Tuesday, May 20, 2003


Recently Google acquired Blogger, a leading blog hosting service; and then Google's Chief Executive, Eric Schmidt, made a pronouncement that sent an indefinable chill down my spine. Google, he said, was to launch in the near future a unique service for searching out web logs. I was unsure as to what that would mean in real terms and I was not alone.

The speculations are rife, especially in view of Google's handling of the Usenet situation in 2001. After Google acquired Usenet groups from Deja.com an exclusive interface was attributed and they were removed from the standard search results. It is said that after the initial birthing pains Usenet devotees applauded the new interface. I wouldn't know since I don't use Usenet, and therein lays my point. I'm no uber geek and I'm willing to wager that most internet users aren't either. Many are simply unaware of the medium, a situation exacerbated by it's segregation. If web logs go the way of the Usenet groups how likely is it that new users will be introduced to this form of publishing? The internet is still, happily, a free for all. There are no real hand books on how to best make use of it; and often the easiest way to learn something new is by tripping over it.

How did we come to this pretty pass? In a word, 'noise'. Search engine purists are sick of all the blog related noise and the declining quality of content. It's the classic case of the mouse that roared; all those irritatingly inept web loggers posting epistles to their cats and the men that did 'em wrong have drawn the ire of those who feel that they have a more legitimate right to net elbow room.

'Commercial websites believe scoring high placements in search-engine results is so crucial for generating traffic that many are willing to pay top dollar to sponsor keywords or hire "positioning" consultants to secure a good ranking.

Then there are bloggers. With no deliberate effort, many dedicated weblog publishers are finding their blogs rank high on search results for topics that, oftentimes, they claim to know practically nothing about.'

Search Results Clogged by Blogs

Are you kidding me Ms Glasner, no deliberate effort? Dear Heart I assure you that it is not at all easy for a mere web logger to achieve high search engine results; nor do they ensure heavy traffic. Unless the author holds some celebrity, or has access to deep pockets; it requires ingenuity, sleepless nights, determination and let's face it, a willingness to cyber-whore oneself to persons who one would normally never greet let alone invite over for dinner; all in the name of generating the ever necessary hits. Besides, take a gander at the evening news, are the opinions of those so-called experts more substantive than the typical blog commentator? She continues:

'Fredrick Marckini, CEO of iProspect, a service that helps site operators improve search-engine rankings, says that companies often don't realize that they're competing for placement not only with traditional rivals but with anyone who posts online.

"The Web is absolutely the great equalizer," he said. "Good content rises to the top on the Internet. It doesn't matter if the medium is a blog or a corporate Web page."

Marckini said many corporate websites do not generate as much traffic from search-engine queries as they could because they don't maintain static URLs for internal pages. This prevents search-engine crawlers from indexing those pages and including them in query results.'

What it all comes down to is this, that web loggers are being censured for becoming too successful at exploiting mechanisms they didn't create, and remember; one man's prattle is another's informed viewpoint.

For further discourse on the subject see the following:


How to fix blog noise problem

5 Ninjas, 1 Kitten and a Fifth of Vodka!