Google mystery

Google rankings are not part of my core expertise. I know a bit about how the system works—enough to know that “Can’t you just call Google and tell them to move us higher?” is a ridiculous thing to say. I like watching the rankings change, from an almost oracular perspective. I like the intellectual/synaptic sensation of trying to derive a law from observations of a complex phenomenon, even though I know I’ll never figure out all the variables from the outside.

Every once in a while, I Google my own name.[1] Partly this is a mildly paranoid due-diligence process; partly it’s to see what my “Google resume” looks like; and partly it’s to try, in a lackadaisical way, to gain some insight into the mysteries of Google itself. (The search-algorithm mysteries, not the mysteries of the greater Google enterprise.) Something changed today.

I ran a Google check, to see if Google had picked up my contributor profile on the new K4Health blog yet. It has, which is pretty neat considering that the blog had been live for less than 24 hours. That didn’t surprise me so much. What did surprise me was that suddenly this little site, the “stuff I think about” site, had vaulted ahead of my LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ listings, which had consistently been at the top of my Google results for months. I don’t know why the change happened, but I’d like to.

Did linking out to a reputable site somehow increase the reputation of my own site? That doesn’t make sense. No-one links to me, as far as I can tell, so that’s not it either. I don’t even link to this site from my LinkedIn profile yet; I wanted to build up some respectable content first, and see whether I would get into the habit of posting here often enough to make it interesting. What’s particularly puzzling is that the top-ranked listing is to my post about QR codes, and still has old versions of some of my settings. Makes me go “Hmmmmmm.”

In short, stuff changed about the Google search algorithm today, and I saw the evidence, like being on a boat and watching ripples rise and knowing they are from a whale blowing bubbles below. I find that a little bit thrilling.

[1] Tangential thought: I’d like to post here for the record that I am not “Ladyia Anti” or “Simone4Sizzy” on MySpace, I do not have a modeling profile on, and does not have accurate information about me. (The folks at Spoke are not in my cool books. At my prior organization, Spoke had listings for something like twenty people, most of whom were connected to us in some way but had never been employees. The few listings that were for employees got names and titles wrong. I asked them nicely to remove us, and they would not. )