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Monday, October 01, 2007

Techmeme's New Blog Hotlist

This story is uncharacteristically popping up on a few blogs that don't even publish that often, so I think it must be significant.

Gabe Rivera's Techmeme is going to publish a new Top 100 Blogs leaderboard, and this is being interpreted as a direct shot at Technorati, which has tried to rank blogs by authority (links).

Looking at some of the top sites on the Technorati list does confirm that the ranking methodology is kind of stale. The point that you can easily buy, beg, borrow (maybe not steal) links means that there needs to be a more subtle way of ranking a blog's standing. I'm not sure if Techmeme's method is going to be a huge advance, but it's the man of the hour for now.

I'd read this changing of the guard back into the discussion of how useful link analysis (aka PageRank) is to an overall approach to ranking websites or content in general. Overall I think the PageRank concept has degraded with time, and the final phase of rampant link buying and Googlers scolding people for link buying (and link buyers scolding Google right back) is silly season. The fact that I overhear leading SEO firms saying privately and cynically that "80% of what we do is buy links, for huge sums," pretty much guarantees that SEO won't look like that in a year's time.

To anyone other than a short-term tactician, stuff like this "boost your Technorati rank bootcamp" article is just plumb irritating. Must monetize blog, must get d-listers to link to me, must come up with nouveau version of link farm... arggghhhh.... have fun!!!

But what happens when Gabe's the new sheriff in town and you can't splog your way to easy cash?

I'll keep going out there and building authority for the sites that matter to me, but "thin" link building tactics have seen better days. It's interesting that a site like Techmeme, and its attempt to gain market leadership over Technorati, does such a good job of hammering that point home.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




Friday, February 09, 2007

Pipes & Tubes

Google's confirming publicly that they believe the current Internet may become choked by online video. This is related to a barrier to Google's growth -- one of the only serious ones -- that has been nagging at me for some time: globally, they don't own the pipes. Big utility monopolies still hold a lot of cards around the world. The smart money would likely partner with them. (We've noted in the past that this has been one of Microsoft's strategies globally -- taking stakes in utility companies.)

G's massive investment in infrastructure in the US is no doubt partly going to address this. It'll be fascinating to see how it unfolds. Net neutrality is at least a debate in the U.S. today. In some nations and economic zones, there are very different terms for the debate.

Meanwhile, Yahoo has released a mashup service extraordinaire, called Pipes. It's going to be worth a lot more study, but basically it provides an easy way for the layperson to pull disparate data sources into a web page -- like a smarter more agile feed reader? Kinda makes my head hurt: does it compete with Google Reader or supersede it? Some commenters are saying it's really nothing too new, and other products like RSS Bus would be better for those who are technically inclined. Stay tuned. (If you really know what you're doing: Jeremy Zawodny points to something called GData.)

And meanwhile meanwhile, over at Techcrunch, Arrington does something we apparently no longer make time to do: reviews and compares new Hotmail, new Yahoo Mail, and Gmail. All of these web 2.0 apps get the thumbs-up, but Google comes in at #1. That's about what I'd say. I actually use both old Yahoo Mail and Gmail, and don't particularly enjoy new Yahoo Mail. I'll likely consolidate everything in GMail, a decision I think you eventually have to make (one way or another, with Y or G) so you're using the same calendar and IM app and not confusing the hell out of yourself.

Mail, at least, we already use. Both Google's Co-Op and Yahoo's Pipes probably deserve weeks of our time, and here we are blogging about engagement rings and Ted Stevens. Time to tackle the to-do list. Also, posting will be light for the next week due to SES London.

Other random thoughts to wind up the week:

And Technorati's edgecraft: is it just me, or is calling a "buzz description" a "WTF" (as in "write a WTF for this query") pretty edgy? Edgy, I think. As I've told a few of you, my office building is owned by a commercial real estate company called WTF Group. Seeing that logo on the wall has gotten me through many a day.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




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