Google doesn't like www.wikipedia-watch.org
and I'm beginning to suspect a conspiracy. This site is almost nine months old, and should be out of the so-called Google "sandbox," which has been much-discussed on many Google forums for a couple of years.
Yes, I'm missing a few links to my site from Wikipedia itself, because they took them down when I redirected them to this site. But those redirects were in place for just two months, and that doesn't explain why Google has buried Wikipedia-Watch for almost nine months.
I'm not the only one who has noticed this. Wikipedia critic Matthew White also mentioned it
in the last paragraph of his June 25 entry. That was entirely his own observation -- I've never communicated with Matthew.
In a two-word search for "wikipedia watch" without the quotes and no hyphen, my home page comes up with the following rank in these engines:MSN
-- number 1Yahoo
-- number 1Ask.com
-- number 1Dogpile
-- number 3Clusty
-- number 1
How does Google fare? The average rank across 25 of the most-used Google IP addresses, as reported on my special Scroogle tool
, is about 45
. That means page five if you are set to 10 results per page. And look at all the junk on those first four pages!
That's for the home page, which reports a PageRank of 5 out of 10. The deeper pages all show a PageRank of zero! They are indexed, but they almost never show up in searches unless your search terms are very specific.
What about backlinks? The www.wikipedia-watch.org home page has 499 backlinks, according to this tool
, which counts external backlinks reported by Yahoo. (Google only shows a sampling of backlinks, and for years has been worthless for backlink analysis). The hivemind.html page, with a PageRank of zero, has 137 backlinks all by itself.
Yes, I'm aware that Google-lovers and Wikipedia-lovers will jump on me through various blogs, talk pages, and IRC channels, and start snickering about my tin-foil hat. All I'm saying is that Google has hand-tweaked my wikipedia-watch site so that it performs poorly in the rankings.
It happened to me with my "out-of-touch executives" Googlebomb two years ago. All of a sudden, a month after it was mentioned in the New York Times, it vanished from the number one spot in Google to somewhere between 400 and 800. It happened overnight, and there wasn't even a Google update in progress. (By the way, that was such a successful Googlebomb that it is still
number one in MSN and Yahoo, even though my links were taken down two years ago. All those bloggers talking about it has kept it at number one even without my links.)
Why would Google take action against www.wikipedia-watch.org when they haven't taken action against my two anti-Google sites, www.google-watch.org and www.scroogle.org ?
Here's my theory: On my two anti-Google sites, there is almost no mention of Google AdWords and AdSense, except the occasional cartoon. I'm not an expert on ads, because I've never had an ad on any of my sites. I'm interested in Google's ad programs as part of the "big picture" of where the web is headed, but I'm not interested in them enough to experiment with ads myself, the way I experimented with my bio on Wikipedia.
Apparently Google doesn't feel threatened by those two sites. But they do feel threatened by the notion that Wikipedia could tighten up their operation and restrict bots from scraping their content.
Google makes tons of money from scraped spam sites that are generated automatically as "made for AdSense" pages. They love this spam, and couldn't survive without it. Over 95 percent of Google's total revenue comes from ads. If you don't think Google loves spam, check out their Domainpark
ad program. This is custom-built for typosquatting spammers.
The scraping of Wikipedia has gone through the roof. Articles, talk pages, user pages, and user talk pages all get scraped. Try doing searches in any of the major engines on a unique username, and you will see a number of sites that specialize in scraping this user information. Some of the scrapers even scramble the words on the page, just so that they have some content to trigger some ad placement. This is all worthless spam, and almost all of it all carries AdSense.
Remember, my bio exists today because as soon as SlimVirgin and I agreed to delete it in October, a pro-Google blogger named Philipp Lenssen (Google loves this guy -- he even gets his blog in Google News!) complained to Jimmy. Shortly after that, Canderson7 reverted SlimVirgin's deletion of my bio. Then the fights started. The original bio concentrated on two or three substandard links from Google-lovers who hated me, which was originally the major problem I had with it. A couple of these Google-lovers were experts at gaming Google, and their hate pages ranked well, but the content on those pages was not encyclopedic, to say the least. (That's one of the problems with Wikipedians -- they think it must be true if it shows up on page one of a Google search.)
Is it possible that www.wikipedia-watch.org
is a bigger threat to Google than my two anti-Google sites? It sure looks that way.