ZD Net “Between the Lines” By Jason Hiner | November 3, 2011
Summary: Google search has been having a tough year. It’s Panda update has had a difficult time targeting content farms and has accidentally affected a lot of good …
Google’s search engine is a triumph of technology. There’s no denying that.
It was the capstone that completed the initial structure of the Internet. But, the Internet is now in the midst of a dramatic remodel and it’s unclear whether Google search will get the refresh it needs to make it more appealing than ever or if it will be one of the things that gets painted over.
Google entered 2011 with two major problems that threatened the company’s immediate relevance and it’s long-term future:
1.) The search results on Google.com were becoming increasingly ineffective because they were littered with “web spam” and articles from “content farms” (sites creating faux content to turn as many ads as possible).
2.) Social media has been replacing traditional web search for many different kinds of information gathering and Google didn’t have a legitimate play in social.
The company went a long way toward addressing the second issue in July with the launch of Google+. After several high-profile social flameouts — such as Google Wave and Google Buzz — they’ve pretty much nailed it with Google+.
To be clear, we still don’t know whether Google+ will be able to win over the masses, but it has become wildly popular among tech and media professionals and it is already causing Facebook to react and make changes to buffer itself against people abandoning it for Google+. To dig deeper on this topic, read my article Why Google+ is about to change the web as we know it.
As huge as social media is, the even bigger challenge for Google has been the declining potency of its search engine. In recent years, Google searches have become a lot less useful and a lot more frustrating. It has become more difficult to find stuff that you know is out there — even stuff that you’ve searched for (and found) previously. Another example is pages that have posted to the web more recently. They get overpowered in the Google algorithm by older pages that have had time to accumulate more incoming links.
The big problem is SEO — search engine optimization. A whole cottage industry has arisen around helping sites optimize their pages to get ranked as highly as possible in Google. As a result, the sites that land at the top of Google search results have become more about which sites are best optimized rather than which ones have the best and most relevant content
Read the rest of the story here: .zdnet.com/blog/btl/will-googles-blind-faith-in-the-algorithm-doom-its-future/62556