A Google just for <me>

Now that’s my kind of Google: via their results weblog, Last Google (Beta), providing you with the last thing Google wants you to see. For lots of things we both talk about, Randy‘s got me beat for the bottom, since he’s been going out of his way to post duplicate content, but there’s still an enormous number of things for which I’m the very last thing you should look at.

In related news, so far I’m very happy with my switch to searching Yahoo!: their results are quite good, and I’m much happier having to sift through five different sites with the same Wikipedia article than I am wondering what’s being mistakenly hidden from me every time I search. Google may be mostly okay if there’s one and only one possible result for your searches (something that I remember being fairly true a few years ago, when “I’m feeling lucky” was moderately useful, but these days I’m only rarely looking for one exact page), but if you want to look around and decide for yourself, Yahoo! feels like a better bet.


Comment by Matt Mower #
2006-01-12 00:56:24

Hi Phil.

Thanks for your post the other day. Whatever you have done it seems to have worked as I just searched for ”Phil Ringnalda” on Google and http://weblog.philringnalda.com/ came up as #1.

I’m going to try and get aggregators to stop publishing my content and have asked Userland to remove the test blog you noticed was still live.

I guess I just have to hope this is enough to restore my fragile page rank…

And thank you just for responding.


Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2006-01-12 01:35:27

Nah, that was the one thing they left me all along: about anything else, I’m the bottom of the barrel, it’s only about me that I’m a worthwhile result. Either we have different penalties, or you got it worse than me, no idea which.

Interestingly, though, one thing has changed from my examples the other day: although when you just search for the words the results are the same, with Sameer’s aggregator showing my post coming up somewhere in the 200-300 neighborhood, and my post only showing if you include duplicates and look at the very bottom, now if you search for the words as a phrase, so that only one result is shown, it’s me rather than Sameer who gets credit for being the original. That may just be randomness, but I’d like to believe it’s actually the result of them fixing their broken selves.

Comment by Allan Rasmussen #
2006-01-12 23:17:50

Not that I didn’t expect it would come, but calling Yahoo! a better bet than Google already? Are we still supposed to believe, that you in fact don’t really care about how high Google ranks your pages (if they there at all)?

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2006-02-02 00:00:40

Somewhere around here, I have a stickynote that says ”AllanR comm” that was supposed to remind me to reply. That’s apparently not a very effective system.

Of course, most things about my twisted psyche aren’t especially straightforward, but this really is. Fairly.

The normal mode of caring about how you rank in search engines is ”omg, I won’t get any traffic, and nobody will click on my ads!!oneone!!” I don’t care. Not only do I not have ads, I don’t have any interest in random traffic: by far the bulk of my former search engine visitors were looking for things that they wouldn’t find here, mostly for things that they will never find here. I don’t miss them at all.

However, we have such a monoculture of search that something which doesn’t show up in the first page or two of Google doesn’t exist, and that is a problem for me. When someone searches for [Firefox search plugin character encoding] and fails to find my post where I went to a fair bit of trouble to completely document something that’s either under-explained or just plain wrong elsewhere, then the world’s a less pretty place (and I may have to fix someone’s bug later on, which is why I wrote it in the first place), which annoys me slightly. But when a friend tries to find something they know I’ve written, like Peter6 looking for ”LiveBookmarkThis” and only finding page after page of mozilla.org mirrors, then I do care: I don’t approve of having my friends frustrated.

”Better bet” I’m not absolutely sure about; however, I haven’t yet felt like I was missing things, or found when I cross-checked with Google’s results that they had something useful when Yahoo left me with nothing but junk. And given my fondness for weblogs, and the huge, and apparently increasing, number of big name high value weblogs I’m seeing down at the bottom of Google’s results with me, yeah, ”better bet.” I may not be that useful a result, but Keith Robinson has written a whole lot of very valuable stuff about web design over the years, and if you use Google you’ll only be finding Asterisk results related to your search if you work your way out to result 1000.

Comment by Randy Charles Morin #
2006-01-13 09:47:59

Getting well indexed is no easy task. The thing is, you have to work with the indexes and not against them to make it work and even then you can get very frustrated. C’est la vie.

I had one domain that Google simply refused to index, until Matt Cutts figured out for me that the previous owner of the domain had gotten the domain kicked out of the index. Matt even filed a request for re-inclusion on my behalf. He’s a great guy. You might want to pass your problem by him.

Comment by James Holderness #
2006-02-02 17:34:49

I don’t know if it’s just me, but that this article doesn’t seem to have made it into your Atom feed yet (your most recent article isn’t there either). I thought it might have been my aggregator at first, but I’ve just viewed the XML and the last entry listed is ”Another Google loser heard from” (angle brackets omitted for the sake of my sanity). Either you’re doing some weird kind of filtering based on my IP address, or something is screwed.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2006-02-02 21:05:42

Wow, it’s a good thing I don’t have much ego tied up in how competant I am at this crap :)

I did one of two things, not sure which yet: either it was using an editor that adds a newline at the end of the file on the plugin that creates the static feed file when I publish a post (which WordPress is apparently quite unfond of, what with PHP deciding to get foolish and send headers and whatnot the first time it sees a blank line), or I removed one of the three hooks I was using (for edit_post, which I don’t think I need along with delete_post and publish_post, since it looks like publish_post gets called every time a post is saved/edited with the status ”publish,” but I wouldn’t be too surprised if I didn’t actually test it, and it wasn’t working).

Anyway, thanks! So much for the value of subscribing to your own feed: it might alert you to problems if you pay attention, but if even you don’t miss you when you don’t post, it doesn’t seem to help.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2006-02-02 21:31:37

Or in how competent I am at spotting my misspelling of ”competant,” despite having been dinged over it several times in the last few months. I hope I lost that brain cell to something I enjoyed at the time.

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