Were you upset by Klout’s recent algorithm change? Do you pay less attention to Klout than you did before the algorithm changes? If so, you may be doing exactly what Klout wants you to do.
If you care about grades in school, you study for your exam. The algorithm is clear (test results, possibly quizzes, attendance or participation) and you work to influence the result.
When you care about your position in Google search results, you begin to care about backlinks, keywords, titles, headings, copy, social signals, Danny Sullivan and Matt Cutts. You are attempting to influence the result of the algorithm in your favor.
When we care about the result of an algorithm, we begin to cater our activity to the algorithm.
When you change your behavior to influence the result of the algorithm, the result is no longer pure. Rather than returning the best search results to a user (the intent of Google’s algorithm), you have influenced the search results to favor you.
Klout measures influence (debate of the accuracy aside). But Klout’s results are public and even simpler to see than Google’s (no long list of keywords to consider or personalization of results, just one big number).
When you care about the result of Klout’s algorithm and begin trying to influence it, the results are no longer pure. Instead, the results reflect a mix of Klout’s intended measurement of influence and the effort made to influence Klout scores.
With a Klout Perks campaign rumored to cost $25,000 and up, Klout’s value is closely tied to their algorithm producing reasonably accurate results. The more your activity is catered to impact your Klout score, the more difficult it is for Klout to create and maintain an accurate algorithm.
The less you care about Klout, the more valuable Klout becomes. [Tweet]
Many people have pointed to current flaws in Klout’s algorithm. Do you believe the desire to influence Klout scores is part of the problems with Klout today? Or is influence something that simply cannot be measured by an automated algorithm? Share your view in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).