Search Results and Quality Content is an Oxymoron

Like it or not we are a search driven society. Thus this post could have easily been titled, “Content for content’s sake” or “Crappy content for search engines”, or “The difference between worthless content and worthy content”. The point being that in today’s hyper mobile, hyper-consumption, media driven society-we search for the information that we need right now without thinking that maybe what we’re looking at is not nearly the “best” information.

The reason? We see the information that we see first and has ranked well and assume it is the best. Unbeknownst to most of us is the fact that we’re getting played because someone knows how to play the game of driving eyeballs to a site that isn’t about quality content as much as it is about trying to get you to click on Google adsense boxes.

And that my friends is the problem-at least for the majority of us. Unfortunately we have quite a few lazy, dubious, web marketers who understand that if they have a choice of either writing for search or writing for the public, they are going to opt for search, and the public be damned. The reason? The game is all about getting ranked quickly on page one and that means inbound links, page rank, lots of keywords, and a site’s relationship with other sites… and maybe not so much about content quality.

Good content takes time. Good content that we may value, may take even longer to produce and in some cases may take longer to find. Why? If the person who has authored it has not written equally for search engines as well as for their audience, and if it doesn’t possess the “right” linkage and properties that meet Google’s search algoritham-it may fall quietly by the wayside.

Thus we have more noise than signal and more of a glut of worthless, search friendly content. So instead of it being like this:

We get something like this:

So for a lot of people, they have to really sift through a lot of non-relevant stuff to find what they’re looking for. Luckily and sadly for some, they generally can look at a search result URL and know that what they’re getting ready to look at, and they know that it’s  going to be bad and worthless-but what about everyone else?

Will search ever be about  contextual efficiency?

2 thoughts on “Search Results and Quality Content is an Oxymoron

  1. It can happen whenever someone builds a search engine that lets people rate links, and let their ratings be tied to some authoritative source.

    If I could link to this, and my link meant more to a spider than than links from six robot sites (because I’m an expert question answerer at LinkedIn), that would mean something. You need something like the ratings at Amazon or eBay.

    This was value lost when Yahoo’s search results (which had actual category editors doing indexing at one time) got wiped out by Google’s “more links = better” algorithm. At the time, Google had a better idea, because (a) it took forever to get a new site indexed by Yahoo and (b) nobody was trying to game the system.

    The problems with that system have become obvious now.

    A long time ago, I thought this was what Digg was going to move to, but they never put it together. It might be a feature Google+ could add– links from trusted members count for more– except that I don’t trust them to do it correctly.

  2. I think the answer to new challeneg in search is curation. Having just one authority like Yahoo index all pages, with content exploding on the Internet is highly unlikely, however a model like Wikipedia where you have millions of curators, experts in different fields curating topics and indexing deep web seems doable. I believe that our platform has the architecture to a achieve this goal.

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