News and views on motorsports

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Now For Something Different

Almost every blogger and website owner has some idea of his/her readers. Website owners usually know where their users come from, at what time, who referred them to their site and a wealth of other information. I love seeing the referrers. By far, this Blog gets lots of referrals from other Blogs, Blog directories and of course search engines such as MSN, Yahoo and Google.

Google's indexing of Motor Racing Journal is rather erratic. Ironic, given that Blogspot, the host of this Blog, is owned by Google. You would have thought that this entire Blog is indexed but apparently not. Ever since Google went public I noticed their indexing has dropped in quality. Maybe they're too busy with other projects like indexing books and stuff. Yahoo and MSN's index is more stable. I especially like the fact that if you searched for "gpwc championship" in Yahoo you'd get a link to the GPWC as the first entry and this Blog as the second. Yee ha.

No matter because Yahoo and MSN still drives a lot of traffic to Motor Racing Journal. From my website statistics, I also know what search query the user performs to get a link to this Blog. Up until very recently, search term most often used was "illegal racing in Malaysia." Apparently, this Blog appears on Yahoo if you use this search term. But you'd have to go very deep into the results. You'd have to go to Page 9 or 10 before you find a link to Motor Racing Journal.

Now I noticed that the link has been removed from Yahoo. But whats interesting is, someone or perhaps a group of people regularly search for "illegal racing in Malaysia." And the fact that they are willing to go to Page 10 of the results indicates to me a high level of dedication. They really want to search for such things. Hmmm.... The authorities perhaps? It does happen quite frequently I must say.

If you regularly read this Blog, you will know that I think racing on the streets is highly dangerous and should be strongly discouraged. Racing is best done on a proper racing circuit. Having been quite a regular at Sepang's Sunday track day in the past, I know that only a racing circuit will really test your skills and abilities. To drive fast on a circuit is enormously satisfying. Besides that, driving on a circuit is safe as well. Sepang boasts vast tracts of run off areas should you be over enthusiastic. Lots of first timers off the streets usually are. But so safe is the circuit environment that when I get off the circuit and drive on normal public roads, I actually feel the streets are a lot more dangerous. Even driving at normal speeds.

So, you may ask how is it that Yahoo managed to list this Blog in the infamous query? Well, its because of the article on Haves and Have Nots that I wrote a couple of months back. It had the misfortune of having the words "illegal" "racing" and "Malaysia" all in the same article.

Well, to whomever is looking for illegal racing in Malaysia literally, I must say you are using the wrong search term to find it. No street racer is going to call his nefarious activity as illegal racing. Its just racing to them. Or drag racing. Or running. Or whatever other term those guys use these days.

To the Establishment. If you want to keep racing off the streets then make your racing circuits as accessible to the boy racer as possible. Organize more and better events they can participate in. Look at the Saturday night Shah Alam races in the 90s as an example. That kept kids off the street. Racer dudes would either be watching or caning their road cars on the circuit. Put it this way, if anything went wrong then it would be in a very safe environment away from the general public.

And for god sakes, don't use Saturday night events as an excuse for the Road Transport Department to conduct road blocks to inspect the legality of their cars. That is just plain silly. Kids would stay away and you would put them back to racing on the streets.

Lastly, some blokes don't really want to go through the hassle of obtaining a proper racing license from the AA. They just want to go in, get a quick blast of adrenaline and get out again. If they objective is to keep racers off the streets then why don't you just make it simple for them to do it on the circuits. Insisting on racing licenses and the like just drives them away.

Lets strive to keep racing where it belongs, at a proper racing circuit. Then you wouldn't need to search Yahoo for illegal racing.

Lastly, what about illegal racing that happens on circuits?? There have been known cases. These blokes should know since they do it all the time. Catch them, lone ranger!

No comments: