Larry Page thinks Google should decide what news is ‘important’

google-newsThis isn’t the first time Google’s been criticized for its possible role in promoting content and it won’t be the last. Recently the company made reference to the fact it has considered ranking news according to what is most important—which sounds rather subjective if you ask us.

According to the New York Times, at a recent conference the question was posed of what type of content trumps less worthy pieces. Legendary broadcast journalist Ted Koppel said it “wouldn’t be a bad idea” if Google were to tweak its algorithm to promote topics people should be reading.

Addressing the topic, CEO Larry Page agreed the company wonders the same thing—whether Google should focus on delivering what’s more important rather than what’s most popular. “I see this as a responsibility to some extent, trying to improve media. If you ask anyone about how that information’s going to be propagated, what you’re going to focus on, I think it could work a lot better than it does now.”

“We as an Internet community, we have a responsibility to make those things work a lot better and get people focused on what are the real issues, what should you be thinking about. And I think we as a whole are not doing a good job of all that,” Page went on to say.

Google has been scrutinized and accused of cooking search results, so saying it has considered promoting what it considers important news content seems downright dangerous. It’s true that Internet media has become overwhelming and inundating with sources, and we’ll admit there can be difficulty in deducing which of those are your best choices. But Google is hardly the one to make this decision.

The company’s Panda update, an effort to cut down on content farms that pull content from the original source, has been controversial to say that least. And possibly ineffective: In many cases, scraper sites continue to rank above the sites they are actually taking the content from.

Then there’s the fact Google won’t tell us exactly what it takes into account when creating its algorithm. What effect does the +1 button have, Google’s Author page, or Twitter retweets? Google can’t explain how it ranks pages nor should it. Publications would exploit that information—they would be stupid not to. But that means Google becomes the very thing it’s defending itself against being: A gatekeeper.

There might be more information out there (there’s no might about it actually), but people are also becoming increasingly tech-savvy and many of us getting our news from the Internet know how to use filters and the like. We’re already at Google’s mercy enough as it is.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Gaming

These are the best video games you shouldn't leave 2018 without

Developers showed up with a number of amazing games this year. Each capitalized on something unique but there's always one that outdoes them all. Here are our picks for the best video games of 2018 and game of the year.
Product Review

Ring Alarm makes DIY home security simple and affordable enough for everyone

Ring first made waves with its video doorbell, and now the Amazon-owned company is moving on to home security with the Ring Alarm. You can install the sensors and keypads yourself, then have Ring professionally monitor your home.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Computing

No more wild goose chase: ‘Duck.com’ now leads to DuckDuckGo instead of Google

DuckDuckGo recently acquired a shorter domain name from fellow search engine competitor Google. As a result, longtime and new DuckDuckGo users can now access the privacy-focused search engine by going to duck.com.
Mobile

Smartphone makers are vomiting a torrent of new phones, and we’re sick of it

Smartphone manufacturers like Huawei, LG, Sony, and Motorola are releasing far too many similar phones. The update cycle has accelerated, but more choice is not always a good thing.
Opinion

Do we even need 5G at all?

Faster phones, easier access to on-demand video, simpler networking -- on the surface, 5G sounds like a dream. So why is it more of a nightmare?
Home Theater

The Apple AirPods 2 needed to come out today. Here are four reasons why

Apple announced numerous new products at its October 30 event, a lineup that included a new iPad Pro, a MacBook Air, as well as a new Mac Mini. Here are four reasons we wish a new set of AirPods were on that list.
Computing

Razer’s most basic Blade 15 is the one most gamers should buy

Razer's Blade 15 is an awesome laptop for both gamers, streamers, professionals, and anyone else needing serious go in a slim profile, but its price is out of reach for many games. The new Blade 15 Base solves that problem with few…
Gaming

Going to hell, again. The Switch makes 'Diablo 3' feel brand-new

I've played every version of Diablo 3 released since 2012, racking up hundreds of hours in the process. Six years later, I'm playing it yet again on Nintendo Switch. Somehow, it still feels fresh.
Gaming

‘Fallout 76’ may have online multiplayer but it’s still a desolate wasteland

"Is Fallout 76 an MMO?" That depends on who you ask. Critics and players often cite its online multiplayer capabilities as a reason it qualifies. Yet calling the game an MMO only confuses matters, and takes away from what could make…
Digital Trends Live

Microsoft has #*!@ed up to-do lists on an epic scale

Microsoft has mucked up to-do lists on a scale you simply can’t imagine, a failure that spans multiple products and teams, like a lil’ bit of salmonella that contaminates the entire output from a factory.
Opinion

As Amazon turns up the volume on streaming, Spotify should shudder

Multiple players are all looking to capitalize on the popularity of streaming, but it has thus far proved nearly impossible to make a profit. Could major tech companies like Amazon be primed for a streaming take-over?
Gaming

Throw out the sandbox. ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ is a fully realized western world

Despite featuring around 100 story missions, the real destination in Red Dead Redemption 2 is the journey you make for yourself in the Rockstar's open world, and the game is better for it.
Gaming

‘Diablo Immortal’ is just the beginning. Mobile games are the future

Diablo fans were furious about Diablo Immortal, but in truth, mobile games are the future. From Apple and Samsung to Bethesda and Blizzard, we’re seeing a new incentive for games that fit on your phone.