Domain Authority & Misplaced Trust

Sugarrae has a great post on how Google's policing of the web and pushing nofollow are undermining the social network and links that their relevancy algorithms are based upon. Worth reading from start to finish twice, then blogging about it. I would quote it, but a quote wouldn't do it justice.

The core issue is that Google places too much weight on domain authority and PageRank. Is The Wall Street Journal easy to trust? Sure...if they print garbage investors will stop buying their magazine. But even they publish garbage sometimes. Maybe Google could find a way to tune down domain trust and place more weight on other factors.

If Google decides that large networks should be trusted but that individuals should not be trusted much they are doing a bad job of encouraging web innovation. You only have to look at the entire history of mankind to realize that most innovation comes from individuals and small groups...not the large existing ones.

With as strong as Google is integrated into the web, if they are ever to fail their failure is more likely going to be due to an internal misperception than an external force. Great ideas are ignored, then shunned, then proven, then accepted. If Google doesn't make things accessible until step 3 or 4 they leave a big hole for competition in the search marketplace.

The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alternation of old beliefs. Self-conceit often regards it as a sign of weakness to admit that a belief to which we have once committed ourselves is wrong. We get so identified with an idea that it is literally a “pet” notion and we rise to its defense and stop our eyes and ears to anything different. — John Dewey

Published: September 4, 2008 by Aaron Wall in google


September 4, 2008 - 9:10pm

Shocked that nobody has commented on this.

I guess it's the path of least resistance ; )

In any case, it's extremely ironic that Google's no-follow crusade is undermining the interlinking nature of their own algorithm.

Give Google soon as they figure out how to create a quantum computer/server, they'll move onto a more latent semantic indexing system, lower the relative value of anchor text and inbound links, and do away with no-follow and their paid link crusade.

It could take years, but with their enormous advantage in terms of raw computing power, it's unlikely that any little guys will be able to catch up in the meantime.

September 5, 2008 - 5:11am

I think Google are cleverly building their search engine to help increase their returns from Adwords.

Their mindset really only helps big, well established online brands, or sites of authority, yet what is unique about the web is that anyone can create a website, and make money, change the world - whatever!

It isn't in Googles shareholders interest to have a search engine which generates loads of free traffic to small companies/individuals who have new ideas. So by keeping those people well down the listings, they are given no choice but to invest in adwords as a way of generating traffic.

Steven Carrier
September 5, 2008 - 6:04am

Google pirates the Web. AND POORLY AT THAT!!!! I have removed Google as my default search engine and yet I can be in Yahoo MSN and click on link within that same site and if the results dont resond fast enough for google you will be looking at a google search page. Google claims to be used for more searches about yahoo than yahoo but Why? They are piratying their web traffic And force people through there
web pages and and chance to click on their paid advertising. Isn't that theft? This effects users advertisers alike.

Steven Carrier
September 5, 2008 - 6:36am

And Google will try to be everything. Hence its name.

Terry Van Horne
September 6, 2008 - 10:12pm

Aaron, you seem to think it is domains. IMO, It is a number of things that they use to determine trust that make it seem like domains. Why? Simple, what looks like domain is often the result of age and other factors that seem to mask this and make it appear to be just about domains. Sure beats the heck out of link text and IMO provides better results.

Google is responsible for changing how authors link and who they link to. In the past I see a good article I link now... the whole f'in site has to be vetted because some low level engineer in Mountainview may decide this site sells links or a host of other rediculous nonsense, that should have nothing to do with my decision to link to a site or participate in a blog but can still hurt me since Google opened Pandoras Negative SEO Box!!

September 8, 2008 - 11:28pm

Sorry to say this, but the nofollow on twitter is plain and simply stupid. What an ignorant move, and how it really exposes that Google employees to the contrary of the Google founders have so little understanding on how their algo is supposed to imitate human life and nature.

It also makes sure that most public SEO related convos are nothing more than fluff.

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