May 06, 2005
by: jovial_cynic
Google recently applied for a patent on a technology that can rank search results by "quality." If the definition of quality is at all associated with "quality customers," we may find that the highest quality search results are from those that have the fattest wallets.

Generally speaking, I don't make a big deal over monopolization in the market place, on account that I don't think people have to buy anything. Folks were up in arms over Microsoft's monopolization practices... that didn't bother me. There have always been and will always be programmers who will write better software, so unless Microsoft blocks out the ability to run 3rd party apps, the software bundled with microsoft isn't going to be a true monopoly - quality software will find it's way to the top.

A search engine, however, is different. There simply aren't many good search engines out there, and the novice programmer isn't going to sucessfully write one up to compete with the industry standard. If google, the dominant search engine, resorts to sorting page results based on dollar-based "value," we may end up with our information served to us orwellian-style. Double plus ungood.
np category: corporations


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