Saturday, January 16, 2010


Google's Downfall - Quality Control

Well, to be more precise, the lack of human intervention. This is something Google has been very proud of - no humans meddling with their search results. The legendary algorithm makes sure that only quality sites appear in the search results.

Oops! Quality is diminishing. I'm seeing more and more spam in the search results. And worse still, pseudo-content. This is what is happening:

Dozens of automated processes are bombarding Google with automated content, and Google is not keeping up. As soon as they tackle the current batch, the next batch of automations arrive and there's even more of them

But worse still - humans are churning out the stuff. It doesn't matter than someone in India writes it for $15, or an expert in the field writes a worthy article - Google's algorithm cannot tell the difference. And unfortunately, some humans will genuinely link to it, because they can't tell the difference!
...companies like Demand Media and which create thousands of pieces of content per day and are making a big impact on the Web. Both of those two companies are now firmly inside the top 20 Web properties in the U.S., on a par with the likes of Apple and AOL.
Demand are churning out 2,000 articles and videos per day.
The average writer earns $15 per article for pieces that top out at a few hundred words, and the average filmmaker about $20 per clip, paid weekly via PayPal. Demand also offers revenue sharing on some articles, though it can take months to reach even $15 in such payments. Other freelancers sign up for the chance to copyedit ($2.50 an article), fact-check ($1 an article), approve the quality of a film (25 to 50 cents a video), transcribe ($1 to $2 per video), or offer up their expertise to be quoted or filmed (free). Title proofers get 8 cents a headline. From Wired.
The quality of Demand's articles and videos is passable. But the next company to do the same will have less quality, and I suspect Google will fall for it.

And in a few years, computer will do the entire process - discover what people are searching for, and create content to suit. And the end user will use software to find what fits their interests... At some stage, we will need humans again.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009


19% of Google sessions now come from Facebook

So the article says. Extremely misleading, and the author then extrapolates this to suggest that "Facebook could kill Google".

Here's what is said:
Ross also illustrates how important Facebook has become to Google as a traffic source. Fully 19% of Google sessions now come from Facebook, up from 9% a year ago. At the very least, this will likely give Facebook the leverage to negotiate a sweet referral deal at some point.
Here's the reality:

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