It has been 3 month since I started that blog. I decided to check if the modern search engines are able to find it. The results were a little disappointing.
When I search for the exact blog title, my blog is not among the first 25 pages of results (I used browser's private window to eliminate any effect of search biasing). The search result was extremely bad. Third page had half the links from the first page repeated. The forth page had the first absolutely irrelevant result "Green Wedding Shoes For A Knitting Enthusiast And Her DIY".
If I search by the same term quoted (exact search) my blog comes up on the third page. Not bad for a page which was not found at all without quotes. Funny that my page comes after such relevant result as "Blog - Jon Roach - FourT4 Photography".
My blog is on top of the second page. While the first page is very relevant to the search term: it is filled with blogs from different lifeboat stations. The same search with the term quoted brings my blog to the third position with the first two undoubtedly more relevant blogs.
Quotes or not, my blog is on the first page and I have no complaints about other blogs being higher up: they are all very relevant to the search term.
What else left to test? Yahoo uses Bing engine (and the result is the same). Baidu and Yandex are yielding some Chinese and Russian results. Ask seems to be using Google's engine. Or something equally bad.
Why did I enact that test? I wanted to see how good modern search engines in finding new content online. I know that if someone wants to create a truly popular site he needs to spend a lot of time and money on marketing. I do not want that. But Internet was supposed to be a good engine for regular people to share their knowledge. It is no more such an engine. One can reach audience via Stack Overflow, Reddit and Hacker News. But if you want to be independent, you are invisible.
The biggest surprise was the Google's result. I did not expect it to be that bad. I've seen google crawlers on my site. Google does find the blog by quoted string. But it is still invisible to a random search. My guess would be that I do not have Google's AdWords, AdSense or even Analitics on my site. And Google is so used to using that extra information in ranking the results... Google lives inside a bubble. Its interconnected support each other, but if any single one of them meets a strong competitor, the quality of every Google service will deteriorate. It is easy to see how that could spiral down really fast. I would not bet my money on Google.
Another surprising result was how well DuckDuckGo was doing. It is barely known to web users, but it is so much better than Google.