Taking cue from Search Engine Roundtable, a search for the term ugliest person in the world yielded Michael Jackson’s photo on top of the results.
As the world grieves the loss of King of Pop, this unsuspecting search term obviously angers fans of Michael Jackson. One might ask how does a search engine decide on which photo deserves to to be displayed once such term is used as search query. I guess part of the answer lies in the explanation at Search Engine Watch posted almost three years ago.
Tagging – More content is “King” It’s a given to make sure that your images match the actual products and keywords you place in there, along with ample descriptions of what you’re featuring. But you should also take full advantage of the many special contextual tags for social sites with image search. Not only are image names given more weight than regular search results, but you can also add special tags such as captions, comments, cross-grouping, location, and themes.
So maybe in the past — when Michael Jackson had fewer fans than after his death — that particular photo was described as ugly in captions, filenames and contextual information on pages where the photo also appears.
I don’t think Google has this in mind. It only processes the vast amount of information on the web and found out Michael Jackson was often described as ugly. Too bad, he’s dead and so antagonists became fans and their numbers soared. Sometimes we only know the value of something or someone when it/he’s gone.