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submitted 5 months ago by L4s@lemmy.world to c/technology@lemmy.world

Google is getting worse as it loses its fight against search engine spam::Aggressive SEO tactics are ruining search results on Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo, a team of researchers in Germany says.

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[-] Assman@sh.itjust.works 33 points 5 months ago

Here come the totally organic Kagi users to tell us paying for search is worth it. Use DDG or anything else that's free.

[-] maegul@lemmy.ml 14 points 5 months ago

I mean, expecting everything on the internet to be free without question seems to be the beginning of some troubles. A more human and direct connection between people and the makers of the things they use seems to me a better scenario.

[-] bassomitron@lemmy.world 4 points 5 months ago

Agreed, folks have gotten far too used to the majority of internet being free without considering that the backend systems cost money to maintain and operate. Take Lemmy for example, we're fortunate to have such a dedicated group of volunteers literally spending time and money to operate instances like Lemmy.world. However, the admins of LW have been fairly transparent about how much work it is to keep the instance running relatively smooth. Now imagine a service that's handling millions of users versus tens of thousands, it just isn't feasible to run it without crowdsource funding it, similar to how Wikipedia funds itself.

[-] jmanes@lemmy.world 0 points 5 months ago

Join us man. It really is awesome.

[-] Ghostalmedia@lemmy.world 23 points 5 months ago

Google has become even more worse because of all the sponsored content.

[-] vanveen@lemmy.world 2 points 5 months ago

Is it correct to write more worse?

[-] Gork@lemm.ee 4 points 5 months ago
[-] TheBat@lemmy.world 3 points 5 months ago

Worserer - A very incompetent sorcerer

[-] noodlejetski@lemm.ee 3 points 5 months ago

like the sauce

[-] thejml@lemm.ee 1 points 5 months ago

Grammatically, probably not, but it definitely seems appropriate.

[-] scottmeme@sh.itjust.works 1 points 5 months ago

Self hosted whoogle front end for the win

[-] tcrash@lemmy.world 3 points 5 months ago

Still doesn't get rid of the seo

[-] scottmeme@sh.itjust.works 1 points 5 months ago

Of course, but having a privacy respecting frontend without any sponsored searches makes it significantly better

[-] tcrash@lemmy.world -4 points 5 months ago

Yeah. Better than nothing. Btw have you tried alternative search engines? I mean from scratch search engines, not meta/outsourced search engines like searx, duckduckgo, whoogle, startpage. It is the only way to get rid of the seo, if the engine's index is authentic. Personally, I have settled on Brave Search

[-] lvxferre@mander.xyz 18 points 5 months ago

I've noticed that using more advanced syntax helps to alleviate the issue, in both DDG and Google. Specially apostrophes (to force exact terms) and the minus (to remove results containing a certain word or expression).

[-] criticon@lemmy.ca 18 points 5 months ago

I noticed recently that Google has been ignoring my commands sporadically on Mobile. They still work if I switch to desktop mode tho

[-] variants@possumpat.io 7 points 5 months ago

Same with ddg, it's been an issue for some time

[-] Plopp@lemmy.world 6 points 5 months ago

Commands? Those are wishes! //Google

[-] RustyNova@lemmy.world 15 points 5 months ago

*Search engine optimization spam. Spamming your bings and duck duck go won't do anything.

[-] SirEDCaLot@lemmy.today 12 points 5 months ago

IMHO, the problem with Google isn't SEO. It's Google. When Google was great, it would find exactly what you were searching for. The whole point was to get you off of Google and on to whatever site you were looking for as quickly as possible. Over the last several years, their search has increasingly been drinking the 'engagement algorithm' Kool-Aid. Now Google doesn't search for what you ask, it searches for what it thinks you are trying to find. Which is fucking useless because I know exactly what I'm trying to find and that's exactly what I typed in. Selecting verbatim search and putting things in quotes helps. But it's still displays tons of irrelevant stuff that doesn't include what I searched for.

It's actually easy to point to exactly when the downfall started. Years ago Google was trying to make a social network called Google+ that would compete with Facebook. Before this, a + operator in the search field meant only show results that contain that particular term. But they wanted people to search for Google+, so they changed it so the plus sign became a searchable term and quotes were necessary to include a term or phrase. That was the moment Google decided that search wasn't their most important product. And it's been slow downhill ever since.

[-] tsonfeir@lemm.ee 12 points 5 months ago

I left everything google makes long ago, and I haven’t had any problem.

[-] Endward23 11 points 5 months ago

We come in the situation that communities like this one here become more and more important since nobody can stop the SEO.

Friendly users will help you with usefull links. I know, many people has made bad experience with internet trolls or just echo chamber but his wasn't the case anytime.

We are in a kind of "new usenet".

[-] arran4@aussie.zone 3 points 5 months ago

Definitely related to the fall of usenet. The fact that it's ungoverned and standard, but the immediately obvious fix is not a situation people want either.

[-] Endward23 1 points 5 months ago

The fact that it’s ungoverned and standard, but the immediately obvious fix is not a situation people want either.

Please elaborate.

[-] Sterile_Technique@lemmy.world 11 points 5 months ago

Block or Highlight Search Engine Results - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/hohser/

Takes some doing, but anytime you see a link to a garbage website that you don't care to ever see again, add it to the shit-list. You'll get better and better results the more you use it. Works on quite a few search engines.

[-] noodlejetski@lemm.ee 6 points 5 months ago
[-] autotldr@lemmings.world 3 points 5 months ago

This is the best summary I could come up with:


These days, search engine results are filled with spam content, according to a new paper from a team of researchers in Germany.

And it's making it harder for people to access helpful information online — the core function of the internet.

Though webpages that have more affiliate links and are more optimized are more likely to come up in search results, on average, they also "show signs of lower text quality," the researchers said.

And as content generated by AI continues to flood the internet, the researchers said search engine results are likely to get worse.

"Affiliate marketing itself is in part responsible for what online content looks like now," Janek Bevendorff, a research assistant at Leipzig University and coauthor on the paper, told The Register.

"Banning it entirely is probably not a solution" since many legitimate websites rely on affiliate marketing and SEO optimization as an important revenue stream, Bevendorff told the outlet.


The original article contains 402 words, the summary contains 154 words. Saved 62%. I'm a bot and I'm open source!

[-] KingThrillgore@lemmy.ml 2 points 5 months ago

I've been pretty happy with SearxNG as a stand-in as it collates from multiple search engines.

[-] badbytes@lemmy.world 1 points 5 months ago

Paywall article. Please copy and paste.

[-] Endward23 1 points 5 months ago

Too bad, nobody has made a copy of it on, say, a webside like archive today... I can't copy it for copyright reasons...

[-] FlavoredButtHair@lemmy.world 0 points 5 months ago
[-] JayleneSlide@lemmy.world 2 points 5 months ago

Except the results from DDG are also a dumpster fire of affiliate spam "listicles," Pinterest garbage, and unrelated SEO BS. Oh, and Reddit sure has risen in all the results since the APIpocalypse. Almost like big business is all starving each other's backs.

[-] tdawg@lemmy.world -3 points 5 months ago

Sadly haven't found a search engine that beats it

[-] reddig33@lemmy.world 10 points 5 months ago

Adding “site:” before a search string can help if you know what you’re looking for. Like site:wikipedia or site:GitHub.com

This kills off AI spam by constricting search results to pages from that site.

But google’s other problem that this doesn’t solve (just like Amazon) is that the first few results are always paid ads, and not actual search results.

[-] sanpo@sopuli.xyz 6 points 5 months ago

Right, except if I knew beforehand which site has the results I need, why would I even use Google?

[-] vividspecter@lemm.ee 7 points 5 months ago

Sites that have discussions almost always have useless search functions. Using site: on those would likely give you better results then searching globally (even if it takes multiple searches).

this post was submitted on 21 Jan 2024
239 points (96.5% liked)

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