I am stumbling around half-asleep this morning, trying to figure out how to fit the day’s to-do list into the day. Once I wake up, it will doubtless seem more manageable.

I spent yesterday doing clerical tasks, mostly. The Empress and I decided on keywords to work with, having seen results from my experimental ones quite quickly. The SEOmoz blog had an article about Ron Paul. Ron Paul is a candidate for President. I do not know his party affiliation or what he stands for, though I have been irritated by a bike rider wearing an enormous RON PAUL sign that for some reason made it harder for me to judge when I could go around her. The thing the blog was saying was that Ron Paul is all over the internet. Does this mean, they were asking, that there is a great deal of popular interest in Mr. Paul, that his followers are good practitioners of the Dark Art of SEO, or that he has hired people to Black Hat every possible forum? You can’t tell any more.

My keyword experiments showed that I, with my limited skills in the Dark Art, could see small results in a week on words that wouldn’t have been predicted. The point was to determine whether my strategy would work before actually trying it, and it does. The store is on the front page for something we would not naturally show on at all. Since the things we actually want to use are not odd terms that no one would associate with us or things for which there is little competition, our movement on the real keywords is not going to be so quick. We have, for example, gone only from #90 to #68 on Google for “classroom supplies” in a week. That means we could be visible to shoppers any month now. That is going to be the pattern for the real chosen keywords, not the leap from #5,000 to #4.

For the store, it is simply a matter of helping people find us. They want what we have, but they don’t know it because we are small and obscure. I was able to make it easy for people in our region to find us, and now we are reaching out to a broader demographic. I see nothing wrong with this. The items I experimented with are harmless enough — they can actually be bought from us, so there is nothing wrong with my experimenting with them. If we didn’t sell 22,000 items, I could do that with every single one, and there would be nothing wrong with it.

But with the political candidate, are we looking at someone small and obscure who would be a good president if only people knew about him? Or are we looking at artificial manipulation of the internet system to fake a groundswell of interest in someone, for the purpose of hauling people onto the bandwagon?

In politics, does it matter?  It might just mean that we are looking at a guy with modern skills, which might not be a bad thing.

I got out last night in the dark and picked the peppers before the freeze. I think the herbs will be okay, and if they aren’t, it’s too late now. But I will have to think of something to do with all those peppers to preserve them for future use. That is not on my to-do list for today. Now that I have drunk my tea and dumped some excess thoughts, I can see that I have a few errands to run, the gym, and a bunch of computer work which will not all be finished today, and can be continued tomorrow. Then I have a class, bells, and choir. It is a long list, but not an impossible one.

Onward! Excalibur!