The past few months has not been good for the search reputation of Google. For long, Google is considered as the gold standard in search, however, the latest incidents have questioned its results, more than ever before.
This is a big blow to the reputation of Google and to its core service as the search engine giant is making efforts to grow in new directions.
It will not be easy for Google to recover from this blow. What happened to Google recently can be compared with what happened Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones exploded or the Apply Maps fiasco.
Even to this day, Apple Maps are subject of joke, even though considerable improvements have been made to it. Same is the case with Samsung, people still have fear and are conscious even though the phone may never explode.
People across the globe view the results of Google search as embarrassing, laughable and even dangerous.
How did it Happened to Google
It all began last November, when a fake news was published on the Facebook page “In the news” section which described about the final result count for the US presidential election of 2016. There was nothing accurate, final or even official on that page news.
Google was dragged into the mess which was actually not initiated by it.
The issue was picked up by The Guardian and it published an article in December which detailed about the searches that crop up in Google which can be extremely disturbing.
Just a week later another article was published by The Guardian which highlighted that a Holocaust denial website was put at the top by Google when people search for “did the Holocaust happen”.
People have not forgotten that incident and they were given another reason to crack joke when Google confirmed that President Obama is planning a coup.
This was one among the many odd “one true answers” or “featured snippets” that appeared at the top in the search results of Google.
One more problem cropped up just a few weeks back, when people searched for science news, Google search result showed Breitbart.
These search result come as a big surprise to anyone who trust the efficiency and authenticity of Google. These type of reactions are coming from people mainly because almost all those who go to Google are of the idea that they will get right and genuine information there.
The search results of Google may be as good as ever or in all likelihood better than before. However, the perception of public is that there is a search quality problem with Google and that there is no clear number on relevancy.
Search Engines and Relevancy Ratings
We are not aware about how this search engine come out with the search results. The results provided by them are not evaluated by any third party.
There are consumer satisfaction results available, but it does not tell exactly about the satisfaction level of visitors with the search results.
This means that there is no numeric data to support the reputation earned by Google as the best search engine. This perception has been there ever since it started and it was demonstrated that it is better than other search results.
It was too late by the time other search engines catch up. Searching something on internet was given a new name “Google things” or “Googling”.
It was the obvious answer when someone had to search something on the internet. An article was written in 2003 in New York Times with the heading “Is Google God?”
Bing, which is now one of the biggest competitor for Google, was almost laughed upon when it started out. By and large, Google was the best and its search results were never questioned.
Any person who has watched and observed the search market space closely will speak out that this was not the case. Google did had weaknesses. Unfortunately, the group that believe in this is too small to be noticed by anyone.
It needs something out of the ordinary that can put a dent on the reputation of Google or even question it. There have been only a handful on occasions it has happened so.
Previous Challenges Faced by Google
In 2003, Google was criticized when the official biography of George W. Bush came at the top when people searched for “miserable failure”. The company did not see it as a big problem and it was nearly after 3 years that the problem was fixed.
A bigger problem occurred in April 2004, an anti-Jewish website “Jew Watch” showed up at the top when people searched for “jew’ on Google. Many people demanded for the website to be dropped from the search engine results of Google. No strong action was taken by the company except for posting a disclaimer message alongside the search results. With the passage of time, the issue settled down on its own.
In August 2005, Google reputation received a setback when Yahoo claimed that it has more indexed pages than Google. In a world where there is no universally accepted method to check the quality of search engines, it was the size that was the main determinant.