Have you ever wondered why, when one day you search for a large cottage in Devon you see Bicclescombe Grange in 11th spot and then the next day you don’t see them at all, not in the first 50 spots anyway? No? Just me then…
I’ve noticed this quite a bit over the years and obviously it can appear to be a bit of a concern. I’ve decided though, that this is actually normal and what I think is happening is this:
Sometimes it is obvious what should appear at the top of the rankings. If you search for Microsoft say, you expect to see their website first. For large holiday homes with pools in Devon it’s perhaps less clear what the hierarchy should be. I suspect Google hedges its bets a little; there may be say 20 sites it would be happy to put in the top 10 and maybe 50 it could put in the top 20. Obviously it can’t satisfy all the sites, all of the time. So I think it picks, perhaps randomly, perhaps on a rotational or scoring basis, but however, it makes a choice and then, rather than show a top 10 site on the second or third page, it doesn’t show it at all for some searches. If it shows it shows where it should, but sometimes it just won’t appear at all! Maybe we should change the house name to Microsoft Grange.
About those 68200 pages
My more loyal readers will of course recall that back in Large Cottages in Devon I reflected on the magnitude of the task ahead in trying to catch up with the leader of the pack. Using site:big-cottages.com in Google I was returned the enormously discouraging 68200 results. Today I looked and that number had gone up to a mere 94800. Looks like I need to pick up the pace a little!
Actually no. I whimsically checked our own website and was surprised to see site:bicclescombegrange.com return 94 results. I don’t have 94 pages I thought to myself, I wonder what they are? So I trawled through to find out. There were no surprise entries until I got to page 5 and then the number changed from 94 to 42, and no more results were available, which was about right. Mmm I thought, let’s have another look at those 94800 pages then. And, well, that rather discouraging number changed a little, reducing to the far more encouraging 300. A little bit too round a number for my liking so I looked at some other sites and found the same 300 limit. Which does mean that those sites almost certainly have more and maybe a lot more pages. But not necessarily 94800! So I’m guessing that the initial number of results is an estimation, which is easier and quicker than actually finding thousands of results which almost certainly will not be looked at. Clicking through the pages forces more actual results to be located and displayed until, in our case it finds the last one at 42 and consequently changes its estimate to an actual figure. And for me that looks to be quite promising as I perhaps don’t have to have thousands of pages, I just have to appear like I do! I’ll keep an eye on this and let you know how things change. I must confess though, that Google’s Search Console does report smaller figures and probably more relevant ones for me, so this might just turn out to be an observation of no real value, other than to highlight the good sense of retaining a little scepticism in the face of certain infromation. We’ll see.
Finally, this is my first post that I have not dated. As I mentioned, I shouldn’t put the date at the top as I’ve realised it appears in search results which really should be showing something more pertinent. The date of publishing is automatically added by WordPress I see, so I am only going to be adding dates to indicate that the post refers to a different, probably earlier, time period.