It’s my 1-year Anniversary on WP, and What Would You Do if the Internet Called You Fat?

August 28 is the anniversary of Remnant Redo on WordPress. I’ve had fun, I’ve met some interesting people in the blogosphere, and I’ve had about 3800 hits, mostly people like me who also do sewing and creative craft projects for the fun of it, or maybe for profit. I’ve had a lot of spammers look me up. I’m so grateful that Word Press monitors the comments for spam, and lets you be the final judge as to whether you want spam comments posted.

But a couple of weeks ago, while I was lounging around Crescent Beach, trying to de-stress before the onslaught of school and having to re-align with the rat race, I found a disturbing statistic on my WordPress mobile ap.

A Rainy Evening at the Beach, ah yeah!

Under “Top Search Referrals (Past 7 Days)” I saw where someone had searched the net under “fat women in swim clothes” and been referred to my blog! I didn’t bring it up for a good while–but I wasted some prime vacation time ruminating over it. “Why, that’s slander, or libel!” sputtered my DH. “Uh–only if it’s untrue,” I said. 🙂 When I got home I fired off an email to WordPress to express my chagrin. If butt was to be kicked and names were to be taken, I was about to bang on in torrid pursuit. Here’s what I wrote and WP’s answer:

I noticed on my WP mobile app that 4 searches for “fat women in swim clothes” had led to hits on my blog in the past 7 days. Since I had no text references to “fat” in the blog post, the hits must have been directed by the 2 photos of an AVERAGE SIZE woman modeling my swim suit (the average size woman in the US wears a size 14, I’ve read). So, without tags, categories, or actual text calling the woman in the photo fat, how is it that a search for it found its way to my entry, other than from some genius critic labeling my photos fat? Where is this judgement seat located, where some geek links photo images to search criteria in words? Is the genius geek judging my photos seated at some Ivory Tower located in WordPress, Google, Yahoo?

their answer:
Hi there,
It’s up to Google to decide when and how to include your site in search results:
You have complete control over how your photos, blog posts, and pages are tagged. However, Google may extrapolate certain keywords that bring your site up in various searches. Google provides information and tools for webmasters. Perhaps you might find further information there:
I sincerely apologize for any frustration this may cause. Please let me know if I can do anything else to help.
Erica | Automattic

OK, so the next step was to see what the Google folks had to say. I couldn’t find an email address for a Google employee who would be in charge of malicious labeling of images, so I had to navigate a maze of pages that led around in circles to specific “help” forums. After my post languished on the “Help” forum for 24 hours with no response, I put a spiteful addendum to it, and finally got an answer the next day:

(this is the spiteful addendum)
Level 1
Hey Google, I thought you were supposed to “help” folks who have questions about your empire and its machinations! Hence, getting me to pose my question to this forum, so none of your employees have to answer any questions.

their answer:
Google Employee
Hey Jenny,
I’m so sorry that that was the impression you were getting. I investigated the query, and while unable to find your page in a skim through the first hundred or so results, I was able to find it after appending jenyjenny to the query. The result it pointed me to included a post which you mentioned a “big fat finger”. On the exact same page, “women”, “swim”, and “clothes” all showed up as well (link below).
Given that your page was not one of the top results, I think it’s likely that our Search algorithms just picked out those words and pulled up your blog as stretch result to surface as much relevant content as possible. I hope this helps explain what happened.

Home Page link

OK. So when some insulting perv searched for “fat women in swim clothes” it just so happened that my blog’s Home Page for that given day included 4 or 5 blog postings, which separately had each of the key search words. Although the idea that someone may have “extrapolated” words to images still makes me say “hmmm”, I can see how this happened and how they can justify throwing it back on me. Google’s renowned and mysterious SEARCH ALGORITHM, which rules the net and eludes even the most ardent would-be tweakers, has prevailed.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tina Hutchins
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 10:38:09

    What a hoot. I thought you looked great in your suite. So the whole fat finger post thing makes sense – I guess. I think it’s time you did some experimenting
    with the next few post and see what happens. Maybe include the words intelligent, stunning, creative, etc.


  2. Ethel Grogan
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 13:02:02

    What disturbs me is that you had be spiteful to get a response at all. What does this tell us about how the cyberworld operates? And it isn’t just cyberspace, it is the world in general. I have a feeling that the perv who sought to see pictures of fat women in swimsuits was very disappointed in yours. When I saw your picture, I thought how nice you looked.


  3. daseger
    Aug 28, 2011 @ 12:43:50

    Interesting post; I had thought about doing something similar myself because I get some very strange search terms on my blog; now I know how to go about it! Take care.


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