An ex-Googler called Marissa Mayer appeared on the Freakonomics podcast to talk about the topic of whether Google is worsening. Mayer suggested that asking why Google Browse is becoming worse is the incorrect concern. Her explanation of what is wrong turns the spotlight back on the internet itself.
Why Marissa Mayer’s Viewpoint Matters
Marissa Mayer was staff member # 20 at Google, overseeing engineers, ending up being director of consumer web products and was a part of the three-person team that dealt with producing AdWords.
Mayer dealt with numerous tasks, consisting of Google Images, News, Maps, and Gmail. She was at one point in charge of Local, Maps, and Area Solutions.
She ultimately left Google to become the president and CEO of Yahoo! for 5 years.
There are couple of individuals 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 excellent interest.
Freakonomics Podcast: Is Google Getting Worse?
The host of the podcast started the program by describing how in their experience Google is not as excellent as it used to be.
“The power of that discovery faded, as revelations do, and we all started to take Google for given.
When you needed some details, you simply typed a few words into the search box and, extremely quickly, you got the response you were looking for, normally from a reliable source.
However today? To me, a minimum of, it does not feel the same.
My search engine result simply do not appear as beneficial.
I feel like I’m seeing more advertisements, more links that may as well be ads, and more links to spammy websites.”
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 only a window onto the Internet.
Mayer shared her viewpoint:
“I do think 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 uncomplicated.
It sounds like a lot, however it’s little.
Today, I believe there was one point where Google had actually seen more than a trillion URLs.”
The host of the program asked if the increase in the variety of URLs is the reason why search engine result are even worse.
“When you see the quality of your search results go down, it’s natural to blame Google and be like, ‘Why are they worse?’
To me, the more interesting 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 getting worse?’ “
Why is the Web Becoming Worse?
The host of the program supported the idea that the problem is that the Internet is worsening and, as Marissa suggested, he asked her why the web worsening.
Mayer offered an explanation that deflects from Google and lays blame for poor search engine result on the web itself.
She discussed the reason why the web is even worse:
“I think since there’s a lot of financial incentive for false information, for clicks, for purchases.
There’s a lot more fraud on the internet today than there was 20 years back.
And I believe that the web has been able to grow and develop as rapidly as it has because of less policy and due to the fact that it’s so international.
But we likewise have to take the flipside of that.
In a fairly unregulated space, there’s going to be, you know, financial mis-incentives that can sometimes degrade quality.
Which does put a lot of onus on the brokers who are browsing that information to attempt and get rid of that. And it’s hard.
It sort 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 concept that the Internet is poor quality since it is fairly uncontrolled is arguable.
There are government agencies devoted to safeguarding customers from deceitful online activities. One example is the United States government Federal Trade Commission standards on advertising, recommendations and marketing. These rules are the reason why sites divulge they are benefiting from affiliate links.
Google itself likewise controls the Internet through its publishing guidelines. Failure to follow Google’s standards can lead to exemption from the search results page.
Google’s capability to manage the Internet extends to the quality of content itself as evidenced by the fact that out of eight algorithm updates in 2022, 6 of them were concentrated on spam, product evaluations and demoting unhelpful material.
It could be said that Google’s algorithm updates proves that Google is more concentrated on repairing Web content than it is on improving the technology for returning pertinent search engine result.
That a lot of Google’s efforts is focused on encouraging an “ecosystem-style response” aligns with Marissa Mayer’s observation that the issue with search is the sites and not Google.
Is Google Search even worse since sites today are worse or is the issue with Google itself and they simply can’t see it?
Listen to the Freakonomics podcast:
Is Google Becoming Worse?
Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero