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October 13th, 2011, 06:53
Originally Posted by Kefka View Post
You must have missed this article: http://ps3.ign.com/articles/119/1196439p1.html
(Top Five Reasons Dark Souls Will Eat Skyrim's Face)
Yeah I initially had - which is why I responded to the post quoting the mention of that article. That had prompted me to go back and read both and the comments sections. This doesn't seem like an attempt to even anything out as much as it is a less provocative attempt to keep the flame war going. Obviously it produces quite a lot of cross linking to the respective articles within their site and from others. Case in point - I this thread now has links to the previous article which (intentionally or not) benefits IGN in a two primary ways.

The obvious benefit is that every link to those articles is a chance for more traffic to be driven to their site - to this article and the previous original fire-starter. The less obvious potentially more interesting effect it has is that it significantly increases the Google rank of those articles for searches on "dark souls" and "skyrim" in general (the previous article is up 20 places since this morning and their Dark Souls review is up 5).

Every blog post, or news feed listing referring to this article or the previous contains the names of at least Skyrim in reference to the link - more importantly the comment sections (such as this one) often contain one or more links to the above mentioned flame-bait and numerous mentions of both games and the flame war as and often a link to the Dark Souls reviews in more actively flamed comment threads.

Unfortunately I don't have a way of considering the initial effect of the Sept 24 firestarter on relevant google rankings. Still, the fact that this article has perpetuated the ridiculous and contrived flame war has, regardless of intention or whether or not it was remarkably clever manipulation or lucky happenstance on their part, served to boost various Google rankings for IGN pages in search results as well as drive traffic to their site. If this was by design - kudos to them for successfully capitalizing on the fickle resource that is the horde of bitter snarling zombies infesting the tubes of the internet. If it wasn't then maybe it just serves to illustrate how bitter snarling noise perpetuates and propagates on the web.
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