Can Google Really Be Trusted?
It is no secret that people are spending more time online than ever before. Additionally, people use Google for everything. If someone has a question they want answering, they head to Google and type it in. They can even speak it now! There are some 63,000 Google searches every second, or 5.5 billion per day. What people are searching for changes regularly. In 2016, there was a very strong focus on political elements, but equally on celebrity deaths, and on Pokemon Go. Google is everywhere, and we use it for everything.
Google to the Rescue?
Regardless of what someone is curious about, Google is there to rescue us. Indeed, the verb “to google” has been added to the Oxford dictionary, and describes the action of searching for information in relation to something or someone. This shows just how successful the search engine has been, but also, to a degree, that we forget to question the validity.
Anyone who has ever engaged in an SEO strategy (search engine optimization) knows that it is all about Google. It has to be found there, and any optimization efforts have to focus on the Google algorithm. But some people have started to question whether Google can be trusted. The recent spate of “fake news” is now everywhere, with Facebook having to make significant changes to how they police their information, clickbait being seemingly everywhere, and Google being unopinionated and simply showing everything that is out there – true or false.
A report was produced by the Observer in December 2016. In it, it was shown that political groups who had attracted some of the greatest technological minds, were able to sway the Google algorithm, so that their extremist agenda would become more visible. And people helped in this, by sharing this information in outrage, stating that they could not believe Google would allow such information in their results. Google had to respond publicly, agreeing to change its algorithm so that autosuggests at least would be more factual and neutral.
How to Manage Google
Google has another difficulty, and that is that it is almost impossible to have links deleted from it. People have mentioned many times that people have used the internet to engage in online defamation of character, slander, and libel, and there is very little that can be done. Google will often deny requests to have slanderous links removed.
The issue is that, for all this negativity, people have come to rely on Google. People see it as the most reliable news source, and people use it to find any information, or any business, they are looking for. Yes, the company is under pressure to improve its neutrality, although neutrality by definition means showing both the good and the bad, but, at the same time, they are in a position of luxury because, whatever they do, people will continue to use them. SEO strategies continue to focus on the Google algorithm and this doesn’t look to change any time soon.