The Greatest Hits Compilation

I’ve been noticing something interesting with Google lately -While the rankings of this site have been increasing, the number ofsearch engine hits against blog entries has actually beendropping: A week ago several entries in this blog were amongthe first page results for a number of terms (albeit less commonterms), whereas now they’ve virtually disappeared. Given that otherparts of the site are still seeing significant search enginedirected traffic (in fact more than ever), it clearly isn’tanything site-wide.

What I suspect is that Google has started identifyingcontent as blog/not blog, as has long been anticipated, and if it’sperceived to be the former then it is de-valued a degree.Identification could be as simple as checking for a synchronizedRSS, or elements like calendar controls and the like. If it lookslike a blog, reads like a blog…

There is a legitimate reason for that sort of segregation:The promiscuous linking of bloggers has drowned out`traditional’ content, so much so that many searches weregoing to blog entries that happened to mention something inpassing, even in a content-free, largely useless manner, making theuse of search engines a frustrating, less-effective exercise.Discussion groups have been flooded with commentary about evilbloggers polluting the Google rankings (blaming bloggers for whatis, in essence, a search engine problem).

Naturally Google’s first step was to give bloggers a `home’ (theGoogle blog search),and step two, I suspect, is to start cleaning up the searchresults.

If this is true, on the one hand I’m happy about it – it meansthat every search result isn’t going to return every randomMSDN blogger that’s highlyranked just for being a part of the conblogation, but on the otherhand it punishes those who use a blog format as a contentmanagement system of sorts.

Anyways, because I like appearing in the search results,I’ve created a new category and have started checking off “best of”posts. Through the magic of two XSLT transforms against the RSS ofthat category, and a bit of customization, it’s nowbeing replicated in non-blog-form over at http://www.yafla.com/dennisforbes/index.html.I’ve SEO’d the path and file names, and of course set appropriatetitles on the documents (given that it’s a single item per file Ican do this), so content will definitely see more seach love overthere. The layout is a bit ugly right now, but given that it’s justa templated, dynamic transform I’ll clean that up when I get thetime.