An ex-Googler called Marissa Mayer appeared on the Freakonomics podcast to go over the subject of whether Google is becoming worse. Mayer suggested that asking why Google Browse is becoming worse is the wrong concern. Her description of what is incorrect 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 team that dealt with producing 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 Place Solutions.
She eventually left Google to end up being the president and CEO of Yahoo! for 5 years.
There are few people in the world with her level of specialist knowledge of and history with search, which makes her views about the current state of search of great interest.
Freakonomics Podcast: Is Google Becoming Worse?
The host of the podcast started the show by describing how in their experience Google is not as great as it utilized to be.
“The power of that discovery faded, as revelations do, and we all started to take Google for given.
When you required some details, you just typed a few words into the search box and, extremely rapidly, you got the response you were trying to find, generally from an authoritative source.
But today? To me, at least, it doesn’t feel the very same.
My search engine result just do not appear as helpful.
I feel like I’m seeing more ads, more links that might as well be ads, and more links to spammy web pages.”
Marissa Mayer States Google is Just a Window
Marissa Mayer concurred that the search experience is different today.
But in her viewpoint the issue 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 actually taken a hit.
… When I began at Google, there were about 30 million websites, so crawling them all and indexing them all was relatively uncomplicated.
It seems like a lot, but it’s little.
Today, I think there was one point where Google had actually seen more than a trillion URLs.”
The host of the show asked if the increase in the variety of URLs is the reason why search results page are even worse.
Mayer responded to:
“When you see the quality of your search results page decrease, it’s natural to blame Google and resemble, ‘Why are they even worse?’
To me, the more fascinating and advanced thought is if you state, ‘Wait, however Google’s just a window onto the web. The genuine concern is, why is the web becoming worse?’ “
Why is the Web Worsening?
The host of the program accompanied the idea that the issue is that the Internet is getting worse and, as Marissa recommended, he asked her why the web getting worse.
Mayer provided an explanation that deflects from Google and lays blame for bad search engine result online itself.
She described the reason that the web is worse:
“I think since there’s a lot of financial reward for false information, for clicks, for purchases.
There’s a lot more fraud online today than there was twenty years earlier.
And I believe that the web has been able to grow and develop as quickly as it has due to the fact that of less regulation and due to the fact that it’s so worldwide.
However we also have to take the flipside of that.
In a fairly uncontrolled area, there’s going to be, you understand, financial mis-incentives that can in some cases deteriorate 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 tough.
It kind of has to be more, in my view, an ecosystem-style reaction, rather than simply a simple correction from one actor.”
Is the Issue Truly the Web?
The idea that the Web is poor quality due to the fact that it is fairly uncontrolled is arguable.
There are federal government firms devoted to securing customers from fraudulent online activities. One example is the United States federal government Federal Trade Commission guidelines on advertising, recommendations and marketing. These rules are the reason sites disclose they are making money from affiliate links.
Google itself likewise manages the Internet through its publishing standards. Failure to follow Google’s standards can lead to exemption from the search engine result.
Google’s ability to control the Internet encompasses the quality of material itself as evidenced by the truth that out of eight algorithm updates in 2022, six of them were focused on spam, item reviews and demoting unhelpful material.
It might be said that Google’s algorithm updates proves that Google is more concentrated on repairing Internet content than it is on enhancing the innovation for returning relevant search engine result.
That so much of Google’s efforts is concentrated on motivating an “ecosystem-style response” aligns with Marissa Mayer’s observation that the problem with search is the sites and not Google.
Is Google Browse worse because websites today are even worse or is the problem 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