Google has done a phenomenal job building complex algorithms to do the job of humans. Namely, determining what sites relevant for a particular search query. But there is still no substitute for the human eye which can think and perceive in ways that no algorithm can (at least not yet). But human reviewers have a significant downside as well: They are prone to extreme ignorance.

DMOZ stands out in my mind as one of the web's best ideas gone horribly wrong. The (unpaid) peer review structure for directories turned out to be a disaster. For those who don't understand the magnitude of the fall of DMOZ stories have been told of DMOZ editors selling their passwords to the highest bidder!

Wikipedia, free user built information encyclopedia, provides a great resource of information. Wikipedia is edited and policed by users like you and me. By and large it provides a wealth of information. The only problem is those in charge of editing the information don't always know what they are talking about.

The most recent example shows the ignorance of the Wikipedia community: there is a debate as to whether or not Matt Cutts is noteworthy for his own Wikipedia page. Huh? Really? Danny Sullivan has written an open letter to Wikipedia with the the full story and a whole host of examples as to why this is a debate that was not worth having.

I don't think Wikipedia is set to become the next DMOZ. At least not yet. But if they continue this course it is likely to happen.

January 9, 2007

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.

Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > Ignorance: The Downside of Social Marketing