Google isn’t dead, but it did kill internet search!

Many say Google is dead. Well, it’s not. At least, not yet. But it did kill internet search. The recent wave of Helpful Content Updates (HCU) since September last weren’t helpful. Didn’t help users, didn’t help websites, and didn’t help google at all. There is nothing ‘organic’ about google anymore.

internet search, google

The search experience, particularly with the AI feature, is confusingly disgusting. One search query from the past week reportedly resulted in a recommendation that users should eat glue, which internet sleuths traced back to a ten-year-old comment on reddit from a scholarly source known as Fucksmith. Google has also reportedly been recommending that depressed users should jump off a bridge, while also extolling the health benefits of neurotoxins and a daily consumption of rocks.

Some of these “search queries” may have been manipulated for Twitter engagement, but at least some of them have been verified and reproduced. The rock recommendation was particularly comical, given that the source of the information was apparently satirical news website The Onion.

A study by German researchers from Leipzig University, Bauhaus-University Weimar, and the Center for Scalable Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence sheds light on the challenges Google faces. The researchers examined over 7,000 product review queries across Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. Their findings? Google Search is plagued with SEO spam.

Google’s search results have become increasingly cluttered. Ads dominate the top of the page, and the search engine often displays information from its own services. The once-organic search experience now feels commercialized and confusing.

Moreover, Google’s AI-driven features often the mark. Users report frustration with the search experience, especially when seeking specific products. The rise of AI-generated spam exacerbates the problem, leading to an overall decline in text quality.

‘Internet search’ used to be the only thing google was the best at and still has the monopolistic advantage. That’s because of the Chrome. Google’s mobile phone and Chromebook are at the bottom of the barrel. Bard – rebranded – as Gemini has been a disaster.

While official statistics are scarce, there’s an observable trend of users migrating away from Google’s search engine and Chrome browser. Privacy-centric search engines like DuckDuckGo are on the rise, indicating a market demand for search experiences that prioritize users over profits.

The public outcry against an overly commercial search experience is a real force. Regulators are also scrutinizing Google’s practices, which could lead to changes.

It’s important to note that Google faces antitrust lawsuits in various countries regarding its market dominance. These lawsuits highlight the ongoing debate about the company’s practices.

Coming back to internet search from the SEO point of view; Social media platforms like Reddit are abuzz with debates on the relevance of SEO in the wake of Google’s HCU. While some SEO professionals cite increased traffic for their clients post-HCU, the counter-narrative from bloggers and website operators is compelling and critical.

The impact of the HCU has been profound, with many reputable sites suffering or even vanishing due to their reliance on organic traffic. The search engine that once provided straightforward answers has transformed into a marketplace, with suspicions that higher rankings are tied to Google ad spending and backlinks from advertisers. One thing is common, nobody knows what’s going on and how to deal with it.

Scores of well reputed and established sites were brutally affected post Helpful Content Update (HCU). Some even disappeared as they primarily relied on organic traffic from google. There was a time when you would go to google with a query and get just the answer you needed. Not anymore. It is more of a marketplace now.      

Google isn’t dead, but it’s facing a new reality. The search giant must strike a balance between profitability and user satisfaction. As AI continues to evolve, Google’s challenge is to maintain quality while fending off spam. Whether it can rise to the occasion remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: the search landscape is shifting, and Google must adapt or risk losing its throne.                                                                                                                                                          

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