An ex-Googler named Marissa Mayer appeared on the Freakonomics podcast to discuss the subject of whether Google is becoming worse. Mayer suggested that asking why Google Browse is worsening is the incorrect concern. Her description 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, overseeing engineers, becoming director of customer web products and belonged of the three-person team that dealt with producing AdWords.
Mayer dealt with numerous jobs, including Google Images, News, Maps, and Gmail. She was at one point in charge of Regional, Maps, and Area Solutions.
She ultimately left Google to end up being the president and CEO of Yahoo! for 5 years.
There are few individuals in the world with her level of professional knowledge of and history with search, which makes her views about the existing state of search of fantastic interest.
Freakonomics Podcast: Is Google Becoming Worse?
The host of the podcast started the program by explaining how in their experience Google is not as good as it utilized to be.
“The power of that discovery faded, as revelations do, and we all started to take Google for given.
When you required some details, you simply typed a few words into the search box and, really rapidly, you got the response you were searching for, generally from a reliable source.
However today? To me, at least, it doesn’t feel the exact same.
My search engine result simply do not seem as helpful.
I seem like I’m seeing more advertisements, more links that might also be advertisements, and more links to spammy web pages.”
Marissa Mayer States Google is Just a Window
Marissa Mayer agreed that the search experience is different today.
But in her viewpoint the issue isn’t Google. The method she sees it, Google is only a window onto the Internet.
Mayer shared her opinion:
“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 relatively simple.
It sounds like a lot, but 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 boost in the variety of URLs is the reason search results are worse.
“When you see the quality of your search results go down, it’s natural to blame Google and be like, ‘Why are they even worse?’
To me, the more fascinating and sophisticated thought is if you say, ‘Wait, but Google’s simply a window onto the web. The genuine concern is, why is the web becoming worse?’ “
Why is the Web Worsening?
The host of the show accompanied the concept that the problem is that the Web is becoming worse and, as Marissa recommended, he asked her why the web worsening.
Mayer used a description that deflects from Google and lays blame for poor search engine result on the internet itself.
She described the reason the web is worse:
“I believe since there’s a great deal of economic reward for false information, for clicks, for purchases.
There’s a lot more scams online today than there was 20 years back.
And I think that the web has actually had the ability to grow and establish as quickly as it has due to the fact that of less regulation and because it’s so global.
However we likewise need to take the flipside of that.
In a relatively unregulated space, there’s going to be, you know, economic mis-incentives that can sometimes deteriorate quality.
Which does put a lot of onus on the brokers who are searching that information to try and overcome that. And it’s difficult.
It kind of has to be more, in my view, an ecosystem-style reaction, rather than just a basic correction from one actor.”
Is the Problem Really the Internet?
The idea that the Web is poor quality since it is reasonably unregulated is debatable.
There are federal government companies committed to protecting consumers from deceptive online activities. One example is the United States government Federal Trade Commission standards on marketing, recommendations and marketing. These rules are the reason that sites disclose they are benefiting from affiliate links.
Google itself likewise controls the Web through its publishing standards. Failure to abide by Google’s standards can lead to exclusion from the search engine result.
Google’s capability to manage the Web encompasses the quality of material itself as evidenced by the truth that out of eight algorithm updates in 2022, 6 of them were focused on spam, product reviews and demoting unhelpful content.
It might be said that Google’s algorithm updates proves that Google is more focused on repairing Web content than it is on improving the technology for returning pertinent search results.
That a lot of Google’s efforts is concentrated on motivating an “ecosystem-style response” aligns with Marissa Mayer’s observation that the problem with search is the sites and not Google.
Is Google Browse worse due to the fact that 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