There has been quite a commotion in the SEO world lately. Google’s as much feared as anticipated dance is late, and Google’s test servers aren’t doing what SEO’s have grown used to. There are zillions of discussions going on about this at forums such as SEOchat.com and WebmasterWorld.com.
Then, suddenly, an explanation is offered. An explanation that I personally don’t believe in, but that has gotten the blogosphere to grab for their keyboards. Andrew Orlowski writes an article in The Register titled Google to fix blog noise problem with tidbits like this:
”It isn’t clear if weblogs will be removed from the main search results, but precedent suggests they will be. After Google acquired Usenet groups from Deja.com, it developed a unique user interface and a refined search engine, and removed the groups from the main index. After a sticky start, Usenet veterans welcomed the new interface. Google recently acquired Blogger, and sources suggest this is the most likely option.”] (Quote from Orlowski’s article that is very much based on [länk1156:an article in Yahoo! News from May fifth.)
Bloggers bite back
”Again. If Google didn’t find that blogs improved the results (and I don’t know, I would assume they test these things, like, constantly), do you suppose they’d increase the frequency at which they crawl them, or decrease it? Yes, that’s what I think.”
(Quote from Evan Williams’s blog evhead.com)
Even if part of my job is to make sure a bunch of sites makes it, if not to the top position, at least within the top ten entries of a Google search, I am leaning heavily toward Evan Williams’ belief. It’s all in the way Google indexes a page. We, the bloggers, tend to link with the right keywords when linking. Most of the time we would do just what I have done on this page. I’m linking to things with accurate keywords. This method of linking doesn’t make Google spit out this page when searching for Darrin Ward, Andrew Orlowski or Evan Williams, but rather the pages that we linked to with these names. So in fact, it helps Google find the right page. Google likes this. It’s what the Google search algorithm is built around.
Then again. If had been in a more malicious mood, I could place a link to Orlowski’s article around the words loads of crap that would result in… yeah, you’ve got it.
This last fact, that bloggers tend to build links around opinion might be the biggest threat to the Big Bucks Business way of thinking of the web and search engines, and this just could make Google consider a sifting of weblogs. Ole Eichhorn discusses this fact in a very insightful article titled Google and Blogs:
Wrapping up, here are my conclusions:
- Google might want to exclude blogs from search results.
- Google would definitely want to continue presenting blogs’ information, segregated into a different search domain.
- Google could improve the blog searching experience by leveraging attributes of the blogs themselves, such as weblogs.com, RSS feeds, comments, and trackbacks, and by applying their technique of using links to categorize content.
Those are my thoughts, I’m sure you’ll have others. I’ll search for them
(Quote from Ole Eichhorn’s article Google and Blogs
Ole rather thinks that a Google Blog tab would be a blessing for blogs. I disagree with this, but there is definitely something going on. And it could just be Google handling the blogs in a new, different way.
So what about the SEO world?
So how does the SEO world feel about all this? It remains to be answered, but i just opened up a new thread about this at seochat.com about this. Let’s see what the search engine experts have to say (if they can turn away from watching their backlinks change on www-sj.google.com and www-fi.google.com).
Update: They didn’t have the time. At WebmasterWorld.com however, there is a discussion about this and it’s consequences. Pretty interesting how people dread the blog format. I’ve always wondered why regular sites don’t do more of what blogs are doing. But there seems to be very closed doors between most commercial sites and their blogging cousins.
If blogs don’t belong, what does?
I’m not quite sure if anyone raised the question yet, but reading WebmasterWorld.com (with a lot of quite blog hostile comments, the question forms in my head. What sites are kosher to Google if blogs arenn’t?
Company sites? Sites from organisations? I think the answer is that we are asking the wrong question. Blogs might get a tab of their own on Google, like news sites already have, and still remain in the main index. Searches would be boring if they only contained what SEO’s working for e-merchants want’s us to find.