Saturday, December 24, 2005

Google and Baby Jesus

Question? Would someone at Google purposefully manipulate the search results so that if anyone, even a child, were to type in - Baby Jesus - the number one link would be for the Baby Jesus butt plug?

I'd like to think not. Others think so. I gather the problem lies in the offensive page itself not having all the bells and whistles that would put it on top. Yahoo has the same page on number 9.

Confederate Yankee sez: - quote - Other results on this search results page have more link traffic. A quick review of page's code shows no HTML meta information that should give it a favorable ranking. The page itself has a raw relevance ranking (search word divided by total words) of less than five percent. The only conclusion I can draw is that this page position ranking was done manually by a Google staffer. - end quote -

Can Google manually manipulate rankings? Have you heard of the French Military Victories search and the 'I'm feeling lucky' button? Try the 'I'm feeling lucky' button with Baby Jesus.

At the time of this posting I found this disturbing search result, as have many others, since this hit the blogosphere. I'm hoping Google decides to do the right thing and change what needs to be changed to fix this problem. As soon as I get the tip I will update this post.

When you type - jew - into Google some anti-Semitic sites come up and Google explains it thus - quote - If you use Google to search for "Judaism," "Jewish" or "Jewish people," the results are informative and relevant. So why is a search for "Jew" different? One reason is that the word "Jew" is often used in an anti-Semitic context. Jewish organizations are more likely to use the word "Jewish" when talking about members of their faith. The word has become somewhat charged linguistically, as noted on websites devoted to Jewish topics such as these: - end quote -

I doubt if an explanation like that would be acceptable to any good thinking person no matter their religion over the result of a search for - Baby Jesus -.

If you wish to give feedback to Google over this or any other search results near the bottom of each Google page is a link that says, Dissatisfied? Help us improve - I would suggest that you first view the search results (You do not need to view the offensive page) prior to sending them a message. Hopefully they have fixed it. If so, Please write and tell them thanks!

UPDATE: Google has fixed the problem. They did not want to manipulate the search results but they did for this issue and a few others. Thanks Google! (update posted 2-23-07)

Hat tip to Verum Serum who tips Confederate Yankee & wizbang...