Saturday, July 05, 2008

My new number one Blogger request: fix backlinks with whitelisted URLs

I used the think that my #1 and #2 Blogger priorities were enhancing the BlogThis! bookmarklet and full support for Safari.

That was yesterday.

Today I thought differently about what my blogs are for, and where they are leading.

I've created a new category called "memory management" that will expand this idea, both here and in Gordon's Notes. More on that as I get to it, but it has nothing to do with "Quarterdeck Extended Memory Manager" (geeks of a certain age just had chest pains).

"Memory management" involves personal memory management and corporate memory management, private memory management and (this is new) public memory management, and an early (ok, so I was re-reading Idoru this am) version of gordon-google mind-fusion (one decaying, one growing).

Enough parens there?

Which brings me to my new #1 Blogger request.

Fix the backlinks.

What are backlinks and how do I use them?

.... Backlinks enable you to keep track of other pages on the web that link to your posts. For instance, suppose Alice writes a blog entry that Bob finds interesting. Bob then goes to his own blog and writes a post of his own about it, linking back to Alice's original post. Now Alice's post will automatically show that Bob has linked to it, and it will provide a short snippet of his text and a link to his post. What it all works out to is a way of expanding the comment feature such that related discussions on other sites can be included along with the regular comments on a post....
Except backlinks very rarely appear on my blogs, and they NEVER include backlinks between posts on my domain.

Now you might think this is because Google never indexes my blogs -- which is how they claim to create the backlinks, but, honestly, Google is astoundingly quick to index all my blogs considering their negligible readership.

What I think happened is that the original purpose of backlinks collapsed due to fraud, webspam attacks, and search engine optimization. Google has given up on them for all but very high end blogs, and one of their defenses has been to block backlinks within blog domains (to reduce search engine optimization and link farm fraud).

Ok, that's fine, but backlinks are an aspect of what we used to call "backward chaining" in inferencing systems. In people-speak they allow one to explore semantic connections (insert obligatory semantic network, xanadu, memex, etc reference) to antecedent or precedent posts.

This capability is a strategic component of my personal memory management obsession.

So I want Blogger to create a new sort of backlink -- to posts that are within domains that I specify. I would create a set of whitelisted urls for my blogger account, and links from those urls to a specific posts would always become backlinks. I could remove them if I wished of course. To avoid linkfarm abuse Google would exclude this type of backlink from their value estimation algorithms.

This, then, is my new number one Blogger request: Create backlinks based on whitelisted URLs.

PS. As of first posting a search on "URL backlink whitelist" returns no meaningful hits. I wonder when that will change...

Update: 7 hours after the initial post the "URL backlink whitelist" search returns two meaningful hits -- this post and my secondary Gordon's Notes post. Actually it probably happened much faster than that, my embedded search had a typo in it. This sort of thing is really astounding, even though we increasingly take it for granted.

No comments: