Fair Search Rankings: SEO and Its Sins Come Home to Roost

September 7, 2010

You will be reading a lot from the search engine optimization crowd in the coming weeks. SEO means get a site on the first page of Google results no matter what. The “no matter what” part means tricks which Web indexing systems try to de-trick. Both sides are in a symbiotic relationship. The poor goofs with Web sites that pitch a pizza parlor have zero chance to get traffic. An elaborate dance takes place among the engineers who tweak algorithms to make sure that when I enter the query “white house”, I get the “right” white house.

A 1,000 calorie plus Krispy Kreme burger of Texas indigestion is on the menu for the Google if the Associated Press’s story is spot on. Source: http://new.wxerfm.com/blogs/post/bolson/2010/aug/06/krispy-kreme-burger/

You know the one with the President of the country where Google and Microsoft have headquarters. If you are another “white house”, you can hire some SEO azurini and trust that these trial-and-error experts can improve your ranking in Google, Bing, Ask, or other search system. But most of the SEO stuff does not work reliably, so the Web site owner gets to buy ads or pay for traffic. Quite an ecosystem.

Now the game may be officially declared the greatest thing in marketing since the invention of the sandwich board advertising bars in Times Square or be trashed as a scam on hapless Web site owners. The first hint of a potential rainy day is “Texas Opens Inquiry into Google Search Results.” I don’t quote from the AP. The goose is nervous about folks who get too eager to chase feathered fowl with legal eagles. I also am getting more and more careful about my enthusiasm for things Googley.

I don’t have much of a comment and I have only one observation. Add one more Krispy Kreme sized problem to the Paul Allen patent extravaganza, the Oracle dust up, the Facebook chase, and the dissing of the Google TV. I thought Google’s lousy summer was over. Is September 2010 going to trump Google’s June, July, and August 2010? It may. Quite a Labor Day in a state noted for its passion for justice Texas style.

Stephen E Arnold, September 7, 2010



One Response to “Fair Search Rankings: SEO and Its Sins Come Home to Roost”

  1. Timothywmurray on September 7th, 2010 7:40 am

    You will find this paper from 2007 adds a lot of detail to the reasons governments may get involved with regulating search:

    Pasquale, Frank A. and Bracha, Oren, Federal Search Commission? Access, Fairness and Accountability in the Law of Search. Cornell Law Review, September 2008; U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 123; Seton Hall Public Law Research Paper No. 1002453. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1002453

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta