Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Google is in the news, and not in a good way: the top result for "Jew" on a Google search is now an anti-semitic hate site, but Google refuses to change it, saying "the objectivity of our ranking function prevents us from making any changes."

The objectivity of their ranking function does have its limits though -- as a company called SearchKing found out. They were in the business of boosting clients' rank in search results, including Google's, and found rather suddenly that the Google search rank of all their clients' web pages had suddenly dropped to near-invisible. Suspecting deliberate action on the part of Google, they sued -- and rather than deny it, Google claimed instead that they had a perfect right to rank documents any way they liked. The judge agreed, and the case was dismissed.

By the way, Google owns Blogger and Blogspot, and at least three Google searches were conducted in the course of preparing this blog entry. Incidentally, Google is also coming under fire for its upcoming email offering. Some of the complaints, particularly about the privacy policy, may be legitimate -- I haven't checked. But some nimrod in the California legislature is whining about ads in the email, and that is, as Rafe Colburn explains, utterly bogus...


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