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 worsening is the wrong concern. Her explanation of what is incorrect turns the spotlight back on the internet itself.
Why Marissa Mayer’s Opinion Matters
Marissa Mayer was staff member # 20 at Google, supervising engineers, ending up being director of consumer web items and belonged of the three-person team that dealt with creating AdWords.
Mayer dealt with numerous jobs, including Google Images, News, Maps, and Gmail. She was at one point in charge of Local, Maps, and Location Services.
She eventually left Google to end up being the president and CEO of Yahoo! for five years.
There are couple of people in the world with her level of expert understanding of and history with search, that makes her views about the present state of search of terrific interest.
Freakonomics Podcast: Is Google Becoming Worse?
The host of the podcast started the show by explaining how in their experience Google is not as excellent as it used to be.
“The power of that revelation faded, as revelations do, and all of us began to take Google for given.
When you needed some info, you simply typed a couple of words into the search box and, extremely rapidly, you got the answer you were searching for, generally from an authoritative source.
However today? To me, at least, it doesn’t feel the same.
My search results page simply do not appear as beneficial.
I seem like I’m seeing more advertisements, more links that may as well be ads, and more links to spammy web pages.”
Marissa Mayer States Google is Simply a Window
Marissa Mayer agreed that the search experience is different today.
But in her opinion 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 Internet has actually taken a hit.
… When I began at Google, there had to do with 30 million websites, so crawling them all and indexing them all was fairly simple.
It sounds 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 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 page go down, it’s natural to blame Google and resemble, ‘Why are they worse?’
To me, the more interesting and sophisticated thought is if you say, ‘Wait, but Google’s simply a window onto the web. The real concern is, why is the web becoming worse?’ “
Why is the Web Becoming Worse?
The host of the show accompanied the concept that the problem is that the Internet is getting worse and, as Marissa recommended, he asked her why the web worsening.
Mayer provided an explanation that deflects from Google and lays blame for poor search results online itself.
She explained the reason why the web is even worse:
“I think because there’s a great deal of economic reward for false information, for clicks, for purchases.
There’s a lot more fraud on the web today than there was 20 years back.
And I believe that the web has actually been able to grow and establish as rapidly as it has because of less policy and since it’s so global.
But we likewise need to take the flipside of that.
In a reasonably unregulated space, there’s going to be, you know, financial mis-incentives that can often break down quality.
And that does put a lot of onus on the brokers who are searching that info to try and conquer that. And it’s challenging.
It type of has to be more, in my view, an ecosystem-style response, rather than simply an easy correction from one star.”
Is the Problem Really the Internet?
The concept that the Internet is poor quality since it is relatively uncontrolled is arguable.
There are federal government agencies devoted to safeguarding customers from fraudulent online activities. One example is the United States federal government Federal Trade Commission guidelines on marketing, endorsements and marketing. These rules are the reason websites disclose they are profiting from affiliate links.
Google itself likewise regulates the Web through its publishing guidelines. Failure to abide by Google’s guidelines can lead to exclusion from the search results page.
Google’s ability to control the Web extends to the quality of content itself as evidenced by the reality that out of eight algorithm updates in 2022, six of them were focused on spam, product evaluations and benching unhelpful material.
It could be stated that Google’s algorithm updates proves that Google is more focused on repairing Web material than it is on enhancing the technology for returning relevant search engine result.
That a lot of Google’s efforts is concentrated on motivating an “ecosystem-style response” lines up with Marissa Mayer’s observation that the issue with search is the sites and not Google.
Is Google Browse even worse since sites today are even worse or is the problem 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