Important Announcement on Rational Walk Article Syndication

Mar. 04, 2011 10:04 AM ET
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Long Only, Deep Value, Value, Special Situations

Contributor Since 2009

The Rational Walk was created to provide a platform to publish equity research based on value investing principles. We believe that diligent and thorough security analysis has the potential to identify opportunities in the financial markets for the small number of investors who truly have long time horizons and the appropriate temperament to ignore short term market fluctuations. The Rational Walk’s extensive coverage of Berkshire Hathaway has been mentioned in several news articles.

Dear Readers,

Many of you may have read about Google’s recent decision to modify its search algorithms to supposedly reward original content sources and punish “content farms”.  Google’s stated objective is to differentiate between “content farms” and sites offering “original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis, and so on,” according to Google’s principal engineer Matt Cutts.

One important question involves how Google’s algorithm identifies “original” content versus syndicated content.  For example, how would Google’s algorithm know that an article on The Rational Walk is the original and an article on Seeking Alpha is syndicated?  Google closely guards their algorithms and, while there has been much discussion among search engine optimization experts regarding tweaks that could address the latest changes, the facts are clear for The Rational Walk over the past week:  Traffic, when adjusted for the Berkshire report release spike, is down significantly from prior levels.

Ultimately, it is our goal to spend time researching companies and developing original content rather than to worry about search engine optimization matters.  For some time, we have been disillusioned with the value proposition offered by syndication of content in general and Google’s algorithm change has prompted serious reconsideration of the overall practice.  Going forward, all content will appear exclusively on The Rational Walk and nowhere else and the chips will fall where they may when it comes to search engine results.

The impact on readers is that if you subscribe to RSS feeds on Seeking Alpha or elsewhere in order to read Rational Walk content, you will need to modify your RSS feed to utilize of our free subscription options.  Those who are already subscribing to one of these options or read articles directly on The Rational Walk website will experience no changes.

Thank you for your continued interest in The Rational Walk.

Regards,

Ravi Nagarajan
Managing Editor

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