Googlejuice is that precious elixir which makes the difference between a site or blog that has tons of regular traffic, and those that don't.
Getting Googlejuice, legitimately or not, is a real industry. It iranges from Search Engine Optimization to spamdexing.
Google is constantly adjusting and re-adjusting its algorithms in this area to be fairer, and keep people from playing games with it. Just last week it sought a patent on new Google News technology it claims will enhance that site's credibility. This may backfire, because the major media certain to get more Google Newsjuice out of this are the same companies looking to charge for links.
But that's another show.
One of the great ironies of my recent mistake here was that it actually increased this blog's Googlejuice. Between those who linked to complain, my responses in apology, and those who followed up on my explanation saying they hadn't seen my apology, the incoming link traffic here actually rose 50%. If some of those people stick around (maybe wondering when I'll fall on my face next) it's actually a good thing.
Jonathan Peterson, who did the Amateur Hour blog here for a while, made this observation to me over the weekend.
I think there are a few good lessons - the most important of which you
already knew - the firestorm around an error is good for your link
popularity. Andrew Orlowski has been playing this game at the Register for years (and it's the reason I stopped
reading The Register, but his anti-blog idiocy brings in the googlejuice.
At some point google may start start using the nofollow tag as a
negatively weighted link that detracts from googlejuice? I think the
why hasn't google done more with blogger is an interesting question.
The search engine wars have certainly restarted, I wonder if Yahoo
caught google sleeping and they've been scrambling to get new stuff out
and leaving some longer term, more difficult integration efforts like
blogger behind? I believe there were also some technology integration
problems - a poor matchup between the code for blogger and google's
internal stuff, but don't recall the details.
I asked Jonathan (left) if I could share that wisdom with you, and not only did he respond feel free but he added more:
Feel free. Some thoughts I should throw together. There are three
problems with pagerank (besides Google's complete control of it, though
I'm not one of those google is evil tinfoil hat wearers)
1) There is no way for ME to create negative googlejuice when I link to
something. Nofollow is a start, but it was designed as a comment
spammer deterent, not a negative comment. I want to be able to create
negative googlejuice (a clever idea just popped into my head about
creating negajuice that I want to mull over and then will pass by you).
2) Google's pagerank needs some more tweaking to deal with Blogs. Lots
of stuff is getting read through RSS - my subscription to your corante
feed should generate more juice than a single link tossed into a blog
post - but that readership is invisible.
Pagerank seems to have a first mover advantage that is very hard to
break. The only way to get into the top of the blogosphere these days
is tons of linkage from those at the top, whether done by lots of effort
and quality content or tireless linkwhoring (or both) OR to do something
that is inherently viral - stupid flash movie, funny quiz, etc.
3) Then there is the philosophical question of whether there should be
such a thing as negative publicity. Online we actually have the ability
to make negative publicity NOT be publicity at all. Negative links
COULD be black-holed. What would the media landscape look like if
people we're infamous or famous for being famous, but were only famous
for well known work (even if it was mindless)?
Great stuff. Give Jonathan some Googlejuice for me. (Thanks Joho. And now for something completely different.)