An excerpt from the second part of the series referenced earlier today
How did we get here? Partly it’s because too many editors and reporters waited too long to learn Web basics, and many of the more enthusiastic early adopters fled the newsroom and took their expertise with them. Partly the problem is generational, and thus gradually being solved.
But a big part of it is Google’s responsibility. Google is a great tool because it draws meaning from links. And it is a profitable company because it has placed a tiny but real financial value on many links. But by making links a business, Google also made it harder for editors and writers to defend responsible linking. Links became the province of the publisher, not the editor. Even so, Google — and the Web itself — works best when links are made freely, motivated by passion or professional dedication or fun. When the links are made for a fractional cent or buck, we get spam and malware and wastelands of zombie splogs.