Google may be fatigued, but it is keeping pace
I was surprised by the content of Pete Cashmore’s article Human’s vs. automated search: why people power is cool again. I use Google everyday to do most all of my searching. In the the odd case that I do use Bing, it is by accident. I’ll admit that my conversations don’t often turn to search engines, but I get the sense that most of my friends are similar. Google, as a corporation, seems to continue its web based dominance while making inroads into other facets of our lives, TV and telephones etc. If anything, the Juggernaut appears to be gaining momentum rather than showing signs of fatigue.
Of course Cashmore is referring to the state of Google’s search engine, and the results it produces. There are arguments that the algorithm Google uses is increasingly turning up search results consisting of spam and advertisements. There is a call for Google to change and to add more of a human element to its approach. Search engines like Blekko, which searches a collection of sites defined by humans, are pointed to as possible providers of answers to Google’s problem.
I’m still trying to see the problem. It may be that my searches are either too specialized or not specialized enough to attract the spam and marketers that the article speaks of. I don’t have an expectation of encountering zero advertising either. Access to information and pages is largely free and I realize that because I pay nothing to look it does not mean that it costs nothing to get it before my eyes. Advertising is a part of the process.
I have not been able to enter a Google search that has not produced good results on the first page. In the event that advertisements are present, they are easily identifiable and easily avoidable.
While Google’s algorithm is subject to gaming by spammers that is not to suggest that “curated” search engines are not. I did a quick search for “Seahawks blog” on both Google and Blekko. I wasn’t really looking for Seahawks blogs because there really is only one that fans of the team read. I was surprised to find the top result on Blekko was for the blog associated with the Seattle Times. This is clearly evidence of the Times influencing the process be cause no human, without an interest in the Times, would ever recommend that blog.