Google’s Head Of Search: Google Does Not Give Brands A Bias

Google’s head of search, head engineer, and Google fellow, Amit Singhal told Fast Company in an interview that Google Instant does not have a brand bias. Google Instant, the search predictions that Google gives searchers as they type a query, is not influenced by any brand bias, Singhal said. He said, “we didn’t want to […]

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Google’s head of search, head engineer, and Google fellow, Amit Singhal told Fast Company in an interview that Google Instant does not have a brand bias. Google Instant, the search predictions that Google gives searchers as they type a query, is not influenced by any brand bias, Singhal said. He said, “we didn’t want to introduce any bias into the mathematical modeling–our modeling is predicting, given a letter, what’s the probability of completion.”

This is in response to ComScore search evangelist Eli Goodman sharing data at a recent search summit event that suggested Google Instant results are 15% more likely to have ads because more of the results are brand terms. But Goodman doesn’t think Google is manipulating their own results, nor does he think Google is being gamed.

Singhal explains that when someone types in T, mathematically “most people typing T will go to Target. That’s the probability model. If you add R to it (“Tr”), most people are looking for a translation system. It’s actually just pure mathematical modeling.” It is just math, he says, not a bias.

Historically, Google has come under fire from webmasters for giving brands a boost. The most recent cases were with the Vince search update and the Google brand refinements.


About the author

Barry Schwartz
Staff
Barry Schwartz is a technologist and a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics.

In 2019, Barry was awarded the Outstanding Community Services Award from Search Engine Land, in 2018 he was awarded the US Search Awards the "US Search Personality Of The Year," you can learn more over here and in 2023 he was listed as a top 50 most influential PPCer by Marketing O'Clock.

Barry can be followed on X here and you can learn more about Barry Schwartz over here or on her personal site.

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