Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In the Google Top 20

While browsing through the detailed reports from Sitemeter, I just made gratifying discovery: one of my posts is currently in the top 20 for a major Google search: The Nature of the Neocortex shows up on page 2 (Results 11 - 20 of about 807,000 for neocortex) of the results page for a search on "Neocortex".

I don't know much about how Google orders its search results, although I've heard that number of links and traffic have something to do with it. And, although I shouldn't say it, perhaps the fact that they advertise on this site has something to do with it. But Google advertizes on a lot of sites, and I'm guessing they get a lot more clicks from sites with less of a focus on nit-picking scientific details.

I don't know how long it will stay on the top 20: perhaps semi-forever, perhaps it will be lower tomorrow. But thanks to all the readers who created and/or followed links to that post.


  1. Congrats!

    I don't think it's to do with links to that post specifically. I'm currently on the second page of hits for "St John's Wort", and although a number of people have linked to the post in question, I'm pretty sure that page got a high ranking before people linked to it...

    Also, a word of warning: Google shows websites you visit often higher on your personal search results. So if you Google something and you see your own website as the top result, it doesn't mean everyone else has you as the top hit! :P

  2. Oops, hadn't thought of that. Thanks for pointing it out. I can say that the person who came via that page hadn't previously visited (via that ISP) after Aug 11 2009 10:16:53 am (CST). (Since I'm using the free version of Sitemeter, I can't get reports going any farther back than the last 100 "visits".) That means they probably aren't one of those who comes back every couple hours, but every few days might be enough for Google. (It never occurred to me to check up on this until I saw the search terms in the report.)

    I wouldn't be surprised if they up the rank when the search term is in the title, and perhaps based on the number of times it appears in the text. I don't use keywords (I know, I should, but I'd usually rather spend my time reading or writing), but it may be that they have some way of coming up with keywords for for sites they're involved in hosting (such as Blogger).

    Anyway, I'm not going to give up my dopamine high from the discovery, especially since it's gotten a boost from seeing your post at Gene Expression. (It wasn't there when I went by to check out the link to my blog when Billare first put it up and people following it showed up on the SiteMeter reports.)