diberry - 4:40 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)
You're worried and wondering about "right v. wrong" or "accurate v. most accurate" or "relevant v. not as relevant" answers, but they're dealing with 1,000,000,000,000 pages as possible results and they can't "know everything", so when visitors' behavior backs up what they start with as "seeds" or "initially thought to be accurate" which is presented as a default (initially), they keep presenting it. It would be silly for them to do otherwise.
This is what I was looking for. And I agree. Where I disagree with many in the thread is that Google WANTS things to be this way. Years ago, they were pretty good at delivering what I wanted to me and what you wanted to you. But that's back when they could probably crunch 99% of all webpages.
So if you simply have too much data to process, what do you do? Familiar example: you put out an ad for a job and get thousands of resumes in response. You have to apply broad filters to whittle the numbers down to something manageable. Maybe you eliminate every candidate who has a typo, even though you know that may cause you to miss a great candidate.
I think this is where Google's at. Brand bias is not just about what sites users trust - it's more about what sites Google knows they can trust to deliver non-spam results. (And results Congress won't scream at them for, like it did about them failing to keep out piracy sites.) Penguin and Panda may also be an attempt to wipe out large numbers of sites deemed untrustworthy, just to whittle down the results to something manageable. But I suspect if its humanly possible, Google would prefer the algo be able to crunch all the data and deliver the most relevant results.
The only motive I can imagine for Google deliberately delivering irrelevant results when they could do better is if that would somehow steer people to click Adwords. But I don't see how, since unusual queries are unlikely to show up in Adwords at all. And that's why I believe brand bias is an undesirable but necessary side shortcut for now, rather than something Google is embracing.
And I'm no fan or apologist of Google's. They're a big company and they have to pursue profit. I just don't see any profit in brand bias.