With the advent of web algorithms and analytics, most of us have become aware of the importance of site crawlability. If a site cannot be “crawled”, how will it be able to rank in the search engine results at all? In other words, you would prefer to have it crawled.
The friendly online neighborhood spider-bots
If you have no idea of what I mean, though, let me explain using an analogy.
Think of it this way: An actual spider encounters a framed image on the wall. It wants to see what is depicted there. Should it crawl over the image, or go around it, or just forget about it? The thing is, if it does not walk over the site of interest, it cannot have any idea of the whole picture and see if it’s any good.
In the same sense, an online spider or Internet bot, which is really a program, “crawls” your site for web indexing. It records links, updates, contents, etcetera. With the indexing, it gives Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others a bigger picture of what the site and its pages are about. Only then do these search engines analyze, with their own tools, what are indexed to determine your site’s authority rank.
And therein lies your site’s chances of landing on the first page of search results, if not in the first ten list.
Getting to the Top
As Google indicated, “It is important that the URLs you want…to display in Search results can be first found by Google.” Then all else must be geared towards the goal of landing on the top of organic search results. Not that they mentioned that exactly, but that is the point of letting your site get crawled in the first place. You would like to be found fast by your intended audience and to retain that audience.
Why is this so important? Studies have shown that with people’s short attention span, they tend to simply click on the first ten links. What are the odds that they will find and click on your link that is on page 5, 12, 27, 48…100? There’s very little chance. Most people do not have the patience to even skim quickly through pages.
Now, for some reason or another, you might want to purposefully hide URLs. That can be done, although do determine which contents you’d still want to come out in results so you do not exactly go missing and you can still be found.
Content, Content, Content!
How do you want to be crawled?
Contents are at the heart of this whole search business. It’s what may make or break your site, regardless of how good you work on your SEO, which does bring in the visitors, except they leave if they don’t find the information needed—so much for user conversion.
It does not matter how big your site is, how great it looks, how much contents there are. If engines are able to determine through its crawlers that the site gravely lacks unique contents and that you indulge in the much frowned-upon black-hat SEO methods, there is little to zero chance of getting anywhere near the peak. Instead, there is a big chance of getting your site penalized and sent to virtual oblivion.
Not quite making it “there”, though, does not necessarily mean you have been penalized. Rather, it could be that you are doing things incorrectly and getting into common pitfalls. It affects the way bots crawl and index your site. So, as in anywhere else, avoid the pitfalls. Audit your site. Find from the search engines what you have missed.
Always apply the best practices. That should assist you on your journey to the top.
This is my first #ThursdayTips, and my first tips post after the Free Site Audit Test Tools one. In my July monthly recap, I mentioned that I was going to change the schedule from Tuesday to Thursday. It may seem that I write SEO tips only, but I don’t. In fact, you can check out my Tips Jar and WordSmithereens Niche pages. Those stuff were written pre-Tuesday Tips days, plus stuff on SEO are what I have in “abundance” right now. I do plan to share more that are non-SEO stuff, I promise 🙂
I wanted this originally for #TuesdayTunes, but (1) I knew it would be like a post-hash potato like last Monday’s post, and (2) this is not the scheduled week for my Tuesday Tunes post, anyway. But you know, this is a fine example of never giving up on your dreams, no matter how big they are, or how silly they might seem…This is a light, simple post that I enjoyed from one of my fave bloggers, Justine. I’m sure we all can relate, one way or another 🙂
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~George Eliot
My new toys
When I started on this journey to improve my self-esteem, I knew three things would be crucial to my success. I needed to make time for the things that feed my soul. People who know they are worthy take care of themselves without reservation or guilt. They know that what matters to them matters. Period. So, writing was going to have to become a priority in my life again because writers write. I also needed to find space in my head for positive thoughts. I needed to find self-acceptance and self-appreciation. For me that meant a long overdue return to my yoga mat because yoga teaches balance, patience, and flexibility of both body and spirit. Most of all, yoga teaches you to let go of shit that doesn’t serve you, and I have a lot of shit…
Please do me a favor and ignore the fact that it’s already past-Monday everywhere. I have no actual valid reason. Here is my Monday hash-potato, nonetheless. I can’t believe it’s been TWELVE years since this was first posted!
…Actually, I could believe it, but I can’t believe that up to now, we still have the same problems that were the reasons I came up with these principles. I just can’t understand how hard it is for many to see what is wrong from right…
If, for some reason, you disagree with anything that I said, no need to keep it to yourself. Post a comment here or there and let’s discuss life. We are going to talk like mature adults. Or if it’s really something very personal for some reason, I am just an email away: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have to say I’m sorry for not posting for days. I wanted to post here and at My Trending Stories, but my time that started from last Thursday, I think, has been spent doing something else that I thought could help me. But now, I am starting to doubt that.
Honestly, it’s causing me to doubt myself a bit. It’s causing me stress. Instead of providing me help, it’s been causing me problems so far.
But it could help me. I will give it another chance. I will try to balance things so I won’t stress-out. If it doesn’t work, it won’t mean I’m a quitter. It will just mean that some things are not meant to be, so time to move on.
UPDATE (09-22-16): It just took me hours to decide that no, I am NOT going to continue. I just decided now. I just think that some people get some kick out of offending others because they think of themselves that highly (while they hide behind aliases). Instead of leading you so you can do better, they succeed in pushing you down and rubbing your face in the mud.
I accept criticisms, even if sometimes they hurt the ego. Constructive ones can only make you better, right? But while criticisms are welcome, insults are not. Being a (supposed) authority in a field does not make you an authority in my life…
Well, I stayed long enough to suffer repeated humiliation, so I am not going to prolong our agony, if he/she/they indeed was/were in agony.
I already gave a bit of intro from that page. I think I’ll let this interview do the talking, so to speak (and pun intended) 😉
The beautiful Hanna De Guzman
1. When did you realize that you were born to sing? Did someone influence you?
I’ve known since I was a child actually. According to my mom, Jessie Retizos, when I was just about ten-months-old (I guess), I would just throw away my feeding bottle whenever I heard music and start humming to the tune of any song from the radio. Then at three, I would just get her hairbrush and use it as microphone while I stood on a table, singing any popular song during that time. At five, I would be singing as Mommy played the piano.
Sometimes, I accompanied her to band rehearsals, so I grew up with that kind of environment where my uncle would play bass guitar and drums and Mommy would play the piano, especially when she composed songs for Ms. Pilita Corrales and the late Didith Reyes…
Exhibit A: Hanna, aged 8 then, singing her heart out as uncle Nato Burog played lead/bass guitar
Music has always been a part of my life, it has been my passion since I was a child. My mom did not really influence me, it’s just that I really grew up with that kind of environment. And if there was someone who might have influenced me to really sing, it was my uncle, the late Renato Burog, who was a great musician (singer, pianist, bass guitarist). When Tito Nato (Uncle Nato) first heard me sing at six, he told my mom, “At last, we have a singer in the family!”
2. When was the first time you joined a singing contest? Kindly share to us…
Tito Nato urged me to compete in an amateur singing contest in San Pablo City, where all my fellow contenders were aged 20+ and, believe it or not, I was only eight-years-old at that time. Good thing there was no age limit! He was my first voice coach during that time and the first winning piece I sang was “Tomorrow” by Lea Salonga. I was so happy then because I was the youngest contestant yet I won a consolation prize!
It was indeed an unforgettable experience for me because at such a young age, I competed with not just amateurs but even professional singers already. That was the time I really told myself, I was really born to sing… 🙂
3. How would you describe to us your singing voice? What are your advantages and limitations, if any?
Eversince I was a child, I’ve always had a somewhat husky voice. When I joined a chorale group back in college, which was the UPLB Choral Ensemble, they classified my voice as Alto 1, Soprano 2.
The current UPLB Choral Ensemble. Image is is copyrighted to them, of course
Alto voice had always been my comfort zone and when I started to learn some techniques and developed a wider voice range, that’s when I began to also sing some parts of Soprano 2 where I have/had to use falsetto (false voice). I guess being able to sing as both a Soprano 2 and Alto 1 is an advantage. [Ed. But where’s my advantage??? I’ve always said I’m Alto 1, Soprano 2. I think I am Alto 1, my high school music teacher–and this was the same director of the Glee Club from which the Ensemble originated–she would say Soprano 2…But why, why, WHY don’t I have Hanna’s kind of voice??? *envious-much*]
My limitations, well my voice sometimes gets affected whenever there is a weather change since I have allergic rhinitis, so I see to it to really stay away from drinking cold beverages and eating too much sweets especially when I have a performance.
4. I assume that singing has helped you at least once in your personal life. Can you share to us how, please? How about in your more professional life?
Whenever I have personal problems and am feeling lonely and depressed, I just sing to release my emotions. Singing has been my outlet. It really fills the emptiness in me.
In my professional life, singing puts back the balance in my life. I really enjoy it whenever we have company parties and programs because I get to sing again. It lessens the stress and pressure from work and helps me to remember I am still a normal human being. My best way to de-stress is through singing again.
5. Any plans of becoming a recording artist or maybe following in your mom’s footsteps? How about doing on-stage musicals?
The equally beautiful and very talented Jessie Retizos, Hanna’s mom
At my age? Well, we can never tell. I never stop dreaming of becoming a recording artist, because that has always been my ultimate dream. I guess I am just waiting for the perfect opportunity.
To follow in my mom’s footsteps, I once tried to compose a song, so back in 2003, I joined a jingle-making contest sponsored by a wellness-and-beauty products company. I composed the music and wrote the lyrics for the song “Achieve” that I also interpreted. Luckily, I won the Grand Prize…As for on-stage musicals, back in college, I once auditioned for Repertory Philippines‘ My Fair Lady, unfortunately, I did not make it to the final screening.
6. You joined the popular Tawag ng Tanghalan competition back in March. I personally felt you should have won that round, bias aside. But how did you find the whole experience as an actual participant?
Joining Tawag ng Tanghalan was such a good learning experience for me. It was not exactly planned after all. I just happened to watch one of their episodes and I challenged myself to see if I could still do it even at the age of 40. So I secretly auditioned alone and luckily got in. Honestly, my goal in joining TNT was not to win, really, but just to be able to perform on national TV without being “gonged”. [Ed. Many much-older singers have joined and even won, for the record. Meanwhile, being gonged literally means that: the judges decide to not let you continue if they don’t like your performance and you usually find out the hard way–someone hits a giant gong and your several moments of glory are finished.]
[Ed. UPDATE: Sorry if the vid seems to be delayed. I think they’re just screenshots. The sound is working well, though. The original vid I shared when I posted this is now set on private, for some reason. It’s got me peeved, but…Oh, well…]
I just wanted my kids to watch me on national TV and that would be it. So when I saw the face of the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Rey Valera, enjoying while I was singing, I felt I was a winner already. Being able to sing the whole song with no flat notes or by not being out of tune, I felt it was already a big achievement. I learned my lesson, though. Next time, I will not just aim to perform well, but to really WIN and Go for the Gold!
7. What about this Smule-ing thing, what made you decide to do all those duets? And where do you get all those awesome singing friends?
I just missed singing then and upon checking my Smule account, I found out I had been getting numerous invites already from one of my best friends, Richard Delos Angeles, who now resides in Italy and happened to be one of my contenders in the Inter-School Singing Contest back in high school. So when I listened to some of his recorded songs and saw that I could do a collab with him, I immediately recorded songs with him. Then I also did a collab with another best friend, Chriselle Samiano, who’s in the USA and we did a recording of the song “All of Me”…
Of course, I miss our duets of years before, so thanks to Smule, though we are a thousand miles apart, we get to have our virtual duets.
8. Were you at all surprised about the invitation from A Great Big World? How did you feel?
Hanna gets to sing a duet of “Say Something” with artist Ian Axel
At first, I was surprised since I was just a new user of Smule. I checked them out in YouTube, they had a duet with Christina Aguilera with that song “Say Something”, that’s when I realized how lucky I really was to be invited to have a collab with them. And I really enjoyed singing that song with Ian!
9. Is there anything that should stop you from singing?
I cannot think of any…As long as I live, I will keep on singing and praising the Lord through my songs!
10. What is your biggest achievement as a singer? What do you still hope to achieve?
The Happy Family. Mommy Jessie, Hanna and the kids
My biggest achievement as a singer was to be able to serve the Lord through my songs. I used to be a Psalmist in San Pablo City Cathedral and whenever I sang the words of God, I realized my purpose, that was to sing not just to entertain people, but to evangelize as well and touch their hearts, singing the words of God. Another achievement is being able to pass on my God-given talent to my two kids. Seeing them singing and performing like me is priceless.
I hope I can still continue to serve the Lord through my songs and to make my kids be good performers, realize that their purpose of having their talents is to share and use our voices for God’s greater glory!
Thank you so much to Hanna for sharing herself and her talent! You are so blessed 🙂
BTW, all images, save from that of the chorale, belong to Hanna…For more interviews, just search for #AskWednesday using the search box, easy does it. Meanwhile, perhaps you’d like to share about yourself as well. Feel free to email me at email@example.com and provide me a background.
Today marks my anniversary here in WordPress, though I’m not posting because of that. I really wanted to pay tribute to my father, whose birthday it was yesterday. I was thinking of making my #FeatureFriday about him, but there was no time as I went to a somewhat going-away party. Then yesterday came, I wanted to post something then, except I could not exactly get the WiFi to work properly, not that it’s working that well now. I did light candles and prayed for him. So now, here I am. I just can’t not post this. He was the first man I ever loved.
In some sort of way, I was Daddy’s Girl. Sort of. My mother had problems with all three pregnancies, even lost my older brother who was the actual second child. I didn’t ask, but I assume now that they stopped after having me due to health issues. Having no boy in the family, I somehow became the surrogate son. That would explain my boyish nature. Incidentally, I think he was the one who was most afraid I was growing up with a boy’s sexual orientation.
He was very wrong. He did not live long enough to find out, though. I never had a chance to introduce him to any guy, mainly because I never had any prior to meeting my future husband.
Honestly, I did dream of the day that he would walk me down the aisle. I would imagine how he would’ve felt. I imagined how I would’ve. Would he have tears in his eyes? Would I have? I didn’t exactly walk down the aisle at my civil wedding, but foretelling the future isn’t my strong suit, right?
So what I have for him are these these two songs, my imagined scenarios, from the POV of a father and of his daughter. They’re not exact–I never rode a pony and, at sixteen, I was looking more like him than my mother–but they are the perfect songs still.
The first is a 90s song from Bob Carlisle, probably came out in 1999, because I remember obliging to a song rendition request of it before Y2K. The second, a local 80s song, if I’m correct, from Filipino popular singer-songwriter Jose Mari Chan and (now) respected film/stage actress and sometimes singer Cherie Gil.
Sing Me A Song Again, Daddy(NOT sure if it’s really “a song” as I always thought she said “your song”)
You’re most probably familiar with the word “Oz” already. There’s the original Frank L. Baum book, then there’s the 1939 movie with Judy Garland, then the ’70s Broadway musical version, followed by an all-star cast film adaptation of that Broadway musical version in 1978, and then there’s the Gregory Maguire book inspired by the original book but not quite, THEN the Broadway musical inspired by that book inspired by the original…Yeah, I know you’re familiar with it. And you know what I’m featuring today: WICKED songs!
I’m sorry if I’m tiring you with a lot of WICKED stuff in this blog…Actually, I’m not sorry, he he…I love, love, looooove the Broadway musical. Couldn’t you tell with my WICKEDly Ozsome review?
That intro aside, I am happy to announce I found this series on YouTube. They call it the #OutofOz series and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying them. It’s “where favorite Wicked alumni and current performers sing re-imagined versions of Wicked songs.” Not sure if there should be more, but so far, I’m only seeing four of them. Gimme MOOOOOREEEE!!!!!
A new take on “For Good” (a song they originally sang) by Kristin Chenoweth (Glinda) and Idina Menzel (Elphaba)
Duet version “Defying Gravity” by Rachel Tucker (Elphaba) and Aaron Tveit (Fiyero)
Cute “Popular” song by Aaron Tveit! Hee…
Lastly, “I’m Not that Girl” duet version by Rachel Tucker and Kara Lindsay (Glinda)
What to write? What. To. Write? What-to-write? Whatto write? What towrite? Whattowrite? Whattowrite, Whattowrite? WhattowriteWhattowrite? WhattowriteWhattowriteWhattowrite…?????!!!!
Seemed like it was just last week when I was complaining about how fast July flew by, thing was, it wasn’t last week. August certainly beat my July. I hardly know where the weeks went! And I am totally irritated with myself. Seems like I hardly did anything, at least nothing that I really wanted to do. Well,…not exactly, but I’m still mad.
Here’s how August 2016 went:
(1) Excited by how my hashes made me prolific, I decided to do some trial-and-error and find out what would work best for me. In my busy-ness about this matter, planning and planning and planning, I ended up not posting much at all, because I couldn’t make up my freakin’ mind!!! Indecisiveness does not solve anything. I need to fix that about myself. If you were able to follow me, at least, last week, I think you would notice that I tried.
So I have created a new set of scheduling scheme and it will hopefully work. Anyway, my hashes will go like this:
#MondayMemoirs (which I am skipping for now to make way for this), alternating with #MondayReviews (see Helen vs Troy, though that’s more of a comparison of two films rather than a review)
#FeatureFriday (I didn’t have any last month. I know already who to feature, but I never get to write the full thing.)
Saturdays and Sundays could be about anything, just like any given day of the whole week.
(2) Happy to say (like I haven’t yet…) that I have a bunch of interviewees already — a horticulturist, a singer, a Muay Thai artist, a comic book artist (we haven’t talked about this yet, but he saw already last Wednesday’s post, so he knows an update interview is coming), hopefully a dancer (haven’t talked about it with her yet), hopefully another martial artist (who hasn’t yet read my invitation for an interview). Now, I am crossing my fingers that anyone of the first three sends her answers for next week’s post…
(3) Well, I got a nice invitation to be a regular writer for My Trending Stories. It’s a new site, they’re still doing stuff to perfect it, but it’s still an honor to be invited, and there’s no such thing as perfect. This is me (CLICK ON IT):
You will see that I am FOLLOW-ing myself. Narcissistic -much. Pathetic, huh? LOL. Actually, I don’t know what I did but I ended up clicking on the follow button or something and can’t even find a way to unfollow myself. But YOU! You, my friends, are welcome to FOLLOW me there, LIKE anything, make a COMMENT.
I post random stuff, meaning, much like here in my blog, I post anything I feel like posting. I want to be able to post for various sections and be versatile. I do choose the less personal thingies. Readers are not there to find out what I did today, what I ate yesterday, where I was last week. Well, I could tell you, but the life of the Real J.Gi isn’t so interesting so, bleh.
Social Media Reach-out:
I am ashamed to say that this whole reach-out thing is kinda overwhelming me. It’s not that I don’t do it. The thing is, I try to do everything, that is why I end up kind of like incapacitated. Talk about irony. I need to be more organized. Or maybe I try to organize everything, that’s the problem. My husband has been saying that with me, I always have to have a process. That is true. But it also causes my downfall. So maybe I’ll just chill-out a bit and be more spontaneous about it. Yes, let’s try that.
Did I mention I have lived with a chaotic mind this past month?
Started with Thomas Hardy‘s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, but then I found Gregory Maguire‘s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West book online! Yay!!!!
When my August started, it was really messed-up already — remnants of July. If only I could tell you. Maybe the life of the Real J.Gi is interesting after all, at least, for those who like tension a lot. However, it has been my motto to be positive so I try not to let things get to me. They still do, but at least, I don’t sulk about them. You can’t change people, especially not the self-important, self-righteous, self-entitled, judgmental ones. So you change how you react to them instead.
Okay, the happy things: I met up with two of my dearest friends on separate days. Didn’t take a twofie with Jenny; did take twofies with Myra, lots of ’em, but not sure if she’d be okay with me sharing any here. We updated ourselves with one another’s lives. It’s always nice to spend time with your buddies for life.
The sad things:
(1) I missed the Indie Komiks Market. Again. But I never miss the Komikons without valid reasons. Just that they are always valid. I’ll try to make up for it in the Grand Komikon.
Me and my friend Sherwin The Kraken at one of the Komikons
(2) Two good guys have left. One good guy is about to. It sucks when you lose people you like, those who have been good to you, who even tolerate you when you’re being talkative or asking too many technical questions while they also worked, who make an effort to not make you feel left out.
A special shout-out to one of my besties, Sherwin The Kraken! I will miss you. Thank you so much for everything, you know I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I hope to still see more of you, but we know that reality is, people do grow apart, at least, by distance. I hope to still be with you and your lovey on the next comics conventions!
Alright, let’s see what September 2016 has in store…