The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Monday, April 04, 2005

strange bedfellows

People find this site through the weirdest of ways.

Case in point:
spanblather is currently the number four hit on google (the web not just NZ) for NZ Police Force Jobs

Now I have to say that while some people might think that in Days Gone By I was quite interested in creating more work for the NZ police I must say I was somewhat surprised at this result.

And yet when I did a search for left wing blog I scanned futilely through over 50 pages of results and didn't see a single URL that is on my left blog roll.

So my question is - how the hell does Google work out its rankings?

And do you other bloggers get such damn strange search results??


Asher said...

I'm high up on Google searches for Cuba Carnival, Cultural Zionism, Channel Z and Kiwi FM...thats good for me, especially the cultural Zionism one.

Make Tea Not War said...

I get a number of hits from people searching for How to make tea or other tea related quests.

I'm top of the google rankings for Make Tea Not War and get a hits from that which I think is probably a disappointment for those googlers. As far as I'm concerned the blog name references the Monty Python Hells Grannies skit but apparently, which I didn't know when I picked it, the British anti war activist movement used it as a slogan against the war in Iraq.

Nigel Kearney said...

The exact workings of google are a secret but a lot of it is related to links.

It's not just the words on your page but the words people use when they link to your page. So titles of posts are important.

If you were to rename your blog to something like 'NZ Left Blog' and people put that in their blogroll your google rank would go way up.

I always try to blogroll people using their name if I know it, otherwise unscrupulous people like David Farrar who name their blog 'Kiwi Blog' will get a huge google rank.

Greg Stephens said...

Also look at who links to you on Google.
Google has 38 people linking to my site, but Yahoo has 1,610.
Blogging is going to kill off Google because we link to each other too much.
And then also look at the pages Google has cached for its search for your site. There are huge gaps. Hence I've decided to only allow google to check my archive pages so that it will take them all in instead.

Ben Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ben Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Apathy Jack said...

Well, Brainstab is number one on Google for searches of 'minge stab', and pretty high up on Yahoo for searches of 'throat rape', or so they tell me.

And just yesterday, someone found the site for the first time by typing into google: 'i loved that goddamn elephant' Which makes me happy.

span said...

well today i discovered i am ranked #10 on Google for tamihere maori-bashing - that's before I posted about the current situation.

i am not enough of a techie as yet to know how to search caches etc so an explanation that i can understand would be much appreciated :-)

and Mr Thomas, you know deletions just make me more curious!

Apathy Jack said...

Nah, that was just me - Ben has some manner of default login thing set up on my computer for blogger, so my post went under his name. My attempts to delete it the first time just ended up havning it posted again... So, both me.

Rich said...

Google can/will tweak their algorithm to compensate for the interlinked nature of blogs - they do after all own Blogger.

I suspect, but have no evidence, that PageRanks greater than five or so are conferred manually rather than by any algorithm.

Greg Stephens said...

Number eight on Yahoo for background of comparative employment relations in Sweden and new zealand
Which I have never posted on.

Rich said...

That's because the SE can't distinguish between a single article and a blog page with dozens of articles. Your page has all the words and lot's of instances of New Zealand - with a pagerank of 2 the aggregate gets you to #8.

Unfortunately, Google is designed by PhDs so a lot of real world things like that escape them - the one that anoys me is the high ranking they give to directory sites with minimal value add.

Greg Stephens said...

Okay, I think I get how it works.
Do you know blogshares? It kinda works like that. And that is easier to explain.

blog A has incoming links to the value of $100, it has 5 out going links. So each out going link is thus worth $20. Got it so far? The blog that each link goes to gets that added to their total from which their links are valued at.

Now Google kind of works the same, but with bands and points. Instead of the dollar crap it uses points (easy enough), but it gives extra weighting to blogs from higher bands of value than lower bands. So something with ten thousand incoming links and ten thousand out going links will have a higher value that something with 10 incoming links and ten outgoing links even if the incoming links have the same value.

Kinda got it? Well, I don't really know, but that is my understanding of how Google works.

span said...

thanks, it is making more sense now.

now if someone could explain what Googlebombing, or Googlewhacking, means, then I will have learned my requisite Thing For Today (unfortunately not before breakfast).

Greg Stephens said...

When everyone links to a site using a set word, that site becomes associated with the word.
Try Googling food nazis for an example.

So if everyone linked to a site as 'door knob' then when people search for 'door knob' it will come up at top whether or not it has anything to do with door knobs.

It could be a lot of fun to play around with if you have enough people on board.

span said...

cheers Greg, that makes sense. we should start a secret VLWC to further these kinds of things...