In cybersecurity we chant the C-I-A mantra of maintaining Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. Does being available imply being discoverable and accessible? It seems to me it should. For public information we rely on internet search engines. And Google is the Big Dog among search engines. To be truly accessible, our search engines should be neutral in selecting and sorting results, and transparent in the basics of operations. They can be such, even as they use proprietary algorithms. I think Google may fail us in that arena (such a surprise, eh?).
Such a simple demonstration. A new movie is being released this week, in a limited theater and online release. Last night I used Google to find the web site to buy a ticket. Using search term 2000 mules gave me two pages of web articles about the move. Finally, half way down the third page of search results I found 2000mules.com. Huh? three pages to find the site which is exactly the search? This morning, preparing for this post, I tried again. This time the website was the last listing on page 2 of the Google search. Compare that to using exactly the same search on Duck Duck Go, where the eponymous web site is the very first item on the results page. Repeating the same search on Microsoft’s Bing also gives us 2000mules.com as the very first item on the result page.
Gee, ya think Google might have a thumb on the scale?