Google and Me, Part II

My existential crisis is over. As of last Thursday, Google is again including this blog in its search results. So, welcome to all the new readers who’ve come here after Googling information on the Eggo shortage and the debate about whether kids should get one H1N1 shot or two.

This is probably of interest only to other bloggers, but for the record: When I first started this blog, it took about six weeks for it to appear regularly in Google search results. After several months, the blog inexplicably (to me, at least) disappeared from Google’s results. As in *really* disappeared; as one friend pointed out, you couldn’t even find it if you searched for “Donald Marron blog”.  About eight weeks elapsed before it reappeared regularly in the first few pages of Google’s results.

My eight-week exile provided a nice natural experiment for evaluating Google’s importance. Not surprisingly, Google drives a good amount of traffic; readership is larger when Google knows about the blog. The more interesting impact, though, is a version of the Long Tail: with Google’s help, more posts find readers on any given day.

 

5 thoughts on “Google and Me, Part II”

  1. I love your mention of the Long Tail. Do you plan to discuss this in our micro class? I’ll be trying to think up any ways it’s relevant to policy.

  2. Google stopped listing my “PrestoPundit” blog sometime shortly after I began posting on Barack Obama and the economics and politics of his Harvard-trained economists father (Google: “Barak Obama” “socialism” “father” “Keyna”, etc.)

    I had to shut down the blog and start over.

    Google never responded to my emails and never explained what happened.

    I assume Obama supporters “red flagged” my blog, and Google deleted it from their search engine. At the time, there were a number of published reports of Obama supporters doing just this to “kill” various site that the Obama campaign didn’t like.

    1. No, no explanation, but I didn’t really pester Google directly. Based on some web research (using Bing, since I felt miffed), I discovered that this has happened to some other folks and that possible causes include (a) a change in the search algorithm or (b) something bad happening to whatever Google server happened to be in charge of my site.

      I was a bit surprised, through, that it took even longer to re-establish my spot in the search results than it did to get recognized in the first place.

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