Let me through — I outrank PageRank

From Advertising Age.

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Major media companies are increasingly lobbying Google to elevate their expensive professional content within the search engine’s undifferentiated slush of results.

Many publishers resent the criteria Google uses to pick top results, starting with the original PageRank formula that depended on how many links a page got. But crumbling ad revenue is lending their push more urgency; this is no time to show up on the third page of Google search results. And as publishers renew efforts to sell some content online, moreover, they’re newly upset that Google’s algorithm penalizes paid content.

“You should not have a system,” one content executive said, “where those who are essentially parasites off the true producers of content benefit disproportionately.”

Glyn Moody is not impressed.

Let’s just get this right. The publishers resent the fact that the stuff other than “professional content” is rising to the top of Google searches, because of the PageRank algorithm. But wait, doesn’t the algorithm pick out the stuff that has most links – that is, those sources that people for some reason find, you know, more relevant?

So doesn’t this mean that the “professional content” isn’t, well, so relevant? Which means that the publisher are essentially getting what they deserve because their “professional content” isn’t actually good enough to attract people’s attention and link love?

And the idea that Google’s PageRank is somehow “penalising” paid content by not ignoring the fact that people are reading it less than other stuff, is just priceless. Maybe publishers might want to consider *why* their “professional content” is sinking like a stone, and why people aren’t linking to it? You know, little things like the fact it tends to regard itself as above the law – or the algorithm, in this case?