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 k / o
                                       politics + culture

Thursday, October 26, 2006

some quick thoughts regarding Googlebombing

I want to say, right off the bat, that the Use it or Lose It campaign helmed by Chris Bowers has been a stroke of brilliance. It reminds me of the web-based $$ innovations that have marked the last two election cycles. Act Blue, the Dean Bat, the small donor revolution and now this campaign to kick some reluctant $-rich Democratic incumbents in the pants. Kudos to Chris and all who've helped.

That being said, I have some real reservations about Chris's other MyDD project: Google Bombing. (Googlebombing, admittedly, is a relatively harmless practice, and one that I've tried and failed at.) Here, then, in brief, are my thoughts.

1) I don't think we should have to google bomb.

A well-developed infrastructure of local political blogs, linked and interlinked, should be able to deliver a Google Page Rank that would get all of us onto search pages for GOP incumbents and issues of the day. I've read a great deal of local blogs over the last year...and linked to them, btw...and it is clear as day that there is already great content on so many blogs. That content just needs to be linked to so that it and the blogs that host it can rise in Google Page Rank. Which brings me to my second point.

2) The "big blogs", ie. any blog with good Google Rank, should LINK TO these smaller blogs

Rather than using their google rank to try, and often fail, at google bombing on a one-time basis candidates we oppose, the "big blogs" should instead link to smaller blogs that write articles about local candidates. I know this sounds elementary. But, for the most part, the big blogs simply don't do enough of this.

In some respects, I would pose my own "Use it or Lose It" challenge to the big blogs. Link from your front pages and your blog rolls to deserving local progressive political blogs! Don't make people cross-post to you...send your readers AND THE SEARCH BOTS, to them. This is a win-win, if these bloggers would implement it. Dailykos and MyDD have HUGE Page Ranks. Their links are like mannah to small blogs. They should use that Page Rank Account.

Finally, I'd like to pose a challenge to the readers and diary writers at all the community blogs.

3) Imagine for one second if all the articles about all the candidates that have been written on Dailykos.com, MyDD, BooManTribune and MyLeftWing had been also been posted on a local, progressive political blog and linked to by one of these blogs.

Those articles would show up in Google Searches. Right now, for the most part, they don't.

That's progressive infrastructure. Let me say this, over the last year of watching and collaborating with the bloggers who run SayNotoPombo, I've see what careful, diligent writing at an independent URL can do in driving the "information stream" about a candidate on the web. This kind of long term investment in writing and coverage of a race is a worthwhile investment. It has ENORMOUS value.

Friends, the point is not to GoogleBomb. The point is to develop netroots infrastructure like SayNotoPombo with mulitiple articles on multiple topics showing up in searches of all sorts. That's a project worth working on in 2007 and 2008.

I'd like to point out that Googlebombing risks killing the goose that lays the Golden Egg. Any googlebomb succeeds or fails at Google's choosing. Not ours. They can change their coding and our results will disappear in a second.

There is simply no substitute for informative articles with kick ass titles and solid links posted at independent sustained URLs.

There just isn't.

Going forward, imo, that's something to think about and innovate around.

3 Comments:

  • No one would disagree with your main assertion that a well honed web of local progressive blogs would be a great asset, and some that the "big blogs," all progressive blogs, in fact, should be working towards.

    Now, Chris's Google project is not about getting partisan articles on the opposition (ie, republicans), written by progressive blogs, higher on Google index. Rather, the project is about raising NON-partisan, mainstream media articles on GOP candidates, higher on Google's index. That's the big difference. It's not about raising the prominence of progressive blogs, it's about bringing to the top of Google's index non-partisan articles (ie., MSM) on the GOP candidates. Of course, it just so happens that these non-partisan articles are not flattering to those GOP candidates.

    By Anonymous bedobe, at 12:22 PM  

  • No one would disagree with your main assertion that a well honed web of local progressive blogs would be a great asset, and some that the "big blogs," all progressive blogs, in fact, should be working towards.

    Now, Chris's Google project is not about getting partisan articles on the opposition (ie, republicans), written by progressive blogs, higher on Google index. Rather, the project is about raising NON-partisan, mainstream media articles on GOP candidates, higher on Google's index. That's the big difference. It's not about raising the prominence of progressive blogs, it's about bringing to the top of Google's index non-partisan articles (ie., MSM) on the GOP candidates. Of course, it just so happens that these non-partisan articles are not flattering to those GOP candidates.

    By Anonymous bedobe, at 12:24 PM  

  • i didn't realize how important the links between big national and small local blogs were for traffic and google rankings until i jumped in and tried to start a local blog up. i suspect that most posters on big national blogs have no idea about how this works.

    i think your blueprint is a sound one. it's going to take some time to build something with reaol local roots, and it'll take a shift in big blog strategy, to switch from getting info from the grassroots rather than just commenting on insider scoops and poll numbers.

    but well worth doing, and in the spirit of the heady days of 2002 to early 2004. making the connection between on and offline people and information is a huge obstacle, but potentially also a source of great vitality and check against insular back-patting.

    keep at it, kid. you're on the right track.

    By Blogger 無名 - wu ming, at 12:56 AM  

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