Google: Its Feedback Loop Explained

March 23, 2021

I read “Google Profits from Spreading Fake News — Here’s How.” Google’s been leveraging its “inspiration” from Yahoo-GoTo-Overture ad innovations for decades. Imagine my surprise when the “truth” of feedback was finally revealed. (Yep, it took decades for whiz kids to crack the somewhat high-school auditorium sound system concept.)

Here’s a passage I found revelatory about how little awareness “expert” Google watchers know about the systems and methods of the online ad giant:

When you click on a search result, the search algorithm learns that the link you clicked is relevant for your search query. This is called relevance feedback. This feedback helps the search engine give higher weight to that link for that query in the future. If enough people click on that link enough times, thus giving strong relevance feedback, that website starts coming up higher in search results for that and related queries. People are more likely to click on links shown up higher on the search results list. This creates a positive feedback loop – the higher a website shows up, the more the clicks, and that in turn makes that website move higher or keep it higher.

What other Google magic awaits discovery?

Remarkable. That feedback has baffled for so long.

Stephen E Arnold, March 23, 2021


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