Don’t Ask Google “Who Runs Hollywood”

Google's getting tripped up again by its featured search result box. The Guardian has noticed that if you Google the phrase "who runs Hollywood" you will get a less than palatable answer:

Don't Ask Google "Who Runs Hollywood" Google

For a little over a year now Google has been singling out certain search results and featuring the response in a special box  before the rest of the results. This is intended to offer the most useful result to users, but as we can see above the process is not without its quirks.

Furthermore, this is not the first time it's happened, nor is this Google's fault.

A similar incident occurred around the release of Jurassic World. If you asked Google "what happened to the dinosaurs", it quoted a creationist website which cited the Bible.

That was quite amusing at the time, but one detail that many missed was that all the other search engines gave you that same creationist website as the first search result. The site was at the top of the results because it had excellent SEO, and not for any other reason.

And the same would be true in this latest incident, which brings me to a related point. Back in June Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Yahoo all showed similar results to that dinosaur query, thus proving that their algorithms had similar flaws.

This time around, however, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Yahoo are giving preference to the news articles about Google getting dinged for the "who runs Hollywood" search result.

It's almost as if they changed their algorithms in response to that older story. Now they'll tell you about Google messing up, and at the same time avoid messing up themselves.

That's smart, yes, but are they offering the best search results?

image by fujitariuji

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

1 Comment

  1. puzzled4 September, 2015

    Naw. Google’s been putting all their effort into designing a new logo.

    Reply

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