End-of-Year Doodle Notes from Germany

As the year is drawing to a close, I want to wish all my readers a Happy New Year!

If you are familiar with the German language and customs though, you might know, we do not wish a Happy New Year (Ein gutes Neues Jahr!) before the new year has actually started.

Before 1 January, we actually wish each other Einen guten Beschluss! (a good end to the old year) or Einen guten Rutsch! (a good slide into the New Year).

There is no other literal translation except for this, “Have a good End!” (Beschluss is the noun, the verb is schliessen). I think I’ll stick to the Happy New Year greeting. 🙂

Four-leaf clover, piglets, and chimney sweeps (not pictured) are popular gifts around the New Year.

Personally, this has been a very good year. We have been blessed with good health, paid employment, the children are doing well academically, and we have had so many friends and family visiting us. If you have followed my category Beer Balcony in Germany, then you know about this already.

On a different note, my blogging has gotten less. Not only because other projects and visitors have kept me busy, but also because of the latest IT developments. Sometime in the early fall, Google decided to put me on their black list. They downgraded my page rank to zero, told me I was in violation with their rules, and asked me to remove certain outgoing links, etc.

Of course, I reacted thinking, “Me? Why me?”. After sending in a reconsideration request, I got the following response.

Quoted from their mail:

“We received a reconsideration request from a site owner for …..
We’ve reviewed your site and we believe that …. still violates our quality guidelines. In order to preserve the quality of our search engine, pages from …. may not appear or may not rank as highly in Google’s search results, or may otherwise be considered to be less trustworthy than sites which follow the quality guidelines.
For more specific information about the status of your site, visit the Manual Actions page in Webmaster Tools. From there, you may request reconsideration of your site again when you believe your site no longer violates the quality guidelines.
If you have additional questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum.

end of quote

I was reprimanded for outgoing links, which I had only posted for the readers’ benefit to get more information. There was no money or search result manipulation involved. The money I earn from this website is clearly stated in the Impressum (scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page) in German.

On the other hand, I had not seen myself as an important contributor to the cyberspace world. But now I do.

Google valued me enough to lower my rank, alone that is an award.

And yes, they can read all about it.


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