SEO Consultants Face Google Reality

March 27, 2016

The entire search engine optimization boomlet annoyed me. The idea that individuals could trick algorithms to displaying where it should not appear goes against my old fashioned notions of relevance, precision, and recall.

I blame lots of people for this destruction of on point search and retrieval. Consultants, vendors, the wonderful Google—yep, sorry. I want a search system to deliver information directly germane to my query. I don’t want search systems to think for me.

I read an amusing write up called “Google ch-ch-ch-changes. How They’re Affecting Publishers and SEOs.” The focus is not on the users’ needs for relevant information. Nah, the focus is on publishers and the members of the class SEO.

The write up bemoans the fact that Google no longer has a wizard to explain how to fool Google’s algorithms. That’s a positive in my opinion. Next the write up points out that Google wants to use even smarter algorithms to determine what is and is not relevant. Does Google’s notion of relevance match mine. Nah, I don’t care about advertising, but my hunch is that Google cares a great deal about money with relevance a consideration. But the goal is money.

The part of the article I liked was the section labeled “SEO Is Dead.” Good. The result was a surprise. The article points out that Facebook is a better place to get information. I highlighted in social scarlet this statement:

More and more, I go to Facebook for answers because I can no longer find them in Google. Google uses AI to throw me a kitchen sink when it is not sure, and that kitchen sink rarely has much in it that’s useful for me.

How does one find on point information from a Web search engine dependent on advertising? The write up dodges the question and suggests:

If you are using informational search, SEO hasn’t gotten harder — it has just become much more irrelevant. Whereas Google used to be very good at returning exact query results, AI goes with the “broad net” approach. If Google does not have a specific “thing” it can return, it will often return a set of more general results, leaving words out of the query set. Often, the word it leaves out is the most relevant modifier.

Sound like baloney?

Stephen E Arnold, March 27, 2016


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