Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

It costs Google almost nothing to carry another electronic news outlet, unlike with physical goods (they probably still cache all of them anyways). Very bad analogy. As an example, the cost difference from picking the best result from 1000 sites or 10 sites is probably not very great.

It just tells me that Google controls what news that you are able to see and that they are not very objective.

edit: of course I am not talking about showing bad results on your prime screen real estate... just choosing the best results from more sources (which is what I thought this article was about).

Yes it does: it costs space on the page and a lower clickthrough rate, since people aren't going to click links from sources they don't recognize as often.

Should Google start preferring some CS undergrad's uncited poorly-formatted blog instead of stackoverflow as well?

a) " a lower clickthrough rate" - the click through rate to news is not the only concern of Google.

b) It's not an argument to suggest that Google should be carrying some random student news paper. As if Google can't tell the difference between 'The Burlington Vermont Times' and random noise.

I am not sure I can tell the difference between 'The Burlington Vermont Times' and some random news aggregator which decided to filter on location.

And there are individual blogs which have higher quality / better reporting than some regional newspapers. Should those be included as well? Which ones?

Once you start making decisions like these, you are quickly getting into controversial territory. So I can see why Google prefers to abstain and say "it's all users, not our fault!"

"it's all users, not our fault"

I don't think it's 'aggregate users choice' they use, I think it's ultimately 'page rank' reputation at the core of it.

Also, I think if they were using 'user choice popularity' the news would be HuffPo, Buzzfeed, TMZ, Breitbart etc. - we on HN don't read this stuff but it's very, very popular stuff.

Consider that HuffPo for example is more popular that most news orgs on that list, and they do actually have a lot of in-house content ... so why are they not added? Clearly Google has made some kind of editorial choice.

This is not just regular search, it's news, so this becomes more important.

I don't think there is a way around having some kind of editorial opinion, so it should hopefully be transparent, maybe pliable, possibly even regulated.

So now it's a good thing that Google prefers reputable and well-known news sources over random unknown noise?

First, I did not imply that reputability should not factor into the results.

Second, the criteria for 'reputability' is a great deal of what's at stake here.

It's not about the cost, it's about presentaiton space. A gas station is limited to one fridge (say), and has to choose what to put there.

Similarly, Google has a ~5" device with about 15-20 slots to fill in.

The actual cost of buying a fridge/extra slot is marginal, the issue is the attention of the consumer.

Of course I was not talking about it in that sense. I meant that for about the same cost, they should be able to show the most relevant results from the best source, and not just a select few.

They are doing that already. What do you think "most relevant" means -- it means "the link that most people want to click on".

Now, if I am looking at the google new results, and I see results from bbc.co.uk and "Random Guy's News Site", which one am I going to click? I'd choose bbc.co.uk every time. So they will be marked as "relevant" and will rise to the top, while "Random Guy's News Site" will be marked irrelevant and fall to the bottom of the list where no one will ever see it.

It takes up room on the shelf.

It's a very good analogy.


Unless someone comes up with a method of somehow listing all 18,000 or whatever entries on the front page, the algorithm has to choose which ones are most popular.

Well of course I was not talking about it in that sense. I meant that for about the same cost, they should be able to show the most relevant results from the best source, and not just a select few.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact