Douwe Osinga's Blog: The Florida Google Dance

Thursday, November 27, 2003

It is that time of year again. The leaves have fallen, there is this cold creeping in the air and Google has changed its algorithm. Somebody coined this seasonal happening the Google dance, because during the brief period when the new algorithm is introduced, everything seems to move and nothing is table. Some other guy decided to name these events, like huricanes. This one is called 'Florida' (the last one was called Esmeralda).

Typical you win some, you loose some situation, some sites go up, some go down. But sometimes it is cruel. If your livelyhood depends on it, there is nothing you can do about it if Google changes it mind about you. Google giveth and Google taketh.

When Google started out, they were just these bunch for very smart kids trying to build the best search engine ever. They still try that, but nowadays they are battling with a few million people trying to get the best score on Google, optimizing there pages and get away with smart hacks. Google discovers these hacks and then punishes sites that try overly aggressively market their website position by dropping their sites from the index, or at least decrease their relevance. The Florida Dance was no difference. Sites that use link farms to increase relevance or concentrate to much on one (commercial) search term were punished.

I'm not complaining. Google has been good to me. Today I found out that I have top-4 position for searching on European Stability Pact. While I think my piece was insightfull, I hardly claim to be an authority on this subject. Like I said, you win some, you lose some.

But the power that Google here is wielding is big. Wielding blindly, but nevertheless it is scary that one company should have that much. About half of the traffic to this site comes from Google and I think that is about average. If I would sell something and live on it and for some reason Google would blacklist me, I would loose half of my income, just like that, with no appeal. Google is God.

It makes you wonder whether Google is getting to big and we really want to depend on another monopoly.


Anonymous said...

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