Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Trust in Google Search Is Dying

DKB”:

Reddit is currently the most popular search engine. The only people who don’t know that are the team at Reddit, who can’t be bothered to build a decent search interface. So instead we resort to using Google, and appending the word “reddit” to the end of our queries.

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Why are people searching Reddit specifically? The short answer is that Google search results are clearly dying. The long answer is that most of the web has become too inauthentic to trust.

This article claims that “Google Search is dying”, but that is not quite right: trust in Google’s own results seems to be dying if you extrapolate from the charts shared by Paul Graham in a tweet, but people are still treating Google as the index of everything. But “DKB” is right about one thing: even if you are skeptical of the extent to which you can treat those charts as an indicator of trust in Google’s results — as I am — that results page is still pretty poor. The bizarre relationship between Google and marketers often means the first page is full of display ads and results that are effectively ads. Big publications are all trying to do their own take on the Wirecutter for home goods, and results for software are mostly marketing disguised as informative articles.

Perhaps declining trust in Google’s results may be better attributed to an overall decline in the quality of what is on the web. Websites are increasingly optimized for revenue generation on their own terms, so marketers desperate to get on the first page of Google results have broken it as a search engine.