Google explains to us (here)
that the "uniquely democratic nature of the web" allows it to rank pages in
such a way that we can get a picture of their basic value. In
other words, the value of a page is determined by how many people with web
pages think it's valuable (or valuable enough to link to). Talk about striking
a blow against elitism! Can't we at least pretend that the fact that we haven't
gained popularity doesn't reflect on our quality, but instead is actually a
sign that we have real value?
What's more, this becomes a way of perhaps gaining returns simply through name dropping. Perhaps this is little more than a variation on the degrees of separation game that the internet popularized - "tell me who you know and I'll tell you who you are" wrought universal through the web. Long ago we were promised those proverbial fifteen minutes of fame. Could it hurt so much for us to get them already?