Aug 19

Google Can Seriously Damage Your Website

Jazz Clubs Worldwide http://jazz-clubs-worldwide was created in 1997 and in time became the key resource for jazz musicians, jazz lovers, agents, groups, bands et al.

evilEventually it was ranked within the top million websites on the Internet. Hits and pages views showing an exceptionally high volume. Then in March two thousand and eleven there was a dramatic change in the Google rankings of the website. Up until that date Jazz Clubs Worldwide had occupied Page One, Number One, for virtually every page on the site. Google down graded the rankings, slashing the viability to a point where the only result could be a dramatic decline in page views and visits.

Then what do we see? Google started to do its one jazz clubs listings, Page One, Top of the page. I might add a cherry picked listing displaying only twenty jazz clubs. Some pages on Jazz Clubs Worldwide displayed more than one hundred.

I made attempts, what became obviously futile, strategies to regain what had been taken away.

In December two thousand and sixteen I announced I was closing down the website. The traffic was no more than twenty percent of what it had been prior to Google slashing my rankings. I sent out a newsletter to my very substantial mailing list announcing that Jazz Clubs Worldwide was reluctantly closing its doors. The response was global and immediate. Messages of support for what had for many had become a key tool in their jazz activities.

Rather than closing the site I decided to recompile the data, this a major operation, and convert Jazz Clubs World Wide in the a database format. This has been well received and has gained much support. However the fact remains that the global jazz scene has been deprived of the most comprehensive resource on the Internet.

We hear quite a lot about Google bending its preferences to suit its own interests. It is a reality. The European Union investigating unit has revealed very serious instances.

As a footnote I have in fact lodged a complaint with the European Union's Competition Bureau. Though I am not optimistic. Jazz Clubs Worldwide's case is just a minor infringement. Or is it?

Aug 19

Remembering Pol (Pol Jazz) Lenders

Pol Lenders, whose real name is Leopold Lenders, known for a long time as Pol from the Pol's Jazz Club, born in 1917 and died on August 2, 20001, was a Belgian and Belgian jazz personality who opened several clubs in Brussels.

  Pol's memory lives on in a cabinet
at The Jazz Station in Brussels

Pol Lenders was the son of a flower vendor who worked in the Place Rogier in Brussels. During his youth, already a fan of American rhythmic music, in connection with his red hair, he was nicknamed "Rosse Polle" ("Paul le Roux" in brusseleer *). He quickly became a figure of Brussels folklore.

In the 1960s, he was a doorman in several trendy clubs in the Belgian capital, such as Les Cousins near the Grand-Place, Le Ben-Hur, rue du Marché aux Fromage, or La Frégate rue Neuve. Then, he opened several jazz clubs, the "Carton Club", the "Victory Club", the "Pol's" rue du Marché au Charbon, the "Pol's Jazz Club" rue de Stassart, and in Ixelles and the "Bierodrome" place Fernand Cocq also in Ixelles.

Pol Lenders invited the biggest names in American jazz, blues and swing, such as John Coltrane, Count Basie, Dexter Gordon and many others. In 1985, he also helped to create the "Saint-Jazz-ten-Noode" in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, where he lived for a while in the rue de Liedekerke.

The commune where he lived, after his death in 2001, named a street after him in his honour.

(Note: I wonder when London will get around to naming a street to commemorate Ronnie Scott?)

* A dialect used in what was primarily a working class district of Brussels: La Marolles. Brusseleer is essentially is a Dutch Brabantian dialect incorporating many words of French origin as well as a sprinkling of Spanish dating back to the rule of the Low Countries by the Habsburgs (1519-1713).