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> And it so turns out that finding and surfacing the best content aligns well with the number of people who link to that content, which creates a great product for Google, which aligns with Google making a profit.

The lines between Google "watching the market" and Google "commanding the market" are very blurry. If you don't get featured, nobody knows that you exist, nobody links to you, you don't get featured. Otoh: if you get featured, everybody sees you, people link to you, you get featured.

This is a hugely important point. Google’s algorithm was genius at the size they were 10 years ago.

Today Google is the tail that wags the dog and a purely popularity based algorithm is more concerning.

However it’s also unquestionably true that Google results are not purely a popularity contest, and then the question becomes whose hand is on the tiller and which way is it steering?

Clearly in this case it is steering towards mainstream media outlets which all slant a particular way. This does not have a small impact.

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