Beliefnet
Oh My Stars

We are truly fortunate to live in an age where so much information is freely available on the Internet. When I was a kid growing up in the Seventies, we didn’t have the Internet to look information up with, but I lived in a small city which supported a university, and they had a feature called “dial an expert,” and whenever I came up with a question that I couldn’t find the answer to on my own, I used to call them up all the time and try to find a professor who could answer my questions.

Are dogs color blind?
Why can parrots learn to have a conversation but not do math?
Why do we have two lungs instead of one big one?
Why do earthworms have 5 hearts and we only have one?

These are all samples of actual questions I called the University with as a child. There were questions involving lots of other subject matters, but for whatever reason it was the Biology Department that got the least sick of me.

Today we have the Internet and unparalleled access to information… and much of it is terrible.

Here are a couple of ways to tell if the web site you’re getting your astrology from is terrible.

SERVE SOME KEYWORD SALAD

Those of you who run a website or write for the Internet or have done research into how to draw attention to your website will undoubtedly have uncovered a concept called “SEO,”  which is short for “search engine optimization.” In essence, what this means is that whatever you write for the Internet is supposed to be heavily spiced with usage of common words that will draw people using Google looking for your service or product.

At first this concept seems perfectly reasonable: if you are selling aircraft engine bushings, why not use the phrase “aircraft engine bushings” on your website a lot so Google will make it easier for customers to find you?

In practice however this tends to serve as the enemy of clear and enjoyable writing. Let me show you an example of that, which is probably typical of something you’ve come across before.

Gemini Capricorn compatibility

Are you a Gemini interested in a Capricorn? Are you a Capricorn interested in a Gemini? Are you a Gemini woman attracted to a Capricorn man? Are you a Gemini man attracted to a Capricorn corn woman? Are you a Gemini or a Capricorn man or woman who would like to attract the seduce or date or have sex with or fall in love with or have a relationship with or share an apartment with a Gemini or Capricorn man or woman? Are Gemini and Capricorn compatible? Does Gemini like Capricorn? Does Capricorn like Gemini?

The answer is a definite maybe! Click here to purchase a generic computer generated report that will give you all the uncanny profound mystical astrological astrology astrologer details! Warm up that credit card!

INFOGRAPHICS DON’T LIE (BUT THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THEM DO)

Equally click-bait-worthy (and equally offensive to a well rounded knowledge of astrology) are those sites which specialized in posting infographics that tragically minimize or outright misrepresent the complexities of astrology. You have undoubtedly seen these things posted on a friend’s Facebook Wall somewhere — or in a moment of weakness re-posted one yourself that insisted you were inherently more honest, sexy, lovable, and/or trustworthy than the average Sign… of if you just broke up with an (X) after dating a (Y) and they both cheated on you, and you found an infographic that insisted that (X) and (Y) are both inherently terrible people.

I refuse to give any of these sites more publicity than they deserve, so I made an example on my own. Here it is:

beliefnet astrology matthew currie

Go ahead, click on it, download it, share it, pin it, tweet it, and roll it up and smoke it. I need the publicity!

Speaking as someone who writes on the Internet as part of my living, I am aware of these various techniques for getting more clicks. Sadly, many of the websites that are also aware of these techniques really don’t appear to give even the tiniest of hoots about whether or not they’re conveying actual information. Once you’ve generously donated your click and your eyeball time, they’re done with astrology.

I do care about those things. So by all means: if you’ve been clicking around looking for general information on astrology, bookmark this place and feel free to come back. You might not get the 25 words or less answer you were looking for, but you might end up getting something even better: the truth about how astrology really works and how it can actually make your life a genuinely better place.

As for all those extra SEO-induced clicks I could be getting? I’ll just have to learn to live without them.

So if you have any questions for me, Please feel free to write me and ask. However, be warned: if you are a Gemini man and/or woman wanting to know if a Capricorn man/ woman will be attracted to you, love you, or seduce you… I’m going to need more information than that. Also: all the good you may actually need a reading rather than just a quick and snappy answer. Life is like that sometimes.

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