Why does google keep its algorithm secret?

And while Google provides frequent updates to SEO experts, the company's search algorithms are a black box (a trade secret that it doesn't want to reveal to competitors or to the spammers who use it to manipulate the product), meaning it's difficult to know what kind of information Google will privilege. As long as Google continues to offer an excellent product, we'll continue to use it. The public disclosure of Google's algorithm won't help anyone in the long run. Google, you can keep your secrets.

Its algorithm is a closely guarded trade secret, but it depends largely on linking search terms to noun phrases on a website, as well as on the popularity of a site and the frequency with which other sites link to it. Type a few words into the Google search box and Google will respond: “I don't know the answer, but try these websites. This has opened the door to web entrepreneurs who design their sites to “absorb search engine traffic”, as Amit Singhal, a Google member and search expert, said. Angela Merkel's desire to make search engine algorithms transparent is commendable, but controlling the power of Google and others will be more complex than that.

In fact, the future of search engines such as Google and Microsoft's Bing, according to computer scientists, will consist of taking advantage of advances in machine learning and language processing to become answering machines that follow a Watson page, but as a service to the consumer. The search engine giant has already been put to the test in Europe with the “right to be forgotten” law, which allows individuals to require Google to remove pages about them from the list. The reason is that search results or news sources could then be “deceived” by external operators whose objectives could be even more questionable — and, undoubtedly, more opaque — than those of Google and Facebook. Google is constantly refining its algorithm, although rarely as significantly as the recent reform, which is expected to alter the ranking in 12 percent of searches.

A little over a week ago, for example, the Internet search giant Google announced that it was carrying out a major revision of its formula for ranking websites. I have nothing to say about Google or Facebook, but making their algorithms transparent would do more harm than good. However, Germany's Justice Minister, Heiko Maas, said in an interview with the Financial Times that Google should reveal its search algorithm for the sake of competition and consumer protection. We know that search results (and social media news sources) are collected using algorithms that determine the websites or news that are likely to be most “relevant” to each user.

Their main purpose seemed to be search engines such as Google and Bing, whose algorithms determine what you see when you type a search query in them. In other words, doing something that tastes like Coca-Cola isn't much different from creating a search engine that looks like Google. In fact, for the time being, the European Commission is trying to decide if Google is abusing its search monopoly to favor its own commercial interests. Imagine for a moment that you could force Google to publish its PageRank algorithm, which decides which pages are most relevant to your search query.

Trenton Demuro
Trenton Demuro

Unapologetic pizza specialist. Infuriatingly humble bacon geek. Passionate music fan. Certified web practitioner. Certified pop culture expert. General bacon specialist.

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