I’ve been using Google for years now (as many of us) and I start losing my faith in it.
How come ?
Because Google main asset (and sadly main weakness) is to be based on PageRank :
“PageRank is a link analysis algorithm that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of “measuring” its relative importance within the set. The algorithm may be applied to any collection of entities with reciprocal quotations and references. The numerical weight that it assigns to any given element E is also called the PageRank of E and denoted by PR(E).“
So basically, if you look for information about specific topics, you’re easily going to find the most popular websites. Problem is that the most popular websites are not the more relevant ones in the fields you’re working on. In sociology for example, if your search is too vague, you will not get results that educated guesses could help you transform into value-creation for the time you’ve just spent.
For consumers’ reviews, the good news is that you will probably find a platform with many opinions, advice, critics. Great. But for less popular queries, how to deal with Google ?
- all the scientists do not link one another or are not yet social-media oriented enough to improve their weight on Google PageRank
- on specific niche, you use the same terminology than popular fields, but the purpose does not target the same goals: because there are higher mainstream interest for your opponent, you will be lost in the niche. As Shel Israel mentions, there’s a big difference between popularity & influence:
“But numerical totals actually tell you extremely little about influence. People could be coming because they hate what you are saying and want to keep an eye on the opposing side. I follow a couple of political blogs, for example, where I fundamentally and passionately disagree with the authors.
For a very long time, the site was called Naked Conversations, which made good sense since it was started as a place to transparently write a book of the same name. It took s a while to discover that the site name was inflating our traffic. People were going to Google and typing in graphical variations of the keyword “Naked” and this site popped up. The more searches, the more prominent we became in certain circles that were decidedly not influential to business-oriented book buyers.”
Maybe that data-web and serendipity – the way you try to get information through the links of people you trust – are two solutions to find again the value you’re looking for. Because in a sense, people are also the context/players of your field of interest.