Thursday, January 6, 2011 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Trouble in the House of Google

Jeff Atwood:

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.

Marco Arment:

Google was designed to play the role of a passive observer of the internet: web content was created for people, not specific Google queries, and Google would look around, take inventory of what was available, and give it to people who asked. Google’s general, big-picture algorithms probably haven’t changed much since the days when this was relatively accurate.

But that’s no longer what web content looks like.

I’ve been noticing these problems, too. Very specific, phrased queries used to be gold, but now they often bring up perfectly tailored spam pages.

3 Comments

the launch of Bing could also be a factor, I got the feeling it was a big distraction. I wonder why Google didn't have more faith in the direction they were going and not rush to copy features from Bing that people didn't actually care about. Taste?

Good news for Bing.

"I wonder why Google didn't have more faith in the direction they were going and not rush to copy features from Bing that people didn't actually care about"

Marketing.

Google allows you to report sites that are spam. I turned in about 20 that frequently show up ahead of the sites they're repackaging. I use Stackoverflow.com a lot, and I'm seeing a bunch of other sites with their content. I've been using blekko.com lately, because it allows you to remove sites from your results. Let's hope Google wises up, as I'm also frequently frustrated with their results.

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