Google Schmoogle

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Technology
May 19th, 2003 • 11:48 pm

Lots of noise these days about Google and what the company might be up to, especially when it comes to blogs and their relatively strong presence in Google search results, due to the fact that most of them rely heavily on links to other blogs.

The problem is of course that people can only speculate on what Google’s position is exactly (if they have one). They are free to do whatever they please, e.g. tweak their algorithms so that blogs don’t play such an important role in search results — or do nothing.

Some people are arguing that Google should be regulated as a quasi-public agency. This raises all kinds of issues, including the question of determining just who would have the authority to regulate Google. It is not, after all, a matter of national policy in the US. Google is very much a global tool, and any kind of regulation would require a global body. Google regulated by the United Nations? Not likely in the current international climate!

What annoys me the most about all this talk about Google is that people seem to be thinking that Google is the alpha and omega of web searching. Most people I know take Google for what it is, i.e. a search tool with results that are often better than any other tool out there. But they are far from equating Google with online research. They still often get results with Google that are totally irrelevant to their needs, and have to look elsewhere. Google just one of the most common tools.

In addition, most of their searches are purely for consultation purposes, and if online searches translate INTO real money for certain businesses and no money for other ones, it is through a very complex process that involves much more than their Google ranking. I am not saying that Google doesn’t have any impact. But, based on my own online purchasing habits of the past few years, and on my response to online advertising, Google only plays a small role in the decision process. If a business depends on its ranking in Google search results for its survival, then it is in deep trouble to begin with.

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