An ex-Googler named Marissa Mayer appeared on the Freakonomics podcast to talk about the topic of whether Google is worsening. Mayer suggested that asking why Google Browse is becoming worse is the wrong question. 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, supervising engineers, ending up being director of customer web products and was a part of the three-person group that dealt with creating AdWords.
Mayer dealt with numerous projects, including Google Images, News, Maps, and Gmail. She was at one point in charge of Regional, Maps, and Place Services.
She eventually left Google to end up being the president and CEO of Yahoo! for five years.
There are couple of individuals worldwide with her level of expert understanding of and history with search, that makes her views about the current state of search of excellent interest.
Freakonomics Podcast: Is Google Becoming Worse?
The host of the podcast started the program by describing how in their experience Google is not as good as it used to be.
“The power of that discovery faded, as discoveries do, and all of us started to take Google for granted.
When you required some info, you just typed a couple of words into the search box and, really quickly, you got the answer you were looking for, usually from an authoritative source.
But today? To me, at least, it doesn’t feel the very same.
My search engine result simply do not appear as beneficial.
I feel like I’m seeing more advertisements, more links that might as well be ads, and more links to spammy web pages.”
Marissa Mayer States Google is Simply a Window
Marissa Mayer concurred that the search experience is various today.
But in her viewpoint the issue isn’t Google. The way she sees it, Google is just 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 straightforward.
It seems like a lot, however it’s small.
Today, I believe there was one point where Google had seen more than a trillion URLs.”
The host of the show asked if the increase in the variety of URLs is the reason search results page are worse.
“When you see the quality of your search engine result decrease, it’s natural to blame Google and resemble, ‘Why are they even worse?’
To me, the more intriguing and advanced idea is if you state, ‘Wait, but Google’s simply a window onto the web. The real concern is, why is the web getting worse?’ “
Why is the Web Worsening?
The host of the program accompanied the concept that the issue is that the Internet is becoming worse and, as Marissa suggested, he asked her why the web getting worse.
Mayer used an explanation that deflects from Google and lays blame for poor search results online itself.
She explained the reason that the web is worse:
“I believe because there’s a lot of economic incentive for false information, for clicks, for purchases.
There’s a lot more scams on the internet today than there was twenty years earlier.
And I believe that the web has actually had the ability to grow and develop as quickly as it has since of less regulation and due to the fact that it’s so international.
But we also need to take the flipside of that.
In a reasonably unregulated space, there’s going to be, you understand, financial mis-incentives that can sometimes deteriorate quality.
Which does put a lot of onus on the brokers who are browsing that information to try and conquer that. And it’s hard.
It kind of has to be more, in my view, an ecosystem-style response, instead of just a basic correction from one star.”
Is the Issue Really the Internet?
The concept that the Web is poor quality due to the fact that it is fairly unregulated is debatable.
There are government companies devoted to protecting consumers from deceitful online activities. One example is the United States government Federal Trade Commission standards on marketing, endorsements and marketing. These rules are the reason sites disclose they are making money from affiliate links.
Google itself likewise manages the Web through its publishing guidelines. Failure to follow Google’s guidelines can result in exemption from the search results.
Google’s capability to regulate the Web encompasses the quality of content itself as evidenced by the reality that out of 8 algorithm updates in 2022, 6 of them were concentrated on spam, item reviews and demoting unhelpful material.
It might be stated that Google’s algorithm updates proves that Google is more concentrated on fixing Internet material than it is on enhancing the technology for returning relevant search results.
That so much 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 Search even worse due to the fact that websites today are worse or is the problem with Google itself and they just can’t see it?
Listen to the Freakonomics podcast:
Is Google Worsening?
Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero