Stupid Google and Microsoft

Can someone explain to me why, all of a sudden, when you search Google for “jd harper” I’m no longer the top result?

Same for live.com.

Yahoo still has me at the top–for now at least.

Likewise for one of my most-googled posts, about an obscure error code for Cygwin. Searching for “proc magic mismatch detected” on Microsoft’s Live.com and on Google used to give you my guide to fixing the problem. Yahoo still does.

Could it be that (until just a minute ago) my home page at http://www.jdharper.com/ used PHP to redirect to http://www.jdharper.com/wordpress/ ? I changed it to do that when I was setting up my test blog for the Sandbox competition because my previous htaccess file was screwing up my subdomain setup. Was that a mistake, search-engine-wise?

I hate how the big search engines are so inaccessible to web developers. Visiting my account on the Google Webmaster page tells me that my page is in the Google index, but it doesn’t tell me why I’m suddenly no longer in the top search results like I used to be. It took me two months to get into the Google rankings at all, and it ticks me off that I’m suddenly back to next-to-nothing.

I mean, I’m doing everything I can to play nice with the search engines. I’ve even installed a plug-in that automatically updates a site map so the search engines can find all of my pages. But now they’ve both betrayed me here, without even letting me know what the problem is.

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