No payment info? No search – WOOT!

“No payment info on file” – finally! Being a premium user or, at the very least, having payment information on file finally has it’s benefits, and damned good ones they are:

Tateru Nino of MASSIVELY reports:
“Sharp-eyed Wildefire Walcott has spotted (and we’ve spent the last few hours checking and verifying it across a number of accounts) that the profiles of Second Life accounts that have no payment information on file are excluded from the new Linden Lab search system.”

I’ve been using Linden Lab’s web search for several months now, and I never could quite figure why it either never displayed certain people in the results, or it would display their name, but you have to be in-world to view their profile. Finally, someone has put two-and-two together and found the real answer!

Now this is great news.
In my view, anyway.
I use a bot, too.
One, sole, single, lonely-old bot.
In fact, you can look at his profile: Blackthorne Destiny.

I don’t know if he’ll show-up in in-world search, but when you find him you’ll notice something you won’t see on most other bots: He is an enigma, a blank, a complete mystery.

Okay, maybe not a mystery.

But one thing will be absolutely clear: he’s not being used to ‘game the system’.
You will notice everything is completely blank, except for two groups. His whole lot in life is simply to manage those two groups. By using LSL scripting, I am able to allow the parcel owners on my sim to manage their own participation and invite a limited number of others into the sim’s ‘owners’ group, allowing they and their friends and guests to access to the play toys in the community area – paddle boats, jet skis and so on.

He also automatically invites purchasers of my products into my support group. When you purchase one of my products, (see links on the page to my OnRez store [shameless plug, but why not?],) you automatically will be invited into my product support group the first time you rez it in-world.

This makes management easier for me. So, there really are notable and honorable uses for bots. The one side benefit I get is that he adds a teeny bit of traffic to my parcel because he sits quietly all day monitoring my vendor and rental servers. Poor guy, sitting without complaint in that hot, stuffy server room.

My point is that I don’t use a bot to try gaining some unfair advantage. I use my bot to simply automate what would be long, tedious work in managing my groups, by adding new users to my product support group and adding and removing people from my sim owners’ group – when and if I am notified there is a change (pretty rare that I ever am, actually.)

So, I love this paradigm. I love the way the new search is working. It makes it damned harder, if not near impossible to ‘game’ the system for search optimization. For example, the search engine looks at many things including, but likely not limited to the number of people who have your parcel listed in their Profile Picks, the amount of traffic to your Parcel, the number of direct teleports? The amount you pay for your classified advertising?

I put question marks on the last two because I suspect they play into it, but I’m not really sure. Just as the Google formula is a tightly-help secret, so it the Linden Lab formula – and on top of that, they are using Google hardware – so let’s just dounle-up the formula complexity.

The point is this: all those people gaming the system with dummy bots, building traffic, putting their parcel into each bot’s Profile Picks multiple times over, even paying real people to host in their own profile picks… all a waste of time, energy and resources.

By including and weighting the search results based on those people who are premium account holders (“payment info used”) or who are not premium account holders, but have a credit card or PayPal set in their account (“payment info on file”) simply evens the playing field and creates a fair, balanced environment regarding business in Second Life and marketing that business.

So – I certainly hope Linden Lab keeps on with this scheme – accident, fluke, bug or intentional – please don’t stoop to the son-to-be-squeaky-wheel whiners. Please keep it just as it is right now.

As for Mr. Blackthorne Destiny?
He’ll still be around, listening to the whir of server fans and computer beeps as he rigorously listens for any request to join a couple of particular groups.

Read Tateru’s full post here:
No payment info, no search weight: Put down your SEO bots

Original post by Wildefire Walcott:

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