Monday, 1 December 2003
Google updates & blog power
The search engine watchdogs have argued fiercely over Google's most recent update, dubbed "Florida," since it was implemented two weeks ago. See, e.g., Barry Lloyd's article on Search Engine Watch: "Been Gazumped by Google? Trying to make Sense of the 'Florida' Update!" Last week, prolific writer Seth Finkelstein weighed in, arguing that Google had installed Bayesian filters ("Google Bayesian Spam Filtering Problem?").
Yesterday, Seth reiterated in his blog his strong belief that blogging will remain an insigificant source of political power, relative to Big Media. ("Recent Report Readership - Statistical Analysis") The evidence? His referrer logs, which indicate most of his hits coming from a slashdot comment (60%) and much smaller numbers coming from his own site (6%) and miscellaneous "noise." However, he dismisses nearly a quarter of his hits that came without a referrer as having come from Slashdot. I do not think this is valid. I, for one, have disabled referring logging in my browser, and I followed a link to Seth's report that I found in a blog. Aside from others like me, there are probably many people who copy/pasted the URL from an email, which might have registered in the referrer log as having no source.
No, the blogosphere is not presently as big or as powerful as Big Media. However, Seth dismisses its potential too readily.