The surprisingly delightful musings of a humble Virginian whose satiric paeons to a plausible utopia implicitly shame the cynical zeitgeist of our times, causing it to cry, as 'twere, 'Damn, what was I thinking?' or words to that effect.

December 2014
How Google penalizes novelty with the self-serving assumptions behind its search algorithms

Death by Algorithm

Despairing post to the YouTube Product Forum on December 19, 2014

I understand that Google's algorithms rate videos on various factors including popularity and longevity, but why are their algorithms so INCREDIBLY stingy when it comes to displaying new videos in a findable location in search results? Let me cite a specific example:

Over a month ago, I uploaded a brand-new version of the Christmas carol "Joy to the World."

This is the most popular Christmas carol on the planet, yet my video has so far received ZERO views. Zero. And this is during the very heart of the Christmas season.

Now, even if my video (and its original musical arrangement) are utter garbage, surely someone out there would have an interest in quickly vetting EVERY new attempt at presenting this carol in a new way. (As a veteran musician and arranger, I would certainly want to know what other musicians are trying when it comes to a song that I'm arranging.) Surely it's in everyone's interest then to give such a new video at least SOME reasonable visibility in its early days, at least until such time as enough relevant views have given Google's algorithms a chance to make an INFORMED decision about the new video's probable popularity and then rank it accordingly.

I'm sure there are plenty of things that I can do, short of advertising, to have my video come closer to the top of relevant search results -- but visibility is a two-way street, and when organic results reach such a dismally low level (i.e., ABSOLUTE ZERO), I think it's fair to ask what role that the Google algorithms are playing in this state of affairs and if they shouldn't make changes, too, to help new videos see the light of day.

The Google algorithms are clearly designed to scorn everything new. And this is a death knell for the non-socially connected because it begins a vicious cycle:

Why is my video basically hidden?
Because I have no views.
Why do I have no views?
Because my video is basically hidden.

google, algorithms, search results, novelty

Copyright 2017, Brian Quass (follow on Twitter)