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Thread: Is Google's "quality" micromanagement killing originality?

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    Is Google's "quality" micromanagement killing originality?

    I had this thought while writing something the other day, and again today while reading about how Google might determine quality of reviews.

    All these new rules about what constitutes quality are beginning to seem like algorithmic micromanagement of what people may or may not write like. There are things which are "banned", things that are discouraged and things that are encouraged, and they are being determined by an imperfect dispassionate algorithm that, still not being a living being, just cannot detect and appreciate the subtleties and deviations that a human being can.

    When I was thinking about "quality content", and as a result welcoming Google's apparent drive to reward quality, this isn't quite what I had in mind. What I consider to be a crucial part of "quality" is honesty and passion that shows through writing without regard for a minefield of rules that may break your writing flow. What Google seems to be encouraging is just another variation of old tactics like keyword stuffing, where we're compelled to write for the engine instead of for the people.

    For example, look at those Inverse Document Frequency (IDF) values from a linked article. An algorithm deciding what is a high value term based on frequency in which it might appear in an article. I have trouble imagining a SEO aware writer trying to please an algorithm pegged in this way and actually write his/her content "naturally".

    This seems to stifle a creative process, which requires some level of disregard for rules, and may have an overall reduction of originality as a result.

    Yet another reason why I'm attracted to social media marketing more and more. Compared to post-Panda Google, social media marketing actually seems more democratic (even with Facebook's platform dominance) and more conducive to creativity, originality, innovation and true quality.

    What do you think?

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    bogart (31 May, 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by memenode View Post
    Yet another reason why I'm attracted to social media marketing more and more. Compared to post-Panda Google, social media marketing actually seems more democratic (even with Facebook's platform dominance) and more conducive to creativity, originality, innovation and true quality.
    The article is mostly about product reviews. But I'm sure that the quality guidelines will warp the way people write.

    I'm not so sure about social medial. FaceBook seems to me to be an adult version of myspace. I really wonder how useful it is for b2b. Also is there anyway to back-up your twitter or facebook account?

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    I'm not so sure about social media. FaceBook seems to me to be an adult version of myspace. I really wonder how useful it is for b2b.
    Same here. Our personal FB account is like a MySpace between friends. It seems that FB Pages are the way to go for anything business related.
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    Hmm, one thought is that the merger of personal and business is actually a good thing because it makes you be and appear more honest, natural and approachable. Maybe it isn't that social media isn't B2B friendly, just that it changes the way B2B relationships happen.

    I mean.. we have politicians, CEOs and such tweeting, blogging and using Facebook.

    And yeah, that article is about product reviews, but Google probably uses similar kinds of algorithms to determine the quality of other types of content. In turn SEOs persistent drive to figure those algorithms out, and Google "punishing" people who somehow don't follow their guidelines pushes us back to that old "write for the search engine" trap, just in a new way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by memenode View Post
    Hmm, one thought is that the merger of personal and business is actually a good thing because it makes you be and appear more honest, natural and approachable. Maybe it isn't that social media isn't B2B friendly, just that it changes the way B2B relationships happen.
    Sure. Everyone has heard of mixing business with pleasure. But does Ms. Susan MD/Susan the School Teacher want her professional associates accessing her Sexy Susan FB page? Everyone has heard of the security resets that FB does.

    Quote Originally Posted by memenode View Post
    I mean.. we have politicians, CEOs and such tweeting, blogging and using Facebook.
    Congressman Anthony Weiner is in some "hot water". His account sent an explicit photo to a 21yo college student. Another Congressman in NY was sending photos of himself with his shirt off. Stuff like this could cost a CEO his job.

    A better alternative for the professional is LinkedIn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bogart View Post
    Sure. Everyone has heard of mixing business with pleasure. But does Ms. Susan MD/Susan the School Teacher want her professional associates accessing her Sexy Susan FB page? Everyone has heard of the security resets that FB does.
    Maybe she does? Off with the taboos. That would be one cool school teacher.

    Quote Originally Posted by bogart View Post
    Congressman Anthony Weiner is in some "hot water". His account sent an explicit photo to a 21yo college student. Another Congressman in NY was sending photos of himself with his shirt off. Stuff like this could cost a CEO his job.

    A better alternative for the professional is LinkedIn.
    Well, point taken, but IMHO these "problems" are mostly down to bad social taboos and prejudices which we're probably better off without (they tend to kill individuality and originality too). But yeah, I understand, and agree about LinkedIn (though it never managed to attract me yet..).

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    Quote Originally Posted by memenode View Post
    Well, point taken, but IMHO these "problems" are mostly down to bad social taboos and prejudices which we're probably better off without (they tend to kill individuality and originality too). But yeah, I understand, and agree about LinkedIn (though it never managed to attract me yet..).
    Congressman Anthony Weiner got himself into some hot water last night. After he refused to comment whether the photo was actually him and then launched into a tirade that was bleeped out.

    Though what you say is true about limiting orginality. I was watching the Sean Hannity Show last night and one of the guests questioned why Weiner was following (on twitter) a 21yo female college student. Hannity actually defended Weiner on that issue and pointed out that someone follows you and you follow back.

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