Is it Google’s plan to index the world’s information, or to curate it?

I just heard (via @montymunford) that Google will start ranking mobile websites lower in search results when they use a “download our app” popup on the page. Read about it here.

One of Google’s justifications is that the experience of seeing a pop-up banner may be ‘disruptive’ to the user experience.

Is it Google’s job to play User Experience police to the whole internet?

It’s one thing to deprioritise sites with poor or duplicate content. But to de-rank sites based on user interaction decisions of the developers? Isn’t that taking it a bit too far?

Some argue that it’s a good thing… that it helps us find better content. Maybe that’s true… but where would it end? What if Google started de-ranking sites because the navigation was unclear? Or because there was no ‘about’ page?

It’s a slippery slope.

Google already controls access to a huge proportion of the internet. They are the gatekeepers… the ones who decide what we get to see, and what not. To me, consolidating all of this power in one gate puts the freedom and openness of the internet at risk.

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