I’m basically completely unable to get the law/policy types to realize the enormous extent to which Wikipedia is de facto subsidized by Google. Here, not only is Wikipedia getting yet another boost, but some of its arguable commercial competitors are being killed! It’s not because Wikipedia has some magic itself, in "community" or "civility", or whatever huckerism is being hyped. Rather, it has the algorithm support of Google.
I accept this is true. So?
Seth’s complaints seem to be (1) that Google’s ranking algorithms are not neutral; (2) that they tend to favor large corporate aggregator sites over blogs like his or mine; (3) that there is a real chance that this favoritism is driven by a self-dealing agenda, since Google owns sites like YouTube that do well off point 2, and even if that isn’t what drives it, we should worry about it; (4) that it is wrong to excuse Google’s choices on the grounds that true search neutrality is impossible, because neutrality might be possible if we worked harder on the problem.
Of these, I guess I accept that (1) is true. And (2) may be true, but I’m ready to believe that it satisfies consumer demand. So barring new evidence, I am only concerned about (3), that is the possibility of self-dealing and self-favoritism. For which we don’t yet have much evidence, although it pays to be vigilant. As for (4), well, Seth has me dead to rights.
And I still don’t see why Google’s favoring of Wikipedia should bother me.