Monday, September 03, 2007

Whack-a-mole guacamole and hit-and-miss linking

In part because it's Labor Day and in part because, well, at $1.45 each, what a waste if the avocados went bad, I've just finished mixing up some guacamole. As the first part of this post implies, though, Guess-n-Gosh is a key preparation component in my "recipe." Everything is fresh and from scratch, which means that even though I use the same ingredients each time (avocados, onions, Roma tomatoes, serrano peppers, onions, salt, and lime juice), I can't say definitely how much of what to put in it. There's no way to know how the avocados will taste or how hot the serranos will be until you mix it all up. So, everything is "to taste." Thus "whack-a-mole." But also lots and lots of tasting--and unless things aren't going well, the tasting is far more pleasurable than frustrating. You have to get it right, don't you?

It's rather fitting, then, that what follows here will be a bit random, with more hits than misses.

I just don't get how Google works, how "it" "decides" in what order to list links in its results. Example: This morning according to my site meter a visitor from Iran (welcome) recently found my site by Googling the phrase "your average book." Curious to see how many pages of search results this person sifted through to find my humble blog, I Googled it, too. Just click, will you? Tell me, someone, how this outranks listings on Amazon, Newsday, the Daily Telegraph. Just weird.

Of course, given the above, some of you might look at the cartoon below and think, Yup--that's like what John thinks while staring at his computer screen:

(from (via poet and cat-blogger extraordinaire SB of Watermark)

Okay--enough frivolity. Some new-to-me people have linked to me recently, and I'd like to thank them by pointing y'all in their direction.

epea pteroenta ("winged words") is a blog whose interests are primarily in language and languages. This sounds like arcane territory, but its overall pitch is a bit lighter than that of the other language blogs I'm familiar with. And for those of you whose eyes sort of glaze over when you hear the term "folk tale," you might find this a healthy corrective.

"melponeme_k" writes My Scribbling Mess. Her blog doesn't seem to have a particular agenda, but she is in the midst of a series of posts recounting, in elegantly-written detail, her recent experience of being chosen and then sitting on a jury in a murder trial. Though a bit peripheral to that series, "Culture Clashes" arises out of a small moment during voir dire tell a story that is unknown to most Americans and yet will sound profoundly American to all of us.

And finally, a belated but very hearty thanks to Acephalous to linking to good old Blog Meridian.

Happy Labor Day, one and all.


Raminagrobis said...

As I understand it, Google ranks pages according to the number of links they get. Your Harry Potter review ranks top for that search string because it gets the highest number of links containing the words ‘your average book’ from pages which are themselves high-ranking. Of course, their algorithm is more complex than that, but I think that’s pretty much the gist of it.

John B. said...

Well--that makes sense. Still . . . out of "about" 90 million links for that phrase, it's a bit strange.

R. Sherman said...

Don't ask questions about Google. It's their world; we just live in it.

Now, if you could pass the blue corn tortilla chips along with the guacamole, I'd be appreciative.


Ariel said...

I don't understand Google either, but I'm happy that someone else makes guac the same way I do.

zmjezhd said...

Hi, thanks for the link. In re Google, here's a good explanation. I haven't done it in a while, but it is fun to look through the referrer log file for whatever phrase it was that somebody searched on to get to one's blog.

melponeme_k said...

Thank you for the mention.

I've stopped trying to figure out Google. It works in strange and mysterious ways.

Amy said...

LOVE that cartoon. And your whackamole sounds tasty. A couple of my favorite dishes, stews, soups and a chili, are what they are because they must be constantly tasted and adjusted while cooking.