An ex-Googler named Marissa Mayer appeared on the Freakonomics podcast to go over the topic of whether Google is getting worse. Mayer suggested that asking why Google Search is worsening is the wrong question. Her description of what is wrong turns the spotlight back online itself.
Why Marissa Mayer’s Viewpoint Matters
Marissa Mayer was worker # 20 at Google, overseeing engineers, becoming director of customer web items and belonged of the three-person team that dealt with developing AdWords.
Mayer worked on many projects, including Google Images, News, Maps, and Gmail. She was at one point in charge of Regional, Maps, and Location Providers.
She ultimately left Google to become the president and CEO of Yahoo! for five years.
There are couple of people in the world with her level of professional understanding of and history with search, which makes her views about the existing state of search of excellent interest.
Freakonomics Podcast: Is Google Getting Worse?
The host of the podcast started out the program by explaining how in their experience Google is not as good as it used to be.
“The power of that discovery faded, as revelations do, and all of us began to take Google for given.
When you needed some info, you simply typed a couple of words into the search box and, very rapidly, you got the answer you were looking for, usually from an authoritative source.
However today? To me, a minimum of, it does not feel the very same.
My search results just don’t seem as useful.
I seem like I’m seeing more advertisements, more links that might also be advertisements, and more links to spammy websites.”
Marissa Mayer Says Google is Just a Window
Marissa Mayer agreed that the search experience is different today.
But in her opinion the issue isn’t Google. The method she sees it, Google is just a window onto the Internet.
Mayer shared her viewpoint:
“I do think the quality of the Internet has actually taken a hit.
… When I started at Google, there had to do with 30 million web pages, so crawling them all and indexing them all was relatively simple.
It sounds like a lot, but it’s little.
Today, I believe there was one point where Google had actually seen more than a trillion URLs.”
The host of the show asked if the boost in the variety of URLs is the reason that search results are even worse.
“When you see the quality of your search results page go down, it’s natural to blame Google and be like, ‘Why are they even worse?’
To me, the more fascinating and sophisticated thought is if you state, ‘Wait, but Google’s just a window onto the web. The genuine concern is, why is the web worsening?’ “
Why is the Web Getting Worse?
The host of the show accompanied the idea that the problem is that the Web is worsening and, as Marissa suggested, he asked her why the web worsening.
Mayer used a description that deflects from Google and lays blame for bad search results on the web itself.
She described the reason the web is worse:
“I think because there’s a lot of economic incentive for misinformation, for clicks, for purchases.
There’s a lot more scams online today than there was 20 years earlier.
And I believe that the web has actually had the ability to grow and develop as quickly as it has because of less policy and due to the fact that it’s so international.
However we likewise need to take the flipside of that.
In a reasonably uncontrolled space, there’s going to be, you understand, economic mis-incentives that can often degrade quality.
Which does put a great deal of onus on the brokers who are browsing that info to attempt and get rid of that. And it’s challenging.
It type of needs to be more, in my view, an ecosystem-style reaction, instead of just an easy correction from one star.”
Is the Issue Really the Internet?
The concept that the Web is low quality since it is fairly unregulated is debatable.
There are government firms dedicated to protecting consumers from fraudulent online activities. One example is the United States government Federal Trade Commission standards on advertising, endorsements and marketing. These guidelines are the reason websites divulge they are making money from affiliate links.
Google itself likewise controls the Internet through its publishing standards. Failure to follow Google’s guidelines can result in exemption from the search engine result.
Google’s ability to manage the Web encompasses the quality of material itself as evidenced by the fact that out of 8 algorithm updates in 2022, six of them were focused on spam, item reviews and benching unhelpful content.
It might be said that Google’s algorithm updates shows that Google is more concentrated on repairing Web content than it is on enhancing the innovation for returning relevant search results page.
That so much of Google’s efforts is focused on motivating an “ecosystem-style reaction” lines up with Marissa Mayer’s observation that the issue with search is the sites and not Google.
Is Google Browse even worse since sites today are worse or is the problem with Google itself and they just can’t see it?
Listen to the Freakonomics podcast:
Is Google Worsening?
Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero