Friday, July 02, 2010

Webmasters of the World, Unite!

I have just put the words "British Chess Championship 2010" into Google, including the quotation marks.

The result?

Seven hits.

Only seven hits.

And none of those the official site.

How can this be? The site seems perfectly good; Mickey Adams is playing; and, well, it's the British.

Ok, if you remove the quote the site comes up fine. But still. You should get what you ask for.

And I believe I'm right in saying that there's something we can all do about it. It's this: British Chess Championship 2010. I.e., link to the site.

Or am I mistaken, and is it possible that the official British Chess Championship site for 2010 nowhere includes the name of the event it is for?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's 10 results now.

But adding an 's' to 'Championship' makes quite a difference!

Angus

Tom Chivers said...

Ah, ha! But even so.

Anonymous said...

We must have different versions of Google. Mine says this, top right:

Results 1 - 10 of about 12,900 for "British Chess Championships 2010". (0.39 seconds)

ejh said...

I've sometimes had trouble locating the London League site on Google (though of course there's a link from this blog). Never understood why, especially as normally it's perfectly simple, but then again what I know about search engines wouldn't fill a paragraph.

Jonathan B said...

Does one of those 7 say when it is?

Tom Chivers said...

Nope, we googled different things anonymous.

No, I don't think so JB, although I didn't click any of them.

Anonymous said...

Well don't blame google for your stupidity in placing it in quotation marks!

Richard

Tom Chivers said...

I was thinking more of people googling who don't really or closely follow chess - the risk they'd conclude that there was no British Chess Championship 2010.

Jonathan B said...

25th July to 7th August it turns out.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but the vast majority of people wouldn't put the phrase in quote marks, so there wouldn't be a problem!

Richard

Tom Chivers said...

FACT!

Martin S. said...

Oh dear. Imminence of British Champs. means publication of new grades, and ritual humiliation for your truly.

Anonymous said...

What was the URL? I can't repeat your results.

Tom Chivers said...

Google.co.uk. But already the results are different; better.

Anonymous said...

Strange post indeed. Quotation marks make no sense here. And yes, Google comes up with different results from different IPs.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "Strange post indeed. Quotation marks make no sense here. And yes, Google comes up with different results from different IPs."

A few comments on the above:
1. Why do quotes make no sense? (I would have thought it *would* make sense, here, to look for an exact phrase.)
2. Could you provide some sources to back up the assertion that Google comes up wih different results for different IPs? (I do know that the results of searches in China are liable to be filtered but is it generally so that results are IP-dependent? I'm not saying it isn't; I'd just like to know more... Search results will change over time, of course.)
3. Would you care to declare your identity?

Angus

ejh said...

Just for an update, if I enter

british chess championships

it's currently my fifth result and if I enter

"british chess championships"

it's third. Using the singular rather than plural, the results are sixth with inverted commas and seventh without.

I think the problem, if problem it be, may lie in it being a new site (or having a new URL) each year. But to be honest I don't think it matters so much: by the time it's the 25th, it should come out on top.

Tom Chivers said...

I think anonymous is right that google does produce different results for different ips. I don't think this reflects a different weighting to the searches depending where you are; I think it's that google hubs (?) aren't synchronized.

Tom Chivers said...

. . . but I don't understand why me doing something about the fact "British Chess Championship 2010" did not lead to the official site would be "strange" rather than "good and helpful".

Chess players!

ejh said...

In case it helps, a general note on the above from somebody who's a qualified librarian and for whom the search for information is therefore part of his professional training.

Information-searching, including websearches, isn't supposed to be about the skill of the searcher. Being skilled in that area is great, of course, and more than helpful, and sometimes important and necessary: but from the point of view of the person or body wishing their information to be located, it's necessary to assume its absence.

If you want people to find your site, you need to be aware that your public may not possess any skills in this area. They may use inverted commas, or they may not: they may think of trying championships, or they may not. If there's a serious danger that unskilled searches may make it harder for them to find your site, then potentially that's a problem. If there's an issue here (and as I say above, by the time the championship starts, I'm not convinced there will be) then that is it.

As far as quotation marks are concerned - I don't see why they make no sense. I'd be inclined to try both with and without, but I can't see why in principle they wouldn't apply.

Tom Chivers said...

(: what he said ^