World Trade Center, Osama Bin Laden, NOSTRADAMUS, 9-11
September 11, 2001
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'                   WEBSITE101: READING LIST
                   Reaching Great Minds Online
            September 17, 2001               Issue #109
           Mike Valentine, Editor,

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Mike Banks Valentine
                  FEATURE ARTICLE

Osama Bin Laden Outranks Britney Spears!
by Mike Banks Valentine

First, I'll state emphatically, I join those mourning lost
loved ones in the terrorist attack on the US last Tuesday.
Nothing could have been more shocking than seeing the news
footage we've all endured this week and I'm still struggling
to make sense of it all. In taking the oft repeated advice
that we seek a return to business as usual I've found no 
escape from terrorism in returning to my work. I do Search
Engine Optimization for small business web sites. Terrorism
ranks at position #48 on the most frequently searched list.

As a search engine optimization and marketing specialist, I
monitor and measure the most frequently searched terms at all
the top search engines across the web. It is clear, to those of
us who make a living tweaking and maximizing search terms on
our clients' web sites, which interests on the web dominate
based on what people are searching for. We attempt to find
terms relevant to our clients to maximize their web traffic.

Osama Bin Laden now ranks as the most searched term on the
search engines and displaces Britney Spears and Pamela Anderson
as the most sought after name on the web. Nostradamus is running
a close second after rumors circulated that he predicted the
attack on America as the beginning of the end of the world.

I couldn't resist visiting the number one search result at
Google for Osama Bin Laden from results returned by Google for
a category at the Open Directory Project where Bin Laden has his
own section labled: (Visit < > for the ODP site)

Society > Issues > Terrorism > International Terrorists > 
USA Designees > Al-Qaida > Usama Bin-Laden 

The top link in that category leads to the following page:
This link is a "University of Texas Middle East Information Center" page from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas in Austin. It provides a 1993 interview with Bin Laden by Robert Fisk of the "Independent". With Bin Laden being the most searched person on and off the web, this page must be experiencing heavy traffic as the number one search result this week. I'll wager that list of links grows larger. It is not always so obvious why top terms are being searched as it is this week. This demonstrates strongly that the web is a valuable tool for research and reference when important and dramatic issues arise in our society. Next come searches for "American flag" and the words, "World Trade Center", displacing "jokes" and "MP3" from their usual high ranking in number of searches. Jokes only dropped from a steady place in top 10 searches to position 41 on the list. People clearly still need something to smile about. New York City and Afghanistan now rank as the top searched locations pushing "Toronto" and "Canada" off the list of the top 500 search terms. Folks are still interested in "Maps" but now it is "World Map" and "Afghanistan Map" that have replaced "Weather" and "Driving Directions" as top 50 search terms. "American Red Cross" has displaced "dictionary" as a top 20 search term and dictionary has dropped to 40th position. I'm sure lots of folks are looking up "Afghansitan" and of course "Nostradamus" so "dictionary" still ranks as a top search term. Misspellings of words are very often found highly ranked in the most frequently searched terms and this week that is still apparent as the list contains 18 spelling variations on the name of Nostradamus. News sites are very frequently sought by searchers but are usually found near the bottom of the 500 most frequently searched terms. This week all major US television networks jumped into the top 250 where only CNN manages to be found routinely that high on the list. This week CNN jumped to the top 10 with three positions. Position number 7 with "CNN news", position 8 with "CNN" and position 10 with "". The BBC made it to the top 500 the first time this week. Maybe we need to hear what Britain thinks after a steady diet of US Networks? I must admit that I spent more of my time in front of television than I did in front of my computer this week and tuned in to PBS to see a BBC report myself after two days of non-stop commercial network news. Speaking of commercial, did you notice there weren't any? While the commercial phrase "airline tickets" maintains a position around the 50th most frequently searched terms in a normal week, it is nowhere to be found on the list this week above position 500. Neither are there many searches for products as there have been in recent weeks. We often seek comfort and enjoyment from animals and the terms "dogs", "cats" and "horses" usually find their way onto the most frequently searched terms list. Only "dogs" remain this week. Does that suggest they remain our best friend in difficult times too? Our society can be viewed through this odd lens on a regular basis every week and you can see a side-by-side list of the top 300 search terms for the week of 9/15/01 and 9/8/01 here: I hope to see the term "World Peace" in that most frequently searched phrases, if not some day soon, at least some day. -------------------------------------------------------- Mike Valentine does Search Engine Placement for the Small Business WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet Weekly Ezine emphasizing small business on the Internet -------------------------------------------------------- Where Were You at 5:48am PST Tuesday, September 11, 2001? by Mike Banks Valentine I travel alot and have been on hundreds of airplanes and in dozens of airports over the last 20 years. Recently a relative offered to go inside the airport with me to wait for my flight, I declined saying, "I've gotten very used to this, it's almost as routine as sitting in traffic at rush hour to me now." That changed Tuesday as I stood, bleary eyed, in line for a cup of coffee at a concession stand in the Oakland Airport after just 3 hours of sleep and a two hour bus ride from my home in Northern California, waiting to catch a Southwest Airlines flight to San Diego for the CTIA Wireless I.T. and Internet 2001 show and conference at 6:30am California time. I'd gone over to the nearest coffee stand to buy a "wake-cup" of coffee a few minutes after I'd checked in for my flight. I was quite annoyed at the clerk when instead of taking my money, she stood staring wide-eyed at a television mounted above and behind me in the concession area repeating, "Oh my God! Oh my God!" Finally I turned around to see that searing image of the second passenger jet ploughing into the second of the World Trade Center twin towers, re-broadcast from the Early Show in New York! It had happened about ten minutes ago and Bryant Gumbel was still trying to digest what had happened, saying that it must be purposeful terrorism. None of us will ever forget that scene. Oddly, though still not fully aware of what I had seen, I still expected to board my scheduled flight and go to San Diego. The enormity of what I had seen had not sunken in to my tired mind yet. It's odd how we all expect to continue along with our plans when it should be obvious in retrospect that it would not happen. Every other passenger waiting for their flight in terminal 2 of the Oakland airport with me also stayed, expecting to board their own plane. We all chattered to family, co-workers and clients by cell phone discussing the lurid pictures we'd seen on television moments ago. Nobody waiting in that terminal turned home until the planes that had already loaded began emptying of passengers and the flight attendants came off the planes to serve coffee to those waiting in the boarding area. It took me about 15 more minutes to realize that I might as well go home for the day. "I'll just go to San Diego tomorrow," I thought. Still not aware of the ramifications. Denial is strong and comprehension slow when we've seen some- thing we can't understand. When I finally caught the bus home two hours later, minus my checked baggage, I realized it would never be routine again to travel by air to any destination. The bus driver turned on news radio at the request of passengers going back to hotels and homes 30 to 50 miles north of Oakland. New York is still 3000 or so miles away from here. I'd left home at 3:15am to catch the bus to the airport, returned home eight hours later. When I arrived at the bus stop I found there were no connecting buses that could get me back home. My ride had gone to work. I sat down at the county airport bus stop and called a couple of numbers to find a ride home. Finally I learned that if I went back to the south a few blocks that I could transfer to another local bus going north the last few miles toward my home in Windsor. A police officer approached me as I sat at the bus stop with my carry-on luggage and a briefcase. He asked if I were waiting for a ride. Now on a normal day, I would have scowled at him and snarled back, "Of Course!". But by now I had realized that this was not a normal day. I simply said, "Yes, I'm waiting for Sonoma County Transit bus." Then he asked for my I.D. We're at a regional airport in Sonoma County California and the passenger terminal is closed and I'm the only person sitting in a covered bus stop. The passenger drop-off area is closed by traffic cones and he had been greeting anyone approaching by car to notify them the airport was closed. This was not a normal day. I said, "Sure" and handed him my driver license. He asked, "Where were you traveling to?" Although I did a double take at the continued questioning, I realized he was only doing his job. I said, "San Diego, from the Oakland airport. We never got off the ground. I took the bus back here and just arrived." He said, "Thank you sir. Have a good day," as he handed my driver license back to me. The bus came and I rode to the necessary stop, crossed the road and walked a block to the stop going the other way at the bus driver's direction. The other bus came and I boarded, asking how near to my home street I could get. When he told me I would be getting off the bus at a shopping center that was twenty minutes walk from my house, I realized how tired my shoulders were from carrying my bag and briefcase already. I walked a couple of blocks and into a business I frequent and asked to leave my bags there. They agreed and I walked home. In twenty minutes I returned with a car to pick up my bags from the business. The lobby was full of customers dazed by the mornings events, discussing how they'd heard of the shocking news. The business owner stopped when she saw me come in for my bags and said, ". . . And this poor guy was just at the airport trying to get on a plane." On a normal day I would have been glad to tell my story to the group of patrons in that store. But it was not a normal day. I went home and turned on television news, still dazed. It was not a normal day. ------------------------------------------------------------ Copyright 2001 Mike Valentine ------------------------------------------------------------ Please feel free to forward this issue to anyone who might be interested. Please keep copyright intact and forward only complete issues if you spread the word! All previous issues are in our permanent archives at If you are a newsletter editor or e-zine publisher WebSite101 offers a list of articles to use as FREE CONTENT for your ezine, ebook or website! Get a cuurent list of available articles visit Rate Card To Advertise in the WebSite101 Reading List to reach great minds online at WebSite101 Reading List To subscribe to the Website101 Reading list visit -------------------WebSite101: Reading List------------------- ISSN: 1527-5094 Mike Valentine WebSite 101

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