Does Greed Corrupt Google Search Quality?

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Does Greed Corrupt Google Search Quality?

    Three rants about the decline for Google search quality highlight a phenomenon the better minds of Mountain View can’t afford to ignore, says culture blogger Anil Dash. Or can they?

    The company is eating its proverbial tail by hawking key words that deliver more spam, not useful results,  says Infectious Greed’s Paul Kedrosky.

    “I avoid searching for things that are likely to score high in Google keyword searches. Appliances are an example, but there are many more, most of which I use mechanisms other than broad search. Second, it has made me more willing to pay for things. In this case I ended up paying for a Consumer Reports review of dishwashers — the opportunity cost of continuing to try to sort through the info-crap in Google results was simply too high.”

    Broadstuff identifies the core of the problem for Google’s corporate culture. The company, he says,

    “is trying to navigate a line between income (systemically the more spam there is, the more Ad money it makes) and usefulness (how much spam can you run before the user walks away) and has veered too far to the spamside.”

    Dash says the company has to recognize the problem.

    “What is worth noting now is that, half a decade after so many people began unquestioningly modifying their sites to serve Google’s needs better, there may start to be enough critical mass for the pendulum to swing back to earlier days, when Google modified its workings to suit the web’s existing behaviors.”


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