Saturday, November 17, 2007

In a bitter twist of irony, PayPerPost laughably cries censorship against Google

Jason Calacanis posted earlier that Google has decided to drop PayPerPost "posties" bloggers page rankings down to zero.

Explained via their site, a Page Ranking is:


PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at considerably more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; for example, it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important." Using these and other factors, Google provides its views on pages' relative importance.

Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don't match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search. Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines dozens of aspects of the page's content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it's a good match for your query.


So what they're saying is that if what you search for isn't what you wanted turning up in the search results, we have the right to make it good. Makes sense.

Two things stand out to me from their definition:

1. The "uniquely democratic nature of the web" is not something that, for those of us who've taught the history of the internet and dialed in to (and programmed!) BSSes back in the day, involved paying people to create posts in favor of a client. The inherent nature of the beast is honesty, not chedda. The word "purity" is one reason why splogs and PPP bloggers are being singled out.

2. Let's go back to basics and ask "What makes search successful?" Relevancy. This is discussed in the last paragraph that clearly states that they examine "dozens of aspects of the page's content to determine if it's a good match for your query. "

It's no secret that Google's business will suffer if their search results blow. And they have a very clear policy as to what constitutes a splog. As Loren Feldman appropriately points out, thatGoogle is a business. And as a business they can do, for the most part, whatever the hell they want -- especially if they deem it's not what's best for the consumer.

In this case, they've decided that the PPP model is junking up their business. And as I've said before, I agree -- which is why I find it comically ironic that the CEO of PPP is asking congress to step in and stop this pseudo "censorship", when in reality PPP has issues of their own on censoring bloggers.

Side note: I swear that when I clicked through Jason's link I thought the PPP blog was for "sensitive toothpaste" before reading a few paragraphs of content. In Stewie's sarcastic voice, my first thought was "Yeah...You might want to cut down on the ads".

The bottom line is that Google is a business, and they can choose to omit you if they decide your business is screwing with theirs.


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