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Chapter 10. Blogging Voices

Chapter 10. Blogging Voices

Simplest piece of advice that I was given by a former boss can be easily applied to ANY blog.

"Re-read before you publish."

Electronic text can expose unintended meaning easily and it will also make what you say a lot more focused. If nothing else, it should help you catch spelling mistakes!

— Gordon McLean, http://www.snowgoon.co.uk

As well as utilizing the number of links pointing at a page to determine its overall relevance, Google also places a high emphasis on words used in title and header tags to determine its PageRank. This can sometimes have unintended consequences.

Here in the UK, a popular TV show called "Pop Idol" gripped the nation's imagination, including mine. Every week we would tune in, and vote for our favourite "Pop Idol," with the lowest-polling contestant being eliminated from the next round. After many, many weeks and a nail-biting final, I posted a (somewhat embarrassing) entry to my online journal entitled, "Will Young Wins Pop Idol 2002."

For a couple of weeks, nothing unusual happened. My friends posted a few sarcastic comments, light banter was exchanged, and everything (including my critical faculties) slowly returned to normal.

That was to be the lull before the storm. Almost two weeks after the previous-last comment was posted, came this message:

"We all think Will is gorgeous and Chloe wants to marry him!! He has a brilliant original voice and we r gona be buying the single."

This was to be the pebble that began the avalanche. For some reason, Google had ranked my posting one place higher than the official Will Young web site, and the screaming hordes descended.

After a month or so of, "will i luv uuuuuuuuuuu" comments, my page dropped off the first page of results and (much to my relief) the postings finally came to an end. But it certainly goes to show that however few people actually visit your blog on a regular basis, you can end up being swamped in the most unexpected ways.

— Chris Carline, http://chris.carline.org



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