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How do blogs rank so high on Google?

I'm a big fan of the system I use to create this weblog: TypePad, an easier-to-use version of Movable Type, which is obviously superb but just beyond my skills. One of TypePad's cool features is that it will show you both the statistics for your site -- number of hits, and what article(s) the viewers read -- and also, in some cases, just where they came from. That is, it might show that the hit came via some other blog that referred here, or from Yahoo or from Google. If the hit's from Google, I can actually see what it was that the person searched for that led them here. So today, for example, I noticed a few hits from Google, and out of curiosity found that two of them were from people searching on the phrase "How does Bush Get Away With It?" The first two results from that search -- an obvious question -- are to this weblog! It's not surprising that this post ranks high, since it includes almost the exact phrase, but why is this one second? It includes some of the words in the phrase -- "Bush," "Does," and "Get" -- but these are not unusual words. Then the third Google hit on this phrase is from Brad deLong: "Why Does the Bush Administration Lie All the Time?"

I find this odd. I don't think anyone else linked to the second post, so it shouldn't rank high on Google for that reason, and it was far from the search phrase. Although a person asking the question as posed to Google might well be interested in it as well as the other results. It seems that Google must somehow over-rank weblogs, compared to other publications or sites that might have a similar phrase. I'm not complaining, though: it's one of the things that makes it remarkable easy to pick up a readership, albeit still very small, without a lot of effort.

Posted by Mark Schmitt on November 22, 2003 | Permalink


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