Google and Unreliable Results: Like the Jack Benny One Liner, I Am Thinking, I Am Thinking

June 25, 2021

I read a “real” news story called “Google Is Starting to Warn Users When It Doesn’t Have a Reliable Answer.”  (No, I will not ask, What’s reliable mean.)

Here’s the statement which snagged my attention in the write up:

“When anybody does a search on Google, we’re trying to show you the most relevant, reliable information we can,” said Danny Sullivan, a public liaison for Google Search. “But we get a lot of things that are entirely new,” Sullivan said the notice isn’t saying that what you’re seeing in search results is right or wrong — but that it’s a changing situation, and more information may come out later.

I think Mr. Sullivan, a former search engine optimization guru and conference organizer, is the “new” Matt Cutts, a Google professional helping to point the way to the digital future at the US government. Is key word packing the path to more patents than China?

I loved this statement which I know is pretty Tasmanian devil like: “Most relevant, reliable information we can.” I did a query for garage floor epoxy coating in Louisville. I gathered about 20 businesses display on the first two pages of Google search results. Two companies were in this business. Others were out of business. One “company” called me back and said, “My loser son has been gone for two years.”

I have other examples as well of search either being out of date, spoofed, or just weird.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why Google made a statement about “reliable answers.”

First, I think the difficulty of providing real-time indexing is beyond three Google capabilities: Outfits with real time content won’t play ball with Google unless Google pays up and works out a mechanism to move the content to a Google indexing queue. (Yep, queue as in long line at the McDonald’s drive through.)

Second, Google is not set up to do real time. I think the notion of having a short list of “must ping frequently sites” may be a hold over from the distant past. The reason? As the cost of indexing, updating, and making the Google indexes “consistent” – some of the practices no longer fit the current iteration of “relevant” and “reliable.” Google is not Twitter, and it is not Facebook. Therefore, the pipelines for real time content simply don’t exist. Googlers tried but seemed to be better at selling ads than dealing with new content types.

Third, hot info appears in non text form on Instagram, TikTok, and even places like DailyMotion and Vimeo sometimes days before the content plops into YouTube. Ever try to locate a video using the creator assigned index terms. That’s an exercise in futility. Ads, gentle reader, not relevant and reliable information.

From my vantage point on the porch overlooking a mine drainage pond, I have some hypotheses:

  1. Google is under financial pressure, a competitive pressure from Amazon and Facebook, and a legal pressure. Almost any nation state with an appetite to drag the Google into court is in gear.
  2. Google is just not able to handle the real time flows of content, either textual or imagery. Too bad, but that’s the excitement of Hegel’s these, antithese, synthese which “real” Googlers learn along with search engine optimization marketing methods.
  3. Google’s propagandistic and jingoistic assurances that it returns relevant and reliable results is more and more widely seen as key word spam.
  4. Google’s management methods are not tuned for the current business environment. I may be alone in noticing that high school science club thinking and management from assumed superiority is out of favor. (If Sergey Brin were to ride a Russian rocket into space, wou8ld he attract more signatures that Jeff Bezos. The quasi referendum did not want Mr. Bezos to return to earth. Mr. Brin’s ride did not materialize, so I won’t know who “won” the most votes.)

Net net: Relevant and reliable. That’s a line worthy of Jack Benny when he is asked about Fred Allen. I give up, “What does ‘reliable’ mean, Googlers.” My suggestion is marketing hoo haa with metatags.

Stephen E Arnold, June 25, 2021

Comments

5 Responses to “Google and Unreliable Results: Like the Jack Benny One Liner, I Am Thinking, I Am Thinking”

  1. Ex-TikTok staff say its boundaries with ByteDance are non-existent, with ByteDance involved in decision-making; source: ByteDance has access to US user data (Salvador Rodriguez/CNBC) - ONW on June 25th, 2021 7:42 pm

    […] CNET, The Verge, TNW, Android Police, The Guardian, Android Central, Search Engine Roundtable, Beyond Search, TechSpot, Search Engine Land, Engadget, and […]

  2. VRChat, a free app for Oculus Rift and Steam that lets users create and explore virtual worlds with others, raises $80M Series D, bringing total raised to ~$95M (Ian Hamilton/UploadVR) - ONW on June 25th, 2021 7:45 pm

    […] The Keyword, The Verge, CNET, TNW, Android Police, The Guardian, Search Engine Roundtable, Beyond Search, TechSpot, Search Engine Land, Engadget, and […]

  3. Microsoft's Android app plan for Windows 11 is doomed, because pretending there is a viable US Android app store other than Google Play is theater (Sascha Segan/PCMag) - ONW on June 25th, 2021 7:48 pm

    […] CNET, The Verge, TNW, Android Police, The Guardian, Android Central, Search Engine Roundtable, Beyond Search, TechSpot, Search Engine Land, Engadget, and […]

  4. Microsoft says Windows 11 requires a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip, excluding a significant number of Windows 10 computers from upgrading to the new OS (Avram Piltch/Tom's Hardware) - ONW on June 25th, 2021 7:51 pm

    […] CNET, The Verge, TNW, Android Police, The Guardian, Android Central, Search Engine Roundtable, Beyond Search, TechSpot, Search Engine Land, Engadget, and […]

  5. Rockwell Automation will acquire Plex Systems for $2.22B in cash, to boost its offering of cloud services to customers including automakers and logistics firms (Craig Trudell/Bloomberg) - ONW on June 25th, 2021 7:54 pm

    […] The Keyword, The Verge, TNW, Android Police, The Guardian, Search Engine Roundtable, Engadget, Beyond Search, TechSpot, Search Engine Land, and […]

Got something to say?





  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta