This post started as a follow-on comment to my post “Not All Dofollows are created Equal,” but it started to get long and linky, so it became a new post. In the previous dofollow post, I was wondering why, given the number of comments I write on other blogs, I get so few inbound links from comments, and so few inbound links on my WP dashboard in general. There are a lot of blogs that claim, as mine does, to be dofollow blogs, and/or to offer comment luv. I am much more likely to comment on a blog that has dofollow and/or commentluv. So why so few incoming from comments? And the reverse side of the coin: Does my “dofollow” blog generate the kind of link luv that I intend it to for people who comment on it? Let’s test.
I have a mostly abandoned blog called wazzup local blog, that I use to test things on. So, as a test, I posted a comment to “Do follow Part I” and gave it the link to the wazzup blog. I invited my readers to do the same and report back, and as you see, a few of them did. First let’s see what we get on this blog. Indeed, as tested when the “dofollow” plugin was installed a long time ago, it does indeed generate the real link shown below.
<a target="_blank" href="http://blog.wazzuplocal.com">Wazzup</a>
I waited over a day then logged into the wazzup blog. Over on the wazzup blog’s dashboard under Incoming, it says:
This dashboard widget queries Google Blog Search so that when another blog links to your site it will show up here. It has found no incoming links… yet. It’s okay — there is no rush.
Well FOO that, I can query blogsearch.google.com manually. Maybe that will actually help things along. So I went over there and typed in
and got Goose Eggs. Blah. I know my first dofollow post on Hot Dorkage should have been blog indexed when I published days ago. So why doesn’t google blog search find it? Hmmmm….. well guess what, even
does not turn up the post, so of course it’s not going to find the links in the post if it doesn’t even have the post.
Just what the heck is blog search anyway and why have a special search for it? Some more digging in Blog Search vs Web Search: How are they Different? brought up these two nuggets:
Blog Search Engine bots will index your website as soon as you ping them (or notify them about new content on your blog). Search engines spiders are much more lazy (unless you are a PR8 or PR9 website) In fact, it’s not even guaranteed that a search engine would index your site.
That sounds good, because most modern blogging software includes automatic ping to all the major blog search engines in their publish protocol. But could it be that blogsearch.google.com is not on the notify list for my ping plugin, or the plugin broke after WP 2.7? We can test that too. OK I manually pinged blogsearch here, as it says in Google’s help. Now we wait. While we’re waiting, here’s the downside to blog search engines:
Web Search engines index all parts of your webpage including reader comments, text in the sidebars, etc. On the other hand, most blog search engines index just the text of the blog post that was supplied to them inside the RSS feed. They won’t index other elements of the webpage like Archive links, Blogroll, etc.
Comments would not normally be included in the RSS feed, and even if they were, they don’t usually exist when the blog post is first pinged! And what’s more, if you publish only a summary feed, blogsearches may not find any of your links at all.
Test Results: Resubmitting a link to blogsearch and waiting 24 hours produced no discernable results.
And further digging in Pro Blogger (definitely worth a read!) reveals that Google counts your feed subscribers as a major determinant of the quality or worthiness of your blog. Me, I’d much rather have web visitors, because I can track them directly for one thing, and for another, they’d see all the kaching kaching bling bling that I haven’t bothered to put in because I don’t have enough traffic.
Then I thought, “Who cares what my WP dashboard says. Foo Google’s blogsearch; probably more people use regular search anyway.” So surely by now, the crawlers have by gotten around to some of my timeless pillar posts. Alas, search results for links my domains brought little joy: only one page of results, and one of the links I verified did not seem to contain a link at all. But according to Google’s Webmaster tools I have 2000+ inbound. I actually verified a few of them. I guess those are not “listed,” so they count for nothing.
Up against a wall
I’m afraid us isolated rural small fry with our small but ooooooh so wonderful communities are up against a pretty formidable sized wall. If you’re big, you’re enabled to give link luv to commenters because the blog search engines and the crawlers will fulfill their role in the scenario. If you you are small, you effectively can’t help your friends in that way even if you try. It’s like the Bible says (paraphrased in Lolcatese), “2 them wha’ haz, mo’ are be given. 2 them wha’ hazn’t, meh.” Chuck Westbrook, (runs an orphanage of sorts for underappreciated blogs) we need you!