One Reddit member asked if Google Search was getting worse and thousands more responded overwhelmingly that Google Search wasn’t showing what they were looking for. The SEO community on Twitter picked up the discussion and largely agreed.
Google search quality has declined, according to users?
While a few Reddit members (called Redditors) said Google Search was worse and claimed Google was better now, those defending Google Search were in the minority.
Apparently most of the commenters on the Reddit thread claimed Google Search was worse and for a variety of reasons.
Items with poor user experience
A common theme at Reddit was that Google was popping up content with poor user experience.
One sentence web pages
An example of a bad user experience that Google ranks are listicle pages that require a user to keep clicking to read an article one sentence at a time.
A Redditor commented:
“I’m no SEO expert or anything, but the amount of fucking blog posts I get when I’m looking for information is ridiculous. I think the absolute worst offenders are sites that do the “TOP 10 OF X THINGS” you are legitimately interested in, but instead of just listing them in order on the page, they use…slides…”
Every site in the SERPs wants to sell you something
Another common complaint was that the ranking of sites for information queries was commercially oriented. This results in the situation where a search for information leads to sites that advertise or sell a product.
A Redditor complained:
“Most of the results are just road maps to direct you to buying something rather than giving you information.
I was looking for something the other day…something pretty mundane and was just hoping to find some info on it.
All google gave me was a bunch of links to amazon, ebay, walmart and other big box retail links. …I just wanted to know more about this thing, I’m not looking to buy…if I wanted to I would use the shopping tab.
Another Redditor agreed, writing:
“Agree. What’s the point of having a shopping tab if everything is shopping?”
A later comment from another member observed that searching for dental fillings information resulted in low quality lists of the best fillings to buy and other content focused on selling dental fillings rather than providing dental fillings. information about it.
Pages that force scrolling to find content
Another form of poor user experience that has been the subject of complaints involved sites offering an information query that required a user to scroll through paragraphs of content in order to reach the answer they were looking for.
A Redditor explained:
“The worst thing is when I’m looking for a release date, for example, and it’s a 5 paragraph article.
“You want to know the date? We will let you know the release date.
Just keep scrolling these ads for the release date.
“The release date is coming soon. Everyone is excited about the release date”
“Now a lot of people are wondering what the release date is. At the moment, we don’t have a release date.”“
Google Search Community Reviews
On the side of the SEO community, many have agreed that Google search is worse.
A representative tweet:
Certainly worse. This result seems to have changed on mobile now, but I kept it as a wtf example of how search often doesn’t return the best result 🤦🏻♀️ pic.twitter.com/GGCYM3FsSZ
—Rachael Pilcher | SaaS Copywriter (@MightyFineCopy_) April 20, 2022
Another person opined that AI content creation is high on Google.
I think AI-generated (or assisted) articles harm the news ecosystem more than we realize.
Google could in turn tweak the algorithm in unfortunate ways to try and cut through the garbage… but I don’t think that works.
— Mike Huggard (@miglehu) April 21, 2022
Big brands and clickbait dominate Google?
Others expressed their opinion that big brands and clickbait dominated Google search results.
Obviously worse on my side. Almost exclusively Forbes, Hearst, Red dominating the SERPS with their authority portfolios.
Often they don’t even match the search intent properly and are definitely not industry experts.
—Austin Tuwiner (@AustinTuwiner) April 20, 2022
EAT is a joke when a clickbait site outperforms some of the more credible sites.
— Krishna B. Karki (@midnightstrngr) April 21, 2022
Why is Google search worse?
The Reddit and Twitter communities were divided as to why Google Search was so bad.
Some have criticized publishers for playing with Google in order to rank content that does not answer queries for information or that offers a poor user experience.
Others blamed Google’s search algorithms since that’s what decides to rank low-quality content.
A good example of the content and ranking problem can be seen in recipe search queries.
The recipe blogging community believed that Google only ranks long-form content. In response, recipe bloggers posted recipes containing long, sometimes irrelevant personal anecdotes that required site visitors to scroll through paragraphs of irrelevant content to the bottom of the page to find the recipe they were looking for.
The discussions finally seemed to lead to this one question:
Are Google search results worse or is the content published these days extremely poor?
Read the original Reddit discussion
Anyone else think the quality of Google search has gone downhill fast?