Ex-Googler Marissa Mayer in a podcast on the topic of why Google search is so bad described that it wasn’t Google that was bad it was the Web. Then she suggested that one of the factors for keeping users on Google is because the web isn’t always a great experience.
Ex-Googler Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer was employee # 20 at Google. She played crucial roles in practically all of Google’s significant items, consisting of Google search, regional, images, and AdWords, to name a few.
She left Google to become president and CEO of Yahoo! for 5 years.
Mayer was not only there at the beginning of Google however played a role in shaping the business, which gives her a special point of view on the company and its thinking, to some extent.
What is the Factor for Zero-Click SERPs?
Marissa Mayer appeared on a current Freakonomics podcast that was on the topic of, Is Google Getting Worse?
In one part of the podcast she insisted that Google search is just a mirror and does not produce the low quality of the search results.
She asserted that if the search engine result are worse that’s just because the Internet is worse.
The podcast then moves on to go over featured bits, what some in the search marketing community call zero-click search results page.
They’re called zero-click due to the fact that Google shows the information a user requires on the search results page so that the users get their response without having to click through to a website.
Google officially says that these search features are developed to be practical.
Marissa Mayer opined that another inspiration to keep individuals from clicking to a website is due to the fact that the quality of the Internet is so bad.
The podcast host started the conversation with his analysis of what featured snippets are:
“One way Google has actually attempted to fight the total decline in quality is by supplementing its index of a trillion websites with some material of its own.
If you ask an easy question about cooking or the age of some politician or actor, or perhaps what’s the best podcast, you might see what Mayer calls an ‘inline result,’ or what Google calls a ‘highlighted bit.’
It’s a little text that addresses your concern right there on the search-results page, without any requirement to click a link.”
Mayer provided her opinion that Google may be “reluctant” to refer users to websites.
“I believe that Google is more hesitant to send out users out into the web.
And to me, you understand, that points to a natural stress where they’re saying,
‘Wait, we see that the web sometimes isn’t a fantastic experience for our searchers to continue onto. We’re keeping them on our page.’
People might perceive that and state,
‘Well, they’re keeping them on the page because that helps them make more cash, gives them more control.’
However my sense is that recent uptick in the number of inline outcomes is since they are worried about a few of the low-grade experiences out on the internet.
I believe that the problem is really tough.
You might not like the manner in which Google’s resolving it at the moment, but offered how the web is changing and developing, I’m unsure that the old technique, if reapplied, would do as well as you ‘d like it to.”
What Is the Inspiration Behind Included Bits?
The reason Google provides for providing featured snippets in the search results is that they are convenient for users.
Google’s assistance files discuss:
“We display featured snippets when our systems determine this format will assist people more easily find what they’re seeking, both from the description about the page and when they click the link to read the page itself. They’re especially practical for those on mobile or browsing by voice.”
Marissa Mayer’s opinion matters because she played a crucial function in forming Google, from Search to AdWords to Gmail.
Certainly she’s only using her viewpoint and not stating a reality that Google is reluctant to send out traffic to sites because the quality of the Internet is bad.
However could there be something to her observation that Google is simply a mirror and that websites today are not very good?
Think about that in 2022, there were 8 officially acknowledged Google updates.
Of those eight updates, six of them updates were spam updates, useful content updates and product evaluation updates.
Most of Google’s updates in 2022 were developed to eliminate low quality web material from the search results.
That concentrate on weeding out poor quality sites lines up with Marissa Mayer’s view that the Web today has plenty of poor quality material.
The history of Google’s algorithm updates in 2022 conforms to Marissa Mayer’s observation that web content is bad and that it impacts the quality of search results page.
She said that she gets a sense that Google may be “concerned about a few of the low-grade experiences out online,” and that is among the reasons it may be “reluctant” to send out traffic to sites.
Could Marissa Mayer be stating out loud what Googlers might not state in public?
Listen to the Freakonomics podcast here
Is Google Becoming Worse?
Included image by Best SMM Panel/Koldunov