londrum - 12:55 pm on Aug 11, 2012 (gmt 0) [edited by: londrum at 1:01 pm (utc) on Aug 11, 2012]
i think people have a very inflated view of what google are trying to do (or are even capable of). many times in the last year i've seen people on here talk about google's "AI" -- using that exact phrase -- as if their algo actually has a real intelligence that's capable of learning, like a human. they dismiss examples of lousy SERPs by arguing that Panda was a real watershed, and is still at the early stages of "learning" what people want.
okay, you can look at it like that if you want. that makes the google guys look super smart, even when the SERPs return spam, srappers and ten pages from a single site. other people (most of joe public) will just see it as an example of lousy SERPs, which needs fixing.
when they have to digest as many pages as they do (how big is the internet now? a billion billion pages?) even I think that it's unrealistic to expect the very best page to float to the top for every single search. especially when you consider that a large part of what makes a site "good" is nothing more than personal opinion. google almost have an impossible job. it's like trying to list the 100 best songs of all-time. there is no right answer. and there never will be. if we are sitting here waiting for the ultimate SERPs then it's never going to come. no matter how smart the google guys are.
they might be the most intellegent company in the world, but can they honestly know what my favourite site is going to be just by me typing in the phrase "buy red widgets". of course they cant! its impossible. intelligence has got nothing to do with it. its an impossible job. all they can do is return a list of sites that i might like, based on data they've collected from other people and me. you are expecting too much if you think their index will ever be more than that.
as for all that talk about "doing hard work on the edge of human cultural change", and all that balony, jeez... google is a company like any other. they exist to make money. anyone who studies the SERPs year after year will see a general trend towards showing more and more google products on the first page, ahead of other sites. i doesnt take a genius to see that, or to work out why they are doing it. they are doing it because they are a company like any other. its the same with privacy. they are pushing up against the fence to see what they can get away with. to make money out of all the personal data they possess. you can call that "doing hard work on the edge of human cultural change" if you want.
[edited by: londrum at 1:01 pm (utc) on Aug 11, 2012]