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O.J. Simpson, Britney Spears and Google News
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Where is the first place you can expect to find news about celebrities, celebrity scandal and celebrity downfall? Why Google of course... or to be more specific, the search engines. Is it just me or did we not hear so much gossip and news about celebrities before there was search engines? Or maybe we just tuned it out more. On my Google homepage, I have a variety of tabs each consisting of a number of feeds. Everything from SEO to hockey, sports and finance. I will usually click on something that catches my eye.

So earlier today I wanted to check out the latest SEO news, so on my iGoogle page, I look at my section on Google News and what do I see?

Britney Bombshell: Custody of Kids Imperiled - FOX News

So then I go to the Google Finance page for Google (GOOG) and what do I see under the blog section?

OJ Simpson Arrested

It's no wonder why people get distracted when trying to find information via a search engine. You have sponsored listings vying for your attention, you have news stories, video footage, organic search results, blogs, RSS feeds and more all trying to capture your click.

I wasn't looking for the latest on Britney Spears or O.J. Simpson yet I clicked on the results. Why? Curiosity? Or is it just human nature to be distracted to alternate images, conversation or text? So Britney is going to lose her kids.... O.J. is arrested in Las Vegas (don't even get me started...), why do we care? Or do we? Factor in personalized results and personalized search, and is this what we are going to get? News stories on celebrities. Relevancy is a topic that I've discussed on numerous occassions, but when will the search engines make it happen? My iGoogle page should contain the information that I want to see.... in fact it should contain the most relevant information that I expect to see.

So with all due respect to Britney Spears (Britney, I truly hope that you get your life together.) and to other celebrities in the news, no offence but unless I search for information about you, I really don't want to hear about your lives all that much. I don't want to see news stories about your lives occupying positions from within my feeds on my personalized Google page. I don't even want to hear about you on the news and I don't wanted to be distracted by you when I do a search in a search engine. Entertainers are over-rated and over paid. Why do news resources including Google news insist on pushing all of this celebrity crap out to us? Why? The answer is because you, the general public eat this stuff up. It must be relevant to you in some manner. Me, I could care less nine times out of ten.


posted by Jody @ 5:13 PM  
  • At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Kaila Colbin said…

    I'll confess to a sick fascination with Britney. OJ, I can live without, but there's something about Brit, oops, doing it again that I just can't tear my eyes away from. But the whole point of personalized search is that people for whom she's just not relevant shouldn't have to put up with her. I suppose Google isn't doing a very good job with you if they're delivering that as your personalized material!

    I invite you to visit my blog—like you, I discuss relevance regularly, and VortexDNA itself is a relevance and recommendation technology. If you are interested in swapping ideas, comments or even posts I'd be delighted to have a conversation with you.

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