Google and The Flu

Recently Google announced how their flu tracking system worked using data from Google trends. While I appluad Google for thier open discussion, I personally believe this logic is flawed. It’s a systemic problem that occurs throughout Google because of their insular workflow and thought process (see how could so many PHD’s be wrong). IMHO google trends doesn’t really take into account Adversarial Infomation Retrieval (AIR) or “gaming the system”. Any real-time or near real-time system is going to have a vulnerability to creativly inclined people who are motivated by their own self interest and greed. Google trends like google news runs without human intervention. While this type of system can work really well and run for years without incident, eventually these systems encounter something they weren’t designed for and something goes wrong (see Google Publishes Old News Story). The world we live in with is increasingly reliant on machines making decisions based on input, and if a piece of bad data gets in just the right spot a cascade of failures occur, fear takes over and anarchy is the result.

It has already been demonstrated that Google Trends can be abused and hacked, and I’m not the only one who thinks hacking and AIR are converging. With the current economic climate where financial markets are ripe with fear, what’s to prevent someone from manipulating google trends for financial profit.

What if someone were creative enough to use something like the recent puppies webcam that gets distributed via social networks like twitter to open a small iframe or popunder that executed a pre-programmed query on google … No one will share a penny stock email but everyone will share cute overload style puppy pictures. runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

Genesis lets you to quickly and easily build amazing websites with WordPress. Whether you're a novice or advanced developer, Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.
It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Take advantage of the 6 default layout options, comprehensive SEO settings, rock-solid security, flexible theme options, cool custom widgets, custom design hooks, and a huge selection of child themes ("skins") that make your site look the way you want it to. With automatic theme updates and world-class support included, Genesis is the smart choice for your WordPress website or blog.

tla starter kit


  1. Text Link Ads - New customers can get $100 in free text links.
  2. - Get a premier listing in the internet's oldest directory.
  3. Need an SEO Audit for your website, look at my SEO Consulting Services
  4. TigerTech - Great Web Hosting service at a great price.
More in Google
Google Showing Authors, Totals Posts and Last Post Data

Haven't seen this one before a SERP where google is showing Total Authors, last post data, and total number of...

Is Google Pushing Universal Results

Doing a vanity search for myself I noticed something interesting, here's a screen shot when you list the top 20...

Google Doubling up On YouTube in Universal Search

interesting oh and BTW can I mention what complete PIA it is to have celebrities muddying up SERP :-)