Thursday, January 04, 2007

Google searches don't seem to be finding my blog...

I'm hoping someone out there can offer some insight.......

I don't have a big readership on my blog, but I was starting to get quite a few visitors that would find my blog through Google searches. I've noticed that my readership has dropped off drastically over the last week or two and that I am getting very few Google search hits. Where I might get many, many Google hits, I only got 4 today.

At first I thought maybe people just weren't doing as many recipe searches now that the holidays are over or that my tracker wasn't tracking properly, but then I tried some searches that I've tried in the past - out of curiousity to see where my blog would fall in the pages. I tried searching for things that I know for a fact used to place me on the first search page and sometimes I don't find my blog at all or I might find it quite a few pages back from where I would find it before. So then I searched for something very specific "gorgonzola polenta in the rice cooker" - something that would definitely pull up my blog and be listed on the first page - but I found nothing in the first 10 pages of listings. I did a search for "Chocolate Chai Snickerdoodles" and it was pulling up quite a few other familiar blogs, but not mine.

Any idea as to what's happening?

It's not a huge deal, but I would like people to be able to find my blog if they are searching for a recipe and that doesn't seem to be happening.

This Post was written by Alysha from The Savory Notebook.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

You show up on the first page when querying "Chocolate Chai Snickerdoodles" - with the quotes.

Jack said...

...but as a Supplement Result:
The Savory Notebook: Chocolate Chai Snickerdoodles
An online diary about what's going on in my kitchen.
savorynotebook.blogspot.com/2005/09/chocolate-chai-snickerdoodles.html - 51k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages


...that's not good. (Yeah, I'm no expert as to why or how to solve.)

Silverbrow said...

According to Google you can't change which index you're in. Here's their explanation.

You may have done something to contravene their guidelines, unfortunately I have no idea what that could be.

Alysha said...

Thanks for the input. Google has some information on this problem, but it doesn't look like I'll be able to do much about it. Hopefully the crawler will pick my site up more frequently again soon..........

Just wondered if anyone else had had this problem and if they had found a way to correct or fix it or whatever........

I was actually quite surprised how high in the search results my little old blog was showing up there for a while - maybe I was getting an inflated ranking there for a while?

Who knows.............

Alysha said...

It does appear that I am only showing up in the supplemental index as you all pointed out - so that's why my traffic has plummeted.

I can only hope that I somehow get pulled back into the main index.....maybe I'll try to email Google.....but that's probably pointless.

I only do this as a hobby, but still - it would be nice to know that people might actually be able to stumble on my site if they did a search for something I posted about . Grrrr...........

Andrew said...

not sure if you can do it on your platform but to ensure that google captures all your pages you should set up a site map.

google has details on how to set it up and how to let them know about it on

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/docs/en/about.html

Alysha said...

Thanks Andrew - I am waiting for a confirmation email so that I can set up an account and use the webmaster tools.

I find it odd that things were fine until probably New Year's Day and then all the sudden - nothing.

Right now I'm am getting only getting hits from Google if someone types in "savory notebook" and nothing else.

Very frustrating! It's just a hobby for me, but if no one can find their way to my blog through Google searches, I'm not going to have much viewership at all and it makes my hard work feel somewhat in vain.........

Alysha said...

I've been doing more reading and wanted to post this link for anyone who might experience this same problem.

This link talks about how to get out of the supplemental index and into the main index.

Breaking out of Google's Supplemental Index

There are so many blogs that are similar to mine in how they are set up, how many links they have, etc., that I fail to see why my blog would have been banished to the supplemental index except due to error.

I submitted my blog to Google's index, so we'll see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Alysha, hi.

I've checked out your site and I must confess to being a bit puzzled.

According to Technorati you are ranked 130,781 with 127 links from 27 blogs. I can tell you that my own site is ranked 136,223 with 641 links from 26 blogs (i.e. lower than you) and I've had over 500 unique visitors this week. So as the rankings are based very much on links, it sounds like you may have had some sort of clean-out where you've dropped links (or other people for some reason have recebtly dropped links to you).

Your site shows up perfectly in Google, Yahoo and MSN, but the reason you are not finding articles is that you are not being crawled very often. Googlebot, for instance, last visited and indexed you on 1st Jan. Any uncommon phrase you search for in a posting from 30th December or earlier will show up in a Google blog search, but anything after that date won't until you are next crawled.

The frequency of searches is based on an algorithm that looks mainly at links and hits. So you should be being searched more often. I'm now searched about every 2 days (last time yesterday).

One place where I can help you is with Google verification. If I look at your site with Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) you show up as non-verified. What you should do is this. Find GWT by searching and register your URL (just http://sav..., without www). Once you appear, click on "Add a site map" and select the type "General Site Map". Enter your xml feed address (you will find this in Blogger Settings Site Feed and it should be your URL followed by "/xml"). This will help Googlebot to crawl your pages.

Then click on Verify and select method "Add a META tag". GWT will generate you a string of code. Put this in your template immediate after <head>. This will help Google to find you easily.

Hopefully this will improve things for you. But as I'm sure others have told you, at the end of the day the indexing comes from the hits and links and the hits and links come from the indexing! It's a slow grind upwards based on publishing what people want to read and letting people know you are around.

Good luck.

Alysha said...

Thanks so much,Trig. Last night or this morning I actually did all of the things you suggested, so hopefully that will help.

I'm not so much concerned about moving up in the ranks - though I admit that is fun and that I pay attention to it - but at the very least, I would like people to be able to find my blog when they do searches!

And as you said - I'm not ranked any worse than many other blogs that are popping up where my does not and even more confusing - where just a few weeks ago it WAS popping up.

Ah well, I'll sit back now and hope that verifying my site and all that will help..........

William I. Lengeman III said...

Beginning 12/31 traffic to my site took a noticeable drop. I was going to post to this group about it when - lo and behold - I found this post. Seems mighty odd that two people in this group had the same issue. I'd be willing to be others are seeing the same thing.

Kung Foodie said...

There is a huge flux with blogs and supplemental results right now...it's happening to a lot of blogs. This is typically how Google works, as they make changes large groups of sites fluctuate. They've also had an ongoing problem with sites being deindexed, only to have them reindexed within a month or two.

I don't have time to post more right now but I'll try to get more suggestions in tomorrow. Search marketing is what I do for a living.

The main thing is to keep in mind is that things search engines will continue to fluctuate and sometimes the best answer is to simply be patient and see where you're at in a few weeks. There are some free online tools I can recommend that will give you a better idea of your overall ranking for ALL of the Google data centers (and there are many).

Alysha said...

Kung Foodie - Thanks for your input and for being willing to help, I will look for your suggestions.

Sorry to hear it's happening to you too, William.

Anonymous said...

Alysha - you've been crawled by Googlebot on Friday. You'll see when your sitemap has been accepted because GWT will shown "1" under sitemap and when you've been verified because you will see a tick. It may take a day or two.

Anonymous said...

Alysha, there's a place on Blogger where you can tell it to ping when you've updated your blog. Is it possible that the permission to do that changed?

Anonymous said...

Alysha, there's a place on Blogger where you can tell it to ping when you've updated your blog. Is it possible that the permission to do that changed?

Alysha said...

Cate - I don't think anything has changed there. It's also not picking up things from a long time ago that should be in the index.

Well, I'm cautiously optimistic that I'm out of supplemental oblivion. I noticed a few Google searches showing up that haven't been showing up for a while. I went and searched "gorgonzola polenta and rice cooker" and bingo - I'm on the first page of results again! Woohoo! And now on page 4 for the Chocolate Chai Snickerdoodles that I wasn't showing up for. Hopefully now I'll stay out of the scary supplemental zone.

Thanks for everyone's help. Who knows if anything I did helped or if it was just a quirk in the system. My DH thinks I got banished because I put Google AdSense on my blog and then pulled it........ ;-)