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Webmasters who have the Google Syndrome
Symptoms: loss of common sense, PR paranoia
NGene




msg:80688
 2:05 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

After lurking here and reading tons of posts (I never stop thinking how great a place WW is!) I've come to the conclusion that many professional webmasters these days suffer from the Google Syndrome, a severe disease that affects the brain and alters the patient's behavior significantly.

After studying carefully the webmasters suffering from the Google Syndrome, I've noticed that generally they behave like this:

* Webmaster has a PR6 site about furry widgets with red stripes. He surfs the web and comes across another site about widgets.

"Hey, what a GREAT site offering information about furry widgets with green dots! There's good content, tutorials about furry widgets, information about the history of green dots, and awesome pictures of furry widgets with green dots. My visitors will find this site very useful. I MUST link to this!"

* small pause

"Oh, but I'll lose PR if I link to this. Well, I'll just contact the webmaster and ask for a reciprocal link. This way my visitors will benefit from this great site and I won't lose PR..."

* looks at the Google toolbar

"WHAT?! OH MY GOD! This site is a lowly PR3! I can't link to THIS!"

* a couple of months later the webmaster comes again to the site and notices it's become PR8

"Oh, wow, they've done great! Now it'll be perfectly safe for me to reciprocate with them. I'll send them an email asking this."

* a few days after the webmaster gets email saying:

"Sorry, you're a lowly PR6, we can't link to you!"

Personally I'm extremely happy I'm not a professional webmaster and I don't suffer from the Google Syndrome. Because I have a hobby site, I can freely link to anyone I want to, and my main concern will be what do the VISITORS think about my site. :)

 

netguy




msg:80689
 2:21 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

NGene... you obviously make a good point. Hopefully in the end, what is good for the visitor will win out.

misja




msg:80690
 2:24 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

:)

I think there are -some- webmasters thinking this way...

IMHO showing the PR value to the public in the toolbar/directory was a big mistake of Google... It has no real use, it just helps people who try to manipulate the index.

jaeden




msg:80691
 2:30 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

NGene,

I guess you could say that I'm a hybrid of this. I am looking for recipricol links myself. As I'm searching for related sites, there are literally thousands of them out there. The ones I'm requesting links from are ones with at least a PR of 4, although I have found a few 5's and 6's.

HOWEVER, if I recieve a request from someone for a link, unless I just don't like the site (not PR related), I'll add them, because I know what you are talking about. As I started my link pages, they were only a 2. A couple months later, they are a 4. Who knows what the future may hold.

Jaeden

Marketing Guy




msg:80692
 2:36 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

>IMHO showing the PR value to the public in the toolbar/directory was a big mistake of Google... It has no real use, it just helps people who try to manipulate the index.

It does have a use - it keeps would-be spammers busy trying to look for a quick fix "legitimate" solution! ;)

Instead of looking at the quality of a site they only have to look at that little green bar....

It's not like Google would closely guard their algo then display an integral component of it on our browsers for us now, would they? ;)

Scott

misja




msg:80693
 3:30 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's not like Google would closely guard their algo then display an integral component of it on our browsers for us now, would they? ;)

Exactly, Scott!

SlyGuy




msg:80694
 3:56 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Instead of looking at the quality of a site they only have to look at that little green bar....

..a little green bar that doesn't provide an accurate visual to any websites true worth.

It's a very valid point, NGene. I have seen it time and time again, Webmasters running around trying to find the one "golden nugget" in a pile of PR4s that aren't acceptable link partners, simply because of a green bar.

mrguy




msg:80695
 4:12 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

That little green bar is a double edged sword.

It certainly is helpful in identifying a site the may have a penalty or ban status, thus keeping you from linking to it and possibly having your site incur a penalty, but at the same time, it is some what tempting to look a site with only a PR 3 on their link page and think, what do I get out of linking to them.

That's where a good review of the site comes in handy. I regularly link to low PR sites if I think the sites have elements that visitors to my site would enjoy, good content, good design and layout and good usability.

If a site is really poorly done, even if they have a PR 9, I won't link to it.

Agreed that to many people get caught up in the little green bar syndrome and forget about the linking spirit of the net.

NGene




msg:80696
 4:28 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

It certainly is helpful in identifying a site the may have a penalty or ban status, thus keeping you from linking to it and possibly having your site incur a penalty, but at the same time, it is some what tempting to look a site with only a PR 3 on their link page and think, what do I get out of linking to them.

Maybe Google should change the toolbar so that it wouldn't show PR, but still show if a site has a penalty.

OntheEdge




msg:80697
 4:30 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

I almost fell into the trap.
Fortunately, all the technicalities behind the googlerythm was so far over my head I decided, "To heck with it, I'm just going to build for my visitors, write clean html, fast loading, daily added content...blah, blah...you know the drill.
Well, to all of those who frequent had to point out the site on my profile was a PR0....
I am now PR4
I am #1 on G&Y for my most likely (two)keywords
My lowest placement in the SERPs is for a single keyword and I am still #4 on that
I have bumped my #1 competitor right off the top ten.

Moral of the story...as soon as I stopped being obsessed with SEs and focussed on the visitors needs and wants, life became really simple!
K.I.S.S.
Keep it simple stupid

Brad




msg:80698
 5:02 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Way back before Google became so important, I did some link exchanges with some brand new sites on free servers. Over the years some of those sites have become popular and have sent me a lot of high quality direct click through traffic.

As, one by one, all the fancy multi-million dollar search engines of the day have gone belly up, those links are still holding and are still sending me traffic.

Today's small fry could be tomorrow's powerhouse.

You have to trust yourself as to what is a good site and wwhat is not. No algo can tell you that. Toss the toolbar out and use your own judgment and your own expertise in your subject.

OntheEdge




msg:80699
 5:11 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

After the dance I did a check on my known backlinks(with the unreliable toolbar mind you)...the ones with the lowest PR were also my number one referrers.And a big one, that I thought was a real score to get a backlink from, has disappeared of the face of the earth.

You gotta think too, what KIND of hits to you want? Target market or random (even lost) surfers?

The Subtle Knife




msg:80700
 6:23 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

What a fantastic post!

This sums out my sentiments. My posts don't fall into the google syndrome but more radical posts.

So I think people fall into these categories:

1. Google Syndrome People.
2. 12 Month Plan People.
3. Lurkers.
4. Leechers, people who get/have knowledge but who won't share it.

And there's people like me who are not intimidated by google, don't really think they are that good, and know that you don't need 12 month plans.
Most people who fall in my mental space don't even waste time in forums, they spend time finding the loop holes and exploiting google.
Which is why a lot of people moan a lot, as the people who are exploiting them are making far more money and just enjoying life, in other words just getting on with it.

I've suggested many times there should be peer voted system and common SEO language/standards to analyze google, this I suspect has fallen on deaf ears as a lot of people must therefore fall into Category 4 then?

EliteWeb




msg:80701
 6:31 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'll give a link to practically everyone who asks except for the people who talk about PR and search engine placement. And the minute they ask me to change the text link title from their .com to a phrase they're outta there ;) So many people are beganning to understand the search engines and how to obtain nice placement its crazy.

I have one nut who started a site a total replication of my sites features and downloads except his own style and wording. I see this guy getting links all the places I have links because hes doing the link: tag to see who all links to me. He even asks me for help setting up stuff on his site ;) I do these techniques all the time but its not from someone I know or in the same field. And since this is the largest site right now on the topic theres no one else for him to copy ;)

glengara




msg:80702
 6:47 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

As a Mac user I'm spared most of the PaRanoia!
I invested in virtual PC, but don't use it ;-)

KevinC




msg:80703
 7:18 pm on Mar 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

The more I read and learn the more I realize that PR is not the end all of ranking well in google.

With the recent update my site has down very well - I had someone very knowledgable to make this happend for me.

I only have a PR 5 but I'm #1 in google ahead of several PR 8's and PR 7's. Obviously PR is not what got me to the top - it was highly relevant links (only a few).

Infact because of the advice I have recieved we are getting rid of my links page all together and focused on more important things then PR.

RBuzz




msg:80704
 9:58 pm on Mar 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Heh, the whole point of ResearchBuzz is to find sites that are very cool but aren't well known. If I find a really cool site that's a low PR, I've found a *great* site to tell the world about!

... and it can't have hurt me too bad, because my PR is 8...

freejung




msg:80705
 12:20 am on Mar 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think the key to dealing with this tendancy is to try to take a long term perspective. Sure, Google is no. 1 now, but will it be in the future? Unlikely! However, the web architecture we build by exchanging links will be there for a while. Thus it makes more sense in the long term to link in ways that are relevant and helpful to users.

There is the possibility of all this link exchanging doing some good in this respect, in that it is becoming more and more common for sites in a particular category to have an exhaustive list of other sites in that category. It is when people start linking at random and for PR that there are problems.

My take is this: build a good directory of related sites in your category. Then, regardless of the SEs, you will have a useful resource. If someone wants to trade links with you, do so only if they are a useful and logical part of your directory. Don't worry about their PR, it will probably change anyway!

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