If this change stays, it is significant because it means that the text posts and links within Sidewiki comments will have no SEO value. They will still have potentially good or bad marketing value however, as the text can be seen by web surfers, and the links clicked on to view sites not related to the source page.
Is this a bone thrown at the many opponents of the Sidewiki initiative?
An early look at some legal implications of Google’s actions with Sidewiki.
“Normally responsive to consumer demand, Google has not yet given in to requests for the opt-out option that pharma brands seek”
Some discussion of Sidewiki blocking efforts, and calls to action.
Programmer Claude Vedovini took the Google Sidewiki API and build a tool to make a RSS feed of page comments. Problem is, the API is not working properly. So don’t blame him if its not working. In any case, we don’t recommend paying for a site monitoring tool, at least until you see it work. Two other significant issues:
1) Google is not providing site-wide Sidewiki monitoring. That’s right, its page-by-page. How many pages do you have?
2) All web pages that are accessible via http (billions?) are subject to Sidewiki annotation. Whether or not someone is checking for spam. Spammers could hitchhike content and links for years.
Suggest you view this link in a browser that does not have Sidewiki installed. You will see that Google has captured the content of the New York Time, along with a Sidewiki annotation, entirely within frames. The content is hosted on Google.com, and will be indexed like this. Check the URL at the top of your browser: www.Google.com… Some advocates of the Sidewiki feature suggest that since Sidewiki annotations are displayed as a browser feature, it should be permissable. Here we see however, that Google actually intends to capture all the content on the internet, at least all that is annotated in Sidewiki. Usability studies (www.useit.com) have shown that browsers look at the top-left of a page first. So here we see how smart marketing people could leverage one sites content, to display their own content and links.
We have found many individuals who feel people who operate web sites should not have an expectation of any kind of editorial control. Harsh posts are placed in Google Sidewiki just to “show” website owners that they can’t reign in free speech.
I urge caution though. These comments are indexed on static pages, and will exist until Google decides to delete them. So my suggestion is if an individual is going to flame, best change the name.
There is more here
Some of the earlier postings have been deleted. As I got better at it, I find it easier to make them ‘stick’. The point is however, Google has set themselves up as the arbiter of what is appropriate or not. Likes to other sites are ok with Google, but this is a grave offense to any web site owner.