Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The Blog Clog Myth

You may have read about how the web’s most well-known tech tabloid, The Register, published an article about weblog ‘noise’ on Google. The idea is this: weblogs, with their “idle chatter”, get in the way of ‘real’ results, so they should be removed.
Google has said that it is planning a weblog search engine, but it has never said that it will remove weblogs from its database. Doing so would be difficult – I’m sure as soon as any decision like that was made, there would be pages telling you how to make Google think your site is legitimate.
Ben Hammersley poured some sense on the flames earlier in the week, making the point that sites which make it easy for Google to index their content. The Guardian have always done this, by way of a simple design that is easy for the crawler to interpret, and a robots.txt file that only blocks out its Breaking News section – everything else in its archive, which spans 4 1/2 years, can be indexed. No wonder Guardian articles appear so often in results.
Weblogs have a similar approach. By default, they come with very basic designs, which have been formatted with correct header and paragraph tags. These can easily be read by Google’s crawler. Most blogs update frequently, and just about every blog has a blogroll, so there’s plenty of links between blogs, thus leading to potentially higher page ranks.
It’s not rocket science – any site can do this. Even I can do it.
The whole discussion is summed up in a column by Neil McIntosh in today’s Guardian Online entitled ‘The Blog Clog Myth‘. To be honest, I never take anything I read in The Register as being entirely accurate as Fred Langa said last year, it is merely a tabloid.

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