2011-04-14 19:02:28Google using new algorithm to rank 'quality' websites


High-quality sites algorithm goes global, incorporates user feedback

I'm not sure how this influences SkepticalScience's ranking, presumably beneficially, but some websites have been badly hit.  Is it my imagination or have the climate denier sites been downranked?  I can't see a single one on the front page if I type Climate Change or Global Warming into Google, although I'm still not convinced about the quality of returns.

Sites which simply copy content have been downranked.  I note Answers.com has a loss in 'search visibility' of around 50%, although I'm not too sure how that is defined.

I'm not sure if the previous algorithm is still available.  Bing and Yahoo still return Bookers Denial book and Conservapedia on the front page if 'global warming' is placed in quotes.

Sorry edit I meant to include these rankings




2011-04-14 19:18:33SkS rankings
John Cook


SkS ranks #1 for "global warming 1998"

#1 for "tropospheric hot spot"

#2 for "global warming sun"

#2 for "past climate change"

Looking good so far :-)

2011-04-14 19:30:58


It should be noted that the quality criteria appear to be concerned with whether the site appears to be trying to "game" the algorithm, rather than with the quality of the actual content.

2011-04-14 19:38:30
Rob Painting

Sounds like good news eh?.

2011-04-14 22:49:55More Google rankings
James Wight


SkS is:

  • #1 for “global warming skeptic”
  • #1 for “global warming evidence”
  • #1 for “global warming stopped”
  • #1 for “global warming good”
  • #1 for “climate change natural cycle”
  • #1 for “global warming cosmic rays”
  • #1 for “mars warming”
  • #1 for “ocean cooling”
  • #1 for “co2 lag”
  • #1 for “water vapor greenhouse gas”
  • #1 for “ipcc himalayan glaciers 2035”
  • #2 for “global warming causes” (this page is #1)
  • #2 for “global warming not urgent” (Cato is #1).
  • #2 for “hide the decline” (Muller is #1)
  • #2 for “co2 not a pollutant” (Poptech is #1)
  • #2 for “climate sensitivity” (Wikipedia is #1)
  • #3 for “climate models”
  • #3 for “medieval warm period”
  • #3 for “climate change ice age”
  • #3 for “renewable baseload power”
  • #4 for “global warming no consensus”
  • #4 for “global cooling 1998” (though it’s an old post from 2008)
  • #5 for “hockey stick graph”
  • #5 for “urban heat island effect”
  • #5 for “global warming hurricanes”
  • #5 for “global warming antarctic ice increasing” (a less specific search doesn’t bring up SkS in the top few pages)
  • #6 for “ipcc skeptics”
  • #6 for “ocean acidification”
  • #6 for “sea level rise”
  • #6 for “global cooling 1970s” (again, old post from 2008)
  • #7 for “global warming cause” (old post about Katrina)
  • #8 for “arctic melting” (old post about Antarctic)
  • #9 for “global warming hockey stick”
  • #12 for “little ice age”
  • #17 for “global warming not settled”
  • #19 for “global warming”
  • #28 for “global warming models” (again, old post from 2007)
  • #29 for “global cooling”
  • #29 for “global warming climate models” (again, old post from 2007)
  • #43 for “global cooling ice age”
  • #45 for “climate change”
  • #47 for “global warming myths”
  • #143 for “climategate”

I’m using the Australian Google so that might make Australian sites more likely to show up.

I also tried phrases like “global warming debate”, “global warming facts”, “global warming hoax”, “global warming fraud”, “global warming scam”, and “global warming myth”, but SkS didn’t appear in the first few pages.

2011-04-15 01:52:28




Suggests that we ought to explicitly address the "issue" of global warming debate/hoax/fraud/scam. Probably one or two introductory pages would provide an alternative gateway to the SkS library of arguments. If someone is wondering if AGW is a hoax, it would be great if s/he stumbled across our pages.

2011-04-15 19:12:43
Glenn Tamblyn



Interesting thought. This leads me to an idea. Do we need a series of'pathways' through SkS, depending on what the reader is looking for. Including the real skeptic who may not agree with us but is looking for ammunition against us.

The site has such a wealth of posts and rebuttals, the real risk is that they all get lost in a general blur. A series of 'themes' linking relevent existing resources might be useful. The rebuttals alone are not always enough because they exist in some isolation.

2011-04-15 19:35:18Pathways
John Cook

One possible idea is I add categories so you can assign a blog post to one or more categories. Or if there is some other crazy way to organize the data, if theres one thing SkS does, it's arrange data in interesting crazy ways. So feel free to explore this idea further, see what emerges.
2011-04-15 19:36:51Google change
John Cook

BTW, I'll try to remember in a week or two to check the stats, see if theres a shift in google traffic after Aprill 11.