Google now might show blank pages high up in a site: search

Google is still getting things wrong when it comes to showing the results from this site. More PHP pages are showing (up from 1!), but looking through the top 10, it might as well still be 2013, showing pages that haven’t been linked for a decade or more. And its latest problem seems to be indexing pages that have never been linked, ever, and sticking them into the top 50. On Startpage, which sources from Google, these make it into the top 10, shown below: they’re the fifth to tenth results.


It might be linked to the new skin, as they began appearing after the change. However, if you look at how spiders work—or are supposed to work—there’s just no way that these image gallery pages would ever show up. They exist only because of the way the plug-in is designed and the developer does not intend that they appear or be spidered, and I certainly don’t. The galleries themselves (when I was still using them till the photo bots started issuing unwarranted notices) are meant to use a short code generated by the plug-in, and it’s those posts with the short code that are meant to show up. Not these.

If you have anything in Wordpress that generates an entry but not necessarily a post, then watch out: Google could find it in certain circumstances, and you might not wish it to.

Now Startpage users have to wade through a bunch of these gallery results which are actually of blank pages. And blank pages, which have no content, should not, given Google’s own claims, rank highly at all.

No other search engine that I tested with finds unlinked blank pages (or if they do, you won’t see them ranked so highly). Not Mojeek, Bing (easy looking through 10 results!), Yandex, or Baidu (which is terrible in its own way).

Once again, it demonstrates that Google is worsening as a search service. Their excuse, that the web itself is getting worse (a phenomenon that they created, and foreseeably so), is at best a smokescreen.

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