The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > General Discussion > URLs and Web-bots

URLs and Web-bots

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All
I donít claim to completely understand the complex algorithms that drive search engines, however it has come to my attention that there are devices we use frequently with behaviours that are unpredicatable.

When a web-bot chooses the content to show in order or rank as a web search result, the popularity of websites is driven by the number of LINKS other websites give (as well as meta tags etc). This is the equivalent of word-of-mouth endorsement.

Taking a hypothetical example, if I post a link to a hadith of the Quíran in the context of, exposing something disagreeable, the web-bot views this as a preference for that site. The site automatically goes up in the ranking and might even be reach the desirable FIRST PAGE of a web search.

The more people who post a URL to that website, the more popular and authentic that website is deemed to be by the software driving the search engines.

Of course, it is very convenient to have a URL that can be clicked through, from a users point of view. However, click throughs (such as URLs), directing traffic to a site, are weighted heavily by the web-bot. Paid advertising can even be generated from posting URLs on behalf of third-party sites. Embedded content is another web-bot rated criteria (eg. embedded YouTube videos). All pointing to the ďpopularityĒ of a site.

If you follow me, the automatic conversion of weblinks to URLs can be problematic for OLO users.

While we are limited to 350 words, one way of squeezing more content into a posting is to a third-party website, a device we all like to use.

Iím thinking of work-arounds.

OLO could permit a higher wordcount, or not automatically convert to URL.

A more complicated solution, is for users to redirect traffic to their own domain name, which has third party content directly reproduced (and appropriately referenced). A domain name costs about $20 a year.

Iím not loosing sleep over this. Just a thought.
Posted by katieO, Tuesday, 15 April 2008 1:10:43 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
That's what I do. As an added bonus it saves me repeating myself on the topics I have the greatest interest in.

http://www.ozpolitic.com/index.html
Posted by freediver, Tuesday, 15 April 2008 5:24:06 PM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I'm afraid I'm not following you, katieO, when you say ".... the automatic conversion of weblinks to URLs can be problematic for OLO users.". I assume you meant to say "URLs to weblinks", but even allowing need for this minor correction, I still don't see why this OLO site feature is problematic to OLO users.

You state, and I understand, that the very posting of the link on the OLO page to a third party site raises the search rating of that third party site on any given search engine. As well, actual clicks on that link by OLO users raise the third-party site search rating proportionately more. So what? OLO users are not doing a search for subject matter that may be on that site, they are going there DIRECT if, and only if, they click in the belief the link may amplify or validate content of the OLO post that interests them. How does any rise in search rating, or for that matter advertising revenue, of that third-party site resulting from use of the OLO weblink cause any problem to OLO users?

I agree that posting a weblink can amplify the content of a post. My impression is that only a minority of OLO users actually use the feature to do so. Indeed there is a current general discussion topic, 'Real Speak is Needed!', that seems to lament the relative absence of just such supporting references in many posts.

If, as an OLO user, I wish to post weblinks, I must accommodate them within the 350 word post limit. It seems a simple trade-off: the more weblinks, the less other post content. If I persistently post poor quality or irrelevant weblinks, my credibility as a poster will soon suffer. I don't see why I should have a higher word limit, or need any workaround, especially not one costing me $20 or more per year.

Not converting the posted URL automatically only inconveniences other OLO users who may be interested in the amplified content.

I don't get it. What am I missing?
Posted by Forrest Gumpp, Tuesday, 15 April 2008 6:00:53 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Pagerank isn't a measure of "endorsement" or "agreement", but simply notoriety, positive or negative.

If you don't want people to discover and visit certain web sites, it's hard to imagine why you are drawing attention to them by discussing them here in full view.

However, there are cases where this sort of thing is a valid concern - when certain people practice shameless self-promotion by spreading links to themselves all over various web sites. This is why Google instituted a hinting system where publishers can mark up links they don't trust so that they will be ignored by search engines.

This is now widely deployed in "less controlled" places like blog comments, but not currently in The Forum. Forum readers are pretty good at spotting any shameless self-promotion and reporting it to OLO staff.
Posted by Dewi, Thursday, 17 April 2008 6:18:01 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
At the risk of going off at a bit of a tangent to your topic, katieO, I note that OLO has overcome the problem that used to be caused when a very long URL in a post was automatically converted to a weblink, of the OLO page being widened and not being able to be viewed all at once within the one screen. Congratulations to OLO's software engineers: that problem made some threads all but unreadable in the past.

Here is an example of how such a long URL appears now in a post: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=1657#32943 . Just in case anyone is wondering and thinking 'shameless cross promotion', its not one of my posts, nor is it in a thread I started. It is just a common vanilla post that illustrates the software capability. I wouldn't want to become notorious, now, would I? 'Course if one was to scroll up that thread a bit, one might eventually find a poster that used to be notorious for upper case work ...... and perhaps other interesting content.

Re-entering orbit, just in case there are posters more digitally saurian than me and don't know this, if you wish to post a URL but NOT have it converted to a weblink by the OLO software, just omit the 'http://' component of the URL - that is apparently what triggers the site to recognise what follows as a web address and display it as a link.

One thing I would not like to see on this Forum is a poster omitting the http:// component of a URL, and then claiming in subsequent discussion to have posted that address as a link. I suggest that if posters are found to be resorting to such a ploy, it should be OLO policy on the report of any such posts that they be taken down as being in violation of the code of conduct of reasonable discussion. If a web address doesn't display as a link for the convenience of other Forum users, it isn't a link.
Posted by Forrest Gumpp, Friday, 18 April 2008 9:58:53 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
"it should be OLO policy on the report of any such posts that they be taken down as being in violation of the code of conduct of reasonable discussion

Isn't that going a bit far? I'm not aware of any code of conduct reuiring members to 'be reasonable', and certainly not requiring the removal of posts for being 'unreasonable'. I've never heard anyone else suggest that there is anything remotely unreasonable about giving a URL but not a link. A person would be technically wrong to say a URL is a link, but that is the extent of it.
Posted by freediver, Friday, 18 April 2008 11:23:23 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy