Did not I tell you that Google is evil?

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Did not I tell you that Google is evil?

Postby Barmaley » Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:09 pm

I told you...

July 14, 2010
The Google Algorithm

Google handles nearly two-thirds of Internet search queries worldwide. Analysts reckon that most Web sites rely on the search engine for half of their traffic. When Google engineers tweak its supersecret algorithm — as they do hundreds of times a year — they can break the business of a Web site that is pushed down the rankings.

When Google was a pure search engine, it was easy to appear agnostic about search results, with no reason to play favorites with one Web site or another. But as Google has branched out into online services from maps and videos to comparison shopping, it has acquired pecuniary incentives to favor its own over rivals.

Google argues that its behavior is kept in check by competitors like Yahoo or Bing. But Google has become the default search engine for many Internet users. Competitors are a click away, but a case is building for some sort of oversight of the gatekeeper of the Internet.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/opinion/15thu3.html
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Re: Did not I tell you that Google is evil?

Postby Brian » Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:51 pm

Barmaley wrote:I told you...

July 14, 2010
The Google Algorithm

Google handles nearly two-thirds of Internet search queries worldwide. Analysts reckon that most Web sites rely on the search engine for half of their traffic. When Google engineers tweak its supersecret algorithm — as they do hundreds of times a year — they can break the business of a Web site that is pushed down the rankings.

When Google was a pure search engine, it was easy to appear agnostic about search results, with no reason to play favorites with one Web site or another. But as Google has branched out into online services from maps and videos to comparison shopping, it has acquired pecuniary incentives to favor its own over rivals.

Google argues that its behavior is kept in check by competitors like Yahoo or Bing. But Google has become the default search engine for many Internet users. Competitors are a click away, but a case is building for some sort of oversight of the gatekeeper of the Internet.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/opinion/15thu3.html


Thanks for finding this article, Barmaley. :) :goodpost:

I think this is a bogus issue, frankly. I mean, yes, I understand why people would be concerned that Google is "tweaking" results, but Google tells you up front that it's tweaking results. If you've ever submitted your site to Google, you know that they have certain rules that they apply (like not allowing people to use link farms) that are designed to prevent people from gaming the system and pushing their results to the top. The irony of the NY Times' suggestion is that Google publishing the algorithm would make Google absolutely worthless. Every SEO firm worker would have a simultaneous orgasm, but the result would be that no one would be able to find anything of value on Google.

Bah!, I say! Bah!!
"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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Re: Did not I tell you that Google is evil?

Postby Barmaley » Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:21 pm

If Google tell you upfront that it plans to get a monopoly for information sharing, will it be also OK?
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Re: Did not I tell you that Google is evil?

Postby Brian » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:44 pm

Barmaley wrote:If Google tell you upfront that it plans to get a monopoly for information sharing, will it be also OK?


Google can't get a monopoly on information sharing. The very nature of search engines and the Web prevent that. Bing is still a far cry from Google, but it's gaining in popularity. And several other search engines exist. The advantage Google has is its popularity, not some built-in advantage. There's no way to keep another search engine off of a user's computer, the way there is to keep an operating system off. As long as you've got a browser, you've got access to any search engine you want.

There's certainly an issue where Google is putting its results at the top, but users know that's what Google's doing, because they tell you up front they're doing it. If you read their documentation, they spell it out for you, and call it a feature. Bing does the same thing with its search results. The fact of the matter is, companies have a right to put these things first as long as a) they explain that they're doing it, and b) it helps the user.

(On a side note, I find Microsoft's "Los Links" commercials either confusing or deceptive. I've searched for about 10 things on Bing in the past 10 minutes, and what kind of results did I get? Links.
"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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