A Problem with Google Alerts

As I have a blog titled Healthymemory it should not be surprising that I have a Google Alert for the topic Healthy Memory. I find it both surprising and depressing that I receive so few alerts. I am even more depressed as most of these alerts are from hucksters hawking some new miracle product for solving all your memory problems. In the past, occasionally, but only occasionally, I would be alerted to one of my posts to the healthymemory blog. Now one might think that, given the title of my blog, I would receive an alert to all my posts. But that is not in the case. It is only in rare cases that I receive an alert. I have tried to determine what types of posts would provide me an alert. Although the title to my blog is the healthymemory blog, one might content that not all posts are directly on this target. But even posts that are clearly directly on the topic are typically missed. Nor are my posts that receive a high number of hits more likely to generate an alert.

Recently I did receive an alert for the post “Glial Cells and Alzheimer’s Disease.” Although this might have been regarded as good news, when I clicked on the link, it took me to the first page of the blog, to my most recent posting. To get to the actual article I would have needed to do some searching.

There is a serious problem here if one is looking for quality posts on a specific topic. It seems that the Golden Rule is at play here. He who pays the most money is the one who sees material returned in searches or alerts. Frequency is supposed to be the primary driver, although the specifics of Google’s search algorithms are a well kept secret. But it is clear from pop culture that frequency and quality are often at odds with each other.

© Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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