That was short-lived. Bing’s back to offering 55 results for Lucire, and when you go through them, c. 40 per cent are repeated from page to page. However, a lot of the results are from the 2020s now, of both static and dynamic pages, so that’s something. There’s still a handful of truly ancient pages that haven’t been linked for decades, too.
This blog’s views are down dramatically, though as I haven’t fed in site:jackyan.com often into any search engine, it’s hard to say what the cause is. However, it’s more likely than not that Google has caused this, because this very search nets only results for static pages until page 7, except for the home page of this blog.
I note from a search of this blog that the first time site:jackyan.com is recorded was in July 2022, and I had checked Google. Obviously nothing had jumped out back then—and it would have—so Google’s pivot to antiquity is a recent phenomenon. Even on January 16, 2023, I didn’t note that anything was strange with a Google search I performed.
No, it was this month when I noticed how old the Google results were for this domain.
Here are the first 50 results visualized.
It’d be fine if the year was 2013, since most of the pages that Google shows up top are from that year. The rest are older.
I know there’s an argument for removing obsolete pages, but I am of the earlier school of thinking where webmasters were advised:
- don’t make 404s: if the page still exists then just let it be there, because
- if it’s not linked from anywhere current, it won’t show up, or show up later in the results;
- search engines will downrank things that are buried or only linked from pages that are deep within the site, and uprank things that are current and linked from more recently crawled pages.
When it comes to Google, these were truths as well, but it appears after 20-odd years, they are no longer.
Put simply, Google has real trouble indexing dynamic pages and ranking them highly, and the same is found with site:lucire.com. That means this blog’s entries are no longer being found or ranked highly.
What should the behaviour be? Mojeek is instructive, since the spider behaves as a spider should and the results show a more normal mix of static and dynamic. I should note that despite Bing’s obvious limitations (though at the time of writing it claims it has 1,860) it manages to include static and dynamic, too, with two dynamic in the top 10, and eight (one of which is a repeat) in slots 11–20. Overall, it’s closer to what one expects, too.
Below is the same graph for Mojeek.
The lesson? Got dynamic pages, like a Wordpress blog? New content in that blog? Then don’t expect much from Google as it clearly prefers static HTML. It has followed what Bing was last year, a repository for antiquity. Bing’s index may be shot, but it no longer is about the old stuff. Let’s hope Google, as it copies Bing, gets back into delivering more relevant results as well, and has a spider that functions in the way we all understand. For a market leader, it sure seems pretty clueless.
All the more reason to use Mojeek then.