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 D...
POLEMIC
D I G I T A L
@badams
About Barry Adams
• Freelance SEO consultant
 Polemic Digital (July 2014)
• Dutch (yes, rea...
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.”
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 t...
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, w...
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 co...
POLEMIC
D I G I T A L
@badams
UX vs GX
User Experience <> Google Experience
• Most of Google’s recommendations are good fo...
POLEMIC
D I G I T A L
@badams
Google decrees
Stuff Google likes:
 Optimised titles & meta
 Unique, plain text content
 ...
POLEMIC
D I G I T A L
@badams
The inevitable end result...
Rather than Google adapting to the way the web
is evolving...
....
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 ...
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...
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...
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
dev...
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/...
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SAScon 2014 Its not all about google - Barry Adams

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SAScon 2014 Its not all about google - Barry Adams

  1. 1. 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
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams In The Beginning...
  4. 4. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams Web Search’s Symbiotic Contract “We scrape your content, you get free traffic.”
  5. 5. 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.”
  6. 6. 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...
  7. 7. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams “Power corrupts. Absolute power... is kind of neat.” - Donald Regan, US Chief of Staff, 1987
  8. 8. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams WWGD – What Would Google Do?
  9. 9. 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) × ...
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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) × ...
  12. 12. 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.
  13. 13. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams Wait, It Gets Worse
  14. 14. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams First, a biology lesson
  15. 15. 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/
  16. 16. 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.
  17. 17. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams Sound familiar?
  18. 18. 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
  19. 19. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams
  20. 20. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams
  21. 21. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams
  22. 22. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams
  23. 23. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams
  24. 24. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” - Pablo Picasso
  25. 25. 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
  26. 26. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams
  27. 27. POLEMIC D I G I T A L @badams
  28. 28. 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
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