Following my thoughts on the "bunching" effect of markets, this page asks if Google does the same thing, only with a different resource: "Google will therefore support, with ever-greater efficiency and effectiveness, an intellectual activity characterized by A.A. Milne (author of Winnie-The-Pooh) as 'Thinking with the Majority'." (via dontpanic2)
Interesting. Can Google be thought of as a market? Maybe this is nothing new - hark back to GoogleJuice, and the Attention Economy. Intellectual resources, rather than physical resources.
But there are obviosuly some major differences between Google and a Market, even if they display some overlapping similar traits. Primarily, the Google system is not free to flow - efforts to control the attentional resources are constantly monitored and altered by Google. Hmm, but then on second thoughts, how much of the UK market, say, is influenced by 9 at the Bank of England? Isn't that a kind of market-steering, just as Google do for their rankings?
Maybe, maybe not. On one hand, interest rates are there to control growth ni several directions, and to stimulate different sectors. Google's rank-manipulation, on the other hand, is there to regulate relevance. But on the other hand, what difference is there between the two? They both reflect what is needed by the "market audience" at any one time. If Google decided that they wanted to drive growth of SEOs for whatever reason, they could easily change their rankings to reflect this - that they have a more narrow focus on "relevance" doesn't necessarily mean that what they're doing is fundamentally different to what the Bank of England does.
Hmm, lunch time. But when are we going to see Google open an on-line trading system to bet on sites' pageranks? Or anyone else, for that matter... Kind of like blogshares, but for all pages within Google...