Nov 27 2010

My Disturbing Google Analytics – Search Engines, Pedophilia, and The Unexpected Consequences of Having a Parenting Blog

Summary – If you have a parenting blog you will most likely attract a few pedophiles. Sad but true. Plus bonus tips on how to reduce your parenting blog’s attractiveness to pedophiles.

There are unintended consequences to everything and blogging about fatherhood is no exception.

Now being a father with a daughter, I’m naturally going to use words like young, girl, child, kid and so on. But I also like to write about love, relationships, and sex. These subjects are about me and my partner. Adding to the mix is my use of salty language. I’m not shy about using the occasional fuck to make my point.

Taken in context these terms have clear purpose and are not easily confused with other meanings or interpretation. That is unless you are not a human being and instead a robot.

Search engines send out “bots” and “crawlers” to scan the text and code on your website. They collect this data and send it back where its is cataloged on thousands of servers. This is called indexing. Google has tens of thousands of servers spread across the world that enable it to return near instantaneous results to your search queries.

Now Google’s algorithm is incredibly sophisticated from a mathematical perspective but very primitive from a human perspective. It can’t understand irony or a good joke. It has no idea that a single web page may have three distinct essays on it that have nothing in common with each other. It doesn’t understand context or when you’re using metaphor or hyperbole. Basically, it’s a simple number cruncher.

Now, for everyday purposes this is plenty good for helping you find what you want. The market has anointed Google the clear winner on relevancy by capturing (judging from my own statistics) at least 90% of the search market.

So this is how it all works and most of the time it works well. But because Google is basically a number cruncher it lumps all my words and sentences together. This content lumping leads a few people, who are searching for some very disturbing subjects, to visiting my site. Below is a collection, in no particular order, of the fifty creepiest search terms from November 2009 to November 2010.

distrubing google analytics search terms

Now could some of these be academic/investigative research or normal curiosity? Yes. I know I’ve searched for some pretty fucked up stuff over the years. But some of these could not possibly fit in that category. Some of these are without a doubt searches by men who have a very unhealthy sexual attraction to children. Some may actually be currently molesting children at this very moment.

Now this is not my fault of course. It’s Google’s. But not really Google’s either as they can’t understand context nor control how people search.

Fortunately these people don’t hang out on my blog. In web analytics there is a term called bounce rate. If someone comes to your site and then backs out without visiting any other pages, that person would have a 100% bounce rate. Nearly all of these visitors had a 100% bounce rate which means my blog didn’t match what they were really looking for. Whew!

So I’m not going to change my writing style over this as it would defeat the whole purpose of writing personal blog as well as be pointless exercise as there is no way to predict how it will all come out in the end. Plus, my daughter is in no real danger. These are just lonely messed up guys with bad spelling trying to satisfy their needs through digital gratification.

So should I stress out even more about what photos I choose to show? I’m already pretty strict. A totally innocent picture of my daughter could be a turn-on for a molester. I can’t help that. Just as a women’s shoe catalog can be a masturbatory aid for a man who has a foot fetish, so can a parenting blog be a source of titillation for a person who’s sexually attracted to children.

So what’s a turn-on for a pedophile? Besides the obvious stuff that shows some skin, I have no idea. I also assume it’s as varied as normal adult sexual attraction is. I wish I could change how some people think, but I can’t. How any one person is going to interpret what I post is mostly out of my control. That’s just how it is.

Plus they also clog up my visitor stats with irrelevant data which probably bugs me even more than the predator stuff. Lay off my analytics assholes!

Here’s Three Simple Rules That Will Greatly Reduce Your Parenting Blog’s Attractiveness to Pedophiles. (I don’t personally follow these rules but as an SEO expert and web developer with over ten years experience I guarantee they will work.)

1. Use deceptive or anonymous file names for your images. A picture of your infant daughter taking a bath should be something like “image-0001.jpg” or “box.jpg” not “my-daughter-taking-bath.jpg”.

2. Use deceptive alt tags/image descriptions when inserting images into posts. A picture of your infant daughter taking a bath should be something like “a plain brown box” or “carton of eggs”.

3. Don’t use words like sex, fuck, fucking, nude, naked, shit,and shitting anywhere on your blog.

If you want to see who’s visiting your blog then install Google Analytics.
It’s free.

How to Install Google Analytics
If you want to install Google analytics on your blog then sign up for an account here. Then, if you have a WordPress blog, install the Google Analyticator Plugin by searching for new plugins in your admin panel then click install now. Just insert your Google account profile ( it will look something like this: UA-5555555-3) in the proper field and you’re done.

File Under: How to Stop Pedophiles from Visiting Your Parenting Blog, Mom Blog, Mommy Blog, Dad Blog, or Father Blog – How Search Engines Index Your Blog

Nov 14 2010

Flame On! – My Daughter Discovers That Everything Looks Cooler With Hot Rod Flames

Summary: My daughter wanted to know how to draw flames. I showed her some techniques and now she puts them on everything.

Flaming mandala

On Mandala Mondays all the kids start the day with a photocopy of that week's mandala design that they are free to decorate any way they want. It's a fun little art project - but they look so much better with some flames on them. Oh yeah!!!

Since I work at home, and I’m a professional illustrator, my daughter picks up little techniques just from observing my works in progress. However, sometimes we draw together in the evenings where I teach her how to draw specific things that have been eluding her. In the past we’ve worked on scales, muscles, wings, trees, shading, and perspective. But it’s probably the “how to draw flames” lesson that has been the most interesting.

Now, drawing good flames is really hard. Natural flames take years to perfect and good stylized hot rod flames even longer.

At first I just drew some flames that were a blend of both natural and stylized flames and then explained the theory behind the shapes. She then tried to copy it. Now unlike scales, which she mastered on her first try, her flames looked nothing like flames. They were closer to deformed earthworms than anything else.

Sensing her frustration I made a template from a piece of tag board that she could trace with. This is a good way to learn to draw a difficult shape as it starts training your muscle memory right away.

This helped a lot and then she gave it a go on her own. They weren’t perfect, but she was happy with the results, which is all that matters. If they meet or exceed her minimal standard for flames, then it’s all good and she can have fun with it.

And have fun she did.

She started putting flames on everything.

Flaming dog

On fire that is!

Dinosaurs and volcanoes were the first to get the flame treatment but after that she started applying them to objects, animals, people, the ground, trees – basically anything that could theoretically be set on fire, got set on fire.

My favorite was the dog as it was so unexpected.

And if you don’t think that’s the coolest then you’re reading the wrong blog.

File Under: Teaching Your Kid to Draw – Simple Drawing Lessons for Children

Nov 12 2010

I Will Kik Yore Ass Dad!!!! – My Daughter Learns to Write

Summary: Hey, at least she’s excited about writing.

I will Kick your ass dad!!! Funny note from daughter.

I thought this was pretty darn funny.

My daughter’s making invitations to a small Halloween party we’re having at our house. It’s so small there is only one other person invited. Originally the annual get together was going to be at her friend’s house but in a moment of frustration, her mom cancelled the party due to her friend’s misbehavior.

We contacted the dad and suggested we have it at our house. That way they can technically stick to their punishment, but not punish our daughter in the process.

This is always a conundrum when punishments affect innocent bystanders like friends and family.

So I get her some construction paper, some pens, and write out what she wants to say so she can copy it. She starts working on the invitation while I go back to my computer and work. A little while later she announces it’s done and she’s going to make one more. I find this a bit odd because there is only one invited guest.

Ten minutes later she comes into my office and hands me a note. It says “I will kik yore ass!!!! dad.” Continue reading

Nov 11 2010

Millionaire Matchmaker is Fucking Boring – More Kids and Cussing and The Family Values That Really Matter

Summary: Profanity rules on broadcast television do not protect children because profanity is a normal experience in most children’s real lives and have nothing to do with real life threats.

So we’re watching Millionaire Matchmaker on Tivo while our seven-year old daughter holds an elaborate dinner party with her Littlest Pet Shop toys. As she gets deeper into it, her imaginary conversations get louder and louder.

“What birdie? You want to have a plate of spaghetti? Well you’ll have to wait because first we are having cereal.”

“But I want to have spaghetti now!”

“No you can’t. Doggie here is perfectly happy with her cereal so you can be too.”

“I’m really happy with my cereal too and I’m a little sheep.”

“Whaaaa…I want spaghetti now!!!”

“I’m sorry birdie, but no spaghetti until cereal time is over. Now go sit next to octopus, he doesn’t want cereal either.”

“Hello birdie, I’m octopus. I don’t eat cereal or spaghetti. I’m waiting for fish”

Now my partner and I have been getting bored with Millionaire Matchmaker and Patti specifically. The first season was decent but she’s got a foul mouth and a foul temper and her sexism is a bit grating. The endless parade of dysfunctional adults is getting old as well. Still, I’d like to watch the show in peace even if I’m not that stoked about it anymore. Continue reading

Nov 7 2010

No More Begging – The True Story of a Chocolate Lollipop, a Whining Child, the Pacific Ocean, and a Father Who Just Loses It

Summary: Kids beg because you teach them to beg. So don’t teach them.

I grew up in a house with a few simple rules, one of which was “no means no”. So if you ever wanted something, don’t keep begging or you’ll surely doom your chances of ever getting it. My mom never wavered on this rule so I grew up accepting what my mom said as the real deal.

However, in elementary school, my best friend next door had a different dynamic. If his mom or dad said “no” he went into full begging mode. Why? Because in his house no meant “keep asking and if you beg in just the right way, and you whine and whimper a bit more, we may change our mind”.

That wasn’t stated explicitly, but that what he was taught – and that’s what he heard – every time his parents gave in.

One day my friend asks if I can have a sleep over at his house. I said I don’t know so let’s go ask.

So we go into my mom’s room.

“Mom, can I have a sleep over tonight at Peter’s house”

“No. Not tonight.”

“Ok. let’s go”.

My friend stops me in the hall and tells me to ask again. I tell him no. If my mom says no it means no. She’ll get angry if you keep asking. Continue reading