According to author Frank Peretti, «A fixed point of reference for human beings is always something that is found outside themselves. It has to be something to which we can always come back. If we try to haul our point of reference around with us, we have lost it because it has been moved and we can never refer back to it.» He tells a story of being in a dark room with only a chair. As long as the chair stays put, it can be used as a point of reference. If it gets picked up and carried around, it no longer serves that function, because it isn’t where it used to be.
In our personal lives, having God as a fixed point of reference means that whenever we need guidance, we can turn to the Bible for advice and know that the advice we get today will not change tomorrow or next week or next month or next year. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He is our «fixed point of reference.» The rules stay the same; the Ten Commandments have not changed. There are still ten of them and they have not weakened into «suggestions.» AND, God still makes the rules.
In the world of internet marketing, the search engines make the rules. Internet marketers spend countless hours and dollars designing their web sites to please the search engine «gods» in order to get a high ranking and bring in traffic which results in sales. The problem with that is the search engines are like the chair that doesn’t stay put in the darkened room. The rules keep changing. People who have invested everything to make a web site pleasing to the search engine «gods» suddenly have the rug pulled out from under their feet, and find themselves not only unranked, but in some cases actually banned! Their web sites didn’t change. Their marketing strategies didn’t change. Through no fault of their own and without any warning, the rules changed, leaving them high and hung out to dry. They then scramble to change their sites, change their strategies, spend megabucks to advertise, do anything to regain the income that was stripped from them. Of course, there is no guarantee that the same won’t happen again. And again. And again.
To chase after this kind recognition doesn’t make any sense to me. I just cannot see spending all of my time and energy and efforts chasing after an erratically moving target that I may never catch, or that may be jerked away whenever I get close. Either way, I have no control over the outcome. Therefore, the search engines can do whatever they want whenever they want. If this site finds favor in their eyes, great. If not, oh well. I will pursue as many other ethical ways to increase traffic as I can, but will not live and die by search engine ranking. Right now, I am exploring link exchanges and banner exchanges, as well testing the waters by placing occasional inexpensive ads here and there. I will investigate other methods as I become aware of them. I will post what works and what does not work.
One thing I have found that definitely does NOT work is «old» outdated advice. The world of e-books and free-bee give-aways is just clogged with stuff written several years ago. It may have worked then but it doesn’t work now. Why do you think they are giving it away? Some times they tell you (in yellow high-lighted capital letters) that it’s worth $XXX, but even though people think they are crazy, they will let you have it for $XX.95. That way, they still make money off of it, but you won’t. They are counting on you not figuring that out until the money is out of your bank account and safely tucked away in theirs. Save your money. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page, and look at the copyright date. Unless it was just a couple of months ago, don’t bite. They don’t give away the new stuff, and they don’t let you have it for cheap, either. That’s why and how they make so much money.