Are Search Engines Fat & Lazy?

Sep 19, 2005 - 8:38 am 0 by
Filed Under Search Theory

A fun thread recently sprung up at Search Engine Watch Forums, which Danny Sullivan renamed Should Search Engines Get To Set Standards? The member who started the thread writes;

By emailing websites telling people they are banned because they do not cow-tow to Googles standards (and basicly the whole idea of the Communications Initiative), Google has made a statement: We are no longer interested in accuratly indexing the web, we are only interested in indexing those parts of the web that we agree with. We shall now only provide you with biased and censored results.

I don't really think there is much sinister about Google, its just getting fat and lazy. I.e. instead of using their renowned research and software engineering to overcome problems, its easier to just play the heavy and hope those problems go away.

In one way they are fat and lazy. But if you speak to any programmer, they will tell you that they are lazy (not necessarily fat). What does a programmer mean when they say they are lazy? Quite the contrary to what the member above wrote. They mean that they rather write a line or two of code that efficiently handles the issue then to manually tackle the solution each time. That is the complete opposite of the explanation given above. Google is known to try to tackle spam issues through automated, programatic solutions. Just because Google is now emailing warnings to Webmasters, it doesn't mean that Google is getting lazy. I can see Google automating the email process shortly.

Danny responds to the quote above with;

Search engines indeed do try to find technological ways to find the best pages. Link analysis is one example of that. But over time, technologies become dated, especially as people reverse engineer ways to beat the system. That can be either an aggressive black hat SEO person who finds an effective hole or just a group of bloggers who decide to embark on a linking campaign to help a site rank well for a term in response to a political action, rather than whether the site is "relevant" for that term or not. The search engines, as long as they remain effectively open systems taking content from anyone, have to keep refining their own technology.

Oh, yes, search engines are fat.


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