Brrreeeport: Scobles Keyword Experiment

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What started out as an apparent debunking of an A-list blogger conspiracy has evolved into a made-up word shedding light on the search world. Microsoft’s controversial employee blogger, Robert Scoble, invited readers to use the word brrreeeport” on their blogs as a way to get “Z-list” blogs noticed, while testing the reach of the various search engines.

Scoble’s snarky experiment was in response to the notion of the supposed Blog Club, where A-list bloggers only link to each other and thereby keeping lesser-known bloggers out of the loop of recognition in typical Critical Theory style.

The invention of the word “brrreeeport” and the invitation to put on a person’s blog created a vacuum to Technorati’s blog listings and popular tags. Very soon, the term was listed at the top of Technorati’s most searched word. Two days later, “brrreeeport” is out ranking searches for information on the Dick Cheney hunting accident, and is third on the list of tags.

The original purpose of the experiment worked. Technorati returns some 487 results for the word, leading searchers to blogs they may have never encountered. But the memetic results led to another exploration of the efficacy of various search engines.

At the time this article was written, a search on Technorati returns 487 results; Google’s Blog Search: 452; Feedster: 569. On that information alone, it would appear that Google Blog search is missing an element the other blog engines aren’t. But the more interesting question Scoble brings up on Wednesday, when he compares results of Google, MSN, and Yahoo!

Google’s Google+Search” class=”bluelink”>main page (as of present) says it found 22,400 results for the word. Scrolling through, however, there are only 353 results after similar entries are omitted. Re-searching with omitted results included returns only 979 results, as the other 21,000 are apparently inaccessible.

Scoble calls this an example of “lies that are going on on search engines.” Scoble reports that MSN returns over 1, 369 entries (though my results continue to say 221), and Yahoo! returns over 1,010. The varying numbers does bring up an interesting question as to the veracity of any given search engine’s reach.

One thing’s for certain, many are taking advantage of the memetic appeal of the word, “brrreeeport.” Bloggers have committed to throwing the word onto their blog posts. Even the famous New York City gay and lesbian publication The Village Voice has thrown it into a headline for an unrelated music review.

There are even sponsored links for the word on Google and Yahoo!’s SERPs. On Yahoo!’s system though, it’s not the exact word, but ads served up based on similar keywords.

Whatever the deeper implications, the immediate benefit was for Z-list bloggers who otherwise may have never been found. Someone’s even reserved the brrreeeport domain.

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Brrreeeport: Scobles Keyword Experiment
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