June 09, 2005

search engines

Tim Worstall had some questions about search engines.
1) When you set up a blog at Blogger (or one of the other free alternatives) does it automatically get indexed by Google? Is it something that will, inevitably (even if after a few weeks) get included? Or does one need to add the URL manually, with all the possibilities for rejection that this encompasses?

2) In terms of being indexed by the engines, how does something like blogrolling work? Say you have 5 blogs. Same blogroll from blogrolling on each of them. When the spider or bot comes round to read the page, does the blogrolling list get treated as part of the page? Assume that the links in such a blogroll are links from that page to another? And if you’ve got the same blogroll up at five sites does this mean that the spider thinks there are five pages pointing to that site?

3) At the free sites for blogs is it simple to add things like sitemeter, blogrolling, google ads etc to the template? By simple I mean cut and paste. Or does one need to know some html?
For which I have answers.

1. Google indexes Blogger automatically, they bought it many to get more data into their indexes so not indexing would be counter productive.

2. As for Blogrolling (the one from blogrolling.com) it will not follow any links from that as that is a piece of Javascript that calls down the data and generates the list when it is run. The googlebot does not understand Javascript (and will probably ignore everything between script tags) so links from a Blogrolling blogroll will be ignored by the bot.

What you described is often referred to by seach engine optimisers as a 'gateway site' basically a secondary site (or set of sites) that it tuned to look good to googles crawler rather than actually be of any use to humans. As it is specifically designed for crawlers it will sail up the relevancy ranking and generally come out close to the top, showing that the specialist has done what they where paid for. A little Javascript, which google ignores, is then used to redirect the actual viewers to the real site. Also being linked to by a set of high relevancy sites will boast the PageRank of the site that they are linking to.

You can't do this with blogrolling.com as it is javascript, you have to actually write in the HTML. Doing it with a hand coded system is also getting harder as Google recently upgraded there system to ignore the effects of gateway sites.

There are other things that you can do to manipulate your PageRank upwards, one of the best being to own your own domain name. If the domain has been around for a long time it helps, if it is not up for renewal for a long time it helps. Also the way that you gain links will help with ranking, not just the number of links. If the links increase steadily over a large period of time it is better than to have a large number that suddenly appear, and then have that number remain static. The closer it looks to google like your site is being linked to by actual people the better, and people link to things slowing.

3 Yes adding stuff is easy. Normally the provider of free stuff will give you the HTML that you need to paste in the template so it is just copy and paste. They want there stuff used by as many people as possible, so want the barrier to use as low as possible.


Blogger Tim Worstall said...

OK Chris, you obviously know your way around this stuff.

I’m not trying to boost my own blog site, rather want to see if there is an interesting way to make a little money. It’s a little different from the gateway site stuff.

From your and other responses I can see how to do most of what I think I need. However, the last little piece of the puzzle is for me to work out how to have a number of blogs which all show the same blogroll,and it must be possible to update that multiple site blogroll centrally. And that blogroll has to be something that will be indexed by the googlbot.

Any ideas?


5:24 pm  
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10:48 am  

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