Trusting Google

I’ve removed the Google Adsense ads (they might still appear in some historic entries because of the way Radio Userland updates content – unless I change something affecting the page it won’t upstream for just a template change. NOTE: They also appear in the
“greatest hits” static collection). I removed them because they could be taken as indicative of a bias, in a small way implying deference and submission to Google.

You might ask “Well then why did you add them in the first place?” Good question, and thanks for asking! Let’s just say that I don’t have total faith in the Do No Evil creed that Google publicly espouses. It seems reasonable that Google has a financial incentive to boost the search ranking of pages that host Adsense content (it’s brilliant really – You go to Google and do your search, awash in Adsense, all to shuttle off to sites filled with Adsense. It’s an Adsense world, baby!). I like these pages to have some search significance, so this concerned me. Add the fact that Google needs to quickly index pages hosting Adsense ads (to allow for contextually keyed ads), offering another possible advantage of
hosting their ads. Alas, I’m going to trust the impartiality of Google’s search algorithms…

* Isn’t it remarkable how Google snuck in as the underdog in search, and then slowly started integrating text ads. “They’re different,” the masses cried. “They’re unobtrusive and low bandwidth!” Yet here we are today and Google is now serving up loads of full-graphic ads, all views tracked by the Google Brain (the same one that knows what you search for, your email account if you use gmail, and so on), and yet the Google honeymoon continues.

I think Google has achieved some enormous technical achievements, and some of their products are extraordinary (Google Maps is a fantastic use of existing technology, making the competition look like garbage), but I just don’t buy into the mythology that Google
is somehow exempt from the forces that drive every other corporation.