Google Ain't All Bad


WMW has a nice read from Liane entitled "Search Engine Algorithms, Inbound Links, Website Rot ... and Webmaster Corruption" . Liane had had a bad day, couldn't get to sleep, and wrote this long piece from the heart. There is nothing mind numbingly new (she does not claim that it is mind numbingly new) but I enjoyed the read.

If my traffic ever dries up (again) ... I promise, I will not be slagging Google (or any other search engine) off as I once did. I "get it" now ... and am in awe of what they are all attempting to do.
Google has not gone mad, they are simply trying to reorganize so they can attempt to clean up the mess we created. Many guilty parties will suffer the consequences they have brought upon themselves. Unfortunately, it also means many innocent parties will suffer right along with them. It can't be avoided.

That's really all I was saying.


More Equitable Engine

What if a search engine really decided to be a humanitarian enterprise and attempt to give *everyone* a fighting chance in a very small target area (the size of a single page of results)?

A good way to do this, while maintaining over-all search quality, would be to implement somethign similiar to this (plz credit me if you use it):

  • Attempt to fit more than ten organic listings on a page; especially the 'viewable window'. Maybe by shortening the width to more like AdWords' and then having two columns of organic? Maybe by removing descriptions?
  • Provide no more than 3 or 4 current top10 listings in their current, generally static positions (esp for highly competitive terms)
  • For every thing after the top 3, randomize the sampling of the returned results so that position 5 would be any result from 5-10, position 6 random for 10-50, position 7 50-100, 8 100-200, 9 200-300, 10, 300-500.
  • Optionally allow the user to manually select "no random order" or even jumble up the results so it is unclear what a site's "rank" is

The point is, when results are randomized in this way -- ideally per query but it'd probably be ok if they were randomized just once a week -- users would get a far wider sampling of the Internet; not just from huge, established corporations that invest millions in backlinks and SEO. It would also give the struggling entrepeneur some leg room; even if they're only top10 for a day out of a year, if they are stuck in position 500 perpetually, that's a bonus for them.

Now i just wonder if hte Alexa WebSearch Platform would be capable of allowing some one to create such a system...

That was a superb post on

That was a superb post on Lianes part. Too bad she gave it away to a site that doesn't give back, the very thing she rants about at the beginning.


...but I wouldn't want to use that search engine myself. I'm going to a search engine because I want the most relevant, high quality results...I can find random junk on my own.

Building on your idea though...what if a search engine did have 2 to show "real" results...and another to the right that show a random sampling of "lesser" sites that are still in the topical neighborhood?

I think that might on occasion actually be a useful feature.

no knock

on Liane as she is a sweet and sincere contributor but this is classic Battered Webmaster Syndrome. I will love google no matter how many times they kick me in the pants. No good for anyone, webmasters need to start leaving the lovefest for their own sanity.

1. The webmaster believes that google screwups/lies are his/her fault.
2. The webmaster has an inability to place the responsibility for the SE screwups/lies elsewhere.
3. The webmaster fears for his/her liveliehood.
4. The webmaster has an irrational belief that google is omnipresent and omniscient.

Remedy: take back the web any way you can, your life depends on it. Hit the door and don't look back. I hate this crap, its just a freakin search engine.


It's a long, somewhat interesting read that's based upon flawed logic. Basically, it's a POS.

It is not the fault of the search engines that my site and hundreds of thousands of other deserving sites do not achieve the recognition they deserve. It is the fault of lazy and/or greedy and/or corrupt webmasters!

WTF?? Someone hold her hand.

hardball > I like your Battered Webmaster Syndrome, but I really think this is better represented by Stockholm syndrome. Liane is obviously willing to throw anyone to the wolves if she feels Google will stroke her a while.

You go

You go webprofessor! ;-o

Yeah, I linked to that rant and just might visit that place you guys call WMW to read it tomorrow.

I wonder what...

...will happen if - one day - Google has acquired enough side-businesses to stop doing internet searching. They would just take the search box off the home page and say: thank you all for the attention and the great times we had. I seriously believe they are going to do that some day, if only for a day.

Send a WAHmbulance

All that whining over not being able to be #1.

Well WHOOP DEE DOO, we can't all be #1, she should be lucky she made #4 or #5 and just shut her damn pie hole, cry baby.

If I'm in the top 10 I'm a happy camper, if you're not in the top 10, deal with it.

shut the fuck up

incredibill I take it you have you been an obnoxious twat all your life and we have only just got the presence of it since WMW was off line for over a week and you joined this site and a few others at the same time.

Liane is speaking from the heart and saying it exactly as it is which I respect in any person but for some reason you think she is whinning, WTF you do that on a daily basis, you rarely have a nice word for anyone or anything but we have to put up with YOU, for once why dont you respect other peoples point of view as you expect us to do with your posts....

WRT the above couple of posts..

..great thing about moderating at TW is that our users never overstep the bounds of common courtesy, or indeed are never frightened to call a spade a spade.

One only has to stand back and admire the words, as perhaps Shakespeare would have written them had he been posting to TW.

Didn't say

When did I say it all wasn't heartfelt?

Just those top 10 whines make me nuts, pet peeve, the rest of the article was very well done and I didn't complain about that. Just because I don't always rave about the upside doesn't mean it wasn't there, lot's of others alrady discussed that, I just tossed in my $0.02 on the part that bugged me, that's all.

Mick, did I ever say anything bad about you? I might be thinking it at the moment, it'll pass...

FWIW, I think Mick is right.....

FWIW, I think Mick is right.

IncrediBILL, you come over as a inveterate whiner, and to that, we can now add 'hypocrite' as well, I guess.

I have been thinking this for while and let it pass, but now it is clearly time for me to toss in my $0.02 on something that bugged me.

And Bills wrong quite often.

But I agree with him this time.
Hey guys, what you all doing reading WMW anyway. Thought it was all a bunch of crap? Blogs YES, Forums NO. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit - whine, whine, whine.

TW guidelines -- may be

TW guidelines -- may be worth checking out.

Go IncrediBill

It seems there are some sensitive people hanging out here... Does IncrediBill whine? I see him ripping a-holes all the time, but I don't recall him blaming others for his failures.


Praise first, then criticize

IncrediBill, I've enjoyed and appreciated a lot of your posts, but I have to agree with those who say you can come across as pretty negative. One of the first rules of good communication is to give praise first, then constructive criticism afterwards if necessary. You might want to give it a try, particularly since you say the rest of Liane's article was well-done.

And how this thread has been hijacked this far is beyond me...

I don't know

I can see where she comes from in a lot of her statements and admit I've felt the same way from time to time. However, it really does come across as a whiney piece blaming others for loss of rankings in the search engines.

I learned early on that in any business (which this is), that the last thing you want to do is blame others for shortfalls. Blaming other webmasters, surfers, or Google itself is going to do nothing positive for your business. It seems she is upset that other people have found more efficient and better ways to draw traffic than her. It's like the guy chopping wood with an axe complaining that his competitor just bought himself an electric saw.

I guess what I'm saying is that the Internet is a business and that if there is an opportunity to make money, people will take advantage of it. Is it fair that Starbucks can open up a store and destroy a local coffee shop that may make better coffee? Maybe not, but it's business. Is it fair that a company like Microsoft can take an idea from a small software developer and build it on their own more efficiently in days? No, but again, it's business.

Liane has her heart in the right place, but if this is what she does to make a living, she should treat it more like a business.

>Liane has her heart in the

>Liane has her heart in the right place, but if this is what she does to make a living, she should treat it more like a business.

That has been one of my biggest shortfalls on many fronts. After reading her post I totally agree with that. There is a case to be made for rising water lifts all boats, but that only goes so far. At some point you have to lower your risk profile and/or get more aggressive.

It is fine to express frustration (we do it all the time here) but if what you are doing is not working look for ways around it. If, for example, it is hard for a new site to compete look for ways to buy older sites, or create some sort of viral story that not only helps you in the SERPs, but also helps you away from them.

Also if you cant afford to buy links or advertise the market may be trying to tell you something about your business model - be it that it could use some fine tuning or that you need to work harder to build branding or that you came before the market is ready (or after it busted)...and that is perhaps why some competing sites are not well kept.

heart in the right place?

Sentimental rubbish. I suspect most of us are in it to put bread on the table and theres little room in business for whining and wingeing. Bills attitude is spot on and Aarons dead right, if it dont work, change it or you'll be out on your ear.


Since when do I whine? Maybe on the rare occassion a tender body part gets snared in a zipper or something, other than that, right or wrong I speak my mind and tell you exactly what I'm thinking, blunt and to the point.

If brutal honesty is whining, then I whine a lot.

I will admit "just shut her damn pie hole, cry baby" was probably a bit over the top but I was in a real foul mood when I said it, happens, so my apologies to Liane if she ever stumbles across this because she is nice and didn't deserve that level of harshness.

With that said, her premise of "deserving" to be in the top because of being newer/better may have some merit but then WHICH one of the 100 or 1,000 competing sites deserve to be in the top just because you're newer/better and then who decides?

For better or worse, Google has an algorithm that makes a decision based on authority and when you take that authority away from the other site, which may happen if you're really better and people dump the links to the old authority site and replace them with yours.

Then and only then [unless you game the system] will you get that spot.

However, ignoring Google you can go game the crap out of MSN easily, and Yahoo somewhat, so pick the low hanging fruit while it lasts and work with what's possible, that's my advice.

Of course as someone pointed out, I'm wrong now and then, but I'll tell you what, when I'm proved wrong or just overlooked something because I acted in haste at least I learn from it and move on. I've seen a LOT of people that refuse to admit when they fail and just keep going blindly down the same path. Wrong is never wrong unless you don't learn from the experience.

And to those that think I'm too negative, you forget I often play the Devil's advocate and when everyone else if slamming something I may point out the good and when everyone is praising something I may point out the bad. Needs to be a little balanced as I don't think anything is perfect and alternative perceptions help people's viewpoints.

Besides, if you still don't like me, I'll still buy you a beer, even Mick just cause I'm that kinda guy ;)

"but if this is what she does to make a living"

As I understand it, the web is not Liane's main source of income

Occupation:Yacht Charter Broker, masquerading as a Webmaster

Yachts are (one would

Yachts are (one would presume) a high margin industry. Why go against the grain of what the algorithm wants? Buy and old site and start ranking!

Well it depends on your

Well it depends on your definition of 'whine', but...

Some people whine about adverse SERPS.
Some people whine about other people whining.

Me, I tend to whine about hypocrisy.

I also whine about people who are proud of being 'blunt and to the point' - it so often equates to 'rude and unpopular'.

In some people's opinion, I may be both, but I would never be proud of it.

play rough attitude

I am always surprised by the immediate chorus - if you don't like your SERPs, join the big guys and use spam/borderline tactics. I think Liane is on to something. A blatant search engine guidelines violator in your neighbourhood - report him/her. Eventually those SERPs will look a lot better (at least the top ten).

Try to cheat me out of the traffic I have worked so hard to cultivate by working hand in hand with the search engines ... and I will report you through any means possible! I am sick to death of content thieves and will take any and all infringers to task!

Of course that means keeping one's own sites squeaky clean.

I don't see anything particularly manly or courageous in spamming the search engines.

I don't necessarily even see anything long-term revenue positive in that business either.

If you are going to spam/cloak, I recommend doing it properly. That costs a lot of money and requires an ongoing investment. Those selling those services do well out of it. Not certain about the clients.

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