I have a couple of questions about things I've noticed about Google. I hope some of the more experienced folks can help out with this.
1. I have a backlink from a .gov site. how do i get google to notice it?
2. when i do a site:MYSITE search on google, i see a lot of my pages indexed by tags. this means the same content appears on the list several times. Is this something i need to take action about or will Google just sort it out?
(could this also be a reason for a significant drop in ranking?)
thanks in advance for your help.
Let me try to answer your questions. I'm no SEO expert in any way, just speaking my opinion (and it could be wrong).
1. It should be noticed by Google by now. But, if you want Google to notice something (and fast), then you must make a good link to it. Link to your link.
I don't think ping service is effective anymore, since it used to be heavily abused.
2. I personally prefer to have my homepage, pages, and posts ONLY to get indexed, but it may not be suitable for all cases.
Can't answer for sure if that's the reason for the drop in ranking, but that's possible.
Since you allow your category/tag pages to be indexed then you should build links to your category/tag pages too (deep linking).