In November, yes, a month ago, there was a lot of criticism across the web that Google Search and the results were declining. We touched on the topic when I covered a poll about SEOs being split on if Google is getting worse or is the web getting worse.
Now that it is a slower week, I am digging through some threads I did not cover when I should have, and I spotted Danny Sullivan of Google defending the quality of Google’s search results on mastodon.
Angus McIntyre, a respected author, wrote on Mastodon “Have you noticed that results returned by #search engines like #Google seem to be becoming progressively less useful? Despite Google’s best efforts & frequent algorithm changes, the #SEO industry seems to be winning the battle to render the #web perfectly vacuous & entirely useless.” He linked to this blog post named A trillion dollar opportunity by Talia Goldberg.
Angus later on in the Mastodon thread wrote “Not to knock Google specifically here; I think there’s been a decline in result quality across the board, affecting all search engines. But there was a time when Google’s ability to bring up relevant results seemed almost supernatural . Now, not so much. I’d be interested to know if this perceived decline in quality is supported by stats. Response to my thread suggests others share my perception: what do the numbers say?”
So Danny Sullivan responded saying, “Our numbers say we’re showing more relevant results. I wrote a post about this earlier this year. But as I also covered, our expectations are likely higher, plus we likely feel more disappointed when results we want aren’t there . Of course, there’s more that can be done, and we’re definitely working on it.”
Danny linked to this post he wrote in March that has some quotes such as “Over the last seven years, we’ve decreased the number of irrelevant results by over 50%.”
The thread is an interesting one; if you want to dig through it, you can click on the Mastodon link and then dig into different branches of the conversation.
The thing with Google is that they won’t stop trying to keep improving, I know that. Will it ever be good enough? The answer is no, and I think Google is okay with that, but I don’t know if we are.
Forum discussion at mastodon.