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My Google, Why Have You Forsaken Me?
Internet search engine company Google says its latest algorithm update is aimed at downgrading the ranking of content farms such as demand media and associated content. It seems however that the small, independent site web site owners are the ones being hit hardest. Is this any surprise as such sites cannot afford to pay Google to diect traffic that way. The move reduces blogging to glorified social networking and drives unusual content to the margins of the web

My Google, Why Have You Forsaken Me?
by Ian R Thorpe
2010-02-26
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: internet, google, web, technology, science, contents, demand media, quality, enterttainment, medium, media, shopping, social, satire, humour, humor

Let's be clear, the headline is misleading, I have never felt tempted to deify Google. To me they have always been a bunch of nastry, nerdy little neo Nazis who were hellbent on world domination.

They have just taken another step towards the goal of being made Gods by public acclaim (as was Julius Ceasar) with the complicity of governments and regulatory bodies.

Here is how Web Pro News reports it:

As you probably know by now, Google has implemented a new algorithm change that the company says impacts 11.8% of their queries. While Google would not come out and say directly that the update is aimed at content farms, this is widely understood to be the case.

What Google did say, is: "This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as scientific research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on."

Google has referred to content farms in the past, as "sites with shallow or low-quality content," and also recently said, "attention has shifted to content farms".

Now, the first words that come to mind when you hear "content farm" are likely "Demand Media". It makes sense. Do a Google search for "content farm" and almost every result on the first page will mention the company.

Demand insists that it is not a content farm, but was quick to release a statement following Google's update.

WPN concluded, "Tell us what you think."

It is not often I use Boggart Blog for a serious opinion but today is an exception. This is the comment I left on the Web Pro News webmaster forum

If the informtion I am reading about the latest Google update and other comments coming from the Google World Domination Corp. are correct it seems they have completely dismissed the idea of the web as an enertainment medium. As long as the web is controlled by Google its purpose will be to exploit users.

They seem to regard 'science' (whatever they mean by that), useful information (price comparison sites?), social networking and shopping sites as useful while anybody trying to provide a bit of entertainment, post a controversial opinion or feature anything that a lot of people are not regularly searching on is included in 'shallow or low value content.'

I know the science lobby have been whining about 'junk science' on the web for a long time but there is no greater source of junk science than the science lobby themselves. Look at the complete fraud that was carbon driven global warming. Look at that idiotic waste of public money that is The Large Hadron Collider. Look at the obscence amounts of money thrown at gormless twats like Brian Cox who was recently blethering about eploring planets in neighbouring galaxies. The nearest galaxy you must remenber is 2.5 million light years distant.

Light travels at an estimated 186,000 miles per second. Our fastest rocket will do 30,000 miles per hour. That's a 67.5 million year journey to get to the closest galaxy. Poor Brian must have thought Red Dwarf was a documentary. There are no new propulsion technologies in sight and even if there were we would need to use as yet unknown materials to build a spacecraft capable of withstanding the stresses of travelling at anywhere near light speed so we're still looking at spending money on the utterly unfeasible.

What else do Google consider quality content?

Do we really all want to spend our time searching for helpful hints and timsesaving tip or reading up schoolkid history.

Are we going to allow ourselves to be coerced into living our lives online, buying everything we buy from internet businesses, doing our banking on a medium that is totally insecure and exposing our most private activities to an organisation thatr has shown many times it has nothing but contempt for the notion that its users are entitled to privacy?

I get the impression that Google's definition of 'quality content' is that which brings them the most revenue while the type of content they are seeking to marginalise is whatever threatens to take revenue from them (Demand Media etc.) or what is not aimed at selling stoff on behalf of people who are prepared to pay Google for their traffic.

Well it looks as if blogging is dead as anything but a small scale social activity. As for my own project, Greenteeth Multi Media, I can shift it to scribd.com or Demand Media who are big enough to take Google on.

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