Monthly Archives: March 2005

Gotta move the conversation…

Turns out the number one recommendation from folks is to change the name of the site and move to a new domain name. Losing “Philly Future” all over again. As Dan Hartung said in the Ask Metafilter thread – “what you are doing with the site is many times more important than the name itself”. He’s right.

This is sad. But holding onto a name is stupid if it’s keeping us back. I am going to move updates on the situation over to Philly Future since a name change would a community impacting decision.

Google is hurting us

Google has real power. If you’re being indexed by it – with quality content – it can send users your way that didn’t know you existed before they searched. But if you’re not indexed by Google – you don’t exist. At least to a large portion of the web.

Philly Future isn’t indexed by Google. The new (a year old!) version of the site isn’t that is.

Despite the best efforts of some (thanks Shelley) – Philly Future is still not getting visited by the Googlebot.

How could this have happened you maybe wondering. I am too, but I’m pretty sure it’s due to the practices of the former owner of the domain name. I originally had it, but I let it go, and during that period a porn redirector had it. I’m pretty sure Google justifiably banned the site due to that domain owner’s practices.

I’ve signed up for AdSense. Maybe that will help. But I need to wait until I’m approved and that can take a week. If they look at their blacklist, and if Philly Future is on it, it probably won’t make a difference.

This is painful.

Steps taken:

Me and many others have linked to Philly Future for the past year. Many of these sites have great page ranks. The original Philly Future links to the new Philly Future – and it has a Page Rank of 4. Not bad for a site that hasn’t been maintained in a few years.

I have submitted the site to be indexed.

I have submitted my site to DMOZ. Never to get a reply.

I have submitted messages thru their support forms and have gotten automatic responses telling me if I follow their guidelines, everything is automatic, and I will be included in a few weeks. Just sit tight.

I have sent an email to help@google.com with the subject ‘reinclusion request’ and a summary of my problem. This resulted in an automated response telling me to use their support forms to contact them. See above.

Additionally I regained posting control of the old Philly Future site. I had a meta redirect there for a long, long time, that Google never followed. Upon re-reading their guidelines it seems they don’t follow meta redirects – although I’ve gotten them to in the past. Userland was nice enough to help me thru posting links from there to the new site.

I’ve just asked for a 302 redirect – but if Philly Future is indeed banned – well I’ve lost all connection to the words “Philly Future” and a site being indexed with that name.

I’ve done these things, in small flurries of activity, for around a year now.

There are quality links going to Philly Future. I hope it’s providing a service to our community and the inbound links are possibly an indicator we’re on the right track.

However, even with such a terrific community of writers and readers – we still need Google.

Please, if someone can tell me what we’ve done wrong – or if someone can unblacklist the site – it would be very appreciated.

I used to promote Google as a service to friends and family as the place to go to find things on the web.

But now Yahoo!’s search engine is competitive – and yes Yahoo! sends visitors to Philly Future. A lot of them.

Threads I’m watching:
— latest —
Blankbaby
Ask Metafilter

— previously —
Burningbird
Webmaster World
SearchEngineWatch

And yes… if it seems I’ve started to flail about – yes I am. The participants of the community need some help.

Note: I am moving this converation and updates here. I’m going to close this thread so that I don’t get overwhelmed checking multiple sites. Thanks everyone :)