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Google Denies Deliberately Lowering Pirate Bay’s PageRank

This article focuses on Google’s PageRank algorithm and highlights a recent issue that was brought up. A torrent company, TorrentFreak, claimed that solely based off the country where one initiated the Google search, different results could occur in terms of Pirate Bay’s PageRank. Specifically the website noticed that it could vary from being the top result, to not showing up for several pages. This is meaningful in the grand scheme of things because if search engines such as Google were altering results, that could lead towards long term issues such as companies bribing Google to be ranked better. The ideal way for this to work would be that Google would never interfere with the search results and whatever was brought up at the top would be, without biases. Apparently Google claimed that the only reason it would show up differently is based off interest between countries and that they did not alter the data. Of course no one can know this for sure, but it does seem like it would be at a huge disadvantage for Google if they were.

In terms of our Networks class this ties in with PageRank. We learned that whether or not a page shows up at the top of the list and the order all involves the rank its page has. This rank is essentially an arbitrary number assigned to each page and then pages are listed in a search from highest points to lowest. If Google were to alter the PageRank of a site like Pirate Bay it would cause many ethical issues as Google would be literally changing the algorithm or value of the rank of a site based on personal interests. I expect this issue to continue down the road as companies balance personal interests and interests of the consumers or users.


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October 2017