How *does* Google work?

June 30, 2007

The traditional search engine optimization methods of using good and descriptive meta tag information on web pages has proved a furphy for Google for some years now. More conventional wisdom is that your Google ranking is related to how many sites link to you. But that’s not matching with what I’ve discovered in the past few days.

Back in July 2006, I shared my excellent 20 year old blueberry muffin recipe on this blog. It has consistently rated as my top post. In fact, of some 9000 hits on my blog since I started it, this recipe post alone has garnered over 4,500 hits, yet it has only received 2 comments from outsiders.

Earlier this week my blog stats jumped sharply, from an average of about 50 a day to over 100. And they’ve stayed there. Again, it’s the blueberry muffin recipe that’s getting hit the most. So I thought I’d try being a ‘user’ and go searching for blueberry muffin recipes on Google. Two days ago when I entered “blueberry muffin recipe” (without the quotes), I was listed 5th; today, using the same search terms, my post is listed 2nd! And that’s out of 653,000 results. When I add an “s” to “recipe”, I rank 7th in the 655,000 results. When I add quotes to make the search a phrase (“blueberry muffin recipe”), my post is ranked #1 of 14,000. And this all without me doing anything!!

Working on the theory that Google rankings work on how many sites link to you, I did a Google link search (link:<url>) and found that NO sites link to this post, except other posts on this blog.

So now I’m wondering just *how* Google works? Why is my blueberry muffin recipe post on the top ranked search results in Google? It can’t be who links to it as no-one does, except me. It’s not advertising, as I don’t have any advertising on this blog. And it can’t be metadata as I can’t add metadata to a WordPress.com post, only categorize it and use a good title.

Curious minds want to know…


  1. I could tell ya – but then… well, you know, it all gets a bit messy from there :)

    Cheers, Chris

  2. I suspect it may be because your blog, overall, has a google pagerank of 5, far greater than most of the other sites listing a blueberry muffin recipe. ;0)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: