Saturday, February 25, 2012

Quick Brown Fox hits new heights, now popular enough to attract scam artists

The lovely chart above shows the number of visits to Quick Brown Fox each month since July 2009 when I started the blog through to the end of January 2012. I trust you’ll notice the pleasing upward climb, from just 985 visits in July 2009 to 15,457 last month.

That’s 500 visits a day in January, and just as many people have been visiting Quick Brown Fox this month. So apparently a lot of people like the blog. Which is great!

Also, Google recently upped Quick Brown Fox’s PageRank from a 4 to a 5. Apparently, this is a biggie, like the difference between an earthquake that registers 5 on the Richter Scale and one that registers a 6. It’s not just one notch up, but a geometric leap – the difference between a few old barns falling down and a city being flattened. 
Pilgrimage routes, courtesy of the Confraternity of St. James

Google now believes that Quick Brown Fox is as important a website as the Confraternity of St. James,  the Fur Institute of Canada, and even the Elib Shopping Directory!

You haven’t heard of these sites? Me neither,  not until I started researching this piece.

In practical terms, a higher PageRank means that people can now find Quick Brown Fox more easily. So, for example, if you Google “creative writing courses Mississauga,” you’ll see that Quick Brown Fox still gets beat out by the U of T and Ryerson, but QBF now takes the number 3 slot.
(And when people see how expensive courses are at the U of T and Ryerson, they’ll quickly click on Quick Brown Fox instead.)

I suspect this new PageRank partly accounts for the recent surge in visits to QBF. Of course, the general trend has been up and people are busy with other things in December, but I had 4,000 more visitors in January than in December, an increase of 38%! So thank you, Google.

You wonder how Google determines your website’s ranking? Well, the details are a trade secret, and even if they weren’t, you’d need a degree in advanced mathematics to understand them. But the basics are simple: the more sites link to you (and the more important those sites), the higher your site ranks.

Something over 100 other bloggers and web masters have linked their sites to Quick Brown Fox. More importantly, some of those sites are themselves very prominent. This is key, because even if a thousand sites with a PageRank of 1 linked to Quick Brown Fox, they wouldn’t weigh as much as a single blog or website with a PageRank of 5.
You can click on this badge all you
want - the link's been removed. I
won't get any votes, and you won't
get a sales pitch from
Accelerated Degrees Program.

Yesterday, seeming to top off Quick Brown Fox’s month of glory, I got an email from Accelerated Degree Programs, telling me that one of my posts, What have you been reading?”  has been nominated for a Fascination Award in the “Most Fascinating Librarian blog” category. 

I didn't even know I was a librarian! And not only did they offer me a shiny “Vote for me” badge to stick on Quick Brown Fox, but they want to give me a $25 gift certificate for a restaurant, too.

“Whoa!” I said. “What restaurant?”

I’m still waiting for a reply. But even if it’s Tim Horton’s (which I visit many times a week), I’m not accepting the nomination. It turns out Accelerated Degree Programs is promiscuous with its favours. They use blogs like mine to lure in potential customers. You click on the Vote for Me badge and it takes you straight to their sales pitch. It’s a variation on the “Top 100 blogs” con, which Dy/dan lays out here.

Alas, I guess attracting the interest of scam artists is a price you pay for increased prominence on the web.
- Brian

Check out my schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Gravenhurst, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.


  1. Funny post! Congrats on doing so well with your work and your blog. You are an inspiration--and a fount of information! :)

  2. Thanks, Bev.

    I popped over to your blog,by-the-by, and saw the post there about Bonnie Farmer's play and Little Black Sambo.

    I remember it well from when I was very small. It's such an excellent story.

    I know it was re-published some years ago, without racist illustrations, as The Story of Little Babaji.


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