Muschamp Rd

SEO is not a 4 letter word

April 28th, 2011
SEO word map

SEO is apparently not dead, but maintaining old websites is a lost art. Though it appears you might actually have to think and take a long term view rather than just keyword stuff your way to higher rankings. Google attempted to flip the script by forcing authors to use Google+ and Webmaster Tools to claim their posts, blogs, and domains. All this claiming has lead to a lot of backlinks being pointed at which surely helps them and the author’s profile on Google+ do better in Google’s own search results.

Seems like Google is benefitting from the search engine tactics they used to decry.

Why SEO?

So why am I writing this blog post, well why do I write any blog posts? I’ve had a homepage on the Internet since 1995 something even most large corporations can’t claim. I’ve only owned for a decade or so, before that my homepage was at the URL remember when URLs had ~’s in them? They’re called teldes. I also remember when URLs and domains similar to were all the rage and people tried to cram as many keywords into a URL as possible using redundant directories?  I even remember when AltaVista was the big search engine and AllTheWeb was the next big thing?

Is social media key?

Over the years I’ve conducted a number of experiments and read a lot of online forums. I’ve seen SEO techniques come and go. Now it is a career, or at least more than a cottage industry, it sounds classier if you say online marketing or social media strategist, certainly classier than spammer. That’s right some experts say social media is now the key to search engine optimization.

Remember when just writing stuff people wanted to read was enough to dominate a search term? Do you remember the earliest sites devoted to your favourite hobby or interests? HyperRust has been online forever, but is no more. What about the Gates of Fenris anyone remember that website?

I do.

Content is still King

So what does all this have to do with search engine optimization? Well how do you think I found those hobby and niche sites, via a search engine or perhaps by a mailing list or usenet group. And as someone who has maintained a hobby site by hand for a long time. I can tell you next big things come and go, but lots and lots and lots of text is forever. Content is still king.

Vanity is Popular

Whenever I’m in charge of a website it always does better in search engines than it did before I was in charge of the website. How many of these experts have been monitoring words and phrases for a decade and a half, the same words and phrases for 15 years. No I’m not talking about calves, never blog about calves. The keywords I’ve been monitoring the longest are vanity ones such as Muskie, Muskie McKay, Andrew McKay, Muschamp, McKay, and of course Nurgle.

At some point during my less than successful MBA I was encouraged to write about search engine optimization as I knew more than most anyone at Sauder about how the Internet really worked. Needless to say I started to do a lot of Googling about the Sauder School of Business and was surprised when the token webpage I put up saying I was accepted to an MBA program ranked in the top 10, sometimes even threatening to be number one. Now over the last half a decade I’ve distanced myself from everything Sauder, but I still ranked in the top 10, primarily because I regularly linked to one single webpage and I typed out a lot of crap.

Repetition Still Works

So that’s it, the secret to search engine optimization is to regularly link to the same webpage, get other people to link to that webpage, and type out a lot of text. Pictures help too now that Google and the other search engines started indexing them. Video gets expensive to self-host and YouTube seems to have won video hosting, after all Google bought them. Facebook by way of Instagram, has now become a challenger and of course there are Chinese champions, I don’t worry much about optimizing video content. Stick it on YouTube and choose the right tags and titles and people will watch if it doesn’t suck.

People Spread Awesome!

The real point and reason for this post is I continue to watch my keyword referrals and web analytics and noticed someone was reading my old writings on search engine optimization and I realized I really should see how I’m doing for some keywords lately. It is one thing to say you’re monitoring keywords and phrases, it’s another to keep that data private, it is a whole ‘nother thing to list which keywords you care about publicly and who outranks you.

One of the pieces of advice experts always give to job searchers is to look at their online presence, their social media profiles, and what comes up in Google when someone types in your name.  I don’t really think I do badly overall, though if I knew that when April asked to interview me it would become a fixture in my personal Top 10 Google results, I would have dressed better, lost weight, and probably lost the Movember sideburns. My mom never liked them.

Keyword Monitoring

Here are some links to old published HTML tables of the results of keywords I was watching at the time:

Now I’ve done some of those searches in the last five years and so have other people. I just didn’t see the point of continuing that series of hardcoded articles on search engine optimization. But what if I took a look at all those searches and results again. And since I don’t hand publish new content much anymore I gotta squeeze those HTML tables into WordPress.


I’ve decided to add and/or remove some keywords, but a few will have data points over many years now, I should have graphed them, maybe I will next time I update this now seven year old blog post, which is beloved by comment spammers. The only big change in Nurgle over the last decade was the arrival of the Wikipedia and me choosing to link to it and thus let it have first place. I just don’t care enough to try and defeat an online encyclopedia.

KeywordGoogle RankingYahoo RankingBing Ranking
Plague Marine3055
Plague Marines7055
Chaos Space Marine21313
Chaos Space Marines21010
Muskie McKay122
Andrew McKay Vancouver51112
McKay Vancouver100+100+100+
Andrew Muskie McKay133
Leperous the Obese

Are Microsoft and Yahoo search results one and the same now? They seem to be. Yahoo’s online empire really has tanked in the last decade or so. In other news, Nurgle’s Nymphs, a porn site, is back in the search results for a term used in a game aimed at kids over 12, but only in Yahoo!

Also it appears I should use my last name more often online. This isn’t really vital when I have Muskie or Muschamp for differentiation, however there are a lot of McKays even Andrew McKays in the world.

Search Engines

Remember Clusty? It must have been one of the next big things back in 2006. I can’t say I’ve used it in years. Maybe I should add IceRocket instead or DuckDuckGo for privacy advocates. It appears search engines no longer want to easily give out how many incoming links a website has. Thanks Spammers!

Now in 2023 I use DuckDuckGo a lot on my phone to prevent tacking, but when I am seriously researching something I head straight to Wikipedia or IMDB or Google. Some things I research on Pinterest of all places.

Search EnginePages IndexedSearch TermLinks toSearch Term


Images in Google875 
Images in Yahoo211 
Images in Bing196 
Google ranking for “nurgle” image34“Nurgle” image
Yahoo ranking for “nurgle” image100+
Bing ranking for “nurgle” image100+
Google ranking for “Plaguemarine” image61“Plaguemarine” image
Yahoo ranking for “Plaguemarine” image40“Plaguemarine” image
Bing ranking for “Plaguemarine” image40“Plaguemarine” image
Google ranking for “Plaguebearer” image6*“Plaguebearer” image
Yahoo ranking for “Plaguebearer” image17“Plaguebearer” image
Bing ranking for “Plaguebearer” image17“Plaguebearer” image
Google ranking for “Sauder MBA” image7“Sauder MBA” image
Yahoo ranking for “Sauder MBA” image2“Sauder MBA” image
Bing ranking for “Sauder MBA” image2“Sauder MBA” image
Google ranking for “Tsinghua MBA” image8“Tsinghua MBA” image
Yahoo ranking for “Tsinghua MBA” image13“Tsinghua MBA” image
Bing ranking for “Tsinghua MBA” image13“Tsinghua MBA” image

It also appears my anti-hotlinking efforts may have removed a lot of my images from Yahoo/Bing. I still get the odd referral from their image search engine, so some of my content is getting indexed.

*A Russian site seems to have stolen one of my images and is using it as some sort of search engine/phishing scam HOORAY! They also rank higher than me for the term Plaguebearer with an image clearly stolen from me as it is one of the miniatures I’ve painted over the years.

Me and some classmates at Tsinghua University

The data displays acceptably above, now I have to do the hard work and hand update it. That’s right I hand check links. Search engines get wise if you rely exclusively on automated tools. Of course they also remember what I personally click and they know my IP and God knows what else, so you may get different results if you run these tests, but it should be reasonably close. Close enough for Muskblog.

Nowadays there are official tools to estimate your ranking for performance in Google and other search engines.

Of course publishing this data and blogging about it may alter the results. Just in case I better include a better picture of Tsinghua University in Beijing China from while I was an MBA student, as the one it is returning isn’t even close to correct.  A case of SEO gone wild for sure.

Perhaps I should include some sort of definitive Nurgle image in this post too, as despite years of work, image search engine results can still be a bit hit or miss for a single keyword phrase.

Don’t Spam!

Yesterday (February 18th 2018) I wasted valuable studying time updating old webpages because of spammers. I’m sure they would prefer to be called online marketers or search engine optimization experts, but they sent me unsolicited bulk email asking me to change decades old webpages to link to articles they just wrote or were in charge of promoting/optimizing/marketing/selling. I’m sure they can justify their actions in their head, but I’ve maintained a homepage too long, had to deal with too much, I’m not some tool sitting by my computer waiting for an email to make the exact change, to the exact webpage, linking to the exact URL that some person I don’t even know wants.

That’s not how the world works.

I’m not the type of blogger who abandons their blog forever, I’m actually very busy with work and my studies. This entire domain was actually down this month due to a server move. I’ve spent way too much time working on this website, it has not been worthwhile. However, I wanted to prove a point so I updated two very large and very old hand coded HTML files yesterday, but I didn’t link to the articles as requested. However, I did lose valuable studying time and even sleep, so I thought I would help these online marketers out.

The following email addresses:


Sent me emails containing the following sentences:

I was doing research on

and just finished reading your wonderful post:

In that article, I noticed that you cited a solid post that I’ve read in the past:

I just finished writing a guide that is even more detailed, updated and comprehensive on

If you like the guide we’d be humbled if you cited us in your article. Of course, we will also share your article with our 50k newsletter subscribers and followers across our social platforms.

Either way, keep up the great work!

Every email had those exact phrases in them, they were all sent on the same day, that sure seems like spam to meSo I took a closer look, the keywords they are targeting appear to be walking, strength training, and guitars based on the titles of the emails. The webpages they wanted me to update were in some cases 12 years old:

There was another one that was about search engine optimization too, but it used a different template which was slightly less spammy, but contributed to ruining my morning yesterday. Whoever is behind this email template and spamming bloggers picked the wrong blogger to mess with. Not only did I update a lot of old hand coded HTML, I also tweeted out my disdain, none of that was sufficient so I updated yet another blog post showing that SEO may not be a four letter word, but spam is.

As a result of all the spam emails and spam comments this particularly post generates as of February 26th 2023 comments are close. Thank you for your interest, but I will not be linking to your website, go back in time and register a domain, maintain it for twenty plus years, then link to whatever you’re trying to sell now.

Search Engine Optimization goes on, but I’ve largely opted out

I did install Joost’s plugin at some point. Though he has since sold it, so I don’t know what I’ll do next time I update WordPress. I can’t say it made a big difference. I’ve actually deleted hundreds of old blog posts and edited probably every one I’ve ever made many times. Now I tend to blog on WordPress dot com about hobbies, hobbies that are relevant to keywords posted above and below.

When I returned to the hobby of miniature painting and playing tabletop games with painted miniatures, I did get some information from Google and I did export my Analytics. In 2024, I upgraded to the latest version of WordPress I upgraded to the newest version of Google Analytics, but I just don’t care much about search engine optimization and being popular. The keywords Google was previously encouraging me to focus on are as follows:

  • nurgle
  • plague marines paint scheme
  • nurgle chaos space marines
  • nurgle marines
  • reaper autocannon
  • old plague marines
  • nurgle space marine
  • nurgle defiler
  • nurgle space marines
  • plague marine conversion

Then for a different subdomain I got a similar list of multi-word phrases, thought Nurgle is still one of the keywords Google associates with me and Muschamp dot ca.

  • nurgle chaos marines
  • nurgle dreadnought
  • chaos space marines nurgle
  • nurgle army
  • plague marine color schemes
  • painting plague marines
  • nurgle son
  • plague marine conversions
  • hot to paint plague marines
  • nurgle miniatures

Note the phrase “hot to paint plague marines”. I’m not even sure people know how to spell Plaguemarines. Is it all one word? Should it be capitalized? Should I focus on the pluralization or the singular? These phrases Google recommends I concentrate on reveal actual web searchers don’t always type in the phrases you think they will type in when you carefully craft your content.

The hobby page I put up after I graduated from UVic has now dropped to the sixth page of Google results for Nurgle. There was a time this might have upset me, but not now. I just don’t have the time and energy and I never made any money off the hobby, though clearly others have and continue to do so. The hobby is a lot bigger than it was twenty years ago let alone thirty years ago. The fact I still have most of my content online and maintained amazed a few people when I blogged about it recently, but despite trying to be more professional and trying to write better and have a good taxonomy my webpages, blogs, and content has performed worse over the years due to neglect and not keeping up with the latest, greatest trends anymore. I just don’t want to be trendy and I definitely don’t want more spam.

So although I do maintain old webpages, I still won’t be editing them to link to content you just created. I may edit them to link to content I just created. I also reserve the right to turn off comments as all this post gets is spam. In 2024, I may be even less popular, but I still get strange keyword referrals and I still get spam related to strange keyword referrals I probably should never have joked about. So in conclusion, SEO is not a four letter word, but spam is.


  • Muskie says:

    This post is now ranking in the top ten or at least the top 20 for my name.  Of course I also discovered someone stole my resume and uploaded it to some stupid document sharing website which of course probably contains tonnes of material for which the uploader doesn’t have the copyright for.  Surely I have the copyright for my own resume!

    Whoever has the handle sya20756, you suck for stealing 50+ resumes and putting them up on this site where people can’t update them but they get indexed by Google.  Hopefully I’ve put an end to your activities and account.

  • In my opinion, SEO is a best internet marketing technology. It can design for people first, robots second, and A focused website is a SEO friendly website.

    • Muskie says:

      Thanks for stopping by. I got a little tired and frustrated by search engine optimization experts, maybe I should have claimed to be one. Lately I’ve just gotten frustrated with things I can’t control or can’t understand in general. I keep trying to help people, keep trying to do what I think is right, but it doesn’t seem to be a successful formula. It seems I would be better off lying and cheating and deliberately hurting people and taking advantage of them instead of being taken advantage of. Most of all I’m upset that things make me so upset and if all I do is publish a blog or tell a few people I don’t think what is happening is right, is that enough?

      I know one thing, I’m enjoying watching the Criminal Minds DVD I bought. Just wish my life was more settled and less challenging.

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