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Google Search Is Dying

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This article makes the case that Google Search is falling off. It argues between SEO, Ads and AI provide incentives for worse results.

For the most part, Google Search works very well for me. When I ask a question, it mostly gives an accurate answer. My biggest frustrations with it are Quora and Pinterest clogging up every search. It becomes a problem when I need a quote or some esoteric information.

To that end, the note on searching Reddit posts is relavant. There are times where I end up adding site:reddit.com to a search term since it feels more human. As for Reddit not recognizing this opportunity and working towards improving it’s garbage search engine, if they did that, then it’ll fall prey to the scummy SEO tactics already on the web.

As for ignoring exact matches, I don’t think it does that. The thing is that people look at the description (which Google tends to rewrite) and notice the exact match isn’t there. If you follow the link, you’ll find the exact string you searched for. That’s mentioned in Appendix 1.

I guess his fundamental issue is that Google is catering less to power users as well as trust issues. As Killed by Google puts it:

Google Search changed from providing users results to providing users answers. Full stop. It’s not worse or dying, they just stopped caring about bitchy power users like me and OP.

“If you find Google Search frustrating, you are no longer their target user.”

Update

1 August 2022

While it’s mostly good at answering questions, it can be bad at picking up context so the snippet Google provides might not actually be correct. For instance, I was looking into the cost of climate change and got this snippet:

The top answer on google on the cost of climate change

Full Quote
A group of economists has issued a new estimate of the future cost of climate change that is grabbing headlines. The consultancy Deloitte estimates that unchecked climate change could cost the global economy US$178 trillion over the next 50 years.

Link Title: Why the cost of climate change can’t be boiled down to one…

It shows a number from a study, but the actual article is arguing why estimating that number is difficult. I had to remove the actual top article from CNBC since the result has changed, but this is something I’ve encouintered a few times.

Worse still is when Google interperates a quote as an answer.