There are a few things I’d like to ramble about this morning (2:30am!).
The word “Half” – to allow it or not
Mami and I were talking about what to tell Rikuto about theÂ word, “half”. If you missed my post, Half-Japanese or Half-Blood?, this English word is used by Japanese peopleÂ to describe someone who isÂ only part Japanese.Â Foreigners despise this word because the English implications are not complete, impure, or even polluted.
The problem is that Japanese people have absolutely no idea we see it as a derogatory term, and say things like “Ah, isn’t he cute? Is he a half?” or “You’re so lucky to have a half!”. HowÂ should weÂ respond to these kind of comments? And at what age should we teach Rikuto that it’s wrong for people to refer to him as “half”?
Mami is worried that if I jump on everyone that describes him that way, he’ll learn from me that it’s derogatory, and lose all self-confidenceÂ when he hears everyoneÂ using that term to describe him! I can understand what Mami is getting at. She wants to protect him until he’s old enough to understand an explanation. Fortunately, we’ve still got a long time to think this one through.Â
Google’s war on paid linksÂ
Mike lost his PageRank and Jason was finally spanked by GoogleÂ this week, and I’ve been scrambling to make my websites compliant with Google’s new policies on paid linking so the same thing doesn’t happen to me. Most of you won’t have a clue what I’m talking about, but basically Google is punishing people who sell text link advertising. Mike, Jason and I all wrote sponsored posts and got paid to do so, but now Google has outlawed that practice, at least if you still wantÂ people to find yourÂ blog in Google’s search results. The reason for this “shock and awe” phase of Google’sÂ “war on paid links” is that it’s possible to manipulate their search results byÂ buying text advertising and using words you expect people to search for to find your site.
LongCountdown.com penalized by Google anyway
I still have my “PageRank” for the time being,Â but Google hasÂ penalized me for something else which I’ve yet to identify. If you search for my name right now, you’re unlikely to find me on the first page of Google’s search results. In fact, you might have to go as far as page three to find LongCountdown.com. This fall from numberÂ three to page three isn’t what bothers me, though. The real kicker is that my Writing Wizard website sits in a subdomain of this blog, and that means my most profitable website has also been pushed off the front page of Google’s search results.
If it’s broke, fix it
The bright side to all this is that while I try to figure out what change I need to make to this blog to “reactivate” it in Google, I’m learning a few things about “bad neighbourhoods” and other factors that can topple a site from it’s perch. I’m quite confident I’ll have things back to normal within a month. Fortunately, my other sites are holding up well and still putting money in my pocket while I ride this out. Update: Within 48 hours, I was back ranking where I should be. I did this by ensuring I was in compliance with Google Webmaster Guidelines,Â finding questionable links with theÂ bad neighborhood toolÂ and then removing them,Â and finally submitting a reconsideration request through Google Webmaster Tools.
Two weeks Christmas holidays coming up
I only realizedÂ the other dayÂ that I have nothing to do during this year’s festive holidays! Whoo-hoo!Â It’s the longest holiday of the year for me, but I usually find myself busy with something. Last year we moved house; the year before that we went to England onÂ our belated honeymoon, and previous Christmases have had meÂ developing school curriculum!Â This year, besides doing all I can to appease Google, I have nothing to do but play with Rikuto! I’ll probably set up a playroom for him in a spare room, somewhere he can safely run around and bump into things – once he discovers he has legs, of course.Â
Spending Christmas Day with my family in England
This year will be the first time we can really put our web camera to good use. Rikuto’s grandparents in England finally got broadband last month and that means we’ll be sitting around having drinks together, and opening presentsÂ with them through the internet!If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!