Google loves me, again!
Google and I have a very turbulent relationship, Google hates me, Google loves me, Google’s giving me the cold shoulder, Google’s ok with me. It’s hard to know where you stand with the big G, but generally speaking, if you just trudge ahead doing what is generally accepted to be right with Google eventually you’ll get some love.
For instance… most recently I learned about the supplemental index ratio. Checking in on the handy dandy calculator I found that my ratio was just over 60% as of September. Dutifully I told Google not to index all the random rss feeds that wordpress creates for me, with a robots.txt – I began checking the calculator and Google webmaster tools to watch as Google showered traffic down on my site. Sadly for awhile it seemed like a bad idea as Google totally spanked me, SEO’ly speaking.
However, knowing the G’s fickle ways, I kept on knowing in my heart of hearts that Google would come correct in the end. Things peaked on the badness scale 2 or three weeks after the robots.txt went in and my ratio was in the low 80%’s. This corresponded with a very noticeable drop in traffic from Google to the site. I watched with rapt fascination as webmaster tools gradually increased the number of files blocked by robots.txt and how eventually (very recently) these rss pages slowly started getting removed from G’s index (main and supplemental). Now at long last, my ratio has dropped down to a thrilling 36%, nearly half my starting point and Google is sending a bit more traffic to the ol’ site than at my starting point.
It’s all very unscientific and just my own little experiment, but I’d recommend you try the same thing if you’re running a wordpress blog (or really any other software that provides lots of duplicate content in different forms). It’s super easy to add in the robots.txt file and it looks like it ultimately has a good effect on the G. Just be prepared for a little bit of the cold shoulder from Google, but don’t worry, they’ll warm back up to you before long.