This post is something of an experiment.
As I said in a previous post, I’m interested in knowing just how big the community of expert audit software users is, and where to find them. So I’ve been doing a variety of searches, including setting Google to search only on blogs — that is, on WordPress and Blogspot and their counterparts.
What I hoped to find was a little community of experts talking about the best methods for doing data analysis, or getting access to data. A spirited debate about the problem of eliminating false positives when sampling. Something like that.
What I actually found was really odd. The first 20 pages of results from searching for “audit software” were about 80-90 percent fakes. That is, they were ungrammatical, hastily copied articles on “content farms” built solely to fake out Google search. They would explain, using English as a second language, how the 21st century requires responsible management to control results and so auditing using software is good.
Google announced way back in February 2011 that they would be retooling their search algorithm to punish this sort of behavior. And on closer examination it seems to me that many of these results are coming from dead or abandoned “content farms”. One very convincing-looking WordPress site devoted to brief, grammatical, but bogus articles about accounting listed more than 500 articles for February 2011, but only 40 in November 2011. I think that the “content farmers” are hurting badly at this point.
But that raises the puzzle: Where are all the legitimate bloggers? If the “content farms” have been routed, if there’s no money in that scam any more, why don’t searches for “audit software” result in hits on real blogs?
Could it be that there aren’t any?
This is what I’m testing for. I noticed that in my original search, this blog came up as one of just three results (out of the first 200) that were real people blogging about audit software. I want to see if adding a second post about the same subject means that I hit twice.
I knew there weren’t going to be many of us out there, but this is a little scary. Let’s see what happens.
EDIT: Okay, if I search on “audit software” and limit myself to blogs, this post now comes up ranked #1 on the first page. Really? It’s that easy?
Welcome to the #1 blog in the world about audit software. Apparently, anyway. Yikes.