As the de facto portal to the entire Internet, Google controls the fate of nearly every company that produces content. When the company rejiggered its algorithm earlier this year, we heard some stories about content farmers hurt by the changes. As happy as I am that low-quality sites are being hurt, I'm even happier that high-quality sites like Instructables.com have been helped. Instructables, a repository of guides on how to do stuff, has the flavor of the early Internet. It's very personal and many-to-many, and it's precisely the sort of site that could not have existed before the Internet.
Well, today they announced they'd hit 10 million unique visitors a month, helped to a large extent by the changes in Google's search ranking that increased the site's visibility. Their audience has grown 37 percent over the last year. It's amazing to think what some smallish code changes at Google can do to impact the shape of the Internet, for ill or, in this case, for good.