4th Google Dance, this time with Ben!
BBQ was great and I finally bumped into some of the Google search team and had a nice discussion about whether more transparency would improve results rather than leading to more spam. They are gradually opening up with webmaster tools and such, though I think guidelines should be more explicit with respect to many things – most importantly the gray areas of linking which confound everybody and lead to link practices that don’t serve users well. e.g. Nofollow affects the millions of blog comments that *should* be followed where opportunistic blog references are followed when in some cases they are effectively a paid link … and Matt has not even convinced me that what seems like a scorched earth policy on sites with paid followed linking is always in the users interest. Seems to me the issue for Google should be whether to pass along authority or not rather than downrank for bad behavior.
But hey, in any case thanks to Google for another great Party!