is a monster..and it is not the same monster to everyone. There are some very good points brought up here already, but there are some things that have been missed.
I used to do SEO for my company, and it was a 24/7 kind of job. I would spend an hour or more a day, everyday, researching and on technical SEO forums
trying to keep up with Google's algorithm changes. For a while I was getting really good at it. I had our company come up on page one for results under certain search terms, and as a result my sales skyrocketed by 30% or more. Then in one day google
did a major re-write of their algorithm and my sales fell to almost previous in the course of three weeks. It took months of research
and trial and error to get back to previous sales levels.
The one thing that remains a constant is your search history
. Google tracks by IP address, your searches, and browsing history
. It uses that history to tailor your individual search results. For better or for worse that is what it is. You can spoof it, by changing IP's, or using someone else's computer, but even using a different computer will drag along that IP's search history into every search result.
All that said, yes it will return popular results but will also include your data when returning those results. Lets face it, for Abramovich, his yacht "A" is photographed and commented about, everywhere it goes. It is most likely the most talked about yacht(however ugly it is) in the world. The more something is put out on the internet
, the higher the "weight" of it for search results.
Have you ever noticed that when you visit certain forums
, or sites after doing some internet
searches, there are suddenly adverts for items that are very similar to what you were looking at? For example on this page there is an advert for Google Chrome at the top under the link bar. I don't have Chrome, and don't want it for a few reasons, but ALL the time I get a pop up asking me to download it for free, and there is the advert lurking anyways.
With all this data and power
google has, it can certainly change perception and mold
culture. For example, I ran the search for American Inventors, I recognized only two of them in the images
bar, and all but 1 were African American, and that was Edison. This is blatant manipulation of the results for one reason or another...make no mistake about it.