Not all of you will have caught the postscript to yesterday’s post. I wanted to see if Google was doing as bad a job with other Wordpress-only websites, and one of the most famous is Quartz.
Sure enough, it was. Of the top 50 for site:qz.com, 33 pages were author, tag or category pages (let’s just say indices for want of a better term). Only 17 were articles.
Quartz is properly famous with a big crew, so the fact Google can’t get a site: search right there, either, shows how bad things must be.
Here’s where the articles appear based on each 10-result page in Google:
In other words, on the first page, there was one article (in fifth). On the second page, two. The third page, happily, there were eight, but the number drops again for the fourth and fifth.
It’s really not the behaviour you expect from a search engine, and as far as I know, till recently, Google operated normally.
How does Mojeek, whose spider and site operate normally, fare on this test? Better.
I’m not saying the massive number of author pages starting from page 3 is good, but at least Mojeek is putting them in later, which is what you’d expect. I’d personally prefer they be later still, or not show up at all, for this type of search.
Out of fun, let’s look at Bing:
Yes, there were a lot of repeats (probably around 40 per cent again) and Bing oddly could only deliver six results on the first page, but those results are roughly what you’d expect: a lot of articles and some top-level pages on the first page. It even allowed me to go beyond 56, which is an achievement. Other than the repeated results, Bing delivered results that were closer to what was expected.
Earlier today, I discovered one setting in a Wordpress SEO plug-in that allowed tag pages to be indexed on Lucire’s website. That was never a problem till now, but I’ve turned it off. Sorry, Whangarei residents. I’ve asked Google not to make you the fashion capital of the world by having your tag appear first.
On this blog, tag pages were already selected for exclusion, but Google prefers unchanging, static HTML, and that’s another story.