Google gave someone a tummy ache

Okay. So Google may not exactly have given someone a tummy ache, but Google—in its current form—made it more difficult for someone find and get relief.

I noticed someone arrived to my blog yesterday after they searched for what’s better than pepto-bismal. Curious, I entered that phrase in Google to see what happens.

Page two of Google’s results for those words currently turns up my previous post, E-Prime works better than Pepto-Bismol. While I did mention a stomach ache and Pepto-Bismal, my post had nothing to do with upset stomachs; I only alluded to them as a segue into using e-prime to improve my writing.

I had no intention to hijack key words or game Google to corner the search market on people with tummy aches. But my accidental rise in Pepto-Bismal ranking brings up a more serious problem. Google and other search engines give prominence to pages produced by content farms. These links, to quote Mathew Ingram in a recent post at GigaOM, “… are in many cases virtually unusable, because they are filled with keyword-riddled ad content disguised as helpful tips.”

At the moment, a search for “writing in e-prime” brings up my previous post on Google page three. Not bad considering I posted it three days ago. But all this makes me wonder how much of what people really want to find gets forced to the back of the Google results bus because of articles crammed with key words on eHow.com and similar sites. You used to Google something and find exactly what you wanted. Not so much lately, but that could change.

I recommend you read all of Mathew Ingram’s post, Why Google and Demand Media Are Headed for a Showdown. If he’s right, Google results could get better and people with tummy aches might find what they really want.

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About Robert Moss

I write ads: traditional, non-traditional, interactive, edutainment, story-based, broadcast, and experiential marketing events. Sometimes I write about ads and the business of advertising. Sometimes I write about other stuff. The views expressed here are solely my own and don't reflect the views of my employers. I also published a novel called Descending Memphis that's getting great reviews on Amazon. see http://www.amazon.com/Descending-Memphis-Robert-R-Moss/dp/0692364226
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One Response to Google gave someone a tummy ache

  1. Robert Moss says:

    UPDATE:

    An article in the January 21, 2011 New York Observer begins:

    Demand Media is set to IPO next week, but in a blog post today, Google anti-spamster Matt Cutts wrote that the search giant is looking to refine its algorithms in a way that could undermine Demand’s content farming strategy.

    “As ‘pure webspam’ has decreased over time, attention has shifted instead to ‘content farms,’ which are sites with shallow or low-quality content,” wrote Cutts.

    I hope that means better Google search results, even if it means fewer accidental visits to my blog.

    You can read the rest of the above article here.

    And the blog post by Matt Cutts here.

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