Thursday, March 06, 2008

Yahoo Skeptic's Dictionary Remote Viewing Rant

Archived from the former firedocs blog. 17 May 2006

It has always struck me as odd that, as critical as search engines are about tags, quantity of content on a given topic etc., that often, a simple one page article on the Skeptic's Dictionary --- usually replete with more inaccuracy than a jr. high paper and more bias than a political activist --- makes it so high in the search engines on so many topics. This same "search logic" isn't so apparent in anything else as it is for that website.

In general, if you have one page on a topic, and maybe a dozen other pages that might mention a phrase, that would never --- no, never, not in the wildest spam-marketing "we'll make your website #1!" dreams --- place a site near, let alone above, a website utterly dedicated to the topic with hundreds (or more) pages ALL of which mention the subject at hand.

But it works for the Skeptic's Dictionary. This is apparently, in part, because as a single-entity website, they are the mental stormtroopers of the internet's Thou Shalt Not (...dare think for yourself). Their traffic is astounding -- in great part because search engines rank them well, which I don't think is a factor in rank, as that'd be a circular argument. They have thousands of links-in to their website. Of course, that works well when your website actually covers a ton of different subjects, so has a much larger "link-in base" than the average site dedicated to a topic, not to mention when the whole of academia in the Western world worships your website. Search engines represent specific content searched for, but they apparently weight by even parts of the website which have no reference to that. That's why an article from some newspaper can come up on a subject in your search results, even though on the whole of it, that paper may have very seldom had a word to say about that unique topic: the newspaper site at large has such a traffic flow and links-in that this alone amplifies the rank any of the content is given.

On its own, I have no gripe with it, aside from the fact that the author of several of the articles I've read there is a moron. I don't care how many years his butt sat in a chair in college --- my gosh, that's a real testament to why some people oughtta be made to work for a living at a younger age --- he's an idiot. The inability to intelligently discriminate factual information is a telling sign of these creatures no matter what subject they're covering, and no matter what credential is hanging from their neck, as even the RV field itself ought to make clear. I quit caring what people this stupid thought a long time ago, but I admit it is a little exasperating when the primary driver of the internet weights "remote viewing" results not simply by what has remote viewing data, or the most of it, but instead by what has a zillion pages and links on other topics having nothing to do with it at all. So if you have a zillion pages about basket weaving, and one about RV, and a bunch that have the RV term somewhere, as long as lots of basket-weavers link to your site, you can win the RV search engine term award?

Fortunately for the Skeptic's Dictionary, Yahoo is as good to them as Art Bell is to Ed Dames. To about the same end result.

Firedocs Remote Viewing has held the #1 spot on Yahoo search engine for the "Remote Viewing" term search for a long time. About a month ago I did make some changes -- put up additional information, all of which had more info about remote viewing (and yes, with that term everywhere). It is possible that adding more info about remote viewing to my already huge remote viewing website, would cause it to actually fall lower in the 'remote viewing' search ranks. In the search engine world, this kind of logic would not really surprise me. But Firedocs falling to the #2 spot is not actually what is bothering me. I know that any time I so much as add a sentence to my site, god only knows what the results will be; search engine logic makes the Cabalah look simple.

What REALLY hacks me off is that they gave the #1 search engine rank for the term "remote viewing" to the Skeptic's Dictionary!

The link is a brief one page article on remote viewing, and thanks to Yahoo it now serves a good chunk of the world as the "primary" information "about" remote viewing.

ONE page. One BRIEF page. Never mind the content dissing RV---I don't expect search engines to judge that. The point is, there is no righteous reason to weight that publication so heavily that it gets ranked ahead of every single other website on the internet ABOUT remote viewing. Which that website is NOT.

There are sites -- not just mine, but others too -- that have THOUSANDS of files, in half a dozen media formats, all utterly dedicated to remote viewing.

But the Skeptic's Dictionary places #1.

Don't think this is by accident. They've now managed to get Yahoo's #1 ranking for the massive keyword "psychic" and #2 for "crop circles," as well.

There are some search engines that are "Human Arbitrary" ranked, sure. Ask Jeeves is a good example. But Yahoo is allegedly not.

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