An ex-Googler named Marissa Mayer appeared on the Freakonomics podcast to go over the subject of whether Google is worsening. Mayer suggested that asking why Google Search is getting worse is the incorrect concern. Her description of what is incorrect turns the spotlight back on the internet itself.
Why Marissa Mayer’s Viewpoint Matters
Marissa Mayer was employee # 20 at Google, overseeing engineers, becoming director of consumer web items and belonged of the three-person group that worked on producing 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 Place Providers.
She eventually left Google to end up being the president and CEO of Yahoo! for five years.
There are couple of people worldwide with her level of expert knowledge of and history with search, which makes her views about the existing state of search of fantastic interest.
Freakonomics Podcast: Is Google Becoming Worse?
The host of the podcast began the program by describing how in their experience Google is not as good as it used to be.
“The power of that revelation faded, as revelations do, and all of us began to take Google for granted.
When you needed some info, you simply typed a couple of words into the search box and, really quickly, you got the response you were trying to find, typically from a reliable source.
But today? To me, at least, it doesn’t feel the very same.
My search results page simply do not seem as beneficial.
I feel like I’m seeing more ads, more links that may as well be advertisements, and more links to spammy websites.”
Marissa Mayer Says Google is Simply a Window
Marissa Mayer agreed that the search experience is various today.
But in her viewpoint the problem isn’t Google. The way she sees it, Google is just a window onto the Internet.
Mayer shared her opinion:
“I do think the quality of the Internet has actually taken a hit.
… When I started at Google, there were about 30 million websites, so crawling them all and indexing them all was relatively uncomplicated.
It sounds like a lot, but it’s little.
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 number of URLs is the reason search engine result are worse.
Mayer responded to:
“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 intriguing and advanced thought is if you say, ‘Wait, however Google’s simply a window onto the web. The real concern is, why is the web becoming worse?’ “
Why is the Web Worsening?
The host of the show went along with the concept that the issue is that the Web is becoming worse and, as Marissa suggested, he asked her why the web becoming worse.
Mayer offered a description that deflects from Google and lays blame for bad search engine result online itself.
She discussed the reason why the web is even worse:
“I believe 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 twenty years earlier.
And I believe that the web has had the ability to grow and develop as rapidly as it has due to the fact that of less policy and because it’s so international.
However we likewise have to take the flipside of that.
In a reasonably uncontrolled area, there’s going to be, you know, economic mis-incentives that can in some cases deteriorate quality.
And that does put a great deal of onus on the brokers who are browsing that details to attempt and overcome that. And it’s hard.
It kind of needs to be more, in my view, an ecosystem-style reaction, rather than just an easy correction from one actor.”
Is the Issue Really the Internet?
The idea that the Internet is low quality since it is relatively unregulated is arguable.
There are government firms devoted to safeguarding customers from fraudulent online activities. One example is the United States federal government Federal Trade Commission standards on marketing, recommendations and marketing. These rules are the reason websites disclose they are benefiting from affiliate links.
Google itself likewise manages the Web through its publishing guidelines. Failure to follow Google’s standards can result in exclusion from the search engine result.
Google’s capability to regulate the Web reaches the quality of material itself as evidenced by the fact that out of eight algorithm updates in 2022, six of them were concentrated on spam, product reviews and demoting unhelpful content.
It might be stated that Google’s algorithm updates shows that Google is more concentrated on repairing Internet content than it is on enhancing the technology for returning appropriate search results page.
That so much of Google’s efforts is concentrated on encouraging an “ecosystem-style response” lines up with Marissa Mayer’s observation that the problem with search is the websites and not Google.
Is Google Search 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 Getting Worse?
Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero