Sometimes we like to think we’ve got Google taped. We understand all the sorts of things which are considered to be positive by its algorithms, and it’s just a question of tackling those. Then I remember a presentation I attended ten years ago, when a speaker from Google said: “Hardly anybody realises how bright the people who work for us are, and how many of them there are. Anyone who does know, suspects we’re working on things which you wouldn’t imagine are possible”.
At the time, it was rumoured that the company was about to launch an online translation system. Few people believed it could be done, and while Google Translate is still far from perfect, it’s still a staggering achievement, and I’m sure it will be perfect eventually.
Now we read that soon, Google may start to “measure quality by facts“. My first reaction? Surely that’s not possible. How would they know? But my second reaction was that somehow, they always manage to do it.