Consumer Search Satisfaction
Lately when searching Google I've had a few grumbles about the search results Google's been delivering. I'm beginning to wonder what's going on at Google, as the algorithm just doesn't seem to be working at times, or possibly working to well.
Maybe Google's placed so much focus on the Facebook threat and a need for Google to provide a plausible Facebook alternative that Search has been put on that back burner at Google and they are relying on past performance while their attention is on Social Media.
Authority vs Relevancy
There's always been the authority and relevancy aspects of Google's Algorithm, with a tendency to lean towards freshness and relevance of content in relation to a Search User's query in the last couple of years. This certainly doesn't mean Google hasn't heavily weighted the length of Domain Registration and back-links. It appears we may be seeing some changes back in the direction of authority at a time when relevance rules the day..
I've noticed the results have been heavily weighted in favor of Authority over Relevancy in a number of searches carried out when the opposite should have been occurring.
The most recent example which comes to mind was while searching for some PHP code tutorials or code snippets. I was being served results ranging in age from predominantly 2001 to say 2006. Ok so what's the big deal? Well since 2001 there has been an extensive number of new PHP Version Releases which more or less make much of the information provided in the results irrelevant.
Somewhat Dissatisfied With Search Results
Google wasn't providing the results so I searched for Bing on Google to leave no doubt in their computer's that they just didn't do the job, and of I go to repeat the searches on Bing and again I am delivered aged results. Included in Bing results were some antiquated pages no longer of much relevance to latest information on this topic.
So personally, lately I've been somewhat dissatisfied with my search results. I'm a long time Google, and over the years you begin to see trends and changes and over all the results have done the job up till now.
American Consumer Search Satisfaction Survey
Last week a preview of the latest American Consumer Search Satisfaction Survey arrived in my in box,.As you can imagine from today's topic, this was an email I did open. And it held some surprises, considering my current opinion on Search performance..
When Search sites (ACSI Score 80) such as Google and Bing were compared to News (ACSI Score 73) and Social Media (ACSI Score 70) web sites its clear that overall the search engines are performing to remarkably well as an ACSI score of 80 is exemplary in any business niche monitored. In fact Google is reputed to have had the highest score ever at 86 although this currently sites at 81 for the current year +1 over last year.
Bing is the big winner with a rise of 3 points this year to be only 1 point behind Google. Bing is also increasing its search share surpassing Yahoo for the first time, although Google still retains the lions share at 70%.
The Last Word
What can I say? Obviously my satisfaction level is somewhat lower than those surveyed. High quality relevant results are what count. If Search Algorithms are leaning too heavily towards Authority then some Search Users may be missing out on the latest information. Of course we can force the results with our search queries, but Search is meant to be easy and currently maybe we are all getting let down just a little
What's your take on the search results you receive? Would like to hear your views.
To learn more how the ACSI compile their data visit the ACSI’s web site.