I’d wager that most of this blog’s regular readers fall into two main categories. The first group is those who know me IRL and like to see me make an ass of myself. Lately that has been happening online with a keyboard much more frequently than late at night with a debit card. Probably not as funny, but they have the convenience of seeing it whenever they want. It’s a trade off.
The other group is made up of other people who are part of the blogosphere and, like the first group, like to see me make an ass of myself. I see a pattern developing here. Based on what I’ve seen and read on their sites, a large majority of these people are in it solely for the fame and glory of blogging. They can actually write, and they aren’t as concerned with the piles of nickels and pennies that can be piled up slowly by spending countless hours working on their layout, optimizing for search engines, reading message boards about search engines, and on and on.
So for those people who aren’t keeping up with the technical end so much, I’ll give you the quick and dirty version of what’s been happening with Google over the last few months. Whether you actually care or not, this is going to affect you eventually.
* A site’s Google’s PageRank (site relevancy) is influenced by links from other sites
* Naturally, this created a market for links, and people bought links from other sites to boost the PageRank of their site
* Google didn’t like this and is now penalizing link sellers who did not report paid links.
* Some people will stop selling links. Some people will sell links and not get caught. Other people who have never sold links will be wrongly penalized.
* All of these people could become angry.
I’ve said before and I’ll say it again–creating good, original content is your best strategy in the long run. You can game the system for a little while, but remember that the search engine belongs to them–they make the rules of the game.
For those who don’t like Google’s latest tactics, your choices are pretty simple. You can play Google’s game by their rules, you can play Google’s game by your own rules, or you can support a different search engine whose rules you like better. My official stance is that of Switzerland. Although unofficially….
My guess is that we are about to see several new web ranking systems that do not belong to Google. They’ve basically rendered PageRank useless. Don’t be shocked if some big players in the game jump ship from Google and start using their influence with their users to thwart Google’s current dominance.