Google falls for crowds

Google’s revenue requires crowds. Here’s what Nick Carr says:

…what we seem to have here is evidence of a fundamental failure of the Web as an information-delivery service.

Three things have happened, in a blink of history’s eye: (1) a single medium, the Web, has come to dominate the storage and supply of information, (2) a single search engine, Google, has come to dominate the navigation of that medium, and (3) a single information source, Wikipedia, has come to dominate the results served up by that search engine.

Even if you adore the Web, Google, and Wikipedia – and I admit there’s much to adore – you have to wonder if the transformation of the Net from a radically heterogeneous information source to a radically homogeneous one is a good thing. Is culture best served by an information triumvirate?

Some say there are serious quirks in Google’s ranking algorithm. In the last years, there’s impressive improvements removing spam and redundancy. Bravo. But is Google too eager to deliver up sites that are merely popular?