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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Diminising Marginal Utility of Search Engines

In these days of "SEO" and Google stock trading at a P/E north of 70, there needs to be some reflection as to what the web was, and what people want it to be.

A recent posting on Slashdot had me thinking about the good old days when a google search would yield meaningful information on the topic in question. As we have moved into an advertising driven search world, the number of Splogs with top search engine rankings has increased, while the relevance of these results has diminished.

If you think of it in terms of traditional media like Television or Magazines, there needs to be a balance between content and ads. The situtation as I see it is like the old TV ad with the old lady yelling "WHERE'S THE BEEF?"

There are far too many crappy sites getting top ranking because they're designed to generate ad revenue rather than inform. What is particularily concerning is you can click through layers of sites loaded with ads before you hit anyone with real content.

I'm sure that Yahoo and Google can come up with a way to weed through top ranking sites who are little more than a front for ads.

In the end, it will serve to increase the value of those paid searches that frame the "natural results" and provide users a valuable resource once again.


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