Google and bad press

This article is sort of old news, but it was new news right before the hurricane hit, so I am only just now getting around to posting about it. Eweek is talking about whether or not we need another IM client, but that is not the part that really caught my eye (although I agree we do not need another one). What really interested me was the following bits where the author bemoans the fading quality of SERPs that Google has been putting out. For years, every time a Google update happens, those who fall in the rankings start saying that the Google demise is near. That is normal and to be expected, and everyone else lets them know that they are just dead wrong. However, the tide is turning. For the past year, Google has increasingly gotten bad press and it is starting to come from the mainstream, rather than just from disenchanted webmasters. I think this is significant, but only time will tell. In any case, you can read the full article here, but below are the comments I thought were noteworthy.

Today, Google is still the best search engine, but the others, MSN especially, are catching up. Google's biggest challenge, however, is the continued decay of its results. Google isn't as open as it once was in talking about how it determines placement of its results. I just know that as Google has made moves into several other businesses, its core search business seems sick and hasn't gotten better. People I know are leaving Google for other search engines. Particularly troublesome are all the sites that show up at the top of Google's rankings that really aren't sites at all, except that they lead you to other search results, auction sites, or whatever. Google ought to be able to get rid of this Internet flotsam but so far has failed to do so. But, let's imagine Google could find a way to dump this pseudo-content, I still wonder if Google's results haven't become too expansive. I can't prove this at all scientifically but my gut is that Google presents way too much content in its results, having the effect of diluting the "right" content that most people are looking for.

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