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Google and morality. May 27, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , , ,

This morning, our friend Ben read an article on Yahoo! News about how Google was planning to manipulate its search function. I have to admit, I don’t know how Google ordered its search function before: I’d type in a subject, and scan Google’s links, then choose the most relevant, usually ending up at Wikipedia. I’d also check my own blogs every month or so to see where we came up. I’d always assumed that the links were based on the closest matches to my search.

Well, no more, no longer, according to this article. Google now plans to prioritize its listings based on what it calls “Authorship.” And what that means, as I discovered when I followed a link in the article, is people who sign up for Google+ and put mugshots of themselves and profiles, including their e-mail address and every link to every other website and social media site they participate in, on their Google+ account.

Hmmm. I don’t know about you, but our friend Ben doesn’t like to be forced to participate in anything. I’d been an enthusiastic marble collector on eBay until eBay insisted that everyone use PayPal. I refused to sign on to Facebook to swell its revenue numbers and was outraged when you had to be a member in order to access a Facebook page. I know that Google+ has been doing everything in its power to force people to sign up so it can take on Faceboook.

But really, to dangle this bribe in front of everyone, join Google+ in order to get your websites, blogs, etc. listed first when someone searches for a topic?! Of course, Google isn’t the only search engine out there, but it still controls 70% of search-engine traffic. It’s certainly the one I turn to many times a day when I try to look up something. I guess that now I’ll have to remind myself that the top search links have all been bought, that I really need to dig deeper to find something that isn’t a cheap piece of trash, a glorified ad. Ouch!!!

I spoke to a longtime journalist and journalism professor to see if he thought this was immoral and illegal on Google’s part. He said no: It’s their search engine, they can do what they want with it. Well, alrighty then. But damned if I’m signing up for Google+ or falling into their trap. Filthy, greedy bastards! And you, my fellow bloggers, if you wonder why you’ve suddenly vanished from your Google searches, there you have it. Sign up for “Authorship” or die.



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