Why HTML5 Matters – It’s not what you think

As I’ve discussed in previous articles, there are more than 5 trillion pages on the web, and we estimate Google indexes >50 billion of them. There is NO algorithm that will allow Google to identify the best or most useful content. We have watched as “flavor of the month” SEO strategies have been introduced, succeeded briefly, and then failing dismally…, sometimes accompanied by a slap on the wrist from Google. These strategies typically reflect some observed statistical anomaly that is resulting in traffic. These are reactive techniques, and should not be mistaken for an SEO strategy.
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Google Becomes a Teenager

Sept 4, 1998

Alta Vista reigns supreme as a search engine. Yahoo dominates the directory world. AOL appears impregnable, and is still two years away from a valuation of $166 Billion dollars at the Time-Warner merger date. IBM releases a laptop with a 300 Mhz processor and a 4GB hard drive. A fast Internet connection runs at 56kbps, and 2 math geeks from Stanford file papers to incorporate Google Inc.

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The Medium is the Message

As a teenager, I first encountered the writings of Marshal McLuhan. His books took me on an adventure…, imagining that society was formed by its mediums of expression. People didn’t use a typewriter, they were typed. Like Joyce in Ulysses, he invented a new language to address the phenomena. Some of his language is mainstream today, although no one seems to remember where “The Global Village”, and “information surfing” came from.

McLuhan was a Canadian Professor of English Literature and communications theorist whose ideas about media and communication were innovative and controversial. A core premise was that our technology was both means and molder of communication, and accordingly shaped our culture. The content of a medium is less important that the medium itself. It is the medium that shapes us. Geronimo may have “heard” his world…, but literate man “saw” the world because typography shaped his world perception and cognition. Henry Ford could only exist because of Gutenberg.

In 1962, McLuhan wrote that “The next medium, whatever it is – it may be the extension of consciousness – will include television as its content, not as its environment, and will transform television into an art form. A computer as a research and communication instrument could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organization, retrieve the individual’s encyclopedic function and flip into a private line to speedily tailored data of a saleable kind”. Sounds a little bit like the world web doesn’t it?

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April 11 – Mark the Date

An important date in the history of the World Web has come and gone and almost no one noticed. How did it get missed?

On February 24th, Google rolled out the Panda update. Amidst great howls of pain and gnashing of teeth, a significant number of websites learned the hard way that having a good website mattered. The Panda update was designed to identify “thin” content…, content that may be “unique”, but really doesn’t add very much to the human experience. I like to call this content the “plastic water bottles” of the Internet. It takes up space, it’s useless, and it won’t go away.

The other thing Panda did was to incorporate an algorithm based on human factors. The algorithm attempted to quantify the results of questioning Internet users about such things as:

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