The Scam You Didn’t Even Know Existed

In my last posting I discussed the self-defeating Google Suggestion functionality and the manner it which it feeds on people’s fear and uncertainty by validating–even rewarding–irrelevant, unscrupulous, inaccurate content on Google.

Google does this disservice to its users by misinterpreting terms like “scam” as relevant rather than morbid curiosity.  According to Google, it’s Suggestion functionality uses “a wide range of information to anticipate the queries users are most likely to want to see. As the user types into the search box, we provide suggestions to help them formulate the query, reduce spelling errors, and save keystrokes.”

What this logic doesn’t anticipate is that many human beings like looking at car accidents, like reading the Enquirer, often feed on negativity, and seek controversy.  Especially on the internet, where anonymity removes all accountability.  So when Google takes into account the popularity of a suggested phrase based upon the number of times it is clicked from the suggestion box, is it any surprise that the controversial ones find their way to the top? 

This isn’t rewarding relevant content; it is rewarding rubber-necking.

Just to see how ridiculous Google had become, I did another search, this one for “chiropractor salaries” and even before I could say “back pain” Google suggested this:

chiropractor scam outskirts press scam

So then I did a search for “bottled water.”  Yes, bottled water… should be safe right?

Even clean, fresh,  bottled water isn’t safe.

Do you recognize a theme here?

Everything is a scam according to the Internet, because every Tom, Dick, and Harry (usually the middle one) can post anything about anyone on the Internet, no matter how inaccurate,  inane, ludicrous, or irrelevant it is to your inquiry. And yet, Google, in their infinite wisdom, has decided, in essence, to authorize and validate this inaccurate, ambulance-chasing content by making it even easier to find.

Is anyone safe? Nope.  Try searching for scarves on Zappos, the #1 All-Mighty Customer Service-Centered Company According to Everyone (especially CEO Tony Hsieh):

Heck, even Google is a scam according to Google:

Thank you, Google. You’ve just proved my point.