Google Search Size Matters not Content
At a high level meeting of senior Google business strategists in April a crucial decision was taken to change the way Google search works in order to “encourage” people to pay for placement in search results. “From now on we only want big sites to feature at the top of SERP. We will no longer list links to highly relevant content if it’s a smaller site. Owners of big sites are more likely to pay us for Google Ads and after all profit is what we are all about, not what people want”.
No I’m not a fly on the wall at Google HQ, and this hypothetical meeting probably never took place, this decision was probably never taken! YET!
“For Microsoft, any limits imposed on Google might help it improve the fortunes of its struggling search engine, Bing.”
While Nick and Eric’s article is more about Google than Bing, the statement does make us think about Bing as a search engine…
Poor Indexing, Poor Search Results
For the average web searcher Bing, along with the sister Microsoft search engines Yahoo and Search MSN, provides a poor experience to internet users.
Does Google Bounce Rate Analytic Have Any Real Value
SEO experts tell us a low bounce rate is important for site ranking in Google SERP. Bounce rate is an indicator of quality content on our blogs and websites. The lower the bounce rate, the better our sites will rank…
Google Analytics shows a bounce rate statistic for our sites. Just how accurate is this analytic statistic, how much credence should we give it?
What is Bounce Rate?
Simply put, bounce rate is the ratio between visitors arriving on our site and viewing more than one page to the number of arriving visitors who leave immediately. If we have a high percent of visitors who stay around to read more than one post we can assume they found our blog useful and interesting.
Will Google Stop Indexing Real Estate Website MLS Listings
Is Google going to stop indexing MLS listings on real estate websites? It’s a rumour we came across recently! Disturbingly, the source of the rumour came from an IDX service provider. (IDX service is an intermediary service between the raw data MLS feed and a realtors website)
The IDX service provider told our client there was no point in having indexable listings on his real estate website as Google was going to stop indexing these listings. The client should instead use the listings on their own domain, and use Google AdWords to drive traffic to their site
In a way this makes sense. Yet the idea raises more questions than it answers.
Bing and MSN Bots Are Banned
I have banned Bing, Yahoo and MSN search engine spiders from my sites! I’m tired of the constant rule breaking and over-crawling by Bing and MSN search bots.
Bing is a Rule Breaker
Microsoft claims Bing honours robots.txt rules. In my experience that is a blatant lie. Bingbot / msnbot simply ignore robots.txt rules and crawl whatever they want. Some of the specific rules broken include;
- crawling system folders
- crawling image folders (msn-media bot). Image folders and extensions jpg, png,gif, bmp are disallowed
- crawling RSS feeds. All RSS feeds are disallowed; rss.xml, /feed/, etc
- crawling comment forms; DOMAIN/comment/184 – the path /comment/ is disallowed in robots.txt
The last straw was today. 2 days ago I added Bing and MSN user agent strings to disallowed bots in robots.txt across all my sites; this morning I see these bots read robot.txt then ignored it totally, and crawled the sites anyway.
Msnbot – Ignorant spider or Deliberate Rule Breaker
Msnbot – (Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm) – from search.msn.com has become a pest, not only for my websites, but for many others as well.
First of all, Microsoft sees fit to send multiple bots at the same time; as many as 17 have been reported crawling at once. I regularly have up to 12 on-site simultaneously. This number of bots crawling at the same time is effectively a dDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, possibly locking the server up and preventing normal traffic.
Secondly, the Msnbot often ignores robots.txt disallow rules and crawls prohibited folders and paths, e.g. /js/ folders and Java files (.js). The numerous iterations of msnbot don’t seem to talk to each other – one bot will GET robots.txt, while the rest don’t bother. A good bot, e.g. Googlebot reads robots.txt regularly, and obeys the directives. Good bots also share that information!
Cache Pre-load Improves Google Page Load
Using a cache pre-load system can improve Google crawl page load speed substantially as clearly shown in the infographic below. Google considers page load in it’s SERP algorithm as an indicator of site quality: Where two similar ranked sites exist, the site with faster load speed will usually get better SERP than a slower site. With this in mind surely it’s a good idea to make the effort to improve page load speed as much as possible.
Page load speed can be improved in a number of ways; moving the site to a better hosting service, optimising the site technically, including getting rid of unnecessary plugins, keeping image size as small as possible, and using an effective caching system are some of the things we can do.
No matter how well all the other technical aspects are improved, caching the site, and especially pre-loading the cache, will make a big difference to page load speed.