For those of you who don’t know what an algorithm has to the internet, I will explain in a moment. For those of you who do not know what a content farm or Google PageRank is, you will soon have your answer as well.
Google PageRank is a link analysis algorithm used by Google’s search engine. It assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of “measuring” its relative importance within the set. This is the mathematical equation that determines through relative content how high upon a Google search various websites will show up versus all the other millions of sites.
As with any system, over time people find a way to exploit it. In this case, people found out that they could exploit the original algorithm by producing content, most times not even logical, interesting, nor intelligent, just by including popular searched words. So many sites became havens for this type of content simply trying to gather as much traffic to their site as possible (thus the term “content farm”). Content farms are well-known for diluting the internet into a spammed paradise and make it very hard to search for reliable sources of information online.
Google recently changed this algorithm to combat these content farms. Sites such as Mahalo have already seen a dramatic drop in their site traffic and revenue. So significant is this drop, that they are instituting a 10% reduction in its workforce. Now, to the regular guy or gal out there effected in this drop…it surely was not your fault Google did this. I do not believe you should even blame Google. Perhaps, you shouldn’t blame anyone and just get on with your life at a non-spam outlet. To many people, Mahalo is the embodiment of a content farm, to others it is a source of information they enjoy. However, this is Google’s search. This is Google’s algorithm. If Google were to announce that they are taking all sites that mention the word “basketball” down 5 points in page rank, really what could we do about it. Goggle is powerful and Google is big, but they are not the only search engine out there.
On the other hand, Google should be commended for their efforts to provide proper content through their search engine. There are sure to be a few bumps and bruises as this new algorithm spreads, but what comes after hopefully will be a more accurate and effective search engine for all.
It will be a nice change (until the people find out again how to exploit this algorithm) to look upon a Google search and find decent information within the first few pages of a search. It will also be nice to see that the sites that are and have been pumping out accurate, intelligent information will finally begin to get the recognition.
It is strange how businesses are built upon exploiting the system and then go home crying to their mommies when the system changes itself to stop the exploitation. Perhaps, we all should be more concerned with accurate and intelligent content for all. If you are true to your work and purpose…then your assistance to the business world, the social world, your family world, the world as a whole will become vividly apparent to all around you.
Just a thought…
—— Erik Sudberg