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Google's Fight To Keep Search A Secret


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#1 cre8pc

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 08:57 PM

A little push back from Google...

The New York Times fired the first salvo--at least this week--suggesting in an editorial Wednesday that "the potential impact of Google's algorithm on the Internet economy is such that it is worth exploring ways to ensure that the editorial policy guiding Google's tweaks is solely intended to improve the quality of the results and not to help Google's other businesses." That was quickly followed by an opinion piece in The Financial Times credited to Google's Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience, defending Google's need to keep that formula secret because "if search engines were forced to disclose their algorithms and not just the signals they use, or, worse, if they had to use a standardized algorithm, spammers would certainly use that knowledge to game the system, making the results suspect."


Source of article

#2 glyn

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 02:36 AM

Open source algo's there's a crazy idea. But I think there is a geniune fear that the sheer size of Google is risking a degree of control that authorities like to feel they have, even if they don't. I think that this is what the debate is really about, it's about Google being given invitations to prove that they really are being transparent with their tech and with how they serve results.

It's the same opportunity that has been given to social media platforms as well...which have largely gone ingnored.

It's an opportunity for business to come to terms with the fact that they, for the first time, find themselves in the possession of an unprecendented amount of personal and user interaction based data.

In the case of a local authority loosing data or causing data corruption, or dissemination, this is usually caught and monitored, I have issues with whether the same kinds of checks are made public. Unfortunately history shows that the bigger the business it seems the bigger the unlikelyhood.

Glyn.

#3 jonbey

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 06:08 AM

Google does an amazing job at keeping the spammers at bay. Let it continue.

#4 bwelford

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 10:32 AM

I still believe Google created the problem. They had not thought through the implications of telling everyone that they were using the PageRank concept. They should have kept that secret.

I think Google should abandon the PageRank concept and do that very publicly. Take away this crazy notion that links count. They have other ways within their massive data banks to implement other concepts like authority rank. However they do not need to reveal any part of their approach. Let the quality of the results that searchers see be the key parameter of performance.

#5 jonbey

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 05:25 PM

But, surely in a way they have already done that. A link on a popular site brings traffic as well as PR. A link on a pointless free for all directory or free blog is worthless anyway.

The problem is not Google, it is all the dumb kids spamming that URLs everywhere. They wont stop just because of a pagerank change. They probably cannot get their sites listed in Google in the first instance.

#6 glyn

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:07 AM

"A link on a pointless free for all directory or free blog is worthless anyway. "

Yes, but that's a dangerous position John, because it severely limits the ability of fresh news to breakthrough the main providers. It's a kind of censorship.

#7 AbleReach

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 04:16 PM

"A link on a pointless free for all directory or free blog is worthless anyway. "

Yes, but that's a dangerous position John, because it severely limits the ability of fresh news to breakthrough the main providers. It's a kind of censorship.

Hopefully, not too bad of censorship.

I think it's OK to trust established hubs more than newbies. That gets tricky where an upstart has the mechanisms of an established hub because of mimicry via SEO - eg incoming links placed (paid for) on other established hubs, and other links placed on sites that could belong to readers.

I appreciate that Google tries to keep track of paid vs natural linking. Their fiddling with SERPs is crazymaking to web marketers, but this link-related thing they've created can be gamed, so they need some checks and balances to try and mediate the importance of what's been jacked up to *look* like it's got more heft than it really does. Google has to keep some things to itself, to slow down those who want to game the system.

Social media can be a real thorn in the side for mimic-oriented SEO. When real people with real relationships are involved, discernment goes up and the importance of personal (real person) opinion sidesteps Search results. Since Social Media, if I'm hunting for a term I'll go to Search, but if I want to know what is trustworthy I'll combine that with shaking a few trees in my contact pool.

For instance, I set a hard and fast goal for myself to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by the time I have another birthday. Any search I do for [how many calories in cheesecake] (just kidding) is going to lead to well-monetized sites with a page for that keyphrase - usually lots of content in a database, lots of ads and programs to sign up for, often low on depth and insight. If I ask the right group of real people on Social Media, they'll have tips, personal recipes, alternative foods that may hit the spot, a cooking site they like - much more depth and insight, and they'll sometimes check back to see how I did. You can't SEO that. You can't automate that. You can't mimic it, or automagically create a personal network that works. And you can't google that -- in that context, both mimic-oriented SEO and Google's veil of secrecy are superfluous.

Google (and SEOs) have learned to live in a world that lives and breathes depending on Google's algos. That world has management issues, and things outside of their/our control are changing - so does any Social Media application. Such is life.

#8 Ron Carnell

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:54 PM

The New York Times fired the first salvo--at least this week--suggesting in an editorial Wednesday that "the potential impact of Google's algorithm on the Internet economy is such that it is worth exploring ways to ensure that the editorial policy guiding Google's tweaks is solely intended to improve the quality of the results and not to help Google's other businesses."

And exactly why shouldn't Google, or any other for-profit company, try to help its other businesses? Sounds to me like there's a few unspoken assumptions that haven't been examined, let alone substantiated.

And you can't google that . . .

Actually, Elizabeth, you probably can. Unless, of course, your question and the answers that follow were posted behind closed doors? Equally important, the people who find your on-line conversation through a search engine won't have to wait -- as you certainly did -- to get the answers. :D

#9 AbleReach

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:38 PM

Actually, Elizabeth, you probably can. Unless, of course, your question and the answers that follow were posted behind closed doors? Equally important, the people who find your on-line conversation through a search engine won't have to wait -- as you certainly did -- to get the answers.

Actually, you can't. Some Social Media profiles aren't public, and some conversations started on non-public Social Media profiles move to pms, chat, emails or the phone.

Trust me, I can haz googling. :angel:

#10 Ron Carnell

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 08:42 PM

That's what I meant by "behind closed doors," Elizabeth. If all of your friends are private ones, obviously Google can't (or won't) follow you. I envy you that kind of private network, where all of your questions can be best answered by people you already know. I usually have to ask most of my questions publicly. Sorta like this.

#11 AbleReach

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 10:43 PM

Ron, you're a known entity to me - a different kettle-o-fish than what I'd run into if googling for "the" answer somewhere. "Ron" value is different than a google-able value, be it a spiderable forum like this one, or a private message, or your response to my last post on this thread. Google can't do "Ron" value. Learning what I might be able to expect from "Ron" value and where to find it was completely up to me, over time.

Being OK with knowing and being known by circles of real people, in various formats (?) (venues?) is something that can be helped along by Google -- eg, I know I can Search for [Ron Carnell poems] and find about some of the rest of you -- but it's not exactly in Google's control. Long tail terms used by real people + a real or at least trackable/findable identity + being conversational ---> the possibility of developing a network.

#12 glyn

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 02:04 AM

AbleReach - Yes, it's why Google did Universal Search.

"and exactly why shouldn't Google, or any other for-profit company, try to help its other businesses? Sounds to me like there's a few unspoken assumptions that haven't been examined, let alone substantiated."

Ron, you're right Google can do what it likes, and they are completely entitled to boost other channels of their business...I would, and so would you.

It's an interesting point and I think what we are seing played out is a kind of cat and mouse game at the moment. The fact is that governments are uncomfortable with the amount of information being amassed and privacy concerns of how that data is used is getting more and more heightened, it's not just Google, see what happened to Facebook yesterday with a campaign run by Coca Cola that saw a porn star reference being published on the wall of a youngster.

Frankly 90% of my exchanges about webmarketing come from private no accessible forums, where Google can't go. Not because I'm paranoid, but because Google's algo is easy to ranked into, it's Bing's that the hard one.



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