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Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links 375

wabrandsma writes about Google's new system for ranking the truthfulness of a webpage. "Google's search engine currently uses the number of incoming links to a web page as a proxy for quality, determining where it appears in search results. So pages that many other sites link to are ranked higher. This system has brought us the search engine as we know it today, but the downside is that websites full of misinformation can rise up the rankings, if enough people link to them. Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. 'A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy,' says the team. The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score. The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings."
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Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

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  • YES (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 01, 2015 @06:12PM (#49160379)

    It's about time, but I really hope their 'factual accuracy' engine gets open sourced so we can be clear on exactly how they determine what are 'facts'

    • FEO (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @07:02PM (#49160645)
      If this ever happens, expect Fact Engine Optimization to become a new industry, and do exactly what SEO did to the reliability and utility of search engines.
      • Re:FEO (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @08:19PM (#49161057)

        "Fact optimization" is already behind more than one multi-billion dollar industry: advertising, political lobbying...

        And this is why I fear this initiative, no matter how well intentioned, is doomed to failure. Just because something gets repeated a lot, that doesn't make it factually correct. Moreover, censoring dissenting opinions is a terrible reaction to active manipulation and even to old-fashioned gossip, because it removes the best mechanism for correcting the groupthink and promoting more informed debate, which is introducing alternative ideas from someone who knows better or simply has a different (but still reasonable) point of view.

        Remember, not so long ago, the almost-universal opinion would have been that the world was flat.

        • Re:FEO (Score:5, Interesting)

          by thieh ( 3654731 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @09:49PM (#49161477)
          It'will be interesting to see whether websites of some particular political party or lobbying group get downranked so much to disappear from search results completely.
        • Re:FEO (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dryeo ( 100693 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @09:49PM (#49161479)

          Remember, not so long ago, the almost-universal opinion would have been that the world was flat.

          A good example of a wrong fact that too many people believe. As soon as people really started traveling, especially on the ocean, it became obvious that the Earth is not flat. Something like 2500 years ago a Greek used geometry to measure the circumference of the Earth though there were idiots like Columbus who were convinced the world was much smaller then the generally accepted size.

          • Re:FEO (Score:5, Interesting)

            by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Monday March 02, 2015 @06:05AM (#49162989)

            though there were idiots like Columbus who were convinced the world was much smaller then the generally accepted size.

            There is a certain amount of evidence that Columbus lied about how big he thought the world was, in order to convince the Spanish crown to finance his expedition.

            It's not like the New World was completely unknown in Europe before Columbus - FLemish fishermen were drying fish in Newfoundland before Columbus was born. And it's quite possible that Columbus knew that.

            If so, and in light of Spain's interest in breaking the Portugese monopoly on trade with the Far East, a little "creative interpretation" of the world's size might have been sufficient to convince the Spanish Crown that a trip west was a worthwhile investment....

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dmt0 ( 1295725 )
          So, if enough of the high-ranking trustworthy sites like cnn.com tell you that the bailing out of the banks in 2008 was an unambiguously good thing, than that becomes a fact? And if you opine otherwise, you're ranked down? So what we have here is a full blown censoring of the web, nothing less.
          • Re:FEO (Score:5, Insightful)

            by dryeo ( 100693 ) on Monday March 02, 2015 @02:09AM (#49162377)

            Don't be daft, good vs bad are not facts. Facts are things like when the bank bailout happened, which laws were used, who signed the laws, which banks benefited, how big of bonuses were given out etc. Ideally you base your opinion about good vs bad based on facts rather then bullshit and good vs bad is always an opinion.
            And how is it censorship if a private entity prints whatever it wants? You, I and Google are free to put whatever we want on sites we own. Everyone is free to visit which ever sites they want to visit and we're all free to stop visiting a site if we don't like/agree with its content. Google fucks up and they'll go the way of Alta Vista.

            • by dmt0 ( 1295725 )

              Don't be daft, good vs bad are not facts. Facts are things like when the bank bailout happened, which laws were used, who signed the laws, which banks benefited, how big of bonuses were given out etc. Ideally you base your opinion about good vs bad based on facts rather then bullshit and good vs bad is always an opinion. And how is it censorship if a private entity prints whatever it wants? You, I and Google are free to put whatever we want on sites we own. Everyone is free to visit which ever sites they want to visit and we're all free to stop visiting a site if we don't like/agree with its content. Google fucks up and they'll go the way of Alta Vista.

              OK, that was a bad example. "Who plotted 9/11". That's a question regarding a fact that is disputed. But there is an official status quo version that is more widely accepted than others. Will that become a fact? Regarding censorship - yes, Google is not the only search engine out there. Let's see if Bing makes an announcement in the nearest future saying that they're implementing a similar technology to become more "competitive" against Google.

            • by houghi ( 78078 )

              The power of google is, however, more subtle. They do not need to fuck up, they just need to direct trafic to wherever they desire and they already do that. Your searchresults are different to mine.

              And I have no way of knowing why I do not find the same interesting sites as you do, There is a TED talk about the subject called (I think) Living in an Internet bubble.

              Google has the power to influence what people read and thus what people think. Not as a whole. Not with everybody. All they need is some of the p

            • And if you believe a publicly traded corporation, one that many would argue has gotten nastier WRT to identity and free speech as they go along, won't manipulate this when the "facts" go against their corporate agenda? I have some magic beans you might be interested in.
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

          Those aren't facts though... In the popular sense of the word perhaps, but probably not what Google engineers are thinking. Chances are they are looking for common myths, commonly mis-attributed quotes, simple mathematical errors, typos and the like.

          I'm thinking things like "glass is a liquid", "we only use 10% of our brains", getting famous people's birthdays wrong etc.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by retroworks ( 652802 )

          Exactly. Fighting misinformation posted widely is the most important form of journalism there is.

          http://news.slashdot.org/story/14/06/21/231250/uk-man-sentenced-to-16-months-for-exporting-e-waste-despite-91-reuse

          CBS 60 Minutes, PBS Frontline, CNN, John Stossel, everyone unanimously republished a stat in 2002 about "e-waste" exports which stated that 75%-80% of these exports were dumped and recycled in primitive conditions. Science Daily even reported that Agbogbloshie (city dump in Accra) was the "most

      • Re:FEO (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mr. Shotgun ( 832121 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @09:37PM (#49161431)

        If this ever happens, expect Fact Engine Optimization to become a new industry, and do exactly what SEO did to the reliability and utility of search engines.

        Finally! It is the tautology club's moment to shine [xkcd.com]

      • Re:FEO (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @10:16PM (#49161573)
        Yes, 2+2=4, therefore global warming is a lie by Al Gore, who served as Vice President. I'm sure the linguistic style will look odd at first, but packing one lie per page and lots of valid facts could game the system. That's why they should release it early, so we can start gaming it early, so they can improve it before release (but they'll get around it by calling everything a beta).
    • "Fact" engines such as Watson normally produce several results (facts) with a confidence rating on each and can show their "reasoning" step by step. The step by step reasoning is much more useful as a confirmation method than the source code. Source code won't help you much unless you have a solid background in statistical analysis.
    • Re:YES (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @09:25PM (#49161389)

      It's about time

      Yes, automated groupthink is a wonderful idea. Doubleplusgood!

      • Re:YES (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lgw ( 121541 ) on Monday March 02, 2015 @12:18AM (#49161965) Journal

        DuckDuckGo has ranted for a while about Google's "search bubble", where it shows each user pages likely to confirm their biases. This twists that old habit, so now everyone will be presented with pages likely to confirm Google's biases. Disagree with the Google groupthink? Your page is filled with lies, and Google will do its best to hide it.

        Your own good judgment is the only worthwhile filter, and you don't get or maintain that by seeing only pages that all say the same thing. You don't really understand any subject until you can argue both sides in detail, and see why those with the out-of-favor view believe what they do!

        I don't expect it will take very many years before Google picks sides on politically contentious issues in their ranking. Is abortion murder? Don't worry, Google will decide for you! Is recycling actually helping the environment? Don't worry, Google will decide for you! Are the current Net Neutrality changes actually good for the consumer, or only for internet giants? Don't worry, Google knows where the facts are!

        Whatever you do, don't spend the time to study issues in depth for yourself, no, don't rise above your station. Repeat what you've been told, and everyone will say how smart you are - well, at least everyone who shows up in a Google search.

  • Bad move (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Whiteox ( 919863 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @06:13PM (#49160383) Journal

    That WILL be a bad move. There are a lot of facts out there that academics still debate over. Pretty much anti-free speech afaic.

    • Re: Bad move (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Quick question, websites that are deeply religious and contain thousands of, "there is a God," "and God said, let there..." Do these things get knocked way down or are those actual facts, or is there going to be a special clause for religion?

      There are thousands of things people will swear are "facts" but it may not actually be the case.

      Not only that but facts are different depending on who you ask. Example: "Palestine is a country that borders..." Wait a second, which countries/governments agree that Palest

      • I don't see how religion should be treated differently from The Adventures of Pinocchio or The Lord of the Rings or The Time Machine or Gulliver's Travels or something like that.

        • So you want google to passively block or filter into obscurity all references to religion or fiction? And do you believe anything that isn't a fact?

          What about mercy? Is that a fact?

          What about justice? Is that a fact?

          What about kindness? Is that a fact?

          You lack the wisdom to grasp what you're talking about.

          Intelligence you can get from reading a book or sitting a class. Wisdom requires experience. It requires making mistakes and learning from them. It requires a depth of character. It requires regret.

          Your un

    • Re:Bad move (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hey! ( 33014 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @09:09PM (#49161319) Homepage Journal

      It is seldom the veracity of facts that the debate is over; it is their significance. But that happens to be where this falls idea falls short, because misinterpretation of facts is where the most potent misinformation comes from.

      Case in point, "vaccine injury" -- which is a real thing, albeit very rare. Anti-vaccine activists point to the growing volume of awards made by the US "Vaccine Court" (more accurately called "The Office of Special Masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims") as proof that vaccine injuries are on the rise.

      It is a verifiable fact that the volume of awards has grown since the early years of the program. That is absolutely and unquestionably true. However, that this is proof vaccine injuries is gross misinterpretation, because the "Vaccine Court" program is no fault. You don't actually have to show the defendant *caused* an "injury", you only have to (a) show the child got sick after being vaccinated and (b) find a doctor to sign off on a medical theory by which the child's illness *might* have been caused by the vaccination.

      Since you don't have to actually prove injury in "Vaccine Court", the rise in cases and awards doesn't know vaccine injuries are on the rise. All that is necessary is that more people think that their child's illness was caused by vaccinations, and the low burden of proof will automatically ensure more awards.

      And so there you have it. A perfectly factual claim can be cited in a way that leads people to preposterous conclusions.

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      I didn't read the paper but I think that big debatable facts ("global warming is caused by humans", "vaccines cause autism") won't count as much as small unquestionable facts ("Barrack Obama is the president of the USA", "A marathon is 42.195 km").

      For example :
      site 1 : cell phone radiations are bad for your health because ... plenty of true facts
      site 2 : cell phone radiations are not a problem because ... plenty of true facts
      Because both sites are full of unquestionably true facts (such as frequencies, laws

  • by youn ( 1516637 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @06:15PM (#49160389) Homepage

    It is an interesting algorithm, but who is to say the fact is correct? if many sites say the same information, the fact is more correct? if that is the case, then how much better is that from links. when there is more than one version of the truth (conflicts, spin vs fact)... plus not all information is facts... philosophical questions may have more than one answer etc... so I am definitely curious to see how this works out

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      that's a valid complaint

      some scientific discoveries go against conventional wisdom and are originally ridiculed. for example, some australian scientists discovered stomach ulcers are caused by a certain species of bacteria in the 1980s. they were rejected, laughed at, people got angry at them. the belief at the time was acid and spicy food formed ulcers. wrong. eventually they won the nobel prize for medicine for their discovery

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R... [wikipedia.org]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]

      but this proce

      • meanwhile, we have antivaxxers, moon landing deniers, GM food ignorance, creationists, climate change deniers, fluoride fearmongers, 9/11 conspiracy theorists babbling about burning airplane fuel and steel, etc... assorted douchebag crackpots who are absolutely, undeniably factually wrong, and oftentimes dangerous (to public health, for example), but enthusiastically keep spreading their lies nonetheless

        stupid shitbags like this for example are working very, very hard to kill children:

        Then you have official misinformation like this site, which is put together by the American Heart Attack Association:
        www. goredforwomen .org/

        The American Heart Attack Association tells us that it is important to consume biodiesel instead of humanity's traditional fats (butter, tallow, lard, coconut oil). Official Science refers to nutritional biodiesel as the Omega-3 and Omega-6 "essential" fatty acids, but they always neglect to tell us how much "essential" fat is enough to meet our daily requireme

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          Ah, so because you don't believe in fat, the AHA is wrong? Rants like yours are the ones that would get pushed to the end of the list.
    • by camg188 ( 932324 )
      It would be interesting how it would rank the various contradictory claimed facts related to cases like Michael Brown/Ferguson MO.
  • I mean imagine if they *really* did push down pages with incorrect facts!!!?! ALL religious websites - all homeopathy websites - Fox News all down at the bottom. Not to mention how they would handle irony - it would actually be sad to see sites like The Onion punished. It's a nice idea but would require human level strong AI to automate and it still wouldn't be obvious where to draw the line.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SofiKadaj ( 4025561 )
      Fox News, religious websites, homeopathy websites at the bottom? That sounds like a good reason to buy stock, not sell it.
    • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @07:36PM (#49160857) Journal

      You are not envisioning a fact based result but a "your opinion" based result. Not really what is discussed here. Fox News for instance, gets more facts right then wrong even though they are selected to shill for the republicans. You have no facts stating that _ALL_religious_websites are wrong.

      • Quite so, obviously the First Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is true. But I think that's widely enough known that it would rise to the top.

        • Well it is true, you can even read about its creation or question its creator directly.

          Or was you trying to be faceatious and your knee jerked so hard it hit you in the head and lowered your IQ to the point you think one specific example is all possible examples as was stated?

          Well, maybe you are a true believer or is it posdible you are just a manga fan with a fetish for tenacle monsters?

      • Ok ok, I'll grant a few true facts on religious websites - such as we had a potluck last Wednesday. But the vast majority of claims are false. My god man they all conflict - Christians, Jews, Muslims - the overlap in concensus is tiny and the facts backing up what is agreed on are basically nonexistent. It takes a seriously intellectually dishonest mind to believe that one must be right at the expense of all the rest. Even more so when you ignore the mountains of facts that show religious revelation fal
  • it's slashdot! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lkcl ( 517947 ) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Sunday March 01, 2015 @06:28PM (#49160475) Homepage

    yaay, it's slashdot on steroids, yaay! with all the means by which true knowledge may be suppressed by misunderstandings, yaay! democracy at work to bubble up the sum of our ignorance rather than inconvenient and annoying truth. ahh gotta love it...

  • Search: Fox News
    Fox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Fox Head | 2015
    Fox Glacier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Search: Does life begin at conception?
    Evolutionary biology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    New England Journal of Medicine
    No - Merriam-Webster Online

    Search: New World Order
    Your search - New World Order did not match any documents.
    Suggestions:
    -Make sure that all words are spelled correctly.
    -Try different keywords.
    -Try more general keywords.
  • by Ozoner ( 1406169 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @06:32PM (#49160485)

    This sounds like a great improvement.

    Some years ago if I searched for a data sheet for an Electronic Component, I could rely on a direct link to the PDF in the first hit or so.

    Now however, any worthwhile result is often many pages down the list. The first page or two are full of "Are you searching for xxxx? We don't have that right now, but here's a great way to earn big dollars!!".

    Google is so badly scammed that I usually don't bother. I hate to say it, but even Bing is better now.

    • by solios ( 53048 )

      Bing is also better on old hardware and marginal connections... even in Chrome. I have a 2009 Shuttle box and a megabit DSL link and Bing just kind of appears. Faster hardware improves things a bit but Google services just seem to assume infinite bandwidth - the lack of throttling on Google Drive makes it useless and OH GLOB I'M RANTING.

      tldr; Bing is faster than Google - and loads immediately on those occasions when Chrome's address bar is horking like it has a hairball. It's not as drastic as the differ

    • by ortholattice ( 175065 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @08:21PM (#49161071)
      Out of curiosity I recently tried to find out about a product, Power Innovator, whose annoying ads claiming to cut your electric bill by 80% keep popping up on various sites. While it is obviously a scam to anyone with the slightest knowledge of physics, they really have Google fooled. No matter what you type, "Power Innovator review", "Power Innovator scam", "Power Innovator ripoff", etc., every link, page after page, is a "review" or a page questioning "Is Power Innovator a scam?" each ending with a link to buy Power Innovator. I was unable to find any page clearly stating the obvious fact that it is a scam. I feel sorry for all the misinformed people who are sucked into this, and the company must be raking in a fortune of ill-gotten gains. This is a case where Google is completely useless.
  • Who truths the truthers?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 01, 2015 @06:34PM (#49160495)

    In other words, if your web page contents do not agree to some arbitrary consensus as defined by the pages Google chooses to trawl, your web page will not be listed anywhere near the top of the search results.

    This is idiotic, as this has nothing to do with facts, and everything to do with conformance and not rocking the boat.

    However, as a business plan, this might actually work: it will be easier to package the products to the advertisers, as all possibly controversial information is removed from the searches.

    I for one welcome our Corporate Overlords!

    • by camg188 ( 932324 )
      Google could offer the choice of which way you want your searches ranked. What would people bitch about then?
  • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @06:34PM (#49160501) Journal
    Well there goes Wikipedia!
  • The PBS snake oil salesmen that come out during the periodic beg-athons manage to lie while spewing out facts as half-truths that don't support their entire argument. A machine is unlikely to be able to distinguish these sort of lies never mind the hordes of gullible people that fall for them.

    • Yes, there's no snake oil commercial television either. Shows are not interrupted every ten minutes with loud inappropriate distractions that are used by most people to get something to eat or go to the toilet.

      What universe are you from? I've never talked to anyone from that universe.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @06:43PM (#49160555)

    While in theory the idea is great, the problem is that one person's facts are another person's propaganda.

    Look at the crap storms on wikipedia for example with all sorts of various groups all fighting over who gets to edit some page. Can you honestly say that always ends with the people standing up for truth winning? I can think of a few situations where it was controversial and the people that were pushing bs just happened to win or nearly as bad force moderators to lock the listing in a pre crisis state. Thus basically white washing the whole incident out of existence.

    Again, I think it is a nice idea in theory, in practice I'm sure assholes and trolls are going to fuck it up.

    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      I'd like to hear a good explanation why this isn't just self-reinforcing groupthink. For every 10 genuine facts, you'll see some widely quoted falsehood like "1 in 5 women on college campuses is sexually assaulted" promoted by Google as a fact. These kinds of bogus statistics are very common.

      • Given that the stat you're referring to was spread by the US CDC despite being contradicted by the FBI crime statistics, you can see how it can lead to issues.

        There are a lot of things you probably think are facts that aren't... they're often widely accepted by very educated people because for various reasons it greases a lot of axes that need to be ground.

        Think of all the untrue things that are repeated by the media, the government, etc. There is a lot of stuff on Wikipedia that is bullshit. Why would you

  • So commentors on a news website spouting out opinions can de-rank it?

  • How will it rate http://dhmo.org/ [dhmo.org] ? Tim S.
  • Fox news will be ranked very low and the Republicans will scream. But some relief to Rick Santorum after all these years.
  • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @07:14PM (#49160739) Homepage

    from gameability (in short, SPAM) to politics. Rather than punish above-board or non-predatory websites, it will punish both subversive and innovative thought that runs well ahead of social consensus. Sure, it will also eliminate willful misinformation, but it turns Google into an inherently conservative, rather than socially innovative, force.

    Can't say I think it's better. Probably not any worse, but certainly not panacea.

  • The mass media (aka 'infotainment complex') is a prime example that if you tell the facts all day about fires, robberies, weather, and (selectively) arrests... then you gain a certain credibility to use in starting a war, or to keep suggesting that everyone on the street is just a temporarily embarrassed billionaire (if only the government would stop this regulation stuff).

    Its possible Google's new ranking idea could be a benefit to humanity IF they make the logic and the rankings transparent. That would at

  • So every time science changes, google will ignore it -- or crash. I want to know what will happen to the site that say pluto is a planet. Then the ones that say pluto is not a planet. And then, I want to know about the next time pluto becomes a planet.

    So google's going to ignore every site that says anything new that contradicts something old. climate change will be fun. so will vitamins, vaccinations, and any new religions.

    But hey, google already doesn't believe my city, just because my city is 300 mi

  • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @07:36PM (#49160867)

    WebCrawler, AlvaVista, etc. Remember those?

    If Google search results start being useless, people will start using another search engine and Google will simply vanish like the others before it.

  • or is this going to be a digital galileo where unpopular fact is pushed to the bottom..

  • by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @07:42PM (#49160893) Journal
    So they are gonna just redirect to Wikipedia? Facts are only as good as editorial discretion.
  • It's 3/1/15... not 4/1/15.
  • Looks like Eric Schmidt was paying some attention to what Julian Assange was explaining in the meeting back in June 2011.

  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @08:02PM (#49160989)
    If a site says the world is flat and is filled with rationals about it being flat then that site should probably come up on a "flat earth" search. Yet we can all agree that the facts in this case are completely bogus.

    But what about inconvenient facts, for instance the various western governments put out employment numbers that are pretty hard core "facts" yet other people will look at the same "facts" and realize that they have had massive amounts of spin put on them. For instance in my neck of the woods they desperately hide the fact that most jobs being created are really crappy. Thus these "facts" then become politicized.

    Or what about someone writing about NSA evildoing? Those are facts that the government would love to go away. Or what if every stock analyst suddenly agreed that Google was doomed as a stock?

    Then there is group think. Prior to the 2008 financial crisis there were some "crackpots" who called it exactly and made fortunes based on their predictions; yet those facts flew in the face of general consensus. The same in economics. One joke at many economics universities is that the questions never change on the final exam, it is the answers that change year to year. If you look at something such as to the best time to loosen monetary policy and every major economic school has its own "facts".

    I don't think that Google's search engine problems come from facts it is more that SEO whores like huffpo or the various directories are driving all the results to their crap sites. I don't know how many times I have searched for a company that has a perfectly good site that has not been through an SEO pimping putting it on page 3 or more while the first many pages are all kinds of crap yellowpages that ask "Is this your site?" where they want to upsell the owners on crap services.
  • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @08:18PM (#49161053)

    ... in my advertiser's purchase order.

  • by matbury ( 3458347 ) on Sunday March 01, 2015 @08:28PM (#49161107) Homepage

    I wonder what the Google staff's and consultants' philosophy of epistemology is. What do they mean when they say fact? What assumptions underly that definition? Are they naive positivists or social constructivists? Ultimately, it requires people to decide what constitutes truth, fact, and knowledge - machines are nowhere near being able to do that and perhaps never will. Do they expect to automate this ranking system with an algorithm? I can't wait to see it trip up over criteria-matching random string generators that regurgitate scraped "facts" off the web (by simply following Google's own "fact" ranking results) to push their porn, malware, and sales/scam/phishing sites up to the top of Google's page rankings.

    This post was brought to you by Carls Junior, makers of Brawndo, the thirst mutilator. It's got electrolytes.

  • Won't this just encourage SEO sites to include a bunch of trivial facts but easily verifiable facts within page to get a good truth like quality as far as Google is concerned?

  • Hm... not sure extending the reddit echo chamber effect to the entire effective internet is really a good idea, especially for diversity of ideas.

    Then again, as someone else mentioned, there will always be other search engines. Back in the day, Yahoo only showed you the big, popular sites... and then a search engine called google which showed everything.

  • I use Google regularly, but I never forget that it's a search engine. Nothing less and nothing more. People who rely on their Google rank for business are going to wake up some day to a big disappointment. A whole generation of users mistaking Google for the web, or even the internet is completely annoying.

    If Google wants to change their system, it's their business. If Google can't find a site that I'm looking for, even though the searchterms are distinct and the site offers exactly what I want, it's Google fault, not the fault of the site builder.

    We need to educate the ordinary people that Google is one of many search engines. The best perhaps and pretty good most of the time, but only a search engine. That internet traffic goes down by 60% whenever Google is offline simply because people don't get that is scary.

A motion to adjourn is always in order.

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