Friday, March 20, 2015

How Does Google Work?

We don't know Google's exact algorithm, but boy they do everything they can to take thinking out of the equation for you. Like that's doing you a favor. "Our work on interpreting user intent is aimed at returning results people really want, not just what they said in their query." The problem is, "the user" is a really nebulous identity. It's so generalized, you, the actual user, must learn how to override Google's algorithm a bit to get valuable search results . . . especially if you are using Google for legal research. After all, to be a "competent" attorney per the comments to Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1, "a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology . . . ."

What's a lawyer to do? Read all you can about how Google works. That's all. And it's fun. Reading up on Google searching gives you the skills to evaluate the results your searches produce so that you decide on what to build your legal research rather than letting "Google" tell you what you want.