I don’t like Google, even though they do some good stuff. Their maps and navigations services and Google Earth are all extremely useful devices. However as a corporate they’re far too politically progressive for me, and I don’t like the way they dominate the web and endlessly collect data for marketing purposes. They read your emails (robotically) if you use their service, and target web advertising according to whatever you may be writing about.
Lately they’ve decided to in future alter the way their search engine works. At the moment, if you do a search for an item, a website that enjoys high popularity will be at the top of the list for that particular item.
The coming change is an algorithmically designed process that changes the main ranking factor from popularity to what Google term “trustworthiness”.
It works roughly like this. Google compiles a store of facts. Specially designed software patrols millions of websites and checks what is written on these sites against the facts in the data base. If the software detects a large number of diversions from the stored facts, the site will be downgraded in search results.
Is this going to make the web a more “truthful” place? Somehow I doubt it. To me it smells like another big brother idea from Google, and I can’t avoid the suspicion this is just another cleverly disguised attempt to ram global warming down our throats, and silence dissent.
If Google been around in the 16th century, I wonder if Copernicus would have got a look in?