A Broken & Non-Functional Web Site Remains At The Top of Google

Jul 21, 2008 • 10:32 am | comments (2) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine

A WebmasterWorld forum member is a bit disturbed by a #1 Google ranking on one of his own websites -- that is BROKEN. It's an old site with many pages indexed and strong inbound links, but every single time he's checked the site for the last 4 months, he gets a "cannot connect to database" error. Still, the site has stayed in the #1 position. Why is it that Google prefers this irrelevant site over better content?

He puts the concerns simply:

Anyone landing on my site in the last 4 months would be greatly dissappointed. In google as much as me.

The site has no meta tags, but it lost its sitelinks. Still, the fact that it has a #1 ranking (with Wikipedia being #2) is substantial to him and others. He's not complaining about his #1 ranking but he can imagine the frustration others feel for not being able to rank when they're probably optimizing very well to get that #1.

The question really comes out to be -- if Google once considers your site and authority, is it always an authority?

Forum discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.

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07/22/2008 08:28 am

Wow, that's very interesting especially as this has been over about 4 months. It makes you think that the site must be crawled regularly so surely would have been picked up as having no related content to the search term. I do feel the inbound links situation is getting out of hand with people trying anything to get those links. It wouldn't surprise me if Google is working on a way to dull down the effects of links as it can be manipulated. One question needs to be asked though - surely he can use a 301 redirect to his "real site"? Or if he is not running this site any more, 301 to a page explaining it doesn't exist? The link value is clearly there to be utilised!


07/22/2008 11:15 pm

Pretty nice feedback, yes google is not perfect and will still rank sites with heavy inbound links highly on their SERPs, the question is, how long will this survive? I think with the changes to the algorithm this will slowly become more relevant.

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