Archives » January 2nd, 2004

January 2, 2004

Google noise

Another article about how weblogs are over-represented in Google’s search ranking. So many of the articles that have come before on this topic have said that blogs are nothing but noise, polluting the search results. They claim blogs are edging out pages that legitimately have information on the topic at hand and filling the top spots with blog posts that are only tangentially related. These articles invariably blame blog writers for causing the pollution and Google for not doing anything to clear it away.

But this latest article shifts the blame in a new and exciting direction: towards the creators of the “legitimate” pages that are getting bumped down. The idea is not to vilify blog writers for playing by the rules and producing pages that Google loves, but rather to get after the more conventional sites, the ones people claim should be at the top of the rankings, to also play by the rules. This will create an even playing field where blogs will take their place as secondary sources of information.

Some of the rules that need to be followed, according to the author, are:

  • Frequent updates to content and pages
  • Carefully organized content structure
  • Important text wrapped in header elements
  • Meaningful page titles and filenames

Those qualities are the nectar that Google seeks out. And many weblogs have all of those. Many “static” pages don’t, but that’s nobody’s fault but the creator of that page.

The first one on the list may not always be realistic; a lot of pages just need to be written once and then left alone. But the other three can be applied to any page, and are certainly within the grasp of anyone who bothers to learn a little bit about HTML.

So don’t blame the people who understand the system for triumphing over those who don’t. If everyone started using better HTML and site structure, there’s no doubt we’d see blogs showing up a little lower in search results.

Sir Tim

Here’s another one of those stories that everybody is pointing to, so it’ll be surprising if you haven’t read it somewhere else: Sir Tim.

Filler

Okay, so I don’t really have anything to write, and my brain is a little too fritzed to put anything together, but I want to get the ball rolling on 2004 archives, so I’ve got to post something.


New Years’ Cousins!