Google will now be compensated by companies when their search results generate more profit, Kyle Wagner explained that companies like Delta Airlines will compensate Google when flight tickets are purchased through a Google referral. Some argue that this is only fair, that other companies operate in the same manner and it is surprising that Google took so long to make this shift in their business operations.
However, many will find this payment for search results as worrisome and unfair. We can think of this in the context of journalism and news-making. There are many bloggers out there who have made a name for themselves; offering reliable and relevant topics and stories and have earned deserved popularity through their hard work. Many bloggers find themselves writing independently from their homes, and do not work for large news organizations as regular journalists. This new way of creating search results can put some of the bloggers off the map for new readers, and make it very difficult for new bloggers to even get noticed.
Large news-making industries will all pay to have their online articles pushed into the top search results, potentially allowing for these news-makers to shift their focus from quality reporting to simply paying for the best spot in the search engine.
The everyday blogger will no longer compete with the New York Times on a level playing field, the scales will shift and it will be, as always, in the favor of the dollar bill. Bloggers will need to find new ways to make themselves more noticeable and work harder to lock in their readers with each posting.
With search results being based on money instead of relevance or popularity, we can see how this will impact us as the consumer as the consumer as well. We will need to remind ourselves that our search results will no longer be fair ones, we will just have to take the extra time to flip through a few pages to find the quality work we so love to explore.