Wednesday, April 25, 2007

on the dark arts of search engine optimization

I have been trying to figure out why I cannot search the internet (google, msn, yahoo ...) and get to my blog even after doing an exact search for keyword combinations exclusive to my blog. What opened up to me is a whole new world. I know, I know, I am obsolete .. what world have I been living in ?! I am an old UNIX/C guy and html/xml really doesnt classify as programming to me. I now feel bad about poking fun at the mainframe guys back in the 90s. In saying that, now I really feel old !! I digress, sorry for the soapbox.

My quest is to get a hit in google search using a combination of my name and 'knownbugs' keywords. Should be unique with the top hit bringing me to the website hosted on google blogspot .. big assumption being the search engines give you results ordered by relevance (occurence of all keywords).

Well, not quite so. So, reading up on recommendations, I first researched tagging. Technorati tags is an emerging 'power player' in the world of blogs. Supposedly, 'labels', 'titles', 'headers' in blog content/articles should be automatically picked up by the Technorati engine (invoked when you 'ping'). Alternatively, you can force a tag by using the 'Technorati Tags' method.

Even so, this only makes your tags visible within Technorati's blog search. For the normal google internet search, blog content hosted on blogspot appears invisible, however, on google's blog search, it works.

I also did the wait 30 days and magic will happen thing. This is what some recommend as the time it takes for spiders to crawl your content.

So, further tricks/tips. I am now in the process of getting a custom domain name. Godaddy.com offers cheap registrar services. My selection - www.knownbugs.org (or .info, .net, .biz .. unfortunately, .com was taken by someone who wants to make money by selling the name).

What a custom domain name will do, is treat the blog content as regular www content and hopefully allow the search engine 'spiders' to index the content making it visible in the regular google search world.

I suspect, I will find other gotchas as there clearly is money at play here.

Instead of us being in the age of 'content in king', we appear to be living in the age of 'content control is king'. Here is where there is a war going on. The behemoths - google, microsoft, yahoo .. all at play.

'Influencing' search engines is worth a lot of money nowadays. A massive amount of complexity behind the scenes with 'SEC' or search engine optimization being a real growth area. I worry !

I worry about such central control on information access, however, hacks like us always have a way of breaking free.

More as my quest progresses !! Am still waiting for the DNS servers to update so expect to be redirected to www.knownbugs.org when you go to knownbugs.blogspot.com shortly.

2 comments:

Milan Gupta said...

SUCCESS !!!

I now get a hit with the keywords 'milan gupta' & 'knownbugs'.

Googlebot finally crawled my site !! I had to submit my url for indexing to google and then use the google web-master tools to check for any errors etc.

Kaustubha said...

Found some material which helps potential Content writers...
http://searchenginewatch.com/showPage.html?page=2167931

Then there is one which analyses your site and rates the chances of it being 'found' by search engine bots...
http://www.vipsem.com/meta-tag-and-keyword-analyzer-marketing-tool.html