Mike Stone

Mostly The Lonely Howls Of Mike Baying His Ideological Purity At The Moon

Trust In Google

13 Mar 2021

A recent study from seoClarity showed that a shocking 65.7% of Americans trust Google search engine. This is, in a word, horrific.

First things first, let’s throw out all the privacy aspects of Google. I don’t even want that to factor into this equation. Even without that, there are very real reasons to not trust Google. Really any of the current search engines.

Search engines are popularity contests. They’re not analyzing the content of those pages. They’re trusting that the most popular site will be the one with the most relevant information to your search. The person doing the search still has to check to make sure the results they’re given are actually good results.

The other thing about Google searches is they’re weighted. This means you’re more likely to get results that match what your interests. An example for this is when I do a Google search on my name, I get my own web page showing up. While I’d love to think that I’m the most popular Mike Stone in the world, if I do that same search from a random computer in Best Buy I get links to a karate instructor who was deeply involved with Elvis and Priscilla Presley, an IMDB page for a stunt man who worked on the Highlander 2, a Twitter account for a pastor, and many others. Nothing of mine shows up in the first five pages (which is where I gave up). Because Google tracks you virtually everywhere, they know your interests and your leanings. They’re going to direct you to sites that are going to be sites that you’re more than likely going to like. Sites within your personal bubble.

It’s ludicrous to trust Google results blindly. This isn’t to say that they’re not going to give you valid results, but that you need to verify that what you’re getting is reliable. Don’t just trust that the pages of the World Health Organization is less reliable than Dave’s Science Blog because Google shows Dave’s page first after a specific search.

Day 15 of the #100DaysToOffload 2021 Series.

Looking for comments? There are no comments. It's not that I don't care what you think, it's just that I don't want to manage a comments section.

If you want to comment, there's a really good chance I at least mentioned this post on Fosstodon, and you can reply to me there. If you don't have a Mastodon account, I'd suggest giving it a try.

If you don't want to join Mastodon, and you still want to comment, feel free to use my contact information.

Also, don't feel obligated, but if you feel like buying me a ☕ cup of coffee ☕ I won't say no.