Google, Stadia, and anti-trust

Avatar image for aerithlives
#1 Posted by aerithlives (37 posts) -

Anyone else slightly concerned that a company like Google might alter search results to favor games released on Stadia? How about altering recommended or trending tabs on Youtube? Recently a study showed they are heavily favoring network television videos on Youtube compared to independent content creators.

Also, if Google Stadia is a complete failure will Phil Harrison still find work in the industry? Or is third time the charm?

Avatar image for shindig
#2 Posted by Shindig (4982 posts) -

I predict 'PLAY NOW' adverts on youtube.

Avatar image for reap3r160
#3 Edited by reap3r160 (270 posts) -

@shindig said:

I predict 'PLAY NOW' adverts on youtube.

They more or less said this would be a thing. One of the features is to be able to jump into any, or say a streamers, game from the stream on chrome. Obviously this will be a chrome only feature(for now) and will have to be enabled by the streamer. That said, due to cookies and algorithms, 99% of my ads on youtube are for games anyway so.

As for the topic, probably. But then again, is that because they are on the platform, or because they are popular...? I have no reason to think games like Doom Eternal and Borderlands 3 will be among the most searched for games anyway. The algorithms already lean towards popular terms and recent articles for those terms anyway. Same for recommended and trending, which from what I've seen lately the YouTube recommendation algorithm is already borked hahaha, but all that will be based on what's popular and your interests. People can assume nefarious dealings all they want, but with stuff like that there's no way to know for sure. I couldn't find anything relating to the network tv videos(not sure what this means specifically) vs independent content.

Avatar image for aerithlives
#4 Posted by aerithlives (37 posts) -

Here's the video I was referring to:

So you can see how Google is rigging the algorithm in favor of whoever pays them. This seems like a company that will promote games that are exclusively on their service by rigging youtube or Google search.

Avatar image for eighte8
#5 Posted by eighte8 (16 posts) -

@aerithlives: Interesting video, but it's possible they fundamentally misunderstand how trending works. They seem to assume that what appears on the trending page is determined by the number of views. But number of views is not how Google's core pagerank algorithm has ever worked, as I understand it (not an expert). Instead, pagerank is about the number of other sites that link to a site, not the raw number of views. If Google applies a similar approach to decide what apperas on trending--for example, the number of *different* users that view a video, rather than the number of users--that might result in big media companies getting trending easier than youtubers. For example, youtube probably categorizes logan paul's viewers as very similar to each other, so even though he gets millions of views, a pagerank approach would not place him very high because all those views come from the same "types" of person. So if "trending" captures whether a video is being viewed by many different types of people, ESPN or late night TV might have a much broader viewership, even though a smaller number of views, and be ranked more highly.

So the video becomes an argument that youtube *should* use the number of views to determine trending. Which is probably a bad idea for diversity, because platforms that use raw numbers tend to be winner-take-all markets in which a small number of producers capture the vast majority of the audience. Youtubers complaining about an "unfair market" should be cautious about promoting using views as the metric because it might make it more difficult for them to trend than it is now. A better strategy might be to try to diversify their viewership, but that is very hard on a platform like youtube that recommends you to people who are similar to people who already watch you.

It also seems possible that those big media producers just have more resources to put toward search engine optimization than youtubers.

Avatar image for aerithlives
#6 Posted by aerithlives (37 posts) -

@eighte8: I find it hard to believe that a video with only 10,000 views has more different types of viewers than a video with 2,000,000 views. It's quite clear that Youtube has partnered with major networks and is feeding their content to the public. Youtube was originally supposed to be about the people, not corporations. That is what made it great. People are sick of the network garbage now flooding the platform.