Wake up, Polly Parrot.


Our Little Experiment, Part 1
by Brian Plante

Let's have a little fun, shall we, and perhaps learn something about the Internet along the way.

OK, help me out. I'm running a little experiment. If you click Bay Leaves, you'll be taken to another page that I put together which contains an innocuous-looking bit of trivia about bay leaves. Yes, bay leaves. Why not?

See, the article, and the attached recipe, are just something I made up. It is completely bogus. In fact, I googled around just to make sure I hadn't inadvertently gotten anything right.

Here's where I need your help. If you have a webpage, I need you to link it to my page (not this one, but the one with the bogus article, at www.murielsjournal.angelcities.com/BayLeaves.htm). Google ranks web pages by relevance, and when lots of other webpages link to a page, its relevance score goes up. I want that page to be reasonably high up on the list when someone searches for "bay leaves."

So, what do I hope to accomplish with this minor lie (and your help)? It's just an experiment to see how quickly information spreads on the Internet. Even bogus information. I'll keep track of how many links the page gets, hits, Google relevance, and use of any of the "facts" by other sites.

In six months, maybe a year, I'll see if the disinformation has spread beyond my own webpage, and report back the results in another article. I'm hoping that it doesn't really pop up too much, as that would indicate people are just trusting whatever trash they read on the Internet without checking it for accuracy. It would be a big shock if that happened, right?

So, if you can find the time to bother, please add a link to any web page you might have to www.murielsjournal.angelcities.com/BayLeaves.htm. You can cut and paste the following link:

<a href="http://www.murielsjournal.angelcities.com/BayLeaves.htm">Bay Leaves</a>

Don't mention that it's a joke, or you'll spoil the fun -- if you have to say anything at all, just say it's an interesting article. I don't need you to publicize the page, just to link to it so Google ranks it higher. If you do link to the page, drop me a line, and I'll see if I can help the search engines find your web page, and I'll let you know when the follow-up article appears.

And don't try to cook that recipe I wrote. Seriously, I just made it all up, so it's probably putrid.

Happy holidays, all!

Copyright © 2003 Brian Plante Count= 5316

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