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

You seem in your answers to be prioritizing "direct answer to the question regardless of reliability" rather than "useful information about the question's subject." I suppose there's an argument to be made for that, but it's an argument that leads to prioritizing a search engine that will return the answer "orange pinstripe" to the question "what is the color of the sky" over a search engine that returns a scientific article about how sunlight behaves in atmosphere.

(In any case, this all seems a bit orthogonal to whether Google is right or wrong to prioritize widely-recognized news outlets over smaller ones when it surfaces searches for news articles, doesn't it?)

I don't believe it to be orthogonal. There is a deeper philosophical question that has barely been touched on what search engines should return in response to user queries, which also applies to surfacing news. In the past with Alta Vista, word matches were the heuristic and it was extremely obvious as to how to measure the quality of the result. Now you've got very abstract heuristics, such as intent of the user, trustworthiness of the source, whether the source is healthy and good for society, the correctness or honesty of the content, how much revenue will be made with particular set of results, etc. and the public is being left out of the discussion as to which heuristics are important to apply.

How about as general rule of thumb, I tell search engines what to search for instead of the other way around?

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