Archive for July, 2008

Status update: ranking and indexing

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008


  • added XML sitemap. I used the Google Sitemap Generator plugin for WordPress, which is find for the blog but not quite as happy adding too many other non-blog pages, or so it seemed to me. I added other pages by hand a few times and only a couple of them “took” in the sitemap.
  • added link to blog footer template
  • added new pages related to the next experiment
  • changed some blog settings to exclude duplicate content and change default URLs
  • added link to home page on unrelated PR3 page, hoping to speed up indexing of all pages
  • Google’s indexing fluctuates wildly. I’ve been checking much more than necessary, but I’ve seen results on the site: operator search fluctuate from 3 to 16 to 23 today.
  • Google likes the blog pages more than the rest of the site, in terms of indexing. Despite excluding certain types of page, there’s a lot of duplicate content (ie posts indexed separately under title, tag and category…)
  • Links direct from blog posts seem to be influential in getting site pages indexed
  • Main site home page was ranking #31 earlier today for the non-quote term “search experiments”; now #34.

Experiment 2 – anchor text and noindex

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

I’ve begun a new search experiment. At that link you’ll find the “home page” for that experiment, which links to a couple of other pages. These pages, while not identical, are pretty similar in content. Each of them has a link using unusual anchor text to another pair of final destination pages, each of which has a little bit of text and a picture. One of the linking pages is set to “noindex”. 

The intention is to see whether both of the destination pages will rank for a search on the unusual anchor text, and if so, which one ranks the highest. 

The expectation would be that both pages would appear for that search, along with the pages that contain the terms. 

If that is the case, then I won’t put too much weight on the outcome of which one ranks the highest, but it should give us a platform for further iterations.

Claiming the blog on Technorati

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Technorati Profile

Status and activity update

Saturday, July 26th, 2008


  • 9 pages indexed in Google – only from the blog, not from the rest of the site.
  • Blog home is #265 in Google for the unquotationed term “search experiments”.
  • Google Webmaster Tools reporting that pages are indexed; no other data available.


  • Submitted site to Google using its addurl link
  • Authenticated the site in Yahoo Site Explorer
  • Added a couple of links from a couple of old blogs
  • Added and activated SEO plug-in for WordPress
  • Tentative efforts at proper use of CSS
  • I plan to devise an experiment around anchor text – whether and how far it cascades

The importance of a controlled environment

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

The meta-experiment relating to indexing is over, having fallen victim to a failure to maintain a hermetically sealed environment for the experiment.

The idea was to see whether pages from the site would be indexed by Google when they had no external links and no submission to Google had been made.

Despite the fact that no submission has been made and no links sought or set up, one has crept through.

It seems that Technorati have some detail about this blog, presumably through some hook-up with WordPress. The relevant Technorati pages don’t currently appear in the Goo index, but this aggregator is picking up and publishing blog posts from Technorati with certain tags, in this case “w3c”, and publishing them.

All very interesting in itself, but it does rather blow the intended experiment. Which just goes to show how hard it is to maintain a hermetic environment for experiments on the web.

Anyhow, now that it’s blown, I can pump in a bit of link juice from elsewhere – I need the pages to be indexed for current and future experiments.

Using Google tools

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

As part of the “how little can I do and still get indexed” experiment, I’ve added both Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools to the site, to see if these alone will inspire the big G to index them. 

Expected outcome: not in the index

Next steps: Use the Google “Add URL” tool. I’m going to give this a couple of days though. 

Incidentally, if anyone thinks that a couple of days is not enough time to wait, I’m pretty confident that I could get indexed in 24 hours if I was in a rush – I will need to have this site indexed for other experiments in future, so I’m not prepared to wait indefinitely…


Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

OK, it’s probably pretty easy when you are writing the code by hand, but I have now ensured that all pages of the site, except for those where I have deliberately screwed things up as part of an experiment, are W3C-compliant.

This is something that I intend to maintain. How hard can it be?

Welcome to my site

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Welcome to the blog for I don’t think you’ll find anything of too much interest here at present; it’s a newly created scratchpad for me to mess around without doing too much harm.

The first experiment is already live, but I’m also running a “meta-experiment” to see what it takes to get the domain noticed by Google.

Note that I’m not trying to get it indexed at present – I know just how I could do that quite easily if I wanted to. No, what I’m doing is seeing how little I have to do to get it indexed.

At present, this consists of creating a few pages for the site, and adding this blog. No URL submission, no external links, no Google Analytics on the page, no Google Webmaster tools account, no XML sitemap.

Oh, the only other thing that I’ve done which might give Google a clue as to the existence of this site is to search it for the domain name. Also, and in the interest of full disclosure, I have accessed the site with a browser equipped with the Google Toolbar.

I don’t expect to be successfully indexed now. Probably the next step will be to set up Google Analytics and maybe Webmaster Tools, as I will want to access those in the near future.


Edit: Added link (29/07/08)