Remember when Google Search provided Answers…
These days I’ve been forced to admit that well over half of my searches don’t deliver the desired outcome I’m looking for – an answer to a question or query.
I do believe the underlying algorithms can still provide what Google’s founders intended, which was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."
The only hiccup is that actual results have been displaced by a multitude of advertisements that may or may not help me in my quest for a quick and meaningful answer.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still use Google regularly, however, that once immediate gratification of getting a solid answer has been replaced by a fog of roiling frustration.
Admittedly, half my searches yield some meaningful value. Perhaps I must come to terms with the fact that wading through several ads is just the new reality we face, but geez please at least make the ads relevant to the subject at hand. I realize patience is a virtue, but I think we need to see things pop-up that make sense to us based on our search.
Look, I’m a capitalist at heart and genuinely understand and certainly appreciate that Google needed to create a viable business model that would allow them to monetize the wonderful platform they created.
In fact, the business model they chose was magnificent – generating revenue streams that come from advertising money spent by businesses, both large and small, who bid on keywords. Wow - Brilliant!!!
However, there is just one problem – user experience (UX) still matters and when the ads generated by searches are constantly displacing the real information being sought, something must give…
Perhaps that’s why there is still a fair amount of money being invested in alternate approaches that may yield the next disrupter.
So, I’m hoping Google is looking at how they might balance the need for profit with the needs of its users who just want some quick answers prior to scrolling halfway down the page before something of relevance magically appears.
I understand we pay nothing for the service beyond the willingness to be cannon fodder for advertisers, however, like me I’ sure you’ve switched the channel on some really good movies because you just couldn’t deal with small bits of a movie sprinkled in amongst the big chunks of commercials.
In closing, Google employs some of the smartest people on the planet. Surely a small group of these superstars can figure out how to give the users what they want (information) and the advertisers what they deserve (increased sales) while creating a framework that is scalable and sustainable over the long-term.
BTW – I really like many of the moves Google is making in their cloud business. We may have a strong #3 that begins to actually takes share in 2020.