Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A tear in the fabric of the web....

Tim O'Reilly seems to have started a very interesting discussion about how major media companies are now linking more to their own properties rather than to the more "editorially correct" source. Webpronews picked up on it and I quote:

For a decade and a half the outbound link was a "hat tip," a courtesy or even system of content reimbursement; the "Web" is a web because of linking, each quality website helping to prop up another. It was actually kind of socialist in nature.

I don't think the sky is falling. I think there are two ways that the system should be self-correcting.
1. Readers. Many readers will get annoyed and move onto more editorially rich sources with more useful links. If we don't, shame on us.
2. Google. Google promises us that they won't be evil. I have always heard that the Google algorithm penalizes sites that don't have useful outgoing links because, they recognize black holes for what they are. If self-linking becomes a problem, I think Google can help solve it by rewarding those with more outgoing links.



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