Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, September 28, 2009

I used to listen to so much music. I've about 600 vinyl LPs which shows how much I used to listen to - and when.

Gradually it reduced. The CD player would go a month without use - 3 months, even longer.

Two years ago when I got out of hospital I filled my room with music. It dwindled again with another peak after surgery in December. Then again a waning.

This time though it's different. Most days now a CD goes on. I'm starting to feel like me again. It's been a long road to recovery and I still have some way to go but the joie de vivre that being unwell suppressed for so many years is returning.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, September 10, 2009

With a background in both IT and marketing it was perhaps inevitable that I'd get in to understanding how to promote web sites to prominence on Google. I obviously want to attract readers to my Ancient Egypt blog. There is no point writing great material if readers never find it on the morass that is the Internet.

With some work on Suidoo it's now easily found for people searching Google for KV64 - that's the latest tomb that's been discovered, but not announced. My Squidoo page for KV64 is at #2 on the Google front page. That gets me noticed by some really great dedicated readers - but worldwide there are only 500 searches a month for people looking for KV64.

But what about those thousands of tourists visiting the Valley of the Kings and wanting to know just that bit more about what's going on? When I first started I'd assumed that getting on to the Google front page for a big, common term like Valley of the Kings was beyond me. That changed about 3 weeks ago when Ben who runs All About Egypt mentioned that News from the Valley of the Kings had reached #35 (ie half way down the fourth page) on a Google search for Valley of the Kings.

I was both gratified and frustrated. Gratified because being #35 out of the 54,000,000 matches Google reports - yes, 54 million! - is a recognition that the blog is doing well. Frustrated because nobody reaches the 4th page when searching Google. The absolute key is front page so, did I know enough about Web promotion to push it to the front page?

Well 3 weeks later I'm even more gratified and even more frustrated. I've managed to promote it up to #12, almost at the top on the second page. Tantalising. That varies a bit. It's a hugely dynamic search term and the rank can vary several places even over a couple of hours, but that's fairly secure at the moment.

Getting it on to the front page can mean a huge difference in traffic. Even being the lowly bottom slot means 1% - 2% of those searching on the term will click on your site. (The top 3 slots are magical!) So those next couple of places could make a big difference.

So a well as Squidoo I added a new hub last night at Hubpages on the time periods of Ancient Egypt. I could have added it to my collection of Ancient Egypt pages on Squidoo but search engines prefer links from many sites. I'm hoping and praying that will be enough. It's become a challenge.  But then 60,000 people a month search for Valley of the Kings.  Getting into even the bottom slot on the front page of Google would be worth an extra 1,000 visits a month with the hope that some of those becone regular readers.

Keeping it there will be the next challenge. I'm planning to change the blog's template next week. That can adversely affect Google ranking but hopefully it should recover. It's still necessary though because a blog is ultimately about readers. I also want space for adverts. Worse when KV64 is announced (next month?) I'll be in competition with the main news sites and slip perhaps dozens of places.

Wish me luck! And of course if you've somewhere you can promote that would be superb!


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