Take the 2-minute tour ×
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It's 100% free, no registration required.

If you go to my user page on Stack Overflow and you check it with the Google Toolbar, you can see it has no PageRank at all (this does happen for almost any user page, even people with much higher reputation, the only exceptions seem to be the users in page 1, and some other users they have PR).

My user page's Page Rank is not only zero, but not calculated at all. When PR is 0 or less than 1, but calculated the Google bar shows white, but when the PR is not even calculated like in my user page the Google bar shows in grey.

alt text

I further more discovered that my user page is NOT EVEN INDEXED on Google, simple test is searching on Google for the exact page url: "http://stackoverflow.com/users/260080/marco-demaio" and you will see no result.

The question is how can this be??? This is really weird to me because of the following reason:

If you search on Google for "Marco Demaio" on Stack Overflow only (you can do this by searching "site:stackoverflow.com Marco Demaio") the search result shows hundreds of 'asking/answering questions' pages where I was 'tagged'!!! Let's check one of these: the 1st one that appears now (shows one of the question I asked).

We can be sure this page is indexed in Google because comes out in a search. Moreover, its PR is calculated. It's probably nearly zero. Still, some PR flows there, the PR bar is not grey, but white:

alt text

The page shown above has got links to my own user page. I checked the source code of the page shown above and the links are not hidden or set with a rel="nofollow", moreover I can't see any meta character excluding the links on the page from being followed.

So what's happening? Why Google does not see my user page at all.

Did Stack Overflow do something to achieve this? If yes what did they do?

Any explanation really appreciates (as always).

P.S. obviously I checked also the code of my user page, but I could not find meta tags excluding Google search for the page.

P.S. 2 in a desperate adventure I also checked Stack Overflow's robots.txt but it does not seem to exclude user pages.


UPDATE 1

following up on some answers, I did some more research. Excluding for a while the PR problem (since PR is not science), and looking only at the user page on Stack Overflow NOT BEING INDEXED problem: pages do not seem to be indexed by Google because of the user reputation, this user for instance has got NOW 200 points less reputation than me and his page is indexed (while mine not). It does not seem even to be connected with months you have been on Stack Overflow, this user (almost my same reputation) has been there for 3 months only and his page is indexed (while mine not and I have been a user for 7 months).

It's bizarre!


UPDATE February/2011 As of today, the page got indexed by Google at least when you search for "site:stackoverflow.com Marco Demaio" it's the 1st page. The amazing thing is that it has still got NO PageRank at all: Google toolbar states loud and clear "No PageRank information available".

It's odd!

share|improve this question
1  
You seem to be really obsessed with PR –  John Conde Aug 25 '10 at 13:18
    
@John Conde: I'm not talking only baout PR here, but alos about the user pgae not being indexed at all on Google. It's bizzare! –  Marco Demaio Aug 25 '10 at 15:00
    
Heh, Jon Skeet has a PR5 user page: stackoverflow.com/users/22656/jon-skeet –  Stephan Muller Jan 26 '11 at 11:43
    
@Litso: so what? He is 263K reputation in 1st page of users, I suppose he deserves to be at least PR5 or more. My question is not a complain cause my user page have a 'No PageRank Information available' in Googe bar, my question is only trying to understand why this is happening. –  Marco Demaio Jan 30 '11 at 15:54
add comment

3 Answers

My StackOverflow profile page is indexed.

The Google toolbar does not update PR as often as Google does internally. The PR you see in the toolbar is stale and usually months old. Pages that you see with no PR or zero PR probably have more PR then that. You just don't know it yet because Google hasn't pushed that info out to the toolbar yet.

As far as indexing profile pages, those pages typically have low PR and low relevance for anything other then a user's name. They probably are of low priority for Google to index and, if they do, may push them to their supplemental index or do other things with them we are not aware of.

share|improve this answer
    
You contradict yourself in the 2nd part of your answer, 1st you say you are indexed, 2nd you say "As far as indexing profile pages...They probably are of low priority for Google to index". So why is you page indexed then? –  Marco Demaio Aug 25 '10 at 14:54
1  
I don't contradict myself at all. Just because one profile page may have a low value to Google doesn't mean another one will. Google judges every page individually and on it's own merit. In general those pages are probably considered low priority but only because of factors like incoming link strength, PR, etc. But that doesn't mean all of those pages are equal. Some will have higher PR and stronger link strength then others for various reasons. Those pages will have a higher visibility to Google. –  John Conde Aug 25 '10 at 15:42
add comment

If a page is not indexed (as your user page is not) or newly indexed then it will not have a PageRank assigned to it. Some online services like prchecker.info give you "N/A" as the value. It looks like the PR toolbar just shows blank instead of showing you the N/A or an error.

As for why the pages are not indexed it's difficult to know exactly but I'd hazard a guess that either they are not listed in SO's sitemap, or they are given a very low priority compared to the actual questions. Since so many questions are asked daily Googlebot is concerning the majority of its time with those instead of the user pages.

With your rep of 1,225 you are ranked something like 8,000th in the user list so are fairly low priority in Googlebot's eyes.

Jon Skeet has PR4, by the way ;)

EDIT based on comments: No, Google's indexing of a page will not depend directly on their "reputation" since of course a web search algorithm has no concept of Stack Overflow rankings.

However, users with a higher rep on SO will inevitably have asked/answered more questions, so there will be more links to their profile page, giving Googlebot more inclination to check out their user page and possibly index it.

So a user with roughly the same rep may have more questions/answers, or asked/answered more popular questions. Or the user page could have more links to it from other sources (e.g. their personal blog).

In short, there are many, many factors why one user page may be indexed and another not.

share|improve this answer
    
If you read my question I said about PR "...the only exceptions seem to be the users in page 1..." Jon Skeet is the 1st user in page 1. And do Google read my position in teh user list? –  Marco Demaio Aug 25 '10 at 14:40
    
Moreover the reputation does not seem to affect indexing this guy [stackoverflow.com/users/348350/pieter] has got now less reputation than me (just few points) but hhis page is indexed, try search for his page stackoverflow.com/users/348350/pieter on Google –  Marco Demaio Aug 25 '10 at 14:57
    
@Marco: I added some more details to my answer. (Also, the Jon Skeet thing was a joke.) –  DisgruntledGoat Aug 26 '10 at 16:34
    
+1 it's an intersting point when you say: "Or the user page could have more links to it from other sources" Thanks for following up. Actually I did test that too using Yahoo site explorer to see for instance if "stackoverflow.com/users/348350/pieter" had inlinks but no inlinks are shown. (Well I know Google might have found inlink that Yahoo did not, unfortunately Google does not show anymore the inlinks to a website unless you can add it in webmaster tools). –  Marco Demaio Aug 26 '10 at 16:42
    
I would not be at all surprised to learn that Google tweaked their algorithms to better "understand" Stack Exchange sites. If you were building the world's best search engine, wouldn't you write custom code to handle Wordpress, d –  Hugh Brackett Nov 6 '11 at 1:18
show 1 more comment

Marco: Your user page only has 5 words on it (really only 4 since "a" is a stop word) the rest is an autogenerated user page. If your goal is to organize the world's information, how useful is such a page?

I checked several of the "page one" users and all had added a significant amount of information to their user pages, as did the other example you gave. Perhaps you should add a few paragraphs about yourself? Without that, your user page is nothing but a page full of (mostly) internal links.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 Very interesting point, let me try it out. I'll update you, thanks! –  Marco Demaio Oct 18 '10 at 18:59
    
I did not forget, I'm still waiting to see something, I made teh msiatkle to test changing my SO name and the service does not let me change it again before one month, I will change it back in 5 days. Anyway this would something to investigate about too, I wonder why they don't let us change user name back. –  Marco Demaio Nov 8 '10 at 17:44
    
It's been a while since I made the changes you suggested, but my user page si still a 'No PageRank Information available' in Google toolbar. I'm clueless. –  Marco Demaio Jan 30 '11 at 15:55
    
Are there any inbound links to your profile? For example, do you have a blog that has a link to your SO profile? Google pays a lot of attention to what links to what. The rank of the page the links come from has a strong influence. –  Hugh Brackett Nov 6 '11 at 1:11
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.