ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Here's why Google cannot find ACC's home page

The Google search results
Searching Google for "Bhutan Anti-Corruption Commission", one would expect ACC's home page ( or to be the top result. But it's not. The first result is a page from the National Assembly of Bhutan. The second is a PDF file from The next three are again pages from the ACC's website, but they are not the website's home page.

Why is Google having difficulty with returning the "correct" result? Apparently, the ACC webmasters did not make it easy for Google to understand what ACC's home page is about. For example, if you look at the tab at the top, you can read the page's title. In the case of ACC's home page, the title is | "If you care, you will dare"

Unhelpful title (see top)
Apart from having the wrong web address (if I happen to visit, the title doesn't really help Google to understand what this page is about. A better title would be something like
Bhutan Anti-Corruption Commission: Home Page
The big banner on the home page, which contains the name of the organization ("The Anti-Corruption Commission of Bhutan"), is also unhelpful from the search engine's point of view. It's an image, not text, and Google cannot read images. There is a way to tell the search engine what's written inside the image, but the webmasters did not use that feature.

Finally, Google does not like the idea of duplicate domains for the same website. Why do we need both and

"If you build it, they will come" is only partially true for websites. You need to build it, but you also need to make sure people can find you.