Saturday, May 5, 2012

Is Google Purposely Profiting From Your Pain?

Prepare yourself for another round of questions about Google's cooperation with evil practices thanks to a video posted yesterday by Rexxfield founder Michael Roberts.   In the video, Roberts advances a well thought out theory that Google may be intentionally promoting search results which allege misdeeds of the persons being searched for in order to generate more advertising revenue.   So, if someone says something negative about you, especially if it has to do with your professional reputation, Google may be elevating those remarks so that end users decide against working with you so that they will be more like to click related ads.  He offers a few compelling examples which in my mind raise serious questions.

Roberts may be on to something that can be proven scientifically.   Google's search algorithms are based on multiple factors but the one most are familiar with focuses on the number inbound links a webpage has accumulated over time.  This is modeled after the concept of peer review in academic circles: if a published paper is cited numerous times, chances are the claims made in it are interesting.  In other words, academics who cite it likely do so because the conclusions are correct or false or controversial.

If examples of elevated search results could be shown to have few inbound links yet are still found on the first page of search results (where 90+% of clicked results reside), this would provide significant evidence that could lead to a major scandal worthy of a congressional investigation.

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