May 01, 2006

When Does Google-Results Presence Matter?

Part of the rhetoric around the lawsuit against the MaineWebPeport blogger is a large amount of "Google-huffing". The plaintiff, an advertising agency, is going to have Google results for its name dominated by criticism of bloggers. Note while I think that in principle it's a good idea that the more powerful should need to consider a public backlash when suing the less powerful, there's an aspect of meet-the-new-boss-same-as-the-old-boss in the concept that a handful of bloggers have the ability to determine the public perception of an entity. After all, there can only be ten top-ten results (and sites can appear twice). So we're talking about an extremely small number of people.

One of the very few advantages of my having a blog is that it provides me a means of running Google experiments. Despite being a Z-lister, I have accumulated enough site PageRank and such in my weblife (from other work) that I often rank far higher than my lowly blog position would otherwise grant me.

And indeed, my earlier post on the case is now in the top ten Google results for the plaintiff's name. But there's only been around five hits to it from various searches. So, sorry to blog boosters, I'm not sure the Google-huffing is accurate here. The mainstream media coverage is likely going to have far more of an impact based on sheer numbers.

Obviously, there's instances where such effects would matter. But it's going to depend a lot of the status of the critics and the relative power of the entity being criticized.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in google | on May 01, 2006 11:57 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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