Thursday, November 30, 2006

What Does Google Think About Blogging?
Matt Ambrose

Any internet marketer worth their salt will tell you how Google’s algorithms love the keyword rich content of blogs. But what does the Google hierarchy actually think about the explosion in content flooding the internet on a daily basis? After all, it can’t make their job any easier trying to classify millions of websites constantly being updated every day?
In an article in The Economist for ‘The World in 2007’ Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, provides an insight into how he thinks the internet is playing a healthy role in shaping how people use software, gather information and communicate. He comments that:
The lesson is compelling: put simple, intuitive technology in the hands of users and they will create content and share it. The fastest-growing parts of the internet all involve direct human interaction.
It has never been easier for people to find and share information. Anybody with a PC and internet connection now has their own electronic printing press and a potentially global readership. Relationships are now increasingly being built based on interest rather than geography. This is an aspect which many traditional marketers are struggling to come to terms with. Many still seem to have the terms ‘internet’ and ‘bubble’ irreparably connected in their minds and continue to treat the web as only a temporary phenomenon:
business models based on controlling consumers or content don’t work. Betting against the net is foolish because you’re betting against human ingenuity and creativity.
If businesses don’t start appreciating how there has been a paradigm shift in how people access and share information then they are underestimating what is going on in the online world. They are going to struggle to get their messages across if they don’t understand how it’s now a two way conversation and not a long range bombing campaign.
In an interview, discussing his Economist article, Schmidt comments that:
It’s clear, over the next few years, that people will have access to farmore information then they can ever handle. And that is a goodthing: that more information crowds out bad ideas, bad information, bad governments, bad behaviour.
Schmidt is describing how the spread of blogs and social networks should eventually lead to a rise in transparency in the way information is presented. Anybody posting inaccurate or misleading content will inevitably be caught out by an increasingly web savvy audience who can expose them in forums strewn all over the web. Being honest and genuine in how you engage and project your message will be the only way to communicate if you want to remain relevant to your audience.
Schmidt revisited his point, on the growth of transparency, in a recent speech to the British Conservative party. He discussed how:
Politicians must realise the results produced by the Internet. Many do not understand the phenomenon, its deep dynamics and implications.
Politicians are a lot like salesmen. Their role is to sell their message by appealing to their voters’ desires. Worrying about whether the message was genuine, or had any real substance, was secondary. All that mattered was influencing mindsets to garner votes rather than to actually engage in a political debate.
Schmidt believes that the internet’s growth as an information sharing resource means that politicians and businesses will have to start becoming more transparent and engaging if they want to continue being listened to. Google evidently intend being a leading innovator and driving force in how these new values will be propagated online.
Matt Ambrose is a freelance writer from the UK. You can find more information about Matt on his website
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