Wow, I’ve never seen this before. Check out Google’s post, responding to the New York Times story about a bad actor who had figured out a way to make a living leveraging what he saw as holes in Google’s approach to ranking.
How Google ranks is the subject of increasing scrutiny, including and particularly in Europe.
From Google’s blog:
Even though our initial analysis pointed to this being an edge case and not a widespread problem in our search results, we immediately convened a team that looked carefully at the issue. That team developed an initial algorithmic solution, implemented it, and the solution is already live.
What I find fascinating is the way Google handled this. Read this carefully:
Instead, in the last few days we developed an algorithmic solution which detects the merchant from the Times article along with hundreds of other merchants that, in our opinion, provide an extremely poor user experience. The algorithm we incorporated into our search rankings represents an initial solution to this issue, and Google users are now getting a better experience as a result.
What word stands out? Yep, “opinion.”
Think on that for a second. If ever there was an argument that algorithms are subjective, there it is.
(Oh, and by the way, the last paragraph in the blog post clearly is directed at the regulators in Europe, if you think about it….)
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