What's happening to Google?

You know I am a fan of Google. But lately I've had some conversations which have sensitized me to noticing the quality of Google's search results. As I've written elsewhere, the world of Search Engine Optimization is all about manipulating Google's search results to help businesses make money.

Let me give you a case study. Right now in Boston we have the musical Mama Mia playing at the Colonial theater. If I wanted to find out the times and prices of tickets, I might search for "Mama Mia Boston" or "Mama Mia Musical Boston". Try clicking on those google searches. You get page upon page of ticket resellers and some event calendar listings, but no links to the Colonial Theatre nor to Ticketmaster where the tickets are sold.

This is a testament to the success of SEO I guess, but at the same time clearly a disservice to the consumer.

It makes me more sympathetic than I had been of Google's valiant and continued attempts to defend against SEO.

There may be a real risk that Google's search results get just as polluted by spam as everything else, and some new white knight (=search engine) comes along to take it's place.
Posted on December 10, 2007 and filed under Life, Technology.