An ex-Googler called Marissa Mayer appeared on the Freakonomics podcast to go over the subject of whether Google is getting worse. Mayer suggested that asking why Google Search is worsening is the incorrect concern. Her description of what is wrong turns the spotlight back on the web itself.
Why Marissa Mayer’s Opinion Matters
Marissa Mayer was staff member # 20 at Google, supervising engineers, ending up being director of customer web items and belonged of the three-person group that dealt with developing AdWords.
Mayer worked on lots of tasks, including Google Images, News, Maps, and Gmail. She was at one point in charge of Regional, Maps, and Area Providers.
She ultimately left Google to become the president and CEO of Yahoo! for 5 years.
There are couple of individuals in the world with her level of professional knowledge of and history with search, which makes her views about the existing state of search of great interest.
Freakonomics Podcast: Is Google Getting Worse?
The host of the podcast started the show by describing how in their experience Google is not as excellent as it utilized to be.
“The power of that discovery faded, as discoveries do, and all of us began to take Google for granted.
When you required some info, you simply typed a couple of words into the search box and, really quickly, you got the response you were trying to find, usually from an authoritative source.
But today? To me, at least, it doesn’t feel the same.
My search results just don’t appear as useful.
I feel like I’m seeing more advertisements, more links that might too be advertisements, and more links to spammy websites.”
Marissa Mayer States Google is Just a Window
Marissa Mayer concurred that the search experience is various today.
However in her opinion the problem isn’t Google. The method she sees it, Google is only a window onto the Web.
Mayer shared her viewpoint:
“I do think the quality of the Internet has taken a hit.
… When I began at Google, there were about 30 million web pages, so crawling them all and indexing them all was relatively simple.
It seems like a lot, however it’s small.
Today, I believe there was one point where Google had seen more than a trillion URLs.”
The host of the program asked if the increase in the number of URLs is the reason search engine result are even worse.
“When you see the quality of your search results go down, it’s natural to blame Google and resemble, ‘Why are they even worse?’
To me, the more fascinating and sophisticated idea is if you state, ‘Wait, however Google’s simply a window onto the web. The real concern is, why is the web worsening?’ “
Why is the Web Worsening?
The host of the program accompanied the concept that the problem is that the Internet is becoming worse and, as Marissa recommended, he asked her why the web worsening.
Mayer used a description that deflects from Google and lays blame for bad search results on the internet itself.
She explained the reason the web is worse:
“I believe since there’s a great deal of economic incentive for misinformation, for clicks, for purchases.
There’s a lot more scams online today than there was 20 years back.
And I think that the web has actually been able to grow and establish as quickly as it has due to the fact that of less guideline and because it’s so worldwide.
But we also need to take the flipside of that.
In a fairly uncontrolled space, there’s going to be, you understand, financial mis-incentives that can often degrade quality.
Which does put a great deal of onus on the brokers who are browsing that information to attempt and get rid of that. And it’s difficult.
It kind of has to be more, in my view, an ecosystem-style response, instead of simply an easy correction from one star.”
Is the Issue Actually the Internet?
The concept that the Web is poor quality due to the fact that it is relatively unregulated is debatable.
There are federal government companies committed to securing consumers from fraudulent online activities. One example is the United States federal government Federal Trade Commission guidelines on marketing, recommendations and marketing. These rules are the reason why websites reveal they are benefiting from affiliate links.
Google itself also regulates the Web through its publishing standards. Failure to comply with Google’s standards can result in exclusion from the search engine result.
Google’s ability to control the Web extends to the quality of content itself as evidenced by the reality that out of eight algorithm updates in 2022, six of them were focused on spam, item evaluations and benching unhelpful material.
It might be stated that Google’s algorithm updates shows that Google is more concentrated on fixing Web content than it is on enhancing the technology for returning relevant search results page.
That so much of Google’s efforts is focused on encouraging an “ecosystem-style response” lines up with Marissa Mayer’s observation that the issue with search is the websites and not Google.
Is Google Search worse due to the fact that sites today are worse or is the issue with Google itself and they just can’t see it?
Listen to the Freakonomics podcast:
Is Google Getting Worse?
Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero