Google Loves Wikipedia – Even the Empty Pages

If you’re one of those kooky SEO’s that doesn’t believe that domain authority/trust is the single most important factor in SEO today, I really think you are either blind, stupid or both. Situations like the Tour De France really highlight the weaknesses in the Google Algo.


The official Google Blog has a post about the Tour De France and how they added one of the uber creepy privacy invading street maps. Let’s say you’ve got a NIMBY like outlook, and are OK with Google invading other people’s privacy, as long as it’s not your own, and actually are interested in the map and the places listed. Lets look at the search listing for each of the stops along the Tour de France. I’m going to omit the accents, because we’ll like most Americans and I’m lazy, and if we don’t have the key on our keyboard it wont get used.

Brest – #1 wikipedia
Plumelec – #1 wikipedia
Auray – #1 wikipedia
Saint-Brieuc – #1 wikipedia
Saint-Malo – #1 wikipedia
Nantes – #1 wikipedia
Cholet – #1 wikipedia
Chateauroux – #1 wikipedia
Aigurande – no wikipedia in top 10
Super-Besse – no wikipedia in top 10
Brioude – #2 wikipedia
Aurillac – #1 wikipedia
Figeac – #1 wikipedia
Toulouse – #1 wikipedia
Bagneres-de-Bigorre – #1 wikipedia
Pau – wikipedia #1
Hautacam – wikipedia #5
Lannemezan – wikipedia #3
Foix – wikipedia #1
Lavelanet – wikipedia #2
Narbonne – wikipedia #1
Nimes – wikipedia #1
Digne-les-Bains – wikipedia #3
Embrun – wikipedia #1
Prato Nevoso – wikipedia #5
Cuneo – wikipedia #2
Jausiers – wikipedia # 6
Embrun – wikipedia # 1
L’Alpe-d’Huez – wikipedia #1
Bourg-d’Oisans – wikipedia #4
Saint-Etienne wikipedia #2
Roanne – wikipedia #1
Montlucon – wikipedia #1
Cerilly – wikipedia #1
Saint-Amand-Montrond – wikipedia #1
Etampes – wikipedia #1
Champs-Elysees – wikipedia #1

Here’s the breakdown for 37 possible KWD’s
25 #1 listings
4 #2 listing
2 #3 listings
1 #4 listing
2 #5 listings
1 #6 listing
2 >#10 listings

I’d say that’s pretty impressive, but wait it gets better. The standard Google answer when any SEO complains about Wikipedia SERP dominance is “Regular users like Wikipedia”. To the Google engineers who want to stand behind that, I propose the following question “Do regular users like completely empty, nearly empty, or almost useless pages?

If they don’t then why are you serving them as top results for those search queries? Case and point these 13 results below are stubs, unfinished, or completely empty pages, yet Google ranks them, mostly in the #1 spot.

Cerilly
Lannemezan
Jausiers
Cuneo
Plumelec
Figeac
Prato Nevoso
Digne-les-Bains
Lavelanet
Foix
Hautacam
Bagnères-de-Bigorre
Aurillac

These 4 pages, in my opinion, have so little content that they shouldn’t rank for anything.

Saint-Amand-Montrond
Le Bourg-d’Oisans
Embrun, Hautes-Alpes
Saint-Brieuc

So Google still want to stand behind the “Regular users like Wikipedia” answer? Ready for this it’s about to get even more ridiculous for the Google Wikipedia Love Affair …

Compare the Wikipedia page for Lavelanet on Wikipedia with the Page for Lavelanet on Mahalo

The wikipedia page is completely empty, is a pagerank 4, and ranks number 1. The mahalo page which has actual content is nowhere to be found in the SERP’s. HGey Google what ever happened to build pages with great content, is there an algorithmic exemption for wikipedia you forgot to tell us about?

Cerilly on wikiepdia PR3 with ABSOLUTELY NO CONTENT, Cerilly on French travel website with lots of content has zero rankings.

What about Jausiers empty on wikipedia yet sporting a pagerank 4, while a Ski Resort site about Jausiers with actual information gets nothing.

How bout it Google why not put your money and the traffic where you mouth is, and list some actual websites that have the content you say you are looking for, instead of sending everybody to wikipedia, when they are giving you a whole lot of nothing.

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