An ex-Googler named Marissa Mayer appeared on the Freakonomics podcast to go over the subject of whether Google is worsening. Mayer recommended that asking why Google Search is worsening is the incorrect concern. Her explanation of what is wrong turns the spotlight back online itself.
Why Marissa Mayer’s Viewpoint Matters
Marissa Mayer was worker # 20 at Google, supervising engineers, ending up being director of consumer web products and belonged of the three-person group that worked on developing AdWords.
Mayer worked on lots of projects, consisting of Google Images, News, Maps, and Gmail. She was at one point in charge of Regional, Maps, and Location Solutions.
She ultimately left Google to end up being the president and CEO of Yahoo! for 5 years.
There are few individuals worldwide with her level of specialist understanding of and history with search, that makes her views about the present state of search of fantastic interest.
Freakonomics Podcast: Is Google Worsening?
The host of the podcast started out the show by explaining how in their experience Google is not as great as it used to be.
“The power of that discovery faded, as revelations do, and we all started to take Google for granted.
When you required some info, you simply typed a couple of words into the search box and, very quickly, you got the response you were searching for, usually from a reliable source.
But today? To me, at least, it doesn’t feel the very same.
My search results just do not appear as helpful.
I seem like I’m seeing more ads, more links that might as well be advertisements, and more links to spammy web pages.”
Marissa Mayer Says Google is Simply a Window
Marissa Mayer concurred that the search experience is different today.
However in her viewpoint the problem isn’t Google. The method she sees it, Google is just a window onto the Web.
Mayer shared her viewpoint:
“I do believe the quality of the Web has actually taken a hit.
… When I began at Google, there were about 30 million web pages, so crawling them all and indexing them all was reasonably straightforward.
It seems like a lot, however it’s little.
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 variety of URLs is the reason that search engine result are even worse.
“When you see the quality of your search engine result go down, it’s natural to blame Google and resemble, ‘Why are they worse?’
To me, the more interesting and advanced thought is if you say, ‘Wait, but Google’s just a window onto the web. The real question is, why is the web worsening?’ “
Why is the Web Getting Worse?
The host of the program accompanied the idea that the issue is that the Internet is worsening and, as Marissa recommended, he asked her why the web becoming worse.
Mayer provided a description that deflects from Google and lays blame for bad search results online itself.
She discussed the reason why the web is worse:
“I believe because there’s a lot of economic incentive for misinformation, for clicks, for purchases.
There’s a lot more fraud on the web today than there was twenty years earlier.
And I think that the web has had the ability to grow and establish as quickly as it has since of less regulation and due to the fact that it’s so worldwide.
But we likewise have to take the flipside of that.
In a reasonably uncontrolled area, there’s going to be, you know, financial mis-incentives that can in some cases break down quality.
And that does put a lot of onus on the brokers who are searching that details to try and get rid of that. And it’s hard.
It kind of has to be more, in my view, an ecosystem-style reaction, instead of just an easy correction from one actor.”
Is the Problem Really the Web?
The concept that the Web is low quality because it is reasonably uncontrolled is debatable.
There are federal government agencies devoted to safeguarding customers from deceptive online activities. One example is the United States government Federal Trade Commission guidelines on marketing, endorsements and marketing. These rules are the reason that websites disclose they are profiting from affiliate links.
Google itself also manages the Web through its publishing guidelines. Failure to follow Google’s standards can lead to exclusion from the search engine result.
Google’s capability to control the Web extends to the quality of content itself as evidenced by the truth that out of 8 algorithm updates in 2022, six of them were concentrated on spam, product reviews and demoting unhelpful material.
It could be said that Google’s algorithm updates proves that Google is more concentrated on repairing Internet content than it is on improving the innovation for returning appropriate search engine result.
That a lot of Google’s efforts is focused on encouraging an “ecosystem-style reaction” lines up with Marissa Mayer’s observation that the problem with search is the sites and not Google.
Is Google Search even worse because websites today are even 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