When a publisher seeks to make its content as visible as possible, its practices are highly likely to be influenced by Google’s information hierarchizing method. And yet, paradoxically, this influence does not always serve Google’s interests as a company. We explain the reasons behind this, before outlining how the search engine’s designers mitigate the effects of this counter-intuitive impact by influencing content in a way that may be favorable to them via publishing guidelines and recommendations for publishers. They reinforce this policy by sanctioning, or at least threatening to sanction, what they deem “spammy” behaviors. Finally, we demonstrate that the “normative effects” resulting from tension between the algorithm, discourse, and ethical rules do not only influence content, but also the search engine itself.
- search engine