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Many have noted that pages from the HB are often among the top 5 listed in a Google query. It is not immediately evident to me why this should be so. This is more than a point of curiousity, since the ability to appear at the top of a Google search is very valuable for vendors and others who want traffic.
propose that the HB could be used to understand the Google search engine. To start, one would set out variables which make a HB page attractive: examples might be white background, few pictures, uniform font.
Over the following year these variables would systematically differ in a random manner for new postings. For example, I might post an idea and find that it has a crimson background. Another idea might turn up with multiple images of various things attached, and another might have varying font size. Others would have the standard HB layout.
After a year, one would see how the titles of ideas ranked in Google. One would expect that with enough numbers, title variability would cancel out as a variable and one could see how other aspects of the page layout affected rank.
A faster way to do this would be retrospectively, to see if altering the layout of a page affected its rank in a subsequent google search. The algorithm could sweep through the entire HB every 3 month, with google results determined immediately prior.
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||For the image heavy pages, a random word from the text could be put into google image, and selection #1 used to decorate the page. I input "might" into google image and the first hit was very interesting.
||have you considered it may only be the things you search for that bring HB up? I keep coming up with pretty brunettes.
||Lots of people claim to know how to game google - and try to make a living of it.
("Search engine optimization experts".) I really appreciate not having to give a damn about that.
||have you seen the poetry made up of the
words that turns up most frequently in
click-ads? it's pretty funny stuff.