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Google and bloggers, pro et contra

 
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Pro:
Joe Gregorio: Heisenberg + Google
"The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that you can't measure a thing without changing it. What google does is measure the web.
This topic came up obliquely at the RTP bloggers lunch yesterday. The topic turned to the fact that Google loves bloggers, ranks us highly and that eventually they would tune their ranking parameters to put us bloggers back down further on the list where we belong.
Since the blogger lunch I have mulled this idea of Google changing it's ranking system to de-rate bloggers. Should Google change to accomodate the web, or should the web change to accomodate Google?
...
So no, Google shouldn't change. The web needs to change to accomodate Google. Link, link to, be authoratitive on a subject, keep current and offer information others want and need and you'll succeed in Google's eyes. Let page-rank stand as the carrot and the stick of good web behaviour."
Contra:
Andrew Orlowski: Anti-war slogan coined, repurposed and Googlewashed... in 42 days
"... Although it took millions of people around the world to compel the Gray Lady to describe the anti-war movement as a "Second Superpower", it took only a handful of webloggers to spin the alternative meaning to manufacture sufficient PageRank™ to flood Google with Moore's alternative, neutered definition.
Indeed, if you were wearing your Google-goggles, and the search engine was your primary view of the world, you would have a hard time believing that the phrase "Second Superpower" ever meant anything else.
To all intents and purposes, the original meaning has been erased. Obliterated, in just seven weeks.
You're especially susceptible to this if you subscribe to the view that Google's PageRank™ is "inherently democratic," which is how Google, Inc. describes it."
 
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Google's PageRank´┐Ż is "inherently democratic," which is how Google, Inc. describes it."

This seems a lot like false advertising.
 
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i still prefer it to human generated lists like Yahoo...everyone is supposed to boo...that use humans to determine if a site is worth listing.
 
Mapraputa Is
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Who are these humans? How many of them are making decisions? Google can claim that its rating is more "democratic" because it is calculated based on number of links people (independed from Google) made to a given site.
Another aspect, which algorithm can be bribed easier, Yahoo or Google?
The problem is that the nature of link distribution isn't particularly democratic.
Small worlds in a big web (A column for The Independent, London):
"... One of the things Huberman noticed was that the distribution of Web pages, and links in Web pages, follows something called the power law. The Web has a few very large sites, and a huge number of very small ones. The power law describes a lot of things -- the distribution of wealth in the world is one, I think -- where there are a very few Bill-Gates-sized billionaires and lots and lots of very poor people.
Which, translated from physicist, means, even if you are born in a land of the free, you are very unlikely to become rich."
[ April 16, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Mapraputa Is
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Less pessimistic paper:
Winners don't take all: Characterizing the competition for links on the web
Chris Gulker's comment:
"Just came across an interesting 'Power Law' paper, published by a team at NEC, which offers some thought-provoking data: "NEC researchers discovered that the degree of "rich get richer" or "winners take all" behavior varies in different categories and may be significantly less than previously thought." The key is competitiveness: in very competitive scenarios (NEC looked at ecommerce sites) 'preferential attachment' resulted in distributions that were very close to power law. But, in less competitive environments, the distributions moved steadily away from power law. In fact, deviation from power-law distribution becomes an index for competitiveness.
http://radio.weblogs.com/0114726/2003/02/05.html#a268
[ April 16, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
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Originally posted by Randall Twede:
i still prefer it to human generated lists like Yahoo...


But sometime Yahoo does not return any result at all, while at the same time google has 20-25 pages to show.
 
Mapraputa Is
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People do not pay attention to this thread, which is sad.
I believe there is something important behind all this machinery.


The culture of blogspace is evolving in near-realtime. Last week, a new mutation brought backlinks into a more prominent role. At Disenchanted, inbound links were automatically reflected outward. Each article grew a tail of backlinks that pointed to pages referring back to it. Suddenly a new kind of feedback loop was created. With a twist of the lens, conversations that had been diffuse and indirect came sharply into focus. Almost immediately the meme replicated.
Variants appeared at DECAFBAD and diveintomark. It's hard to avoid the sense that there's some biological force at work here. When blogspace told me to follow that hunch, I listened.
Jon Udell: Blogspace Under the Microscope


When I was in high school, in biology class we were given a question on evolution theory. We had to explain phenomenon of "altruistic behavior" among animals. One example, in flocks of birds there are birds that warn everybody when they see a predator. These birds are often first to be killed, so the question is how can these genes be kept in population if natural selection works against them. The answer was that species survive as a whole, as species, not on individual level. I would love to learn more details, but the idea is interesting even in this vague wording.
Back to bloggers and Google, did anybody investigate the effect of site A adding a link to site B? When site A is a star and site B is unknown, the reversed situation, when they have about the same rank... Do sites have better chances to "survive" individually or as a community?
[ April 17, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
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I have had some experience in this. I created a site as a hobby of mine - I didn't even submit it to any search engines. So it didn't even figure on google. Then, out of the blue, DMOZ listed it in it's directory. Overnight, my site became the 4th most popular on google on that topic! And that has a funny side effect - other websites from russia to france started linking to my site, increasing my page rank even more! That forced me to actually add content to my site...
 
Mapraputa Is
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Regarding Google, here are some explanations...
The technology behind Google's great results
Building upon the breakthrough work of B. F. Skinner, Page and Brin reasoned that low cost pigeon clusters (PCs) could be used to compute the relative value of web pages faster than human editors or machine-based algorithms. And while Google has dozens of engineers working to improve every aspect of our service on a daily basis, PigeonRank continues to provide the basis for all of our web search tools.

Why Google's patented PigeonRank™ works so well
PigeonRank's success relies primarily on the superior trainability of the domestic pigeon (Columba livia) and its unique capacity to recognize objects regardless of spatial orientation. The common gray pigeon can easily distinguish among items displaying only the minutest differences, an ability that enables it to select relevant web sites from among thousands of similar pages.
Where does Google get its pigeons? Some special breeding lab?
Google uses only low-cost, off-the-street pigeons for its clusters. Gathered from city parks and plazas by Google's pack of more than 50 Phds (Pigeon-harvesting dogs), the pigeons are given a quick orientation on web site relevance and assigned to an appropriate data coop.
 
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