An ex-Googler named Marissa Mayer appeared on the Freakonomics podcast to discuss the subject of whether Google is becoming worse. Mayer recommended that asking why Google Browse is becoming worse is the incorrect concern. Her explanation of what is incorrect turns the spotlight back on the web itself.
Why Marissa Mayer’s Viewpoint Matters
Marissa Mayer was staff member # 20 at Google, managing engineers, ending up being director of customer web items and belonged of the three-person team that worked on creating AdWords.
Mayer dealt with lots of jobs, including Google Images, News, Maps, and Gmail. She was at one point in charge of Local, Maps, and Location Providers.
She eventually left Google to become the president and CEO of Yahoo! for 5 years.
There are few people on the planet with her level of professional understanding of and history with search, that makes her views about the existing state of search of fantastic interest.
Freakonomics Podcast: Is Google Getting Worse?
The host of the podcast began the show by describing how in their experience Google is not as good as it utilized to be.
“The power of that revelation faded, as revelations do, and all of us began to take Google for granted.
When you required some info, you simply typed a few words into the search box and, extremely rapidly, you got the answer you were looking for, usually from an authoritative 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 advertisements, more links that might too be advertisements, and more links to spammy websites.”
Marissa Mayer Says Google is Simply a Window
Marissa Mayer concurred that the search experience is different today.
But in her viewpoint the problem isn’t Google. The method she sees it, Google is only a window onto the Internet.
Mayer shared her viewpoint:
“I do believe the quality of the Web has actually taken a hit.
… When I started at Google, there were about 30 million web pages, so crawling them all and indexing them all was reasonably simple.
It seems like a lot, however it’s small.
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 boost in the variety of URLs is the reason that search results are even worse.
Mayer responded to:
“When you see the quality of your search engine result decrease, it’s natural to blame Google and be like, ‘Why are they worse?’
To me, the more fascinating and advanced idea is if you say, ‘Wait, however 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 show 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 a description that deflects from Google and lays blame for bad search results on the internet itself.
She explained the reason the web is even worse:
“I believe since there’s a great deal of financial incentive for false information, for clicks, for purchases.
There’s a lot more fraud on the web today than there was twenty years back.
And I think that the web has actually had the ability to grow and develop as quickly as it has because of less regulation and due to the fact that it’s so global.
However we likewise need to take the flipside of that.
In a fairly unregulated area, there’s going to be, you understand, economic mis-incentives that can in some cases deteriorate quality.
Which does put a great deal of onus on the brokers who are browsing that info to try and get rid of that. And it’s tough.
It type of has to be more, in my view, an ecosystem-style reaction, rather than simply a simple correction from one star.”
Is the Problem Really the Web?
The idea that the Web is poor quality since it is relatively unregulated is arguable.
There are federal government companies devoted to safeguarding customers from deceptive online activities. One example is the United States government Federal Trade Commission standards on advertising, recommendations and marketing. These guidelines are the reason that websites divulge they are profiting from affiliate links.
Google itself also regulates the Web through its publishing guidelines. Failure to comply with Google’s standards can result in exclusion from the search engine result.
Google’s capability to manage the Web encompasses 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, item reviews and benching unhelpful content.
It could be stated that Google’s algorithm updates proves that Google is more focused on repairing Internet material than it is on enhancing the technology for returning pertinent search results page.
That a lot of Google’s efforts is concentrated on encouraging an “ecosystem-style reaction” aligns with Marissa Mayer’s observation that the problem 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 Becoming Worse?
Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero