I moaned some number of years back (1999) about the degrading effect that would result from the web turning from an information highway to a marketing one. Now, it is fait accompli, with so many content-empty or sparse websites and blogs filling up the internet.
Blogs saw an early symptom in the flood of spamming in the comments and the spammy scrapers (those sites that use rss content to publish others content on their sites). I’ve actually seen “sites” that were nothing but google ads under category titles. In this vein, an article is exposing the dark side of SEO… and not even just “black hat” SEO.
Search-engine subterfuge hits Google traffic has this (among other things) to say:
“SEO would become an industry.
How can you tell it works? When you do a search and are led to pages and pages of odd sites with lots of advertising or things to sell, that’s when you know. Many companies are so good at it, they specialize in loading up the net with sites designed to rise to the top, using every trick in the book. “
“This is killing the search experience for many people. A half billion have left the grid and retreated into the cloistered world of Facebook. Both Facebook and Twitter have looked at the SEO attacks on Google and both think they might be able to do search better using social networking tools. “
Now you and I both know that there is a mad clamor to try to monetize Facebook and Twitter in ways that can make them pay off like these SEO and marketing of website tactics. I am not at all against business or business use of the internet, it is the demise of the web as an information and educational medium that bothers me.
I have found myself using Facebook more and more as a blog of the “tumblr” type, although it isn’t the way I choose to interact publicly. Twitter has been more conducive to an accessible way of publicly sharing thoughts and preference, as well as recommendations, but like blogging proper, of old ( how ironic that sounds! blogs of yore), it is still exploring many sorts of expressions. Some very businesslike, some very diary-like.