Vague ramblings

"St Albans writers groups"

Posted in Musing by Ian Cundell on 27 August, 2004

So here is how it started: someone was setting up the website for Verulam Writers’ Circle, a St Albans writers group. It is one of only two writers groups in the city, the other being Ver Poets.

Setting it up was quite straightforward because there was no need for anything fancy and dynamic, just a lot of information packed stuff for existing and prospective members. Then a real headache set in.

Verulam Writers’ Circle has been around for a good few years and the name is rather stuck. But it doesn’t take a degree in symbolic logic to realise that prospective punters will search on the string ‘st albans writers groups’, only without the quotes.

The trouble is that local papers and loads of assorted pointless directories contain those words, and because many of these sites are commercial, loads of people link to them – and page rank prioritises these, even if the string ‘st albans writers group’ does not appear anywhere on them. At least, I think that’s what’s happening. The net result is getting a humble local group to show for up to people who would be interested in it has proved a bit of a ‘mare.

Google, it seems to me, is biased towards the corporate in a way that other search engines aren’t.

I actually think it is worse than that. But more on that another time.

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