Tuesday, October 1, 2002

Google Changes its Algorithm

Well, so much for talking about Google hacks. They just downgraded my weblog’s PageRank.  Personally, I think the two are related (FWIW, I thought it would be a good thing to make it easy to allow people to get RSS feeds off of Google News pages and add Google search to their site.  I guess not).  My traffic, subscriptions, and linkage has never been better.  Many community measures put my site in the top 15 weblogs.  Human intervention in the PageRank for my site is obviously (to me based on the data) what happened.  This is a warning to everyone else that likes Google:  make sure you don’t piss Google off or they will mess with you too.  [John Robb’s Radio Weblog]

Well, I’m not so sure. Dave had his name drop to four, and I noticed that mine has dropped out of the top 10 into the top 20. Rubbing salt in the wound for me?  My article about the importance of blogs came out this week in Law Technology News. I made a point in that article of saying that thanks to my blog I’m #8 when you search for “Rick” at Google. Well, that was true for over a month, but then last week it appears Google changed the way it ranks things.

Most upsetting? That s.o.b. Ranger Rick moved all the way to #2. A raccoon, fer crissakes.

I highly doubt that anyone at Google is individually dialing down page results. I do think that they are tweaking the ways the system responds to various indicators in an attempt to make the search results more reliable. It’s likely a broader response to weblogs to put them into perspective – while they are an extraordinarily useful when it comes to sharing information, they’re not the only tool on the Internet for disseminating info. And Google’s algorithms were increasingly favoring weblogs – the exclusion of other, potentially equally valuable sources.

My guess – this is just a welcome balancing act that attempts to achieve parity in search results. That is probably a good thing. (Not necessarily for my ego, mind you – but probably good for anyone using Google to search.)

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