Posts tagged ‘Vincent Wright’

Google’s new algorithm will likely weed out content mills


I’m not enough of a bastard to only dis Google, because they have made a pretty good move today.
   Google’s new algorithm, it is claimed, will weed out content farms, one type of site that has annoyed us here regularly.
   These are sites that just pinch others’ content automatically. Because search engines pick them up, people visit their pages. Those pages are filled with ads—quite often supplied by Google. The content-pinchers make money, but the people who took the time to create the piece don’t.
   I wrote, not a long time ago, that Google Blog Search had become entirely useless. That’s no exaggeration: head in there, and a lot of the blogs are scraped: they are duplicates of other sites.
   In fact, when Vincent Wright’s blog was deleted, and I helped him to get it back, the Googlebot was trying to delete those scraped blogs. It’s just a shame that the Google machine was so damned useless at helping legitimate people get their blogs back, and intentionally stonewalled us to get some weird kick. If it were not for the Blogger product manager’s intervention, Vincent’s blog would still be in cyber-oblivion.
   So the move, in principle, is a good one.
   Google claims, ‘If you take the top several dozen or so most-blocked domains from the Chrome [Personal Blocklist] extension, then this algorithmic change addresses 84 percent of them, which is strong independent confirmation of the user benefits.’
   Let’s just hope that Google won’t mistakenly take out legit sites again (I have to ask what the other 16 per cent consists of!), though the fact that there has been some correlation with human editing (sites chosen by users for the Blocklist) helps.

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Posted in internet, media, publishing, technology, USA | No Comments »

Google’s Rick Klau restores Social Media Consortium


All it takes is finding the right bloke and hoping they would do the right thing.
   At the end of the day, that was the lesson in getting Vincent Wright’s Social Media Consortium blog restored.
   Yesterday, Josh Forde Tweeted me about an article he had read, where John Hempton’s Blogspot-hosted blog had been removed by Google. In the comments, a Blogger manager, Rick Klau, responded. I wrote to Rick on Josh’s suggestion.
   Today, Rick responded to say he had restored the blog. He also privately gave us some advice on what got the blog picked up by Google in the first place and why it might not have been restored in those ‘two business day’ reviews.
   It was, of course, the first we have heard of the reasons, and he has a point. At Rick’s request, Vincent and I have promised not to share that publicly.
   The blog was temporarily removed again as the bot picked it up, but Rick has now whitelisted it so we can begin posting again, at long last.
   It’s been a six-month battle but we’ve finally got there.
   I still think Google’s procedure needs some work. The way we were spoken to on the forums was unacceptable, as was the obstruction and even deletion of evidence.
   However, Rick’s actions have restored a bit of our faith. It’s good that the people actually working inside for Google can tell who the good guys are and have some horse sense.
   What Rick also did right was to be accessible, and he kept his word not only to us but to other bloggers.
   His emails to us were punctual, and on that note he kicks my ass given how long I can take to get back to people.
   So, a big thank-you to Rick Klau—and I look forward to seeing more posts over at the newly restored Social Media Consortium.

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Posted in business, internet, technology, USA | 7 Comments »