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The Google Shaped Web
 

The Google Shaped Web

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Slides from my talk at SAScon 2014 about Google, cats, and parasites.

Slides from my talk at SAScon 2014 about Google, cats, and parasites.

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    The Google Shaped Web The Google Shaped Web Presentation Transcript

    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams POLEMIC D I G I T A L The Google-shaped Web A Tale of Cats & Parasites Barry Adams Polemic Digital June 2014
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams About Barry Adams • Freelance SEO consultant  Polemic Digital (July 2014) • Dutch (yes, really) • Twitter ranter: @badams • Lecturer on SEO & Digital Strategy • Editor & blogger for StateofDigital.com • Also blogs at PolemicDigital.com
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams In The Beginning...
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams Web Search’s Symbiotic Contract “We scrape your content, you get free traffic.” Source: http://xxtremorxx.deviantart.com/
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams Google’s Version “We scrape your content and if we like it enough, we’ll keep your traffic too.” Source: http://revafallarts.deviantart.com/
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams How did we get here...? • Google was the first truly dominant search engine • As a result, webmasters do whatever they can to get in to Google’s good graces • Google realises that this can be used to its advantage...
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams “Power corrupts. Absolute power... is kind of neat.” - Donald Regan, US Chief of Staff, 1987
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams WWGD – What Would Google Do?
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams Google recommendations Stuff Google likes:  Optimised titles & meta  Unique, plain text content  Human-readable URLs  Responsive websites  XML sitemaps  Structured data  Nofollowed links  Disavow files  SSL  ... Stuff Google dislikes: × Bog-standard content × Shockwave Flash × Content embedded in images × Active link acquisition × Separate mobile sites × Unrestricted linking × Content in (iPhone) apps × More than 3 ads on a page × Spam (whatever Google says it is) × ...
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams UX vs GX User Experience <> Google Experience • Most of Google’s recommendations are good for UX too • But some are purely for the benefit of Google • And these latter ones are becoming more frequent
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams Google decrees Stuff Google likes:  Optimised titles & meta  Unique, plain text content  Human-readable URLs  Responsive websites  XML sitemaps  Structured data  Nofollowed links  Disavow files  SSL  ... Stuff Google dislikes: × Bog-standard content × Shockwave Flash × Content embedded in images × Active link acquisition × Separate mobile sites × Unrestricted linking × Content in (iPhone) apps × More than 3 ads on a page × Spam (whatever Google says it is) × ...
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams The inevitable end result... Rather than Google adapting to the way the web is evolving... ... the web is evolving the way Google wants. The free & open World Wide Web is becoming the restricted Google-Shaped Web.
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams Wait, It Gets Worse
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams First, a biology lesson
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams Toxoplasma Gondii “A convincing body of evidence now exists to indicate that the ubiquitous protozoan Toxoplasma gondii can cause permanent behavioral changes in its host...” “Such behavioral alterations appear to be the product of strong selective pressures for the parasite to enhance transmission from its intermediate host reservoir, primarily rodent, to its feline definitive host...” Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2526137/
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams In layman’s terms 1. Toxoplasma gondii infects a rodent and alters the host’s brain patterns & behaviour; 2. The rodent becomes more active and prone to exploring open areas; 3. As a result of this behaviour, the likelihood of the rodent being eaten by a cat increases; 4. When a cat eats the infected rodent, Toxoplasma gondii infects the cat – its definitive host.
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams Sound familiar?
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams Google has infected the web • Google is both parasite and cat; Google’s recommendations are memes it uses to infect us • We are altering our behaviour to make our information more easily accessible to Google • This enables Google to prey on our business models and take over profitable niches
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” - Pablo Picasso
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams To end on a cheerful note... “Toxoplasma gondii is the most common protozoan parasite in developed nations. Up to 80% of the population may be infected, depending on eating habits and exposure to cats.” “When infected human adults were compared with uninfected adults on personality questionnaires or on a panel of behavioral tests, several differences were found.” Source: http://schizophreniabulletin.oxfordjournals.org/content/33/3/757.full
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams
    • POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams POLEMIC D I G I T A L Thank You barry@polemicdigital.com www.polemicdigital.com twitter.com/badams