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Thursday, December 30, 2004

If you don't stop Googling yourself, you'll go blind

It's time to do my duty once again as a shill for Marqui, the outfit that's paying bloggers (including me) to write about their communications management software (CMS).

Earlier this week, I delivered my bio to Marqui for posting on its paid blogger roster page. So far it hasn't shown up there, but here's what it said:

Jack Bogdanski is a law professor in Portland, Oregon, who has been blogging since July 2002. He writes about most aspects of his life on his general-interest site. He is not a techie or a marketer, doesn't generally do product reviews, and is being kept on the Marqui paid-blogger roster as part of some sort of affirmative action program or tax writeoff.
That pretty much sums it up. The rest of the crew seem to know way more about this CMS stuff than I ever will. They're able to evaluate Marqui's services much more critically than I.

Anyway, Marqui feeds its shills stories every week with the not-so-subtle suggestion (but not the requirement) that we write about the same topics. This week they sent along a "whitepaper" on something called SEO. Typical geeks, with the acronyms. This one stands for "search engine optimization" -- in other words, how to make your site appear often, and high up, when internet surfers run word searches on Google and other search engines.

I've always gotten a kick out of this blog's placement on Google. When I check through the hit counts every now and then, I always poke around to see what readers were searching for when they landed here. I come in high up in the returns for all sorts of interesting queries, some of them downright comical. Unfortunately, the word "bog" is slang for toilet in some part of the world -- Australia, perhaps -- and so there are some fair doses of potty humor and downright perversion in the mix. "Cr*p in a bog" -- I'm No. 1 for that one on Google. But others are more flattering -- for example, appropriate to the date of this post, I'm proud to be No. 4 currently for "six geese a laying."

Over the years, I've also deliberately tried to move my way up in the rankings by using phrases that fake out the search engines. For example, I'm No. 1 for "Joey Harrington nude," and No. 6 for "Annika Sorenstam nude." And I'm part of a cabal that has made the true meaning of "wretched civic failure" plain to all the world.

It's no surprise, then, that money-making concerns deliberately set up their pages to reel in the search engine fish. Marqui's paper explains to someone thinking about this for the first time how it can best be done. Of course, Marqui has a solution to all one's search engine-manipulating needs: hire Marqui. You were expecting them not to say that?

If you'd like to see the whitepaper, you can go here, but be ready to give a name and e-mail address.

(Note: I'll be mentioning Marqui at least once a week on this blog, at least through mid-March. As noted here, they're paying me to do it. My other Marqui post is here. You no like Marqui posts? You no read.)

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