|Social Factors - the End of Most Intelligent Content On The Web|
| 8:47 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)|
I see that Google is now using social signals in their SERPS, and I'm quite stunned, in part as a business and also as a search consumer.
This is the single most evil thing I've seen in terms of its impact, if in fact social signals (in essence a measure of POPULARITY, not quality) play anything but a minor role in SERPS.
As social factors increase in importance, the point of creating original, thought leading, anything OTHER than simple mass content is removed.
The reality is that social media is a popular medium focuses on people (not a bad thing in itself), rather than content. The vast majority of the best and brightest in terms of subject matter experts in many niches, simply are NOT spending time pushing their ideas on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIN. They, in fact, we if I be a bit presumptuous, have better things to do with our time. Nothing wrong with social but if popularity (number of tweeted links/likes) is a deciding factor in ranking, those creating the best content in terms of "thought value" simply won't show up.
Apart from the fact that I've spend 15 years creating original content (I mean original, not some sad recast of what everyone else is saying), in print -- articles and books, and online (free, mind you), and that may now be worthless to me, it means that in my role of "content curation" (ok, finding and linking to the best content) is done.
There is now very little incentive to publish new ideas and thoughts to move fields forward, not only because it's hard to monetize, but because no one will see it because it won't have "buzz".
I work a lot with government, and have long wanted to open up a website on the topic, and have grabbed a few domains I might want to use. Now, there's no point.
If you look at social media, for example, what you will find is loads of stuff including the key word government from upset citizens, the political right, and so on....essentially contentless or worthless if one's interest is helping people understand government.
Finding the best content in niches from true authorities (scientists, academics, book authors that don't get buzz) has become harder and harder, and now the curation role is cooked.
And the kicker is, not only is content not king, replaced by "popularity", but the spamming of the SERPS and the pollution of an already polluted social media environment can begin aforce.
It's a trivial technical exercise to tweet every second on something, to vary the tweets, in order to boost SERPS. I have tools to do that, and they are openly available. I don't use them except to post occasional automated tweets for things I think are valuable and always spaced far apart.
Why shouldn't I just go completely black hat and do that?
If that's what it takes to be found, I won't do it, and not only that but there would not be any point in using the Internet anymore, EXCEPT to socialize.
I'm seriously stunned here. I hope I've got this wrong, but not only has Google crushed businesses like mine that trade in ideas and content, it has the potential to significantly damage the society at large by LIMITING (unintentionally) the spread of the very information that runs the economic engines of this planet.
I'm thinking that of course, social indicators will be only a part of determining SERP's, so the effect hopefully isn't as absolute as it could be.
Finally, perhaps this social factoring explains why my sales have gone to zero, my adsense income has disappeared, and what I worked to build is now almost useless to me, to those in my niches, and to the larger world.
Someone, tell me I've got this all wrong.
| 11:22 am on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
By sending people to sites most people enjoy, Google is satisfying most of it's users.
Perhaps the cable networks should increase their highbrow shows, and concede the ratings war. After all, the producers are quite sure that an intelligent discussion on plate tectonics is much more valuable than a show called "Disasters: When the Earth Quakes" - who cares if no one wants to watch it.
In the minority? Me too. Blame cable TV for entertaining the masses? Not likely.
| 1:21 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|We need a social search, a big brand search, a mom n'pop search and goodness knows what else. The only way to achieve this is to wean the public off the idea that search means Google |
There's already a social search engine, Topsy:
I always use it if I'm searching for tweets etc, and I think lots of other people do too - and that's because it does social search so much better than Google. I used it to find out who the super-injunction guy was (before parliament blabbed the name)
But for main search, as long as Google returns the best results (and they do mostly), people will continue to use them.
| 1:33 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Much as I'd like to think my site is the best in the world for what it is, I'm also sobered up enough to know that in Google's eyes it represents but a tiny fraction of a fraction of what they're dealing with. If my site is a raindrop, Google is the Pacific Ocean.
| 2:21 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Man I wish I had time to reply to this in depth, but I don't so I'll have to come back to it. But two thoughts - the world does not begin and end with search. And #2 - we were having this same damn discussion TWENTY FIVE YEARS ago (at least *I* was - yea that's how old I am!) on Usenet and the first public access UNIX conferences. The world didn't end then, and it's not ending now.
| 2:24 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
I agree with numnum. He said, "A modest proposal to the DOJ: break up Google into two companies."
But I'd say, "Go" and "Ogle". "Go" for presence on social sites, and from which users click links to pounce on areas of interest, and "Ogle" for objects of search.
An article I saw estimated that 74% of folks are on Facebook (or Myspace...I reckon Myspace is a moot point). G, not being a pro bono enterprise, is simply recognizing this point: the already-present "dumbing down" of the internet.
Like it or not, where ARE lots of people going to see your ads? When they're on FB, targeted by FB's scanning of their [ill-protected] interests and that of their [ill-protected] "friends" list. Not all internet users are looking for quality. 74% may not be, lots of the time.
While you may wish for more emphasis on quality Ogle, the greater presence needs to be placed on Go these days.
And now for a word from our sponsor...
| 2:31 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
You can easily see what social factors used in rankings do to youtube! Just see a couple of videos on the front page. Ranking by popularity will bring stupidity to light. There is enough already on TV and actually everywhere and Google was never pushing Justin Bieber into my head, but i guess it soon will! It's the reality of the perfect money making scheme.
| 2:49 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Totally agree with Coachm’s opening post
Writing as someone who works with a large team that has created some very detailed unique quality written work, to then find sites copying extracts from that work, that are better linked and our own pages falling from grace as a result because google can no longer tell the difference, kind of sums all this up.
Well now that we have stopped writing, these sites won’t have anything to copy. Our focus is now on offline projects. So Coachm is right – quality will fall away.
I really fail to see what this recent algo change at google has achieved, other than to mix things up and give more traffic to a lower number of sites and kill a number of good websites in its index in the process just because google have decided they no longer like them - Joke.
| 3:05 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|...i never before had so much intelectual stimulation than i have right now, thanks to social media, |
Viggen: I've come across some things as a result of social media that are useful and stimulating. I'm not doing a blanket "I hate SM"
I'm also have a absolute miserable 3months for other reasons, and I realize I am not always as...er, rational, as I have been.
That said, I'm wondering if you could elaborate on how you are accessing the "stimulation". I suppose it's possible I'm doing something wrong here, or that in my niches the leading lights simply aren't using social media. I certainly can't find stimulating discussion in the topics I'm interested in.
|I also appreciate viggen's observations very much. Social media are a great leveler. Even the "grsat" are socially available as never before. I recently made contact with a world class particle physicist via Twitter. |
That's cool. First of all you are correct, it levels to the lowest common denominators. But getting back to finding good content on the net, is that person and others like him (or her) activetly engaged enough in social media to get "popular", and Liked enough to have his thoughts and ideas come up in a search for "Particle physics"?
Is/would he be penalized for not doing so?
I just did a search for particle physics in google. On the first page, I don't think there was a single site from an individual physicist. I won't try to interpret that, since I didn't look at each page to determine the level of the content.
Wikipedia was there, Open Directory, and I know where to get a particle physics t-shirt. I'm still not a particle physics guy..(grin)
| 3:07 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Well,social media as a signal isn't going away. I think it was tedster (?) who suggested he uses twitter as something like a news feed. A socially rich, unadulterated source of link citations? That's twitter - it's like the 1990's with HTML links right now. The SE's have to use this right now.
| 3:12 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|I'm with coachm on this: |
popularity (like + follow) = authority and excellence ... NOT!
+1 to that and the OP.
Is like where I work, the team who decides what to do with the websites are a majority but have no clue on what they are saying. The result is investment in something that does not work. Very little objectivity.
| 3:17 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|That said, I'm wondering if you could elaborate on how you are accessing the "stimulation". |
...first i am fully aware that not every niche, not every webiste, not even every webmaster is the same, now that aside...
to give you an example,
on my website i have a premium forum member that happens to be an artist (he does sculptures), he won a few weeks ago at a giveaway competition a book, that i delivered a week ago in person (including photo) as he mentioned he will be in venice for a vernisage.
Now i never been much of a modern art person, it was a totally new world for me, i happend to know thanks to Twitter a reuters journalist, and showed that to him, he said its very cool, not much of an art person himself but he knows several art journalists, they contact me want some back ground info and how to get into contact with the artist, in the meantime this artis gets into contact via my website with a best selling author, telling me that he never would have approached him if he wasnt also a member of my website, now those two are buddies, and thank me both for it, the list goes on, now this might be good for my ego but not really helping my website, so there comes the idea from the artist if i ever make an award he would sculpture the trophy, i mention this on my forum and all hell breaks loose, and we are in the middle of creating an award with some high profile judges and a high profile trophy.
...similar stories with publishing houses, huge museums, other best selling authors, nobel prize winners etc...
As i said, this is just one of many stories surrounding my niche and social media, i am not saying google should make it a super signal, i dont need it at all, all i am saying is that social media made a huge impact in my private and professional life....
| 3:38 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
For what it's worth, I try to follow the various Matt Cutt's mantras "Just make great content," and "make websites for people."
But I realize there are different kinds of web sites and different kinds of people. And that some people will pay for what others pay to avoid.
Some content I create is designed to impress professors at universities. They probably won't buy anything from my site, but it is a lot easier to get a link from them to an article if it meets their standards.
Actually, I try to get dual usage out of that content that is designed for professors - meaning I try to create new content that will help support LSI as well as impress the academia.
Some content I create is more provocative and a lot lighter on facts. That material is designed for John Q Public and is meant to encourage social interaction.
| 4:00 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
<ot> As an artist/sculptor it cracks me up that it's called "vernisage" = putting on the last coat of varnish to the pictures before the doors open ..Historically ..often done on the night before opening by "the artist" accompanied by a few friends and wine, one rarely varnishes sculpture ( with the exception of wood etc ), and never the night before opening the exhibition .."vernisage" ..a "posh" French word ( and the French themselves use it more inappropriately than most in the Fine Art world ) ..modern meaning = opening night drinks by private invitation, usually organised by agents ;))..not directed at viggen in any way..just as an artist/ sculptor the hype and fancy words around what we do, cracks some of us up..</ot>
| 4:14 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|There are currently no ideas to display |
Happened to stumble onto a ning/blog/twitter/facebook guy in one of the fields I work in who has never had an original thought in his life, and is proud to let everyone know dozens of times a day.
It the "Ideas" section of his Ning is the quote above.
Out of the mouths of software...truth bespoke
| 4:19 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Well, I was refering specifically to:
|I'll tell you flat out they are NOT tweeting, facebooking to get their messages out, or linking. |
Obviously, physicians should be concentrating on doctoring and elite business professionals should know how to market their strategies. :)
But we're talking about what's popular--not necessarily about doing a particular job. No, we don't want a police officer Tweeting his feelings about the guy he just pulled over.
However, a lot of businesses and individuals who are doing specific jobs (as tedster and viggen pointed out) are learning that Facebook and Twitter is where the traffic is. It's where the masses are right now and you can touch more people (friends, clients, mentors, mentees, prospects, etc.) on Facebook and Twitter than you could hob-nobbing at a cocktail party. The latter is limited--the former is virtually unlimited.
| 4:36 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
> Facebook and Twitter is where the traffic is.
Bingo. "There's gold in them thar hills."
| 5:24 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Celgin: See thread post title
| 7:11 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
wow, a lot of webmasters throwing a lot of toys out of a lot of prams.
If you actually had the courage of your convictions, you can start battling this today:
nah, didn't think so...
the internet is moving on, with or without you. When you get left behind, you can either squeal about it (lots of that going on in here) or do something about it. Crying amongst your broken toys saying it's not fair or YOU don't agree with the changes taking place is not a solution, as I'm sure you're all aware.
| 7:36 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
I see the thread title just fine, and I don't believe the social factors being considered by Google and Microsoft as the end of intelligent content on the web.
As I've said in my posts, I think popularity and quality can coexist. We (as webmasters) really don't have a choice. Google and Bing will change the rules of the game as they see fit.
| 7:41 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
I'm confused by some of the posts here. It seems that the effects of Panda are being linked directly with Social Media tweets and the like. Not only linked but being thought of as the major part of Panda.
But we don't know what the Panda update really is or what is behind it? Or have I missed something recently.
Don't confuse the two when in fact they may be separate elements. Your site may have gone down the the tubes with Panda but that doesn't mean the solution is to go on a massive tweeting exercise.
And yes, content is still king, it always will be in the long run. To believe that general opinion is misguided in every day life matters is demeaning to the general population. And we are all part of that general population. If a site is good it will eventually be found and if a site is rubbish it will eventually fail.
And here's my view on finding erudite content on the net. If I want some specific, informed information on "growing dahlias", I do not type "growing dahlias" into google, never did and never will. I will type "growing dahlias RHS" (Royal Horticultural Society) and Google (Bing as well hopefully) will return me exactly what I want. Every single time.
| 8:05 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
And yes, content is still king, it always will be in the long run.
Not even close.
Marketing is king. Always was, always will be. Content was just one way to achieve marketing purposes, and even that's coming to a close.
| 8:19 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|I'm confused by some of the posts here. It seems that the effects of Panda are being linked directly with Social Media tweets and the like. Not only linked but being thought of as the major part of Panda. |
But we don't know what the Panda update really is or what is behind it? Or have I missed something recently.
By the time "we find out" we'll all be living in a car, with no gas or insurance. Panda is already 3 months old and most, if not all, decimated sites are still down no matter what they changed.
Sites that have many useless gizmos and make users click here and there got a further huge boost at the expense of others. And they seem to have immunity from thin pages and shallow content. That's the only sure thing for me in today's Google.
Ever noticed how the entire nation is fixated on Kim Kardashian's @ss for weeks at a time? Or Paris Hilton's latest boyfriend? That social. So Google risks becoming a 24/7 news channel and use the "but users must want this otherwise..."
A thoughtful article is lucky to get a tweet here and there so a 'popular' stub written by a guy that tweets every time he seeps from his cup of coffee, can very easily replace it in the SERPS. Ideally we can all just keep doing what we do even if others get the traffic but we can't.
|And yes, content is still king, it always will be in the long run. To believe that general opinion is misguided in every day life matters is demeaning to the general population. And we are all part of that general population. If a site is good it will eventually be found and if a site is rubbish it will eventually fail. |
There's content and content. Imagine producing top content and having eHow /ezine...etc etc outranking you with $8 articles. How long can you wait to "eventually" go on top? They did last quite a while so spending on marketing might be best.
| 8:52 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
>>Marketing is king.
Exactly. Why do you think so many scrapper sites like eHow survived this stupid thing? They have the $$ to capitalize on social media and format the page for search engines while under the guise of being user-generated and -friendly.
God forbid they take into account that ecommerce sites have the same manufacturer description because, gee, it's patented material and would be against the law to change...rant over.
| 9:03 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
General comments. Again thanks for the messages.
Some of you are missing my points, whether because I've got too many, or I'm not articulating well, or whatever.
I'm NOT posting because I've lost traffic.
I'm NOT posting because I've lost money.
THose things are bothersome, but I'm not stuck trying to make money on the Internet.
I'm posting because I see the Google and Bing announcements as removing incentives to right top notch niche content, and further encouraging people who might make better contributions to the wider environment to spend their time trying to get followers, retweets, Likes, etc.
I understand some people are not ready to deal with issues like that, and try to simplify things down to "Hey, just block google", which to me is the type of thinking I see all the time on social media.
I'm really not interested in trying to explain over and over what I've already said, and if people can't read, won't read what I posted originally, or can't think through these things on a wider scale, that's ok. I didn't write my post for those folks. I don't write my books and my websites for those folks.
|Marketing is king. Always was, always will be. Content was just one way to achieve marketing purposes, and even that's coming to a close. |
That may be the case for you, and I agree that we live in a marketed society. In fact your comment reflects a major part of my concern. The scientists, consultants (the good ones), the authors (the good ones), and the people creating content for other reasons than to try to sell widgets to the masses are losing whatever standing they had on the Internet.
It's ok that everyone has a voice. So long as one realizes and is ok with the idea that if everyone has a voice and the loudness is determined by being "liked", prepare for the fact that the people who don't fit that vision and reality of the Internet will close up shop.
I want to make a decent living, because I have to. I write, also, because I HAVE to. I think and work with theories and models because I HAVE to.
The first is imposed on me (making a living). The rest has to do with who I am.
But without visibility, there's no point doing this on the Internet, since without people to read, learn, digest, even discuss, it's pointless.
I know, and see a lot of people who tweet, update, etc in large quantities and almost never get replies on Twitter and Facebook, but I have no interest in partaking of that particular neurosis.
If there's no point to put things on my web pages if and when they can't be found because they aren't Liked enough, I'll write for print, and head towards my goal of selling one million print/e books, and I'm about half way there.
But you won't see me much on the Internet because I'll just create more thin pages, black hat the suckers, spam the social networks, hire out of work people in India to like and follow and retweet.
Ok. I'm not going to do most of that. But others will. And if you thought that link based spam was/is bad, what till the popularity spammers get in gear, because that is COMPLETELY uncontrollable.
Now there's incentive.
| 9:25 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|And if you thought that link based spam was/is bad, what till the popularity spammers get in gear, because that is COMPLETELY uncontrollable. |
It's already getting out of hand, when you get auto-follow bots for almost every other post on Twitter. There are probably reams of bots following bots, in endless self-promotional circles, posting content that nobody real reads. I'm sure it'll get worse before the next big search fad comes along and everybody jumps ship for that.
| 9:26 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|That may be the case for you, and I agree that we live in a marketed society. In fact your comment reflects a major part of my concern. The scientists, consultants (the good ones), the authors (the good ones), and the people creating content for other reasons than to try to sell widgets to the masses are losing whatever standing they had on the Internet. |
I think your point was clear on this. Perhaps mine wasn't.
Poindexter's go to the back of the class. The internet ceased being for the academics the very second they allowed non .edu ISP's access to the network.
Many (and for those that know what I look like, they realize it is MANY) years ago I was a bodybuilder. And I used to whine and complain because the only way to win competitions was to take steroids. I worked out harder and smarter than my competitors. I had diet every bit as good. I could lift as much as anyone in the gym. Yet I would get on stage, and look like a puny weakling. You know what it's like to work out for years, and get absolutely blown away publicly by someone who's worked out for 6 months plus added steroids? It's embarrassing. So one day I'm talking to a guy who I know does steroids. And I"m complaining about the purity, and how it's about chemicals not the bodybuilding. And he says to me, You know what it takes to win. Are you prepared to do it? If not, quit complaining.
that's the internet for you. Are you prepared to do what it takes to win? Get on the juice, and quit worrying about how your form and diet is better than eveyrone else.
Aside: My best friend's wife's father (seriously) was a bodybuilder back in some godforsaken age like the 40's or 50's. He showed me a booklet from a competition he was in, that Sean Connery also competed in. Yes, Sean Connery use to compete in bodybuilding. There were no steroids back then. Perhaps that's the internet you're remembering :)? Sean Connery's like what, 900 years old now?
| 9:39 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|But without visibility, there's no point doing this on the Internet, since without people to read, learn, digest, even discuss, it's pointless. |
Well, the whole point of this, I can only assume, is to expand your audience or at least get user-input from the existing audience; if that means tweeting a bit about your widgets then so be it. Some fear change, some despise it. But with change comes opportunity; try it. Those who embrace it may come out on top (no pun intended).
I can understand not being recognized as the authority in your widget niche, I run a personal site related to a hobby of mine I've had since I was 10 years old. It's literally nowhere in the SERPs due to ecommerce websites who employ black-hatters and their subsequent practices. I still have users because they search for specific, niche-related questions that my site answers. Keep doing what you are doing, you mentioned it isn't for money anyways right?
| 10:13 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|I still have users because they search for specific, niche-related questions that my site answers. Keep doing what you are doing, you mentioned it isn't for money anyways right? |
True, but you are one algo change away from not having them, if Google decides to put, say 15%, more trust in certain domains with 'social buzz' or whatever. A slight knob turn and you (and me and other small fish) are done. Google can say that looks like the article on johnssmallsite-com is better (looks, because they cannot really analyze it) but big-pop-site-com/article541127.html mentions the same phrases and they have 354578 retweets, 2 million FB likes and thousands of people 'hang out' at the site. None of those metrics are related to the article in question but Google /Bing have that power.
| 10:21 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Most Intelligent content is still on the web. Social factors can detour you from finding what you're looking for on Google or a search engine or Facebook OR whatever. But it's all still out there on the net. Go find it and adapt so you can make a monetary living providing your expertise on subjects. Man, when I was going to school at the U of M we were using Gopher and I thought all those bulletin board green texts rolling down my black background computer monitor, chatting with people in realtime was so techno. It was like talking and sharing info with aliens. It'w always been social.
| 10:27 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|Google can say that looks like the article on johnssmallsite-com is better (looks, because they cannot really analyze it) but big-pop-site-com/article541127.html mentions the same phrases and they have 354578 retweets, 2 million FB likes and thousands of people 'hang out' at the site. None of those metrics are related to the article in question but Google /Bing have that power. |
Yes, correct and agreed. But my point was that I, like coachm, currently don't [or want to] tweet or have a fb on my site. I still have the traffic or, users rather, because I have the quality they are looking for. My users don't like the eHow-type sites, they aren't on facebook or tweet about stuff. They favor quality over popularity, which is what coachm's problem with the new algo is in the first place; it favors popularity over quality and in turn drowns out the good sites and floods SERPs with scraper sites.
| 10:59 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|I see that Google is now using social signals in their SERPS, |
OK: they are pandering to the masses. They have a business to run, profits to make, and stockholders to satisfy. Right now, this is their strategy to do this.
|This is the single most evil thing I've seen |
Perspective: History has examples of many things more evil ... perhaps some of us have seen / experienced some of those atrocities.
What is the impact? Popular results at the expense of in-depth "reporting"? Is that not good for most users? How do we know who wants what? How do we quantify the audience size, the demographics?
Original? For sake of discussion (and I admit exaggeration to make a point) for many subjects / subject matter areas there can be only 1 original. The others may be variations in style, presentation, vocabulary, design, graphics integration, etc. that may appeal to different audience segments. I find some writing and graphic styles more appealing, easier to handle. etc. Do I think Google should decide what styles are good for me? No. Do they: yes. If I don;t want to deal with what I see, I have to search further, or go elsewhere. Google seems to have defined their business as delivering the results that will satisfy* the most users. (*Substitute: appease, not offend, not drive-away, not cause to abandon Google). The point is: while the impact is not good for you, it may be good for others. Not the way we would like to see things, but consider this evolution. Or, at least the current state of affairs.
|As social factors increase in importance, the point of creating original, thought leading, anything OTHER than simple mass content is removed |
This implies that altruistic original, thought leading creation should not occur.
It also implies that "original, thought leading" content is the best, and should be valued by everyone. I can extend this thought train in many directions: this is the essence of competition, human and intellectual development, ... it goes on. Fortunately for the world, and humanity, not everyone has shared this belief. Sometimes the better ideas are not recognized or rewarded immediately. Ultimately,Google's recent results selection is change. And it is human nature to resist change (for most, anyway). I wonder what most users think?
|There is now very little incentive to publish new ideas and thoughts to move fields forward |
Good for the sake of good? Doing the right thing? Progress and development in the "field? Finding fellow value holders?
|because it's hard to monetize |
Well, maybe not as easy as previously. Erosion of profit margins is endemic to most current industries and business models.
|because no one will see it because it won't have "buzz |
Well, maybe we will have to expend more, different and new efforts into popularizing our ideas / content / position / etc. Perhaps learn to be persuasive ... to "sell". The days of "publish and they will come" are gone.
"Dale Carnegie meets Tony Robbins": I would encourage you to attempt to "adjust your attitude", despite the setbacks you, and many, may have experienced. Trite, but true: "It's not how many times you get knocked down that matter, it's how many times you get back up that count" ! And, you may have been knocked down a lot. It's easier to quit, than continue on in the face of adversity. But, someone else will take your place. So, if you believe in your content, do something. Get back up! Get back in training. With a new trainer. Change your diet. Get in shape. Pick some easier bouts to gain confidence. Learn a few new punches.Then work your way up to the Title rounds. Easy to say: Yes. Difficult to do: Yes. Does it work: Sometimes. Is it worth it: Yes.
|Finding the best content in niches from true authorities (scientists, academics, book authors that don't get buzz) has become harder and harder, |
Well, maybe finding the content that appeals to us. Absolutely correct. But, it's there. If we really want that, we just all need to learn where to go to get it. The interesting question is: how many people really want that type of content, and for what subjects? Somehow I think that, somehow, in some ways, Google has better statistical data than we do,and is using it to shape their results. I won't rule out mis-interpretation by their cadre of engineers. But, the cold, hard data about how many searched for what subject, selected which results to view, stayed on the page for how long, and maybe bookmarked / returned, etc. is theirs, and, most time, good business people do not ignore good statistics ... but, that is another discussion.
|Why shouldn't I just go completely black hat and do that? |
Well, you could. And, it is an option. And, there are ways of doing it. Let's separate idealism and pragmatism. Is that what's required. Nothing short of that will achieve your goal? Is it worth the risk? (Throughout the history of mankind, the answer, for many, has been "Yes")!
You run a business, and businesses have risks. Many are experiencing the results of risk: change and evolution in the process that delivers our website audience. And we do not like the results of those changes.
|not only has Google crushed businesses like mine that trade in ideas and content |
Well, maybe compacted you a bit, and handed you a temporary setback until you can make the necessary adjustments
|it has the potential to significantly damage the society at large by LIMITING |
Well, the difficulty in finding the information being sought, and at varying levels appropriate to various needs, can certainly have a role in "dumbing-down" the populace.
In addition to LIMITING, the FILTERING that some search engines do (whether they admit it or not), also can have a strong role in shaping the knowledge of the world.
|Someone, tell me I've got this all wrong. |
You got it all wrong!
ADAPT, IMPROVISE and OVERCOME!
Posted with good intent, in the spirit of encouragement.