WUWT search engine issues and site update

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This post over on Scottish Sceptic’s website (below) points to a problem that WUWT has with search engines. One big issue he raises is that I can’t edit meta tags in the website header, but then again, I’ve had a clue that hasn’t mattered for a couple of years now, from the WordPress forum:

It’s not possible to edit meta tags on WordPress.com blogs.

Moreover Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking – Monday, September 21, 2009
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/09/google-does-not-use-keywords-meta-tag.html

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WUWT – page 35 when searching for “global warming”

Following some comments on WUWT about the “+1″ scheme to boost ratings, I first joined the scheme, then decided to do it the old fashioned way and click on the WUWT link when searching for “global warming”.

So, imagine my surprise when I found WUWT on …

PAGE 35

Yes, that is right! WUWT was on page 35 … I had to double check to make sure it was right because it was behind the GWPF, behind climate audit, behind unrealclimate, behind the IPCC behind sites that none of us have ever heard of.

  • So, why was it on page 35 of the google results?
  • Why having clicked on it just once, did it move (via another PC on another URL) to page 34?
  • And, why when I checked the page, was there not a single meta-tag telling the google search engine this site had anything or wanted anything to do with global warming?

The simple answer given the ease by which I escalated the ranking by a single click is that no one ever clicks on a WUWT page when they search for global warming. And before everyone starts point to google bias, obviously, no one trusts the top ranking sites (they are mostly paid for … or promoted due to google’s own politics) but whilst it is quite possible WUWT has a lower ranking than it should, I think there is much more to this and quite a lot has nothing to do with Google and so I have a few suggestions:

  • I have to be honest, and say that I don’t think Anthony Watts has a clue about publicising his site particularly for search engines. E.g. he doesn’t even mention global warming as a search term in the meta tabs telling search engines which words and phrases characterise the site. That just screams out that he doesn’t exactly make his site google friendly and it’s not surprising that it is so lowly rated.
  • Sceptics most probably do not use Google to find the site. If we don’t search on google, how is google supposed to know that people want to find that site when they search?
  • And yes, Google hates WUWT … and more than likely is actively trying to repress the site. OK, we have to accept that, so we have to work together to try to reverse this.

What can be done

1. Search for global warming and click on the WUWT site.

Go to google and enter “global warming”. Then click the last number at the bottom to go to pages 10, then 19, etc. until you reach page 35 3435.
(Addendum: the next WUWT page is around page 70 of google results!!)

Then start going backwards until you find an entry for any page linked to wattsupwiththat.com and then click it.

Repeat prescription every day!

2. Add a link to wattsupwiththat.com

Where ever and when ever add a link.

3. Join the “+1 scheme

Join the scheme and then find the WUWT pages and press the +1 button

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He makes some good points that would make a good new year’s resolution – help spread the word. There is one thing I can do, and that is make a change to the header image to remove the masthead statement and place it into the first lines of text. I’ve made that change today to see if it helps.

As always, my sincerest thanks in advance to everyone who helps support this website in words and deeds.

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190 thoughts on “WUWT search engine issues and site update

  1. I stopped using gogle because of their bias, but if it’s in a good cause I’ll head off there right now.

  2. A page with the slug matching the search term also does well. Look at all the news sites with global warming in their page titles.

  3. It’s even worse on Bing. I could not find Watts Up With that in the first 60 pages returned when searching on “global warming”

  4. Anthony, I discovered this site (WUWT) a couple of years ago after the ‘ClimateGate 1.0′ release. I spent a long time (couple of months) following RC before I found you. It was like the difference between night and day. I, like most at the time, believed ‘the scientists’. It took a long time for your site to gain my trust as I’m skeptical. Sir you have it now!

    Thank you for all that you have done. I sincerely thought and hoped that we would see the 100,000,000 (one hundred million) views by the end of 2011. As of this post it stands at 99,353,728 million (ninety nine million,three hundred fifty three thousand, seven hundred and twenty eight) views . That is an accomplishment and more so with the audience that you attract!

    Happy new year and best wishes for the future from the bottom of my heart.

    P.S. You should be given a sizable government grant for doing the job of the mainstream press, climate science, academia, etc., and the many other topics covered here. Your contribution exceeds that of all those mentioned and more!

  5. Google is becoming more evil by the day. It has joint the ranks of tobacco stocks, liquor stocks, gambling stocks and some specific names that I will never own in my portfolio due to their ethics.

  6. “As always, my sincerest thanks in advance to everyone who helps support this website in words and deeds.”
    ————————
    Google supposedly favours websites having dense interconnectivity with other websites, so to help your ranking I put WUWT on the Links page of my personal website:

    http://www.markbuckles.com/links.html

    Warmunist apparatchiks at Google are prolly manually down-ranking you – rather like what William Connolley did to you during his reign as Wikipaedia global warming editor (not that things have changed since he left).

  7. Hi! It is the first time I write in the comments here but I’m a regular reader of WUWT though. I’m an Spanish skeptic who runs some websites, one of them being about the climate hysteria, unpretentious, you know, I only write from time to time there (in Spanish). Anyway I made a google search engine some time ago and your blog appears usually on the first page, Maybe It isn’t relevant, but it seems that they can not manipulate results on customized search engines. Just for you to know it.

    http://climesksearch.blogspot.com/

    On the other hand, given the day, I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your wonderful blog and also wish you a happy and warm 2012.

    Eclectikus

  8. Anthony: Happy New Year. I understand the point about the Google search engine. I think that you site is no very obscure at implied by being found on page 35, Most people interested in climate change due to AGW know at WUWT already. How many sites devoted to the topics found at WUWT are approaching 100,000,000 hits? I predict that WUWT will reach this level in eight days at the current rate of 110,000 hits per day. Most people know about the site and type in WUWT in a browser. There are 334,000,000 sites under the meta tag, Page 35 is not at the bottom. People visit sites that are they know about.

  9. Wow, that’s pretty amazing, though, never search for |”global warming”| (I like to use vertical bars to delimit the search strings I show.)

    Google didn’t get to WUWT until page 22 – but I have it configured to return 20 references per page, so it’s really page 35.

    Hmm, searching without quotes, |global warming| I didn’t get to WUWT until page 28 (X2 would be 56). I think Google is also including some personal preferences. I never search for global warming!

    I frequently successfully use Google to find some comment I remember from a past post, but that usually entails something like |”abiotic oil” site:wattsupwiththat.com| and that’s clearly “leading the witness.”

    It will be interesting to see what your change to the title does, I do think Google puts a lot of weight on that. You may be getting derated in part for the size of the home page – the reference to “global warming” makes up a small percentatage of the total page.

    Anecdotal, years old notes: After I was astonished to see my Pam Smart page become one of the top pages on the web about that murder case. Lessee, I’m at #9 for |pamela smart|, #8 for |pam smart|, and #2 using her nickname, |pame smart|. As I added more material to it, my ranking dropped for a while, whereas the Hampton Library’s page, little more than a collection of links, rose. My guess is that Google concluded I wasn’t as focused on Smart as much as the library site.

    Since then, there’s more “competition” from the official Pamela Smart site, other accounts like “trutv.com” and of course Wikipedia. One thing I’ve done to stand out a bit is to put the date in the title, “… last updated 2011 Dec 13″.

    Oh well, I think I understand why some skeptic sites that really want readers pay for advertising. There are just far too many people creating web content on global warming.

  10. Oh dear. I have NEVER entered ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ on any search engine.
    I am biased against google and use Bing.

  11. I started looking on page 30, and didn’t get a hit until page 40…. Honestly, if you’re not on page 1 you’re going to be overlooked by many viewers.

  12. Walnut article was page 27 when I searched. That article did have global warming in the title though. Why not add a reference page called “a primer on global warming issues” or something.

    James

  13. Went backwards from page 35, found you on page 28 :) I was happy to click back through those pages to get you. Hopefully many more clicks will get you onto the top ten….

  14. I tped in Global warming is crap and this was on page 1:

    Whale poop fights global warming | Watts Up With That?
    wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/16/whale-poop-fights-global-warming/

    Whale poop fights global warming. Posted on June 16, 2010 by Steven Mosher. Image From Popular Science Worst Jobs Article. Click here to watch the video.

  15. Had a look and it is described as “The worlds most viewed site on global” and runs out of space but a very good hook to get people to take a look even if it is down the rankings. I sometimes skip the first pages of a search to see what comes later in a result.
    Hopefully you will move up the list.

    God bless you in the new year.
    James Bull

  16. Switched from Google to Bing (I know…peas in a pod). Searched “Gobal Warming” for a WUWT and gave up scrolling when I got to 80. I try to do my part by giving the heads up to friends and co-workers.

  17. Well, actually WUWT does pretty well on Google Search. Try entering any post title as a search phrase in Google and you will find WUWT on the first page – if not on the top spot – nearly every time.
    You see, WordPress uses the post title as the page name and Google gives great importance to those words. So if WUWT wants to be top for such terms as “Climate Change” or “Global Warming” it just need to post a few articles with those and similar key words as the post title plus sprinkle the article text with the same or similar words.

  18. Done and done! By the way, Anthony, I give people direct link to individual posts on your blog, that way they can’t whine and cry about not being able to find you through google. Or as we like to loving call it, “that crap bucket with the leftist political agenda”. Kinda catchy, don’t ya think!?!?!

  19. Just followed the instructions above … found WUWT at the top of page #32 … perhaps its already on the move upwards?

  20. You can get more than 10 entries per page on Google if you go to something like

    http://www.google.co.uk/webhp?complete=0&num=50

    This will force it to return 50 entries per page.

    For Firefox there is an add-in FastestFox that, inter alia, has an option called Endless Pages. If this is on then when you scroll down to near the bottom of the page it starts loading the next page as an addendum to the current page.

    So with ‘num=50′ specified, if you go down to the bottom of the page 10 times then you will have the first 500 entries in one big web page.

    Being in one web page you can then easily search for any string that you like (e.g. “watts”) in loads of results in one go.

    Jim

  21. I don’t do giggle … I use Bing.

    Also, I don’t use the default settings … I’ve made my settings 50 items per page vice the default 10. I just did “climate change” and got WUWT as the 14th item (1st page). Didn’t see anything for “global warming” on the first page.

  22. For what it’s worth, typing “global warming” into a Google search today finds RealClimate is on page 32 of the results, and WattsUpWithThat on page 38. 350.org is on page 24, and a satirical article on TheOnion is on page 28. The top three entries on page 1 are: 1) the Wikipedia entry for “Global warming”, 2) a NYT science section article on Global Warming, and 3) the EPA.gov subsection on “Climate Change”.

    The highest ranked skepticism-driven result is http://www.globalwarming.org, sponsored by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is the 7th result on the first page, just above the NRDC.org, and NCDC.noaa.gov sites.

    My guess is that Google ranking has something to do with clicks, keywords, and links, but may also be penalizing sites that contain or link to content that is not extremely temperate and polished in its use of language, and with heavily moderated comments, if it has comments at all.

  23. Interesting.

    I found WUWT also on page 33. Here is what Google says about my visits

    You’ve visited this page 24 times. Last visit: 2/2/09

    I can state with great confidence that I have visited WUWT more times than that, just in the last month.

  24. It gets far worse

    As I searched under “climate change”, as things progressed, I was offered fewer and fewer results per page, until about page 45 there were 2 results per page, and by page 57 I was offered only one result per page – and no mention of WUWT anywhere along the way

    Lots of pages still to go – but I ain’t found WUWT as yet

    Andy

  25. Look at the plugin “WordPress SEO”. It’s by the same author as another very popular plugin. On each page, when you’re on the edit screen you’ll have a form where you can enter the meta description and meta keywords for the page. There are other tools which the plugin provides as well.

  26. It was my understanding that the page title has the major impact on searches. The WUWT title “Watts Up With That? | The world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change” is diluted with too many worthless words. It might be worth changing it to : “Global warming and climate change” and put “Watts Up With That?” in the description tag.

  27. Anthony,

    Placing expressions to be indexed for search-engine optimization in the first lines of text is a good start but not all that must be done. The meta tags in the page code come into the picture as well.
    If you examine your page code, you will find the meta tags between the and tags.
    The expressions that you want to have emphasized (identified in the following by the example, global warming, shown in brackets (exclude the brackets, the parentheses and the text between the parentheses)) for search-engine ranking should be contained in the following tags:

    and
    your page title [(should include the string) global warming ]

    That is not entirely or complete true anymore, but not all that long ago that repetition of expressions of interest was of great and even primary importance for search-engine optimization. It is not merely important to make use of the advantage in ranking that provides, but some search engines may even include parameters in their ranking algorithms that penalize the ranking of a web page if it does not follow those and other considerations.

    There is much more to it than just that. The best thing you can do is to read a few articles on search-engine optimization.

    REPLY: You’ve missed the point spectacularly, wordpress.com hosted blogs (of which WUWT is one) don’t have the ability to edit meta tags and page code – Anthony

  28. Also consider that many of the high ranking sites which promote AGW probably use the nofollow HTML tag when linking to sceptical sites, preventing the sceptical sites from increasing their ranking from the linking.

  29. Also, when testing Google try the “Verbatim” option in the “More search tools” on the bottom right. This removes all personal/social signals from the search results. Just like using an Incognito window.

  30. Most of the issues with your sites google rank were explained in the previous thread. However I’ll repeat some of them:
    1. look at the search terms where WUWT does rank highly. “Climategate” is an obvious example.
    2. Consider what is different about “Climategate” compared with “Climate Change” (or whatever) when looking at your site.
    3. Change your site accordingly.
    For example look at the menus below your masthead. Is “Climategate” there? Yes. Is “Climate Change” there? No.
    OK now look at what your menu headings DO say – are any of them likely search terms? Hmm not really. Amend them accordingly. “Resources”? Why not “Climate Change Resources”? “Reference”? why not “Global Warming Reference”?

  31. You will never beat them in search engine queries. They have “global warming” “climate change skeptic/sceptic/denier” and mixed result, mainly believer articles, with “climate change”. We have “AGW”. Simplicity and repetition wins the mob. Also, the mob happened to of grown up within the technology explosion; any and all articles they wish to be prominent, will be so.

    Once enviro issues became solidified as a left-wing embodiment, reason was lost. If you are familiar with the American Left, you’ll know substance in debate is irrelevent, as all debate is unnecessary. So you keep doing what you all do, and the rest of us will try to hold the line. It’s difficult to do as this is just one of the many fronts they push forward on.

  32. My own website pcdi.co.uk has been no 1 on Google.co.uk for the keyword Goldmine for over 10 years so I can claim some knowledge of how Google ranks pages. Many screech “conspiracy” and “evil” when the truth is that the blog post authors do not provide the right “food” for Google. They write their articles to be interesting to the readers rather than the search engines. There are many components to the Google algorithm but in simple terms the Title meta tag is by far the most important. As has been mentioned by others the keyword meta tag has been ignored for many years.
    Google seeks out words and phrases on a page it considers ‘significant’. To target a particular keyphrase it is necessary to insert that keyphrase in the page name as seen in your browser address bar. Then ensure that it also appears multiple times in the body text, head lines emboldened and cross heads, italics – all these are seen as “significant” by Google.
    Google is thought by many to take the text of the top 100 search results for any keyphrase and analyse it for word distribution. and context. So pages that Google sees as interesting pages for “Global Warming” will also contain similar terms such as climategate, climate change etc. Your pages will be compared and ranked against this picture of the ideal page for any keyphrase.
    However although such keyphrases as Global Warming and Climate Change may be important, they are just a tiny part of the “stock” of climate related keyphrases that sites such as WUWT needs to target. The reality is that searchers use tens of thousands of variations for any topic. This is a big job and requires the posters to consider how Google will view their post. making intelligent adjustments to titles and body text can have a dramatic affect on the number of visitors a post can attract.
    In a similar way commentors can affect the Google rank by reading the post, staying on topic and echoing the post keyphrases.
    I am guessing but I would expect this post and its comments to move up the rankings quite rapidly over the next few hours for terms such as global warming and climate change. This is because the page now looks “interesting” to Google for climate related keywords.

  33. I like how searching for “global warming skepticism” doesn’t actually bring you to sites that teach you about GW skepticism.

  34. Leon Brozyna says: “I don’t do giggle … I use Bing.”

    If you really want to giggle, Leon, use a bong.

    But seriously, folks, Ixquick showed wattsupwiththat.com on page 22 (at 10 per page).

  35. @Anthony: Why don’t you hire a consultant who deals with such things? You link to other sites from your front page that don’t link back to you. That means you are lower in ranking. Stuff like that will help if you’re concerned about your Google ranking.

    Your wikio link is broken (404). Looks like they changed their name to “ebuzzing”. Who the hell made that decision?

  36. Seeking “al gore is an idiot” showed WUWT on page 2 of an ixquick search.

    Same search string, WUWT appeared on page 1 via google search. Next I’ll try a bong search…

  37. Well, with “global warming” I could nof find whatsupwiththat on google.

    But with the search term “climate blog” whatsupwiththat appeared on page one, as answer number six.

    That is not too bad. So someone looking for a blog on climate issues will probably find whatsupwiththat on google

  38. Why would Sergej and Larry want anyone to know about the global warming scam; Google exploits the subsidy schemes wherever it can.

  39. Walter H. Schneider says:
    December 31, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Anthony, sorry about mucking up my preceding comment, I will redo it and post it as a graphics file. That way the html tags will come across as intended.

    Graphics files can’t be posted here. Another WordPress limitation.

    Either click on the image for my Guide to WUWT or go there directly at http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wuwt/index.html . The bottom section has notes on getting HTML displayed without being interpreted. Or click on the “Test” label in the tool bar at the top.

    What you wanted to say follows – I deleted the stuff about meta tags because Anthony says WordPress doesn’t let him set them and other people say they’re ignored now.

    Placing expressions to be indexed for search-engine optimization in the first lines of text is a good start but not all that must be done. [meta tags]

    <title>your page title [(should include the following string) global warming]</title>

    That is not entirely or complete true anymore, but not all that long ago that repetition of expressions of interest was of great and even primary importance for search-engine optimization. It is not merely important to make use of the advantage in ranking that provides, but some search engines may even include parameters in their ranking algorithms that penalize the ranking of a web page if it does not follow those and other considerations.

    There is much more to it than just that. The best thing you can do is to read a few articles on search-engine optimization.

  40. I’ve just been ‘clicking’ on WUWT on page 28 and when I went to it yet again….low and behold and additional set of ‘clickable’ words have appeared under wattsupwiththat.com which say……… “Block all wattsupwiththat.com results” ???????? I’ve saved a jpeg of it.

  41. JDN says:
    December 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    > @Anthony: Why don’t you hire a consultant who deals with such things?

    Likely because the rumors that the climate skeptics are funded by big oil are untrue. I did hear a rumor that the long-suffering moderators will get a big raise next year. Well, only when expressed as a percentage of their existing pay.

    [MODERATOR’S OBSERVATION: 1000 X 0 is still zero. I’m not in this for the money…. it’s for the fame, glory, power and adoring female groupies. Happy New Year. -REP]

  42. Anthony
    The point is you have more control over your WordPress metatags than you realize. WordPress automatically creates the page URL from the post headline. It does this because WordPress knows how important these few words are to Google.

    Now take a look at the latest post title:
    “Be careful today and tonight, billions may die”
    These are the words that Google in its blind ignorance (no conspiracy here) assumes our post author considers the most important to the target audience. so of course anyone who searches for “Be careful today and tonight, billions may die” is likely to find this post ranked right at the top. And of course (i just checked) it is. Perfect! Now – how many potential visitors are likely to search using that string?
    You just have to make titles and text relevant to Google as well as your readers if you want to rank well on Google for the search terms people are actually using.

  43. I too have my google set to 50 results per page. WUWT was found half way down page 6.

    Here’s a shot in the dark. The link you click on for WUWT in the results page is actually a google link that redirects you here. I copied the link and pasted it into FF and Chrome. It brought me here.

    Maybe everyone could search ‘global warming’ and then update their browser’s WUWT homepage bookmark with the search results link? Every time they would normally come here directly via a favourite… they would actually be adding a google hit… I think.

    Would that help?

    MrC

  44. Not sure I even understand where this post is heading, but
    I would assume most skeptics have already found their favorite websites, and have no need to google any further.
    The recent googles must mainly be from those searching for confirmation that we are, in fact, doomed by climate variations.

  45. For a “global warming” image search, WUWT makes an appearance in all its graphic glory on page 6. It’s a nice graph featuring IPCC’s warming broken down to natural variations of ocean oscillations and solar cycles, data bias, human caused co2, and “adjustments.” A very nice face for WUWT.

    But why can’t WUWT get in results even when it publishes a flaming melting earth death image, or some poor stranded polar bears? What are you doing wrong here. ;)

  46. now page 32
    but not only was it ranked on page 32 it had an option to (I copied and pasted)
    “Block all wattsupwiththat.com results”
    That was 2 minutes ago. Now WUWT is on page 31 with no option of blocking.
    WTF is going on?

  47. Perhaps if you make that tiger graph into a free printable global warming coloring page for kids, you will get on page one or two. – Until someone catches on.

  48. I Googled Global Warming and, amid all the crap, I found JoNova on page 5. I never found WUWT which shows how corrupt their system is. I like the new heading to the WUWT Page.

  49. Anthony,

    just googled “global warming” and found WUWT on p32.

    Just as Mick reports above, when I first found WUWT it also contained the line:
    “Block all wattsupwiththat.com results”

    When I went back to the listing a second time, that line had disappeared, so it looks like it only pops up on the first hit.

    This is starting to get into legal territory I think.

  50. Despite the giggle search (or lack thereof), WUWT will probably hit the hundred million mark sometime on Monday, 9 January.

  51. Google has got it right. By searching for “climate skeptic”, Google puts WUWT on page 2. Higher relevance to the search criteria puts WUWT higher in the returned dataset. I would never think of using global warming when searching for this site. But then, I limit my search criteria to facts.

  52. DJA & total denier

    I think this could be more ‘interesting’ to supporters of another point of view….especially if they know the way to generate the opportunity to block WUWT. After all, Google would surely have to take note if a ‘serious’ number of people kept on blocking WUWT.com?

    ps I’ve just tried to ‘blitz’ a pro site in the same way but I was unable to generate the effect.

  53. Google personalises search results by your location, your search history and probably what you had for breakfast. Search results will vary from user to user.

  54. Yet when you Google “Watts up” it comes in as the second link on page 1 of Googles Search results.

  55. I use Bing. Since Google seems to think the lolllipop’s birthday (or some such) is more worthy of special recognition than American holidays, screw them.

  56. While discovering that WUWT still first appears on page 37 when I search for “global warming”
    I saw that DeSmogBlog has “An extensive database of individuals involved in the global warming denial industry.”

    Is there are similar database of warmists anywhere, and if not, why doesn’t somebody make one?

  57. It is quite important that “WUWT” ranks highly in Google.

    That’s how many of us stumbled across this site. I know I followed a cryptic reference in another site to “WUWT” and that’s how I landed here. Google gives it #1 and gives separate page references.

    So long as we continue to refer to the site as WUWT in other places, people will find it easily enough.

  58. If it’s any consolation:
    when I type in “sea cucumber”
    you come up on page 3.

    You must be renowned on the internet for sea cukes…. wtf?

  59. Now on page 31 for “global warming” and “climate change” searches (11:00 am, 1/1/12 in Australia ).

    Happy New Year to all you Yanks, Poms, and other miscellaneous geniuses.

  60. Search “Spaceballs”
    WUWT is also on page 3…

    Something seems off with these rankings….
    now “global warming” and WUWT has vanished for me…
    maybe email “The Tallbloke”, he has some lawyers I hear….

  61. I also see that Google offers a click option on the WUWT link
    “Block all wattsupwiththat.com results”
    I have not seen this feature before?

  62. TheGoodLocust says:
    December 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm
    I like how searching for “global warming skepticism” doesn’t actually bring you to sites that teach you about GW skepticism.

    Yeah I did that too ie putting up “global warming sceptics.” WUWT appears on p 4 only due to an article “Reasons to be a Global Warming Skeptic”

    Otherwise more than half the references Google produces under “global warming sceptics” are actually alarmist sites telling you how to defeat a sceptics argument rather than giving the sceptics side of the story.

    “Climate change sceptics” – much the same. No sign of WUWT.

    Seems like the alarmists have Google well and truly worked out and are cleverly using it as one of their prime weapons in their propaganda war of shutting down or belittling any opposition. Makes you wonder how scepticism survives – guess they haven’t worked out how to control the weather yet.

  63. I have observed how people use their web browser. And it’s not pretty.

    One prevalent mis-use is for people to enter the URL (often including the http://) as search string for the default search engine. That default search engine is often Google. Some users believe that they must have Google to use the Internet.

    Another, as yet unidentified culprit (probably a web-authoring tool) embeds links in a Google search string.

    That sort of use seriously skews any statistics based on real searches.

  64. @Ric Werme & wiseguy moderator:
    Website consultants are anywhere from cheap to expensive. You can probably get advice for free from someone who likes you. So, “hire” may mean paying significantly under market rate. Nevertheless, you should consider searching the couch for change to hire someone to find ways to improve your google rank. It’s what others sites are doing. It’s not my thing, or, I’d offer to help. Just don’t break any of the google rules against gaming the system or you end up on their naughty list which, unbelievably, will further depress your score.

  65. 30 million views last year and only page 35??? I’ve just got a youtube video to the top of page one for “andrea rabbits”, and front page for quite a few other searches, in 16 days without really trying!!!

    Maybe Google prefers animal abuse to AGW skepticism

  66. The ScottishSkeptics remarks indicates he has little understanding of how Google search ranking works. So faced with his own ignorance he just makes stuff up.

    The basis of Google’s original page ranking is published, but the current implementation details and algorithm are secret. That’s to prevent people gaming the system. The reason meta tags is now irrelevant and has always been irrelevant to Google is because people used them to game the system.

    Repeatedly searching for global warming/watsupwiththat and variations is not going to improve this web sites page rank. It’s an obvious route to gaming the system and the Google algorithm will take no notice. So click away as madly as you want.

    The whole basis of SEO is well studied. Learn what people have written. Do not make stuff up.

  67. December 31, 2011 @ 20:14 hours Mountain time you have advanced to page 13! You were not there before, trust me I looked. Happy New Year WUWT team

    And Happy New Year to you, Kenneth. -REP

  68. Boy I hate it when Google adds search terms and you do not catch it! My Bad! The first article from WUWT is the 2012 Billion Deaths piece at page 26! My deepest apologies (BOO HOO HOO).

  69. There are some misinformed people on this topic. The site isn’t optimized for global warming, so it doesn’t rank for global warming.

    Finding and clicking on links will do zero to improve the rankings, and it’s doubtful the +1 will do much either. This is because any action that can be done like this can be automated – so improving rankings would be as simple as writing a bot to walk search engine results and register lots of clicks.

    Meta tags do nothing – they are neither helpful nor damaging.

    The number 1 factor for ranking a site is contextual links and keywords in the URL. So if you want to rank for global warming you need to cone up with a couple of standard links including HTML with the correct keywords and ask others to link to the site using link text like ‘global warming information’. So instead of readers doing +1 it’s far more important to get them to link to the site with the right keywords. Domain authority counts for the source as well – getting a link from the new york times is better than from an unknown blog.

    A further problem thus site has is the frequently long comment pages which mean the HTML page size is quite large and oversized pages cause lower rankings.
    If you want to rank better drop the conspiracy theories and get some real SEO advice. For a site of this reach it should be a doddle to optimize better.

  70. Ok people seriously settle down with the conspiracy hats. The ‘block all xyz.com results’ you see is when you visit any site and return quickly back to the search results page. A click and fast return is surmised as the page not being relevant to the search, so you are asked if you want to block that site in the future. Any blocking is done for personalization reasons, and doesn’t affect the overall ranking of the site.

    As a general rule, there is nothing you can do to a site to lower it’s ranking ( if you’re not the admin, I mean) If you could, there would be a software arms race to try and destroy each others rankings, which is the opposite of what google wants, which is for you to return to their search engine and occasionally click on ads.

    People need to get some perspective on the scale of search engine computing and realize that google is not going to spend time and effort to try and squelch the results of some climate blogs.

    I suggest making a call out for some volunteer SEO advice to help optimize the site, plus a clear-it-all-up post so people lose the tinfoil hats a little.

  71. To control views per page, use the options symbol (cog image, upper right). In Search Settings, turn off Google Instant, then use the Results slider, then Save.
    __
    Anthony, suggest you compress your new title to “Most viewed global warming and climate change site”. I know it implies that’s all the site deals with, but it fits everything into the Google display/description.

  72. I noticed how keywords can play games with Google ads, ironically, on a fly fishing website…just google Mingo’s thong…the reference was to footwear , but the google ads were for skimpy underwear…aka knickers…

    Forget “global warming” searches, what is more important are the results from other keyword searches:

    enron “joe romm”
    “al gore” google enron
    google agw bias

    Try out combo’s like those and see what the results are.

    For a laugh, try “Google Games is fun”…and you can see how ‘Chris’ played right into the little game, bad grammar and all…

    Checkmate Chris.

    My apologies for any R-rated google ads due to the thong reference…but hey if it helps drive web traffic!

    Andrew

  73. The fact that it’s taken so long to do this minimal search-engine-ranking optimization torpedoes the accusation that this site is part of anything professionally organized and well-funded.

  74. Michael J says: December 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm, beat me to it when he said:

    Google personalises search results by your location, your search history and probably what you had for breakfast. Search results will vary from user to user

    This is why folks are finding WUWT on slightly different pages. It’s all based on the preferences they’ve set (or not set) in google, how they use the search engine over time, e.g., your search history, where they are physically (yes, google notes where you are and adjusts results accordingly, at least to some extent), even based partly on what browser, operating system, etc., you are using. So it probably makes no sense to keep posting what page you find WUWT on, unless its significantly earlier or later than a rough page 35ish. Google used to be a LOT more useful – now all too often one has to wade thru a load of crap to find anything useful, all because of ‘improvements’ they’ve made to the search function. Sigh.

  75. I got you on page 31. It was heartening nevertheless to see so many sceptical links between 1 and 31. Seemed to be hardly any 12 months ago IMO.

  76. A lot of hot air over a non-problem today — so what’s new? :-)

    Anthony, you have a Google Page Rank of 5 as I said earlier. That is an excellent ranking. It means you are way up the list on certain search terms.

    I would not worry in the least about searches on global warming placing you down the list; that’s not what we read your pages for. We read them for commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change etc as it says in your masthead. If you want to optimise your search engine results, you need to know what the most popular search terms are that people use that do find your site through a Google search and use those words liberally in your commentary. If your web’s stats aren’t gathering these data, you can pay a small fee to a service that does.

    You also need to kill the outgoing links to Climate Audit, Jo Nova, William Briggs etc. These downgrade your Google Page Rank. Actually, I hope you don’t because it enables me to get to those places having only bookmarked WUWT.

    Have as many websites with a higher Google Page Rank than yours link to WUWT. SEO is not rocket science.

  77. Noelene said @ December 31, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    “I typed in scientific blogs on climate change and got WUWT on the 2nd page.”

    And I searched on “science blogs climate”. WUWT is seventh on the first page. (Un)RealClimate came in at number one, but no need for conspiracy theories. They are linked to by NASAA who probably have a Google Page Rank of 9, or 10. Also they don’t have too many outgoing links (the last time I looked).

  78. Noelene said @ December 31, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    “I typed in scientific blogs on climate change and got WUWT on the 2nd page.”

    And I searched on “science blogs climate”, WUWT is number seven on the first page. While (Un)RealClimate is at number one, this is readily explained by their being linked to by NASAA and other pages with high Google Page Rank.

    I repeat: there is no problem needing a solution here. Now where have I read that before? :-))))

  79. Oh, I see… A wordpress.com site can not add plugins unless you pay big money to get a VIP site.

    Those who are seeing “Block all wattsupwiththat.com results”: That happens when you follow a Google link to a site and then click to go back to the previous page (the Google results page). Google detects that you returned, so it offers to let you block results for that site in the future. This is so you can avoid sites which you dislike. I think you also have to be logged in to your Google account, so some people won’t see that option.

  80. To get past this problem I have a word press blog embedded into my main website, using CSS scripting for the headers and footers, gives consistency to the pages, and meta word control, while using the blog content to verify the meta words. Granted my total traffic is a lot less than WUWT, but I get responses to most of my key word search hits on the first three pages in most search engines. My daughter builds web sites and pages with social media attributes built in to give the site owners control of the content in a manageable form using wordpress.

    Hybrid site construction allows both ease of use, and search engine access.

    Map upgrade to more detailed maps, (72DPI TO 600DPI, single degree contour lines instead of 10 degree steps) and additional countries covered is coming on line soon. Previewing the new maps and the timing of the additional cycle of data, has resulted in better fine tuning of the match between the past cycles and today’s cycle.

  81. Page 6 for me and it showed up as being +1’d by me previously. Now I must go and lay down as searching on google for global warming goes against my sensibilities! Happy New Year all!!

  82. Search on January 1st:
    Key word: global warming
    and then looking for Watt in the result
    on Google: position 193
    on Bing: position 547
    on Yahoo: position 664

  83. “The world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change”

    Nice addition =)

    also Watts Up With That is number one for a Google search of “watts u” and number 7 (not page 7 but number 7) for watts.

  84. We have been through this before. Its not a conspiracy. If you search for specific terms that are story titles etc, wuwt appears on page one. You cannot expect to appear high up all broad search terms. Also, as I pointed out last time, google +1 is not relevant to organic search influence.

  85. I have been Googling the phrase “Global Warming” every day since 2007 and it was the skeptical stuff that came up first, even in the news section, we were kicking their butts. Then in March of 2011, Google announced it was hiring 21 “Fellows” to push the Global Warming agenda:

    “[Google] has hand-picked a team of 21 fellows working in climate research to improve the way the science of global warming is communicated to the public and lawmakers through new media.”

    Now when you Google “Global Warming” all of the propaganda comes up first and all of the skeptical links have been moved way down the list. Even if you Google “Global Warming Skeptics” or “Global Warming Hoax” the propaganda stuff still comes up first.

    So much for “not doing evil”.

  86. Google is mostly using the links pointing from and to a page to determine the rank of an individual keyword. If you search for “Global warming link:wattsupwiththat.com” you will see that no major site is pointing to WUWT.
    Editing the Wikipedia article for global warming and placing a link to WUWT might do the trick.

  87. for “global warming I found WUWT on page 41 with this link:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/10/svensmark-global-warming-stopped-and-a-cooling-is-beginning-enjoy-global-warming-while-it-lasts/

    dr Roy Specer on page 38 with this link:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-warming-natural-or-manmade/

    Note the appearance of “global warming” in title.
    Here my take aways:
    If we want to beat professionals – don’t forget the warmists have high payed PR professionals working – then we need at least understand and follow the rules the search engines use. There are several points mentioned in the thread so far:
    – use key words in titles – search engines are not so good in judging/interpreting content (do we want them to do it?)
    – link to other sites on similar articles – dr Roy Spencer, Jo Nova, Tallbloke etc etc and back
    – make a reference article/reference page on “global warming theory” or “climate change” that would be strong used/referenced
    – do we want not to allow the “others” to increase their popularity on behalf on WUWT ( the “not follow” that was mentioned? – maybe tit for tat)
    – take care and follow-up, legally if needed, on sites set up to decrease your popularity – I learned there may be tricks to setup sites with similar names and use languages or links that downgrade popularity – don’t forget sometime people thinking they are fighting for a good cause are ready to all kind of dirty tricks – how far their conscience and the set of rules allows

  88. Its an extension of the wiki problem, where a single person rewrote over 5,000 articles deleting all sorts of contrary references.

    Natural healthcare has the same problem, google not showing cutting edge natural remedies. This has been highlighted in the Doctors Data versus Quackwatch legal case. Discovery is planned to be used to find out how so many defaming articles re doctors data got on page one of google and who was behind it.

    Strange allies indeed.

  89. My blog “MinnesotansForGlobalWarming.com” was always on the front page when you searched “Global Warming” now it is on page 10. Just sayin.

  90. There is a false belief that time-proven principles for search engine optimization cannot be used with blog applications, because blog applications like WordPress do not permit editing of source code for blog pages. However, that is not quite the way things are with blogs.

    WordPress, for example, is quite well-aware of the importance of search-engine optimization. That is why WordPress offers ideas on how to take those principles into account. More at Search Engine Optimization for WordPress, by WordPress.org , http://codex.wordpress.org/Search_Engine_Optimization_for_WordPress

    About attempts to change the ranking of WUWT through taking various actions. Changes to web-site ranking due to whatever improvements have been made to optimize for search-engine ranking will not have any effect until a web-site has been re-indexed after such changes have been made. Depending on search engine, the cycle for re-indexing can take on average from three to a few more weeks before a search-engine crawls a web-site again on the next indexing run. That is when any improvements that were made to the website will become noticeable on search-return lists.

  91. Here are some Google search results:
    “watts” page 1 position 5 out of 33.7 million results
    “science climate” page 1 position 6 out of 157 million results
    “climate blog” page 1 position 3 out of 499 million results
    “weather science blog” page 3 position 23 out of 503 million results

    There are businesses out there charging serious money to people seeking rankings of this order.

    Manifestly this website is not being suppressed by Google when you search using relevant terms. Anthony, if you are desperate to become a significant global warming alarmist site, you need to do something. If you do decide to become a global warming alarmist site, I suspect you will lose your present audience.

  92. I doubt that wuwt is being intentionally down graded. My reasons are that there are several skeptical sites in the first several pages.

    Just the ones I spotted and there may be more

    http://www.globalwarming.org/ – page 1 (not to be confused with globalwarming.com)
    http://www.accuweather.com – page 4
    http://www.naturalnews.co – page 5
    http://www.stanford.edu/~moore/Boon_To_Man.html – page 6
    http://www.wnho.net/global_warming.htm – page 6
    http://www.globalwarmingheartland.org/ – page 7
    http://www.globalwarminghysteria.com/ – page 7

    and drum roll please ……

    wattsupwiththat.com/ – page 26 ( a huge jump up from 35 ).

    If you search for the following “global warming watts” and you get 2+ million with this site in the first half dozen hits but when you search for “global warming wattsup” you get 1 (one and only one). So if you lengthen the search by 2 characters you get a lot less hits. If you search for “global warming wattsupwith” you get a lot more.

    Why a site like this is down the search results when it gets more traffic than some of the above is weird but humans create the algorithms at google and I write it off to faulty code. So I’ll keep Plus1’ing the articles here just out of curiosity to see if it has an effect over the next year. I also suggest that instead of going to the site directly via bookmarks you use google to search for “wattsupwiththat” and then follow the link to the site. Maybe the number of searches and follows will help.

    Oh yea Happy New Year to all!

  93. Elmer says:
    January 1, 2012 at 10:20 am

    If you do a search for “Global Warming” on Yahoo Minnesotans For Global Warming is still on the first page.

    There is a simple reason why it is at the top of search return lists. Think about it: “Minnesotans For Global Warming” shows up in the URL for the website, http://www.minnesotansforglobalwarming.com/
    But that is not the only reason. The phrase is not only part of the URL for the site but shows up in numerous instances of HTML tags in the source code for the page.

    If you were to do a comparable search for WUWT, you would search for the phrase “Watts up with that?” Try that, and you will find that WUWT is then also at the top of the search-return lists that character string causes to be created.

  94. I just checked, and WUWT’s first mention in a Global Warming search is now page 39, but I note something sinister- I am pasting the listing below:

    Watts Up With That? | The world’s most viewed site on global …
    wattsupwiththat.com/
    Block all wattsupwiththat.com results
    37 minutes ago – Global warming may go on a last minute rampage. Maybe best to just stay at home and lock your doors, bar your windows, and turn your air …

    Note the new “Block all wattsupwiththat.com results” link Google has added!

  95. [TIC] Thinking more deeply about this, the way to improve WUWT’s ranking on the search term “global warming” would be to do what (Un)RealClimate does. No substantive discussion of the science, no more posts from Willis Eschenbach, Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, David Archibald, Bob Tisdale etc. Editorial would need to be by Lazy Teenager, A Physic, R Gates etc. Comments from EM Smith, DirkH, Geoff Sherrington, Ferdinand Engelbeen, Lucy Skywalker etc ruthlessly suppressed. That oughta work. [/TIC]

  96. Searched “global warming” and got this on page 22.
    “Watts Up With That? The world’s most viewed site on global …
    wattsupwiththat.com/
    4 minutes ago – Global warming may go on a last minute rampage”

  97. thepompousgit says:
    January 1, 2012 at 10:51 am
    Here are some Google search results:
    “watts” page 1 position 5 out of 33.7 million results….

    …Methinks the Git gits it…

  98. thepompousgit says:
    January 1, 2012 at 10:51 am

    ….Manifestly this website is not being suppressed by Google when you search using relevant terms. (My emphasis — WHS)

    That is absolutely true.

    You also stated:

    Anthony, if you are desperate to become a significant global warming alarmist site, you need to do something. If you do decide to become a global warming alarmist site, I suspect you will lose your present audience.

    That is also true, but only within reason, and I don’t think that the insinuation is warranted.

    All things are fair in love and war. Anthony has love for the truth and for truth against the propaganda war that employs and exploits unnecessary fear of man-made global warming.

    To make a dent in the persistent propaganda campaign, it will help to increase the already considerable popularity and visibility of WUWT. It will help that along if searches for specific terms lead people who are not yet aware of WUWT to this blog. “Global Warming” is a very prominent key-term. I don’t think that making it easy to find discussions that mention “global warning” at WUWT will in any way impact the editorial policies applied by Anthony.

    The term “global warming” is now (as is the term “climate change”) contained in many HTML tags in the source code for the WUWT blog and will without a doubt increase the volume of traffic coming to this blog within about three weeks from now — without affecting editorial content or policy at all.

    Anthony and all others involved in doing the required work, thank you for that and for making the effort.

  99. I mean WUWT is on page 3 now if you google Mingo’s thong, lol…

    Page 3 of about 1,470,000 results (0.19 seconds)

    I am just saying….’Whats Up with that’?

  100. TRM said @ January 1, 2012 at 11:00 am
    “Why a site like this is down the search results when it gets more traffic than some of the above is weird but humans create the algorithms at google and I write it off to faulty code.”

    The “faulty code” evaluates search terms used and websites visited using those search terms. The results of these searches published in comments here suggest that most people who search on the terms “global warming” do not then become WUWT fans. People who search on the terms “watts”, or “science climate”, or “climate blog” are far more likely to become WUWT fans; and this is as it should be. Google’s success has come from evaluating people’s behaviour such that what they are looking for is more likely to be on the first page of a search than page 33, or 333.

    The complaint about Google not placing WUWT on the first page when searching on “global warming” should more properly be made against people who search on those terms not becoming WUWT fans. Google’s search result says most of them prefer to go to WikiBloodyPedia. I don’t believe WUWT fans are going to change that behaviour by trying to game Google. Google has long deprecated websites where gaming is detected.

    Google makes money, lots of it, from providing relevant search results. If they fail in the latter, they will fail in the former. The Internet is at this stage still a free market. If another search engine that is significantly better than Google arises, we will mostly change our allegiance to that search engine — quickly. Anybody else here remember Alta Vista, or Gopher even?

  101. thanks STRICQ

    How about some classic pages like?
    global warming jesus caspar paper site:bishophill.squarespace.com
    global warming Wegman and North Reports for Newbies site:climateaudit.org

    No +1’s, but it can’t hurt to search these to boost the search ratings can it?

  102. “wayne says:
    December 31, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Why do I get “Block all wattsupwiththat.com results” link on Google entries”

    Because Google allows you to block sites that you don’t want to see. There are many sites that use optimization to get a high ranking, and are basically spam. The about.com articles are basically useless, yet they show up whenever you search many topics. After you’ve been to the site and come back, Google lets you block them so that they don’t come up in searches any more. This is very useful, so put your paranoia away and enjoy it.

    I don’t know why you’d expect to see this site at the top of searches for ‘global warming.’ Think of how many sites there are that discuss this topic, and how much traffic they get. Just because this site is important to you, that doesn’t mean it’s important to Google. More links from more sites with heavy traffic would bump up this site’s ratings. I just searched ‘global warming skeptic,’ and a WUWT page came up #40 on the first page. That’s nothing to complain about.

  103. Walter H. Schneider said @ January 1, 2012 at 11:51 am

    thepompousgit says:
    January 1, 2012 at 10:51 am

    “Anthony, if you are desperate to become a significant global warming alarmist site, you need to do something. If you do decide to become a global warming alarmist site, I suspect you will lose your present audience.

    That is also true, but only within reason, and I don’t think that the insinuation is warranted.”

    It was sarcastic and if anyone took what I said as seriously intended, I apologise. Pompous Gits are not noted for their manners.

    “All things are fair in love and war. Anthony has love for the truth and for truth against the propaganda war that employs and exploits unnecessary fear of man-made global warming.

    To make a dent in the persistent propaganda campaign, it will help to increase the already considerable popularity and visibility of WUWT. It will help that along if searches for specific terms lead people who are not yet aware of WUWT to this blog. “Global Warming” is a very prominent key-term. I don’t think that making it easy to find discussions that mention “global warning” at WUWT will in any way impact the editorial policies applied by Anthony.”

    There are two ways for Anthony to effectively increase Google traffic from the search term “global warming”. One is to be linked to from NASAA as (Un)RealClimate is. The likelihood of that is about the same as me receiving a Nobel Prize for my diligence in lawn mowing. The second is what you say isn’t going to happen: a drastic change in editorial policy to make this website attractive to people searching on the term “global warming”. I’m not saying the changes made will have no effect; just that they will have a negligible effect.

    I will try again. Google evaluates what people want to view based on their search terms and web page content. It does this very well (albeit imperfectly). The suggestion being made here is that people who would prefer not to read the content on WUWT should be coerced into doing so, be it ever so gently. The people who do want to read the content at WUWT have no problem whatsoever finding WUWT based on the search terms they are most likely to use. If Google was attempting to suppress WUWT, this would not be the case.

    “Anthony and all others involved in doing the required work, thank you for that and for making the effort.”

    Heartily agree!

  104. LazyTeenager says:
    December 31, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    “The basis of Google’s original page ranking is published, but the current implementation details and algorithm are secret. That’s to prevent people gaming the system. The reason meta tags is now irrelevant and has always been irrelevant to Google is because people used them to game the system.”

    If meta tags “has always been irrelevant to Google” how did “people use them to game the system”?

  105. Update on 1/1/12 at 22:00Z WUWT is now third from the bottom on page 19 up from page 38, after adding my +1 and clicking on it a few times yesterday, along with many others here. I suppose that’s progress.

  106. For those who might think The Git is a shill for Google, consider the following:

    Jonathan Sturm, The Pompous Git’s evil alter-ego is, according to Google, the world’s most famousest Pompous Git. He was one of the very earliest of bloggers (though we didn’t call ourselves that: see http://www.daynotes.com/index20041001.html). There are several thousand pages on The Git’s website though it has been only sporadically updated over recent time (and it’s a bit of a mess after a restore borked the CSS on a bunch of pages). The Git is telling you these things not to skite, but to tell you he knows whereof he squeaks.

    Many people believe Google maintains an index of every web page, or if not of every page, every page of websites with high Google Rank. The Git’s web has a Google Rank of 4, just behind WUWT’s 5. When searching for pages The Git knows exist in his web using Google, some are not found while other search engines do. Why?

    Google evaluates on several criteria and one such is incoming links and what the Google Rank of those links are. Those pages so linked remain in Google’s index. Pages not so linked, are eventually erased from Google’s index. Other independent search engines can find such pages, though there is no guarantee any particular engine will. http://www.searchenginewatch.com/ is a great place for search engine news BTW.

    Google also evaluates websites based on the percentage of relevant (from the Google POV) pages. Thus a blog such as WUWT gradually erodes its Google Rank as more and more irrelevant (that is unindexed) pages accumulate. This points to a way to reverse that trend: prune out the older, irrelevant material that is no longer indexed. Unfortunately, discovering which of those pages need to go can be a tedious exercise.

    The Git’s solution was to divorce the blog from his main website. Over time, he then intends to eliminate irrelevant material from the old website while continuing to add new relevant (from the Google POV) material. In the meantime, writing his new book is paramount. And thinking: “What’s for dinner?”

    Just some food for thought that might be more important than worrying about attracting more R Gates, Lazy Teenagers, A Physics and so on. I don’t object to their presence at all, they add spice, but an avalanche of them, even if it could be engineered, would not be desirable (IMHO)

  107. Ric Werme said @ January 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    “LazyTeenager says:
    December 31, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    “The basis of Google’s original page ranking is published, but the current implementation details and algorithm are secret. That’s to prevent people gaming the system. The reason meta tags is now irrelevant and has always been irrelevant to Google is because people used them to game the system.”

    If meta tags “has always been irrelevant to Google” how did “people use them to game the system”?”

    LT is incorrect. Google has used a variety of techniques to evaluate pages over time and has continued to refine them. IIRC meta tags were dropped fairly early.

  108. #########################################
    YOU, THE READER, CAN HELP WITH PLACEMENT.
    #########################################
    Google assigns a huge amount of weight to incoming links. READERS can improve WUWT’s placement on the general term ‘global warming’ by using the term in links to the site. Link building gives readers a chance to help.

    When posting a link to an article on WUWT use the term GLOBAL WARMING in front of the article name. For forums use the typical BBC tags [url=http://…actual link here…]Global Warming: …article name here…[/url] when composing a post’s link. Different forums and blog comment sections do links differently. But, get the words ‘global warming’ in every link you post to WUWT. Ideally place them first and only once. It takes time. But as those links build up WUWT will start to float to the top for that term.

    Google assigns high weight to external links because the site owner and SEO guys cannot easily spam Google via incoming links.

    Google is link farm proof and will penalize sites that use link farms. But, forums, blogs, and other discussion sites that allow links are considered a good source of ranking information because it is too labor intense for SEO peeps and owners to go around the net posting links. Plus site owners, forums and blogs, will filter out spammers’ links.

    Plus this takes the effort off Anthony and spreads it across his many readers.

    http://dolphinad.com/

  109. UnfrozenCavemanMD said @ January 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    “Update on 1/1/12 at 22:00Z WUWT is now third from the bottom on page 19 up from page 38, after adding my +1 and clicking on it a few times yesterday, along with many others here. I suppose that’s progress.”

    Google monitors what you as an individual find relevant and weights its search results accordingly. Your discovery is therefore of no great consequence.

    BTW The Git’s published results were on a fresh (1 week old) install and therefore he assumes little affected by recent searches on the terms used.

  110. Walter H. Schneider says:

    “There is a simple reason why it is at the top of search return lists. Think about it: “Minnesotans For Global Warming” shows up in the URL for the website?

    You missed my earlier post where I said my blog used to be on the first page of Google results but now I am on page 10. This happened after Google made 500 changes to the algorithm “to improve search quality”

  111. Alan Cates said @ January 1, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    #########################################
    YOU, THE READER, CAN HELP WITH PLACEMENT.
    #########################################
    Google assigns a huge amount of weight to incoming links. READERS can improve WUWT’s placement on the general term ‘global warming’ by using the term in links to the site. Link building gives readers a chance to help.”

    True, but AFAICT the links carry a weight dependent on the Google Rank of the website linked from. If that website has a Google rank of 0, as most websites do, then there is nothing gained. OTOH a single link from a website of very high Google Rank is worth more than many thousands of links from low Google Rank websites. For example, NASA’s Google Rank is 9.

    The Google Rank checker that The Git uses is working again. WUWT has gone up from 5 to 6! (It’s updated quarterly IIRC). And people are p!ssing and moaning about this. OMG the sky’s falling in. Put on your tin hats everybody!

  112. Elmer said @ January 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    “Walter H. Schneider says:

    “There is a simple reason why it is at the top of search return lists. Think about it: “Minnesotans For Global Warming” shows up in the URL for the website?

    You missed my earlier post where I said my blog used to be on the first page of Google results but now I am on page 10. This happened after Google made 500 changes to the algorithm “to improve search quality””

    You are assuming nothing else changed, like thousands more people blogging on the same topic, incoming links going stale etc. And never forget the algorithm sorts websites by relative popularity. Note that WUWT has increased its Google Rank over the last quarter, a rather strange result if the “faulty” algorithm discriminates against websites such as WUWT.

    If you want to increase your Google Rank, currently a very respectable 4, you need to evaluate your posts in terms of what people actually use to find your website when using Google. Content is king as they say. Either you need to have permanently accessible content that people want to read, or you need to provide new, fresh material that attracts people to visit your website regularly. In this respect, Anthony is creating a problem for bloggers who blog on topics similar to his. There are several blogs I no longer have time to peruse, not because they are at fault, but because WUWT is streets ahead of what they are doing.

    And Google’s “faulty” algorithm is tracking this. I’d say WUWT has a “problem” that many would give their left nut to have.

  113. Egads : still a serious amount of misinformation and disinformation being posted here. No wonder the SEO field is ripe with fraudsters and hucksters with all the nonsense that passes for common knowledge.

    “If meta tags “has always been irrelevant to Google” how did “people use them to game the system”?”

    I don’t recall if Google ever read meta tags, but they haven’t done for a long time. Gaming the search engines with meta tag stuffing was done long before Google was around. The thing that set Google apart and made it race ahead of other search engines was the fact it stopped trying to rank sites based on on-page factors (the things people could manipulate) and started ranking sites based on off-page factors, as described in the original PageRank algorithm. It’s a lot more difficult to manipulate off-page factors like links to your site, especially with high-ranking domains like government websites, education facilities, newspapers, etc.

    It might be suggested that there is no point in linking to this site with ‘global warming’ in the link text, but in fact that is not the case. 1 NASA link might be worth 1,000 climate blog links, but that doesn’t mean 1,000 climate blog links shouldn’t be done.

    Additionally, there was some suggestion in these comments that the indexes only update infrequently. That is false- as someone already showed in this comment stream, this post alread ranks for several unique terms (was it thongs or something?) which shows that, for an active blog like this, Google will be updating probably several times daily.

    Anthony/Mods- you should consider posting a retraction to most of the advice given in this post and seek professional (donated) help in putting up a new post outlining the SEO strategy and asking for help from readers in ways they CAN help – none of which includes +1 clicks or trying to sort through 30+ pages of search results in the hope that clicking the link will give much of a boost.

    And people – seriously – when Google decides you’re not welcome on their site, you disappear. As in : can’t be found at all. As I and others have said, they’ve got money to make, they aren’t going to spend a lot of time stuffing about trying to suppress particular blogs that aren’t breaking their own rules.

    The reason things like RealClimate etc are ranking better are because they all have Government/Media buy-in. Government and Media sites are well-trusted (for integrity, not necessarily truth) and as such links from them help rankings enormously. There is no conspiracy or active fiddling of the search rankings – it’s just another manifestation of the overwhelming amount of money behind the climate scare industry. Google is (and will continue to) tweak it’s algorithm to favour branded sites over unbranded (i.e., New York Times over Uncle Joes Climate Rant) because that’s what people like, and the big brands have the money to spend on ads.

    If WUWT follows some advice and does a combination of on-page optimisation (removing unnecessary outgoing links), editorial awareness (better choices of title) and a linking strategy (getting others to link with relevant link text) then this blog would race up the rankings.

    So can we please get back to the facts and spare the crazy theories. Some people do this stuff for a living and know what they are talking about.

  114. And thinking even more deeply about Googlish things and Climate Realism…

    The Git just searched on “willis eschenbach” in the WordPress search box at the top of the page. He notes that Willis’ posts are all Uncatgorised. From a distinctly Gittish POV, he would like to be able to search for substantive scientific articles and commentary on articles and search within those searches to efficiently find what he vaguely remembers reading here. IOW there’s a lot of material here of permanent interest among a boatload of ephemera. Haystacks and needles.

    What would be nice (and The Git is far too busy to volunteer for this) is a separate website that carries only the substantive scientific content, sans comments, but with a link to the original post here for those willing to wade through the dross looking for further nuggets. A properly indexed archive with suggested reading lists for special interests: Beginner to Climate Realism, Oceanography, Paleoclimatology etc. It could, and probably should, include like material from CA, Bishop Hill and others.

    Hey, if the tinfoil hat brigade can dream of gaming Google, Gits can have their dreams too ;-)

  115. brc said @ January 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm several things, but only quoted Lazy Teenager. However, some of what he says appears to be directed at me, so:

    “It might be suggested that there is no point in linking to this site with ‘global warming’ in the link text, but in fact that is not the case. 1 NASA link might be worth 1,000 climate blog links, but that doesn’t mean 1,000 climate blog links shouldn’t be done.”

    I don’t think I said it shouldn’t be done. I did point out that linking from a website with a Google Rank of 0 will have zero effect. 1,000 * 0 = 0. The Google rank value is entirely dependent on the Google Rank value of the source. I used NASA as an example because it’s clearly why (Un)RealClimate appears ahead of WUWT in searches even though it has much less traffic.

    “Additionally, there was some suggestion in these comments that the indexes only update infrequently. That is false- as someone already showed in this comment stream, this post alread ranks for several unique terms (was it thongs or something?) which shows that, for an active blog like this, Google will be updating probably several times daily.”

    I couldn’t find any suggestion that the indexes update frequently, and certainly not by me. It might help if you quote when responding to comments. I did state that Google Rank is updated infrequently, at least the one published by Google. It is of course not necessarily the case that Google uses the published Google Rank internally. Wikipedia states that the last published update was 27 June 2011. This is obviously now out of date as I discovered an hour or so ago. WUWT’s published Google Rank has gone from 5 to 6 since September when I last checked it.

    Much of what you say appears to be generally reasonable advice, but it’s worth pointing out as I have that WUWT is doing rather well. SEO might well lift WUWT higher up page 1 when searching on “watts”, or “science & climate”, or “climate & blog”, but apart from bragging rights, what will be achieved? A very great effort might get WUWT onto page 1 for a search on global warming, and staying there might require even greater effort. But why bother?

    As I pointed out, WUWT does have a potential longer term problem shared with all blogs. I didn’t make that up; it’s a topic of conversation among several website owners I know who make a living from writing.

  116. Forgot to close the tags on efficiently and published in the last two posts! Can you fix please, Mods? I think we finally have some global warming here in southern Tasmania. It’s 30.5C in my garden and the pumpkins must be loving it :-)

    [REPLY: Fixed. I think. -REP]

  117. A problem blogs can have is so many of them are not the original source for what they publish. I don’t know what the ratio of original to replicated work is here, but it may be a factor. The signal to noise ration on blogs can be pretty bad, too.

    I wonder too how much WordPress does to discourage burning up bandwidth on the search engines – there are a lot of them out there. On my servers I’ve blocked quite a few of them because they’re bandwidth pigs. And they’re not just crawling web servers – FTP servers that allow anonymous access are fair game, too.

    Anyway – keep up the great work. We all know where to find you.

  118. Hi Anthony,

    There is a lot of advice above, I have some experience in this area so I feel compelled to add my two cents.
    1. Meta keywords are meaningless, google stopped using them years ago as they are too easy to manipulate, plus Google’s machine learning algorithms are more than capable enough to determine the meaning of the content on all of your pages.
    2. Search result ranking for most sites is not dependent on people clicking on search results. This is because Google gets much better data from the Google Analytics and Google Adsense scripts that are embedded in most web pages these days. The scripts that run on all sites using these products gives Google real time trending data on the actual usage of the sites. This is a far better indicator of the popularity of a site than search result clicking. You can see why they give Google Analytics away for free.
    3. After a quick examination it appears that you are not using Google Analytics or Adsense on your site. Didn’t you used to have Google Ads on your site? Without these products, Google receives a lot less data about the usage and popularity of your site. You probably have good reasons why you don’t use these products.
    4. The fact that you are not using GA or Adsense is no excuse for you to be ranked so low. The google bots which scan your site can easily determine the topics contained in your content.
    5. My opinion is that you are being purposely down ranked. Any half decent algorithm would rank you near the top, and google have excellent algorithms.
    6. Not sure if you are using a WordPress sitemap plugin but it is probably worth it if you are not as this allows search engines to find new content faster.

    Please excuse my terse writing style, I have been been a progammer most of my life and paragraphs don’t come easily.

    Keep up the good work, you are killing it.
    tD

  119. Page 32 on google.co.uk. (I this the same rank as google.com or any other dot thing?)

    Of course various posters / commentators have been telling us not to use Google so perhaps this low ranking is the result.

  120. I like your experiment with the menus below the masthead. Try seaching on “Al Gore and Bill Nye” – WUWT comes up number one.

  121. I am flabbergasted at the continual suggestion that Google is downgrading WUWT. I just checked Dick Smith Electronics, a major Australian electronics retailer, both online and through a multitude of stores, not just in the cities, but suburbs and towns. They have a Google Rank of 5, and I’m willing to bet they have employed highly paid SEO experts to get there (they are part of one of Australia’s two largest retailers).

    And the obsession with WUWT ranking low on the search term “global warming” when most warmists, the people most likely to use that search term, would be least likely to find what they seek at WUWT, is crazy.

    WUWT is a colossal success: look at the traffic. Focus on why WUWT’s a success: content. Content is King!

    Please, please, please, please don’t do a “New WUWT”!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Coke

    I despair…

  122. Google most definitely does send undesirable ( in their opinion) sites to the back of the rankings. I have run a blog that deals with motorized recreation (snowmobiling) for many years. In ’99 and Y2K I came out with a series of editorial posts very critical of Clinton’s Roadless Initiative and other efforts to close down public access to public lands. Guess what happened? I went from never being under #8 for my specific topic to page 30+, and at times not being listed in the directory at all. Just this year, about 2 years after my last pro-access article, I have returned to a top ranking listing.

    In that decade my site was SEO optimized, keyword optimized, keyword titled, resubmitted, and I have three relevant domain names that used the top search terms.com pointing at the site. None of that mattered because I offended their worldview. I had excellent rankings with non-G search engines, but was exiled on the Big G.

    Thankfully word of mouth made me the second biggest site in the region without the help of the big evil one, and the decade long trip to search engine Siberia didn’t matter much.

    Now in my opinion “Do no evil” ranks right up there with hope n change, the check is in the mail, and I promise not to…

  123. Why has WUWT rating gone DOWN from 5 to zero??

    Why are people getting “block all wattsupwiththat.com” results??

    And what is master of internet fast games Wm Connolley doing now he cannot exercise at WP his 2-minute reverts, deletions, etc any longer??

    Inquiring minds would like to know.

  124. Consult the WordPress guidance first (Walter H. Schneider, January 1, 2012 at 8:48 am). If more is wanted, then perhaps
    Kent, Peter. Search engine optimization for dummies(r), 3rd edition, Indianapolis, IN : Wiley Pub., Inc., 2008.

  125. This morning, on google.ca, it is up to page 22 (from 28 yesterday). Clicked on it again.

  126. This morning I googled Watts up with Thongs…and congratulations Anthony you were number one out of 63,000,000…

    I hope this site doesn’t crash with the influx of spelling challenged perverts…

    There is actually a point here…I think…don’t you want people to find you when they are not looking for you…rather than when they are…right?

    We are talking marketing people…and this is key…when somebody googles Al Gore thong…they might see this site…but when they google Pachauri thong…well Amazon will probably be number 1…word

  127. Many people told you before Anthony. IT’S YOUR POST TITLES! I found you on Giggle page 38 with some article about that “global warming” will cool down and the Swedes attacking the Danes across the ice. (Forgot the POST TITLE now, but it had “global warming” in it.) You have GOT to gear your titles to those concepts or words you want to be found for! As simple as that! Your titles like “I’ve been Lenfesteyed”, may be really cute for the regulars, but who in the world searching for “global warming” or “CO2″ or “climate change” will ever use that word!? Stop being cute and design your titles with better catch-words! Sorry, hate to spell it out like this, but that’s how it works! I’ve used it for years on my sites! Not that I trust Giggle any, but I know how they work! How about “Global Warming poet causes high tides in Mainstream Media for WATTSUPWITHTHAT.COM” I am not saying that that is what you should have called it, but it sure would garner hits at least. Maybe no visits from watermelons, but perhaps from the undecided! You have to gear towards the undecided, IF you want to reach them! Business without advertising is like smiling at a pretty girl in the dark! Happy New Year!

  128. Page 20 on googlel.ca now (up from page 22 on Tuesday and 28 on Monday).
    Clicked on it again.

  129. Whoops, fell back to page 39 on California Google.com
    Major backslide in one day.

    Plenty of really old stuff getting higher placement than WUWT…
    RR

  130. I just did a Google Search for “Global Warming” and WUWT showed up at the bottom of page 1.

    REPLY: Then my change to the format of the blog appears to have had an impact, thanks – Anthony

  131. On Jan. 18, with my IP address, Google Ranks for these searches:

    Global Warming _____ 11 _ Page 2, #1
    “Climate Change”________ Page 35.
    Climate Change__________ Page 35.
    Worlds most viewed web site _ 8 _Page 1
    Watts ______________ 10 _ Page 1
    CAGW _____________ 5 _ Page 1 (first about Cat. Antro. Global Warming)
    sea level rise ___________ Page 12.
    ocean acidification____33 _ Page 4
    eschenbach__________8 _ Page 1
    IPCC_______________49 _ Page 5
    climategate __________2 _ Page 1 (after wikipedia)
    climate ________________ Page 37
    Medieval warm period __3 _ Page 1
    Little Ice Age ________ 22 _ Page 3

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