Some people have a thing for redheads. I have a thing for redheaded website www.suzyguese.com. Suzy Guese and I went to to the same Catholic grade school in Denver, CO with the unfortunate name Most Precious Blood. Our oversized families are friends.
Suzy was a few grades younger than me at MPB, so I didn’t know her personally then. As we both started traveling Mediterranean Europe, I came across her website and felt a little starstruck. Suzy’s brother Joe is a pro rock guitarist and her sister Laura is a studio artist. Are the Gueses for real? How do they do it? At first glance of her website, Suzy seems to be floating on the ether of Old Europe.
As I read through some of Suzy’s posts, I got to know her better. I learned that she is a very real combination of talent as a writer and hard work as a traveler. She resonates with other longer-term travelers like myself who just keep going even when the initial thrill is gone. I loved her articles about travel loneliness, travel crankiness, and finally returning home. Why does she do it? I think she wants to reach people and convince them to travel deeply. Based on the number of retweets on her posts, it’s working.
I am a human, among many others, who thinks Suzy’s website is great. But what do the search engines think? In their mysterious algorithmic ways, search engines send “spiders” to crawl the Internet and look for good stuff to index. The engines assign importance to indexed websites based on a huge blend of variables.
I put Suzy’s site through a site grader and turned even greener with envy. The site is only 10 months and one week old, yet it has already been indexed enough to score a Google PageRank of 4. Well done! How many links to Suzy’s site appear on the web? According to my grader, there are an impressive 171 inbound links out there. That’s a lot of what search engines consider to be “votes” for www.suzyguese.com.
Wisely, Suzy has harnessed social media to ramp up her web presence and populate her site. She is an avid stumbler-upon, tweeter, and even has a fan page on facebook that 166 people (myself included) “like”. RSS feed? Check. I’m subscribed.
Suzy, if I could afford to meet you for a good glass of wine somewhere in Italy, I would. I’d also settle for a good microbrew somewhere in Denver. Until then, I’ll just keep reading and traveling.