The introduction to this piece has been lost thanks to a Safari caching error. The rest of it should make sense with a little guesswork. Sorry for the inconvenience.
When we start to look at more generic terms like ‘css’, there are obviously far more sites that qualify for high placement. The full first page of results for ‘css’ on Google are relevant and deserve to be there, except for possibly the current result #10 — Doctor Dobb’s Journal is running Eric Meyer’s CSS Reference Guide as a feature right now, but it’s the only item on their home page pertaining to CSS.
At the time of writing, the Zen Garden sits in spot #9 on Yahoo’s search results page for ‘css’. It’s in spot #11 in Google’s search results for ‘css’. When DDJ’s feature is moved off the front page, I expect to see it in spot #10 shortly thereafter.
I have no qualms about this. In fact, I’m quite pleased that we’re so high up in the results for CSS. It’s when we become number one for a generic term that doesn’t relate to CSS that we start to have a problem.
Right now, the css Zen Garden is the number one result for ‘zen garden’, trumping even dailyzen.com’s Zen cards. It’s on the first page of results for the even more generic ‘zen’. I’ve even made a dent in the listings for ‘garden’, showing up on the second page.
This highlights a fundamental assumption that Google makes: the title of a page determines what the content pertains to. In this case, any mention of ‘gardens’ or ‘zen’ does no such thing, so the assumption falls apart.
Is this my problem? I don’t think so, as it would indicate that I’m incorrect for choosing a title for my project. In an indirect way, the Zen Garden theme was rather appropriate even though the true focus was on a technology that couldn’t be more different. Is this Google’s problem? Signs point towards yes.
One more thought, somewhat unrelated — remember when once upon a time it actually mattered to have a Yahoo directory listing? Those days are over.