Saturday, April 16, 2005

Can you smell G.A.S.?

Meg and I had a laugh yesterday. She came back from speaking at the Search Engine Strategies (SES) Conference in Germany with a new acronym: G.A.S. - Google Anxiety Syndrome - the fear of not ranking highly on Google.

Apparently the smell of GAS was palpable at the conference! It seems that web marketeers the world over are obsessed with their Google result rank and SEO companies are cashing in. Hang on, what does S.E.O. stand for? Search Engine Optimisation. And now SEO is a mini-industry in itself.

SEO gurus are constantly inventing ways to manipulate Google's result page so their client's website ranks highly. It seems they're winning. Have you searched on Google lately - found yourself caught in an SEO link farm? Unfortunately Google has been a victim of their own success and their index is under siege by SEO link farming, link spamming, keyword stuffing, proxy linking, cloaking, phreaking and other clandestine SEO techniques. And this is just the beginning!

Although this is bad news for Google, it's good news for us.

Trexy is inherently resistant to manipulation by SEO companies. We only show search trails generated by real searchers - not bots - real people. We want trailblazers to provide the 'authority' when it comes to deciding what's relevant on the Web - not an SEO company.

Large scale automated SEO techniques will not work on Trexy. But our system will still experience some problems - we expect a minority of people will leave 'vanity trails' that link to their own sites. To combat vanity trails our Goat Trail algorithm weeds them out - if a trail is not authoritative it fades - and a vanity trail will fade quickly. If a trailblazer abuses the system by leaving excessive vanity trails we will remove their trails from the 'All Trails' index altogether.

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