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Showing posts from June, 2006

Is it Google wot broke them?

OK so the grammar is flaky - up too early taking daughter to airport for an early flight this morning or the influence of SUN sub-editors - take your pick. Tried McDar this morning after abandoning it for ages and same status as Reladvance i.e. just not returning SERPs. Can Google have found a way of blocking some of these programs or is it a coincidence that three are off the air at the same time? We know that they contravene Google's guidelines but they have been around for quite a while. Enough of this - back to the music and then another long weekend!

Broken Tools

With our Broadband slow and subject to breaks after years of robust steady service and now this morning it becomes apparant that it is Reladvance that is broken and not our site. It is evident that some of our pages have been expelled into the outer darkness by Google but not as many as we thought. Here is the Rank Pulse chart showing the passage of the recent update: Rank Pulse itself has been offline for a few days but is back again although the detail on some of the most changing keywords is still faulty. Never the less we soldier on and customers come and buy music from time to time . . . .

A weekend away and what's new!

Well - the wifi worked at one of the hotels so we saw how bad things were on Saturday but did we panic or despair - no! Visitor volumes are back on a recovery path now - not all the way back but in the right direction for three days now. The Google bloody flux has cast the keywords we have been monitoring with Reladvance into the outer darkness - who knows why? Co-incidentally Google stops giving some of the usual information about the domain. There appear to have been some slips and some expulsions - no obvious pattern and no variation across data centers - random violence again. Rank Pulse is off the air again but our explorations there showed extensive evidence of wild and sudden fluctuations on some keywords and none to speak of else where. Head, banging and walls come to mind! In the meantime while we were away Broadband download speed has fallen below 2 Meg again but the tabs browsing on Firefox is brilliant. With the new lap top we have also tried the new Google Bro

Visitor Volumes down - not sure why

Yes the puzzle continues. We know that there has been a significant Google update but the impact on our SERPs has generally not been too significant - the usual crop of ups and downs spiced up by the odd disappearance. But the last couple of days have been 25% down on the previous working day run rate. Remember - don't panic over a couple of day's figures! So we are going to have a long weekend - back next Wednesday (for our small faithful band of regular readers). This trip will be a test of some technology we are planning to take on a much longer excursion later in the year - so we may improve on that if we find Wifi hotspots in North Wales. If you are one of that faithful band it would be fascinating to hear from you. This daily exercise in one way communication gives focus to my morning review of yesterday's data but the complete absence of response is a bit weird. I have to say it is matched by the lack of response on the SEO board where I have zero credibility

New Presets for the Modular Moog

One of the benefits of software emulations of a flexible synthesizer like the Moog Modular is that you get to benefit from the sound engineering skills of some of the best in the world as part of the ongoing support. The observant amongst you will have noticed that we have not published any new material for some time. This is partly due to the long running software problems we have been having with our Creamware board - still no response to our support request. These problems still apply but the new presets we have recently downloaded have tempted us to have another go and to see if we can attract some interest in them. The broken Creamware functions relate to the final mastering stage so it won't be possible to polish them quite as much as we would like but we'll see how we get on. We have also managed to extricate ourselves form the last of the re-published articles groups at last. In case you are tempted yourselves the Yahoo groups are much more manageable than the Goo

Google Site Map Works?

It looks as if the Google Site Map approach does have some effeect but quite what and when is not too clear. We have used one of the free sitemap generation tools from which is extreemly slow but does the job eventualy. It also picks up some broken links and gives us the opportunity to fix them. Speed is not exactly of the essence in this part of Google because several weeks after we put up our first site map XML file we have started to see changes in the number of pages indexed at some data centers. This was then joined by a third higher version and today the middle one has reduced in value somewhat at its data centers. So we still have three: 460, 1000 and 1530 spread across different centers in roughly equal proportions. The current cache is still over a week old here in the UK so Google is not always picking up all of the weekly changes we make associated with Composer of the week. The other odd thing that has occured in the last few weeks is that

Rank Pulse Rocks!

Rank Pulse is really displaying its unique benefits this morning. There is indeed a an update underway and this time it looks as if the extraordinary spike was just the beginning and that the significant level of changes over the last few days have been a settling in or refinement phase. This is based on looking passed Music in the most active listing and checking out the next 10. You have to select all of the current top 10 sites to see the picture clearly on this occasion. It looks as if Google may have attempted this change in May and abandoned it - coming back to it in June with even more vigor and is now consolidating and refining it. It would appear that Music is in total disarray with 100% change of the top ten on every day that we have looked recently so there is no trend to be seen. I'm not sure that I believe that but that's what the data seems to be saying. This change applies in some degree to about two thirds of the 1000 keywords which Rank pulse monitor and the

Google Update Underway

At least that's what it looks like on Rank Pulse - a more normal monthly spike of changes a few days after the extra ordinary one. No big deal for us apparently expect for the change in the number of pages indexed. The penny finally dropped yesterday after the blog - this is the most obvious consequence of our Site Map initiative and we confidently expect to see it propagated to all data centers soon. Well fairly confidently anyway. We done a bit of a review of our "composer mp3" positions and most are up there on page 1 or 2 but here are a few notable exceptions including Claude Debussy , Mozart , Mendelssohn and Schumann . We are also number one for Marimba MP3 which was a bit of a surprise. After this morning's wobble our broadband is up to 3.8 Meg so fingers crossed BT are getting a grip - either that or the joints have dried out after the recent rain storms!

Stuck or wot?

Broadband still at less than 1 Meg and wobbly first thing in the morning! Site map only 60% processed after days in processing and more wreched errors! Rank Pulse is off the air again. Visitor volumes down for no apparent reason. But at a few of the data centers this moning there is an increase in indexed pages on Google to 1010 which is only 10 less than what Yahoo credits us with. As ever it dosen't let you search right to the end of the list but the major change seems to be the re-inclusion of these Blog pages together with more shop pages. This is now in marked contrast to MSN's miserable 314. Not sure what if anything this will do for us but it shouldn't cause any harm - after all we could always go back and sow some more internal links if Google are going to pay attention to them!

Steady but Slow.....

Our Broadband connection is now running at less than 1Meg downstream although the 0.4Meg upstream seems to be steady as a rock and is very useful to us. There is still a regular perturbation first thing in the working day so we can only hope that they are still working on optimizing the transmission performance. Rank Pulse is back up again this morning and it clearly was a one day spike but the back up charts on the pattern of rankings for particular keywords are not working properly and we haven't got the looked for pattern of this latest spike there on the most changed keywords. In fact the most recent days traces don't make much sense at all. This is obviously a database driven application and it appears that the May and June spikes have gone outside the expected bounds for the keywords subject to the greatest upheavals. The problem is that today's top 10 appear to have no immediate past which doesn't make sense unless of course they are moving independently of the

Slow Weekend

It was Flaming June here in England this weekend and it was a tad slow on the website - let's hope it's not a World Cup effect. Rankpulse made a fleeting appearance over the weekend but it's not there this morning. Googling around on rankpulse revealed no further intelligence - there are some references in other blogs but nothing recent - so yet again you heard it here first! Chopin MP3 is back on the second page after some time on the fourth and fifth and everything else seems to be flying high on Google SERPs. Reladvance shows a modest amount of variation on some of our test keyword SERPs across different data centers but it is really pretty steady at the moment. Time to update Composer of the week I think - suggestions welcome!


Oh - this is almost like real journalism. On 28th April we referred to eClassical as a subscription site and one of their staff has been kind enough to email us to point out the error of our ways. Google suggests that we are not alone in this misconception - some 142 entries - but it is quite clear if you visit their site now that they are offering Classical MP3s for sale and download. They look like good value too because they are long files for $5.99 and appear to be legitimate recordings. This is a real innovation and will bear further study. Not so Rankpulse which has gone off the air this morning! Perhaps Google has intervened or maybe this is self censorship but an explanation would have been nice. Not a flicker else where - just your normal flux. The office got a bit warm yesterday so the new laptop with it's wizzy wifi connection got it's first serious outing down the garden - under the pear tree and alongside the hammock - oh the temptations!

Another Google SERPs Update Spike?

I thought that this time a copy of the Chart from would not come amiss: As you can see yesterday's spike is even higher that the one this time last month. Of course we have to remember that this is a snapshot of one data center. It is possible that Rankpulse get pointed to a different data center from one session to the next or they may point to a specific datacenter address. From our point of view the fact that the term Music is the most changed set of SERPs on the day is startling. But then a little more probing shows that the whole of yesterday's top ten were last seen on that one day in May when we saw the last spike. So what are we to make of this? It looks like one database may be slipping a cog and putting up a radical alternative set of results briefly - could be for less than a day - just when Rankpulse when was watching. If that is the case they will have gone tomorrow - we'll let you know. After a rocky morning yesterday our Broadband conne

3 Cheers for Google Support

By George they did it. Yes at last we are free of the daily deluge of copies of articles for re-print here. It turns out that I signed up for these Google Groups with an old email address which is pointed to my new main one for receipt but not used for sending any more. This got conflated in the Google Accounts system with my new main and so when I tried to cancel the membership it was not recognised. My paranoia - the mild internet conspiracy kind - led me to believe that some one had copied the group membership list and was sending them to me off that list. I even asked one of the suspects to stop but he was kind enough to reply that he just used the group and this prompted me to go back to Google Support. This is not the most welcoming of Google functions and makes all sorts of assumptions about the nature of the problem being raised but I persisted and was rewarded with an intelligent and ultimately totally successful response. All I need now is for someone with a Gmail ac

Stave Invaders

Yes I liked the name too - . This web site announced itself on amongst others this am and for once I was pleasantly surprised and impressed. They offer some simple and useful MP3s for early music theory - primarily aimed at new guitarists - free of charge. They also offer one of their own recordings for $0.99. However the e-commerce is a bit creaky because PayPal seems to add another dollar. It is nice to see a bit of enterprise emerging on the music scene which is different to the run of the mill and looks really useful. Constructive criticisms would be that the site needs a bit of work on layout and link presentation. If you are going to try and sell music on line you need to have samples so that people can hear what they are getting before they part with their money. The guitar blues offered free isn't really up to professional standards but has a nice enough atmosphere - I wasn't tempted to buy the one for sale I'm afraid.

New Music

It is time we changed our tack and came up with some new recordings perhaps in a slightly different style to see if we can generate interest that way. The main obstacle at the moment is our kit. The software for our sophisticated Creamware sound card is not working properly with our Cubase sequencing and recording application. Specifically this means restricted access to final mastering functionality as we put the mixes to bed. On the instrumentation front we have some new presets for the Moog that we'd like to try - provided they don't pull the processor over and we have some Symphonic movements on the stocks that could be fun. So this calls for another attempt to get a response from their support organisation. In the meantime the weather here in London is sunny and warm at last, our broadband reasonably steady and the visitors are coming into the site in reasonable numbers but that's as far as it goes. Time for the new weekly composer now - Saint Saens I think.

Dynamic Stability

Our visitor numers are pretty flat at the moment and Rankpulse shows very low levels of churn in rankings for it's top 1000 keywords but... Underneath that apparent stability our keywords are in turmoil some up and some down. The percentages can be a little misleading because the ups can be several 100% from a low base over a week but in absolute terms that may equate to a 50% reduction on an other keyword. Meanwhile Reladvance is showing a very low level of variation across data centers for our daily checks but Chopin MP3 is still in the dumps i.e. the 30's . The other odd pattern we are seeing is that the page views for a particular keyword often move in the opposite direction to visitor numbers, suggesting that there is a kind of base level of use and some kind of froth or ephemeral/unintended viewing going on. Goodness only knows what Google make of this if they attempt to analyse these sorts of patterns over a variety of different sites or sites within particular cat

Definitely too soon

Broadband down load speed back down to pre upgrade levels but upload is still holding up. More wobbles and restarts. Just have to be patient I suppose. Google is relatively quiet at the moment although it is still juggling with chopin mp3. Google support however have taken my google groups problem seriously and are investigating. I just hope that they can interpret the message header information I sent them this am and help stop the up to 1000 a day articles group messages that we get at the moment.