Last week, I threw a curveball into my usual posting mix, asking a pop quiz of seven questions dealing with the topic of controlling your content in Google.
The quiz seemed to generate some interest, just not the kind I had expected. A few people wrote me to ask if one of the questions was possible and, if so, how to do it. Still the, first poster, Andy Murdoch of MMMeeja, a very neat looking Web design and development company, was the one to get the questions right.
So what were the correct answers and why? We’re going to take a look at the questions one at a time to see what the right answer was and
What are three ways you can request your site be removed from Google search? (Note: This is your own site or a page on it, not an infringer)
Not surprisingly, there was more than three correct answers. The most common ways involve using robots.txt or meta tags. But you can also use Google Webmaster tools to remove the site or you can direct your server to respond to Google with an error code.
There are other ways, but those are the most common.
What is the email address for the Google DMCA agent? (please only include the part before the @).
The answer is DMCA-agent. This was actually something of a trick question. Google recently changed its DMCA information, the former address was amac. However, since I’ve mentioned the previous address on this site and it appears to still work, I would have accepted it as an answer.
What, according to Matt Cutts, is the most effective way to report spam to Google?
The answer was right here on Plagiarism Today. Matt Cutts has said that spam reports filed through Google Webmaster Tools are given much more weight than those files through other means.
What is the name of the Google service that will email you search results as they are picked up by Google?
Google Alerts. I’ve mentioned this service many times on this site and it remains one of their best anti-plagiarism/copyright infringement tools.
What is the name of the Google spider, or rather, the name you need to refer to it as when you are trying to block it?
Googlebot. This one was pretty simple actually and you can find it on any number of sites.
What is the meta tag command to prevent Google from displaying a sample of your content in their results pages?
This was the one that seemed to pique people’s interest. I got a couple of emails asking me if this was even possible. It’s actually pretty simple. The meta tag command “NOSNIPPET” will prevent Google from displaying the snippet in their results pages.
You can read about this and other neat Google Meta Tags here.
What search command lets you see approximately how many pages Google has indexed on a site?
site:yourdomain.com. Important to note that this method is rather dubious in its effectiveness. The results tend to differ wildly from search to search but can still give you a rough idea of the range of indexed pages.
All in all, most of the questions in this quiz were pretty basic. Outside of the Matt Cutts and the NOSNIPPET questions, most of the questions could be answered any number of places.
The goal was to get people thinking about how Google users their content and what tools they are provided with to control that.
I hope everyone enjoyed this quiz and look forward to another one in the near future!
Special Thanks: To Red Vs. Blue for the CTRL+ALT+BINGO Joke. Too good not to reuse…