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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Bloke down the pub

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

Alvin

I usually just type it out.

Richard Sharpe

Page 33 when I just checked.

Roger Sowell

Global Warming and Walnut Trees post was on pg 27 of google search results a few minutes ago.

Grandpa Boris

It’s now on Page 5.

Sean Houlihane

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.

Richard Sharpe

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”

DJ

WUWT showed up on pg33, browser Safari, for me.
What’s funny, and ironic, is that it pointed to this article!

I didn’t find a link until page 39. An Onion article was in the teens!

R. Craigen

Page 30. Dec. 30, 11:30 AM

I can’t find it anywhere from pages 28 to 36, so I gave up.

eyesonu

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!

up to page 38 – don’t see WUWT
I’ll try again later.

ShrNfr

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.

“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).

You da man , Anthony. Happy New Year to you and yours. Keep up the good fight.

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

STRICQ

Enter this search in Google: global warming site:wattsupwiththat.com
Then +1 all the results.

I found the first WUWT hit on page 43 of Google and it was a link to this page.
The first WUWT hit on Bing was on page 19.
Houston we have a problem.

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.

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.

nc

Bing-page 28, icecap-page 19.

Jeff Wood

Seems most unexpected.
Anyway, a good New Year to one and all here.

Richard111

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

Dr. Science

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.

James

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

Colin in BC

You fare better in Bing, where a WUWT article showed up on page 11.

Roy UK

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….

wermet

I tried using Google as mentioned above, the first mention of WUWT that I found was on page 39. 🙁

Martin457

I find google to be almost as bad as the UN.
http://www.dogpile.com
It searches google also but, seems to me to work much better.
I can see where an “Occupy Google” would be fun though. Hehehehehehe

Kelvin Vaughan

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.

James Bull

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

TomH

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.

BognorBaz

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.

2hotel9

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!?!?!

Spiny Norman

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

James Bolivar DiGriz

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

Leon Brozyna

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.

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.

Love the new Logo / Caption
Will now Google every day, as well as +1 all articles
Andy

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.

juanslayton

“Climate Change” on Bing gave a hit on page 25.

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
http://andic.co.nz/google.jpg
Lots of pages still to go – but I ain’t found WUWT as yet
Andy

AnonyMoose

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.

Dr Burns

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.

philincalifornia

Page 2 if you type in:
global warming not

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

Jouatt

FireFox – Page 38

u.k.(us)

Clicked on page 38, now working my way backwards.
From “global warming” search on Google.

Colin Wernham

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.