Ask Not What Google Can Do For You

I’d wager that most of this blog’s regular readers fall into two main categories. The first group is those who know me IRL and like to see me make an ass of myself. Lately that has been happening online with a keyboard much more frequently than late at night with a debit card. Probably not as funny, but they have the convenience of seeing it whenever they want. It’s a trade off.

The other group is made up of other people who are part of the blogosphere and, like the first group, like to see me make an ass of myself. I see a pattern developing here. Based on what I’ve seen and read on their sites, a large majority of these people are in it solely for the fame and glory of blogging. They can actually write, and they aren’t as concerned with the piles of nickels and pennies that can be piled up slowly by spending countless hours working on their layout, optimizing for search engines, reading message boards about search engines, and on and on.

So for those people who aren’t keeping up with the technical end so much, I’ll give you the quick and dirty version of what’s been happening with Google over the last few months. Whether you actually care or not, this is going to affect you eventually.

* A site’s Google’s PageRank (site relevancy) is influenced by links from other sites
* Naturally, this created a market for links, and people bought links from other sites to boost the PageRank of their site
* Google didn’t like this and is now penalizing link sellers who did not report paid links.
* Some people will stop selling links. Some people will sell links and not get caught. Other people who have never sold links will be wrongly penalized.
* All of these people could become angry.

I’ve said before and I’ll say it again–creating good, original content is your best strategy in the long run. You can game the system for a little while, but remember that the search engine belongs to them–they make the rules of the game.

For those who don’t like Google’s latest tactics, your choices are pretty simple. You can play Google’s game by their rules, you can play Google’s game by your own rules, or you can support a different search engine whose rules you like better. My official stance is that of Switzerland. Although unofficially….

My guess is that we are about to see several new web ranking systems that do not belong to Google. They’ve basically rendered PageRank useless. Don’t be shocked if some big players in the game jump ship from Google and start using their influence with their users to thwart Google’s current dominance.

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9 Replies to “Ask Not What Google Can Do For You”

  1. I think it’s pretty obvious where I stand on this issue… I just wanted to say thanks for the link, and tell you that you have a great blog here!

    BTW… is really a fantastic SE and anyone who’s anyone is using it now. So if you want to be cool… You’ll use, that’s A…S…

    It’s not your father’s search engine!

    I’m just sayin’…

  2. JS,
    Yeah, you leave no room for doubt in your stance…

    My biggest problem with the whole situation is that G had to have known that they were creating a market for link selling. It’s almost as if they laid a trap in order to dust some SEO people.

    Is Google the new Microsoft?

    It is starting to look that way.

  3. Google is the largest link selling agent on the web! They have no problem selling links… As long as the links are being sold via Adsense!

    Google has turned their back on those who made them in order to fill their coffers. I mean… I have no problem with Google turning a profit… Why do they have a problem with me turning a profit?

  4. I think it’s a lot like the mob…if you want to make money in their neighborhood…

    By the way, JS did not pay me for the link.


  5. Ever heard of netscape, or infoseek? MS is gunning hard for G, I heard Balmer speak on this at a conference a couple of weeks ago, they are definitley going to get into the search and advertising space. Not that I am looking forward to MS in this area, but watch out for a war. The cool people will end up on somebody else like Y or the next flavor of the year.

  6. Wars and competition between the big guys always benefit the rest of us (little guys). That’s one reason I’m not overly upset by what G’s doing now.

    If they’d let everyone continue on their merry way, or (even worse) not disclosed that they were penalizing for link buying/selling they’d have continued their power grab with very little noise.

    At least now some people are paying attention. I do wish there was a formidable Adsense competitor with higher payouts. I’m sure it’s coming.

    On getting caught buying and selling–if you can’t figure out (conclusively) if a site is selling links, G’s crawler probably can’t either. We’re still waaaay better at fuzzy logic than computers are, at least for now.

  7. I generally just read it to find out important stuff to G like “IRL,” as I don’t have very many other nerdy friends.

  8. …I don’t have very many other nerdy friends.

    It’s funny that you can remove the word “nerdy” and it still makes total sense.

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