Necessity is the mother of invention and I have learned way more than I ever wanted or needed to know about Google over the past eighteen months. This monolith dominates global information using technology that changes the ‘rules of the game’ on a moment’s notice. The fact that this domination is without any discernable moral foundation is clear in a neatly summarised litany of Google’s evils by the ‘Precursor’ (link). But this is the subject for another post because unfortunately my grasp of technology is at best limited and at worst comical. The blog format is a ‘work in progress’ but I have a plan.
I learned very early on in my research career that too much information and too little time was a recipe for procrastination. The plan was that the blog would not appear in the SERPs until the static pages were completed. I would then get my tech to do his SEO thing. Imagine my surprise when yesterday morning I logged on to find the blog had three separate search results and two of these were at the top of a Google search for my name and were ranking about Rip off Report. Since I only have one webpage this truly remarkable-or not. Two of these webpages had a 404 error. So how did this happen. The short answer is I have no idea.
A product is only viable if it can be sold for a profit and much like the industrial revolution the dominance of Google has spawned new occupational classes that function is various ways to provide vital links between production and distribution. Simply put, search engine optimization experts help to sell Google because businesses are not going to buy advertising if it does not increase their profit margin.
Much like any occupational group SEO is stratified. While those espousing the ‘white hat’ philosophy stick to the rules, actually Google’s rules, of legitimate link building and key phrase optimisation, those favouring the ‘black hat’ approach linger in the underbelly populated with link farms and other nefarious tools designed to ‘game’ the Google algorithm. Those preferring a ‘grey hat’ are open to ‘innovative’ methods but stop short of crossing over to the dark side.
But a final category exists for those like me who achieve the objective of their website appearing in the Google index and have no idea how it happened. Granted, I was clicking on my webpage multiple times in the hours before it suddenly went to the top of the SERPs for my name but that was because the colours needed tweeking. The hex wheel has over 50 shades of grey. Who knew? As for those 404 pages, well I thought that they were supposed to be deleted. The website has now dropped back in the SERPs but it is only one page with no keywords. I have learned that it is possible to get it onto the first page of the Google results and that was the whole point the exercise.
Update 13/10/11: Today I found 4 separate search results for the blog on the first three pages of my name search…oh dear…..