Online markets are increasingly dependant of search engines and recommendations to run their business. Forbes reports on a phenomena called “Google Hell” and tells a story of an online diamond business dropping sales by $500,000 in three months because Google’s search index dropped the ball.
What does it mean if we are highly dependent of major network hubs like Google to link us with the rest of the world? If a programmer changes the logic of the ranking algorithm or a bug surfaces, a group of businesses could go out of business quickly. We are slaves of the linking machines.
But, we are not just slaves of faceless machines, we are slaves of our own readers, too. For a long time the metrics for valuating an online business has been the number of hits on the site. Along with the new breed of search engines based on tracking links like Technorati, incoming links are increasingly more important than page views. The power is not with those who speak but with those who link.
In the blogosphere, we are becoming slaves of our own readers to link back to us. If no one reads you, that doesn’t matter. If you are in the A-list, then it starts to matter if you have any reason to be dependant of incoming links.
So I sincerely ask you my lord, please link back to me.