Google & The FoRK Effect versus Gordon Mohr

From: Gordon Mohr (
Date: Thu Apr 26 2001 - 13:22:32 PDT

> > No exclamations of surprise at having every third
> > Google search return a FoRK post?
> Yeah, why is that, anyway? Why FoRK?

Gordon Mohr,, has some theories
about this.

See, lots of people link to the FoRK archives. And those
people, in turn, often have involved web presences --
lots of inbound and outbound links. These are the kinds
of cross-links which influence Google's scoring.

Further, the FoRK archives include a lot of discussion
about what hyper-web-users often search for. FoRKers
tend to include both significant source excerpts, and
outbound links to relevant material. This must look
very "rich" to Google's relevance algorithms, creating
a halo effect across the entire archive site.

Finally, FoRKers often give our messages (this one
excepted) sensible "Subject" lines. If a thread spawns
lengthy and useful followups, the hypermail archives
include many forward-and-backward links to topical
messages, with the search-terms inside "subject"
anchor-text -- something Google likes very much as an
indicator of a page's topic.

This has an especially powerful effect, for good or for
ill, if your personal name appears in a FoRK subject
line -- and then generates followups with the same subject
line. Some silly post from months ago, filled with
randomized invective, might be how the world sees you,
thanks to Google and the FoRK effect.

Strangers might even come up to you in conferences,
remarking that when they searched the web for info
about you, they primarily found some lengthy complaint
that was not immediately recognized as being frivolous.

I hear that this happened to Gordon Mohr at the South-by-
Southwest Interactive Conference.

No one could blame him then, for trying to use the FoRK
effect to rectify the situation -- even if it leads to
some rather peculiar references to oneself in the third
person. Could they?

- Gojomo
Gordon Mohr -
 Personal -

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Apr 29 2001 - 20:26:13 PDT