Great Google, now this?

According to the article “Don’t read everything you see on Google”,  Google users should be cautious of a few of the result snippets that tend to be spotlight posted at the top of the search results page, in a special box. The editor of the blog Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan, found that the results spotlighted by the search are not all accurate. The article gives several examples to support this claim against one of the largest search engines of the internet age. From what I’ve thin sliced from the article the reason why it hasn’t changed yet has two answers. Answer 1: Issues like this would put Google under scrutiny and undercut itself in the search engine game. Answer 2: There’s a “opt-out” feature where users/visitors can turn off this snippet spotlight.

What’s that mean? To me, an avid Google searcher, I wonder how many times I’ve looked something up quickly and not taken the time to see if it was accurate answer. Am I right? I mean when we use a search engine to look something up, we’d like the answer quickly and correctly. Don’t get me wrong I’ve began checking some results but for the little “AD”, not doing a complete background check on the answer.

This doesn’t surprise me though. Most search engines tend to pull from the internet or large databases. Because we expect answers at top speed, it wouldn’t be possible for search engines to spit back results that fast without some kind of mathematics or algorithm behind the screens. This algorithm doesn’t make it 100% accurate and like most cases of statistics have a degree of independence/variance (or at least from what I recall in general stats). What did surprise me is the fact that Google is aware that their search engine does this snippet spotlight, yet their answer to the problem is for the user to “opt-out” vs the site changing their algorithms. While I can appreciate that there’s a lot more that goes into search engines that typing something in and hitting search, unless a user reads this article or is tech savvy they wouldn’t know there is an opt-out option. I’ve been using google for years and I just found out how to opt-out of the snippet spotlight, from research of my own.

All in all like most issues with the internet, exercise caution! If it doesn’t sound right, chances are you’re smarter than that result’s content and look at another result to see if the answer is validated. If you’re interested in reading more about the snippet spotlight or how to “opt-out”, follow the link:


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