Google seems to have no limit to their ambition to be the most competent search engine on the net. Macworld announced today that Google is going to begin using algorithms to influence the search rankings of different businesses based on how well they do business.
It seems that this has been attempted in the past, but was abandoned because of the influence it had on controversial people or subjects. Certainly, one could see how websites dealing with hot-button topics could be negatively affected by such an algorithm. It seems that the name that Google has decided to give to this technology is “sentiment analysis” – and I’m honestly quite impressed at the idea, but also a little bit concerned. Certainly, it has gotten a lot harder to distinguish good and bad businesses on sight. I remember the days when you could tell how reputable a website was strictly by the way they designed their page. But alas, everyone knows enough basic HTML/CSS these days to pull off a halfway decent design.
It would be nice to believe that a clever eye is enough to prevent getting ripped off these days, but sadly – it’s just not true. So, a tool to help filter out more of the crap in an intelligent manner is good. But it only leaves us to wonder how long it will be before Anonymous and /b/ start using it to get into mischef.
I give it all of two weeks after these algorithms go live.
What are your thoughts on this tactic? Are you happy to know that Google’s “crap filter”, as one might call it, is getting better or concerned that this is going to have some unforeseen negative impact? I personally find myself on the fence.