Google & BlogNoise: the blogger's responsiblity

We have talked about the annoying BlogNoise problem before. And most bloggers have agreed that Google would probably be smart enough to fix the problem shortly in order to provide a better service to their users.

A great part of the BlogNoise is generated by the fact alone that we - bloggers - have so many unrelated posts/subjects on the same web page. And when we - bloggers - link to each other, we let the indexing robots follow these links and then index a lot of crap at the other end. This is because, most of the time, the permalinks we refer to, just point right into the middle of a monthly archive page with so many different subjects!

I have suggested a technical google-side solution using RSS, but the more I think about it, the more I am getting convinced that it is not Google's job to fix this! It is rather our bloggers' duty to fix this!

We have created crap on the Internet; now we just have to clean up!

The blogger-side solution is actually quite simple: all we need to do is stop using permalinks pointing right into the middle of monthly archives! We need to make the permalinks point to single posts (possibly with comments and trackback). This way, when someone refers to the post, and later the indexing robot follows the link, it will only index a single post. And all the keywords being indexed will actually be related to that post! No more indexing soup mixing hundreds of unrelated keywords from dozens of unrelated posts!

Still, some questions remain:

  • What happens with the old permalinked posts?
  • How do we exclude navigation from indexing? (this is actually a general question about indexing the web)
  • And last but not least: Do bloggers actually want clean indexing? Or rather, do they prefer to continue flattering themselves with all those illegitimate search-result-hits that so easily rocket up their monthly hit counts? And it's even better when you consider unique visitors!

    Let me add that this is very contradictory with another typical blogger trend stating, in the name of interoperability and public's interest, that the only valid markup is the latest XHTML DTD!

PS: I like interop. I like standards. I am doing my best to support them. And I AM working on cleaning up my permalinks. I'll get less google hits... but hits don't matter! What you want from now on is increasing your google-hit satisfaction ratio! You want no more visitors coming to your blog by mistake! :P

Who said we didn't need wireless? (Reloaded)

Who said we didn't need wireless? (Reloaded)

At first this looks plain stupid.

However, one would hope there was actually careful planing in building the new road AND in moving the pylons but that they were just not executed in the right order... and it was probably better for the road contractor de build the road anyways, letting the electric people deal with removing the pylon later and leaving only -- maybe -- a small pothole in the road... And fixing the "pothole" later is only a small job/problem compared to building the whole road later.

Trendspotting: mobile SPAM :(

It's already making me sick... and it's only the beginning :(

Mobile SPAM is coming in all flavours! First there is SMS spam. Your phone beeps in the middle of a meeting as if you just received an alert, you check what's going wrong... but no, it's just an ad from your carrier!

Then there is voicemail spam. This is even worse. You are driving and suddenly your phone beeps as if you just missed a call and got a message. You actually try and find a place to pull aside and listen to the message... but that was a worthless effort: you just got another f*ing ad from you carrier!

Right now, carriers can afford this because it's virtually free for them. But sooner or later, more companies will be willing to pay for that kind of mass messaging! And this is far worse than e-mail spam: it really interrupts you in whatever you are doing! (Something like instant messaging spam!)

I have called my carrier (Bouygues Telecom, France) numerous times demanding they stop it. Nah! Everytime, after a month or so, spam comes back! I am wondering what kind of bozo there just makes that stupid decision to reset the opt-out flags! So eventually I cancelled my contract! (With the added benefit of being able to get a new (smart)phone cheaper when I sign up for my new contract... but I would not have gone this way if those guys had been a "little" more customer respectful!)

Anyway, I guess we'll be able to install SMS/MMS spam filters on future "programmable" (smart)phones... but I wonder how we'll be able to handle the voicemail issue... :-/

PHP oddities :(

Actually I had not really looked into PHP since early version 3 betas... I knew it had gotten better, but sometimes I wonder if I didn't overestimate this... :-/

Looks like PHP 4.3 still requires that you name a collection of checkboxes or a select multiple with a name ending with "[]" such as <input type="checkbox" name="collect[]" value="3" />. That [] makes it impossible to DOM-handle the objects with javascript... but if you don't include the [], you just won't get all the checked values, neither as a table nor as a list... only the last one! :!:

What year is this? 1995? :'(

As far as I remember, ColdFusion and ASP have been handling this elegantly since version 1.0!

Google & BlogNoise: a semantic approach

As Russel points out (original article gone), the quality of searches is dwindling at Google as the result of BlogNoise.

It seems to me that Google could easily cut out a lot of blogcrap of their search results if they performed their searches on a post by post basis (all words would have to be found in the same post) instead of a page by page basis (a weblog page contains an average of 15 very loosely related posts).

How would their indexer find out about the boundaries of each post on a page? Well... just let it take advantage of the RSS linked to any decent weblog!

Oh wait... Blogger blogs don't have RSS! They have a huge market share (i-e a huge blogcrap share) and if they still haven't implemented such a straightforward feature yet, they're not very likely to do so soon... That's a problem...

Semantic Web, where are thou?