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NYT With More SEO Tricks  (View post)

alek [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, May 8, 2007
16 years ago6,202 views

FYI FWIW: I see the New York Times ranking #2 for "sex" ... right below Wikipedia and above and – I gotta believe that is an incredibly competitive keyword ... so hats off to the NYT for kicking butt in it! ;-)

On an orthogonal note, I happened to notice that a Yahoo Sexuality directory ranks #10 ... has Google ever chimed in if directories (which are basically pointers to other sites with real info ... not much different than search results) are considered good relevant results for users (?)

Halfdeck [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

This just underscores the fact that Google needs to spend more time algorithmically dealing with issues like this instead of advising webmasters not to do X/Y/Z. Webmasters are not trustworthy or reliable, and apparently, neither is Google's algorithm. On top of that, asking people to use nofollow or robots.txt is making Google more dependent on human input. It doesn't scale, and it runs counter to Google's algorithmic approach to dealing with issues.

Elias KAI [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

follows all Nytimes spiderbites here

Ryan [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

Is there any proof that this is intentional? IE, that they tried to get this page to rank for sex? Could it be just coincidence?

I understand that the Google guidelines say to use robots.txt to ban search pages, however putting something in a google guideline doesn't mean it's spam if you're going against it.

It's their site, and they're not harming anybody by doing this. It should be their choice whether or not to block search results; just as it's Google's choice whether or not to ban that domain from their index. Sure Google would prefer that you block it, but that doesn't mean it's spam if you don't.

   In addition, they're not decieving users. The search is for sex – so it's relevant to the query for sex. It's just a search result

   In it's proper context (somebody searching NYT for sex) it's a very useful page. It's only not useful if you're going there from Google. To me, that's Google's problem not NYT's.

I don't really see a problem here. I can see how it's a problem for Google, but I don't think that NYT is doing anything wrong. I think it's Google's problem that they need to figure out algorithmically.

Trogdor [PersonRank 6]

16 years ago #

I also don't buy that a given site's search results don't add value for a user. I work for a small business, and a page of results for a good query in our product-search is exactly what I often point people to, in links in forums.

I don't think this webmaster guideline is really all that helpful for any parties – Google wants to get rid of spam, right? So ... are spammers going to help G out by following this guideline? No ... and in the meantime, normal webmasters have to do extra work, and stop sending SEO traffic to what are actually helpful product-search result pages?

Nope, I don't see anything worthwhile here.

Michael Martinez [PersonRank 5]

16 years ago #

Ryan wrote: "Is there any proof that this is intentional?"

Absolutely none. This is just another SEO myth that has been cooked up without any real analysis into the situation and perpetuated by a lot of blogs overnight.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

NYT does not sell sex,

....but I rather think its their reporting "DC madam and the sex list" that has propelled the term "Sex" into the #2 spot for SERP

for every effect, there is a cause.. seek the cause and then make your case!!

Ryan [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

does this mean yahoo will be coming out with a <!-- search results --> tag ?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

I agree these things – allowing the indexing of search results – can happen accidentally (and then should be turned off once the webmaster learns of it). *However*, given the fact the the NYT web developers are very search-engine-conscious (look at their spider fodder sitemap, for instance), and given the fact that these indexed search results appear in top positions for such highly competitive queries as "sex," I find it more likely that the NYT makers *do* indeed check their referrer stats every once in a while and did find out about it.
Now of course it's their choice to do this or not (it's bad style, because it adds redundancy to SERPs – almost like the infinite image of putting two mirrors opposite facing each other), just as it's Google's choice whether or not to enforce their webmaster guidelines by banning the NYT.

For an older discussion of the problem of search results in search results...

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