How Google killed Search

It's official. It is now completely impossible to find things on the web using a search engine. Try this out. Go to Google and see if you can find a

cheap hotel in new york

What comes up? Any hotels? Not really. Just page after page of spammy affiliate sites that promise to find you great deals, but will really just send you off to other affiliate sites. Click along and you'll fall down this black hole of non-content and Google Ads with no hope of ever finding a real website where you can book a cheap hotel in New York.

I blame this phenomenon on Google's Pagerank algorithm and its reliance on link counts. The quickest way to get to the top of the rankings is to produce tons of empty pages all across the web, all linking back to your thing. So you get this huge global competition to see who can produce the most useless content and shove it out onto the web. Everybody knows it's not really content, but the game is to fool the search engines into indexing it anyway. Let this strategy play itself out for a few years and you get the Internet in its current state. 21,800,000 pages all wanting to tell me about cheap hotels in New York. Only 1 of which is Expedia.com (and it's not in the top 30.)

It's a lot like the state of professional boxing in the '80s. You had this kid who could fight, so you'd put him in against some guys you thought he could beat and he'd get some ranking points for himself. Then you'd find some highly ranked fighters who were on their way out and let him fight them, boosting his ranking some more. Then you'd get some other kids that weren't really all that good to start with, but you'd boost their rankings in the same way until they had enough points to put in against your guy. He'd beat them easily and get even more points for himself.

This would go on for a few years, with your kid steadily climbing the rankings without ever really fighting anybody good, since everybody you put him in against had had their ranking inflated by the same means. Finally, there comes the day when he's earned himself a title shot. What happens? Mike Tyson knocks him out in 18 seconds and that's the last you ever hear about him. (And Don King pockets another $20 Million.)

So maybe that's what Google needs, the SEO equivalent of the Tyson fight. If your site manages to weasel its way into the top 5 for a given keyword, you get some real people to put eyes on the thing and see if it can hang with the competition. That way, people like you and me would never have to sift through search engine results from www.dealz-4-hotelzz.pl just because they managed to link spam their way up the rankings.

ps. I'm in no way guilt free in this area. Before writing this today, I spent the morning trolling around editme.com and picking up a couple high-ranking domains from them (travel.editme.com and wus.editme.com), which I am now using for shady SEO practices...

pps. Check out the new changes to the World Browser at Blogabond!


Jason Kester
@jasonkester

I run a little company called Expat Software. Right now, the most interesting things we're doing are related to Cloud Storage Analytics, Online Classrooms, and Customer Lifecycle Metrics for SaaS Businesses. I'll leave it to you to figure out how those things tie together.


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