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Archive for April, 2007

A Moment of Silence….

VT

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Banned in Beijing: Stupid Meat and Stupid Judges….

My opera singing, voice-over specializing buddy in the states (who has a set of pipes you can hear through email) sent me an article on the boring-down of the next Supergirls style competition in China.

Chinglsh

Crying, “unhealthy songs,” non-mainstream dress, potty words, Simonesque judges who humiliate contestants and “wild hair” are a few of the things to get banned. Tears, wild hair, “low taste,” and unhealthy songs are forbidden when China’s latest version of “American Idol” goes on the air next month.

In the words of my friend: “So, where’s the fun in that?”

In related news: Beijing, actively fretting over their image, announced that its goal to wipe out Chinglish in time for the Olympics might have been a bit wistful. And nothing demonstrates that better than the name of the coming show: It will be called, “Happy Boys Voice.”

This name was infinietly preferable to the earlier and obviously much too Chinglish name, “Boys Happy Voice.” And during this sequel to ‘Super Girls Voice,” the show that drew 400 million viewers, regulators want only “healthy and ethically inspiring” songs and say the contestants should “avoid scenes of screaming fans or losing contestants in tears.” There will no overnight fame for enraptured fans here.

American Idol Crying Girl

So, back to Beijing:

“You can’t talk in absolutes,” says Liu Yang, deputy head of the Chinglish police. “We’ll work as hard as possible to extinguish the problem and get more city residents involved,” he added. “Of course, it will still happen occasionally, but I think we can ensure that once mistakes are found, they are rectified.”

And they did a good job rectifying this one: Beijing’s “Hospital for Anus and Intestine Disease”, once lit up in garish neon lights in the central business district, is now the “Hospital for Proctology”.

Again, where’s the fun in that?

How boring is restaruant food going to be of you can no longer order “Stupid Meat,” Young Chicken Without Sex,“It is small to fry the chicken miscellaneous,” “Mixed elbow with garlic mud”, huh?

The number two Chinglish Dick is still unsure as to what country wil be used as a standard for the upcoming changes: “Every country is different when it comes to English signs, like the US and Britain having varying standards,” he said.

I am not sure America will hold the linguistic high ground here: “It’s hard to say that a certain country is the only one worth relying on or considering” says word cop Liu in his best Happy Boys Voice.

…..Thanks Cypipes

Asian Humor,Censorship,China Editorials,China Humor,China Olympics,China Photos,Chinese Media,Chinglish,Confucius Slept Here,Humor,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Just Plain Strange,Photos,Travel in China,Weird China,中国

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Caption Contest…

Win an i-Bod!

Results posted one week from today!

Asian Humor,China Humor,China Photos,Humor,Just Plain Strange,Photos,中国

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When you drink water remember the source…

JapanA few years ago my Korean Taekwondo master, with another American and his very young Korean teacher in the room, spoke to me in perfect Japanese. He proceeded to tell me that I should be wary as there was conflict between the two men. Then he winked and told me, again in Japanese, not to reveal the extent of his linguistic skills to anyone else. He had known for years prior to this day that I was fluent in Japanese, but had remained silent.

A day or two after his disclosure I asked him why he had kept it such a secret. He explained to me that to speak Japanese was to call to mind the days of his youth and the Japanese occupation of Korea. He had been forced to abandon his family identity by taking a Japanese name, forbidden to study Korean martial arts, and was witness to the arrogance and brutality of the Imperial army. I guessed his motive in revealing his secret to me came out of the then daily news on the continued Sino-Japanese-Korean animosities at that time: This was the oblique way a proud, accomplished man could release some long-held pain.

It was not long after our talk that he and another icon in Taekwondo encountered a man in an elevator in a Seoul hotel. The man asked, in his native Japanese, if they were also from Japan. The two men, ordinarily gentle and soft-spoken, emerged from the elevator while the visiting businessman remained aboard, having been rendered unconscious.

And only a week after the elevator event, Korea demolished an extraordinarily beautiful building in Seoul that had been erected during the occupation by the Imperial army. The Koreans did not just tear it down: they smashed each brick individually. The enormous collective pain of a nation had bled into every emotionally permeable membrane.

Japan has made half-hearted attempts to heal a divided Pacific rim community that still views Japan as unrepentant and inexorably tied to its militaristic past. Haruki Wada’s Asian Women’s Fund for comfort women, sexually used and abused by Japanese soldiers, is one of Tokyo’s most telling gestures.

The fund basically was meant to give the appearance of an apology without angering a large segment of Japan that viewed restitution as a loss of national face; hence, disgraceful.

fund did do some good for a fraction of the tens of thousands affected. A few hundred women from Taiwan, the Philippines and elsewhere received about $16,000 US Dollars from the fund (not the government) and a personal (not official) apology from the Japanese Prime Minister. Chinese women in the mainland received nothing as Beijing refused to set up an official authentication system for the victims. Other money from a relatively tiny fund went to hospital bills, retirement homes and medical facilities that benefited some women.

The latest round of reconciliation talks between Beijing and Tokyo are bound to evoke old memories for many in Korea, China, Taiwan and the Phillipines again. And forgiveness is unlikely to be forthcoming as long as the guilty party is still asking others to apologize or intervene on its behalf.

Beijing has been using water analogies throughout this process: China has called for the melting of ice and building a bridge over a sea of peace between the two countries. But, I doubt there will be much water flowing under non-existent metaphorical bridges until the leadership of Japan claims ownership for a destructive past, corrects false and state sponsored historical teachings, and begins tending to the living souls of its neighbors instead of conjuring the spirits of atrocity via visits to Yasukuni Shrine.

A Chinese Proverb: 饮水思源 (When you drink water remember the source)

China Cartoons,China Editorials,Chinese Proverbs,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Japan,Korea,War,中国

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China Blinders….

Yahoo! China

In today’s news:
Club.cn.yahoo.co is a new blogging network for Chinese netizens. According to Reuters and Wired magazine the new service designed to give bloggers a place to exchange ideas and photos. Wired posited that this seemed pretty dangerous in light of Yahoo’s admitted role as a snitch for folks who might advocate such atrocities as democracy and human rights. While I like that they took a shot at Yahoo! for its ongoing hypocrisy, it seems typically naive and Sinophobic. QQ is the world’s third most popular IM service and easily the largest in China. It is an incredible pipeline for information among everyday Chinese citizens. There are now so many blogs, bulletin boards, cell phones and messaging services that the Chinese government is soon going to be busier than a one-armed paper hanger with the hives and hopefully unable to police even a fraction of the traffic out there. I am looking forward to more of the Chinese information/communication explosion. Wired and media worldwide ought to be applauding any vehicle that further taxes the censors and they should be providing links to groups that will help further that cause. But, it is easier to demonize a country we really know little about in the west and play to people’s perceptions of China.

While Yahoo is trying to get folks on the net the Chinese government is trying to get some of them off: The long anticipated restrictions on gaming will take effect on July 15th. Emboldened by a report that claims some 2,000,000 Chinese kids are addicted, the government will penalize minors who spend more then three hours a day playing video games like WoW online. The consequences: After three hours players will only earn half the credits they would normally accrue and if they play for five hours online they will stop earning any credits at all. It isn’t exactly a firing squad, but some folks are calling this a fascist policy. Should I be sent to Guantanamo for believing it is not really a very bad policy and the punishment seems pretty benign?

And speaking of fascists: Google, Yahoo! and MSN are taking heat from some bloggers for refusing to to sell ads for China is Evil. CIE is a pretty poorly done site with kind of rambling rant which includes: “ In recent years maoist rebels have tried to take over Nepal. I have no evidence that China is supporting them, but it is highly probable that they are.” It ain’t the International Herald Tribune and I am even not sure there enough content on his one page site to get him banned in Beijing. I say sell him the ads. As advocates of free speech we should be defending his right to sound dim, especially if he is paying for it.

But he seems typical of most Americans and bloggers to whom I speak with about China: It is a given, in my experience, that Westerners will buy information in any news release that helps paint China as a bastion of oppression and don’t do a lot of research on their own. My stories about China’s ills are syndicated 10 times more frequently than my calls for positive action.

I was guiding a class through keyword research in an SEO class today and looking up words relating to China/Asia. The results were telling:

China Politics receives 1,600 queries

Chinese Girls gets 61,000 searches a month by Americans in the three major engines

Human Rights China scores 2,345 hits

China News gets 17,000 visits

Chinese Zodiac slams in at 280,000

and Tiannanmen Square receives 15,000 searches a month…..

I get a bit weary of the negativity without good information or corresponding positive solutions. I heard candidate Obama on Letterman play to people’s fears that their jobs might be outsourced to China, but I heard little about how he’d further humanitarian ideals for an oppressed populace. China is new country we love to hate. But boycotting or ignoring issues and not participating in solutions isn’t going to do us, or the 1.3 billion folks in the Middle Kingdom, much good.

Scholarly and well articulated related articles: Mutant Frog (fantastic writing!), Simon World,

Blogroll Diving,cartoons,Censorship,China Editorials,China web 2.0,In the news,The Great Firewall,The Internet,中国

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Confucius slept here…

Confucius Slept here

I happily recovered another older post and will revive an idea I started to develop about a a year ago:

This is the re-start of an ongoing, intermittent series about the daunting task of adapting to China and the Chinese ways of culture and business. The working title: Confucius Slept Here: Meditations on China for Western Newcomers is a series that will look at individual and business norms, mindsets, cross-cultural paradigms, language, and customs in the context of my circuitous path to acceptance in the Middle Kingdom. This will be old hat for many of you. and no doubt it will like the SEO series I have started: Some of you have travelled far beyond the material presented. For you, I hope to solicit feedback on how to better present the material that could one day, with much work, become a primer for visitors to China. It is for the neophite or would-be expat.

Long ago one of my Tae Kwon Do instructors was infamous for teaching three to four hour long classes to to black belted students. I was one of the charges that found myself doing “simple” front punching or blocking for an entire period of training. My master felt that without constant re-examination and practice of the basics that had been essential to development we could not be good teachers nor could we be good citizens in a global community of TKD practitioners at various levels of the art. We had a responsibility to keep revisiting what had brought us to the sport and we were mandated to pass on what we could to those following behind us.

It is no different for me in SEO or in life adjustment is Asia. If you can learn one thing from my stumbling or my limited success then I am happy. I am, after all, a teacher by job, vocation and calling.

I am no expert on China, but now having lived 17 years in Asia, I realize how different China is even other Asian cultures. My time as an expat has given me some sense of what is needed to survive personally and professionally.

As I said the musings will be random though I hope to pull them together at some point as a real book with a more linear structure. Note: This will concern life in the mainland and not Hong Kong and Taiwan though will include unavoidable/salient issues relating to both.

First Things First:

THINGS TO BRING TO CHINA

These are things that you may want to consider bringing and items that you do not want to carry along regardless of what your mother, or neighbor stuck in the cold war, says:

1. A camera. But, unless you are the next Ansel Adams or have a need for a fancy rig, leave the big bucks at home. Bring a digital or film camera (there are tons of places that will put your pic’s on disk for little of nothing) that will take decent pictures. Use one that you are not afraid to lose or have lifted at a train station.
2. Bring an extra battery for any of your cameras. And pop for a a 220V charger while you are here. Anything you have that is 110V is liable to fry like an egg.
3. Medical Travel and Baggage Loss Insurance. Pay the few extra bucks! I have lost my luggage three times enroute to China (the U.S. carrier lost them all) and, even with insurance, only recovered about half of my losses. Medical insurance will ensure your evacuation to the U.S. shoud it be needed.
4. No-Doz if you are a coffee addict. Coffee is incredibly expensive and often not available in restaurants. Except fot the Thai restaurants the stuff you buy in the Jiffy Marts here is not very strong. You WILL get a case of Mao’s Revenge and it will be because of withdrawal, not the water.
5. I guess that #4 means bring some anti-diarrheal medicine as well….
6. Deodorant.
7. Dental Floss. Toothpicks are available at every restaurant.
8. Aspirin, if you prefer it to Tylenol, as it is hard to come by in other than miniscule doses.
9. Yuan/RMB. Two reasons: The dollar is free-falling against the Yuan and you will wait until retirement age in line to change money at most banks.
10. English Novels, Magazines or anything you want to read to pass the time. Hong Kong is about the only place with anything. Most stuff in China that looks English will really be Chinglish or government approved news and commentary–get over it: we have spin too.
11. The phone numbers for the English speaking/Western Medicine Doctors residing in the towns you will visit. You do not have time to be hand-signaling a Chinese physician no matter how good he is. The U.S. Consulate in those areas can provide these numbers. There are plenty of them but, they charge Western rates so:
12. Bring your credit card. China is 85% a cash economy but, the physicians do take plastic.
13. The numbers for your Embassy or Consulate. If you strangle a street vendor and get arrested the U.S. State Department can pretty much only come visit you (they are worse than useless) but, you will at least get a visitor. Keep the number in case you need a document notarized or need your friends interrogated by Homeland Security, prior to a visa, if you invite them to come visit you in the U.S..
14. It is better to bring the contact email and phone numbers of your government representives. Your Embassy may act more on your behalf if you call home first. Diplomats hate extra paperwork.
15. A couple of pens. The pens here are not the ones they export.
16. A muzzle on your need to spread the word for any religious or political views. It is against the law. And you SHOULD be spending your time learning about the culture you want them to replace before you preach about yours. The climate is changing but, don’t push the river.

Forget About:

1. Toilet paper. They use it here too. BUT, do buy packs of tissue at a local store or you may be, uh, cleansing yourself with currency: most of the toilets in public areas do not have T.P..
2. Antibiotics. They sell them at local pharmacies and besides: unless you are a physician you shouldn’t be self medicating! If you do have medications that you take regularly bring plenty and bring it in the prescription or OTC container or you will need the phone number for #13 above.
3. Stationery. They are literate. And they make 90% of the cutsie stuff they sell at Walmart.
4. Mailing envelopes. And don’t do anything dumb like send valuables. The postal guys in your country will steal it because it is easy to blame on the Chinese.
5. Clothes that need Ironing or lots of clothes. They do not have dryers and you can buy anything you need here at a fraction of the cost in your homeland.
6. Any pre-concieved notions about this country. It will shock, bewilder, and wonderfully amaze you daily.

Asia,China Expats,China Humor,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Personal Notes,Teaching in China,Travel in China,中国

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El Encierro is for wimps: Try a Chinese buffet!

The running of the bulls has nothing on the serving line at a Chinese buffet. China is new to properity and the wonders of all-you-can-eat Vegas style grazing. I am sure that, as modernity grows, so will the social graces that accompany it in other parts of the world. But for now, “buffet” remains a contact sport on a par with the Hong Kong Sevens Rugby Tournament.

Here is a video that is virally making its way into the emails of Hong Kong and Macau natives. They don’t seem to think well of their neighbors to the north and this kind of video is all too common.

I was taken to a new buffet recently that made the above video look tame. Some sadist designed the serving line: The restaurant is only open for two hours, and it has only a single serving line placed in a narrow hall only about three feet wide with customers moving in both directions. It was a snooze and you lose situation: One blink and that whole tray of beef you had your eye on begins levitating toward a hungry family.

It was easily the best food I had had in ages, but I felt like I had won a challenge on Survivor Island to get it.

*****

A non-China aside: I am a huge golf fan who wishes my play could one day match my enthusiasm. So, of course, I have been reading Yahoo! sports news religiously this Easter to follow Tiger and company at the Masters.

I am also a great fan of good sports and travel writing: Bryson, Albom, Mayle….

Well, Dan Wetzel is getting close with hilarious stories like this one about the Masters. A fun piece on Augusta: Masters of None

China Editorials,China Humor,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Macau,Travel in China,Videos,Weird China,中国

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Overheard on China TV….

I have what is known as ‘artillery ears” from my days in the military. It means that I am not looking for particulate stuck in your teeth so much as I am trying to discern what the hell you are saying. I confess to turning on the English subtitles when I watch a show and I am often astonished that what I think I heard that is nowhere to be found in the printed text. So imagine my confusion as I tuned on CCTV News ( CCTV is to TV as Macau is to Vegas or as Hainan Island is to Hawaii or Stanley Ho is to monogamy) and thought I heard them talking about tycoon Stanley Ho’s bum. Sure enough they were calmly going on about the 84th richest guy in the world having been injured in Thailand while getting treatment for constipation. Jeez, there hasn’t been anything nearly as creepy on the news since Reagan had prostate surgery and they showed diagrams that should have been rated. It must have been one slow news day….

Anyway, poor Stanley has survived triads in Macau, four wives at the same time with seventeen kids (that would be a pain for most folks), Steve Wynn out of exile from Nevada and now he might have dodged the adult pampers scene with surgery. But he’s not rich or powerful enough to stop two of his wives from commenting about his posterior. They chatted up the Hong Kong Daily Apple (The Apple is to Journalism as George Bush is to elocution)

Stupid is a stupid signs

and the Ming Pao Daily. The Ming Pao Daily, was there on the scene to ascertain despite one wife’s denial at the hospital that there was not a problem that Stanley was indeed riding side-saddle. The paper claims they heard him speaking loudly (“Rectum Hell!”) in the background as they spoke to his wife. HE IS 84 AND HE CAN’T GO TO THE BATHROOM! OF COURSE HE SPEAKS LOUDLY!

To paraphrase the Anchor-What? Blog: Could there be anything worse than having various newspapers chronicle the internal and external happenings of your hind-parts in three languages?

I am headed home to watch DVDs now: I am on self-imposed news restriction until there is a real disaster somewhere.

Asian Humor,China Business,China Editorials,China Humor,Chinese Media,Hong Kong Stars,Humor,In the news,Macau,Weird China,中国

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“Divine” Spam From China: If it quacks like a doc’…

A few years back I shared an office next to an alleged holistic practitioner. I tolerated a lot of his eccentricities because at the time it was not so mainstream and you had to be a bit of a rebel to tout alternative medicine techniques.

He used to place colorful mandalas under my computer to “keep out Russian energy waves,” and he put expensive crystals in the fluorescent light fixtures to “regulate carcinogenic electromagnetic fields.” Ya, it was fine with me: you can never be too safe with commies and electrical co-ops.

We had our official falling out when a young gay client told me he refused to come to my office as long as “the doc'” was nearby. He went on to explain that my neighboring karma bum had once diagnosed him with aids. That he made his differential assessment with a crystal in the shape of a wand he passed over the boy’s body to detect “aids waves” was just a little dubious as a method. The young man had gone home and outed himself to his parents via the news that he was going to die. Fortunately, mom and dad kept a cool head and took him to a lab where blood testing ( an antique and questionable practice) showed him to be disease free.

Not much later, in an unrelated case, our “healer” fled to Florida to avoid a malpractice suit, wrote a book on chelation treatment and made big bucks giving ice water enemas to blue-haired widows. Yes, really.

Now comes Sha Zhi Gang, a licensed medical doctor and acupuncturist from China. He doesn’t even need crystals: He can “download” spare parts and cures from the spirit realm:

He asserts that “the Divine” has given him the power to download “soul software.” This makes stem cell research look like Play-dough fun. I am just hoping he’s handing out anti-virus fixes before he re-boots you.

Wired has the whole story and is taking a lot of heat from loyal readers who are screaming that they gave Sha some form of legitimacy by writing about him. The rub is: They did not cite sources or statistics for his successes and did not mention his failures until the end of the article. One lawyer, who recieved a virtual lung to save his life must have had XP installed on his hard drive because he died shortly after programming. Me, I would have been a lot more impressed had Sha given any living attorney a heart. Sorry again, Dan/Chris….

This guy actually made the Times bestseller list with his self-help book. I can only assume he struck a cord with folks because he incorporated contemporary computer lingo into his pitch. Who woulda thunk, besides P.T. Barnum, that people would accept “free remote downloads to more than 1,000 physical human beings in one session” as authentic? Does it come with a Paypal “Donate Now” button or do you have to pay for an upgrade to get a fully functional soul?

Sha, who was actually the lead acupuncturist at the World Health Organization–they have more than one?–claims that downloads can also be used to attain financial success. Hey it has worked for him hasn’t it?

He is giving away the free secret number though: “The Divine gave my spiritual father, Master Guo, a sacred code to develop powers of the brain. 01777908 0177792244. This is the code. Repeat it yourself, it has tremendous power.”

Actually I called the number on Skype and got a Dealer in Dali who offered me virtual Viagra.

Divine Spam.

Thanks to David Michael Porter for the lead!

Cancer Journal,China Editorials,Chinese Medicine,In the news,Just Plain Strange,The Internet,中国

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SEO CHINA 101.3

World Wide Web China
Fili’s World did a great primer on Chinese Search Engine Basics and I with his permission I opted to use it as a springboard for this week’s post:

“The SEO rules for the Chinese Internet market are a bit different than that of any other country. The Internet market works differently due to various social, political and technological reasons. It’s quite remarkable that Google has so far failed to take over the Chinese search engine market which is still dominated by Baidu – maybe the only company in the world still beating Google in their niche.”

I consulted with a funds manager in New York about a year ago. He did not want to believe my prediction that Google would NEVER overtake Baidu and would keep losing ground. He expplained to me that Google had outspent Baidu 10-1 on R&D in the Chinese market and doubted Baidu could stand up to that. Gee, if it were only about money.

Baidu succeeds in spite of itself because it is Chinese!! Google shoils have spent a couple of hundred bucks taking to my students who make it really simple to understand: “Baidu has what we need” (mp3 downloads, Chinese language games…) in Chinese without forcing students to dig through the rubble of hard to grasp Google info in English. They don’t care that most of the top ten slots in Baidu are paid ads and are not highlighted as such. And they don’t care that the results may be censored or politically skewed. Google’s honesty policy (clear marking of ads) gets lost in translation. Everything is for sale in China and students and netizens here know it and accept it: you buy everything, cyberspace included, with money, guanxi (relational advantage), or political favors.

“Most of the website’s incoming traffic comes from search engine queries, so Google is extremely important for any site out there that’s interested in getting traffic, and the Internet is full of SEO experts and advice on how to help Google better understand your site, hopefully resulting in higher Google rankings and increased incoming traffic.”

About 95% of SEO companies that I queried in China use Google adwords to get you on the first page of a search engine listing. They know little else beyond that. Because Chinese businesses are not Internet savvy they buy into appearances. Looks are inordinately important here in everything: food, physical attractiveness, website bells and whistles (makes SEO harder that they adore flash heavy sites) and where their site appears. It does not matter to them that you can show them statistics proving only 20% or less of visitors come from the right (paid) side of a search bar.

“Baidu’s dominance in the enormous Chinese online market holds a whole new world of challenges and opportunities for websites. Asking online-colleagues and browsing through the Internet it’s quite surprising how little information is available on the topic in English. Most western SEO professionals I know assume that Baidu’s behavior is just the same as Google’s, but I always felt that’s just the easy response and probably far from the actual truth. I had a chance to rethink this subject when discussing “English Taiwan : The websphere, the blogosphere, traffic, SEO and the need for a profound change” and the lacking connection between the Chinese and English bloggers and blog readers in Taiwan and China. ”

What I am hoping is that this becomes a running discussion between Mark, Fili’s world Gemme, Alex , and OMBW. we all have different strengths and could stimulate a lot of learning and dialogue.

“Content : Baidu is extremely sensitive to some information, so totally avoid mentioning or writing adult content, pornography, or Chinese government forbidden keywords. Having any of those will not only affect the page the content is on but also the entire website.”

My site has been blocked 6/10 times I have checked it this month. I am extraordinarily pro-China, but I cannot seem to always fly under the censor’s radar.

Content description : Naturally, optimize your page title, your headings and keyword density in pages (5-8%), same as Google.

Check your tags with free, simple tools like Submit Express. They will let you know what you need to change and where. Type in my website address for your first analysis as we will use it as a learning tool. This service will also tell you keyword density and frequency (I will do a whole post on that later) and even highlight any negative issues with your outbound links.

Use Chinese words in your title and description tags, but check the length of encoded symbols so you do not exceed acceptable limits. Avoid using the name of your blog or website in the title and description tags unless there is a good reason. Once you are a branded name like Amazon, Boing Boing or (god forbid!) Perez Hilton, and people are actually coming to your site, you can always add it in.

Note that you can always add title and desription tags in your header that are different than what appears on say a wordpress blog. Check out the source code on my site and you will see that it does not match the description (tagline) generated by wordpress.

Google tends to see the title as most important for the engines and the desciption as part of your content while Yahoo and MSN give more weight to the description tag. As an example: I rank higher for the term American Professor (#1 out of 100,000,00 or so…) and lower for SEO CHINA in Google. I am only #25 in Yahoo! for Ameican Professor and #11 for China SEO. In MSN I am in the top 6 for both terms. If this was a blog meant to supplement my income I would need to alter my tags accordingly as American Professors are a dime a dozen (Sorry Chris) while good SEO specialists in China are harder to come by…

“Links : Anchor-texts for incoming links are, like in Google’s case, a very important SEO factor, but it seems Baidu attributes a little more importance to internal anchor-texts. Note that unlike Google, Baidu still doesn’t have a very advanced authority mechanism, so there’s less importance to where your anchor-text is coming from, and you can imagine the consequences of this.”

Ask your friends to place links to your sites, stories and pictures using relevant keywords. The bestest, smartest, and handsomest seo specialist in China is just fine for me, OK? Nothing elaborate.

Make sure for paid text ads that your key words are in the links if possible. And remember that Google, Yahoo! and MSN give extra points for ads on monster sites like theirs. Imagine that: you get more juice by paying the big boys for links…

Jump on the fact that Baidu doesn’t give extra credit to powerful sites because it will not hurt you in the other engines.

Watch your outgoing links carefully: If you looked at my site report in submit express you saw that I have too many outgoing links:

“This page contains too many URLs.
This tag contains 561 urls. Some Search Engines have problems with more than 100 urls on a page. ”

Blogs are always going to read out worse than conventional websites, but be a bit more careful than me. And try to minimize outgoing links to extremely weak sites, or sites that do not return links to you unless you have a good reason to do it. I generally repay sites that link to me in some way: I either add a blogroll link to sites I like or mention them in a post. If you do the same remember that some engines/sites with ranking systems give more power to front page links than buried links and more power to links in posts than to links on blogrolls.

As a rule I don’t give the time of day to sites that are overly stingy about links or credit sharing on their sites. I do have a few listings on my blogroll of sites that may never repay the nod, but they are important reads and should be tauted. But, don’t give away your power to the sites that don’t warrant it via content or elitist attitude just because you think you have to or operate under the illusion that they will one day abandon their ego.

My attitude is simple: we are in this together. Promote the valuable sites and help your friends, big or small, as much as you can without serious injury.

I am only 1/3 through Fili’s article. More soon…

Added Note on the Body Language post:

I showed this in class to non-English majors and they loved it…It provided great entertainment and a jumping-off place for discussion on “authentic” body language issues…

China Cartoons,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Internet marketing China,Seach engine Optimization,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,The Internet,中国

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On the day that nothing happened…

I am in the city of Ma, Lik, the lawmaker that recently advocated that Beijing should mandate to teachers what should be taught about this day in history.

The recent silence in the Chinese newspapers regarding anything about the “incident” almost kept me from remembering June 4th.
I have lived in more than interesting times: I have absolute recall about the day Hawaii became a State (I was there), Woodstock, the Beatles performing on Ed Sullivan, President Kennedy’s assasination, the murders of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, The Moon Walk, Wounded Knee, the beginning of the war in Vietnam that claimed my father’s life and the fall of Saigon as an active duty soldier, the Challenger disaster, the Tank Man, the destruction of the Berlin Wall I had visited as a child and adult, The overthrow of the Shah of Iran and the hostage taking ( I knew one of the hostages), shaking Garrison Keillor’s hand– America’s national storytelling treasure–the day after Gore was adjudicated out of the Presidency ( a day of mourning for Keillor), the San Francisco and Kobe earthquakes ( where I was present to feet the emotional and physical aftershocks of both), Desert Storm, the Twin Towers murders….

Tonight , I was communing with onion rings and a jalapeno burger, for the first time in almost two years, in a very western restaurant when on the TV I saw tens of thousands of Chinese people gathered in one place. All were waving candles and singing. It was with great shame that I realized what the candles represented.

A Goddess of Democracy held aloft a flame this day 18 years ago; and 50,000 worshippers held that light high in the air to illuminate memory and to keep truth in full view.

As we count-down to the Beijing Games via the Olympian clock installed next to Tiananmen square, may we always count forward from that same place beginning on June 4, 1989.

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