Tuesday, July 26, 2005

"I coulda been a contender"

Cyberspace can be a big and lonely place, particularly for the humble blogger. This humble blog has been in existance for just over two years and started out as a tiny blip on an unknown server with not a single link to its name.

Links are the lifeblood of websites and a good source of traffic both direct and in terms of increasing search engine ranking.

Among the ways to investigate the number of links through to your site is Marketleap's link popularity checker (one more link for them then) which divides sites into broad categories based on the number of inbound links.

- Limted presence: 0-1,000
- Average: 1,001-5,000
- Above average: 5,001-20,000
- Contender: 20,001-100,000
- Player: 100,001-500,000
- 900lb Gorilla: 500,001 and up

Netcoms dot com has this year moved into the 'Average' category with around 1,500 links and rising. Much of these are through blog directories which I suspect carry little weight in terms of PageRank, but gradually over time, this blog has made it onto blogrolls, niche websites and the odd traffic-busting appearance on Fark.com which have been having a noticable effect on traffic.

The rise in links has led to a rise in search engine traffic on terms from the logical Netcoms to the bizarre Janet Jackson's breasts. This has also coincided with a steady rise in PageRank from the white bar of anonymity to a respectably green varying 4-5/10.

Feel free to link to this article at the usual address and help me reach Contender status!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

London stands in silence

It has been quite a few weeks since my last post. The birth of my first child has diverted resources from all non-essential activity and this has taken its toll on this blog which recently celebrated (or not) it's two year anniversary.

I am moved to post again after the terrible events of last week in London. Today marks a week since the suicide bombings turned the highs of winning the Olympics into such lows. London (and other parts of the world) observed a two-minute silence at 12pm.

We left our office and found a space among the crowds in Soho Square. I looked around me waiting for the bells to chime 12 and was met by the curious sight of an awkward looking Sir Trevor Brooking being filmed by a lone cameraman. The crowds were so packed in that the cameraman could not turn to film other people, making Sir Trevor and indeed the cameraman increasingly uncomfortable.

Despite the strange sight, the silence was impeccably observed by those around me, no doubt reflecting on the 'what if's' and the stories of friends, colleagues and strangers.

While the bells announced the start of the silence, there were no bells to announce its finish. After the two minutes were clearly up, there was an awkward shuffling as no one dared to be the first to break the silence. It was finally broken by a spontaneous round of applause that spread around the square to mark the shared experience.

We milled back to our offices unsure of what to say. Sir Trevor's bizarre cameo seemed the easiest thing to talk about. Life, in all its strangeness, goes on.