Monday, January 07, 2008

Ok, It's Settled. Link Bait Is A Science. Or Not.

Does anyone else think it's a little odd for a hospital research group to use an 11 year old algorithm to plot a course for staph?

Would that article have gotten as much play had it NOT used the word "Google" in it's title?

Also, last month (Dec '07) this article surfaced in NewScientist magazine

It's a recap of a report published by researchers from the University of California/Berkeley on how Google's PageRank algorithm can be used to help study the human brain information retrieval process. (Bill Slawski found the paper for me, thanks!)

The paper was presented at a technology conference (again - interesting) and then picked up by NewScientist magazine. Seems there really is more to PageRank than being fodder for SEO ire.

Now please don't go getting all huffy and accuse me of being a medical killjoy or wanting to hoard PageRank for the SEO community - it just ain't so. I'm all for the spread of green love in the world.

But still... (seriously now) the whole thing seems a little creepy and not because they're talking about staph. Bill pointed out scientists/researchers tend to use popular terms and examples (like the word "google") to reinforce concepts and I get that but - does the scientific community really need to use the word Google in the title of their research papers to get attention?

Cynical me says "seems so". Again - it IS an 11 year old algorithm... and Google is trading at what - a bazillion dollars a share? Are these people really using the best mathematical equations to find medical answers to benefit mankind or one that grabs attention and maybe research dollars?

One thing's for sure - it appears our friends in the medical/scientific community have learned the fine art of link bait. Which means it's really a science - right? Link bait for science. Has a nice ring to it.

If this spread of research love continues I wouldn't be surprised to see PageRank as Time Magazine's Person of the Year.... ;) Hey- add that to the prediction list!


iBrian sphunn a story about the staph post here:
But nothing coming back from the medical community....... wonder how come?

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