How Google Edits The Web

from the very-interesting dept

Alan Johnson writes “While surfing, I came across this article at Microdoc News: Google Powered Search: How Google Edits the Web

The most interesting part of the article states:

“What we can say is that even though Google maps a particular universe of results, the Google tool only allows us to see a mere fraction of the possibilities it actually located and databases. The more we study this phenomenon, the more we understand that Google powerfully edits the web and reveals only what the Google algorithms allow us to see. We do not see a comprehensive list of what it has in its database, and we do not see what it misses out.”

Even though Google is a big database, it certainly does not allow us to see even the results it does have in its database. In this article it shows how Google only allows us to see a fraction of what it locates.” If you read through the actual article, the details aren’t quite as “sinister” as these quotes suggest. Basically, the complaint seems to be that Google only shows the first 998 results of a search, and doesn’t let you go any further. As far as I can tell, the only “harm” this is doing is to researchers who are looking to catalog “all” of something online and trying to use Google for that purpose. If you’re just doing a regular search, then, I sure hope you can find the relevant page in the first 1,000, or you might want to refine your search criteria a bit. Google’s stated purpose in search is to help people find pertinent information – not to be a catalog of all things. This isn’t really how Google is “editing” the web, but how someone is trying to use their tool for a purpose it wasn’t designed for – and then complaining that it doesn’t work.

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Comments on “How Google Edits The Web”

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kai says:

No Subject Given

I’m guessing that google’s attitude is if you can’t find your result in the first 1000 or so, then maybe you’d be better of refining your search query, rather than looking manually through the next billion pages. I don’t find that particularly strange or evil.

I don’t think Google is “editing” the web, though they are placing value judgements on web pages. That’s what a search engine does!

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