Jeff Atwood takes a long time to raise his voice in this article.
But eventually asks the question: Who broke Google, and when do they intend to fix it? Not only does he feel sheepish about making the claim. He is more scared of offending Google than Galileo was of offending the pope.
…I can’t help noticing that we’re not the only site to have serious problems with Google search results in the last few months. In fact, the drum beat of deteriorating Google search quality has been practically deafening of late:
Anecdotally, my personal search results have also been noticeably worse lately. As part of Christmas shopping for my wife, I searched for “iPhone 4 case” in Google. I had to give up completely on the first two pages of search results as utterly useless, and searched Amazon instead.
People whose opinions I respect have all been echoing the same sentiment — Google, the once essential tool, is somehow losing its edge. The spammers, scrapers, and SEO’ed-to-the-hilt content farms are winning.
Like any sane person, I’m rooting for Google in this battle, and I’d love nothing more than for Google to tweak a few algorithmic knobs and make this entire blog entry moot. Still, this is the first time since 2000 that I can recall Google search quality ever declining, and it has inspired some rather heretical thoughts in me — are we seeing the first signs that algorithmic search has failed as a strategy? Is the next generation of search destined to be less algorithmic and more social?
It’s a scary thing to even entertain, but maybe gravity really is broken…
via Coding Horror.