Daily Archives: June 5th, 2010

Great Google-y moogly

What are you searching for?

I’m just sitting around today killing some time by putting WordPress through its paces. I’ve been digging through my blog stats.

My #1 post of all-time, by far, is My list of top five angry songs. It is second only to the home page.

Curious, I went and messed around in Google a bit. I finally found that my blog is result #10 for the phrase: angry songs

Wow. If you think about it, that’s pretty good. And it must certainly explain why that particular piece of tripe is my #1 post ever.

Making the top ten results in Google means you are on the first page of results. That is huge.

I’m no SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialist, but I have learned a thing or two in my travels.

Consider the phrase “angry songs” that I mentioned above. What is so special about it?

First, it is rather generic. In search engine terms, generic means something broad rather than something specific. If you have high placement for a specific phrase, that’s nice, but nothing to get too excited about. If you have high placement for a generic phrase, however, then it might be party time.

For example, right now, my little blog is the #1 result in Google for the search term: tweeturbation. One reason for that might be because I invented that word. (Sadly, though, that same Google search shows someone else invented it, too. And a bit earlier than I did. Is there no such thing as an original idea any more?) Unfortunately, that search term is extremely specific, so my #1 placement isn’t much to get excited about.

Another consideration is the popularity of the search term or phrase. It is no good being #1 for a search term if no one ever looks for it. Obviously “angry songs” must have at least some popularity or else my placement for that phrase wouldn’t make my post the most popular one I’ve ever written. This was, of course, entirely by chance and certainly nothing I ever planned.

Going back to WordPress stats I then displayed my my popular search terms. The phrase “angry songs” has been #1 six out of the last seven days. On the other day the #1 term was “angry songd.” (Most likely because “s” and “d” are neighbors on the keyboard. This shows the importance of misspellings, too.)

If I look at “all time” search terms “angry songs” is again #1 and about four times as high as it’s next closest competition “whatever happened to joaquin phoenix.”

From all this I surmise that two things are very important to my traffic. The first is having regular readers who visit my blog multiple times. To me, that is my bread and butter and is also the most meaningful traffic. That is the traffic that I really care about. But also, getting good placement in Google (and other search engines) for popular search times can really impact the amount of traffic my blog receives. Maybe one out of every couple of hundred random visitors will decide to subscribe or make a comment. Then I have a chance to convert them into a regular reader. If that happens often enough then the sky is the limit. 🙂

I also think posting every day is important, like it somehow keeps that snowball growing and growing. My stats have leveled out a bit of late so I’m hoping persistence will pay off.

Follow-up: Gary Conklin and Crowbar Ranch

In case you missed it, go read Crowbar the Cow for a recap regarding the story of workers at a dairy farm caught beating cows with crowbars, pitchforks and metal pipes.

Ever get stuck for a new post idea on your blog? On idea is to go back and check something you’ve written about and see if you can find anything new.

Gary Conklin. That’s a name that has been stuck (no pun intended) in my mind ever since I first heard about the story involving workers at a dairy farm attacking cows with crowbars and pitchforks. Ungh. Can we go even one day without constant reminders of what we humans are capable of?

Gary Conklin. The guy is the owner of Conklin Dairy Farms, a fourth generation family owned dairy in Plain City, Ohio.

Gary Conklin. Who, as seen on video footage, personally joins in on the abuse of dairy cattle.

A fourth generation family owned dairy farm that has landed in the lap of Gary Conklin. I’m sure pa, grandpa, and great-grandpa must all be very proud of their progeny.

I went looking for an update on this story. One of Conklin’s workers who was featured in 20 hours of video and charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty. Last I heard bail for this worker, Billy Joe Gregg, age 25, had been set at $100,000. Woot!

However, Conklin himself was also seen in the footage taking an active part in the abuse of dairy cattle. I was curious. What was his status?

Well, as far as I can tell, the man himself has so far avoided animal cruelty charged. What a crock of cow pies!

It seems, however, that something stinks at Conklin Dairy Farms besides animal cruelty. Since this story broke the state of Ohio has issued a “notice of violation” against Conklin Dairy Farms after dead cows were found “improperly disposed” in a open pit in violation of state law. Ohio law requires that bovine carcasses must be buried at least four feet underground. A subsequent visit by a state inspector found that the violation had been corrected.

Our hero, Gary Conklin, had previously petitioned the state Department of Agriculture to upgrade the dairy farm’s “milk rating” from Grade B. A milk rating of Grade B in Ohio is only sufficient for milk produced at the dairy to be made into cheese. (What a lovely and comforting thought for us cheese eaters!) A milk rating of Grade A is required in order to sell milk for “human consumption.” (That’s odd. I thought humans ate cheese, too.)

In other recent developments, our other hero, Billy Joe, appeared before a judge and said he’s a wounded Iraq war veteran and that he needed to be released from jail so he could “take care of” his own animals. Oh sweet irony! And, get this, he needs to get out of jail to continue working on his degree in fucking “law enforcement.” Jesus Christ! If this guy ever qualifies to be a police officer we’re going to have to fucking nuke the whole state!

Everyone knows you don’t put the wolf in charge of the hen house!

And it doesn’t stop there. We’ve learned even more about Billy Joe. He’s seen on the video taking guns into the milk house, firing them, and also bragged about stealing M-16 guns from the U.S. Army in Iraq.

If there was ever a guy who should never be a cop this is it. My own opinion is that if you are sick enough to actually get off on that sort of treatment of animals it is only a small step up to move on to the real thing. Know what I mean?

I’m hoping and praying for a happy ending to this sordid tale. That means Billy Joe kept away from animals and humans and Gary Conklin facing criminal charges for his own incidents of animal cruelty. He’s hoping Conklin’s “business owner” card doesn’t turn into a “get out of jail free” card. Please let there be justice!

The fifty percent cat kicker

Go ahead. Kick me, you cockroach. Then you can say hello to my little friend!

Today I’d like to introduce Clevon. (Not his real name.)

Clevon is an interesting person. Sometimes he’s nice. Sometimes he’s a shit heel. Some people I know speculate that he’s not “all there” mentally. I’m not so sure. Even if true that doesn’t excuse downright meanness. He’s a fairly well known guy in our community, owns his own small business, is God-fearing and active in the local Masonic lodge.

He certainly acts like no God-fearing Mason I’ve ever met. I have a great amount of respect for the Masons. Before I met Clevon, I’d never met one who was a douchebag. Aside from Clevon they’ve all been people I was very glad to know.

Sometimes people will ask me my opinion of Clevon. I’ll respond and say that he’s probably one of the biggest pieces of shit I’ve ever known. (If I’m in the mood to be honest. It depends on who is asking.) He’s one of the few people I can seriously say I “hate” on planet Earth. I don’t hate easily but he’s earned it.

Sometimes people will act surprised to hear me say this. “But Clevon does lots of nice things. He does XYZ for the community. He helps old ladies across the street. He supports our troops. He even baked me cookies.”

Yeah? So the fuck what? He’s also a gun-totin’ freak who terrorized his girlfriend to the point that she was afraid for her life and had to get a restraining order. Finally he appeared to lose interest and disappeared. Now I hear he’s back in town. Bummer. He’s also the kind of person who yells about “freedom” all the time but backstabs people around town who have different beliefs and political positions than he does.

Clevon raises the legitimate question: “How do you classify someone who is nice part of the time?” To me the answer is simple. “Douchebag!”

I’ll use the example of a cute little cuddly kitty cat to make my point. Let’s say one day Clevon walks along and sees the kitty. He bends down and says “here kitty kitty” and gives the cat some love and the cat purrs. How nice.

The next day, however, he sees the kitty and gives it a swift kick for no particular reason at all.

And so it goes, back and forth, day after day, alternating love and kick. Love. Kick. Love. Kick.

How would you classify this behavior? Would you say that Clevon is “fifty percent nice?” Or, perhaps, “fifty percent a jerk?”

Not me! Anyone who acts like that is 100% asshole douchebag in my book. That is why Clevon gets no sympathy or pity from me for anything. And he gets zero appreciation from me when he does something nice. If you repeat your asshole behavior often enough then you are an asshole. Forgiveness and redemption can only come once the behavior has stopped and a real change for the better has been made.

Sorry, Clevon. I know what you are.

Note: My eager staff of interns has just informed me that the term “cat kicker” has a vulgar definition over on the Urban Dictionary. The selection of the example used in this post was purely coincidental.