Look Up Page

December 30, 2009


Google search is constantly changing. It seems this time around, Google does not share the information with the end user in the same fashion as it did in the past. Let us start with the obvious, conducting a search for the term “Tony Blair” on Google.co.uk and on Google.com yields different Google Suggest results. That is actually understandable but one thing that is slowly being phased out is letting the user know just how many results there are for every suggested term. Searching on Google.co.uk will still inform you how many results there are for each suggestion, but Google.com only lists the top ten suggestions without sharing any metrics.

Google Suggest - Differences

Why is it an issue if Google does not share the metrics with the users? 

Analyzing metrics can often lead to improved performance. If people knew how many indexed pages on Google have a chance of “earning” a Google Suggest spot, than they would try to manipulate these results for personal gain. Google is trying to avoid that but by doing so is eliminating an informative metric from ordinary users. The fact that this metric was available and might not be in the future reduces the quality of the search that people can conduct using Google.

How does Google Suggest affect online reputation?

When searching the term “Tony Blair “Google Suggest picks ten options it deems relevant for the time. Once again, there is no real way to know how Google decides what is relevant at any point in time. It is likely that recent queries as well as trending topics on major blogs and news services have an influence on what is suggested. but the bottom line is only Google knows what exactly dictates what is included in Google Suggest and what does not. Recent searches that we have conducted on both Google.co.uk and Google.com for “Tony Blair” brought negative suggestions along with positive ones. A negative suggestion that appeared on both was the word “antichrist”.

If a high school student is researching the former Prime Minister of the UK for a school report and clicks on Google Suggested results for “Tony Blair the antichrist” there is a chance that these results would rank even higher on future searches, this can have a negative effect on Blair’s online reputation. Blair is certainly not alone in this predicament; Google suggestions for Tiger Woods  are mostly negative nowadays as well. 

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341d74dc53ef01287674811e970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Can Google Suggest be Modified?:

Comments

The comments to this entry are closed.