In early 2005, over 20 book bloggers banded together to use their combined forces to promote good books that weren’t widely known. This group, called the Litblog Co-op, chooses four books a year — one for each season — and then writes extensively about them on their group blog located at http://lbc.typepad.com/blog/. Since they first started, they’ve managed to get over 1,300 links from bloggers and have a Google Page Rank of 6:
Imagine my surprise, then, when I went to go research the Co-op for an article I was going to write, only to find out that they’ve for some reason been
blacklisted from Google and other major search engines.
Anyone who has even a basic understanding of Page Rank and Web Rank would know that with over 1,000 incoming links, many of them with the anchor text of the words “Litblog Co-op,” Googling those words should easily bring you directly to the site. However, when you type “Litblog Co-op” into Google, not only is it not the first result, it doesn’t even show up on the first page.
Confused, I dug deeper into this to try and find out why the correct results weren’t showing up. First, I searched for “Litblog Co-op” on MSN and Yahoo, and as you can see, I got the correct results. Next I searched for it at AOL and Ask.com — both of which use Google software — only to find that they, too, weren’t giving up the correct results.
After this startling discovery, I dug even deeper, only to find out that Google isn’t even indexing the site at all. I unearthed this by searching for specific phrases within quotation marks to filter out all other websites. As you can see, the only thing indexed in Google is the LBC atom feed.
Given the above information, it’s my recommendation that the LBC move their website to a different URL that isn’t
blacklisted from Google. If their true goal is to promote these books, then they’ll want the valuable search engine traffic that comes from the three search engines that combine together to make up over 90% of all internet searches. If I were the LBC, I would take this very seriously. Search engine traffic is very valuable.
UPDATE: It appears that the Litblog Co-Op is looking into the issue and they’re possibly going to move to WordPress.
ANOTHER UPDATE: As I initially suspected, there was a no-follow link in their source code which was deflecting Google bots. I emailed one of the Co-op bloggers and they’ve located the no-follow link and got rid of it.
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