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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Indexing should get smarter for bloggers




There are several reasons why Bloggers post. A part of it, I believe, is to share technology and for many, including me, it is a great tool to meet like minded technology people, who often respond by private email. But, I'd be willing to go out on a limb and state that the biggest reason most bloggers blog is that they like to have a podium to talk and be heard, albeit virtually. This also means, therefore, that a vast majority of the bloggers (including me) are 'hitcounter'
maniacs. We love to log in and see how high up our 'hit count' is for the day, and who referred to us. There. I said it. Nothing wrong with it. I love what I call 'ego searching'. It's not a term I invented. PhpBB forums have used this term for many years.

And this is where I think major search engines like Google and Yahoo can do a better job. See, both of them give you an option for either searching within other blogs (who in the blogosphere links to you) or the whole web. The former is limited while the latter is problematic.

Let me explain. There is a difference between adding an analytics tool to your site vs. searching for who links to you. The latter is a superset of the former. The analytics tool will catch referrers (assuming they are not locked) only if the referring site results in a click to your site.

I often use Google Webmaster tools and Yahoo Siteexplorer to see 'Inlinks'. And the problem is that every time someone popular links to this blog, the links go for a toss.

Take for instance, a couple of days ago, Jeremy Zawodny linked to one of the pipes I created with Yahoo Pipes. Admittedly, I haven't been reading too many blogs in the search engine world, but it seems Jeremy's blog is heavily read and linked, so that in turn resulted in a good surge of hits to my site. I think that is fantastic. But here is the rub, when some post gets added to a person's blog-roll or a sidebar and the blog re-published, both Goog and Y! assume that every page in their blog that shows the same sidebar naturally must refer to me as well. Net result, I get 100s or 1000s of 'false inlinks' as I call it. This happened before as well, with another site who had added me to their blogroll and I saw 100s of false-positives. Well, they are not really false-positives - since it is a sidebar, it does actually link to my site, but search engines should be smarter while indexing and do a little better with this.

Suggestions:
1. add a voluntary tag which bloggers can put into 'sidebar' or 'blogroll' entries like , say, "indexOnce" which means even though this part of every page, it does not mean everypage is talking about it.

2. Get a little smarter at the indexing as well.

1 comment:

  1. [...] Indexing should get smarter for Bloggers - a bit of frustration on how search indexing algorithms mess up link information [...]

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