Why Must Google's Link: be Pure Shit?

30 comments

Google's mission statement is

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

How can they do that when they can't even make a link search useful?

I know their B/S about just being a representative sample, and even if one believed that they could only show that, then why still must they prevent the link: filter from being used in conjunction with other advanced operators? Why do they often show many links from just a few sites in that representative sample? Why can't I filter them?

Why must Google's link search be pure shit?

Comments

I know why

They do this mostly just to PO you. :)

If I was them I wouldn't offer it at all. Which I guess is what they're doing. Except they've pulled it without having to admit that they pulled a feature. Good work Google, nice spin doctor! No bad press over pulling a feature, just tweak it until it's useless. (As you so aptly imply, a representive sample of IBL's is useless).

Nobody cares of course because the only people who use it are SEO'ers.

I don't buy that only SEOs

I don't buy that only SEOs use it. I am a fan of hearing when people say I am full of crap or when people agree with what I have to say. And more importantly WHY they disagree or agree with my point or stance.

As more people contribute to the web I think many will be interested in how they affect the web and what others think about what they are thinking.

Full

or overflowing with crap?

Many other aspects of their search filters are pure shit too but most searchers are such simpletons that something more complex and robust has yet to be in big demand.

Get over it, they don't cater to us "power users".

Use Yahoo!. End of story.

Use Yahoo!. End of story.

It is not an issue of using

It is not an issue of using Yahoo! or not...it is just an issue of Google failing at doing what they were originally created to do, and pointing at how that failure is in no way consistant with their stated core mission / goal.

Organise <> stats

Maybe organising the information and making it accesible is one thing, providing people with statistical information, like link:, is not part of the goal.

Finding out who links to a given site is not, in itself, 'information'.

Hmmmm, I seem to remember

Hmmmm, I seem to remember -link: and _link: being horribly abused...

Finding out who links to a

Finding out who links to a given site is not, in itself, 'information'.

not according to this [define:information], from WordNet:

-data: a collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn; "statistical data"

Newbie SEO thought

Newbie SEO thought process...

- My competitor is number 1 - I want to be number 1.
- OK copied his Meta data...no he's still number 1.
- OK copied his content...no he's still number 1.
- OK got links from everyone he has links from...no he's *still* number 1.

Conclusion:

- Dodgy link: command in place to save the index from newbies. If they had access to a full backlink count on Google, every high $ industry would just have the same backlinks just about (scrape the top 10's backlinks, automate link requests, submissions, etc) and it would be harder for Google to use link weight as a ranking factor.

MG

Except that is still possible

Nice thought Marketing Guy but what you just defined is still entirely possible just use Yahoo as Expertu said.

define:information

That link also says

Information is a term with many meanings depending on context, but is as a rule closely related to such concepts as meaning, knowledge, instruction, communication, representation, and mental stimulus.

The key being 'context' - was just questioning whether the Google context that they use 'information', means the actual raw information, and not statistics collated and created from the aforementioned information.

not statistics collated and

not statistics collated and created from the aforementioned information.

this is semantics, but (is a webpage AND has links AND links to a specific page) is some sort of context.
now on some stuff they do extra (Google Trends, Google Zeitgest, Gapminder), but generally link patterns are at least as much context as their general SERPs have. They even add further context to links in some cases, but the link is where it all begins ;)

Clear Cache

*Clear Cache/Post*

Ok I can post a comment now...

I find a lot of things in Google Sitemaps that do not make any sense and the only way to figure things out is via prediction.

Agreed, if Google is all about links then access to what fuels the mothership must not be easy to extract.

Makes sense to me, come on Aaron, having a bad day optimizing a client site? ;)

Google link: command / cache ?

Its not a new idea, but google are just continually taking from those who made them great ?

they now have so much free content and so many shareholders they need no one, they nolonger need to facilitate the webmaster.

Web designers normally have CACHE turned off don't they ?

Nicefellah

niceguy - sorry for speaking in r?ddles, I was just mentioning that in order to post on Threadwatch I have to clear my internet browsers cache to see a comment field. It appears to be a firefox thing, no biggy! carry on...

it is just an issue of

it is just an issue of Google failing at doing what they were originally created to do, and pointing at how that failure is in no way consistant with their stated core mission / goal.

Aaron, they have problems. That's a certain fact, and we see it each day for the past 2 years. In the last 2 months all these problems have agravated.

I am sure that they are trying like hell to fix the problems, but the problem is that they just can't do it just like that. They have an outstanding responsability to the "web" and to us as users of their search engine.

They can't make all the informations and problems public, so that they can receive feedback from millions of people (which would certainly speed up the fixing process), because they have a responsability to the shareholders too.

Morale of the story ? They shared with us as many thing as possible without loosing too much ground, neither to us, neither to the shareholders.

Their initial ideea is far beyond their imagination. They never imagined they will become so huge, and with Adsense, and all the other co-products of Google, their problems are just starting to emerge.

My 2cents.

Yessir!

Expertu - Yes indeed, and canonical issues and dropped pages are just collateral damage in an engine that is trying to go beyond spam. *see Google Sitemaps Group*

I do not expect much from Google so I have advanced out into the social areas, if they want to use some of my stuff great, if not then/no biggy. :)

They are just trying to

They are just trying to cover all the main areas used by an online human.

When I say online, I say I need e-mail, a search engine, an online store to buy things, a messenger, hosting (? maybe in the near future, Google Space ?) etc.

They are just not ready for this imense infrastructure. It's way beyond any human, what goes on there, in their meetings and technology discussions.

Dodgy link: command in place

Dodgy link: command in place to save the index from newbies.

So they don't share that information because they're afraid of how it might be used? But they don't mind if we know how to make a pipe bomb? Seems odd to me....

What would you do...

...if the Google link: thing actually worked?

Right: automatically check it twenty times a day for each one of your sites.

Well, not only would you probably go blind (!) if you fiddled with the link: thingie that often, but Google wouldn't like it either. So they're doing us and themselves a favour LOL

Right: automatically check

Right: automatically check it twenty times a day for each one of your sites.

Exactly Wit. That's why they moved on from the monthly PR updates we knew 3-4 years ago, and from the Yahoo!-alike IBL updates, to the once per month, or more updates.

And if all the 432.524.532 tos-violating (which don't use the API) seo tools out there wouldn't exist, I'd bet they would've made the update period a lot smaller.

But they don't mind if we know how to make a pipe bomb? Seems odd to me....

C'mon man, let's not start this. They made a censorship in China and you saw where that went. They made a pornographic filter but who's using it ?

What more do you want ? They just can't do what you want. It's impossible to filter all those illegal words, illegal actions, hate-instigating results, etc.

'Twas always thus...

IIRC the link thing was always arbitrary, did it not only show links > than PR3/4 before they took up DaveNs' suggestion for showing a "wider" selection?

At the present time it's not

At the present time it's not a matter of a minimum PR as it was in the past.

It's just random at most (search any website's links, and you'll find links with PR0,1,2,3 etc). But that's just me.

put yourself

in the shoes of the endusers and not the SEO world when judging Google's performance.

I agree...

...and that's a bit lame to post, but since I appear to be agreeing with MD, it's kinda newsworthy in my narrow view LOL :D

But yeah: SEO is not the center of the universe...

more semantics from the tinhat crowd ....

they said: organise the world's information

they never promised to actually share it :)

Actually...

they never promised to actually share it :)

Actually, the mission statement says "make it universally accessible," right? :-)

lawsuits

I think of lawsuits for stuff like this. Why provide more data to be used against you?

Google's lack of precision

It's interesting that Google built up their reputation amongst webmasters by establishing that they were very precise in their ability to index the web. I'd think that for the casual webmaster that discovers just how imprecise Google's link: command is, it would strike a blow against Google's reputation for precision.

Granted, the link: command is probably of most interest to webmasters and so this won't harm Google's overall reputation. But given this, I wonder if it wouldn't be better for Google to be a bit more above board on this one at offer a tiny explanation of their imprecision -- i.e: a statement on the results page that you can click off to and explains that the results are only a representative sample and explain just why that is?

Seems a lot better than leaving casual webmasters with an impression that Google's index must be falling apart as it's not listing links that they know exist...

Ps: Welcome back Mike from

Ps: Welcome back Mike from your long jorney into never-never land :)

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