Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Google and recipes

Here's a highly critical blog entry by Nicholas Carr about Google's new specialized handling of recipes in its search results.
What's not to like about a specialized recipe search engine? Beneath the surface, though, some funny things were going on, and not all of them were salubrious. In fact, the changes illustrate how, as search engines refine their algorithms, their results become more biased. In particular, the changes reveal how a powerful search engine like Google has come to reward professional sites that are able to spend a lot on search engine optimization, or SEO, and penalize amateurs who are simply looking to share their thoughts with the world.
I suppose specialization was inevitable, but it's important to recognize the tradeoffs that Carr points out.

By the way, I didn't intend for the last few entries to be all about Google. It's what happens, though, when a company plays that big a role in our lives.

(And just so it's clear, I have never worked for or owned stock in Google.)

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