Read of the week

Is Google search getting worse? New resarch says yes.

Is Google search getting worse? Many people now have impression that the search engine behemoth is no longer returning as good results as it did a few years ago. If you search for computer accessories, for example, or want to find out about travel destinations, the search results are mainly links to commercial blogs or comparison portals. And it’s not just Google that is affected; the quality of search results from Bing and DuckDuckGo also seems to be suffering from a flood of affiliate portals.

Researchers from project partner Webis have now investigated this topic. Janek Bevendorff, Matti Wiegmann, Martin Potthast and Benno Stein spent over a year researching how affiliate content influences search engines. To do this, they observed Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo for a year for 7,392 product review queries. According to the study, websites that compare products and link to commercial providers are largely responsible for the deterioration of web search.

Read the summary of the study “Is Google Getting Worse? A Longitudinal Investigation of SEO Spam in Search Engines” on the Webis Group website.