What keeps the internet afloat? At the most basic level, it has to be commerce, and dare we even breathe the word, advertising. For it all to work the internet needs individuals to click on links. This used to be what Google facilitated - but now the situation is badly compromised, according to this infographic.
Google has a problem in being both poacher and gamekeeper. It has to police its search results to make sure that evil, but otherwise hardworking publishers, don't find a way to "spam" the search results that are placed in front of the innocent user, i.e. Google plays the good guy. However, at the same time most of the advertising on the web is sourced from Google and of course this isn't spam - no really it isn't, it's helpful extra results in your search that you asked for, well you might have asked for given the option to opt in or out.
This strange situation puts Google in a position where one part of it has to"fight spam" at the same time as Google's business development team has to push to "make spam."
The combination of these two actions, plus the changes to the fundamental search algorithm, have virtually made the value of a simple link equivalent to zero - or so says SEO Book. Of course, specializing in SEO means that it too is somewhat biased, but there is a lot of reason and sense in this infographic:
SEO Infographic by SEO Book
Is there anything to be done about this situation?
Probably not at the moment. The average user doesn't seem to be able to cope with the idea that the internet is funded by advertising and what they get for free depends on them consuming the side message and clicking on some commercial links. Google's business is to keep a tight control over whose commercial links they click and hence the whole situation seems fairly inevitable. The problem is that if the average user gets wind of the situation they will probably throw the baby out with the bath water - for them anything commercial stinks.
It is up to us as responsible web owners, web developers and web consumers to spread the idea that if we want high quality content or the social media that lets us keep in touch with family, friends and others who share our interests we need not only to put up with a bit of advertising but even play along a bit (viewing, clicking and even purchasing) in order to encourage the advertisers to keep on funding our habit.
Google Needs a New Search Algorithm
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