Now This Log

Thursday, 30 August 2001 : "Google + popularity"

I propose a new word.

How do I know it's new? As of this moment, it is not in Google's vocabulary. It probably will be shortly since their web-indexing speed seems to be improving by leaps and bounds and they should be by again any day now.

So, last night I was looking over my referrers for the first time in two months, and noted with surprise the vast number of different searches that brought people to my site from Google. Apparently I show up in the first page of results on searches as different as "dave mckean graduated", "turn off SDI in word 2000", and "prevent deep linking". (...not that my pages are necessarily useful results for the above queries, but I do show up in the first page of them today.)

And looking over the list, the sentence popped into my head: I seem to be highly googular.

Meaning: this site seems to have noticeable weight in Google's index, which I understand comes from many folks linking to me who are themselves linked by many. From Google's Technology page:
Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes [links] a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important." Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search.
So, I propose that googularity refer to the importance or popularity of a page or site in Google's page-ranking system, i.e. the probability that it will appear high in the list of results for a given search phrase and the consequent contribution of additional googularity that a highly-ranked site gives in turn to any page it links to.

Googularity is probably not quantifiable in any useful way by anyone outside Google; it's more of a comparative term.

  • Microsoft's site is surely more googular than Bare Bones Software's, no matter what one's opinion may be of their relative merit.
  • Getting a link to your site from Scripting News almost surely increases your own googularity. (And no, I don't expect Dave to fall for that...)
(It turns out, I'm not so googular as I initially thought... testing several of the search phrases by which people stumbled upon a page here, my site was not in the first two pages of results on most of them. So much for that little pride bubble...)

I find the word useful; perhaps you will too. And thanks to everyone who's been linking to me all these years for getting me where I am...

Links, exploration and
synthesis from
Steve Bogart

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photo by my wife
If you want to be e-mailed when there's new stuff here, say "add me."
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