October 31, 2005

Google results

I'm writing some notes for a presentation about blogging at Warwick. One of the things I'm interested in is blog entries which become highly visible to search engines. Does anyone have any interesting examples of Google searches which return a Warwick Blogs entry somewhere in the first ten results?

I should clarify what I mean by "interesting", perhaps:-

  • Results for something other than someone's name are interesting (so "crystalography" would be more interesting than "John Smith").

  • Results about a subject other than someone's life are interesting (so "Plato" would be more interesting than "John Smith party fifteen pints").

  • Results which are ranked number one are more interesting than results ranked number ten.

  • Results which point to posts which are in some sense serious – they are reflective or critical or analytical – are more interesting than results which point to rants or rambles or funnys.

None of which is to say, of course, that there's anything wrong with blogging about your life, or ranting, or being funny. But if you know of any Google searches which meet one or more of the above criteria, it'd be very helpful if you could leave a comment. Thanks.

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  1. Chris May

    It struggles a bit on the 'interesting' front, but if you want to get the java bindings for memcached running on mac os x, then this gives my blog as the first result

    31 Oct 2005, 12:48

  2. Urm…vaguely interesting search: 'films warwick', brings up the Warwick Shootout blog as number 1, and the Warwick Arts Centre as number 2.

    31 Oct 2005, 13:01

  3. Stuart Coles

    Google says: Did you mean: crystallography

    31 Oct 2005, 13:02

  4. Stuart Coles

    Just did a few of mine… and searching for (ok – it's unlikely you'd actually do it!) chatroom militants hits my blog at number 1 – rather than The Register article which I was writing about, which comes at number 2.

    31 Oct 2005, 13:12

  5. First for "Internal Communications & Social Capital", second for "Internal Comms"...

    (Rob was demonstrating on Saturday – and he's got knocked off the top for "Cezanne Deleuze".)

    (Not sure whether this counts as interesting. It is proof that I need to beef up the content of that category though.)

    31 Oct 2005, 13:23

  6. This has my blog top. Not surprising, given that's almost the title of my blog. Interestingly, when you do put the 'the' in front to get the actual title of my blog, it only comes in third.

    31 Oct 2005, 13:54

  7. Googleing "Whit Friday" returns the Brass Society's blog at no 6 and their website at no 10, refering to the anual Whit Friday Brass Band marches

    31 Oct 2005, 14:10

  8. This one covers a couple of your points.

    31 Oct 2005, 14:54

  9. Mathew Mannion

    Tabby Callaghan brings up yours truly, Game Design Society has the blog as the number 2 result with the actual website as #1, although video game design society has the blog at #1 and the website at #3. Most curious.

    31 Oct 2005, 15:35

  10. Mathew Mannion

    Oh, and of course, sweety the chick and how to tell a girl you like them at an annoying 3.

    31 Oct 2005, 15:39

  11. This brings up my academic blog. Perhaps unsurprisingly as it is the title of the blog, but it's not unfeasible that someone would actually use that search string.

    31 Oct 2005, 17:58

  12. Not sure if it's interesting, but link has my blog above WeHaveThings' own site

    31 Oct 2005, 19:49

  13. Highly amused…
    If I type in "Conservative Warwick" into Google, my blog is 2nd (after Lord Taylor of Warwick's personal website).

    www.wetminster.gov.uk is 3rd and www.conservatives.com is 4th.

    I rock.


    PS - The Boar is 9th – post interview with Michael Howard.

    01 Nov 2005, 13:28

  14. Not Blogs related but uni related:

    If you search warwick then this lovely university turns up second!

    Some Bass Guitar place turns up first!

    01 Nov 2005, 14:07

  15. Type in "xanthocomic" and my blog comes up third; Sam's blog (he did use the word first) is top of the list! Apparently it means yellow-haired…

    01 Nov 2005, 15:20

  16. If you type in 'wormy-turf', you get my blog as number 1 on the list, whilst the actual wormy-turf home page is number 3. Pity wormy-turf are no more. Also try 'shadows and mountains', which is my book, but I'm not sure if this one works.

    01 Nov 2005, 20:18

  17. Robert O'Toole

    If I do a Google for "Kate Bush" Sunset, a track on the new CD announced only a few days ago, it claims to find 137,000 pages. I assume that includes all pages that have the exact phrase "Kate Bush" along with the word Sunset? I guess that most of these pages have been published in the last few days.

    Amazingly, my blog entry on this very subject comes seventh, with The Observer's review coming top.

    Similarly, when the King of the Mountain single was released, I was for a short time top, whilst I watched the total number of entries listed by Google increase dramatically. I'm now demoted to the third page of links, but that is out of a total of 249,000 pages!

    The power of Warwick Blogs!

    I of course have this totally unrealistic fantasy about KB herself Googling her song titles to find out what people think of them, and coming across my blog. Mad.

    02 Nov 2005, 22:38

  18. ahem number one for crack hoes UK

    03 Nov 2005, 09:05

  19. Searching for blogs, puts warwick all the way on to page 3.

    03 Nov 2005, 20:31

  20. Erm, here is an extremely unusual search…

    web of incest returns my blog entry and the domain name that points to this entry.

    (It's only who has pulled who in the music centre; it's nothing dodgy, except its name.)

    04 Nov 2005, 07:52

  21. If anyone wanted to know who was a bit rubbish at updating their weblog, so did a search for rarely updated blogs then they'd get me at number 1 or 3, depending on whether you use the UK one or not…

    Also, make sure you have the UK option selected a try a search for best blogs – there are a couple of Warwick results 5 or 6 down…

    04 Nov 2005, 09:59

  22. Robert O'Toole

    It lists one of my favourites pages. Unfortunately i recently deleted it.

    04 Nov 2005, 20:07

  23. I'm also number one for 'teenage girl naked plinth' but i'm guessing you won't want to include that

    06 Nov 2005, 16:23

  24. Robert O'Toole

    My review of "Kate Bush Sunset" just went up to number one in the Google results, knocking the Observer review down to third place and The Times down to fourth. This entry (in Blogbuilder News) is second, shown as a subpage of my entry, even though there's no link to my original entry from this entry.

    06 Nov 2005, 20:00

  25. My blog comes up top on google's UK-only search for "rage blackout"!

    06 Nov 2005, 23:10

  26. Steve Rumsby

    As a slight variation on the theme, if you search for "cycling" and one of a number of local place names (Kenilworth, Meriden, Berkswell, Balsall Common, Burton Green) the results include some tag pages (rather than individual entries) from my blog. Often they include my "Cycling" gallery containing maps of cycle routes to these places.

    Don't know if hits on tag pages or galleries are more interesting for your purposes, but nobody else has mentioned any examples so I thought I would:-)

    07 Nov 2005, 11:52

  27. John Dale

    Many thanks for all these helpful suggestions, and also to all the people who emailed me privately with other ideas. There are some very helpful pointers in there (I don't think I'll use 'teenage girl naked plinth', in fact, but it turns out that 'teenage plinth' also yields the same result, so even the slightly disturbing suggestions can turn out to be useful!)

    One final observation which still puzzles me; we know that Google generally ranks academic web sites quite highly, so Warwick Blogs inherits some of its Google Juice from the fact that it's an ac.uk web site. But it's like a young child which has grown up with mutant superpowers and now has to join a special academy for, shall we say, the unnaturally gifted. Case in point: if I search for my own name then my blog is the number 2 result or thereabouts. But my Warwick staff page doesn't appear until result number 115 or so. What is up with that?

    09 Nov 2005, 22:40

  28. Mathew Mannion

    You made Stunt Island!? That was one of the first games I bought for my Amstrad…

    Oh, and your Warwick Staff page is number 115 because it is devoid of content and doesn't have the incestual inter-linking that your blog does :)

    10 Nov 2005, 06:11

  29. Steve Rumsby

    and doesn't have the incestual inter-linking that your blog does

    I always assumed that all of the interlinking is what made blogs rank very highly. The number of other pages that link to a page always used to be a major part of Google's page rank. Maybe they've tweaked it now to cope with heavily interlinked blogs, but it wouldn't surprise me if it is still the cause.

    10 Nov 2005, 09:48

  30. Widge at 3… but I suppose that counts as a name

    14 Nov 2005, 21:40

  31. However… rowing widge is bang in at number one. Woot.

    14 Nov 2005, 21:40

  32. Type in music waxing and mine comes up 4th…

    17 Nov 2005, 23:47

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