Following on from my recent post about becoming something of a wannabe tech geek, I was checking out my DA rating the other day. DA is Domain Authority, a scored system which predicts how well your website will rank on search engines. The scoring parameters are 1-100, and apparently anything above 30 is decent enough. I entered my domain and waited for the result to come back. 96!! Bloody hell. I knew I was doing relatively alright, as a newb, but I didn’t expect to go right to a podium position in my first couple of months. I think I blushed a bit. 

I told my lovely Tribal blogging group in our DM chat and attempted to calm down the blaze of my glory by adding “but surely 96 isn’t right?”.

“Are you on WordPress?” someone typed.

“Yep.”

“That’s the DA for WordPress overall hun. Not your site.”

Ah. Well, there’s me looking like a bit of a tit. I went back to the DA checker and scrolled down. Sure enough, there was a score for Page Authority, which must be my individual page on the platform hosted by WordPress. I score a 1, folks. Apparently it takes a while for everything to “cache” though so I should check again in a month. The clock is ticking with the wilting social impact of my pride.

Anyway! That soul-destroying story is the cause of, but not the inspiration for, this little moan. Have you seen those Recaptcha popups, that try to determine whether you’re a nasty, data stealing, website hacking robot instead of a wet-behind-the-ears blog lady? It used to be enough to check a box and say, yeah, I’ve got blood coursing through these veins. Let me in, s’il vous plait et merci.

Not now. Not for my IP address, at least. Now, I have to pass a test based on shitty, grainy little thumbnail images that are most definitely subject to interpretation.

“Click all images that have a storefront.”

Ok. Walmart is definitely one. That corner shop gets a tick too. Petrol station? Er….I guess. Let’s give it a tick. What the hell is that in the bottom left? It looks like a photo of a shanty town from my GCSE Humanities coursework book. But there’s a man holding a pineapple in front of it so maybe it was a shop, of sorts. Top right – it is ALL BEIGE. There’s nothing distinguishing in that image at all, it is literally a screengrab of a piece of toast or something.

I click submit.

“Multiple correct solutions required. Please solve more.”

And lo, up pops another grid of 9 sodding images. Is a hotel a storefront? Does any establishment that accepts money represent a store? I click away.

“Select all images with trees.” Right, so I failed the storefront test. Ok, off we go again. By now, I’m in direct sunlight and squinting at the screen. Some are easy wins, your gaudy Christmas tree and your frondy palm. Others, however, require consultation of the RHS Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers. I mean, middle row centre, that’s just an arid rockface with some scrubby bits of grass poking out, surely? Are they trees?

Fuck this, I’ll try another site. “Select all images with a pickup truck.”

THERE’S A STOREFRONT! Farmacia, see? Store. Oh, hang on, what am I supposed to be looking for? I click everything with an engine, and notice that with each click, a fresh tile appears underneath. Are you shitting me? How long am I supposed to be going at this for?

“Multiple corrections required. Select all images with a river.”

Oh piss off, Recaptcha. That is a GARDEN POND, and you’re a robot. You’re a robot sleuthing out other robots. You’re a cannibalistic robot and I don’t want to check my DA score again, anyway.

-SJW July 2016

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