I always love a Google update to their search algorithm, it brings out the worst in people. Webmasters whine, SEO experts (in their own mind) whine, it is all delightful to enjoy.

Quite frankly the whole SEO issue is something that bothers me as a writer. Stuffing keywords into an article makes it read like dog crap. Stupid links make it even worse. While Google has always been tight lipped on how they ‘rank’ an article, they are crystal clear on the basic philosophy. If you write good content we will find it.

The whole SEO business is driven by sites selling stuff. There are really two internets, the one with useful information, and the one that just wants to sell stuff. Most people searching for information are doing just that. If they want to buy something they will make it abundantly clear in the search as in ‘XYZ widget for sale’. However most times people are just looking for information about the XYZ widget. That search rarely is an easy one. You have to wade through 20 pages of XYZ Widget for sale ads to find the information that you are looking for.

I find this frustrating. Although retired from the insanity of the IT industry, I do still fix computers for friends and family. Before I reach for the screwdriver I like to figure out what I am dealing with. So I go in search of the tech stuff. I head to Google and type in ‘Compaq Presario 12345 Technical Manual’ or whatever. What I get are page after page of ‘for sale’ sites. While I have nothing against eBay or Amazon, I like both of them, they are hardly sources of technical information.

The bottom line is that I am a fan of any change that Google makes that elevates information above sales sites.

In fact I have a suggestion for Google. They already have an option Safe Search that limits access to porn content. Why not have an option ‘no bloody sales sites’? Obviously this is a pipe dream, but I am sure that I am not alone in liking the concept.

Searchengineland.com talks about the latest update here and here.

Simon Barrett    


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