marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Check this out; a Google search for [!!Con] - the actual, proper name of an upcoming conference...

Now check this out; a Google search for [!!Con New York City] - the conference's actual, proper location...

Finally, check this out; [bangbangcon] - the first three syllables of the conference's website URL. And whoo-ey, !!Con is finally the first result.

But wait...with such an unusual and, chances are, completely unique name, !!Con should always be the first result for its own proper name, shouldn't it?

Google ignores punctuation. Performing most punctuation searches returns nothing useful (and usually returns nothing). But! (or should that be !!But?) who knew appending punctuation to any proper name would essentially erase it, and anything about it, from Google?

Well, now we all know. Don't we?

Excuse my marketing skills while they take a quick piss on this topic:

Your site, when searched for in Google by proper name, should always be first in results! Always!

OK, so this is Google's fault for being a still-quite-dumb search engine, not yours for being a creative, perhaps uniquely talented thing-namer. But they'll kick your ranking's ass either way, so take heed: you only have to be smarter than Google - nope, not a high bar to cross, in this case - to ensure this won't happen to you. :'/

Then again, if you wanted your website de-indexed without blocking Googlebot, this might be the easiest and most brilliant way to go about it, ever (for the curious, I checked !!Con but afaict it's not blocking any crawl).


Maybe I'll run experiments to see if Google de-indexes anything with punctuation in the name. I'm also curious to know if appending punctuation to the back of the name has the same effect as appending to the front of it.

It's completely errant behavior for Google, and could be used for search engine cloaking, which is encouraging more of the everyday atrocities upon mankind which they probably already employ an army to deal with.

Proper search engine behavior is not - has almost never been, "I google this name and get some other name in results". What the search engine won't tell you is "because punctuation".

To give so much emphasis to an URL over a website's proper name "because punctuation" is not just confusing - as in the example above, website's URL and proper name can differ so much as to be uncoupled entirely - it also looks misleading and wrong.

(no subject)

Date: Feb. 23rd, 2016 07:30 pm (UTC)
andrewducker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker
Yeah, Google didn't use to pay any attention to the # character.

Which was annoying, because c# is a very different language to c, or c++.