Millions of people are no longer using Google as their browser. Instead, they’re looking for a new browser to use. But what’s causing the mass exodus from this previously popular search engine? More content is being created and posted online than ever before. Unfortunately, this also means that not everything posted online is equally good. Recently Google has been struggling to keep spammy, manipulated results from popping up. This has led people to start criticizing the search algorithm and start looking for better browser alternatives.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the search engine, algorithm and Google autocomplete features that have users frustrated. If you want to research the search results for yourself, why not use a Google Autocomplete API to see how users are making their searches?
Understanding Google’s Search Algorithm
Google’s search algorithm is a complete mystery. While some aspects regarding how content is ranked is known, these were discovered through long years of trial and error. However, no one except the teams that work at Google know all the aspects that go into ranking results.
We know some of the basics that impact search results, such as keyword usage and placement, image usage, etc, but there are still many aspects that we don’t yet know. No one is 100% sure what weight these different aspects have on your search results. Even the experts that have an idea are eager to keep some of the information to themselves to ensure their content keeps ranking well.
Keeping the search algorithm secret is part of Google’s attempt to keep spammy content limited. After all, if no one knows what Google looks at, no one can create content just to rank well. Instead, the search engine hopes that content creators will focus on high-value content. Despite the understandable explanation, we’re experiencing that exact thing happening right now. Users with a better understanding of the algorithm are simply creating content that they know will rank well, instead of focusing on providing high-value content.
How Is the Algorithm Failing?
Have you ever entered a simple search looking for a recipe to bake a cake, only to be flooded with results that take you to a page filled with the author’s whole life story? Now you have to scroll through all of this (and the ads, of course) before eventually getting to the recipe.
While sometimes it’s fun to learn about the creator’s experience, and sometimes they share tips that are nice to know, in most cases you just want the recipe. You’ll read through the content if you’re a fan of the creator, but if you have to bake a cake for a party tomorrow, you don’t have time to read through a thousand words about how the author discovered the recipe.
Perhaps you’re looking for a certain product, but because there are so many brands, you want to find the best one for your needs. When searching for best-of content, you’re flooded with spam articles that only touch on the products you’re looking for. In the end, you’ve read through ten different brands without being clearer on which one is right for you.
The goal of a best-of article should be to give you the pros and cons of various products to help you choose one that’s right for you. However, recently most of the results are stuffed with products, and for each one, you just get a broad overview. A broad overview won’t help you discover whether the product has the features you’re looking for, or if there’s something that sets it apart from other similar products.
So, how is it that these articles that don’t provide value end up at the top of your search results? What do these creators know about the algorithm that others don’t?
How Are Search Results Being Manipulated?
Google search crawlers don’t understand the content that they’re indexing. These bots are run by AI and machine learning. They’re programmed to look for certain aspects within the content and they use these criteria to rank the web pages. Unfortunately, this makes it possible for the results to be manipulated.
Some creators are stuffing their content with what they know will rank high in Google’s search results. Instead of creating content that provides value to the reader and addresses their needs, creators are focused on creating content that ranks well.
What Does This Mean for Content Creators?
This means that content creators who make an effort to create valuable content are often overlooked or missed because they don’t focus on stuffing their web pages or posts with useless ranking aspects. This is forcing creators to use tools like Google Autocomplete API to see and compare search engine results. A Google Autocomplete API allows creators to see Google query results to create suitable content.
Consequences of Google’s Algorithm
While Google has made attempts to focus on value to the reader, this process is extremely slow. Users haven’t started seeing a major change in the type of content they see in search results. This has led to major consequences for the search engine.
Negative User Experience
Users are having a bad experience as the content that’s being ranked doesn’t provide the value they’re looking for. Nor does it address their question. Instead of getting quick and easy results, users have to navigate through multiple pages to find something that addresses their questions.
Impact on Web Traffic
This also has a bad effect on web traffic. Many websites that deserve a strong following for providing good, valuable content don’t appear in the search results. Thus, they’re missing out on traffic they may deserve. Alternatively, websites that are providing spammy content are being clicked on frequently because they’re shown high up in the search results. This amount of clicks makes the search engines believe the information is good, so they show it to more users, creating a vicious cycle.
Google is failing to provide users with valuable information. The algorithm is based on aspects that are no longer relevant and are being manipulated by some content creators. This creates a negative user experience, which has caused many people to leave Google in search of a better search engine.