marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

A year and eight months ago I wrote a post about how tags are for the birds in which I explained why I deleted all of mine. Apparently I didn't know how good I had it at the time: Google was indexing my Dreamwidth like a major site similar to Techcrunch or AOL; you could sort of find things you looked for, like some of my weightier tech pieces or news on Aesop (who, btw, doesn't exist anymore), and all was fairly good in the land of MM.

Just not good enough: if you look at the picture linked to above, you see Google built my results on the backs of pages like "Tags" and "misc". One of the more prominently featured results is a sausage and peppers recipe, which seriously burnt me up. And still does, come to think of it. If the best thing I've ever done to get such prominent Google placement for one of my pages is to be all like: "Folks, look - I cooked something" then just forget it.

So I kept the tags missing for around a year and a half. About a year into this I was having trouble finding certain things on my DW that had easily turned up before in Google; within another few months I was using Dreamwidth's search for almost everything. Well, that's fine if you happen to be logged into Dreamwidth. A lot of times I wasn't, which made me feel like fine, I can just piss all over this, so I'll have to try something else.

Realizing Google's algorithms are no smarter than Cortana might be after a few drinks, I decided to use - as an experiment - some sophisticated and obscure words for some of my new tags. Roll the dough out, knead, bake, remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack (for two months) - yet my tags still have no Google presence.

I could put a few ideas up to try to explain it - I changed the meta tag sometime in the last six months to stop Google from archiving; before that I might've not been in Google's index, at all - but a canonical URL's a canonical URL; once it's back in their crosshairs their spiders should spider it and must have some way to see the content's more or less the same as it was, and that the URL is mine, which should be enough for them to rebuild an index of my tags.

But they didn't, so perhaps I'm under penalty for messing with the meta tag - or perhaps Google's algorithms are literally too stupid to define and index my tags before giving up in defeat.

For instance, my old "computers" tag now reads "computationally inclined". Part of the content that built the "misc." and all of the content that built the "my thoughts" tags now falls under "experiential". The sausage and peppers post that bothered me for showing up as prominently as it did probably had a "food" tag which now reads "comestibles" while "cats" became "felinity", and so on. I recycled old tags to a small extent, but for the most part, they're all new, and some are pretty complex compared to their once-simpler synonyms.

I've never hit on one solid reason why I did it, but I can give two partial reasons: 1) privacy (I figured Google would choke on complicated tag names) and 2) I figured Google would choke on complicated tag names, period, but the experimenter/Marah Marie Girl Reporter in me HAD TO KNOW.

The only thing I can do to try to remedy the situation (in which case Google might prove me wrong on my guess that their algorithms can't handle complicated tag names, after all) is do something I never do much of and log into my Google dashboard (I made this DW one sometime back in the Stone Ages) and see if I can't get a decent re-spider/re-index going from there submit sitemap this, request crawl that.