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Posted By: David-G No search results on Google from Piano World - 12/30/17 11:34 PM
I thought this thread from the Digital Pianos Forum might benefit from a reference here.

Originally Posted by CyberGene

When searching for various digital piano related stuff on Google I used to get many Pianoworld results as top results. Well, not anymore! If i search for whatever with Kawai in it, even exact thread names such as my own “Kawai ES9 wishlist” or even targeting Pianoworld domain like “ES9 site:.pianoworld.com” and I get only one result which is not what I’m looking for.

What’s going on? Is my Google wrong? Is Pianoworld wrong? Is this intentional after those leaks. If so, I find it wrong because it’s the forum that will not get attention. If owners are OK with people redirected to other websites.

P.S. It seems to not be related to Kawai only results. No Google results are returned for Pianoworld at all. False Kawai conspiracy alarm on my side wink Changing the thread name as well.



I have just tried a few searches myself - on "piano cantilevered bridge", and "bluthner patent action" for example. Searching with Bing brings up various Piano World threads. Searching with Google does not. What is going on? I originally discovered Piano World by using Google. If Google is not returning Piano World threads in its searches, that is quite serious, is it not?
I noticed this same issue a few weeks ago, but didn't mention it on the forums. I was looking for info in an old PW thread and getting nothing from Google. I thought maybe there was a problem with my computer. It's like Google is ignoring/not recognizing Piano World for some reason.

Rick
I'm having the same issue, and as recently as 3 weeks ago I was getting pages of results for a given search, now just a small handful. Is this what net non-neutrality looks like?
Google had this strategy from the beginning - get people addicted to their stuff, then gradually phase in payment for everything. For this to work, they needed to convince people that using other alternatives was going to leave them out of the loop and fringe dwellers in society. They have followed the same model for entities they have purchased, like Youtube, which was ad free until it became massively dominant in video media. Then they pulled the trigger and brought in the ads - and now we are all watching ads, whilst still feeling it's worth it because we are hooked on the platform.

Google's search engine is the same - they wanted total market dominance (which they got), before they brought in the targeted searching and sponsored links. Now, most businesses are paying fairly hefty money to be on the first page of google - and the actual relevance of search results is appalling compared to what it was before Google went with paid services. Google also tied all of this in with their Android platform and obligatory Google email accounts (also containing targeted advertising) which are used with those devices to make them properly functional. You've got to hand it to them in a way - they played the long game and got us hooked like junkies and now they are collecting on their previous "goodwill".

Don't be surprised if Googles bots are filtering out pages with critical things to say about Google too...Even if they appear on sponsored sites.
Originally Posted by Wes Lachot
I'm having the same issue, and as recently as 3 weeks ago I was getting pages of results for a given search, now just a small handful. Is this what net non-neutrality looks like?

Yes, it's exactly what it looks like. Any politician who supports that should be voted out of office.
Originally Posted by Wes Lachot
I'm having the same issue, and as recently as 3 weeks ago I was getting pages of results for a given search, now just a small handful. Is this what net non-neutrality looks like?

Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by Wes Lachot
I'm having the same issue, and as recently as 3 weeks ago I was getting pages of results for a given search, now just a small handful. Is this what net non-neutrality looks like?

Yes, it's exactly what it looks like. Any politician who supports that should be voted out of office.

I’m regularly amazed how easily people pontificate about subjects they don’t seem to understand. And so easily come to embrace government control and totalitarianism.
I searched google for my "Fully Tempered Duplex Scale" and no more results shown for the extensive PW thread on the subject.

The results for the PTG Pianotech forum are still front and center as they were in the past. Don't think PTG pays Google for preferential treatment
Coincidentally we used to pay hundreds of dollars a month for Google "Ad Words".
Not seeing any monetary return for my investment I cut way back.

The saddest part of this (besides taking traffic away from legitimate sites) is that information is being presented by
the highest bidders, not necessarily the most accurate or sincere sources. A bit like our government is being run.
Originally Posted by Agent88

Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by Wes Lachot
I'm having the same issue, and as recently as 3 weeks ago I was getting pages of results for a given search, now just a small handful. Is this what net non-neutrality looks like?

Yes, it's exactly what it looks like. Any politician who supports that should be voted out of office.

I’m regularly amazed how easily people pontificate about subjects they don’t seem to understand. And so easily come to embrace government control and totalitarianism.

So, you'd be one of those people who believe in markets driving everything then?
Pianoworld. Not political world.

Let’s not go there.
Frank, I posted your note over into the Digital Piano forum:
Originally Posted by Piano World
Coincidentally we used to pay hundreds of dollars a month for Google "Ad Words".
Not seeing any monetary return for my investment I cut way back.

Over there people have noted that they're still getting good PW search results when searching on Bing and on DuckDuckGo.
Would it make sense to replace the PW search by directing it to one of those, instead of to Google?
Posted By: rXd Re: No search results on Google from Piano World - 12/31/17 11:51 AM
Time was I would google something for more information or a higher authority and my own pianoworld post would appear first. I recall finding it being quite disappointing.
I'm glad this is being discussed. Bing works very well using the format:
topic site:pianoworld.com
Quote
Pianoworld. Not political world.


Hey, they're just imitating the boss ... smile


Quote
A bit like our government is being run.
Interesting, this morning I put the same piano question in both Google and DuckDuckGo. The first thing that popped up in DuckDuckGo was a Pianoworld forum discussion, and there were other Pianoworld links as well. Google showed a Pianostreet link but no Pianoworld. I never realized how different they were. Conclusion. Need to use the DuckDuckGo and Bing search engines more and Google less.

Rich
Well, dang. I wrote a song entitled "Google my name if you want to know who I am". smile

I guess I'll have to write another one entitled "Click DuckDuckGo if you want to know". grin

Just kidding...

But I still don't like it because Google ain't recognizing Piano World like it used to.

Rick
Over the past few weeks and today as well I noticed that on yahoo search" pianoworld.com" returns a link to the digital forum but only after listing about 9 other websites. Yet, I just tried google with the same search and pianoworld.com was the first entry. On both Bing and DuckDuckGO the first search result was for the digital forum on pianoworks.com with the teachers forum as the third result. Dont think its an issue of paid search. My little analysis seems to indicate the search engines may be picking up the incorrect key words since both Bing and DuckDuckGo directed me to the right website but not the home page...and now, unlike others experience, my google's first result is the pianoworld.com site.....strange....
I'm now writing a song called "You won't find me on Bing 'cause I don't know how to sing." smile
Originally Posted by Rickster
I guess I'll have to write another one entitled "Click DuckDuckGo if you want to know".
Google obviously considers DuckDuckGo a proper competitor, as I note they have purchased duck.com, as ever to crush competition.

DuckDuckGo need to get a new name and a new domain. The current one is just too long.

It's a shame because Google results are now pretty poor, and the market needs a shakeup.

Actually this has nothing to do with net neutrality. Net neutrality is about the speed with which different sites are delivered, it has nothing to do with search results. The purpose of net neutrality was to protect the big bandwidth users like Netflix and Amazon. It was a regulation on ISP's, not search engines.

I don't see how the FCC would have legal authority to regulate search results, that would have to be a consumer protection agency of some sort. It's a business practices issue, not a communications issue.

The right thing to do immediately is for all of us to stop using google, instead use the other search engines.
Google started to punish sites which are not optimised for mobile also (no joke).

I think it has nothing to do with paying for ads or not.

Daniel
Agree with Daniel. As site owner you can manage search engine optimization without paying anything.
Originally Posted by JohnSprung

Actually this has nothing to do with net neutrality. Net neutrality is about the speed with which different sites are delivered, it has nothing to do with search results. The purpose of net neutrality was to protect the big bandwidth users like Netflix and Amazon. It was a regulation on ISP's, not search engines.

I don't see how the FCC would have legal authority to regulate search results, that would have to be a consumer protection agency of some sort. It's a business practices issue, not a communications issue.

The right thing to do immediately is for all of us to stop using google, instead use the other search engines.


I don't think that any of the paying related stuff you and the others above write about makes even a tiny bit of sense. Here in Europe Google would be severely punished by the EC if any of the above were true. It's simply prohibited as their marketshare is to big. Think about billions of dollars of fines.. It happened before.
Originally Posted by WimPiano
I don't think that any of the paying related stuff you and the others above write about makes even a tiny bit of sense. Here in Europe Google would be severely punished by the EC if any of the above were true. It's simply prohibited as their marketshare is to big. Think about billions of dollars of fines.. It happened before.

Unfortunately, here in the US, (and other countries, I'm sure) corporate greed and corruption seem to be the prevailing attitude with a lot of larger companies. On occasion, they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar and get their hand slapped with big fines, but the fines are a small drop in the bucket in terms of the profits they make and things continue pretty much the same as they were.

I could cite many recent examples of this, but there is no need. Anyone who reads the news or watches the news on TV knows what I'm talking about.

Sometimes I wonder where it will all end, but I guess we'll all find out soon enough...

Happy New Year!

Rick
About a year ago, Google started sending me warnings that my website was not mobile freindly, and that after a certain amount of grace period, Google would start lowering my website from search results if I do not convert my website to be mobile friendly. Since I don't really have any traffic on my nothing "website", I basically ignored it and didn't care. However, I can see that Google was not kidding about lowering web search results for non-mobile friendly sites since it is almost impossible to use PW on anything other than an old legacy computer. I've used PW on my iPad. I have to do a lot of zooming in and out, panning left and right. For an iPhone, Android phone, it's near unusable. That's good. It tells me I should not be reading PW on my phone. I need less obsessive phone use anyway.

I'm pretty sure Google just looks at all that and decides this website is not mobile friendly, therefore it followed through with its warning of lowering its search results. However, I'm quite sure if PW pays Google to rank its pages higher, Google would oblige.

I pay Google to not read my email in Gmail, so Google does not, nor does Google use my email or search result to blast me with ads. Google is a business, so all you have to do is pay them like any other services, and they will serve you as expected. Google is fairly transparent about what it will and will not do, and the different levels of support given to paying and non-paying customers. If you don't pay Google with money, then you are paying Google with your data and information. Your choice. The service was never free.

I also like to agree that duckduckgo is great. No need to pay for no tracking. It's no tracking for everyone. Make sure if you use an ad blocker, you whitelist duckduckgo from the blocker, so you will see ads in search results which could help them make money. I even click on the ad resutls in duckduckgo just to help them out. Go duckduckgo!
I remember when the neighborhood kids around the old Tiger Stadium would come up to you after you parked and say, "Watch your car for you during the game?"
As with the old broadcast media, we made a bad bargain with the "devil" when we believed the internet would be free. It is commercialized by a combination of advertising to users and categorizing of users, both "services" monetized by companies/political groups with something to sell.

I advocated for and desired having consumers pay to access information except for Government sites. All the fees were to be added to your monthly ISP bill a bit like an old phone company but, with the internet it is very easy to have many companies competing to provide ISP.

Content providers would set their rates and see what the market would bear. I think the costs would have been driven down to where a serious user of the internet would pay less than you do for Cel phone service.

Now we pay with our time, annoying distractions and cash!.
I know a little bit of SEO but I am not an expert. I don't think there is just one reason but a combination of many reasons that cause Pianoworld to drop in Google search results. Not optimized for mobile is probably a big one. Another one may be the lack of SSL certificate. Google announced 3 years ago that they would rank web sites with HTTPS connection higher, see here: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html

There are probably other factors in play. I think one thing we all agree is that the internet has been fully commercialized and as a site owner you have to continue playing the search engine optimization game. Indeed, even the public university I am working for is looking for SEO consultants to boost our search ranking. It is probably not fair for small web site owners but alas.
Originally Posted by Pneuma
I know a little bit of SEO but I am not an expert. I don't think there is just one reason but a combination of many reasons that cause Pianoworld to drop in Google search results. Not optimized for mobile is probably a big one. Another one may be the lack of SSL certificate. Google announced 3 years ago that they would rank web sites with HTTPS connection higher, see here: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html


You make a good point about HTTPS. I think that has become basically the default expected standard for websites. I would say that soon, if a website cannot be connected in encrypted HTTPS, future versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge may refuse to display plain text pages by default. You may have to go into settings in the browsers to explicitly tell the browser to allow non-encrypted HTTP pages. At that point, most non-power users would simply think the unencrypted websites were either down or become unavailable and give up.
Here is a comment that I came across the other day on another site (not written by me):

Quote
In my professional judgment, there is little benefit to https for many sites, which simply present publicly available information. This is based on my 20+ years of internet security work throughout my career. Payment pages where people enter credit card information obviously need encryption, but in my opinion most sites see little to no benefit.

Https means it can't be loaded from your ISP or company's cache, making popular sites slower. It also prevents corporate security or your own router / firewall from seeing the malware or whatever that some hacker added to the page, and generally keeping an eye out for security problems. For public sites where you don't log in, I think https is a net reduction of security.
Originally Posted by WimPiano
[I don't think that any of the paying related stuff you and the others above write about makes even a tiny bit of sense..


OK, so then what do you think net neutrality is -- or was?
Here, in the Netherlands.. is, definite is, providers will get fines when they interfere with content.

Some basic steps to improve site visibility on google:
First you add the site:
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url?continue=/addurl

You can manage how your website shows up in google search here:
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=en

Then, if you want to go further you can add structured data to your site to help Google understand it:
https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/intro-structured-data

BTW, about mobile first, I wholeheartedly agree with Google, 90% of my internet browsing is mobile. The pianoworld site is very cumbersome on mobile devices. Not meant as criticism to Frank btw.
Just to be sure I performed some checks: it seems that google cannot index Pianworld any longer which is an obvious explanation of it not showing up in Google. Should be something which can be fixed easily. Google displays this error: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7197804

It really surprises me that there's so much complaining without performing any form of serious test. All sorts of opinions about money and net neutrality are expressed as if they were facts while the very obvious possibility of a technical problem is not even considered... sigh..

Not a google fanboy here btw. I just don't like complaints without facts..
Click on this link to see the robots.txt file for forum.pianoworld.com

Quote
User-agent: *
Allow: /


* = match everything
/ = root directory (i.e. everything)

This robots.txt file says that all user agents (spiders, bots, etc) are allowed to index the entire site.
The robots.txt is one of a number of possible causes, in this case unlikely. I cannot perform further analysis as that is only possible for the site owner using e.g. this tool:
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/googlebot-fetch

Of the test of your robots.txt:
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/robots-testing-tool?
Originally Posted by WimPiano
Here, in the Netherlands.. is, definite is, providers will get fines when they interfere with content.


Here in the United States, Net Neutrality has a precise legal definition. It was a set of FCC regulations on internet service providers regarding speed. It had absolutely nothing to do with content. Any reference to content is a misuse of the term -- at least here.
Speed (actually prioritization, charging for or blocking of content) based on type or source of content is stil differentiating in content.. You might swap the term content with data but the essence remains equal.
.

What was happening a couple years ago, and presumably will start again, is prioritization based on bulk. ISP's didn't know or care whether you were watching a major Hollywood feature, soft core porn, or somebody's cat video. They were giving the small users like Wikipedia or Piano World priority so that only the streaming users would be inconvenienced, not everybody. The real problem was that streaming video grew to overwhelm the ISPs' infrastructure.

If you really want to, go ahead and conflate bulk with content.
I'm with WimPiano on this one. This is a shame. PianoWorld contains so much useful knowledge, but now the average Internet user (to say nothing of longtime forum members) can't search this amazing resource.

We need to do a bit more research to figure out why the site is no longer indexed by Google. The AdWords and net-neutrality theories aren't likely explanations. As someone with some expertise in this field, I'd be happy to work with Frank or whomever to try and find a solution. In the meantime, I'll shoot a note over on the Google Webmaster forums in case there's anything obvious that we're missing.
Can someone advise me on why Piano World cannot index its own posts? Why is Google or any other browser necessary or desirable for a post search?

ian
Originally Posted by Beemer
Can someone advise me on why Piano World cannot index its own posts? Why is Google or any other browser necessary or desirable for a post search?

PW can and does provide a search with the UBB software. It's near the upper right of this page. But 1) Google provides more powerful search capabilities and 2) people who otherwise search on Google will not be led to this site by Google.
Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Originally Posted by Beemer
Can someone advise me on why Piano World cannot index its own posts? Why is Google or any other browser necessary or desirable for a post search?

PW can and does provide a search with the UBB software. It's near the upper right of this page. But 1) Google provides more powerful search capabilities and 2) people who otherwise search on Google will not be led to this site by Google.

and it is this second point which I think is very serious.
I submitted a question on the Google webmaster forum. You can see the results here:
Webmaster Forum Query

The first answer makes a lot of sense. It turns out that the links on the PianoWorld forum pages have the attribute rel="nofollow" set. This instructs the Google crawler to de-index these pages. I wonder if this bug was introduced when the forums were revamped last year? This definitely needs to be fixed. You can read an official explanation of what the "nofollow" tag does here:
nofollow docs

The second answer is also with exploring, but I can't do that without further access to the site.

In addition to the points the other posters have made, not having this site indexed by Google will negatively affect the revenue that keeps the site up in the first place. Fewer visitors = fewer ad clicks and fewer visits to pianosupplies.com.

Again, I'm happy to continue helping with this as much as I can (Frank? Anyone?).
Why don’t those of you with the needed skills send Frank a PM? I’m sure he would appreciate offer of help.
Originally Posted by David-G
Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Originally Posted by Beemer
Can someone advise me on why Piano World cannot index its own posts? Why is Google or any other browser necessary or desirable for a post search?

PW can and does provide a search with the UBB software. It's near the upper right of this page. But 1) Google provides more powerful search capabilities and 2) people who otherwise search on Google will not be led to this site by Google.

and it is this second point which I think is very serious.



The first point's a real problem, though. I've seen many cases where Googling "Pianoworld whatever" found more, and more appropriate instances of "whatever" than the internal search of this site. That's not to knock this site, it's just that Google, when working properly, beats the pants off any other search.
Sent a PM. Hopefully we can get this resolved!
Originally Posted by tend to rush
Originally Posted by David-G
Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Originally Posted by Beemer
Can someone advise me on why Piano World cannot index its own posts? Why is Google or any other browser necessary or desirable for a post search?

PW can and does provide a search with the UBB software. It's near the upper right of this page. But 1) Google provides more powerful search capabilities and 2) people who otherwise search on Google will not be led to this site by Google.

and it is this second point which I think is very serious.



The first point's a real problem, though. I've seen many cases where Googling "Pianoworld whatever" found more, and more appropriate instances of "whatever" than the internal search of this site. That's not to knock this site, it's just that Google, when working properly, beats the pants off any other search.

Absolutely, I agree. It's just that unless the second point is addressed, I fear Piano World may ultimately wither.
I always find it amusing when an expert visits an online forum to ask for help! wink
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