THE BLOG
05/12/2010 03:28 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

How Google Rewards the Worst of the Web

I love Google. Well, as much as a married man reserving his "celebrity exception" for Halle Berry can love them. I live in Gmail,  and I'm amazed by people who waste money when they could instead take advantage of Google's free offerings. So Google? Big fan. 

But Capital G, we need to talk about a couple of things. Like how St. Lawrence County should be on the short list for your broadband initiative. The county is the poorest in New York, and Time Warner Cable has a stranglehold with Internet access across the state once you leave New York City. It would be nice for them to have competition while you transform New York's Bedrock into Orbit City. 

Okay. Not everyone cares about way upstate New York, so here's the other thing: Right now your search engine is doing some big evil. And not "Big Evil" like the Undertaker when he was in his angry dick phase. I mean actual evil. 

We have terrible blogs like Examiner.com generating tons of traffic through you by repositioning other people's stuff. And it's not just Examiner. Other bloggers including most of the top ten Technorati Top 100 Blogs, are joining the party like it's the YMCA at a wedding reception ... in hell.

The worst part? The shoddy reporting this, "Steal first, maybe elaborate later" presentation is creating. Oh, and yes, it should alarm you that these blogs are cashing in on other people's work. If the people stealing content are making the money, eventually there won't be content for them to steal.

This is all happening because of the search traffic you are providing these terrible blogs. 

The other search engines are irrelevant to this discussion because you own 80% of the market and most of these bad publishers search engine strategies focus on gaming your engine. 

Do you know how easy it is to set up one of these Edward Cullen-like blogs? I set this one up in under ten minutes. I bet you Chocolate Cyanide Clavichord can be more profitable collecting other people's stuff daily than BrandonMendelson.com can producing original content. 
  
And now you want to speed up your index? The tweets in the search results are bad enough. They're like new episodes of The Secret Life Of An American Teenager, nobody cares! 

But this thing with the souped up indexing? You're now creating more of an incentive for these bad publishers to provide bad information to people relying increasingly on the web for information. 

Now, I realize to my friends in the tech community that I may sound like the Angel from Angels In America asking humanity to "stop moving." They're right. Call me crazy, I'm sure they will, but if your unofficial corporate slogan is "don't be evil" it's time to reevaluate what you're indexing, not how you're indexing or the speed at which you do it.

Rewarding these publishers with traffic does irreparable harm to your core mission of organizing the world's information. You can organize as much as you want, but it's useless if the information you organize is bad.