Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Vanity Or Useful? Virante Authorrank

I adopted author rank and publisher rank as soon as I figured out how to set it up.

My reasoning was that if I want results to appear well in Google, and Google was promoting author rank, then it made sense to take advantage of it.

Yesterday, after reading an article on Social Media Today about author rank, I clicked through to the tool at Author Rank and ran a few names, including my own, through it.

I ran names that I thought would have a strong profile.

Here are a couple of FAQs from the Author Rank FAQs :

Is Virante AuthorRank the same as Google AuthorRank?
No, Virante AuthorRank is not the same as Google AuthorRank.
First, “AuthorRank” is not a Google term. Google has never officially used it. The term was invented by members of the SEO and web tech community as a convenient shorthand to describe Google’s stated intention to eventually evaluate authors by perceived authority in various subject areas, and to use that to boost in search results the content of high-authority authors. This was first described in a series of Google patents known as the “Agent Rank” patents. 
Virante AuthorRank does not use the same data or signals as described in Google’s Agent Rank patents. Agent Rank was to be largely based on social signals, indications from other people that they value an author’s content. Virante AgentRank is based almost entirely on link-based signals, those things that are the primary signals to a search engine of authority for a piece of web content.
What does Virante AuthorRank measure?
Virante’s AuthorRank tool gives a series of scores that measure the general search ranking “power” of an author’s published web content. Factors that are used in assessing this score include:
Use of Google Authorship
Diversity of sites to which an author contributes
Link value of sites to which an author contributes
Volume of content produced by author
Link value of content produced by author

Here are the results:

Sunday, December 8, 2013

So Google Surprised Everyone And Updated Pagerank

If you read around the web you will surely have read about the demise of pagerank.

Here's a quote from SearchEngineLand back in August:
Maybe it hasn’t [killed it] technically, but in practice, Google’s failure to update the PageRank values might effectively be killing it, all the same.
And here's a quote from them yesterday:
The SEO community, discussion forums and social media outlets are lighting up with the news that Google has actually updated the Toolbar PageRank values. Why?
(1) The SEO industry always lights up when the most visible indicator and easiest to see metric of Google linkage data changes.
(2) Because no one expected a Toolbar PageRank update this year.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Self Expression

When I was in South America some years ago I met a couple who were on a round-the-world trip. 

They were unhappy at how quickly the demands of the flight schedule was pushing them onwards, even though their trip was a year long.

I knew the feeling.

I recall once walking along a beach in Spain and sensing the feeling of being able to keep on going. Just keep on going.

 Back to the couple in South America, they were psychiatric nurses who badly needed a break from work - hence the trip.

 I thought they were both wound up and 'difficult' to be with, the man more so than the woman. But then one day he came back with a guitar.

He had held out on buying one, but couldn't stand it any more.

 He sat in the kitchen - I was the only other person there - and he played My Funny Valentine.

His playing was poignant, heartbreaking, and clear.

 The difficulties in his self expression with words just disappeared.

Badger culls - Debate in Parliament 11 December - Add your voice as a UK citizen

Badger culls: How to ask your MP to vote in the debate in Parliament this Wednesday 11 Dececember: #stopthecull via @RSPCA_official
1,861 badgers have been needlessly slaughtered since August and even though the pilot culls are now finished, the battle for badgers is far from over. 
There is an important debate in Parliament on WEDNESDAY 11TH DECEMBER to discuss the future of the culls. Please take action to ask your Member of Parliament to vote no to culling more badgers:
 Click to fill out this form to begin

The form is easy to fill out. Add your address and the campaign will find 'your' MP and send this message (which you can add to, of course). The text of the standard message is:
Following the failure of the pilot culls to meet even the revised minimum targets, despite an extension in both areas, I write to urge your attendance and continued support at an important and long overdue debate on the policy of badger culling this Wednesday 11th December. 
The events of the past weeks and months have been nothing less than farcical with ‘goal posts’ moved, a dramatic and unexplained drop in badger numbers and unwarranted extensions to both pilots. 
Experts in the field of wildlife disease management are now warning that the pilot culls could have made the spread of TB in cattle worse and the idea that the culls could now roll out across the country is a frightening one. 
The pilots prove that the cull is not a practical or achievable way to reduce the spread of bovineTB. 
This is not the right way to help farmers, cattle or badgers and it is time that the Government abandoned the policy in favour of improved bio-security measures, a comprehensive vaccination programme and tighter controls on the movement of cattle which are effectively enforced. 
The long overdue Westminster Hall debate on this issue on Wednesday 11th December will take place from 2:30 - 4pm. 
I urge you to attend and voice concerns about a wider roll out of the badger cull next year. 
I direct you to a useful briefing on this topic ahead of Wednesday's debate: http://www.politicalanimal.org.uk/RSPCA/TeamBadgerDocumentPilotCullEffectivenessver4.pdf
Here's the briefing document again:

Extract from briefing:
The effectiveness of the cull has to be judged under the framework defined by the Independent Scientific Group (ISG), appointed by the Government to manage the randomised badger culling trial (RBCT). 
The Government has claimed that its policy is based on conclusions from the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT). The RBCT was conducted from 1998 to 2006 and resulted in the killing of over 12,000 badgers. 
It found initially an average decrease in the disease of approximately 23% in the centre of proactively culled areas but an increase of approximately 29% on neighbouring land outside the culled area. 
This difference is thought to be due to the biology and behaviour of badgers, and the phenomenon known as “perturbation” where surviving badgers from the cull area and badgers from outside the cull area move to new areas as a consequence of cull disturbance, leading to increasing prevalence of bTB infection in badgers and a consequent increase in the risk of transfer of disease to cattle. 
Overall benefits from culling were modest with an average reduction of just 12-16% in the new herd incidence of infection over a period of several years. 
The final conclusion of the trial was that ‘badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to bovine TB control in Britain.’