Due to the utter primitiveness of some major internet search sites, I’ve been forced to change some content at StayOnTop.
The problem was, two pages here (The Pills and Antidepressants With Sex Effects) each had extensive lists of a few hundred brand names of popular antidepressant medications. All those names were given so you could easily look up the specific category (MAOI, SSRI, TCA etc.) of your own antidepressant, and the major known side effects of that category.
Modern internet search pretends to be ever more refined: they try to make personal profiles of the people who search, so they can adjust the search results to what they think are your personal needs and interests. This is fine (as long as you’re not concerned too much about privacy).
But when it comes to profiling the actual content they’re listing in their search result pages, they still do a very poor job. Sure, Google has begun trying to filter out “content farms”: websites that have only copied content, and that exist solely for the purpose of showing ads. But on the whole, the search sites still don’t have a clue about what it actually is they are listing as the results for a search.
It looks like instead of making some kind of actual content analysis, they still rely on simply counting word frequencies to determine what websites are about. This is a kind of Stone Age approach, dating from 1992 or thereabouts, and one that doesn’t really work anymore today.
The result? Probably because of the high frequency of all kinds of medication brand names in the two above-mentioned pages, some search sites (their scanning software, that is) concluded that StayOnTop must be one of those many dubious web shops selling fake medication to a gullible public. They downgraded my site accordingly, so it became harder to find for people searching actual medication info.
The search whizz kids completely missed the fact that this site is something very different, that those pages of mine were not selling anything at all, and that actually I was warning explicitly and urgently against the dangers of getting medication from dubious sources.
So because “modern” web search is still this primitive, and because I like new visitors to find this site, I was forced to remove all those brand names. Those two medication pages still do exist here, but their value has been diminished because they will no longer list all the actual brand names. Effectively, the dumbness of web search algorithms forces bloggers like me to remove useful content!
As a temporary measure, I have saved the original two webpages (the ones that included all those neatly sorted antidepressant brand names) in two PDF files that are less likely to set search software on a false track. So you can still use the full versions, only now you’ll need to download these PDF files:
I surely hope that in ten years from now, we’ll no longer see this kind of silly glitches. For now, I hold my breath: let’s hope that our wonderfully smart search sites will not jump to the conclusion that StayOnTop is some kind of porn site because this post included the word “sex” more than once…
Let’s top off all this with some fitting search-song. What about Vonda Shepard? To some, she’s best known for her appearance years ago in the Ally McBeal TV show, but she’s really a great singer. For her last album, do take a look at her website.
Click the Play button below to hear her sing Searching My Soul, with the lines:
I’ve been searching my soul tonight
I know there’s so much more to life
now I know I can shine a light
to find my way back home
(if the player does not work, install Flash)