Last week, the New Scientist has published an article about how Google would change its search algorithm again, but this time, it doesn’t account for the number and quality of links a website is tied to, but instead, the truthfulness of its content. Does anyone smell a fish in here somewhere?
Of course. If you read that article I’ve linked to, then you would know that their definition of truth is how often a certain fact is repeated in the internet, and if it has previously been archived in Google’s Knowledge Vault. Now, I’m all for promoting trustworthy and high-caliber content, but I am inclined to think that what they are doing is only going to be serving the vested interests of a privileged few. (*coughs* NSA *coughs*)
Imagine all of the “Reliable” news outlets on the internet getting all the traffic, totally eschewing the fringe sites that may or may not offer a unique view or new information to the reading public. It would only serve to strengthen the grip of consensual reality on our collective minds. Trying to weed out the good from the bad is a noble deed, but I believe that as a platform, and not just a commercial website, Google has a responsibility to be transparent in the content it serves on its search results.
But, on Google’s defense, they can do whatever the eff they want to do on their website, so long that it helps them fulfill the main purpose of any business, profit (This is not necessarily a bad thing, I believe in a free market.). It’s fortunate that there’s always alternatives:
I can only attest to the quality of two of them, Bing and DuckDuckGo, and provide the rest for the sake of giving you guys more choices. The aforementioned update isn’t live yet, so there really isn’t any need to change your surfing habits if you don’t really agree with what they are planning on doing.
But better to be aware than not.