Google Makes More Enemies

I can never understand what it is that makes a large company think that they are indestructible, but apparently Google continues to believe that because they are the god of search that this will always remain the case. (Disclosure, I work for a search company that was once doing really, really well in search, ahem)

Most recently they decided to penalize bloggers who were selling text links, including this blog. Page rank, which now is apparently completely devalued, went from 5 to 3. I’m in good company here however, some of the best blogs on the net also lost 2-4 points of page rank. The points lost were not relative, but arbitrary, from what I can tell, with some blogs who sold text links only losing one point and others that did the same losing three. Again, they were secretive about the why, with the blogosphere having to determine that it was text link sales and interlinked blogs from blog networks. They have more secrets than the CIA…

Today it seems they have attempted to force morality, or their definition of it, by completely wiping out the page rank of PayPerPost blogs. Now, you know I am not a fan of PPP, having had more than one comment argument about it. However, who am I to say what someone can or can’t do on their own blog. I mean, it would be different if they were using Blogger blogs and only Blogger blogs were penalized, at least then they’d have an alternative to go about writing their blog the way they see fit (ie move to Vox or something like that). But, as you can see, the company that owns search has decided to single-handedly remove page rank from these blogs.

What alternative do these blogs have? Google has around 65% of the search market firmly in hand.

The saddest part is that many of the blogs in PayPerPost are not bloggers that have been doing this for very long, and they are not A-listers either. These bloggers are part of the blogosphere, but because they don’t pull in massive traffic (IMO, likely because they refuse to resort to linkbait day after day), they are evil to sell advertising space within the post. A-listers are ‘above’ selling posts, I mean unless the pay is substantial. Advertising is far different from posts that advertise, with disclosure.

Erm, you don’t see the difference? Well, there really is one, but it’s subtle. The real difference is that PayPerPost doesn’t pay very much for their posts and the ads on A-list blogs go for hundreds, and in some cases thousands of dollars, per month. See that difference now? It boils down to the have-nots getting punished and the haves all shaking their finger in an “I told you so” fashion.

I have no worries today. I am not a PPP user and I’ve already been penalized for selling links (with no traffic loss, by the way), but I can’t help but bastardize Niemoller’s poem:

They came first for the text link sellers, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a seller of text links;

And then they came for the blog networks, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t in a blog network;

And then they came for the Posties, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Postie;

And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.”

BlogWorld Expo Highlights

I just got back from BlogWorld Expo and am still decompressing. I’m not going to try to list everyone here, but suffice it to say I met loads of cool people, Liz being my usual partner in crime, as always, Wendy and Christina joining in when possible.

I was planning on vandalizing the BlogCatalog booth, but instead I just waited until they left and made myself at home in their booth. I went and talked to them as we were leaving the show one night and they were really cool. I really was overwhelmed at how really nice they were. Here’s the picture of my misdeed. When I told them about it they thought it was hilarious. I love people with a good sense of humor!

Community Manager For MyBlogLog Hangs Out At BlogCatalog Booth

I got to meet some heros of mine, including Matt Mullenweg, Jeremy Pepper and more. Coolest was that I got to give the Weblog Award to Leo Laporte for best podcast (thanks Kevin!). While on stage he actually said, “Oh, I didn’t realize you were with MyBlogLog. I’m a big fan of MyBlogLog”. I think I should have stopped the show there and got him to say that in the mic. 😉

Leo Laporte, Robyn Tippins

Tris was nice enough to introduce me to Leo before the ceremony. He seems like such a cool guy. Leo, I mean. I already knew Tris was the coolest person evah.

Anyhoo, I’m back in the saddle again and I can’t wait to get back to work. Yeah, I’m serious, but then I’m really, really weird.

All Photos By Tris Hussey

A Few Yahoo! Product Suggestions

I’ve taken some time over the last few weeks to pay attention to different Yahoo! services. In addition to being an employee I’m a huge Y! service lover, from Upcoming to, from Music to Widgets, they’ve really built/bought some great products.

I thought it would be fun to walk through a few of their products and give them my ‘How I’d Improve This Product’ dealio, so here goes.

1. Mail

Make it Zimbra 😉

2. Calendar

Make it Google Cal… Nah, just kidding, but the functionality of Google Cal should be their aim. At present it doesn’t seem like the Y! Calendar is getting much product attention, since it is far from something I’d use. I’d suggest, off the top of my head:

1. Making it sync via iCal. Right now when you click sync it tries to sync your mail from other services and that’s retarded.
2. Adding in contexts (always fun to go all GTD).
3. Allowing imports from other services. Lower the barrier to entry.
4. Ajax. Otherwise, it’s useless.
5. Photos. Why are they asking you if you want to add photos to your calendar? Who the heck does that?
6. Connected Devices… What is this supposed to do? When I click it I get an error message that it’s unavailable.

3. Yahoo Music

As a moron who has a Mac as my primary computer and a Zune as my primary listening device (I know…), no music service is going to completely please me. That said, they’ve done a huge overhaul and the result is a much cleaner and cooler look, incorporating Upcoming and other cool stuff (where’s MyBlogLog?), but if they want me to be able to use them, Y! Music really should:

1. Be compatible with a Mac. I mean I have a PC too, but it would be cool to be able to use the service on my Mac as well. I get a message that I should ‘upgrade’ to Vista or XP, LOL. Upgrade? Not even close…
2. Make Zune one of their devices. I pay Microsoft $15 per month for the privilege of using and I’d rather use Yahoo!, especially at $6-8 per month, and I don’t have that option right now, although apparently I can use my phone. What is up with that?
3. Make the call to action a little more noticeable. I just spent 5 minutes trying to figure out how to download the client, before I noticed the really small ad in the bottom right-hand corner. Tsk-Tsk

4. Groups

I’ve seen some of the changes coming to groups, and me likee. However, I’d also add that calendar, and perhaps even upcoming, should really get tied into that product, for maximum usefulness. As well, groups and message boards both seem like a natural fit for our little widget, but then again, if it were up to me it’d be on every page at Yahoo! 😉

Well, I’ve wasted enough time listing what-ifs today. If I have some time in the coming weeks, I’ll try to do this again. If you create something similar, let me know and I’ll link to it. I love to read product reviews and ideas.