Monday, May 1, 2017

PyCon Australia 2017, SEO and things that should be less work

So, I have an unexpected problem. I'm helping to run a major Australian conference, and we can't seem to get found by Google. This year.

Last year's conference is no problem. There are many, many links to that. But somehow, this years' site, 2017.pycon-au.org, is just not cool enough. Maybe PageRank changed. Maybe Google and angry at Twitter and not regarding tweets as important contributors to page significance. Maybe they just haven't gotten round to adding each mention of @pyconau on twitter into their page rankings for our site. Who knows?

I got myself added to something called the "Google Search Console". Do you know how many links there were? Guess. My guess is that the real number is less than you will guess.

I'll wait.

There are eight links. On the whole internet. Tim Berners-Lee would be disappointed. Somehow, our new sharing based technologies have left simple "search" behind, doing away with hypertext linking between a vast network of connected documents, and replacing it with another concept entirely.

I have no idea how this will affect our conference. Perhaps we're leaving Google behind as a concept, and search is losing relevance compared to the significance of "going viral" and tapping into realtime mindshare. Perhaps it'll be our best year yet.

But I like to believe in something else. That all that hype is just "surface layer", and that old school linking to things still has a role to play. That the internet isn't a "feed" but an organism, and if we help to do the gardening, it will grow and flourish.

So, if you have a minute, please consider making a link, from your site, to ours.

Thanks.