Philosophy and ideology make an appearance this week in some of the most popular and thought provoking threads. Whether we’re talking about who has rights to content when services are cancelled, best practices that stand the test of time or how Google can improve society, there’s no shortage of big picture questions to consider. Even specific events like Google Helpouts closing and Yandex bucking Android bundling, raise issues of information dissemination and precedent. Channel your inner SEO-Aristotle and weigh in on the quest for Search enlightenment.
Ownership of online content has become an issue on a number of fronts as it becomes harder and harder to keep others from copying and using original content. One community member shares an interesting story that introduces another level of complexity. When you pay for content as part of an SEO program and then cancel their service, who owns the content? Obviously this can be a matter of contract terms and conditions, but what happens when there is ambiguity? One provider is ready to have their day in court to validate the notion that services are still proprietary and “you get what you pay for”. Where do you stand on the issue?
Even long term professionals still fight to keep up with a constantly changing landscape. So what happens if you step away from the scene for a few years? Walking back into the middle of the movie that is the SEO industry one user asks the question; how much have strategies changed? The poster submits a list of some tried and true best practices for on-page optimization. Yet the bigger question is what to we implement in a truly literal way vs. embracing the spirit of the standard? Many commenters add their views about on-page optimization, architecture, link building and content strategy. The entire conversation really asks us all; what do you still believe in that you’ve been doing all along and what are you doing differently now?
Imagine there’s no linking or at least imagine an algorithm where links weren’t the primary factor in rankings. That’s an idea that one thread posits, asking would we even know? The weight of links in Google’s algorithm is something that’s been under heavy speculation as new updates targeted specifically at links and link patterns have changed the game. The discussion progresses to cover alternate factors and what the SERPS would look like if links mattered less.
It looks like Yandex wants a bigger piece of mobile action in its home country and is looking to the government for help. While android phone which are a huge seller in Russia come pre-bundled with Google search services. Yandex, a familiar search engine to many Russians would like to see users given more choice in the matter. Ostensibly this is in the hope that more mobile phone users would select Yandex as their default. If they make headway in un-bundling these services what might that mean for Google uses internationally and what kind of precedent could that set worldwide?
Google Helpouts a live streaming service to provide users with expert help is closing down in April. While the idea generated a small but loyal following, it was not growing fast enough for Google standards and the service will be discontinued. There is a new service in development that is more tied to customer support for Android and chrome based products but this will not have the broad topical scope that Helpouts did. The thread here speculates on why Helpouts failed to grow, and you can share your suspicions with the community.
We often can’t help but wonder if some of the biggest players in organic search have special relationships with Google. This one wonders if there is a deal or connection between Google and Amazon and whether or not information owned or controlled by Amazon plays into that. While it’s all speculation it raises some interesting questions of correlations between some brands’ strong showing and who is Google favorite now?
As Google becomes an ever growing source of information for more and more people we have to stop and wonder about the nature of the information new are served. Goes Google correct misconceptions or validate them? It may depend entirely on the nature of the query and the bias of the searcher. With the internet populated by numerous belief systems, ideologies and theories how do we even begin to separate fact from fiction, belief from certitude and opinion from proof? This conversation delves into the philosophy of a Search Engine with Google’s social clout in a way that goes beyond the usual speculation over links, algorithms, trends and technology. But how can, and does, Google affect the evolution of social intelligence? Perhaps there is a way that search engines could serve a higher cause to make us all make us better, smarter people.