Why does Google hate me?

I like games. I’ll play them for a long time. But I don’t like games with no rules at all, because it’s only fun if I can learn the rules and play better. By this, my 2nd blog, it’s apparent that Google is better at games than I, and believes that too much SEO knowledge is a dangerous thing…

It took me 6 months of writing my first blog, Griffith Park, Interrupted, to realize that no matter how much I wrote, or how good (I thought) it was, or how important, Google had no interest at all. If I searched for complete sentences from my posts, I could find them when I Googled. But keywords, or just search words, nada, my posts never came up. I was so disappointed. Like most bloggers, I don’t get paid for writing, and although I had a few commenters, not that many, so watching yourself get more popular on Google is a well-deserved reward, I say!

I redesigned my whole WordPress theme, and learned a hella lot about blogs and design by doing that, but I avoided adding plug-ins. WordPress constantly warns you that your whole blog can FAIL or GO DOWN, and everything will be LOST if a plug-in goes bad. It wasn’t worth it to me. But there is one plug-in that is very important, and will change your fun in blogs, and that is the All-in-One SEO plugin. And Blogger or LiveJournal doesn’t have it! It’s our special prize!??

The All in One SEO plugin rewrites titles and tags in a way that Google and other search engines can read. Google and I can now talk turkey. I was fascinated in how fast my blog shot up for certain categories and keywords. This was a good game!

Now, faithful readers will have noticed that on this blog, when I upgraded to WordPress 2.7 two weeks ago,? I lost my hand-crafted beautiful theme and had to do a lot of work on this design I’m using now. Bingo, I’m already a suspect BAD guy to Google, by being offline for 2 days when I had problems upgrading. So I made an effort to be very good these last couple weeks, correcting, fixing annoying stuff. Titles just right. Appropriate tags & categories. Linking correctly. Images captioned.

But Google is such a smartass now, such a bloated monster, that it keeps track of every single change you make, and marks it against you! It thinks you are cheating by just speaking its language!! Added keyword? Check. Changed title or url? Check. Rewrote something? Check. Link to my new political cartoon blog ONE TIME? Check. Because now it can figure out who owns which blogs, if you can believe that, so it thinks I am weighting my ranking by linking from this blog to my other blogs.. Not allowed.

It occurs to me that this is concern for online privacy: if Google has time to literally count every single change I make in my blog, every word tweaked, and knows which blogs I own and if they are connected, what else does Google know about me, and everyone else?

I found this in a forum from 2006 in webmasterworld, but it was still helpful to me:

I’d like to summarize the ideas so far. The biggest differences in google’s scoring compared to Yahoo and MSN surround links.

1. Links within the domain: repetition of keywords in internal anchor text can trip a filter quicker

2. Links from other domains. There are many types of IBLs that may ignore, where Yahoo and MSN give credit. This is especially true when your backlink profile is unbalanced in one of these directions and does not show a healthy number of “natural” or spontaneous links.

— a. your own “network” of domains (they’re getting better at spotting common owership)
— b. paid links
— c. reciprocal links
— d. low quality links me nts, FFA directories and link exchanges)
— e. links from domains that google has flagged not to pass on PR
— f. rapid growth in one of the above areas

3. There are definitely other differences, for example in the area of things google watches that others do not. Historical data, for example — your history of on-page changes in the many areas of “SEO” rather than content changes obviously made to help visitors.

Just a few months ago, Matt Cutts blogged a kind of storm warning for webmasters who tend to experiment with many SEO ideas on a regular basis. You could easily do this a while ago. Today, your footprint remains indefinitely.

I’m not interested in site ranking nor in SEO as a business – I just want to know a few guidelines, so I can play along. Once I learned that the search engines want helpful words, signposts, as it were, I gave ’em to them. But who the hell at Google made all this new crap up, to sabotage anyone TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING?

While trying to find out why Google has hated me for 2 weeks now – and now it’s both blogs, my political cartoon blog as well – I came across something called the Google sandbox, which I think means that you’re just sidelined, like a really bad player that no one wants.

From webconfs:

Sandbox and aging delay are similar in meaning and many SEO experts use them interchangeably… it is necessary to clarify the general rule: you cannot fight the sandbox. The only thing you can do is to adapt to it and patiently wait for time to pass.

Many of these links I found about the sandbox are older, so maybe this doesn’t happen anymore, but here is a recent one that claims it does.

Here’s an SEO answer I can agree with:

The matter remains intense and raises an important question, does Google hates SEO?s? As far as my opinion is concerned, I would like to go with a well-thought ?NO?, Google does not hate SEO?s, but it surely does hate over smart SEO?s on the block!

“Over smart”. I don’t feel so bad now. But Google, watch your back. Two can play this game.

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