#27 - How Google is Killing the Best Site On the Internet

Monday, June 02, 2014 - 02:18 PM


A couple weeks ago, Matt Haughey, the founder of TLDR's favorite website, Metafilter, announced that his website is dying. And he says it's because Google algorithmically stopped directing traffic to the site over a year ago. Alex tries to figure out what you do when Google's algorithm decides it no longer likes you.

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Comments [10]

James Demers from New York

At least part of the problem, I think, is that garbage sites like ifixit do use SEO to game the Google algorithm. It doesn't take too many of these jokers to push you down to page 2 or page 3, especially when, like ifixit, they manage to suck up 3 or 4 of the page 1 hits. Google has been unforgivably (and suspiciously) slow about getting the crap off of page 1, and they also (again, suspiciously) don't allow you to block ifixit from your own search results. Google also gives YouTube (which they own) a free pass to page 1, further pushing Metafilter into obscurity.

Much as he hates SEO, I think Matt's going to have to fight fire with fire.

Jul. 14 2014 04:06 PM
Mark Mascolino

If people haven't experienced Metafilter they really don't know how well general purpose web community can be on the Internet.

Jun. 24 2014 09:42 AM
Tim from Meloburne, Australia

Google will not tell you what the rules are but still expects you to follow them.

Can be a bit infuriating at times as I tried to updated the design on one of my websites and all the traffic went away overnight. Had to change back to the old design.

I have been asked to take stuff down off my own website and attempting to do so made it rank higher in Google. I had to use the webmaster tools to remove the listing.

Jun. 17 2014 03:04 AM
Will Caxton

One important question was never asked nor answered: is Mr Haughey paying Google for advertising? Google derives most of its revenue from advertising. If Mr Haughey is not paying, his complaint seems to be that in the past he was getting advertising on page 1 for free, and now he's only getting advertising on page 3 for free.

Jun. 16 2014 02:27 PM

The game with chaff was X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter and it was EPIC.

Jun. 11 2014 02:04 PM
Dave Copeland from Boston

Imagine that: a guy who makes his living running a SEO blog shilling the importance of SEO. If this was any other outlet OTM would be all over this weekly-sourced PR posing as journalism.

Jun. 06 2014 09:51 AM
Ian from CT

"Chaff" probably does come from "Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff" or removing the grains of wheat from the useless husks, but after the development radar it also became a term for countermeasures, usually tinfoil strips that reflect radar and create multiple false targets on the rader "chaff" that has to be separated from the real tartget

Jun. 05 2014 11:37 AM
Francisco from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Metafilter looks interesting.

Jun. 04 2014 04:16 PM
kommunic8 from Melbourne

I find your podcasts always intriguing and interesting. Thanks!

Jun. 03 2014 07:37 PM

Weird, I had no idea metafilter existed.

Jun. 03 2014 03:29 AM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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