Skip to Content
Blog

Google’s Search Results Are Even Worse Than We Thought

It's bad out there for websites written by human beings

It's not exactly a secret that Google's search results have become increasingly useless and, in some cases, downright misleading. Gita wrote an excellent blog last year about AI's intrusion into the platform, and we all no doubt have our own horror stories about shopping searches sending us to the wrong item or news posts that aren't really news at all.

However bad you think Google search has gotten, though, you should know that the reality for some website owners is even worse. The staff of Housefresh, a testing site that reviews all kinds of consumer products, published a big report the other day called "How Google is killing independent sites like ours", and it's one of the most fascinating--and depressing--things you will read all week.

Private equity firms are utilizing public trust in long-standing publications to sell every product under the sun

Housefresh

The report takes two approaches. It looks at the way certain websites are able to leverage Google's search algorithm to constantly appear near the top of a user's results. But it also looks at the media ownership situation, where tons of famous brands--many of them once-respected magazines and websites--have been hollowed out and turned into SEO farms by a small handful of increasingly desperate publishers.

It's grim reading. Buzzfeed posting air purifier "reviews" that are just pulling text from Amazon customer feedback is a lowlight, but a real bummer is seeing the way that companies have seen people flocking to Reddit posts to get actual human advice, and decided...it's time to flood Reddit posts with bogus reviews as well, where even if the user is banned, the comment remains and turns up on Google search results.

Every single company pushing this shit is to blame, of course, but as Housefresh point out at the end of the report, this is Google's house, and these publishers are using and exploiting Google's rules, so the responsibility ultimately lies with Google. Who is to blame is the easy question, though; whether anyone cares enough to fix anything is a whole other problem. 

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading Aftermath!

Please register to read more free articles

See all subscription options

Enjoyed this article? Consider sharing it! New visitors get a few free articles before hitting the paywall, and your shares help more people discover Aftermath.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Aftermath

Fortnite Moved Away From Live Events To Focus On The Metaverse

An interview with former Epic CCO Donald Mustard explains why Fortnite's priorities shifted away from in-game events

Paradox, What Are You Doing?

The company's publishing arm keeps making unforced errors

Please Tell Me If I Regret Transitioning

I'm just a little guy, how am I to know?

See all posts