In an investigation conducted by researchers from Leipzig University, Bauhaus-University Weimar, and the Center for Scalable Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, Google's search experience is under scrutiny because of SEO spam and a surge in low-quality content, especially in product-related searches. The said investigation went on for a year and examined 7,392 search queries related to product reviews across Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. The aim of the research was to comprehend how these platforms handle content artificially optimised to attain higher search result rankings and more clicks.
There is an ongoing battle between search engines and spam sites and this study revealed the challenges that search engines face in recent times to keep up with evolving SEO strategies. The study found that there is a concerning rise in affiliate links paired with a decline in content quality. The manipulative SEO techniques that websites use to secure higher Google rankings were identified as a contributing factor.
The researchers in their study concluded, “Dynamic adversarial spam, in the form of low-quality, mass-produced commercial content, deserves more attention.”
Product Reviews' Quality Decline
Despite the ongoing efforts of Google directed towards improving search result quality, several industry experts note a downward trend in the past few years, HT Tech reported. This situation has been worsened after the arrival of AI-generated spam, necessitating more comprehensive measures to counter this dynamic threat.
Users are now looking for alternatives to Google amid this perceived decline in the efficiency of the search engine. People are exploring Kagi, Searx, Qwant, and DuckDuckGo to find higher-quality results.
In view of this decline, Mashable India quoted a Google spokesperson as saying, “This study's focus on product review content doesn't fully represent the overall quality and helpfulness of Search for the billions of queries we handle daily.” The spokesperson emphasised the improvements made by Google in order to address the identified issues. The spokesperson reiterated the study's acknowledgement that Google does indeed outperform other search engines.