There’s been talk this week that Google are doing a rolling update which should have finished by the 4th of July, independence day (and all that) well, its been and gone and there’s still a bunch of churn & burn sites dominating the results. Not least there’s even more of them exploited .tripod domains which still seem to be as prevalent as the good old Wikipedia. Basically its been a mess for a while, but come on it’s summer and it’s hot in Palo Alto so we can’t be expecting too much from the interns at the Plex who ate too many ice creams in the Google cafe. That said, WTF? you just kicked the fucking baby out with the bathwater.
Just for reference I’m in the UK and these 2 search terms have brought up the site consistently in the top 5 results over the last 4 years.
Hacker News is :
- one of the top 500 most visited sites in the world (according to Alexa)
- one of the most influential start up incubators in the world
- probably one of the biggest pains in the arse for Google in terms of when things go wrong they are often exposed on HN with pretty damaging public relations issues.
- my favorite destination for news (I’m a bit of a fan)
- one of the most influential early adopter sites in the world
- that’s enough accolade…
Anyway if you’ve not heard of it before you’re unlikely to ever find it now, basically it’s been pretty much de-listed by the dreaded maker of dreams and controller of the worlds moral high-ground. Yes that’s right, we have a war in progress, where one of the most influential sites in the world (among the hacking community) has now falling fowl of the megalithic Google and yet somehow in due course there will be a winner. But who?
Well lets put it this way, this wont be good for Google’s public relations as they try desperately to improve the search results, it looks like in the last few months the dials have been turned up so far, (in attempt to tackle manipulation) that good old fashioned sites which have done everything ‘right’ are now somehow most likely being caught in the crossfire, with devastating results for those who have dared to build a business based on Google traffic.
I’m not sure what will transpire from here, but these are some basic facts:
- HN has never undertaken any sort of manipulation of the results,
- Google are clearly penalizing them from the results at this time,
- HN have a history of causing Google some embarrassment when things go wrong and this looks vindictive.
- this is not going to end well, for Google, as clearly they are the aggressor who cannot hide behind ‘the algorithm is to blame’.
- one has to beg the question, if Google have made some error, how many others are being unfairly affected by such collateral damage?
In truth Google’s war on manipulation has for the most part got the picture right, they generally do correctly remove sites which have attempted to manipulate the results and done so using suspect techniques. That said somethings really wrong with the results when one of the most trusted sites on the net gets whacked for no apparent reason!