Sunday, March 17, 2013

Google News algorithm sucks

Less than 12 hours after the Steubenville rape trial verdict, my Google News page/feed--yeah the one that's supposedly customized to the "individual preferences" of the reader--shows no links or references to the case, one of the biggest stories of the day. Not under the "Top Stories" nor the "US" sections.

To be sure, Google isn't my main source of news. We subscribe to, or read, up to five newspapers a day, depending on the day. I don't use my real name on any Google services, and don't intend to.  I'm fairly serious about using ad-blocking and script-blocking when I browse, so I am harder to "data mine."

And Gmail? It's just a disposable alternative to my normal email account. You know--the one you use for Craigslist or when you're required to enter an email address online. I have Google+ account, but won't use my real name, of course (don't bitch Google--I'm not even on Facebook). So again, I'm resisting their profiling efforts, at least a token amount...

Still--honestly--how bad is an algorithm when it can't recognize I might be interested in this type of news? ...especially when I personally customized my page by modding UP the New York Times and modding down Fox.

But beyond that--shouldn't we all be reading about the Steubenville verdict? Why is Google News (or ANY news source) so bent on giving me only the news they think I might want? Yes, I know the answer-- $$$$$ rule. 

We need a return to the traditional paradigm: one where actual editors define the news mix, one based on common humanity, solid news judgement and informed experience.


  1. Pretty much everything about Google's new algorithms sucks. From image searches to very specific keywords, nothing turns up even remotely related to what you were looking for. Is this censorship or just the worst string matching ever coded? They should be ashamed.

  2. I agree. Google's new algorithm sucks ass.

  3. I'd have to say it's censorship, over bad coding. They know how to code just fine at Google, so they are favoring big business and very high authority websites, in order to force small businesses to pay for traffic.

    It is no longer about building a quality website, engaging, fast loading, great content and white hat SEO. It's all about the $$$ now. I can't wait until the average Joe catches on to Evil Google "Do no Evil my a$$" and starts using, and others. Let's all work towards getting Google search down to less than 50% of the market, then we just may teach Google a valuable lesson, that the end user is STILL in charge!!!