Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Hello World!

If you sneaked a peek at my profile, you'll have seen that I've been "On Blogger since June 2008". That's when I signed up, but I've let things languish since then. Similarly with Twitter, Facebook, and so on. I signed up, because that's what everyone else was doing, but I didn't see, for instance, how you could say anything meaningful in just 140 characters, or how you could follow what was going on in Twitter. Browsing someone's stream seemed to me like listening in on a phone conversation where you only hear half of it. As for Facebook, back then you didn't even have the fun of waiting for imaginary seeds to grow. What did people actually DO there?

Consequently, I currently have a "PeerIndex" of Zero (don't worry if that means nothing to you, I intend to cover it in a later post, and in the meantime you can head over to to see how you score. If you want to see how I'm progressing while you're there, I'm MTGradwell.) My score would probably be less, if allowed negative scores.

I still can't say that I completely "get" social media, but things are starting to fall into place. Which is just as well, because my latest job involves working for a "relationship marketing" company, one which specialises in building up corporate reputation using social sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Something tells me I'd better get up to speed on this stuff, even though my work is more on the tech side of things.

If you've arrived here because you were searching for information about SEO, you may be wondering why on Earth you should stay. Why consult a blog about which reports "no data", maintained by a person who, PeerIndex reliably informs me, has "Activity 0" and "Authority 0"?

There's a couple of reasons. First of all, because of all the above, you're probably a time traveller from the future, Welcome! Please comment, because as a Sci-Fi buff I've always wanted to know what the future is like.

Seriously, this message is being written on the 20th of July 2011, but the chance that you're reading it on that date is negligible. And if my guess is right then, depending on when you are reading it, my PeerIndex should be significantly greater than zero, and this blog should be at least a blip and hopefully much more than that on traffic ranking sites such as Alexa. If you think about it, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, for most readers if not for all. The vast majority of people who see this post must necessarily do so when the blog is at the peak of its popularity, whatever and whenever that might be. And unless I close it down tomorrow, that peak is bound to be higher than the current ranking.

Of course, my ambition is not merely to do better than a zero. I see this blog as an interesting experiment. "White Hat" SEO (again, more about that later, and about "Black Hat" too) is about growing a site organically. What better way can there be to test it out than starting from scratch, with an empty site and no online reputation to speak of?

I'm aware that links can be bought, Twitter followers can be bought, almost anything can be bought. But Wikipedia's definition of SEO begins with 'Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results.' I agree with that. There'll be no buying of anything here, because that would skew the results and spoil the experiment. Besides, "almost anything" isn't the same as "anything". I think the Beatles got it right with "Can't Buy Me Love", for instance.

The first rule of getting "natural" results must surely be "be natural yourself"; and that's my plan here. That's not to say that there aren't any useful tricks or tips to be found and passed on. If there weren't, then this would be a very short lived blog. Maybe it will be anyway. Want to find out? Bookmark this space.

Martin Gradwell.

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