As a beginner blogger, I feel quasi-maternal pride watching my site growing more and more connected to the rest of the Internet. I’ve already googled Yenndetta and yawningtree.net more than a few times and smiled smugly if there was anything new appearing. Yes, I am at that stage. That said, I realised only yesterday that Google showed webpages containing either word Yenndetta or yawningtree.net, such as my del.icio.us, technorati and even some dodgy autolink generators, but not this very blog itself.
How come? My immediate reaction was to check if I blocked Google by any chance. Robot.txt and all that. I then asked my virtual landlord if I needed to tweak configuration settings anywhere. It’s not that I want to promote my blog. Quite the contrary, I have so far refused those known tips on improving website visibility. I am from a culture where self-promotion is frowned upon. Like an old Chinese saying goes, if what you have is good, it will show itself like ‘a gimlet in a bag’ (囊中之錐). That’s what we – at least in the 17th Century Korea where I seem to be from – believe in. Still, I was a bit perplexed to type in the exact URL of my perfectly reachable site and not to get it on the Google index while I allow search engines to crawl the site. This just defies logic. Dear Google wouldn’t leave me out for no reason, would it?
I am aware of search engine biases – from technical and linguistic to commercial and political ones. However, until I happened to type the same words in Yahoo and saw mine was there, right on the top of the search results, I was convinced that I was at fault. It never occurred to me that Google could be. Thinking of how I took what was delivered to me as an answer for granted now gives me chills. Googlezon might not be as cool as Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson described. This is such an attitudinal change for me, who proposed automated delivery of personalised information online as a future form of advertising in my MA dissertation in 2000 and was told I was positively inclined 😛 to Internet technology.
Anyway, if anyone has an explanation for why Google does this to me, please let me know.