It does no good to publish a paper if nobody knows about it. When I published an original research paper on my blog, one of the concerns that even supportive onlookers raised was, “Will people be able to find this paper?”
The answer is, “Yes.”
If someone is looking for distal leg motor neurons of slipper lobsters in Google Scholar, they should see something like this in their results:
My self-published paper is second from the top.
Google Scholar latched on to the PDF of the paper I created and uploaded on my university website. This also answers another question I was asked, “Why bother making a PDF at all, if you’re posting it on your blog?” Because the blog post isn’t showing up in this search engine, but the PDF is. And that only took about a week, tops. It might have been even less time.
Some will no doubt see this as a flaw in Google Scholar. I sympathize. I’m ambivalent about this paper showing up so readily in the search results. Good for me, obviously, but definitely reminds people that you always have to keep your wits about you with any resource. It may well be that Google Scholar will end up changing its algorithms to exclude papers like mine that explicitly advertise themselves as “not peer reviewed.”
Update, 9 December 2013: Found a “How to” for getting your self-published papers indexed in Google Scholar.
The distal leg motor neurons of slipper lobsters, Ibacus spp. (Decapoda, Scyllaridae)
Why I published a paper on my blog instead of a journal
DIY typesetting and science publishing
I thought Google was trying not to be evil
How to game Google Scholar
Inclusion guidelines for webmasters