This isn’t really about the automation. It is about the scope-creep of the algorithm. The algorithm was originally designed to help people find the most relevant content for whatever keyphrase they entered. No doubt quality has also crept into the scope of the algorithm over time, punishing slow loading websites and websites with malware or intrusive popup ads and things like that.

But all of those things are about technical aspects of the website and/or directly related to how Google determines relevance to the keyphrase.

This change is the first step (a small one admittedly) towards modifying search results based on the acceptability of the content itself. It is attempting to use real world facts to determine whether results should be considered relevant or not.

I think I need to spend more time to figure out how to communicate this better (maybe I don’t even properly understand it myself) because Nava Tintarev objected on this point in a comment above, and I am not sure I am able to clearly explain the distinction there, and why I think it matters. But it does come down to this — that there is something different about all of the other algorithm changes to this one; this one is judging the validity/accuracy/reliability of the content itself, rather than just the relevance and quality of experience.

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Founder of rbutr and dedicated to solving the problem of misinformation. Father, entrepreneur, generalist, futurist, philosopher, scientist, traveller, etc.

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