Happy Valentine’s Day!
I guess you can say V-Day is upon us — judgement day may not be far behind. I’m kidding . . . I hope.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard about Watson, IBM’s new A.I., going head-to-head with Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, the two greatest champions in Jeopardy! history. The Jeopardy! IBM Challenge begins tonight and runs until Wednesday, February 16th.
Have the people at IBM learned nothing from “the Terminator,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “the Matrix,” “2001: A Space Odyssey” or countless other cautionary tales of machines turning on humans?
Another week, another Christina “story.” This time Christina Aguilera fell on stage at the Grammy Awards. Speaking of the Grammys. . .
Did you watch the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards? I didn’t. Why? The show is just too long. Aside from the fact that I don’t take the awards themselves seriously, I don’t have the patience to sit in front of the TV for that long. To sell more ads, the Grammys were transformed from a simple award ceremony to a celebration of the recording industry. I will usually read about the winners the following day and checkout performances and acceptance speeches that people are talking about. But I digress. . .
Every week there are tons of small business articles published. Unfortunately, you do not have the time to scour the net to gather small business articles. No need. I have gathered several of the best small business articles from the past week in this edition of UPrinting’s Small Business Article Roundup.
Lisa Barone writes about what she learned from Matt Cutts’ article “Ending the Content Farm Race” which is about the presentation Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis gave at the FM Signal LA Event. So you’re reading about me reading something someone else wrote about something someone else wrote about a speech. Confused?
It seems Jason (Mahalo CEO) is now worried about content farm content spamming SERPs (search engine result pages). Content farms are sites created by companies which have writers publish loads of content specifically designed to satisfy algorithms to help the site rank.
If you’re thinking, “wait, isn’t that smart?” The answer is yes. However, there’s a problem if the content you are producing has little or no value but ranks for a keyword or keywords.
When we search in Google, we want the search results to be relevant to our query. Say you search for “Madonna’s Doctor’s Dog,” (props if you got the reference) you want to gather information, see pictures, etc. about that dog. You do not want to see an article that just mentions “Madonna’s Doctor’s Dog” repeatedly but provides little to no information about the dog.
If you actually do a search for “Madonna’s Doctor’s Dog,” this page will most likely show up at the top of the SERP. The person who initiated the search is most likely looking for a transcript for the show I got “Madonna’s Doctor’s Dog” from. Unfortunately, there is no such thing. But even if there were, there would still be a pretty high chance that this person would be directed here first. While he or she may get a kick out of the “Madonna’s Doctor’s Dog” reference, the fact is that they were not searching for what this article provides (small business articles) and so this result for “Madonna’s Doctor’s Dog” is irrelevant to them. How are you going to filter for this?
Maybe someone IS searching for this specific article and they specifically remember me mentioning “Madonna’s Doctor’s Dog” and so they searched using those terms to find this article. What about people who are actually looking for information literally on Madonna’s doctor’s dog? That information is not related to the show I am referencing, but can be what the user is searching for. Because of this, it is difficult to filter pages.
Though it irritates me when I get irrelevant or low quality content, I prefer getting too much information and deciding which is relevant myself, rather than having quality content needlessly filtered out. A simple solution would be for Google to give users the option to ignore or spam a specific result or the entire domain/subdomain. They currently allow users to “star” results which is useful, but adding the spam feature would help these content farm sites from showing up in SERPS. The problem, as with most things, arises out of people exploiting this feature for personal gain. Google would not be able to solely rely on this feedback because larger companies could easily hire people to rank all competitive content as spam. For this reason, the ignore/spam feature should be tied to individual Google accounts and whether a site receives an ignore or spam should weigh only minimally on its rank.
The ignore/spam feature would be useful since those who care enough about filtering out content farms will be able to do so themselves without the risk of filtering out other relevant information. Obviously this does not fix everything, but it’s a step in the right direction.
My main concern is Blekko’s technique possibly filtering out quality content. As I’ve pointed out, I’d rather filter myself than leave it to a machine. Still, Lisa makes excellent points about the problems that content farms present.
This article by Declan McCullagh is pretty interesting.
First off there’s the question of who should have last word on new domain names. Should it be in the hands of ICANN, the U.N. or some other impartial party? Should anyone have VETO power?
There is particularly a lot of talk/controversy surrounding the .xxx domain. On one hand, it make sense to put all adult content on one domain. Having this type of content all on one domain would be helpful in safeguarding and/or blocking content from children. On the other hand, it could lead to free speech and other issues. Maybe a site is not an adult site, but it uses adult content to sell something or some adult content is news related.
Imagine the possible disasters of applying this standard universally. What if the controversial .gay is allowed and the same standard was applied for homosexual content. Though some would not have a problem with it, I assume many members of the gay community would not be happy about being banned from posting any content dealing with homosexuality on any domain other than the .gay domain.
As it pertains to the .gay domain, I don’t have a problem with it content-wise, but I don’t understand the need for it. It’s not like homosexual content is not allowed on other domains. What’s the point of it? Domains are like area codes. The only reason for more domains is if say there are numerous Mike Cuccios and each wants a personal website. One of would get mikecuccio.com, another mikecuccio.me, and yet another could get mikecuccio.info.
This brings us to another problem stemming from copyright issues. A company like Disney will probably not have a problem due to their vast resources, but imagine if someone was able to purchased Disney.xxx. The smaller the company, the more likely it is for their company name to be purchased under a new domain.
Do you own all your small business company’s domains? Other than .com, you should probably own your company’s .net, .biz, and .info domains.
Be sure to check back every Monday for a new Small Business Article Roundup.
Got your own favorite small business article from the past week? Please share in the comment section below.