Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Mind Boggling Numbers

I've been doing Yahoo and Google searches since - just about forever, it seems. I do them daily to check up on the latest chess news, archaeology news, news about board games, news about anthropology and on occasion to just "surf" to see what's new out there in chessland on the internet. I've never really paid attention to the sheer numbers, but today I did a Google search under "chess" and it says there are 35,400,000 entries that took 0.04 seconds to retrieve. Curious, I did a Yahoo search under "chess" and got 36,900,000 entries that took 0.18 seconds to retrieve. I cannot wrap my mind around such numbers. Who are the people who have made all of these entries - are they websites, chess hobby homepages and/or pages created by writers of books, essays, blogs? How does Wikipedia manage to always come out near the top - are they paying for placement? I thought Wiki was a "voluntary" project, so where would the money come from to pay for such a service? Seems pretty darn strange to me. If your website, or blog, or essay or whatever "chess" you published on the internet is number 25 on the search list, what are the chances of anyone ever seeing it? Most people stop looking at sites after the first 10 or so, unless they're searching for something specific and they haven't figured out how to narrow their search parameters. And if your webpage is number 35 million, what are the odds that anyone will ever see it? Just how long would it take, anyway, to get to that final website, assuming you could do so just by clicking??? The mind boggles... So what's the point of even having a website or a blog or whatever out there in nether-never land? Ohmygoddess! If Tim Krabbe's "Chess Curiosities" doesn't show up in the Yahoo search until #91, what chance does Goddesschess have (we're a niche within a niche) - or this blog? LOL! I leave it to better minds than mind to figure that out!


David Glickman said...

Jan - I think you probably answered your own question. You are a niche and eventually you will get visits through keywords associated with your niche.

I get a significant number of visitors at my chess blog, Boylston Chess Club Weblog, through Google and Yahoo; but with the exception of blog specific search engines it is almost never simply from the word "chess". Instead it might be "chess club" or a name or topic which I covered in a post.

Further, especially for Google, it's all about getting links from others pointing to your blog. One good way to start that process is by linking to others on your sidebar. Commenting on other people's chess blogs is also a good way to get noticed.

Jan said...

Thanks for the info, dg. It's helpful. It explains some about the mystery of how websites get ranked. We (that is, Goddesschess), has been around for quite a while (since May, 1999), and until recently we usually showed up in the top 10 in any search under "origins of chess" or "history of chess," but in January our numbers fell off the map and we're now BURIED in search results. It's rather depressing. I don't understand what happened but - one perseveres. This blog helps me soothe the raging beast of my psyche, so to speak :) You offer good advice, which I will try to follow. I will add a link to your weblog, I have visited it several times myself prior to instituting this little niche blog here. Posting at other blogs though, I'm not so sure about that. I have posted at Susan Polgar's blog, I like her place a lot, there is a good atmosphere there. But at other blogs, probably not.

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