tedster - 1:15 pm on Sep 20, 2012 (gmt 0)
They can tweak the algo anyway they want in order to get a desired result..
To some degree, sure - but I think you're writing off what it takes way too easily. Yes, they could tweak the algorithm so that one particular search comes up exactly the way they want. But that approach would have side effect that will trash another search. And with high percent of all searches every day having been never seen before...
I once worked on an internal search algorithm for a large corporate knowledge base. That opened my eyes to the challenges involved. The company had control (to a degree at least) of hundreds of millions of internal documents and their meta tags.
And yet getting one search algorithm to produce acceptable results for any user search - even just the more common ones - proved to be challenge the team did not meet very well in a two year effort.
How much more challenging is the database of all web documents, authored with all manner of non-standardized approaches.