Home > Uncategorized > Thing 3 of 23–Post 2

Thing 3 of 23–Post 2

I’m reflecting again on the assignment to Google ourselves, and while I wasn’t logged in at the time, I wonder whether that really makes any difference.  If Google has access to an IP address, and I’m generally either on my iPhone, my home computer, or my computer at work, then do the search algorithms take the IP address into account?  The reason for this question is that Google tailors its response to the searcher.  So if I search for myself on one of these three mostly-used devices, in comparison to a friend who searches for me on his/her computer–the results will be different.  It appears that Google is bouncing our own perspectives back at us.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. June 28, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I, too, wondered the same thing. However, based on my own search results, that doesn’t seem to be the case. I was very surprised to find a plethora of Sandra Barnharts that are not me. Google also likes to think I’m searching for Sandra Bernhard, which doesn’t help matters. In fact, I didn’t start finding myself until I really narrowed down the results to specific places I’ve lived. I even searched logged in to see if that would make a difference, but I still found a bunch of not mes. To add to that, and as a sort of test, I searched for you, and I found you. So, no, I don’t think Google is bouncing our own perspectives back at us, or I would have a much easier time finding myself. Well, at least, I hope I would.

    • merrimonks
      June 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      Sandra, here’s another test you may want to try. Ask a friend whose political beliefs are different than yours (i.e., if you’re a Democrat, find a Republican), and then as the test, each of you search, from your own computers, a topic like global warming. If you have searched other topics that indicate a pattern in your searches of your political affiliation, and your friend has, too (records of political donations, for example), you will find different results. This is the basis of my suggestion that Google, through its algorithms, mirrors our own beliefs back to us.

  2. July 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    I found the comment about IP address interesting. I had to do a IP Address locator for a class I am taking. My IP comes up with a town probably 200 miles away. Tried it on the school computer which is on a different service and that computer shows a town 20 miles away. I didn’t come up with a listing pertaining to me until page 5.

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