Googlewashing Orlowsky

Last week, Elwyn Jenkins provided a good rebuttal to Orloswki’s “second superpower” complaint. When I recently noticed that the good microdoc resorted to an ad hominem argument against Orloswki, I was a bit put off. Can’t we all get along without name-calling?

But then I read Orlowski’s rant against the PageRank of his “googlewashing” article. As Elwyn and Madman have pointed out, and as any of my undergraduate students who read my handout on out-of-context page titles might notice, the TITLE tags of all articles on The Register‘s site simply read “The Register,” which might skew the PageRank of the whole site. I wonder whether Orlowsky Googled for alternatives such as “googlewashing” or “googlewash” instead of just “googlewashed”.

In all fairness, Orlowsky probably doesn’t have any control over the way his articles appear on The Register‘s website. The many bloggers whose shorter, more recent blurbs ranked above Orlowsky’s original article probably do have that control. Orlowsky’s article will probably float to the top as the blog postings age. All this adds up to another lesson for the increasing number of people whose professional reputation depends upon their Google ranking. I think the world needs its critics of Google, but making shrill accusations is not the way to earn the respect of your readers.Googlewashing OrlowskyLiteracy Weblog)