Google: Webmasters Are Incompetent

24 comments

Google's Peter Norvig, trying to win a fan in Tim Berners-Lee and the webmaster community in general, called the semantic web garbage due to webmaster incompetence:

"What I get a lot is: 'Why are you against the Semantic Web?' I am not against the Semantic Web. But from Google's point of view, there are a few things you need to overcome, incompetence being the first," Norvig said. Norvig clarified that it was not Berners-Lee or his group that he was referring to as incompetent, but the general user.

Nice public relations there Peter. :)

Comments

Norvig is right

When we get AI to the point B-L hopes for we will be on the cusp of 1984 and Terminator.

Quote:
Berners-Lee agreed with Norvig that deception on the Internet is a problem, but he argued that part of the Semantic Web is about identifying the originator of information, and identifying why the information can be trusted, not just the content of the information itself.

he may have been right

but the post title was very easy and baity in nature ;)

baity

i know. you've been playing that card quite a bit.

Norvig clarified that it was

Norvig clarified that it was not Berners-Lee or his group that he was referring to as incompetent, but the general user.

Oh so it's not just them, it's all of us. Great. Now I'm feeling much better.

*Checks watch* What about

*Checks watch*

What about the next paragraph?

"We deal with millions of Web masters who can't configure a server, can't write HTML. It's hard for them to go to the next step. The second problem is competition. Some commercial providers say, 'I'm the leader. Why should I standardize?' The third problem is one of deception. We deal every day with people who try to rank higher in the results and then try to sell someone Viagra when that's not what they are looking for. With less human oversight with the Semantic Web, we are worried about it being easier to be deceptive," Norvig said.

*Goes to sleep*

We deal with millions of Web

We deal with millions of Web masters who can't configure a server, can't write HTML.

I sincerly agree with that in a certain manner. I object on the "millions" part. I would've just said "a lot".

Norvig's statements coinside

Norvig's statements coinside with my general findings. Users and webmasters are incompetent . . . and i'm no exception!

Feh! At least the web used

Feh! At least the web used to be more fun back before Google and all the other corporate types sucked all the life out of it.

When Google figures out the

When Google figures out the difference between a page and a url, then they can criticize me for not knowing how to configure a server.

Incompetence is relative.

Incompetence is relative. Incompetence is human. Human is relevant. If they want to deliver "relevant" results, then their job becomes embracing what they call incompetence.

There is not a single person who is incompetent as a webmaster who is not a highly intelligent human being. A human being who cares more about something else than configuring a server. A human being who could easily consider a Google engineer incomptent in the legal field or medical field or homemaking field. Certainly, at the very least in the public relations field. That incompetent webmasters' opinion of the Google engineers' opinion is just as relevant as the Google engineers' opinion of the incompetent webmaster.

Humans matter. Programs do not!

How many

webmasters configure their own server, a percent of a percent? This is just another example of pre-emptive blame game, we can't adapt to semantics because of webmasters. It sounds like Peter Norvig has a major kool aid habit that got the best of him, maybe re-hab is in order.

Wow, I like this Massa

Wow, I like this Massa fellah. :)

massa

>Humans matter

You're a wussie. I don't want to hear any of that warm & fuzzie crap at roadshow.

Come here and give me a big

Come here and give me a big hug angry fellah.

HAHA!!!

old tech support tactic

It's not our system, it's your skills that are lacking!!!

Ask anyone on helpdesk.

a semantic web

is a threat to googles business. Smaller, compact indexes that hold a greater value proposition for the end user, with 32 core processors on the way, search as commodity becomes more realistic. In a few years search engines could be as ubiquitious as the calendars you get from your insurance agent. Google wants you to believe its neccesary to crawl and index billions of questionable documents in order to get a decent index, its FUD at its finest.

Imagine a Vince McMahon from WFF; "only pussies use google, use the ballbuster!"

yeah yeah, things could change quick.

I'll take that bait. Eric

I'll take that bait. Eric Brewer (co-founder of Inktomi) had a paper a few years back in which he said 40% of web pages had syntax errors. And if you take a look at something like machine translation, the big trend is not toward really brittle techniques like trying to define 162 ways that "set" can be used. Instead, a big trend is to use a lot more data from the wild wild web, throw it all in the pot, and then use statistical translation.

BTW, I think the original news.com article was also making a mountain out of a molehill. It wasn't a huge rumble..

Actually,I'm surprised that

Actually,I'm surprised that Brewer estimated only 40%. Especially back then. Surely we could all agree though that mistakes in syntax is a fact of life for the web and very likely always will be. It could even be argued that mistakes and human error, (especially within the limits of technology), may be the very lifeblood of the web.

Mr. Cutts, if I could be allowed only one question, my question would be, when you say,"the big trend is to use a lot more data from the wild, wild web and throw it all in the pot", is that implying that the objective is to use that data to identify and embrace human emotional responses for the purpose of establishing things like trust and intent, or do you think it is more for the purpose of using that data to overcome mistakes and syntax errors?

Mr. Cutts is away :D

Mr. Cutts is away :D

its all my fault

Google is right - its my fault since i cant configure a server. Plus even if I could, my cheap hosting wont let me. As a result, yesterday google dropped my www page for the non-www and my once wonderful serps leave something to be desired.

Now I know about redirecting one to the other with a 301, but its been a 302 since 1999 and until a few weeks ago google has always seem the two as one and the same. Same backlinks, same PR.

The irony here is that I asked Matt about this at PubCon 2 years ago and he told me to leave it since Google was getting it right. Well, I still cant configure a server, but am moving the site over to a different box where it will redirect with a 301, so we'll see what happens.

Several other sites in my niche that have enjoyed prolonged stays at the top have also dropped. Not surprisingly, they all have 302s instead of 301s.

So what happened Matt?

heh

Quote:
The irony here is that I asked Matt about this at PubCon 2 years ago and he told me to leave it since Google was getting it right.

Yes, that is Today's Google. What was said two years ago will come back and bite you one-of-these-days. And after that, if there is any written advice that needs updating, well it might get updated.

commodity search ....

Hah! I'm starting up viagrasearch.com, who's in?

After the ipo, cialissearch.com will come online.

Free samples ?

Free samples ?

>Mr. Cutts is away :D

>Mr. Cutts is away :D<

Yeah, me too.

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