We are just in the process of moving the website of the China Speakers Bureau into a fully WordPress-organized site. Of course, I would be interested to see whether there would be any effect on our listings on search engines. The story is that WordPress is so much geared for search engines, better than any human SEO expert could help you.
After a few days I saw indeed our listing going up, when I would search for any of our speakers, but then realized that what I would see, is not the same what the rest of the world sees. Search engines like Google and Yahoo have become so sophisticated that after a few days they would present the results they know I want to see. My neighbor might get totally different results for the same searches.
I realized this after a few minutes, but the psychology behind this deceptive technology is so powerful, many people would believe blindly what they get from Google.
Fortunately, the book by Eli Pariser The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You documents this deceptive technique in full extent. And, it is actually not really a secret. Pariser’s story begins with the announcement by Google that the internet results will be personalized. Hurray.
The problem is of course, that really testing how well your website is doing has almost become impossible to find out. Is content important? I still hope so, but I’m not sure. What we are missing, and I hope big brother Google is listening, is a big button to switch off personalization. That would be real innovation.
- Google Copying Bing’s Image Results? Google Cheating Bing? (seroundtable.com)
- Eli Pariser on “The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You” + Assange: Facebook, Google, Yahoo spying tools for US intelligence (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- 5 Questions with Eli Pariser, Author of ‘The Filter Bubble’ (techland.time.com)
- Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles” (serve4impact.com)
- Academic Research in the Age of Facebook (savageminds.org)
- Bursting the Bubble: Are We Isolated in a World Wide Web of One? (time.com)
- How to read your search results? The Google dilemma (fonstuinstra.net)
Update: Actually watching this clip made me even more worried than I already was.