I have recently started a research blog which I have called Linguistic Geographies. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while, but some comments I received after the Landscape Surgery first year presentations last week spurred me into action, and already the act of creating my own small space on the world wide web has thrown up an interesting conundrum: how do you get your site indexed by Google without actually signing up to/in to Google? Much of my research involves being as ‘clean’ of what I might start calling ‘google residue’ as I can, and for that reason I don’t have a Gmail account or signed in searches. I have experimented with Google Adwords, but keep that to my laptop, leaving my desktop as ‘google neutral’ as possible.
But resisting the charmingly convenient yet data hungry ministrations of the googlebots is proving an existential challenge. I can’t ‘submit my URL’ to Google, or use any analytical or webmaster tools without creating an account, and as result of this, the google spiders are steadfastly refusing to crawl in my direction. A Google search on Linguistic Geographies currently only returns several references to Linguistics projects relating to the geographies of language and dialect, and does not yet pick up on my blog, despite it being a link-heavy WordPress site.
I’m going to be patient and leave it for a while and see what happens. I know page rankings on Google are measured in part by the outgoing and incoming links between pages, so I will try to establish my presence that way.
In the meantime, I am happy to exist in the realms of the blogosphere and hopefully the other search engines which don’t force me to give up my data in return for a web presence. I will keep an eye on the search results, and will perhaps be able to work out what it is that finally prompts the googlebots to stop ignoring me, if they ever do, that is. Wish me luck (and links)!
Pip Thornton (PhD Candidate)