Search Engine Cartels – A cartel of search engines who collectively show poor quality results to spike up their ad clicks
Yahoo is set to outsource its search engine business to Microsoft by August. Folks at SEORoundTable have noted that the company is already beginning showing the new search engine results to select users.
So, what does it mean to you, the user? If you had asked me this question a few months back, I would have remained passive. I have not really used the Yahoo search engine widely and I have been a Google user all along – like most of you.
However, things have changed since then. To be more specific, Google has changed since then. While a lot of common users may not have noticed how the search result quality on Google has gone down the drain in the past few months, those in the industry may readily agree.
Here are some “stunning” examples
Search Query : “Search Engine“
3. Wolfram Alpha
Best Results from Yahoo
Search Query : “Replacement Key”
1. Infosys.com page for ” Key Challenges in Core Banking Replacement.cdr”
3. Wikipedia article for Windows Key
1. Lockitt.com Replacement Keys
2. Autolok.com Replacement Keys
Best results again from Yahoo
These are just two examples, but you can also try out one of these several keywords (and more as many as you can think of)
1. Jewelry Auctions
2. Car Auctions
3. Upload and share videos
4. Webmaster forums
5. Find friends
6. Music Search Engine
Google no longer shows the most accurate results in a majority of the cases. Call it a bug in the algorithm, a tweaked business strategy to get more people to click on ads or anything else. The sad fact is that Google is no longer what it used to be.
A lot of people may not have realized the low quality results on Google as yet. But they will – much in the same way as they did back in the late 1990s when they realized that there were better search engines than AskJeeves or Altavista.
However, unlike back then, we do not have a good alternative now – a sad reality a decade since then when technology is supposed to have grown much better. Microsoft’s Bing is a poor execution of whatever it was meant to be. It is neither a good decision engine nor a better search engine.
Yahoo, as you see from those results snapshot above, is still the only search engine worth its salt. And sadly, their business never grew to an extent the company may have liked and soon these more targeted search engine results will be replaced by low quality spam from Bing. And surprisingly, it will make more money as the ads still continue to be on the money.
So, coming back to the question – What will the Yahoo’s search engine transition to Bing mean to users – Well, overall low quality results on the web where all the search engines of the world will try their best to show the most untargeted results to get those extra ad clicks going.
It’s going to be an era of search engine cartel – And nobody’s going to be able to stop that.