Slaty Fork and Cranberry Wilderness

Yesterday we hiked in the Cranberry Wilderness on the Cowpasture Loop. Lots of environmental diversity. We hiked through upland bog, mature conifer forest and upland meadows.

Here is a look out over the Cranberry glades from an observation deck
Unknown shelf fungi
Bridge crossing of a tributary of the Cranberry River
Bollete mushrooms
Bridge with Cranberry glades in background
unknown plant
Muddy Shoes but the hike was awesome

One of the tributaries of the Elk River
Looking down into the cranberry river’s highland bogs

Trip to Whiteoak Canyon Sat. Feb. 22, 2020

Kristin and I hiked part of Whiteoak Canyon on Saturday. Here are a few photos.

55 foot falls, the lower falls.
A view of the lower falls from further down stream
Panorama looking downstream and up
Looking upstream on the Whiteoak Canyon trail.
We stopped at Buckland Farm Market in New Baltimore, VA.

White House Tour

Kristin and I visited the White House today on a tour. The Christmas decorations were beautiful. We had a great time!

Kristin and Ricky standing under the White House Seal

Kristin and Ricky standing under the White House Seal


It was cold outside and the lines were long but all the efforts were worth it.


Festively decorations in a room at the White House
Festively decorations in a room at the White House


The White House library's Christmas look
The White House library’s Christmas look


A White House door
A White House door


One of the many Christmas trees at the White house
One of the many Christmas trees at the White house.


Christmas trees with white lights line a hallway at the White house
Christmas trees with white lights line a hallway at the White house.


Christmas trees with white lights line a hallway at the White house
Another Christmas tree at the White house in the green room.


A Small Christmas display in front of a window at the White house
A Small Christmas display in front of a window at the White house.


Christmas Tree in the Red Room at the White House.
Christmas Tree in the Red Room at the White House.


Christmas Tree in the Red Room at the White House.
Another view of a Christmas Tree in the Red Room at the White House.


A model of the White House decorates a sideboard in the dining room at the White House.
A model of the White House decorates a sideboard in the dining room at the White House.


A Christmas Tree in the Yellow Room White House
A Christmas Tree in the Yellow Room White House



Prior to our visit we got coffee at La Columbe coffee



On arriving in DC we ate breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien. Nice…


Pasties at Le Pain Quotidien in Washington, DC
Pasties at Le Pain Quotidien in Washington, DC

Sausage Cook off

Carolina Pride vs Carando Mild Tuscano vs Jones Dairy Farm pre-cooked Chicken Sausage.

And the winner is …….

Carando Mild Tuscano. Carolina Pride has too much salt and Jones Chicken Sausage tastes like chicken…not pork. Between these sausages I liked Carando Mild Tuscano the best.

Photos from TN and VA during 10/21-10/27 holiday.

Wild ponies at Grayson Highlands state park, VA.
Wild ponies at Grayson Highlands state park, VA.

Country Music Hall of Fame wall of gold, silver and platinum records
Country Music Hall of Fame wall of gold, silver and platinum records.

Oprey Country Classics Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN 10-24-2019
Oprey Country Classics Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN 10-24-2019

Looking ouside from Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN 10-24-2019
Looking outside from Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN 10-24-2019

View from Alum Cave on Mount La Conte 10-22-2019
2 Views from Alum Cave on Mount La Conte 10-22-2019

Elk Herd near Smokemont in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Elk Herd near Smokemont in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Panorama of Honky Tonk section of Nashville, TN
Panorama of Honky Tonk section of Nashville, TN

Organic SEO – Let’s Get Real

Imagine that friend of yours searched for Virts Family Farms on Google. You’re concerned since you just created this site and this friend said it didn’t show up in their search results. gven this scenario one might ask; “How can I improve my search rankings?” I’ll offer some solutions and advise about the proper way to address this common issue.
Only Google’s algorithm decides who gets precedence in searches. However, there are some strategies to get businesses like Dennis and Linda Virts’s farm market to show up higher in search results organically.  (Note the use of the word “organic” – its definition is “real”) While a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) trick like linking from a “link farm” may work in the short term, (not an organic approach) search engines can catch up with this trickery and flag the site for attempting to game the system.  This may affect the search results for the long term, even after the website has divorced itself from the SEO trickery. (see https://goo.gl/i4KV7k)
First – Your business needs to be verified by Google. This is done online and you can designate a ” manager” to add the information on your business or you, as the business owner, can do this yourself. This isn’t a manager in the traditional sense but a “manager” that manages the data that google will use to index and verify your website and the existence of your business.  Since Google dominates with 83% of the mobile search market and 63% of desktop search, this should be a really good start. (source  https://goo.gl/Kgqmma)
Second – Your business needs links about its website on other websites. The more popular and relevant the site that links to yours, the better. Google’s algorithm searches websites to see which websites they link to. One questionable and slightly inorganic strategy is to use a service like PR Web ( you have to pay them) and create a press release. You create the release and they send it off to all kinds of media and websites. Say, for example, you wanted to create a press release about your Grand Opening and the recent business creation. This will create a lot of links back to your website. But Google could identify this method as a scheme to “game the system” (much like a link farm might) and that might eventually thwart the growth of your online presence. This probably isn’t worth the risk.
However, to be safe for the future you can always let your web presence grow “organically” – and it will, with a little work.  If you, your friends, or people in your family have facebook pages, twitter accounts or other social media accounts, ask them to post a link about your grand opening, or the website homepage. This will help increase web presence. Also, if you have other businesses that you buy or sell from, ask them to add a link to your site from theirs and of course in return you will do the same for them.
Google also looks to see how recently and frequently a website has been updated. So it is always a good idea to have a new post about a sale or new product on your “posts” page.
When I search on Virts Family Farms on Google’s browser chrome recently, (I did this yesterday on May 17th, 2018) I got 8 links to different pages on CEA Farms website or about CEA  Farms mentions in local newspapers and THEN a link to the Virts Family Farms Farm Market’s website. This isn’t too bad since the farm markets existence on the web is relatively new and both CEA Farms and Virts Family Farms have the same physical location, down to the specific address at 15485 Purcellville Rd, Purcellville, VA 20132.
In addition to location adding a wrinkle to online presence, one persons Google search results may be different from another depending on their individual search history. So if you try the same search as another person you may get different results. This is because google normally indexes search and browsing history and takes one’s search history into consideration when searching for search terms a person enters.
So your friend might not see the link to the farmers market you searched for (virtsfamilyfarms.com for example) listed as high up in the search rankings as you did yet since he/she has a certain search history and virtsfamilyfarms.com is relatively new on the web.  However, as relevant content is added on the site, links back to the site from other affiliated sites are added and an owner initiated verification of Virts Family Farms Farmers Market by Google is completed, the rankings will definitely change for the better for anyone that searches.
Please feel free to call, post a response or text with any questions/comments about this post or any other issue with your site or this article. I may be able to offer a solution.

 

Ricky Rodriguez
Web Development and Internet Support
rickyrod.com
rickyrod@rickyrod.com
540-668-6752