PageRank and the Perpetuity of Error

Generally speaking, PageRank is a good thing. It allows Google to leverage the internet as the world’s largest distributed reviewing system. But it adds inertia to search rankings. The first pages to discuss a topic get the early links and become authoritative pages on that topic – overshadowing subsequent pages with better information. If the page is mostly correct and reasonably helpful, then there is little motivation for people to update their links to reference better sources. And errors and shortcomings in early pages live on in perpetuity.

I recently gave some advice on generating full text feeds from Movable Type. I’m not a MT user, so I performed a search on “Movable Type full text feed,” clicked on the first link whose summary text looked good and then passed the advice on. Well, it turns out that my advice was not entirely correct. So here is Randy Charles Morin‘s post on full text feeds in Movable Type. My contribution to the fight against search engine inertia.