This is just one example. Sometime ago, Google research had posted the merits of its Lake Wobegon Strategy for hiring. I just linked to it in a post. I found that quite a number of people have been coming to my blog for learning about the Lake Wobegon Strategy while the only piece of information I give them is “Please goto the Google link. It has that”. This is the link that Google lists first. Mine deserves a second? With no extra information? 🙂 I think this is a specific problem with PageRank that makes it vulnerable to manipulation. Google links to me just because I linked to one of their blog posts (with no personal contribution) and many people visit me and Google thinks I am adding information when infact I am not. Maybe, its the blind linking policy they use on their blogs. Maybe, its their blown up self importance. They are a search service provider. Is it a good service provider that assigns more importance to their own information than many more reliable sources?
Agreed that PageRank is a very good generic algorithm. But the devil is really in the details. I hope we will soon see something radically different from Google themselves in terms of modifications to their core search paradigm. I hope they will also do something about the blind linking policy on their blogs. Its a bad practice in “organizing the world’s information”.