Respecting Our Elders





This is O-Sensei Keiko Fukuda. First female 10th degree judo black belt ever, judo goddess and feminist icon. After teaching martial arts for longer than Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris and Ed Parker combined, she passed away last week at the age of 99.

I have the sad duty of writing her obituary for Black Belt Magazine.  In doing my research, I had a realization. In the martial arts community, we have a deep respect for our elders that western culture seems to have mostly dropped. We listen when the talk — and not just because most of them can still beat us up. We travel long distances and pay considerable sums for the privilege of spending time with them.


When was the last time you, as a writer, spent some time with your elders? If you write science fiction, did you visit Asimov, Bradbury, Verne, Heinlein or Phil Dick this year? Horror writers — when was the last time you checked in with Poe, or Dunsany, or Lovecraft? Have the romance and erotica writers out there left Auntie Nin and Grannie Austin to molder in a bookshelf?

Shame on so-called crime and detective novels who didn’t at least send Chandler and McDonald a Christmas card.

It’s different, I know. Martial arts masters have been learning for decades, while the books we love often happened early in a writer’s development in her craft. It’s also true that the art has evolved. Journey to the Center of the Earth isn’t Ender’s GameBleak House holds zero candles next to The Brothers K.

But those earlier works, the ones by the writers who defined the genres, they have an energy to them. A sense of what that kind of writing is all about. They handle the themes and questions barehanded, and wrestle with them in ways newer works never get around to. Your favorite books might only be six or ten years old, but they wouldn’t exist if not for the work of those earlier generations.

So take a moment to check in with your literary elders. You might see something in them you missed the last time. Besides, it’s good to enjoy the advantage writers have over the martial arts community. Our copies of those books will still be there for us to visit with, long after the people have moved on.

Domain Service Scam: And SEO Saga (Part Five)

Domain Service       Alert readers will recall my vendetta against the scurvy scallawags at Domain Registry of America. For new readers, here’s the deal. Domain service providers come at all levels of legitimacy and value. At the bottom of the heap, the folks normal scam artists scrape off their shoes after some time in a pasture full of sick cows, is Domain Registry of America. Continue reading

Domain Service Scam: An SEO Saga (Part Four)

Domain Service




Once upon a time, a domain service scam called Domain Registry of America thought it was a good idea to target my company with their deceitful marketing campaign. Since I have an abundance of free time and a fair sense of humor, we’re using them in our tutorial for improving the web performance of your blog. Click here to read this series from the beginning.

Today we’ll talk about how links affect your search engine performance, and what you can do about it. For example, if you click on the image at the top of this page, it will lead you to the Domain Registry of America scam’s home page.

The Back Story

A few years ago, in a galaxy pretty close to us, Google figured out that links to a site were a form of social proof. This was back when everybody was hand-coding their webpages. If a page included a link to another page, that was pretty solid evidence that the person who built the linking page thought highly of whatever the destination page had to offer. For example, a person running a consumer report page might include a link to a domain service scam watchdog group because he used it frequently for research. End result — links to your page, especially links with related text, had heavy weight in Google’s algorithms.

Gaming the System

It was a pretty clever system, but people are good at finding ways to game any program. Some examples included:

  • Dropping thousands of links to a site in the comments of blogs, and as posts in forums, using automated programs.
  • Building complex webs of web pages that referred to one another, run either by the same company or by a network of cooperating companies.
  • Buying space on a link farm, a site built and maintained solely to provide links to commercial websites.

Taking advantage of how a system works is bad hattery, the kind of behavior one might expect from those bad, bad hats over at the Domain Registry of America scam. Last year, Google dropped a math hammer on people who used these methods to get an unfair advantage over those who play by the rules. End result — a lot of what you might have heard about using links to grow traffic is out of date, and could actually penalize your search engine performance.

Okay, So Now What?

Short version: play by the rules. Don’t look for shortcuts like domain service scams so frequently do. Write good text about compelling topics, and share them on your social media platforms. Some specific things you can do include:

  • Put together a team of four or five friends to post links to your best content in social media platforms and forums they frequent. Make sure those links are topical and relevant.
  • Get active in social media, especially Google+ and post synopses with links to your material.
  • Write guest posts on other peoples’ sites, and include a link to your own page within the text.
  • Link to, and comment on, the sites of thought leaders in your field. If they notice you, courtesy will demand a link or comment to you.

As you can see, the move is toward what Google wanted to be in the first place. Great content and legitimate social signals are the best way to “game” the system. Tune in next week for a discussion of how to improve keyword density on your site without making your copy convoluted and unnatural.

Domain Service Scam: An SEO Saga (Part Three)

Domain Service




A few weeks ago, the scurrilous lice who run the domain service scam Domain Registry of America chose to target my business. Thus I’m doing a series on SEO basics designed to be a primer for your own blogs while climbing the page ranks to let folks know not to give these scalliwags any money. Click here to read this series from the beginning.

Last week, we looked at the basics of inserting keywords into an article or post. Today, we’ll go over how to give those keywords more SEO oomph as you insert them. While we’re at it, we’ll explore the history of the domain service, scam strategies and tactics of Domain Registry of America. There are five simple techniques for highlighting your keywords for Google’s attention once you’ve put them in your text.

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1. Heading 1, i.e. Domain Service Scam This Big

Heading one tells readers that you’re beginning a new section. Since the title of that section will logically summarize what the section is talking about, human eyes and minds will skim over those headings when looking for information.Google does the sames thing, paying more mind to the text between [h1] tags than to text in other formats.

2. Bold Type 

If I want you, as a reader, to know for certain about the Domain Registry of America Scam, I can put the most important information in bold type. You remember this technique from your old textbooks. If you just remembered what everything in bold meant, you had a fair chance of passing your final even if you spent half of every class hungover. Like the h1 tag, Google gives marginally more weight to words you put in bold type than to plain type words.

3. In The Title

The name of this blog post is Domain Service Scam, not “SEO 101.”  That’s because Google gives post titles extra weight for much the same reason it gives extra attention to items 1 and 2 on this list. With my particular blog settings, this gives me a double-dip here because it automatically puts the keywords in the page’s URL, as well.

4. Use Categories and Tags

Categories and tags organize your posts thematically, and the code for your site highlights any words that get designated as such. This post is in the category “Domain Registry of America” with the tags Domain Registry of America Scam and Domain Service — the exact keyword phrases we picked in the first installment of the series.

5. In and Around Links

This one is so complex it will be the entire topic of next week’s post. The short version is that Google pays attention to outbound and inbound links, since that can be an indicator of how relevant communities view your site. This feature has been abused and gamed, not unlike the way Domain Service of America scams and games  the American public, to the point that doing it wrong can actually cost you status. Tune in next time for a full discussion.