Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lost in the search-result woods

The proto-conservative radio commentator Paul Harvey used to use the phrase "Page 2" to segue from the news portion to the advertisement portion of his show. This became a beloved catchphrase, and in his case, the transition proved to be a goldmine for his sponsors.

For a Google search, tho, it's all about page 1; according to one study, "sites surveyed received more than 95% of all their non-branded natural search traffic from page-one results." There's a lively industry around getting a site onto Google's first page. Because if you're not on page 1, you are ... what? "In the wilderness"? "At the back of the pack"?

Tom Krazit, for one, has a term for it:
Links to prominent services like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Flickr carry a lot of weight with Google, and can push unwanted content to the Google Ghetto, otherwise known as page two.
It's not a very PC term. Even among objective definitions, there aren't any that suggest that a ghetto has positive connotations, not to mention the complex associations between ghetto and touchy socio-economic issues.

But you have to admit that the phrase does evoke the idea of a place you probably don't want to live. And there's the catchy alliteration.

I can't at the moment find any other use of this term to mean the same thing. Or let's say that if there are other mentions, they're not on page ... haha, too easy.

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