Holocaust Denial Site Tops Google Rankings
Google has tweaked its search algorithm after discovering holocaust denial sites were topping the results for some queries. The incident may have highlighted a difference in the way Google and other search engines rank pages.
The issue came to light when a newspaper reporter experimented with searches for the phrase "did the Holocaust happen" and discovered that the top result returned by Google was a site specifically dedicated to denying the Holocaust.
Other journalists checked up potentially controversial queries and found unsettling top results, such as a search for "are black people smart" producing a top result for a site claiming that "black people are significantly less intelligent than all other races." The way Google works means this claim appeared in the 'snippet' shown in the results, without the need to click through to the site. (Source: bbc.co.uk)
Tweaks Kept Secret
Exactly how Google has changed the rankings algorithm is a secret, in line with its company policies. There's even some question over whether Google's changes are the reason the controversial sites are no longer topping the lists.
Search engine expert Danny Sullivan notes that the top result for the Holocaust query is now a site that was recently created and appears to have been specifically designed to perform well in the rankings. That may be a problem as it could suggest Google hasn't yet found a better solution to dealing with controversial sites as a whole. (Source: searchengineland.com)
Google Policies Could Affect Results
Sullivan also pointed out several reasons why Google might be struggling to keep such sites from the top rankings. One is that it doesn't appear to give as much priority to Wikipedia, which often tops results for other search engines. While Wikipedia is by no means 100 percent reliable, the introduction to its pages on controversial topics usually reflects consensus views and facts rather than more controversial and unproven arguments.
Another difference is that Google appears to give particularly strong emphasis to how many people click on each result, a sign that it is useful and relevant. The problem may be that people who search for queries such as "did the Holocaust happen" may be more likely to be searching for denial sites in the first place, creating a vicious circle.
What's Your Opinion?
Should Google do more to avoid sites with untrue claims getting the "prestige" of a high ranking? Can it create a formula that penalizes such sites without the need for constant human intervention? Or should Google leave everything up to the algorithm and not tweak results at all?
Infopackets Top Windows 10 FAQs
How to Upgrade from Windows 10 32-bit to 64-bit
How to Fix: Windows 10 Antivirus Missing, Not Compatible
How to Fix: Windows 10 Display Shifted; Screen Fuzzy
How to Upgrade Windows 7, 8 32-bit to Windows 10 64-bit
to Downgrade from Windows 10
- How to Fix: Windows 10 Upgrade Failed Error C1900208
- How to Fix: Windows 10 Upgrade Failed Error 80240020
- Can I Cancel my Windows 10 Reservation and Reserve Later?
- How to Clean Install Windows 10 using Windows 7, 8 License
- Will Windows 10 Install Automatically?
- Windows 10 Upgrade: Do I have to Reinstall Programs?
- Windows 10 Upgrade: Can I choose 32-bit or 64-bit?
- Which Version of Windows 10 Will I Get (Home or Pro)?
- How to Reserve Windows 10 Upgrade (Free)
- How to Fix: CPU Not Compatible with Windows 10 Error
- Windows 10 Upgrade: Can I keep my Old Windows Install?
- How to Cancel Windows 10 Reservation (Properly)
- Download Windows 10 .ISO (DVD) for Clean Install?
- Microsoft: Windows 10 Will Be The Last Version
- Does Windows 10 require the CPU to support PAE?
- Windows 10: Can I Upgrade or do I need a Clean Install?
Click here for more Windows 10 articles.