If often see discussion on the web around the question “Is Google Search getting better?” More often than not, the consensus is that Google provides better results over time, but let’s put this question in context.
Google Search is a free service, but Google is still a company. So to answer the question “Is Google Search getting better?” we need to determine our perspective. Do we mean “better for those who search”, “better for those who pay for advertising on AdWords”, “better for shoppers” or “better for businesses”?
In fact, even in the business area, global brands differ very much from local businesses or small businesses trying to break into the marketplace.
One obvious answer is that Google Search just keeps getting better for Google the company, because it is the foundation of everything they do. Without Google Search, the other things Google does would be possible and some things would stop making sense altogether.
From a small business point of view, however, I don’t think Google Search is getting better. In fact, I think that for many small businesses, Google Search keeps getting worse. Here’s why:
- When Google started to prefer fresh content, small businesses couldn’t compete, and even those who write and publish content are mostly getting traffic related to the free information they provide.
- When Google started to prefer long, informative content, shopping pages lost ground, because there is only so much information you can put on a product category page or even on a product page. I mean, how long can you make a page about a USB drive or a dress?
- When Google downgraded the importance of links, demoted web directories and made link exchange damaging to search rankings, small businesses could no longer pay to compete with information sites in order to do better.
- Even the recent emphasis on mobile friendliness, which I wholeheartedly support, spells disaster to those small businesses that run a desktop-only website. Those who gain will do it based on their IT technology, not their products or services.
The TEDx presentation below contains some other things Google has done to improve its own situation under the pretense of providing better search. It’s an overview of Internet search evolution and a glimpse into what the future holds for us and for our children.
Like the man says, “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated”. There is no way to fight this monstrous wave of change. It’s coming. The only thing we can do is see it coming and learn how to float.