When I used to manage The Museum of Telephony from 2012 to late 2019; one of the surprising antidotes I can say is: the Google Search Engine works. Period.
I didn’t pay Google a dime! I am going to be honest, and say it was really weird to see my own work come up in first or second pages when I was gawd-honest trying to find present telephony stuff, that in way was commingled in my content.
Not to mention the self-reflection I would see. Sometimes I would cringe just seeing my own work. On the other hand, there was this need to be responsible, but things went haywire by 2020.
Now how did Google get this if I didn’t pay to play like some YouTube hack creators?
- Unintentional SEO. It was never intended to be a Search Engine Optimized site, it just coincidentally happened that way. One was alternate text and titles in the images. The alternate text was very descriptive, because I always wanted my content I create to be accessible for all persons. It wasn’t too detailed, but it gave the reader an overall summary of the picture
- The iTheme’s built in Tag cloud. Since the inception, the iTheme was the overall visual identity for TMOT. Like most WordPress sites, it too had the tag cloud. I used the tags liberally and with relevance as well. Not to mention the categories as well.
- Daring to share. In 2018, I made social media companions. I resisted as long as possible, but made a Facebook and Instagram page. With the linking on my YouTube (under my alternate name), this gave the algos likely a feedback loop.
So when I hear Google’s search is rigged, it cannot be always true. TMOT was not a non-comm platform per se, but it was not by any means making any financial gains to expand or what. When it moved over to our own hosts, the hits were not as strong, despite the clickford.net domain being in use for over 5 years, and was acting as a redirect for a couple of years, before moving onto an off-prem host in late 2019.
I do not take what I did lightly, I broke the Internet, and while I slowed down, others made their own.
It was a great time for me in the 2010s.