Google cranks up the Consensus Engine
12th December 2008 19:38 GMT
Google this week admitted that its staff will pick and choose what appears in its search results. It's a historic statement - and nobody has yet grasped its significance.
Not so very long ago, Google disclaimed responsibility for its search results by explaining that these were chosen by a computer algorithm. The disclaimer lives on at Google News, where we are assured that...
...This week Marissa Meyer explained that editorial judgments will play a key role in Google searches. It was reported by Tech Crunch proprietor Michael Arrington - who Nick Carr called the "Madam of the Web 2.0 Brothel" - but its significance wasn't noted. The irony flew safely over his head at 30,000 feet. Arrington observed:
Mayer also talked about Google’s use of user data created by actions on Wiki
search to improve search results on Google in general. For now that data is not
being used to change overall search results, she said. But in the future it’s
likely Google will use the data to at least make obvious changes. An example is
if “thousands of people” were to knock a search result off a search page, they’d
be likely to make a change.