any Google search. I do recall seeing twitter.com posts every now and then, but perhaps this is down to Google still being undecided regarding whether to acquire twitter or not (everything has a price). In my humble opinion, no anonymous comment is worth even just that proverbial “penny for your thoughts” — if you are not willing to stand behind your own words, I don’t want to hear them at all. In my less humble opinion, what passes for identity verification / authentication is usually completely ridiculous. Ergo, in my estimation at least 99.9999% of all online comments — perhaps even 99.9999% of all online content in general — is completely worthless crap.

Now back to the batcave — I mean: the statistical issue I raised above. The reason why maybe it is not so important that more than one in four websites run on WordPress is that most of the many millions of websites are actually owned by very few people. I myself manage a portfolio of thousands… — you might call it an investment… sort of: being long on literacy in a for the most part presently still illiterate world… and I am personally myself active on only about several dozen — or perhaps a couple hundred(?) — of these sites (including, e.g., this one). I am sorry to admit that nooblogs has yet to really catch on, enter the wider vocabulary, join the ranks of Google, Facebook, Twitter, et. al. in the list of brand names deemed significant enough to be listed in a dictionary. (yet there is still hope 😉 )

So while anonymous commentators, facebook page creators and twitterati remain oblivious to their own disenfranchisement while they surf in the most sophisticated dreamworlds of virtual reality, the plain and dirty fact of the matter — the truth, if you will — is that if you don’t manage your own website, then you are unfortunately… pretty much… nobody.

If you want to be listed in the top 10 Google results for anything, then it might help to be Google (or Alphabet or whatever — in any case: evil 😈 ) or at the very least give Google a chance to make some money (by putting Google ads on your site — i.e., helping Google to earn tons of money while you can be very proud to be listed in Google at all — at least for something).

For that tiny fraction of one percent of people who are literate enough to publish something that enables the somewhat larger population of somewhat literate users of the web to be able to read what the more literate have written, WordPress has been a Godsend. Matt often speaks about the democratization of publishing — and I feel he is right to do so… yet the vast, vast,… overwhelingly vast majority have still not attained a level of literacy sufficient to publish anything of significance on the web. The success of facebook.com is a glaring document of how widespread illiteracy still is.

Matt and other creators and contributors to WordPress have done a lot to help. You should be thankful. More than that, if you are a little bit educated, you should already be running WordPress. If not, you should presently be installing it now. Otherwise, there is a high chance that you probably paid too much for your education.

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To go where people are, to be where people think, to present what people desire and to give people what they want to have

2016-03-22 in Uncategorized

Yesterday’s blog post was in large part prodded by one of my friends who keeps saying I should publish my writing in print – as if that were more a sign of success than if I publish my own ideas on my own properties (and this friend is also not exactly fond of the „self-publishing“ idea in general, even though in my opinion that is perhaps one of the few ways one can be truly authentic).

Today’s blog post is inspired by another one of my very inspirational friends – and there is a similarity between the two threads insofar as they both touch upon the notion of property. Today, I want to address one of this friend’s issues with my thinking about „social media“ (though in fact I normally focus on retard media – which is not exactly the same thing, though the two predicates indeed often fit the same somewhat less than noble prize-winners 😉 ).

The sans-culottes 2.0 have an affinity to aggregate on the most popular websites … like Google or Facebook (or similar brand names that happen to be in fashion at the moment). They appear to feel that there is some sort of significance to large clusters of such congregations. Few consider such herd mentality questionable, many are more prone to pronounce „YAHOO!“ at the top of their lungs’ capacity. They are #1 because the numbers say so. In my humble opinion the numbers are meaningless, because each of them is no more valuable than a single grain of sand upon thousands of miles of beaches. Their numbers and statistical prowess are far less impressive than something as simple as the salt of the Earth.

Heavyweight monstrosities such as Google or Facebook (or the more or less similar dozens of unicorns behind them) are no more significant than the dead and gone monstrosities that have come before them, only to vanish from the face of the Earth. Their existence is ephemeral, they come and go with the whims of the loud and screaming mobs who trample this way today, that way tomorrow, and then back again the next day with yet more new signs and banners they daily swear by with ever-present enormous valour.

Less than a decade ago, Digg was a force to be reckoned with on both Wall Street and Main Street, not the biggest laughing stock of yesteryear. Random strings blowing in the wind do not bring about change, they merely dissipate and whither away. Even vaporware would be an overestimation of their non-lasting worth.

The crucial question is: What distinguishes properties with lasting value from such ephemeral brand names? Years ago, the masses would scream: „A dot com“ (meaning the domain name’s „ending“ or more precisely „top-level domain“, also often referred to by the abbreviation „TLD“). Well, how much did the dot com help Digg or Myspace? Right: Not one iota.

Having a property is not good enough. To be of lasting value, you need the right property. A valuable property is etched deep in the mind of its users – it is as irreplacable as their own mother, there is a kinship as deeply rooted as the sunrise which awakens their spirit every morning, day after day, throughout their lives.

Valuable names are usually not names per se. They are the words spoken time and again at breakfast, lunch and dinner alike.

Valuable words are few and far between. They are short and simple. A „home“ will be just as valuable decades from now as it is today. A „car“ was not always a gasoline-powered vehicle, nor will it remain so until the end of time – but it will probbably remain a valuable concept in many contexts.

Written language is a technology that has developed over more than just a few years, more than just a few decades, longer even than entire centuries. It has been at the very least many millennia since writing was first developed. There are quite a few four-letter words, but not an infinite number. In contrast: Google is probably just a passing phase.

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Authorship, Authority and Authenticity

2016-03-21 in Uncategorized

I think many people place a great deal of trust in print. Pages of printed text, published between a hardcover binding, with impressive dustcovers screaming out exclusive elucidation to be had for the mere inconvenience of a small price to pay for the luxury great revelations and fantastic knowledge.

While some might say this seems far-fetched, I myself am often prodded to publish my writing. Why should I?

I know no one who would pay for it. I think most of my readers are not so attached to pulp brain dumps. They are more inclined to simply register my point of view and then move on. The so-called “rest of the world” — those with a fetish for tomes of printed words — are far less inclined to follow my reasoning, abstractions, descriptions of immaterial nature, philosophy, and similar assorted amusements. The vast majority desire a plot, a story line, good storytellers capable of awesome storytelling.

I can’t — or perhaps simply refuse to — get from here to there. My world is a static zero-sum game. There is little action, almost no surprise, the narrative is as dead as a doornail.

Even worse: I expect you to think. You are supposed to come up with ideas, make plans, engage in collaborative efforts. It’s all a huge PAIN.

Why bother?

The real world is usually not a very big page-turner. Reality is what avid readers attempt to escape… rather than embrace. Our eco-system is dirt cheap and mundane, not awe-inspiring.

Yet in my humble opinion this is a rather limited world-view. From my perspective, both the future as well as the past are fictional stories that need to be „filled in“ with concrete details. We are moving through time and space, we see various intersections up ahead, we can steer this way or that way. We can close in and move together or we can go our own ways and drift apart… – to a degree.

Anyone who thinks they are self-made is only deluding themselves. You are the product of your own choices, decisions and circumstances (and also the choices, decisions and circumstances of all other things and beings). Each and every one of us are embedded in our very own context – every now and then our contexts may overlap a little. We can sieze the day every day, and every day we act upon our glimpses of opportunities we turn tomorrow’s possibilities into today’s realities. Every moment, we create our own lives from the pallette of fictions at our immediate disposal. We are constantly reaching out to grab them and bring them into the present.

We can either keep our stories to ourselves or we can share them with each other. In our authenticity, we enable ourselves and others to grow and we thereby also become co-participants of shared experiences, we engage in collaborative storytelling, we help each other to build the real world together and we also help each other realize the dreams and goals we envision for ourselves and others alike.

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Trust in Individual People vs. Trust in Natural Language

2016-03-10 in Uncategorized

As I walked out of a store the other day (a discount supermarket, also commonly referred to as a „discounter“ – namely Aldi), I met a friend who was also walking out at the same time. After greeting each other, he noted how the recording they often play when opening or closing cashier aisles was very manipulative: When they open an aisle, the recording says „We are opening cashier number 3 for you“; But when they close an aisle, the recording says „Cashier number 4 is closing“.

When we meet someone we trust, we feel good because we quite rationally expect that they will be completely straightforward with us. I say rationally with a tinge of irony, because many of my friends working in the field of psychology often remind me that pretty much everyone lies to some degree – and they also add that „some degree“ probably works out to be several hundred times per day. So our expectation that our friends are being honest with us may indeed be more of a rationalization than anything else.

The example above (which is also from one of my „psychologist“ friends) clearly shows how the recording being used by the store was manipulative. When we ask a friend „how are you?“ – do we really want to know the truth? When they flash a fake smile and say they’re doing „great“, are we secretly happy that they didn’t rattle off a long list of things that might actually be going wrong in their lives right now?

I think such manipulation is actually quite common in interpersonal communication. People want to guard their freedom to do and think as they please, and many social conventions even provide a foundation for such little lies to be told day in and day out with virtually no repercussions at all. Compare this with clear-cut statements written out in plain English. A text written down must stand up over time; it is not as fleeting as the wind which dissipates the things we say out loud into thin air within a split second. The written word is unforgiving.

I have often written before (see e.g. http://remediary.com/2016/02/in-our-brains) that language is not owned by any individual entity, but rather that is a system distributed among a large number of members belonging to the linguistic community. In this way, it is similar to many technologies referred to as “open source technology” (such as “bitcoin”, “blockchain”, etc. — as also many other open source systems used across the web [e.g. “RSS”]). There is usually no single point of failure — i.e., no single / individual shill or con artist can manipulate such a distributed technology. Therefore, placing trust in natural language is a far more reliable information retrieval tactic than placing trust in individual people.

Note, however, that there are various levels or uses of language. A “full text” search engine (such as Google) is expected to match any text — regardless of which significance the text has in a written document. Although many people still expect that Google works this way, more informed specialists have long understood that this is simply not the case. In the early years, Google favored results in which the matching text was part of the title field of a document or in the “link texts” pointing to documents. Most reliable of all, of course, is the domain name itself — as only domain names are actually certified via the domain name registration process (Google also understands this now, which is why the company is becoming ever more heavily invested in domain names).

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Free Spech, Freedom of the Press and Paid Content

2016-02-10 in Uncategorized

If you think your so-called right to free speech grants you the permission to post a full-page ad on the cover of the New York Times (or on the homepage of nytimes.com), I think you are mistaken.

By the way: I also think there is some confusion about the role of advertising in the global economy. Most people think an online advertisement costs little or nothing. The truth is: It costs a lot, but companies like Google will pay very little (almost nothing) to companies like the New York Times for the right to place Google ads on the pages of the New York Times (never mind that Google also probably uses the ads to track which New York Times articles people are actually reading – in order to sell them something Google makes more money on when those people use Google to search for something else).

Yet I digress….

Back to your so-called right to free speech. It ain’t free. There’s a traditional German song called „Die Gedanken sind frei“ (i.e. „thoughts are free“) – and while that may be true, you can’t always say what you want (something people like Edward Snowdon and/or Julian Assange maybe should have thought about a little more).

Yet I digress again….

I think quite a few people think that my view of literacy involves needing to pay for valuable domain names – and I think there may indeed be some credence to that point of view. If / When people then conclude that my arguments are against their so-called right to free speech, then they are (in my humble opinion) wrong.

In case you don’t know: There’s no such thing as a free lunch. There’s no such thing as free anything. I paid to write this post – not with money, but with time… and with blood, sweat and tears. You are also paying to read it – there is an „opportunity cost“ you are paying for not doing something else instead.

Ergo: Free speech is not free.

Everything costs something. One of the basic tenets of free markets is that people can freely choose to value different things according to how much they are willing to pay for them. I bet there is even a price for placing a full-page ad on the cover / homepage of the NYT (BTW: Google has been placing ads on their homepage for many years already – but most people don’t even realize that).

If your content is worthless to you, then it seems reasonable to post it somewhere that seems to cost nothing. However: If you expect me to pay attention to it, then that seems rather unreasonable to me.

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Why Literacy Rates Still Remain So Low

2016-02-09 in Uncategorized

I often lament that the vast majority of people who are active online are still by and large illiterate. I may be right, I may be wrong, I may be somewhere in between – but why does it matter?

Perhaps it matters for many reasons, but my primary concern is that I feel personal whim – whether my own personal whim or someone else’s – should not be the judge of what is good or bad.

If more people were more literate, then the web would be more of a self-organizing system. People who write about advertising in sports might publish their ideas @ sports.com … people who share their ideas about the influence of money in politics might post these to a site like influence-of-money-in-politics.org … and so on. This already happens to a limited extent – let me describe it thusly: Over the past recent decades, the WWW-population has transitioned from being about 0.01% literate to maybe being somewhere around 0.1% literate… – and let me point out that some might rejoice at the exponential growth!

Why don’t I also rejoice?

Because there are a large number of quite influential agents who seem to be opposed to any increase in the level of literacy. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that a large portion of the literate population are indeed such influencers who seek to diminish the voice of the vast majority by
keeping them misinformed, uneducated, … basically: illiterate.

These influencers are strongly represented not only among the literate minority, but also among the world’s leading brand names … and are household brands with stronger stangleholds on the vast majority of masses living in quiet desparation than gigantic armies of grade school English teachers could ever muster. Did you mean you didn’t know that already?

Why am I not surprized?

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I neither Like nor Want to Talk About Me

2016-01-30 in Uncategorized

Over the past couple days, I have been reading more or less random blog posts… — I will get to why in a moment, but I first want to remark and point out very pointedly that I really don’t like talking about me, myself, my personal feelings, etc. I don’t consider myself to be very important in the “greater scheme” of things. I find it awkward and even a little painful to watch people write, behave, act or whatever like they are the center of the world … like everyone is just waiting to find out how they feel about something. I find that sort of information boring and disingenuous (I think that’s the word I want, but I’m really not sure).

OK, so why am I writing this here and now? Thanks for asking!! 😀

Try This at HomeImitate a spiritual master [05:30-13:30]. My spiritual master is St. Therese of Lisieux, and her spiritual memoir (if you’re curious) is Story of a Soul. I was surprised to hear the person that Elizabeth picked as her spiritual master! Hint: that person’s autobiography is called Audition. (Sorry, I promised to post a photo of my shrine to St. Therese, but I’m in Australia now, and I forgot to take the picture before I left town.)

The quote above is from a podacst hosted by Gretchen Rubin together with her sister Elizabeth Craft, which I have recently discovered and enjoy very much (even though it is supported by advertising 😉 ). I enjoyed the idea which they suggest to “try this at home” in this episode (#16), and so I want to share my ideas about this here. I will call my spiritual Master X, because I don’t want to divulge their identity here without their consent. I want to share my own ideas, but I don’t want to put this person in an “awkward” position.

The way I want to imitate their behavior is that I want to try to enjoy other people for how they are different than I am.

X is also a very special person for being humble — particularly in not claiming to be right. The humility of not being right is also something I aspire to — but it is also something I feel I am very far away from (I admire it more than I practise it — I am more prone to behaving like a “know-it-all”, an issue also discussed in Episode 20 of Gretchen + Elizabeth’s podcast [12:15-14:30]).

Here are some notes I’ve jotted down about my aspirations and shortcomings to be more humble and to cherish the way other people are different:

  • From early youth, I have been very fascinated with science, mathematical proofs, logic, etc.
  • Later, I also became fascinated with subjectivity, perspective, relativity, etc.
  • This is perhaps most apparent in my admiration of Ludwig Wittgensteins’s work — but Wittgenstein is *anything but* my spiritual master, because he seemed to be so fixated on his own beliefs, absolute truth, etc.
  • My spiritual master, instead, revels in wonder and amazement at how other people behave, think, live, etc. (i.e., differently)
  • In contrast, I am often frustrated when people seem illiterate, do not understand how science works, etc.

Well, so this is why I have been trying to read what other people write … in a sort of “maybe I should just pretend like other people are indeed literate” manner … and I have become increasingly disgusted with the way people seem to be focused on themselves. 😐

I don’t want to end on such a sour note. So I will now link to a little story about some other people who also inspire me — please go ahead and check out: “Opportunity makers with + for others — doing something smarter together for the greater good“. 🙂

 

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There’s No Place Like Homepage

2016-01-26 in Uncategorized

Having recently significantly reduced my engagment on Facebook (much like I did several years ago on Twitter), I’ve been asking myself: “Where can I go?”

Nowhere, man! It really makes it! 😀

One of the first things printed after the invention of the printing press was the Bible. Perhaps an entire century passed before much of anything besides the same old, same old religious texts and tomes went to press. Perhaps another century passed before anything other than religion was not deemed sacrilegious, something to be immediately outlawed and banned from the so-called civilized world. More centuries passed, and today most libraries are filled with large numbers of texts which are not simply copies of one and the same Bible.

Today, you can find almost anything your heart desires in almost any library.

It is fascinating to see this same theme play out again on the web — with what used to take centuries (and also cost innumerable lives) now playing out over decades.

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