Space Cat, Prince Among Thieves

Opinion: Google Killed the Internet

Googles Page Speed “Optimizations” Make Learning Difficult

If you, as I, grew up during the web bubble we call the 90’s and were interested at all in web development my guess is that you probably didn’t learn most of your skills from a book or a class.  You probably would run across a site that had something cool on it and ponder  “Oh my, how does that work?” right click, view source, and after some digging were enlightened.  I’m certain this is how most of my generation learned their HTML/CSS/JavaScript skills, it is certainly how I did, and often how I continue though now I have tools to help me even further pick apart a page such as Firebug.

Where I take issue is CSS and more so JavaScript minifying. Google wants essentially all your CSS and JavaScript minified. This lessens the bandwidth Google has to use, but in the process makes the source complete illegible to a human being.

I personally, on this site, lose a fair deal of my Page Speed Score because “Minifying could save 311B (23% reduction)”.   My general.js file is at the moment 1.3 kilobytes; I am losing points off my Page Speed score over 311 bytes simply because I want my source code to remain legible.  Can we please get a sanity check on this, Google.  311 bytes is not going to kill you.

SEO is Destroying the Spirit of the Internet

Back in the hay day of Geocities if you did a search you were likely to get a few if not mostly amateur pages in your results.  They weren’t usually well designed perse, but they were often very useful. I can recall of the top of my head a few instances where they saved the day.

In steps “Search Engine Optimization”. Corporations are gaga over paying people to dig through content, study their keywords, rewording things and saturating content with keywords (often at the cost of readability I might add).

Now let’s compare that to an amateur, who’s content is designed for human consumption rather than googles and now has no way to keep up in this arms race. There usually isn’t the money nor the desire to pump into SEO and content development.  They just want to provide some useful information to the public.  These kinds of sites are becoming increasingly hard to find, with corporate sites taking the lion’s share of the hits.

Frankly I believe a lot of great content is getting missed thanks to SEO.  The spirit of the internet years ago was driven around the fact that anyone could write something, and have it read by millions of people.  While this is still the case, I find it far less likely now than it has been in previous years.  I don’t think there is a solution; I just find the corporatization of the web a little disheartening.

Comment by: Fred on

Fred's Gravatar How does Google download the entire internet?

Comment by: wanderingmagus on

wanderingmagus's Gravatar @Fred it doesn't, or at least it didn't. It "crawls" the internet with a robot that goes to each site and clicks a bunch of links, the searches the page for specific common words. Rinse and repeat for every new outgoing link, especially for major sites like Wikipedia, Reddit and so on.

Email address will never be publicly visible.

Basic HTML allowed.