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It’s Google’s fault

November 6th, 2003 · 1 Comment

I am still a newbie blogger. Just began crawling in this a few months ago. And I was quite amazed when a post I wrote describing deer nibbles in my garden ended up being retrieved from search engines looking for “what do deer eat”. I discovered this while looking at the statistics for the sites Ted and I share.

After my experience with a mouse in my garage, nibbling on cracker crumbs in the stroller, the natural title that came first to mind for my post was “what mice eat”. I had no idea what would happen to that title and to my mouse posts. For the past few weeks at least, according to our web site statistics, variations on “what mice eat” typed into search engines are the top search key phrases and key words for both Ted and my blogs. Yep, it’s not eclipse or xml anything, it’s mice and what they eat that is sauria’s most popular search. According to the stats, this last installment of my mouse-in-garage story is my most-read entry.

I’ve also received comments on my blog complaining about this entry. One from “astudent” recently wrote: “I was doing research man… No help ….” And then today I got a couple comments saying this is “ dome ” (dumb?!) but the next one saying “just using this for my science fair project“.

It seems that students are using Google to do their research, finding my blog, and becoming disappointed that I did not write an entire scientific essay about what mice eat. No, I’m just a woman/wife/mom blogging about my life, not writing reliable research or reports.

This experience has frustrated me so much that I changed the title of this popular mouse-related entry to “My discovery”. But it seems it is still coming up on search engines – at least on Google.

I find myself with 2 issues:

1) Concern for children/students and research.
Why are students using the web – and my blog! – for research? What happened to encyclopedias, books and other more-official sites and sources (pet store owners, zookeepers, rangers…)? Are kids today being taught how to discern what is out there on the Web, and how to use it correctly? Using Google as a research tool can be dangerous!

Why is a kid out there using my blog in a science fair project? What kind of science is that?! What if I was making all this up? I’m only writing a blog, not performing research. I don’t even guarantee that this is true (it is, but I don’t write that anywhere) – maybe I’m a satirist or fiction writer 🙂

And why these comments expressing frustration about how “dumb” or little help this blog is – why do they expect to get research help from my writings?! I am concerned: what does this indicate about expectations for the web, search engines and bloggers? How much do students today know about really doing research?

2) Concern for Google.
What is wrong with Google, that my silly blog about a mouse in the garage ends up as one of the top search results for “what mice eat”?! I checked the same words on Altavista, and I didn’t come up anywhere on it. No surprise, I’ve noticed that my Matrix entries recently are getting more reads – but a big surprise that to type “Matrix Revolutions essay” into Google gets as a top result my blog entry more and more Matrix – not even my review of Matrix Revolutions! Again, Altavista doesn’t show me at all.

This morning, I was complaining about all this to Ted, citing my two new comments this morning.
“It’s Google’s fault,” he said, “not yours.”

Blame it on Google. But not on me. Please.

P.S. As proof, while I was writing this draft, I got ANOTHER email comment on the mouse article : “ are mice carnivorous?”

P.P.S. After I posted this, Ted told me he realized he has a tool that could help me lsearn more about why my pages rank so high on Google. That would help explain part of #2. But that still leaves #1 a big concern too.

Tags: geek · mice

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Anita Rowland // Nov 7, 2003 at 11:11 pm

    Also, you could turn off comments on older entries (prevents comment spam, too).