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> How could a search engine ever know what the "correct" answer is? Relevance is more important.

I strongly disagree, IMO actively surfacing a highly-relevant but incorrect result is worse than not surfacing anything at all.

As for determining what the "correct" answer is, the authority of the source is certainly a good place to start. Obviously nothing is fool-proof, but Yahoo! Answers is certainly less likely to be correct than Wikipedia, for example.

Let's continue with my particular query as an example. I already don't trust Alex Jones and Quora and Yahoo answers. I have my own opinion as to which sources I trust and which ones I do not. So first I would internally give different weights to results based on how trustworthy I find them. Then, I would look at the actual content, and look to cross reference the details to assert their validity.

Now with the Google results, there is nothing even remotely relevant to my search, so I don't even have candidates with which I could do further research into their veracity.

Once again I think Google just thinks they are smarter than the average user, but it's making their search engine useless for certain queries.

And I don't like the idea that a search engine should be doing the critical thinking for users. That's more dangerous than the content they are supposedly protecting us from.

So your problem is that Google considers what you consider to be trustworthy sources to be neither relevant nor trustworthy? Have you considered the possibility that what you consider to be trustworthy sources are neither relevant nor trustworthy?

The problem is that I don't trust Google to define what "trustworthy" means. I'd prefer to get results that match on more clear heuristics and make the decision on trustworthiness myself.

The Google algorithm: sites gain reputation through the number of links to them from other high reputation sites.

I don’t want Google to have an opinion. I don’t want Google to second guess me.

We are a long way, I hope, from, “Hey, Siri, what’s your opinion about....”


The Chinafication of the US is complete. The gatekeepers know better than us and should give us the results that reinforce their echo chamber rather than the ones we are looking for, and the public has been convinced this is the right thing to do.

If this were happening 15 years ago, people would be outraged instead of supporting it. What kind of nonsense is this that the search engine should reinforce political stances? My political beliefs are my choice, and if I want to reinforce them, that's my prerogative. The search engine should not make that choice for me. Well unless you are baidu.com and backed by a one-party system.

It's not the responsibility of search engines to engage willful ignorance with a plurality of perspectives or debunk fringe political nutbaggery that stands opposed to the precepts of civilized society, but I'm glad they mostly do.

Regardless, that should be a personal choice to make.

Google has to rank its results somehow, in order to limit the number of results returned to some sensible amount (rather than returning literal hundreds of GBs of links for common queries, if it considered them all to be equally "first.")

Other search engines are no different.

You make your "personal choice" of ranking algorithm, by choosing which search engine to use.

"if you don't like it then leave" is not helpful. There's no good reason a search engine couldn't provide an interface to let you choose how you want to rank and filter results. In fact there used to be an advanced interface in the past the provided a crude version of this.

A great benefit to Google would be that SEO would be hard to game because everyone has different filters. That is already sort of the case but it should be the user, not Google, deciding which narratives and aspects to filter.

The trick is to include a variety of results early. Sources often can be grouped into blocks which return mostly the same results. Better to reduce the quantity of returns from the top block in order to include on the front page a few from the second and third tier.

Or maybe a text search equivalent to Yelp’s “re-search in this area” (after narrowing the map). Perhaps to be able to select some results and hit a “more like this” button.

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