Throughout my investigation I had nagging doubts that we were seeing serious cracks in the algorithmic search foundations of the house that Google built. But I was afraid to write an article about it for fear I’d be claimed an incompetent kook. I wasn’t comfortable sharing that opinion widely, because we might be doing something obviously wrong. Which we tend to do frequently and often. Gravity can’t be wrong. We’re just clumsy … right?
I can’t help noticing that we’re not the only site to have serious problems with Google search results in the last few months. In fact, the drum beat of deteriorating Google search quality has been practically deafening of late:
- Why We Desperately Need a New (and Better) Google
- Dishwashers, and How Google Eats Its Own Tail
- Content Farms: Why Media, Blogs & Google Should Be Worried
- On the increasing uselessness of Google
- Google, Google, Why Hast Thou Forsaken the Manolo?
Anecdotally, my personal search results have also been noticeably worse lately. As part of Christmas shopping for my wife, I searched for “iPhone 4 case” in Google. I had to give up completely on the first two pages of search results as utterly useless, and searched Amazon instead.
People whose opinions I respect have all been echoing the same sentiment — Google, the once essential tool, is somehow losing its edge. The spammers, scrapers, and SEO’ed-to-the-hilt content farms are winning.
Yesterday I was searching for CSS rounded corner techniques, and the majority of top Google results were utter trash. This is definitely a trend.
I’m going to have to do some research on measuring search engine quality…