An ex-Googler called Marissa Mayer appeared on the Freakonomics podcast to go over the topic of whether Google is getting worse. Mayer suggested that asking why Google Browse is becoming worse is the wrong question. Her explanation of what is incorrect turns the spotlight back online itself.
Why Marissa Mayer’s Opinion Matters
Marissa Mayer was staff member # 20 at Google, managing engineers, becoming director of customer web products and belonged of the three-person group that worked on producing AdWords.
Mayer dealt with lots of projects, 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 become the president and CEO of Yahoo! for five years.
There are couple of individuals on the planet with her level of expert understanding of and history with search, which makes her views about the present state of search of great interest.
Freakonomics Podcast: Is Google Getting Worse?
The host of the podcast began the show by explaining how in their experience Google is not as great as it utilized to be.
“The power of that discovery faded, as discoveries do, and we all started to take Google for given.
When you needed some details, you just typed a couple of words into the search box and, very quickly, you got the answer you were looking for, generally from an authoritative source.
However today? To me, a minimum of, it doesn’t feel the exact same.
My search results page just don’t appear as helpful.
I seem like I’m seeing more advertisements, more links that may too 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 way she sees it, Google is just a window onto the Internet.
Mayer shared her viewpoint:
“I do think the quality of the Internet has 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 straightforward.
It sounds like a lot, but 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 variety of URLs is the reason search results page 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 interesting and sophisticated idea is if you state, ‘Wait, but Google’s simply a window onto the web. The real question is, why is the web becoming worse?’ “
Why is the Web Worsening?
The host of the show supported the concept that the issue is that the Internet is becoming worse and, as Marissa suggested, he asked her why the web getting worse.
Mayer offered a description that deflects from Google and lays blame for poor search results page on the web itself.
She explained the reason why the web is worse:
“I think due to the fact that there’s a lot of economic reward for false information, for clicks, for purchases.
There’s a lot more fraud online today than there was 20 years ago.
And I think that the web has actually been able to grow and establish as rapidly as it has since of less guideline and because it’s so worldwide.
But we likewise have to take the flipside of that.
In a reasonably unregulated area, there’s going to be, you know, financial mis-incentives that can sometimes deteriorate quality.
Which does put a great deal of onus on the brokers who are browsing that information to attempt and overcome that. And it’s challenging.
It type of has to be more, in my view, an ecosystem-style reaction, instead of just an easy correction from one star.”
Is the Problem Really the Web?
The idea that the Internet is low quality because it is fairly uncontrolled is arguable.
There are federal government companies devoted to safeguarding consumers from deceptive online activities. One example is the United States government Federal Trade Commission standards on marketing, recommendations and marketing. These guidelines are the reason that sites divulge they are benefiting from affiliate links.
Google itself likewise controls the Internet through its publishing guidelines. Failure to abide by Google’s guidelines can lead to exemption from the search engine result.
Google’s capability to manage the Web extends to the quality of material itself as evidenced by the fact that out of eight algorithm updates in 2022, 6 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 focused 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 concentrated on motivating an “ecosystem-style reaction” aligns with Marissa Mayer’s observation that the issue with search is the websites and not Google.
Is Google Search even worse since sites 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 Worsening?
Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero