Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Pope on the Pavement

When Pope Benedict XVI visited the United Kingdom in September, one of the most striking images was of him sitting side by side with the Archbishop of Canterbury, trading polite speeches, on the Cosmati Pavement of Westminster Abbey. That pavement is worthy of some attention, especially if, like me, you are interested in the symbolic meaning of geometrial forms and their role in the great cathedrals of Christendom. (The following notes are abridged from the official website description. But PLEASE WATCH this excellent documentary about the pavement. Bear in mind that the image I have chosen is just a detail.)

The pavement was laid down in 1268 by order of King Henry III who had started re-building St Edward the Confessor’s Abbey in the new Gothic style in 1245. The workmen came from Rome, with a man called Odoricus at their head. It is 24 feet 10 inches (7 metres 58 centimetres) square, with dimensions calculated in Roman feet, and consists of geometrical patterns built up from pieces of stone of different colours and sizes cut into a variety of shapes: triangles, squares, circles, rectangles and many others. The basic layout is a four-fold symmetry, but in detail the variations are endless. No two roundels are the same. Of the four "orbiting" roundels one is circular, one hexagonal, one heptagonal and one octagonal. The infill patterns are all different.

The inscriptions that accompanied the design, now damaged, read in part: "If the reader wisely considers all that is laid down, he will find here the end of the primum mobile" and "The spherical globe here shows the archetypal macrocosm."

The round stone at the centre contains colours representing the four elements. It is on this stone that every king or queen of England was crowned. [See also here.]

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Just Another Keyword Optimization / Ranking Tip!

Just wanted to do a quick tip on keyword optimizing. Okay it's not really quick but I think it's informative : )

Here are some simple rules that you can follow as far as trying to rank for your keywords.

When I optimize a site, I base all of my SEO packages or Custom quotes off of the competitive nature of a keyword.

If a keyword is competitive then I know the campaign has to be on a long term basis. If the keyword is low in competition, then I know that basic work will need to be done and not so much on a long term basis.

So here's somethings that you can jot down in your BIG THICK BOOK OF SEO ADVICE.

If your keywords are low in competition i.e. usually three to five words in a phrase.

Here's some things you can expect to do (of course there are other things but these are just quick tips):

Make sure your keyword is in your meta title and meta description.
Put your keyword in a Header tag.
Make sure it's in your on page content i.e. descriptions.

If your keywords are medium in competition i.e. Between 700K to 900K in competition for example purposes.
  • Follow all the steps above
  • Start link building with your keywords i.e. add your site to directories, other related websites, blogs.
Now if your in a competitive market. It's not just enough to optimize your meta tags, have super great content on your site and just leave your SEO work alone because you feel that you've done what you have read to do out of your BIG THICK BOOK OF SEO ADVICE!

No Sir-E

Not only do you have to follow the steps above, it will be a must to make sure, without a doubt that you are link building with your COMPETITIVE keywords.

Many think that by optimizing your onpage content or website pages that you should be on the first page of Google with no problem. WRONG!

What you will find is that your endless hours of searching for your ranking, will be wasted because 9 times out of 10 not only will you not be in the top pages, you will not be in the top 100 pages for a very long time.

Well unless the internet Gods are watching over you.

Here's what you want to do if your in a competitive niche or market and you want to eventually rank for one of your "competitive" keywords.


I know, you're tired of hearing those words, and I get tired of it too sometimes but the truth is, it's effective.

  • Link Build using your keywords in your link i.e


The section that states your KEYWORD HERE is going to be the part of your link that is clickable.

You always want to make sure your keyword(s) are in the clickable area of your link.

  • Make sure to change up your Keywords and Descriptions. Natural link building is important. It's not so natural for each and every site to have the same exact linking information to your site. So switch it up here and there.

  • Submit your site to directories. YES, this still works. There are still some great directories out here that are being listed in backlinks everywhere.
  • Create great articles and submit them to articles directories like or These are also great ways to create backlinks with using your keywords.
  • Contact blog owners and see if you can get listed in their blogrolls. Blogrolls are an excellent way to help with backlinks and ranking.
  • Do a quick search for the keyword phrase you want to rank for. Take note of who is already listed on the first page for that phrase. Contact them and try to get listed on their site. Their current ranking can help you out as well.
  • Check and see which pages you are currently listed on the first page of the search engines for and add your keyword phrase on that page that you are ranking for. Simply place your keyword phrase on that page somewhere in the content. Link that keyword phrase to your page that you want to rank for and repeat with other pages that may be indexed on the first page.
  • Last but not least. Try getting your website on high quality websites. Site with high page rank may be a bit harder to get a link from but it doesn't hurt to try!

There are tons of ways to get links to your site, by link baiting (creating a fuss to get people to link to your site, whatever a fuss means to you, go for  it), one way links to your site are the best, create blog post and link back to your site from your blog, and don't forget the internal links on your site. It helps to link from your own website pages to others. A great place to do this is from your home page, but don't go overboard. Linking to a few deep inner pages can help that page get indexed and may help with ranking as well.

DISCLAIMER: Keep in mind the word "competitive" exist for a reason. Ranking will be harder to achieve and requires patience and determination because this is not something that is going to happen overnight, expect to wait at least 6 months to a Year before you start to see some real ranking results in the search engine result pages.


Not a patient person? Consider Adwords for quick traffic for your keywords, while your waiting on your SEO work to take effect. The two tactics can compliment each other very well.
If you choose not to do any link building. You'll have to wait until the age of your site becomes a ranking factor for you. Sorry to sound harsh, but GOOD LUCK WITH THAT : )

Hope I didn't make your head spin to much with all of this wonderful and exciting keyword ranking and link building!

Just take it one page at a time and you will be okay!

Got a question or just confused. Leave me a comment and I'll try to ease the confusion.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A dance of light

Following on from my previous post (The Sea, the Sea), it is worth noting that G.K. Chesterton had a very different and less sympathetic impression of Impressionism. To quote Fr Aidan Nichols' brilliant study, G.K. Chesterton, Theologian:
At the Slade Chesterton also acquired an extremely hostile attitude to the painterly mode called Impressionism, a hostility that not only later defined much of his attitude to art at large but was formative for the development of his realism in metaphysics. Consider his 1907 novel, The Man Who Was Thursday. As Gabriel Syme, fleeing from the agents of Sunday, dives into a patch of woodland, the play of light and shade on the leaves causes him to muse:
Was not everything, after all, like this bewildering woodland, this dance of dark and light? Everything only a glimpse, the glimpse always unforeseen, and always forgotten. For Gabriel Syme had found in the heart of that sunsplashed wood what many modern painters had found there. He had found the thing the modern people called Impressionism, which is another name for that final scepticism which can find no floor to the universe.
'The identification of Impressionism as a symptom of cultural and, especially, epistemological decadence also finds expression in, for example, his 1910 study of William Blake. Seeking to express how for Blake lucidity and decisiveness of outline were the chief desiderata in draftsmanship, Chesterton risks the anachronism of writing that “the thing he hated most in art was the thing which we now call Impressionism — the substitution of atmosphere for shape, the sacrifice of form to tint, the cloudland of the mere colorist.” 
I think Chesterton had a point - there are tendencies of that sort in Impressionism, although I see in several of the impressionists a very different spirit, and Claude Monet (one of whose pictures is reproduced above) I would even call a mystical realist, which is something very different from a sceptic. As for Blake, Chesterton's study of him will be the subject of a future post.