Questionable Information

Sept. 2, 2020

Information taken for granted these days was harder to find years ago.  Our Locksmith Ledger offices once contained about a dozen file cabinets. Every file cabinet was filled to capacity with brochures from every known lock company. Brochures were organized by company names from A to Z. Whenever a subscriber asked about any topic, we would head to the file cabinets and look up any information we might want. Occasionally, we didn’t have any brochures on the topic. If someone in our office didn’t have firsthand knowledge on the subject, then our subscriber was out of luck.

Today, we have search engines, such as Google and others. Our historical brochures and a room full of file cabinets are long gone.  Subscribers don’t call as often as they used to, because a world of information is available on the internet through the press of a couple of computer keys. If there is any disadvantage, it’s that facts and procedures that once were private information for locksmiths now are available for everyone. There are even some locksmiths who will answer questions about locks and servicing procedures freely on public forums.

We can’t turn back from what has happened. Most information published in Locksmith Ledger or other publications is available free of charge to the public on search engines. Google and others mix and match this information so in one place, you might find listings of articles available from a variey of books, magazines, newspapers and other sources.

Search engines use this information in many different ways. They can develop statistics on public-use history. At a recent company meeting, we  learned that Google reported a Locksmith Ledger story written in 2012 as one of the most popularly sourced automotive articles to appear in Locksmith Ledger.

Obviously, Locksmith Ledger has mentioned automotive topics in many other articles since 2012. An article written in 2012 can’t contain new developments added in the past eight years.  Somehow, search engines use their own criteria for listing certain articles first in line. Whenever using any search engine, add "most current" to your request. Otherwise, you’re depending on whatever a search engine wants you to read.