However, we must recognize that not every user is savvy enough to know exactly what they are looking for. If Google wants to ensure that anyone with general privacy concerns has easy access to its own policy, then simply searching for the term privacy should also provide a link to Google’s policy. Not so. The search results for “privacy” include links to advocacy groups, Wikipedia, the Federal Trade Commission, and philosophical essays.
The first page of results even includes links to the privacy policies of Microsoft, Facebook, and Yahoo!.
But Google regularly inserts particular results among certain searches. A search for George Bush includes a manually-inserted link to Google News. A search for Porsche Boxster includes links to Google images. And a search for Budapest includes a link to the relevant Google Map of the Hungarian capital. At the bottom of the general “privacy” search, Google even includes links to other Google products with privacy-related content, including blog posts and book results.
Note, however, that Google’s Privacy Center is the 4th result in Microsoft’s results for a search on the term “privacy.”
I just wanted to say that I like that you fight for privacy. Too many people don’t realise the evil potential of Google. Keep it up!
“But one wonders if the PageRank of the policies for MSFT, Facebook and Yahoo all exceed that of Google’s own policy.”
As you know, search results aren’t determined strictly by PageRank, but include many factors. Google’s Privacy Center is at #11, which is not unreasonable.
“But Google regularly inserts particular results among certain searches.”
Those aren’t manual insertions. That’s what’s called “universal search”, including other *categories* on the web when their results rank high enough.
Well, it could be done in terms of a pseudo-sponsored link, as happens for the word “Jew”.
But how much value is an ordinary person going to get out of policy?
Thanks, Seth. You’re right on the ranking issue, and yes, the Universal Search aren’t organic results, but to an average user they likely appear as such. My point is that it wouldn’t take much to provide a Universal Search link to its YouTube privacy channel when a user searches for privacy.
Actually, the Universal Search results ARE organic results – they’re algorithm-produced based on similar (not necessarily identical) calculations. when you say “A search for George Bush includes a manually-inserted link to Google News.” – it’s not a MANUALLY-INSERTED LINK. As in, Google didn’t decide that “George Bush” deserves a News link because he’s the President. It’s that he gets mentioned many times in recent news articles.
They did decide that news links should appear at a certain threshold. But I don’t think that’s what you meant.
I was under the impression that there was some human editorial control over what search terms trigger additional “universal” results, and that it wasn’t purely based on a (human determined) threshold of results on the other property.
All said, if Google wants to “make privacy easier,” I’ve pointed out some simple steps they can take to make their Privacy Center more visible.
Google generally says it’s all just algorithms, excluding blacklists (which are human-maintained). But even so, the results like News and Images are not what you seem to want here. Again, they could do it as a pseudo-sponsored link.
I find it a better argument that Google has these on their homepage:
“Advertising Programs – Business Solutions – About Google”
So I don’t see any reason not to have “Privacy” too.
Agreed, as I imply here. We’re only talking 7 letters, hardly a blow to their valued aesthetics.