The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

The battle for internet equality and how Google has most to lose

I found this post interesting.  Looking beyond the philosophical points in the post, the central theme is that Google search is deteriorating in quality.  When I think about it, I have to agree.  I am a Google addict and that’s all I use for my internet experiences. 

But when I see the search results, more and more I am scanning them and trying to pick the one that is most likely to be the answer I seek before I click.  I do not want to be the algorithm.

But I am not certain it is getting consistently worse.  Rather it varies, which makes sense as Google adapt their algorithm.

The central theme of the post is that algorithmic searching has been gamed by affiliate marketing sites, although he does not come out and say that.  It confuses the reader by flipping the conversation towards social search.  There is no evidence of social search getting any consequential traction to my knowledge.

There is no question there is gaming on the advertising side of Google as reflected in adwords and sponsored search results.  I know that because I know people who do that, and do it very successfully.

Trouble In the House of Google | Coding Horror

I can’t help noticing that we’re not the only site to have serious problems with Google search results in the last few months. In fact, the drum beat of deteriorating Google search quality has been practically deafening of late:

Anecdotally, my personal search results have also been noticeably worse lately. As part of Christmas shopping for my wife, I searched for "iPhone 4 case" in Google. I had to give up completely on the first two pages of search results as utterly useless, and searched Amazon instead.

People whose opinions I respect have all been echoing the same sentiment — Google, the once essential tool, is somehow losing its edge. The spammers, scrapers, and SEO’ed-to-the-hilt content farms are winning.

Like any sane person, I’m rooting for Google in this battle, and I’d love nothing more than for Google to tweak a few algorithmic knobs and make this entire blog entry moot. Still, this is the first time since 2000 that I can recall Google search quality ever declining, and it has inspired some rather heretical thoughts in me — are we seeing the first signs that algorithmic search has failed as a strategy? Is the next generation of search destined to be less algorithmic and more social?

Where this post misses is on the assumption that search will live or die on  algorithmic or social.  Lets not forget affiliate marketing (my most hated).  Between those three picks, I truly hope algorithmic wins – the other two can always be gamed.

Written by Colin Henderson

January 6, 2011 at 01:22

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SEO News. SEO News said: http://goo.gl/LWoi The battle for internet equality and how Google has most to lose: I found this post interesti… http://bit.ly/esC13h […]

  2. Another couple of interesting posts about the decline of Google are on Grant McCracken’s CultureBy blog — http://cultureby.com/

    Especially interested in the Dec 30 post — “Google destroys its brand difference”

    Rob Burbach

    January 6, 2011 at 09:09

  3. Rob .. That is an interesting post on Google forcing location to be displayed and the effect it had on Grant. Its getting interesting.

    Colin Henderson

    January 6, 2011 at 14:26


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