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xxi wrote (edited )

Well... Everything md_ said. Being aware of the risk of manipulation, the only thing I see is a nuisance that trivial mostly text-only sites arbitrarily get down-ranked. Such sites can have some value. (Before you get mad, read the last line).

I visited a site only available under plain HTTP today. It was a rudimentary site of a minor village which happen to lay near a nature reserve. Still being update, looks like it's from 1998 but these people provided me with some information that I couldn't find anywhere else. They seem very passionate about their village but I understand that they probably won't hire a webmaster because it's done on a non-profit basis. There's no reason to expect that some tech-savvy savior will swoop in from above, do the work for free, teach them how to do it themselves and then do the same for all similar sites around the web. So in that sense I guess that "penalizing" can have a detrimental effect to such niche sites and favor more general information repositories who might have an entry for their village but lack vital information about it.

HTTPS would be preferred, but the text on the village's site is about as easily manipulated as the physical brochures they might send to, or give, people.

So in that sense Google's omniscience could favor certain pages above others sort of arbitrarily. Can't think of something really substantial of the bat, but StartPage/lxquick could be one. There's probably a shitload of other cases where someone's using Google data to do something interesting that's not entirely repulsive.

That's a problem. I don't expect Google to be fair in that regard though. Bottom-line is: don't use Google. Google is powerful, but Google is not the web.

However, none of this is detrimental to the validity of HTTPS. The text this post points to sort of misses the mark.

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ziq wrote

How much do google's search rankings affect other sites like duckduckgo and startpage?

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xxi wrote (edited )

StartPage sources its result from Google.

I've got no idea if DDG is effected. I'm completely pulling the following out of my ass (in contrast to partially as I did above) , but seeing as Google is the "bawz" of search engines I guess Yandex and other sources DDG uses could take a cue from Google. Thereby affected search result.

Wouldn't put the last part forward as an argument in a debate though. I'm just speculating.