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Google is a mystery.

For the past month I’ve been trying to get my daily haiku site, tinywords, a bit higher in the Google results when you search on the word “haiku.” I did this the usual way: By asking people to link to tinywords.com using the word “haiku” in their links. Results were good: Within a few weeks, tinywords rose from #35 to #9 in the Google results.

Then, suddenly, last Friday I noticed that it was back down at #23. By Saturday it was at #29. This morning it’s at #20. Throughout, its PageRank (as indicated by the Google toolbar) has remained unchanged, at 5 out of 10. What’s going on? tinywords is still behind deserving sites such as Kei Grieg Toyomasu’s excellent introduction to haiku and Jane Reichhold’s amazing site, but behind such inanities as the periodic table in haiku form and an automated “haiku” generator in javascript that doesn’t even exist at the linked URL any more. Plus, none of these sites have risen more than a step or two in the rankings–it’s just that tinywords got busted down. Does anyone have a clue what’s up here?


  1. Scot Hacker

    I don’t have specific theories on this, but there’s a whole field called SEO – search engine optimization – and a lot of people are making a lot of money trying to make sense of Google’s ever-changing ranking algorithms. Apparently Google changes its methods with frightening regularity, mostly to combat sites that are gaming the system. It’s a cat and mouse thing.

  2. Gregg Benson

    The content of your site changes daily, which is probably helping more than you know. Saturday, July 17 your domain was the 13th listed on Google.

    You might try a longer ALT tag message than just your domain, and additionally you could have TITLE attributes in your hyperlinks. Many facets of the DOM can be readied to handle webbot pretenses.

    Probably none of this is going to make up for traffic anf the quality of your ARCs – but it looks like you got plenty of both for your niche. Kudos!

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