I was dead for Google

It was hard, sometime in the first days of this new year 2006: my name was no longer mine. I Googled myself and I was dead to Google. Dead. Away from the window.

At the same time I was so proud to land in the top 10 with the keywords that are important to me: Arne, Völker, copywriter. That's how I wanted to be found. And if someone remembered two out of three terms and then googled them, they found me. That's how it was from the start of my site
arnevoelker.com in October 2004 until December 2005, because at the beginning of January I was dead.

At first I couldn't believe it at all: Google still knew me better than other people named Arne Völker, but no longer my own site. This is still the case today. Right at the front is my book list at Amazon. Then the friendly link of my colleague Aurel Gergeyfollowed by other entries that I initiated myself to get a link. Followed by journalistic reports about me and my work. Only my self-promotion, that suddenly no longer counted.

My little site didn't achieve much in terms of content: It was essentially a business card on the web. And a very radically reduced one. The URI said my name, the page title too. The one HTML page showed a text graphic, like it is printed on my business card. And so that blind people and Google also know what's on the business card, the ALT text said exactly the same again.

That's obviously not enough these days. With a certain schadenfreude, I notice that other names that would like to be found also have problems. And simply don't show up on Google anymore. Even large corporations with strong brands. Today, BMW.de is dead for Google.

This is the daily topic of bloggers today, who deal with Google and marketing, as
Spreeblick or Advertising blogger and had been criticized by some experts such as Mario Sixtus in his Decentralized or by Philipp Lenssen and his Google Blogoscoped been announced for a while now.

Google has apparently decided that a page must not only contain search words, but also a) something somehow meaningful ABOUT the search words. And that b) for machines and humans the same. Fortunately, I'm one step ahead of BMW. I have recognized the need for action already at the beginning of January - and today I am able to run something that looks like a blog. And a few readers are already starting to have fun with it.

Now you, dear readers: Is it worth it that I create content for you? Do you like reading my blog? Or do I write here only for Google?

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  1. At the beginning of the year my website was also kicked out of Google. I found the reason only after a longer search: Some admin had configured the web server to return a 403 - forbidden to search bots. This was the result of a review of the logfiles. After I had whistled my provider and fixed the error, the site appeared in the index again. With all subpages and the usual pagerank.

    Web server admins sometimes get funny ideas :-\

  2. David Hugentobler

    Did you know that I like the way you write the blog text? So, now you know. And I also like the layout. And the idea I also find really good, because it's something different. And plays with the zeitgeist. Takes it up and hopefully also shoots many goals with it.

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