Another Thought on Google’s Actions

Dana commented that Google seemed to be making their own ranking irrelevant as they force more and more people to ignore it. Well, that’s an interesting thought.

You see, when Google makes your blog have a zero page rank, what they are saying is, your content is totally irrelevant to any search that a person might make. Hence, no value. So, my question would be, does it mean that advertisers whose ads appear in a PR-0 website or blog gets it for FREE? Hey, how can you charge me for advertising on a page that you claim to be worth ZERO?

Now, it appears as if Google is trying to work for the best of their users. That is fine. But how did blogs and sites get zeroed? Seems like there is actually a human who makes that final call. Google has always been “impartial” and operating based off sophisticated algorithms… now you need a human to read a blog that contains so much good information that it “used to have” a page rank of X and make it zero? Nice policy. Seems like dmoz all over again. Maybe someone, somewhere, will find one of these humans, pay them a few bucks to “zero” one of their competitor’s web site. After all, it’s just business; right?

So, a site that has paid content has a page rank of zero. If that is the case, then why are sites like GameSpy, Amazon and many other purely commercial sites ranked so high? Their content are all commercial. How much hypocrisy is there in this world? We have “paid” content here and there and get zeroed. They have loads of paid content and get a high page rank. We small time bloggers making a few measly dollars to cover our hosting fees get zeroed. These big boys who are PAID millions get high page rank. Why? I guess because they also SPEND big bucks with Google?

Well, life is not fair. We all learned that. But once in a while, we get our hopes up that there are a few nice things going on in this world. Sadly, money talks, and our little crumbs are swept away to make room for the steaks.

[tags]google, page rank, zero, hypocrites[/tags]

Holiday Blogging Awards 2007

Well, if you have been blogging for a while, and you are still at it, then you must really love it. So, why not test your mettle against the best on the web and take part in the Holiday Blogging Award 2007 competition?

There are three categories that you can participate in:

Best Holiday decoration of a Blog – Any blog or blogger who has decorated their blog for the holidays either entirely or in an subtle way. Prize: $20 USD via Paypal and links from channel blogs.

Best post about Christmas on a Blog – The best posting about Christmas or holiday activities on a blog. It can be religious or non-religious, but should celebrate the spirit of the season. Prize: $20 USD via Paypal and links from channel blogs.

Best Holiday image or video on a Blog – The best display of your own personal holiday decorations on a blog. It can be religious or non-religious, but again, should celebrate the spirit of the season. Prize: $20 USD via Paypal and links from channel blogs.

I have been invited to be a judge for these awards, so please… be nice to me! :)

[tags]blog, blogging, holiday blogging[/tags]

Merry Christmas!

Sorry, I cannot wait… I gotta, I need to…. make this post

There are other versions, ok? But… I just love this song by Brenda Lee:

New Products – Innovation vs Market Feedback

In most large marketing companies, market research tends to rule, or rather, over-rule many marketing decisions. Marketing by numbers has become not only the favourite past-time of marketers, it has also become necessary to justify ever increasing budgets.

Most of the time, market research is useful and important. Product managers should never fall in love with their products and company owners should not be so enamored by their own cleverness that market feedback is ignored.

But what happens if the market says “no” when everything you believe in says “yes!”? This is a dilemma faced by innovators through out the ages.

If you believe market research, the Sony Walkman would never have seen the light of day. If you listen to market research, Intel’s CPU road map would be boring indeed. And of course, Microsoft, who in the world would have imagined that everyone “needed” to have Microsoft Office on their computers, at home? No one needed a telephone and the fax machine was a joke.

Then there is the now infamous line “… who would ever want to make a copy of that?”

Now, bring that into the context of Marketing, and you will begin to see the same behvaviour. When you propose a new idea that no one has ever tried before, the Management will more likely than not, shoot it down. Simply because it has never been done before. Keep this in mind when your next idea gets canned and just smile a little smile to yourself.

SEO, Google Slap, Casino…

As everyone must be aware by now, my little webby is now a PR0 (Page Rank = 0 for the uninitiated). Looks like Google does not like anyone making paid posts. So, how is the blogging hobbyist to make a few bucks online? Only with Adsense? I wonder if this is how you become a monopoly…

With all these nice feelings going around, I even took a look at an online casino. It has been a frustrating few weeks running around looking for a reason why the great and mighty Google might want to tear up our nice little village. But I personally do not condone gambling. But aren’t we all gambling anyway?

We are betting that Google is going to be good for us all. That their constantly changing search engine policies will help everyone find better things more efficiently. If Page Rank is a really good gauge, then a Page Rank of 6,7, or 8 must mean that the site is pretty good. So, why is it that suddenly, just because Google decided that paid posts = lousy site, they now have a Page Rank of zero? Because of a change of policy, did it really make those sites bad? If a top site about investment or finance also wrote paid posts, does it necessarily mean that everything on the blog is crap?

At least the casino sites have more integrity. They do not pretend to be anything more than what they are. A place you go to indulge your gambling habit. Is Google as up front about this? It is not enough to dominate the search engine market, but they have to now flex their muscles and dictate how the internet ought to be? What happens next? All shopping sites will not appear on search results anymore because Google wants to launch their own shopping network? What kind of search engine would Google then become?

Oh, yes, then of course that casino site that I pointed to has a page rank of zero. Compliments of Google, no less. So, that means that that gambling review site that has reviews of hundreds of online casino sites has no value to you as an internet browser. Go figure.

[tags]google slap, casino[/tags]

Do you love marketing?

Everywhere you go, you here people bitching about their work. It seems like no one likes their job. So, do you like marketing?

Many people believe that marketing is a passionate industry. The more passionate you are about it, the better you are at it. Asking if you love marketing could possibly be another way of to gauge your competency. Be careful of your answer. But career aside, seriously, do you love marketing? Laura has a very nice post up that asks “Do you love your work?“. If you think about the fact that you spend more of your waking hours doing work than watching TV or spending quality time with your family, you begin to realize how miserable you can really be if you don’t like what you are doing.

As the year nears its end, think about this. As you map your life for yet another year, before you make that all-important and oft-forsaken New Year’s Resolution, answer this: do you love what you are doing now?

Before moving on to the next post or blog or where ever you are going, do drop by Angela’s blog and share in her Operation Santa project.

[tags]job, work, job satisfaction, career choice[/tags]

Alternatives to Google’s Page Rank

Well, there are lots of alternatives to Google’s Page Rank. We have the Alexa, then there is Technorati’s much talked about ranking, and of course there is RealRank.

RealRank has finally been adopted by PayPerPost, which is quite a good thing as it is a flat ranking system. What this means is that it simply calculates the scores for all the blogs and web sites that they track and then puts them into a flat line. The rank is nothing more than a percentile cut off from 1 – 9.

Well, being ranked among your peers could be interesting. But then again, this means that it is not a ranking against the full gamut of blogs and web sites. How useful this is in the long run is debatable. But if considered in the context of PayPerPost, it makes a lot of sense, since advertisers are looking for posts within the universe of blogs who write for PayPerPost. So, a ranking within that group itself does make sense. But for the general public, it might not be as relevant.

No system is perfect. In fact, the fact that Google has been fiddling with their page rank system shows that even THAT is not perfect. There are people who try to abuse it, those who try to “game” the system and so on. We all try our best to navigate within the sea of change and opportunities. Hopefully, this will solve the dilemma for bloggers who have been slapped by the Google Zero.

[tags]google, page rank, paid blogging, realrank[/tags]

Blogger You Helping Google Shoot Yourself?

For the past few months, I am sure many of you have been reading about how Google have been going around “downgrading” the Page Rank of bloggers who do paid blogging, in particular, PayPerPost.

Well, I guess that is life. Things happen and other things happen. But the irony that I see here, is the fact that PayPerPost actually uses the Google Page Rank as a way for their advertisers to select and pay for bloggers. Talk about a vicious cycle! Advertisers pay more for a blog with a higher page rank. Google looks at these high page ranks, discover that they have PayPerPost, downgrades them, so PayPerPost loses revenue. Now, the question is, WHY would PayPerPost want to use Google Page Rank at all? Is there no other way?

I guess for most Internet Marketers, the discussion is pretty much a circular one. Google is NOT a public-service company. It is a commercial concern and it is very concerned about making money. The fact is that it’s doing a darned good job as a search engine. That is why everyone uses it. Now, think about this for a moment. That Google has so much power is because everyone is using it. Yet, there ARE other search engines around. Now, if Google’s new policies negatively affect the reliability and perceived neutrality of their search results, people will start using alternatives. But if the users feel it is still OK, then in reality, it will be “ok”. Just because a Blog has “paid posts” does it mean it is not a good blog?

In the end, bloggers blog because they have things to say. If they get paid because some people value their opinion, then they are like the many other writers who write for various publications offline. If Google feels that this somehow challenges the value of their search results, this is their prerogative. If users continue to feel that Google gives them the best search results, then all power to them. Others can use alternatives. That is the way of the free market.

Unless you are paying Google or you own Google, don’t expect a huge company like that to harken to the small still voice of a few bloggers. After all, you are just “content”, while they are the “engine”. There have been many arguments extended about how paid bloggers who blog intelligently and add value will not negatively affect search engine results. But I guess in the end, it is just a case of the Big Guy begrudging the crumbs, or it’s just me being sore about dropping a rank. I actually like what Rob wrote in his “no paid ads” post…

[tags]google, page rank, paid blogging[/tags]