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Google Search Results

Are Google search results getting worse? A new study says yes.

In recent years, concerns about the declining quality of Google search results have been growing amongst users, analysts, and experts. Despite Google’s claims of continuous improvement, a new study by researchers from Leipzig University, Bauhaus-University Weimar, and the Center for Scalable Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence tells a different story.
Affiliate marketing has become the common way to monetize for many websites. Affiliate marketing involves linking products from retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. Referring websites make money from these affiliate links when users purchase through them. The catch is, that less-reputable sites are flooding the internet with low-quality content to try to maximize their short-term profits. This creates fierce competition on popular search terms to drive up clicks, drowning out more relevant and useful information. The numerous ways to show up higher on search results are called “Search Engine Optimization” or for short, SEO.
The study states “We find that search engines do intervene … and have a temporary positive effect, though search engines seem to the lose the cat-and-mouse game that is SEO spam.” In a nutshell, it’s like the phrase “when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” The goal of SEO is to measure the quality of content and give that to you. The goal of a website is to be the most measured content. So it’s an endless cycle, because any time they figure out what the search engines measure as quality content, the measures stop being useful.
The study concludes, stating that “The constant struggle of billion-dollar search engine companies with targeted SEO affiliate spam should serve as an example that web search is a dynamic game with many players, some with bad intentions.”

The study:

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