Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spies, Boosting Alexa Rankings, Google Statistics & Popular Search Terms & You

Here's another curtain lifting educational excursion for my readers. Today I am going to talk about the Internet and how it works. Do you know that 99 percent of the population that use televisions daily do not understand how they work? Only a tiny fraction even know what a cathode ray tube is, much less the scientific process that enables it to turn signals into imagery.

This is a particularly sad state of affairs considering televisions have been around now for over 60 years. It's inexcusable. Right now the masses use the Internet almost as much or more as they use their televisions and they don't know how that works either. So today I am going to talk to you about the Internet and how it works. And even more than the technical aspects, I am going to tell you about the portals to the Internet: search engines.

In the old days when people simply called a friend, family member or business they simply dialed the number if they knew it or looked it up in a phonebook. The phonebook was a non-discriminatory search engine. It was alphabetical and you could locate precisely the party you wished to contact. Since the Internet is basically a glorified telephone system where multiple calls can be made at once, it has its equivalent of a phone book. They are called search engines and they are very different from the phone books of old.

The search engines don't give you an alphabetical listing to page through - nope they don't do that. You get "results". You input a word, a name or any combination and the search engine returns what it thinks you want. It's thought is not real of course and so a search engine's thought is simply a combination of computations linked to other sites and searches. Each result is ranked. What does that mean? It means that when you want to find something, you are really going to find what is highly ranked. Type in a word like Pizza or ANY word, product or item and most search engines will return paid advertisements from advertisers who have paid for that term alongside "weighted" results. How do they rank sites and weight them?

Traffic.

Web traffic and site visitor counts increases a website's rankings. Many companies are involved in keeping track this web traffic and the most famous is Alexa. Alexa rankings are the basis of many advertising prices. A website owner can negotiate better prices for a site with higher Alexa rankings. This is the Internets equivalent of TV industry Nielsen ratings. How many people watch this show? What is that network's market share between 8 and 9 pm, how much can that network charge for commercials with that share, etc.

Traffic comes easy when the people using the search engine know exactly what they are looking for. When a website has no outside world influence or connections it is very unlikely to get traffic. Hundreds of millions of websites get almost no traffic at all. Other sites get millions of hits per day. The Internet is a very imbalanced place.

I don't like that. Information shouldn't be parsed based upon popularity. That's the way society is retarded. If you look at the Google statistics for the most popular searches, it is mute testimony to how the masses are led lemming-like to focus on only a relatively few topics. Imagine a world where you can only visit a few hundred buildings - and that's it. That is what the world of the Internet is like for the average user. It is effectively a phonebook with only a few pages of listings. You're being ripped off.

A small fraction of sites get all the traffic. For a website to get traffic, better search engine placement and a place in that small Internet phonebook, requires a few things. One of those things is to be linked to by another "weighted" site. If a weighted site links to your site, your site now will not only receive the traffic, but it also receives a small portion of that weight. Somewhere, the first search engine designers believed that credible sites were linked to by other credible sites. So if a popular site linked to a site that just was created yesterday, that site could still outrank millions of websites that have been on the web for a decade or more. It's not fair, it's not particularly intelligent, but that's the way it works.

This stranglehold on the web creates a situation that is self perpetuating - popular sites stay popular and receive 99 percent plus of the traffic while hundreds of millions other sites one can't even find unless one actually knows the site address.

So the Internets true potential for information is locked by the search engines.

Google is one of the richest companies on the planet. It's billion dollar IPO was an example that it's owners were well educated in how to game the stock market and follow a hundred thousand other non "brick & mortar" companies that made billions with the help of banks and stockbrokers and at the expense of the stock buyers. Today, Google is spying on people with a fleet of vehicles that cruise around every neighborhood in the world (thank god for that billion dollar IPO!) equipped with cameras and also sophisticated wireless tracking systems.

If the CIA did this the world would be screaming and mobs would have stormed Langely and every other CIA facility from coast to coast. Google, however, has been largely immune from criticism. They continue to photograph people and have the largest database of visual data in the world - larger than the CIA's. They have taken it upon themselves to change their role from a simple search engine to an information gathering company. That's a bit creepy. At the CIA at least you know the employees are filtered by an extensive screening process. Who knows what types of employees are working at Google and has access to all sorts of information? Ever since the development of the Internet foreign powers targeted silicon valley and almost all the big companies have moles working for them that are truly working for other nations.

Google, being an information company, now is one of the tops on that list.

I don't want to depress you or frighten you. After all, there are no secrets in an infinite universe. All mass and energy has a wave form and a frequency. An alien world with a sophisticated mass frequency scanning device can do far better than Google Earth and scan any place and everything real time and pass through walls and solid objects as if they weren't even there. So one learns that privacy is one of the first things sacrificed as technocracy increases.

The odds are if you are reading this its because you received this link in a search engine response. In this instance I'm gaming the system, using my own weight and site standing to educate you - not to sell you something. This site has no ads or ad dollars depending upon your traffic and "page hit". And that's the saddest thing about the web. Some sites with really great content and intelligent information are for all intents and purposes forbidden to the masses. Perhaps eventually someone will make a search engine that works like a phonebook. Type in a subject, topic or name and get an alphabetical response. Not weighted. Not filtered. A response where you get to pick among millions of sites. Sure, it would take more time to find some things, but I'm no saying this should be the only type of search engine - merely another alternative so that the rest of the web is made accessible to the average web user, instead of the 1 percent they now functionally access.

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