Google Results Show Categories Instead of Posts
I have noticed something that I consider strange, but may be normal. I am hoping you can let me know.
Using an example title post from my blog “Marking All RSS Feeds As Read With IE7”
Type that exactly into Google. The result for my blog is about the 5th link down title “Microsoft « A Life of Constant Flux”
However, the link is to a *Category*, not the individual post. So if you click on that link you will see all posts related to that category, not just the “Marking All RSS Feeds As Read With IE7”.
I have noticed that this is the case with all searches where my blog comes up as a result.
Is this normal? I would prefer that only the related post would show.
Is there a setting or something that I need to change?
I did a google blog search on the title and I got a direct link to your blog (second entry from top)
Marking All RSS Feeds As Read With IE7
I did a search just on normal, vanilla Google. What do you get then?
Sheesh – I typed in the title to your blog article and this is what I found. Instead of the link leading to your blog it goes to the wordpress.com tag pages.
Rss — Blogs, Pictures, and more on WordPress
Marking All RSS Feeds As Read With IE7 · Joel Marcey wrote 1 day ago : I tried, I really tried, to use IE7 as my RSS Reader. Integrated into the browser, …
fr.wordpress.com/tag/rss/ – 24k – Cached – Similar pages
This is the response I received from support:
I tested google with the following phrase, which is the title of one of my posts:
“turtle and crab”
The entry shows up roughly as the third one. If you click it, it goes to my post directly.
It does not go to a category.
In your example, I believe that when you type in
“Marking All RSS Feeds As Read With IE7”
Google determins that the following link
is more relevant, perhaps it ranked higher than your individual post.
So it all comes down to google pageRank algorithm.
Google determines that the following link: fr.wordpress.com/tag/rss/ is more relevant. Perhaps, it’s ranked higher than your individual post.
So it all comes down to Google’s PageRank algorithm.
Plus of course with all the new inbound links from the misdirected tags and cats posing as tags the page rank for the tags pages will rocket. Yes it is a gigantic link farm as options opines. Welcome to WordPress Web 2.0. This is now worse than the Hot Nachos Spam Scandal. :)
Pardon my innocent question, but isn’t link-farming frowned upon by Google’s search algorithm, which tends to cut off such activities at the knees by burying sites that engage in it in the search results?
Yes, and Google and WordPress have had words over it in the past. WordPress, so far, has won.
What this means to WP.com bloggers is that it’s normal for the WP tag pages to outrank your own blog unless it’s exceptionally popular. This is a benefit, not a loss. Those WP tag page rankings are rankings your blog would not otherwise have gotten, generally speaking.
@raincoaster: I am not sure about the technical basis – if any – for your assertion that *the WP tag rankings are rankings your blog would not othwise have gotten* I do not know what that means and I would like to see any evidence in support of your statement which you make quite frequently. In every case the WP tag page is going to have a higher page rank and traffic for the same key words as the err *contributing* blog. Furthermore at least Google tries to return pages ranked by *relevance* albeit the PR plays a part. All Automattic need do is rank their tag pages by traffic then they can steer even more traffic to them. Thus their own ad revenue will rocket. This is definitely a one way street.
Honestly, if you want to talk to me, do it on my blog, not in the forums. Or post counter-evidence. You seem, insofar as I can understand you, to be agreeing with me.
Also, if you want to talk to Automattic, I believe you have their contact info. I don’t work for them. I’m just a blogger at WordPress.com; are you?
Well it is in the forum that you keep posting these very generalised assertions. It seems fair they should be answered here. Or not made at all.
> isn’t link-farming frowned upon by Google’s search algorithm, which tends to cut off such activities at the knees by burying sites that engage in it in the search results?
yes, it is. scroogle for “wordpress hot nacho ~scandal“. that endeavour got some loving justice from Goog, and wordpress.org had a PR of 0 (zero) for some time, which meant they’ve been effectively removed from Google search results.
there’s a subtle moment: at that incident Matt was running 3rd-party (not Goog’s) ads; since that time Automattic took a lesson and now acts much smarter — this time they are a rather big customer of Goog itself. anyhow, this can’t last forever as even Goog has competitors and also because of all that PR stuff, you know.
> it’s normal for the WP tag pages to outrank your own blog unless it’s exceptionally popular.
this is essentially the same thing as to saying:
“it’s normal for any copy-scraping site / splog to outrank your own blog unless it’s exceptionally popular.”
good examples are: wordprexy, wpfind.com, etc. extremely “happy” wordpress campers reactions to such “outrankings” can be found right on this forums.
btw, even Technoraty or other tag-aggregators don’t require you to link to them as ‘rel=tag’ (and ping) is pretty much suffice test to be present in their listings. not so about wordpress.com Global Tags where you’re forced to pass away your links and deprived of opt-out opportunity.
> This is a benefit, not a loss.
which benefit, for whom?
I bet any blogger, regardless of where they are at, would rather prefer to see direct links to their particular blogs in the search engines results pages, instead of links to any higher ranked tag aggregator/link-farm, which may bury their posts on the 173th page of the ‘zeitgeist of what popular in the last 48 hours’.
you know, some tags are so stuffed with a ‘fresh stuff’, that a visitor who is looking for the particular search terms, which may even stand for your entire blog-post title (as in the OP example), just won’t be able to find this post in question out there. most likely, he’ll have to land to another (similar tagged) .com blog, but once again: whom it’s advantageous/profitable to then?
> Those WP tag page rankings are rankings your blog would not otherwise have gotten, generally speaking.
guess there’s a typo by inclusion in this sentence. particularly speaking, it must be read as:
“Those WP tag page rankings are rankings your blog would otherwise have gotten.”
no doubts, the cause of that typo is an excessive drinking of the Atomattic’s Inc. Kool-Aid ™, but that’s just so typical for the fanboys, so I’m not surprised at all.
regardless of whatever product/service they consume or use, fanboys usually tend to totally associate themselves with that product/service said and defend it (also regardless of its quality), because otherwise they’d feeling themselves so silly and out of the flock — “if I’m a user of the not so cool product/service (which everyone of my flock is using too), then I must be not so cool as well”.
"Four legs good, two legs better!" -- George Orwell, Animal Farm
So raincoaster – you have had both the short and the long answers now. We did try to warn you.
Another blogger pointed out to me that that Google sitemaps have a means of making sure your posts have more importance than your feeds or your tag/category archives.
All of this “clarification” makes me wonder: Could it be that wordpress.com is taking advantage of their bloggers’ naivety/ignorance?
This discussion is bound to become an interesting one indeed if and when, one or more of our VIP bloggers takes some time out from counting stats and does some deep thinking.
What I think raincoaster is saying is that high PR tag pages linking to your blog is going to boost your own PR. And I think what options is arguing is that the tags pages are stealing their PR from your blog anyway.
‘Mature’ blogs are being used to boost a system which does not benefit them in any way; Automattic have admitted that. That’s the point where it stops being quid pro quo and becomes SEO gaming.
I wouldn’t think that one single *high PR* page link would make a lot of difference. Particularly a splog page.
> Another blogger pointed out to me that that Google sitemaps have a means of making sure your posts have more importance than your feeds or your tag/category archives.
that’s what ‘robots.txt’ (or ‘meta name=”ROBOTS” content=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW’) is for, btw — not on the .com;
also, regardless of sitemap, SE will index everything (including every feed) it can crawl on your blog.
but that is an off-topic in this thread, because the OP and yourself both explicitly mentioned URL: fr.wordpress.com/tag/rss/ which is in .com GT and hence totally out of user control — sitemaps won’t do it either way.
> Could it be that wordpress.com is taking advantage of their bloggers’ naivety/ignorance?
hello Tony! ;-)
re: VIP bloggers
apart from Scoble, who fairly gives out his category links (probably because he’s already “exceptionally popular” == PR8), and hasn’t mentioned traffic from .com’s GT just by a single word in his yesterday’s post ‘On Traffic’, all the rest .com VIP blogs I saw either have them local or don’t show at all (e.g. sphere.wordpress.com, yet another A.’s venture) — why do you believe?
Have I got this right options? The VIP cats / tags go local? :)
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