Attention & User Acceptance Data

May 19th

There is a rumor that Google may buy Feedburner for roughly $100 million dollars. If they do so, they have another way to understand if blogs are real or not. Few people subscribe to or link at a fake blog or unoriginal blog. Owning the leading reader, the leading feed provider, the leading analytics product, and the leading ad platform should give them a pretty good idea of what is real.

Links flow easily across blogs, so Google may eventually judge that portion of the web looking for other signs of quality that require more commitment than a quick mention. As they get better at determining real from fake they can surface the best few blogs and submerge the rest, all while displaying more content from other verticals, like books. Ranking at about #120 in the search results I just saw a book about a topic I did a link bait for. It was freely available online and over 300 pages in length. Luckily my link bait is more aesthetically pleasing, modern, and was linked to from major newspapers. If I launched the same link bait a year or two later that book probably would have beat me. I am not sure if I would have been able to buy enough exposure to override Google's desire to make the organic results overtly informational and from editorially trusted sources.

Published: May 19, 2007

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Comments

Dharmesh Shah
May 19, 2007 - 6:18am

This is actually a wee bit troubling.

Though I can see how Google might want to use the FeedBurner subscriber data to improve search results, this creates even more cross-product influence.

For example: Simply the hint that a given site can get better Google search rankings by using FeedBurner will cause more users to use FeedBurner (that likely wouldn't have otherwise).

Don't get me wrong, FeedBurner is a great product -- but still...

Venetsian
May 19, 2007 - 6:20am

Yep. I definately agree that if google aquires Feedburner and get their stats on blog feeds usage all small blogs intended for pey-per-review or just link sales will go down. I guess this will be very good for Google....

May 19, 2007 - 6:32am

That is how some of the strongest value based systems are created though. You have to give more than you get back.

Just like how keeping copyright content out of Google and YouTube is tough...it forces more people into accepting Google's ad based business model...and if they don't they get further marginalized as Google pushes those who do comply.

I don't think all of it is designed to be as insidious as it may sound...I just think search does a good job of feeding into (and profiting from) common human flaws (like greed and laziness).

Kirby
May 19, 2007 - 4:03pm

I doubt the use of a Google owned product will ever provide a boost.

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