No, there is no Internet Explorer 9. As a matter of fact, there is no Internet Explorer 8, or even 7 (officially at any rate…).
But I brought this up to discuss something that I abhor to the highest degree: the SEO game. Back in the 20th Century, when Search-Engine Optimization was something new and unexplored, getting your website listed on MSN or Google or AltaVista was a nice, clean, and frustrating game.
Today, in the year 2005, when search-engine bots can crawl the web as fast as information can travel, cache their find and integrate into their search engine in a matter of minutes, too many people have taken advantage of it, and used dishonest means to further their ends.
Yesterday I was looking for information on MSN Messenger 8 for a project (not NeoSmart related); and I came across a post from the days of MSN Messenger 6. The page title was ‘MSN Messenger 8’ and the author went on to claim the title was a ‘typo.’
Unaware users would type in MSN 8, and end up with a couple of results only on Google, one of which, was this webmasters. Unethical ‘shortcuts’ like this have been around forever, but now the battle has reached an all-time peak. Websites are constantly developing new methods of harvesting links, faster than the search engines can discern between those and the legit links out there. At first it was simply text made the same color as the background, then text too small to see. Hidden Div tags were a failure from the start. Now the current ‘trick’ is to use CSS to hide the links, since search engines do not use CSS files for viewing.
In the end it all ends up to the same thing: Cyberspace has become just as political as the real world. It is now impossible to find what you want on a search-engine.. not without spending way more time than you need. Google introduced back-links, and now they have taken over. Let’s just hope there is a solution on the horizon.