said by howardfine:It IS well documented - or at least it has been in the past! But, of course, Google denies it and then goes in and tweaks the results to help make the most obvious biases disappear, at least for a while. said by scross:
And he tried to deny that Google these days will place revenue-generating results preferentially on the front page, nearest the top, even though this is well-documented behavior and quite obvious for many searches.
It is not well documented. It's rumor and speculation based on paid ads which are placed near the top which are relevant to search results but the search results are not based on the advertising dollars.
And it's one thing to place ads on the results page when they are clearly marked as such. Google does some of this, but they also mix ads in with the search results, NOT clearly marked as such, as if they are part of the search results themselves, and this is very deceitful.
But that's not the beef I have with them. My main complaint is that the quality of the actual search results they return is very spotty, at best. I know this based on some hard-core searching I did for a personal project, using some very specific and uncommon search terms. What I got for my troubles was here-today, gone-tomorrow, back-again-the-next-day results, where I knew the web pages behind the searches hadn't changed in the interim. The Google guy actually used the phrase "It's not a bug - it's a feature!", and when I pointed out that this was most definitely a bug in my world, he turned around and lambasted me for not using Google "the way the developers intended", and then told me that I shouldn't be using Google at all! WTF? If that's not prevarication and a tacit admission of guilt, then I don't know what is!