So, I want to open up a topic for discussion. This discussion surrounds two things, exposure and seo for companies in service listings.
Service Listing Exposure
The marketplace has a list of companies whom are listed in alphabetical order on the /drupal-services page and subpages. From a search standpoint, this might make sense, but for fairness and marketing reasons it leaves a lot to be desired for the folks on the paginated subpages.
Now this might be a little more of a taboo subject since some people want to pretend there might be no affect. The service listings are extremely helpful for companies in gaining traffic to their sites and potential clients because of the referral from drupal.org as well as the boost in authority they receive from the links to their sites. However, the /drupal-services url is the most authoritave url in the marketplace with only 10 companies being shown on the page. The companies on this page will most certainly benefit from the exposure and additionally the seo value of having their domain linked to directly from that page. That said, it is always going to be the companies with numbers and the letter A as the first letter in their company names. And should we add a company to the service directory that has a number 1 at the beginning someone will get shoved off of page 1.
The page authority of the subsequent pages in the pagination (/drupal-services?page=x) are much less authoritative on the subject, and the last page of the pagination is the most losery page of them all. I really feel for ZivTech as they will always be receiving the least amount of love like this.
What to do about it
Well, the easiest solution might be something like randomization (maybe Views random seed) and then allowing sorting alphabetically if someone wants to see it that way.
Another solution would of course be paid levels, which although monetarily beneficial would destroy the openness of this directory as it is now and be more work overall I think.
I really do like the availability of the marketplace and the potential for it to help the businesses that support Drupal and use it regularly. We can however spread the wealth a little better. Although the companies on the first page are great, they should not be the only ones to reap the benefits of the most authoritative page in the marketplace simply because of the spelling of their names.
Please make other suggestions if you have them. I also noticed that Alex UA mentioned randomizing the front page the the marketplace () at inception, perhaps that was lost in implementation.