Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mahalo, Techmeme, Facebook, Google, Scoble

Which of these is not like the other?

Trick question, actually. All of these are very much like each other -- they are social relevance mechanisms. They just use different data to assess social relevance. As I discussed in a post about social search relevance in 2005 (which inspired Nivi to write his awesome Trillion Dollar Matrix post) all relevance calculations rely upon people, because we're the only thing that matters when it comes to assessing relevance. And in whatever form we assess relevance, contrary to Robert's assertion, we're susceptible to "SEO".

Here are the relevance mechanisms:

Mahalo - perceived prestige and accuracy of sites -- gathered by many social mechanisms
Techmeme - blog link graph and textual correlation
Facebook - 'social graph' of friends' interests, links, activity
Google - web graph of hyperlinks, and increasingly textual correlation -- links made by people!
Scoble - "ear to the ground" in Silicon valley -- via phone, email, twitter, the center of a social graph all his own

And here are the SEO mechanisms:

Mahalo - Persuade an editor that your site is important - PR or payola
Techmeme - Persuade three bloggers that your site is important - again, PR
Facebook - Persuade a cluster of friends to use your site and drive newsfeed items - marketing
Google - Persuade (or fake) a bunch of hyperlinks from important sites to yours - SEO
Scoble - Persuade him that what you're doing matters - PR

So I must respectfully disagree with Robert's assertion that these mechanisms are SEO resistant -- they are just as susceptible to persuasion as Google is, and possibly even moreso, since the scale of effort required to game Google is fairly monumental.

Now, to Robert's second claim:

"Oh, and the only way you’ll watch these videos is if someone tells you to watch them. No Google."

Here are screenshots I took a few minutes ago for some Google searches:

Mahalo, Techmeme, Facebook, Google, Scoble: Nails it.


Mahalo, Techmeme, Facebook, Google: Nails it.


Mahalo, Techmeme, Facebook: Nails it.


Mahalo, Techmeme: Nails it.


Note that these Google searches are from 12:10pm on Sunday -- 20 minutes after Scoble wrote that post. Ye Gods. Anyone looking for information about social search mechanisms is going to find that post, and those videos, just fine using Google. Google is scarily good right now -- they are indexing phenomenally fast, and extremely well, across most of the high-value portions of the web. We see crawl logs at Zvents that demonstrate that their crawling capacity, accuracy, and cycle time blow away everyone else in the industry. I will be as delighted as the next guy to see Google's dominance reduced -- it's part of our mission at Zvents, in fact -- but I can't see that they are fundamentally disadvantaged vs. these other social relevance mechanisms. Quite the opposite, in fact -- are Mahalo's editors reading this in bloglines yet? Are they working on Sunday? The Googlebot is.

Scoble is more fun to party with
than the Googlebot, though. :-)

No comments: