Thursday, October 26, 2006

Using a foreskin blog to sell Google juice

One thing I never expected when I started this blog was to appear very highly in an Google rankings. That's supposed to be hard to do, right? I started getting my first search engine referrals after maintaining the blog for a couple of months but they were always for pretty obscure things. It started getting funny when I noticed how many foreskin-related referrals I was getting after having written a piece saying that "foreskin recovery" proponents were (excuse the pun) dickheads.

As it turns out, there's quite an industry surrounding foreskins but for ages now, I've been the number one or number two search engine result for foreskin blog (the title of this post should push me back to number one). Which has gotta piss off the people who seem to be trying to either make money or form a cult around the topic. By the way, a sure fire party conversation stopper is "You can find my blog easily by looking up foreskin blog on Google - I'm usually the number one foreskin blog."

This is a topic that ends up fascinating most blog owners at some point; what bizarre search terms are pointing people to my site? - particularly when you get referrals from sex-related terms and you don't spend a lot of time writing about sex. I don't know why I'm a world-renowned expert on teen sex but according to my search engine referrals I am.

The thing is, it's easy to make some obscure phrase "yours" - I always assumed making yourself appear in relation to a more common or in demand phrase would be hard. If I mention "profligate cumquats" by next week I'll probably be the number one search result for profligate cumquats (it's a fruit you filthy minded animals). God forbid I mention anally inserted cumquats. I have no interest in a readership that's into anally inserted cumquats.

The biggest surprise I've had was when it turned out I was the number one search engine result for Melbourne Fringe Festival recommendations. This seemed like a referral that would actually be sought after. The ranking came about because I'd mentioned seeing rehearsals for shows in the Melbourne Fringe Festival being directed by my old college mate, Adrian Calear. I've also hijacked the Google rankings for his name which is fucking hilarious - don't piss me off, man. As soon as I saw this I made sure I had the details for the shows and gave them a bit more publicity - you gotta help a brother out when you have the chance.

So it seems I can use my powers for good. Surely I can use them to gain some filthy lucre too! :D If Wordpress supported Adsense or something similar and unobtrusive I probably would have dabbled in that. I sure as hell would embed Revver videos here with their inbuilt ads if Wordpress supported that (any guesses as to what I want for Christmas, Wordpress?) Having good Google ranking is known colloquially in nerd-ese as having Google Juice. I'm thinking of bottling that sucker.

If anyone has a good memory, they'll recall a post from a few weeks ago titled "Matthew Churchill is freakin' awesome". I mentioned it was an experiment and I would elaborate later. This is that elaboration. I'm now the number two Matthew Churchill on Google. I possibly should have searched on the name before doing the experiment because the number one is a memorial for some poor kid who was killed in a hit and run and I honestly would have felt like shit if I had dislodged him. But anyway, I proved my thesis: my Google juice is mighty and virile.

So I should be able to sell this to people right? The theory I'm working on is that I could sell particular words on my blog and be paid based on how successfully my Google juice works. I'd charge a sliding scale, say $30 for each week it was on page 3, $50 for page 2 and $100 for page 1. The heading for the post would be something like "The best pub in Melbourne" and the first (and possibly only) part of the post would be "Jim Bob is paying me to say his pub is the best pub in Melbourne" with a link to the site. It wouldn't interfere with my usual posting - if it was for something I thought was worthwhile I could even make it into one of my standard angry rants.

I actually chose the phrase "the best pub in Melbourne" deliberately as I assume that would be a sought after one and probably hard to get a good Google result for. On the other hand, businesses in Australia are absolutely shit at using the internet for promotion. It really pisses me off that I can almost never find what I'm looking for online. Buying Google ads works but nobody seems to know how to get good search engine results for their sites without advertising. Well, Mr Angry is here to help.

Of course, it wouldn't have to be solely for commercial purposes. I could post personal messages that people wanted immortalised in Google or simply support worthy causes (like friends doing shows that need some publicity). Although I'd probably have to be careful of encouraging stalkers. Some careful wording in the contract about consent and withdrawing the post would be required.

Another potential issue I thought of is people screwing me out of money, essentially not wanting to pay me after getting their result. Then I realised this would be a very dumb move on their part when I could easily change the post to read "what's the best pub in Melbourne? Certainly not Jim Bob's where the beer has a high content of rat's urine and the owner is a child molester." Or, possibly worse, change the link to point to their competitor.

I have no intention of plastering ads all over this blog in return for a couple of hundred bucks a month (this level of return seems to be what a lot of blogs sell their soul for.) I'll have to do some sums because I'd really love to blog full time. I've pulled the rather arbitrary figure of $50,000 per year out of the air as an acceptable amount to make me quit my day job. It's a lot less than I get as an IT contractor but it seems quite a decent amount for being able to do what I love. Plus, that would definitely only be the starting point - I plan to build an empire!

At first I thought this was too easy but then my girlfriend pointed out that I only get these results because I've been keeping the blog updated daily for more than six months. Not many people are willing to put that much effort in - maybe I deserve to cash in! :) So, all aboard the Mr Angry Google juice money train!

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