Monday, June 01, 2009

The search for some page rank

I played around with bing today to see if it’s any good. I was pleased to see that a search for Metastorm brought up our forum and the FreeFlow web page on the first page, so clearly bing is a complete success. Or perhaps not, the image search brought up a photo of their former CEO, who hasn’t been there for many years.

But it did make me go off and check the same search against some other search engines (if you try this yourself, you may well get different results, I’d be interested to know if they are wildly different). Yahoo brings up the Process Mapping website on the first page, Cuil has Jerome’s book on the first page and puts the Process Mapping website on the second page and Ask has the forum on the second page (although for some reason they think I’m Dutch).

Finally I checked the other search engine that you may have heard of. OK, it’s the only search engine that matters. And we are way down the search rankings (page 5 for the forums, page 4 for FreeFlow). But the weird thing is if I search on Google’s UK site, FreeFlow and the forums are on the first two pages. That may make some sense for the FreeFlow site since it’s hosted in the UK, but the forums are hosted in Australia. Next I changed my search term to ‘Meta storm’ and was asked ‘Did you mean: Metastorm’, and although all the results were related to Metastorm, both the FreeFlow website and the forums now appeared on the first two pages. We also rank highly on searches for ‘Metastorm development’ and ‘Metastorm consultancy’ so it seems odd that we are so low down on that one search.

So is it a cock-up, conspiracy, some weirdness in the ranking algorithm or have we been marked down for doing something bad? I don’t think we’ve employed any bad practices in our attempts to improve our ranking and if we had, I would imagine that would impact all our rankings, not just on one search, so I think we can eliminate the last option. But I have no idea about the other three.

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