The end of the world as we know it

With the news as it is, blogging on almost any topic seems trivial, but I guess life goes on (hopefully!)

The crisper weather over the last few days produced some fabulous sunsets, stretching the dying embers of the day across the sky in an awe-inspiring display of colour. It has been the best time for walks, and the picture hardly does justice to the scene but – to fall back down to earth – puts me in mind of classic Hollywood Biblical epics, and the (probably apocryphal but entertaining) story about John Wayne as a centurion.

JW is at the foot of the Cross, in The Greatest Story Ever Told (or similar), as the sky turns to night and storm.

Director: ‘That’s good, John, but this time could you try saying it with awe’
‘ACTION’
JW, looking up: ‘Aww, he really was the Son of God’

It’s hard to take a sunset seriously again.

But it also points up how difficult it is to create a sense of awe and wonder in words, or describe a state of grace. Even the great Alighieri is not as convincing about Paradise as he is about Hell.

In recent times the most determined effort to create awe (and shock) has involved weaponry, not words.

If the comparison is not too trivial, the equivalent, in words, is surely the long, long sales page on the web which seek to bludgeon and exhaust the reader into submission; and taking action? I have my doubts as to whether this strategy is as effective as it once might have been. It looks a fairly tired formula now. And, even more certainly, invites disappointment for any reader sufficiently seduced to respond.

Google’s recently released Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide suggests the way to sustainable success lies in producing solid content in a form that is clear and easy to follow. In other words: Good, well structured copy.

More on this to come; But in the meantime, this link will take you to Google’s webmaster blog where you can download a free copy of Google’s SEO Starter Guide.

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