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The major issue of the Google search query situation is the tremendous size of Google and the huge amounts of information that the company processes on a daily basis. The issue therefore is Google’s inability to effectively position the websites based on their true importance and meaning yet rather based on the artificial search engine optimization.
The Google search query represents an algorithm that one uses to search the huge Google database to locate the addresses of certain websites based on the key words used for the search query. In other words, Google stores information about a website’s URL, description, and importance represented by the Google PageRank™ and other data. The user who uses Google’s website and inputs keywords/search query obtains a result based on Google’s opinion as to what websites accurately reflect the users’ preferences. Since there are millions of website and Google’s results page is limited to maximum 100 websites per page (usually 10 websites per page), the top website in Google search query technically should represent the absolutely correct and right results based on the user’s query. In reality it represents the fully optimized webpage created just for Google which may not necessarily accurately reflect the results.
There are many reasons why this situation is happening. First of all, Google uses machine algorithm/computers to process and assess each website. Despite advances in technology each machine is imperfect and cannot accurately tell whether or not a given result/search result is exactly what an individual needs. It is for this reason, Google favors those websites, for instance, that have more links pointing to them (thus assuming that the website is so good that people are linking to it). Also the website to remain high-ranked needs to be frequently updated, something that nowadays is done with the help of computer programs or the so-called ‘synonimizers’ that take a given text and make it ‘new’ to the Google search spiders.
The problem is likely to increase in the future when more and more people start to abuse Google algorithms and position the websites higher in the search queue. In fact the Search Engine Optimization is a service aimed at helping people promote their websites or making them appear more frequently or ‘higher’ in Google search results. Yahoo! that uses manual verification of all websites in Yahoo! database does not seem to have similar problems.
The public policy issues on this situation is hard to formulate because Google is a private corporation and it is free to use any method of assessing the websites (or doing its business) it wants and it is up to the customers whether or not they want to use Google. Still, the problem starts when by making a certain website to appear higher in the search query; the villains can position websites with malicious software (Trojans, viruses and worms) higher in the search engine results and thus have a chance to infect the computers of users in a much quicker way. By the same token, the proponents of porn, hatred and intolerance can also infect the search engine results with their offensive content. As one can see the public policy should not be directed against Google, which certainly relies on computer screening and cannot manually process all websites in its database in any meaningful manner, so it should be directed to the owners of websites and hosting providers obliging them to mark sites with offensive or adult content in such a way so that they do not pop up in the inappropriate place in the search results.