An ex-Googler named Marissa Mayer appeared on the Freakonomics podcast to talk about the subject of whether Google is worsening. Mayer suggested that asking why Google Browse is getting worse is the incorrect question. Her explanation of what is incorrect turns the spotlight back on the web itself.
Why Marissa Mayer’s Viewpoint Matters
Marissa Mayer was employee # 20 at Google, overseeing engineers, ending up being director of customer web items and was a part of the three-person team that dealt with developing AdWords.
Mayer dealt with many jobs, including Google Images, News, Maps, and Gmail. She was at one point in charge of Regional, Maps, and Location Providers.
She eventually left Google to become the president and CEO of Yahoo! for five years.
There are few individuals in the world with her level of professional knowledge of and history with search, that makes her views about the existing state of search of excellent interest.
Freakonomics Podcast: Is Google Becoming Worse?
The host of the podcast began the program by explaining how in their experience Google is not as great as it utilized to be.
“The power of that discovery faded, as revelations do, and we all began to take Google for given.
When you required some details, you simply typed a few 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 does not feel the exact same.
My search results simply don’t seem as useful.
I feel like I’m seeing more advertisements, more links that may as well be ads, and more links to spammy web pages.”
Marissa Mayer Says Google is Simply a Window
Marissa Mayer concurred that the search experience is different today.
But in her viewpoint the issue isn’t Google. The method she sees it, Google is just a window onto the Web.
Mayer shared her opinion:
“I do think the quality of the Internet has actually 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 uncomplicated.
It sounds like a lot, but it’s small.
Today, I think there was one point where Google had 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 page are worse.
“When you see the quality of your search engine result go down, it’s natural to blame Google and resemble, ‘Why are they even worse?’
To me, the more intriguing and sophisticated thought is if you say, ‘Wait, however Google’s simply 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 went along with the idea that the issue is that the Web is worsening and, as Marissa suggested, 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 described the reason that the web is even worse:
“I believe since there’s a lot of financial incentive for false information, for clicks, for purchases.
There’s a lot more scams on the internet today than there was 20 years earlier.
And I believe that the web has actually had the ability to grow and develop as rapidly as it has since of less regulation and because it’s so global.
However we also need to take the flipside of that.
In a reasonably uncontrolled space, there’s going to be, you understand, financial mis-incentives that can in some cases break down quality.
And that does put a lot of onus on the brokers who are searching that details to attempt and conquer that. And it’s hard.
It sort of needs to be more, in my view, an ecosystem-style response, instead of just an easy correction from one star.”
Is the Problem Actually the Web?
The concept that the Internet is poor quality because it is fairly unregulated is arguable.
There are government firms dedicated to protecting customers from deceitful online activities. One example is the United States federal government Federal Trade Commission guidelines on advertising, recommendations and marketing. These rules are the reason that sites disclose they are profiting from affiliate links.
Google itself likewise regulates the Web through its publishing standards. Failure to follow Google’s standards can result in exemption from the search engine result.
Google’s ability to regulate the Internet encompasses the quality of material itself as evidenced by the reality that out of 8 algorithm updates in 2022, 6 of them were concentrated on spam, product evaluations and benching unhelpful material.
It could be said that Google’s algorithm updates shows that Google is more concentrated on fixing Internet material than it is on improving the innovation for returning appropriate search results.
That a lot of Google’s efforts is focused on motivating an “ecosystem-style reaction” lines up with Marissa Mayer’s observation that the issue with search is the sites and not Google.
Is Google Browse worse since sites today are even 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