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I see your point, but in this case they are blacklisting domains by hand because of their content, which they don't agree with. And that is very bad. Maybe it was my mistake, thinking that their organic search was holy, which no longer is the case it seems.



I dont understand this point of view. Googles literal mission since inception was to rank results based on how good google thought they were. Their purpose is to editorialize results through the order they appear. Quality is defined buy googles subjectivity.

Where did the idea of google neutrality come from? Google would be useless if they didnt blacklist what they perceive to be spam.


> Where did the idea of google neutrality come from?

From Google. They've stated time and time again that it's a magic algorithm and they don't hand-pick winners and losers. And it's a good thing, too, otherwise you're just inviting corruption. Top spots are literally worth millions, and if there's an small army of people that decide who ranks where, they are an obvious target for bribes.

This doesn't look that hand picked, though, more like somebody didn't check what would happen if they rolled out some algo change and targeted way too broad.


they pick losers by identifying losers, or who SHOULD be a loser, and then modifying the algorithm to derank them and their tactics. believing they can target spam, without first identifying spam, doesnt make any sense.

in this case, some better sites resemble spam enough that they were also hit. a basic false positive, collateral damage.


That's different though. The algorithm applies to all sites, and if apple.com does the same thing a spam-site does, they will be punished by the algorithm as well. Hand picking is very different, in that similar things aren't treated similarly.

> in this case, some better sites resemble spam enough that they were also hit. a basic false positive, collateral damage.

I believe that as well, though not necessarily because of "spam", but because of the topic. I was just trying to explain how people might think that Google doesn't manually curate their results.


They have certainly peddled the idea that "the algorithm" is what drives page rank.


This is an extremely circular conversation. Google writes the algorithm that ranks pages.

They absolutely know, that if you search Disney, and Disney isnt the first result, they wrote it incorrectly. They also know their product has less value if it returns spam, which is why they fight SEO artists.

They do try to distance themselves from "choosing" the top result for "best construction store" or "best news site" by shouting the world algorithm, to distract the conversation. That doesnt mean they dont carefully craft the algorithm to return a relevant top result.


> That doesnt mean they dont carefully craft the algorithm to return a relevant top result.

I found https://medium.com/@mikewacker/googles-manual-interventions-... an interesting read on that topic. It's not just a crafted algorithm, but there are different algorithms and employees choose different algorithms for some queries if they/journalists dislike what the original algorithm considered most relevant.


I mean, that's how you'd train the main algorithm, right?

I'd fully expect to see these interventions fed back into the algorithm so Google can better predict "this search term is likely to be targeted by partisan or otherwise suspiciously motivated actors".


See, I don't think there's much difference between writing a deterministic mathematical algorithm to have X site on top, hand-curating a list to have X site on top or writing a magic spell that consults 4 neural nets, a space dragon from Jupiter and the Canadian Prime Minister for weightings that results in X site on top.

That's all implementation details, at the end of the day site X is on top and site Y is not, and Google decided that.

And as mentioned in the sibling thread, that's the value of Google Search. If you disagree that X should be on top, then find an alternative search engine that has some different ranking algorithm, but there's no such thing as an objective search engine.




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