The Hypocrisy of Google

Recently Google updated their index and relevancy algorithm with Update Allegra.

The update was believed to be related to latent semantic indexing.

Beings that my own rankings just dipped, it would be easy for me to take things overly personal and perhaps be a bit biased about the situation. Then again some of my other sites are now ranking way better than they were, and I also pointed out this problem before it ever had any significant effect on me.

In doing this update the search results are in many areas less than stellar. Understandable that shuffles will occur as they must to consistantly improve relevancy, but on more than one occasion Google has seemed to have lost focus on their official mission statement.

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

They tell you to design content for the user. Link to quality resources. Act if search engines are not even there. Generally this is good advice for many webmasters.

What they do not tell you is that they do not follow their own guidance.

Sure trying to rank for a term like "SEO" or other generic terms may be a bit unrealistic for many and only a few sites can rank well for such a term. I am not particularly saying that I believe I deserve to rank #1 in Google for "SEO" because it is a generic term and they owe me nothing.

On another front there are brand names that people work long and hard to build. Sure the search results are just informational pages about a topic, and maybe Google doesn't give a shit about my brand, and that is fine too.

Where the real problem exists though is that since I have worked so hard to build that brand it gets a ton of traffic and people expect to see my site there.

When people search for stuff like "seobook" and 10 out of 10 of the front page results reference me but I am not listed that provides a poor user experience for Google's users.

To try to prevent their results from being manipulated they have often thrown the baby out with the bathwater. But maybe in the hopes of achieving their longterm goals Google realizes they have to take short term hits.

What if Google is wrong in their desires though? What if their desire to fight off commercial manipulation is so great that they fail to accept commerce as part of the web, and too often show informational results when people want to shop? Would that eventually cause people to stop using Google? Would accepting markets for more of what they are without trying to bias them away from marketing and toward aged sites or information dense pages potentially create a more efficient market?

Published: February 8, 2005 by Aaron Wall in google


April 3, 2007 - 12:23pm

I love this Post Aaron. This thinks outside of the box. I mean so many people get caught up into how awesome Google is that is it any wonder that they may get caught up in that hype too.

"Accepting markets for more of what hey are" is an excellent idea. I think they try this with their "organic" algorithms.

In the end their does need to be bad and good and someone has to decide this. But is it Google that decides, the company with vast amounts of resources, or is it the consumer of the products?

Perhaps the mixing is best... perhaps Google does need a wake up call, they may be off in some distant land of PhD - open source - idealism that they forget where they live. Th eland of free enterprise where the American dream comes true every day.


-Bart Gibby

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