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> 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".




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