PS - protagonist - THANK YOU! for the VERY interesting links... I say Duck Duck Go! The idea of filtering takes me back to old Cold War movies in my grade school classroom about the dangers of capitalism, oops I meant communism, LOL
Keep the change, BFG.....
A couple of personal observations about Google searches:
- Up to about a year ago, if you were shopping for something you could get good, accurate comparison pricing from multiple sources (yahoo, google, nextag, etc) on the first page (if not the top) of google searches. Now the big hits are always Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and a few others that I suspect pay Google for this....it is very difficult to find honest comparative pricing in any prominent google link anymore. You can do better with duckduckgo, but even so, many of the big players in comparative pricing are much more selective, probably based on paid advertising or some such thing.
- After reading that thing about filtering, I've definitely noticed that when I do a search on google on, say, a political issue, mostly all that comes up is preaching to the choir. Up until reading that, I guess I just assumed that everybody must agree with me, so why is the world not a better place?
Regarding Amazon/cnet etc reviews...... I think the bigger problem with sifting out true information is not as much what is screened or filtered (though that is a problem), but reviews that are paid for, or possibly flooded by the company producing the product or a competitor. I use the reviews as a rough guide, especially if there are TONS of reviews....and for that they are still helpful- I think if you go to a major city, for example, and eat at one of the restaurants or stay at a hotel that is in the top 1% on tripadvisor, most likely you will get at least a decent room or meal. I more rely on metareviewer sites when possible like consumersearch.com, imdb.com or rottentomatoes,com than on amazon, cnet, etc. And I rarely believe reviews in magazines (like pcworld for example)...even if honest they are usually based on first opinions of a product and first opinions are nearly worthless. Plus reviews of popular items like cellphones, laptops, etc. seem so similar across the board by websites that I wonder how many are just plagiarizing other online reviews without ever even testing the product. I don't know how wikipedia manages to stay as objective as they seem to usually be.
If anybody has more or better ideas about how to sift out truth, please share them.