Okay, mistakes were made. But what were they?

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A Statement from GamePro *But not verified as GamePro

A long standing source of journalism shouldn’t have to grovel at the feet of the overly opinionated online denizens that are so quick to issue a verbal smack down under the anonymity of the internet when they find an opinion that makes them feel that they have been the least bit befouled. Was anyone really hurt? You got to read something you may have enjoyed. If you didn’t enjoy it then okay. Is your life any worse by it?

I don’t blame the video game websites for wanting to perform better and get bigger numbers. That’s half the fun of a website. It’s the reason they exist. If they didn’t then they wouldn’t be able to employ much of a staff and you wouldn’t have seen them in the first place.

reddit downvote

Maybe you should downvote a little more.

I also don’t blame “MasterOfHyrule” for doing it. He got free stuff and enjoyed it. Can you blame him? Apology accepted. I would wager that well over 80% of gamers lashing out at this situation would have done the same thing. Forgive and move on. It’s really not that big of a deal. It’s easy to hide behind your scruples until the situation is presented to you. Granted he did it to an absolutely staggering degree and when caught he reacted rather juvenile in his attempts to discredit but ultimately he owned up as well.

As a gamer, a website owner, and a full time SEO I admit that I see problems like this from a very different view. What I have yet to see and what would ultimately impress upon me a wonderful and much needed apology is a “we may want to update how we rank things” from Reddit. It is absolutely, as Jim put it, a popularity contest. But what is the best gauge of popularity?

I don’t want anyone thinking I’m saying Reddit is bad, evil, or in any way shape or form anything other than a delight and a phenomenal way to spend an entire day. I’m simply saying that if it wasn’t so easy to game then perhaps this wouldn’t have happened.

Nobody in this dance is as nefarious as online sentiment would make them out to be. They are nothing more than symptoms and effects of a much larger problem. The question is how does a website guard against being gamed for the purposes of personal benefit? Simply put, it can’t. Everything can be gamed. It’s the reason the big players don’t release their ranking algorithms.

Until we find a way to measure popularity and validity without influence you will continue to be gamed. You may not notice it. You may not see it. In some instances you may not even mind it. But you will be gamed. Sucks don’t it?

Afterthought Edit:

Mad props to Deimorz for not just noticing something was up but also for sticking to their guns. Fairly impressive. You get our “Ass Stamp of Approval” for the week.

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Comments

Posted On
Mar 31, 2011
Posted By
Jack Perry

At this point it’s gotten so stupid that I just don’t CARE. Speaking as a website owner myself, sometimes you do what you gotta do to get traffic. That’s all there is to it and dirty tactics or not, no one has to click the damn links, so more power to the owner.

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Posted On
Mar 31, 2011
Posted By
wadoobie

See that’s where I disagree with you. When you “do what you gotta do” you wind up like JC Penney and the online powers that be smack your ass down pretty hard. Not to mention they just lost some decent brand credibility with their target demographic. As an owner we owe it to our visitors to provide content that people actually want to link to and share. It’s the first rule in the game. Yes you will see short term gain, but longevity is far better.

People will always game the system so long as the system lends itself to gaming. Create a stronger “game free” offering that can filter through spammers and you would be onto a powerful website. I just wish I had the intelligence to come up with an idea as to how.

To understand the JC Penney reference visit http://www.searchenginejournal.com/jc-penny%E2%80%99s-black-hat-seo-backfires/27925/

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Posted On
Mar 31, 2011
Posted By
random

You should note that the GamePro response you are quoting was never confirmed to have come from them. The username is GameProMag but anyone could have made that.

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Posted On
Mar 31, 2011
Posted By
wadoobie

Fantastic point that I neglected to include. Edit complete!

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