Friday, January 30, 2004

What if Google didn't like Blogs?

Google likes Blogs. Blogs do well in Search Results Listings on Google. This is because Blogs contain fresh content and are richly interlinked, despite their relatively small audiences. Some would go so far as to say that Google over-represents Blogs. I personally don't think Google over-represents blogs, blogs just happen to adhere to the formula for a popular webpage. Regardless, Blogs are a great way to increase search rankings for your site on Google, and thus Google is a great tool for increasing the reach and visibility of your blog.

What if Google didn't like Blogs?

Imagine if Google gave less weight to blogs. They could tweak their algorithms to place less importance on content found in blogs as a reflection of their small audiences. They could even relegate blogs to a separate search engine option, like they have done with newsgroups.
If Google did not give such favorable results to blogs would they still be useful commercial tools?

Yes, they would still be useful tools. Blogs would still accrue traffic from other blogs, and as many blog readers go from blog to blog via links your blog will still benefit from the grapevine marketing effect that blogs have. Blogs can also give surfers reasons to visit your site other than an interest in your products. If you were to write a blog that provided a commentary on your industry, you will attract other surfers and your image will also be boosted in the resulting perception that you are an expert in your field. Your blog also gives you a method for improving customer communications - take the Macromedia example, where the corporation actively encourages employees to blog about their products so they can help customers out with any queries they may have. Another advantage is that Blogs allow you to add regularly updated content to an otherwise static site. If you have a fairly static site you would be foolish to invest in a costly Content Management System (CMS). The available CMSs for blogs are all relatively inexpensive and provide a polished layout for your content with minimal maintenance.

In conclusion, there are many reasons other than increased visibility in Google Search Results that a blog can benefit your business. Google is highly unlikely to add any handicaps to blogs in their algorithms. If they did it is likely results on Google will just be full of commercial websites, devaluing Google as a useful research tool. This is how Search Engines looked before Google came along and revolutionized the way Search Engines function. Google will continue to be a strong provider of traffic to your blog, however just doing well in results will not get users to your site. Google provides a small taste of your blog in the results listing - if this doesn't taste good to the web surfer then they won't come to your site at all. You need to make sure that you write good meaningful and original content with quality headlines or titles.


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