The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Saturday, January 03, 2004

I have been running a referral-enabled version of SiteMeter for two weeks now. (Mad props, as the kids say, to Evan Kirchhoff for his help.) When I view referral information I am continually amazed at the power of the blogosphere; its interconnectedness vaults blogs to the very top of Google searches. Here is a recent Google search which resulted in a blog hit for me:

The Declarer came up third on this search. I have no interest whatsoever in French schools, or foulards, but when a Greek guy or gal searched for "French school foulard," my blog was high on the result list because of two posts that I made recently about the French government's attempts to ban the wearing of the foulard in public schools.

Someone issued a search on Yahoo (which I believe is now powered by Google) for "California schools Tim Bueller". Once again, The Declarer came up third. I have little more interest in California schools than the French variety, and I have no idea who Tim Bueller is. But I do know how to link to Tim Blair, and I do obnoxiously chant "Bueller ... Bueller" -- for which I was rewarded with one hit. (Of course, in this case the searcher could have quoted "Tim Bueller" to search for the names adjacent to each other.)

Google's inflated respect for blogs is great for me, and bloggers in general, but is not really best for Google's users. A suggestion: Google could attempt to parse links, and use that information to find pages which are linked for a specific reason, and to give a bonus to those pages which are linked using text in the search criteria. Let's consider to the "French school foulard" post. My blog came up high in that post because it has forty or fifty incoming links. But all of those links are labelled "The Declarer" or "Floyd McWilliams." A link with the text "Joe Blow has more on the foulard in French schools" should be given vastly more weight.



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