Yancey Strickler, co-founder of Kickstarter, dropped us a line about the systems in place to “hide” failed projects. He told us that Kickstarter does indeed hide many projects from search robots, but it’s for a good cause.
“The original poster was correct in noting that we don’t have a browse area for projects whose funding was unsuccessful,” he wrote. “This isn’t to ‘hide failure,’ as the original post said, it’s because it would be a poor user experience (there’s no action that anyone could take) and it would expose the creators of unsuccessfully funded projects to unnecessary criticism from the web (those projects would be prime for trolling).”
“Most unsuccessfully funded projects come up short because of a lack of interest in the project or because their creators didn’t promote it enough, not because of the Kickstarter page itself. Success on Kickstarter comes down to making a video, pricing things reasonably, and telling people about the project.”
In fact, project creators asked that Kickstarter projects be de-indexed for a reason: they ranked high in search results and, if Google crawled them, the resulting failures would percolate towards the top. “Because Kickstarter projects index very highly in search, creators were seeing their unsuccessfully funded projects ranking extremely high — in some cases as the #1 result — for their name. That obviously sucked, so we made the decision to de-index them.”
The company has added a FAQ to address the problem here.
As we said before, this isn’t a marketplace, it’s a dog show. You don’t want the ugly mutts hanging around when there are plenty of great specimens to peruse. This is crowdsourcing perfected, in a way, and if there’s one thing we know about crowds it’s that they’re easily swayed, fickle, and rarely kind.