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Google Got One Right! - Places Classified as Content Farm

     
10:15 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Power struggles within Google’s executive team, which have been brewing since the announcement of long time CEO Eric Schmidt’s departure, are apparently bubbling up to the surface.

Case in point: In an extraordinary move to illustrate its independence, say sources, the Google webspam team actually classified Google Places as spam and a content farm, and temporarily removed it from search results.


[techcrunch.com...]

Fascinating read...
10:35 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Emphasis Mine
Cutts refused to comment specifically on this story, although he did say in an email exchange that Google absolutely does not use humans in determining search results and that the algorithms make ranking decisions based on a proprietary blend of a variety of signals, such as how much revenue Google generates from the results.

Is that a misquote, am I reading it wrong or did he admit SERPs are based on revenue?

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 10:36 pm (utc) on Mar 31, 2011]

10:36 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Google absolutely does not use humans in determining search results and that the algorithms make ranking decisions based on a proprietary blend of a variety of signals, such as how much revenue Google generates from the results.

More fuel for the fire!

What this article needs is a +1 button at the bottom - a dysfunctional one, of course :)

[edited by: tedster at 10:37 pm (utc) on Mar 31, 2011]

10:37 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I see we made it to the same paragraph tedster ... That's an absolute headshaker, imo.
10:39 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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edit. maybe April first was a day early

[edited by: walkman at 10:41 pm (utc) on Mar 31, 2011]

10:39 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You do realize what the date is, right? From Australia west through a good part of Europe, at any rate.
10:40 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like a good April Fool's prank, especially the last sentence in the article, "Mayer, for her part, was even less forthcoming. In an off the record phone conversation she said 'Screw the webspam team,' and 'It’s not like people are going to start using Bing.' "

[edited by: crobb305 at 10:43 pm (utc) on Mar 31, 2011]

10:42 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have no question about which it is. But I'm not telling you my answer, either.
10:44 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, tedster, just got that, but seems rather inappropriate to post it for the 31st here if it's made up ... It says the 31st in the URL ... Completely LAME if they ran with something like this as a 'joke' when we're a day away here.
10:46 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Is it really all that believable? Apparently it is, since Matt just tweeted to clarify the point.
10:50 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Articles like this actually make me respect the web spam team even more. Few companies would go against its own short term financial interest and allow full independence to a department in the name of quality.

I got hit by Panda so it's not like I'm just tooting my own horn. I agree with their anti-farm efforts. I just hope it improves.

Edit: damn I just noticed it's an April fool joke.

[edited by: koan at 10:53 pm (utc) on Mar 31, 2011]

10:51 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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There is a follow-up post in TechCrunch.
11:00 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, totally got me for a minute, ON THE 31st! ... So, funny ... NOT
11:05 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"Mr "Bacon Polenta" Matt Cutts.. gets egg on face :-)

Google absolutely does not use humans in determining search results and that the algorithms make ranking decisions based on a proprietary blend of a variety of signals, such as how much revenue Google generates from the results.


Story Clamours for Home Page..

Bitterness and bad taste in mouths at the chocolate factory ?

Nice find TMS ;-)

edit ..An April fools joke has to be done on April 1. ( as designated by GMT ..and this story ran on March 31 a full hour before midnight ! ) .like TMS said March 31 dateline is not April 1...lame Matt and or Tech Crunch, very very lame..or shutting doors after horses have bolted ?
11:13 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, it's a great find that caused me to have a complete and total loss of respect for techcrunch ... I hope they enjoy the link and the traffic from a day early joke ... They'll get no more of those from me...
11:24 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Despite the fact that it was a joke, we could certainly make a case for showing how Places fits the mold of sites that were "supposed" to be hammered by Panda. And it shows that if Panda missed hammering Places, then the algo must be flawed. Of course, I don't know what Places might have been ranking for pre-Panda, and therefore don't know if it is still ranking for those things or not. But it does present an interesting study.
12:13 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Didn't find it very funny. May G 'invents' a -1 button just for techcrunch
1:12 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Few companies would go against its own short term financial interest and allow full independence to a department in the name of quality.

Isn't that exactly what Google did with the Panda update?

An April fools joke has to be done on April 1. As designated by GMT...)

There are a lot of Australians who might have an argument with that point of view. Maybe the International Date Line is a better choice. It acknowledges the entire human race.

----

I'm kind of amazed that so many people around the web (not just here) either didn't realize it was a joke, or didn't think it was funny. I gave a spontaneous out-loud chuckle on my first read-through. It's clearly an April Fool's joke with a delicately barbed edge to it... aimed right at Google.

I particularly like the section about the Demand Media yacht named The Adsense, and the line "Demand Media, worth around $2 billion, generates approximately 100% of its revenues from low quality content wrapped in Google Adsense ads."

The line about profitability being programmed into the Google ranking algorithm was pretty funny, too.
1:39 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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There are a lot of Australians who might have an argument with that point of view. Maybe the International Date Line is a better choice. It acknowledges the entire human race.

Granted ;-) ( then again Australians argue about a lot of things IME ;-) actually the Date Line was what I meant ..It was not yet April 1 where Tech Crunch is based at the time they ran the piece..thus still journalistic fail ! not joke :-(( ..If they'd have run it dated April 1 ..before midday of the real April 1 where they are..then it would have been April fool funny...in humor, timing is everything .as are ethics in journalism.

<aside>but having just substituted a new "silent" ( but very slow to type on..many missed "strikes" ) silicone keyboard for the older "noisier" silicone keyboard on the "net" machine ..I'd have burned my dinner if I tried to go back and re-edit my edit..already took me 10 minutes to type my first post and nearly 20 to do this one :-(( when it gets to 10.oo am here ..its now 03.40 am ..I'm going to go buy yet another, hopefully more "positive touch" model ..this one is frustratingly bad for what little sanity I have left, and makes my typos as bad as ever and 10 times as long to correct :-((</aside>
1:51 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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>>>the algorithms make ranking decisions based on a proprietary blend of a variety of signals, such as how much revenue Google generates from the results.

Whoa I mean... how can he admit that? How cocky are these guys? I can't believe they aren't being sued by everyone on the planet for stuff like this.
1:55 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'm kind of amazed that so many people around the web (not just here) either didn't realize it was a joke, or didn't think it was funny.


That pretty much says a lot about the publics perception both webmasters and users of Google.

5 years ago, every body would of known right a way and laughed.

Now, it's just not funny.
1:56 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Not so funny..

I do like the "barbed" undertone and how Matt felt he needed to explain the article.
2:23 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Isn't that exactly what Google did with the Panda update?


Yeah I still have the same view. I appreciate the necessity for the update. I just hope for improvement and less collateral damage (especially mine, lol).

I'm kind of amazed that so many people around the web (not just here) either didn't realize it was a joke, or didn't think it was funny.


I'm sure most of us assumed right from the bat that this was a heavily editorialized piece, possibly from a publication that was affected by Panda, and I read it as such. Things like revenue being approximately 100% from Adsense and the algorithm being based on what made them money were pretty funny. I didn't consider the entire thing was fabricated however.
7:27 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I guess this just proves how out of touch the media is with what's going on with Panda, if they thought this was funny, or so ridiculous that no one would believe it.
8:20 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The first thing I was was the image. So CLEARLY a joke.

And it was v.funny.
10:04 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Mayer, for her part, was even less forthcoming. In an off the record phone conversation she said “Screw the webspam team,” and “It’s not like people are going to start using Bing.”


From a 'higher up' its talk like that brings down giants.
2:45 pm on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I knew it was a joke, but gotta say I thought it was kinda lame.
5:46 pm on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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We knew you knew it. You just wanted to clarify to everybody you knew it. Well now we know.
5:58 pm on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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did anyone notice that Techcrunch is loaded with ads, in the header, margin, footer. lol. Wonder what their ad/content ratio is? Ads everywhere. I hit the back button.