A very provocative title, isn’t it? Based on the latest news it is not far from the truth. Over the years search engines were the target number one on the hunt for visitors and traffic to millions of websites. In an attempt to keep the search results accurate and still deliver what the user is looking for, search engines cracked down on spammers and other sneaky web masters who wanted to beat the system with some very innovative tricks.
Not only did these tricky web masters skew the search results, but they also forced the search engines into some drastic measures that were not very effective and many innocent bystanders found themselves as a victim of this. From one day to the other many webmasters watched their 200+ pages on the website completely vanish from the index. Not a trace is left of a once high-ranked website. How could this happen?
Like no other media, search engines are pressed to deliver the most accurate and recent information available at any point in time. This means that their robots have to crawl more web pages in a shorter period. To fight spammers they introduced some smart code that will detect fraudulent webmasters and ban their websites from their index. This saves time because they don’t have to revisit this site ever. However, there’s a huge catch. Web pages that look perfectly normal to the human eye will be wrongfully flagged as an attempt to trick the robots.
We all know how successful computers are to mimic the human brain. This might be possible in the future, but for now, this is wishful thinking. Until then more and more innocent webmasters will fall victim to a questionable practice, which by the way didn’t improve the quality of the search results.
This whole game was created by webmasters who wanted to achieve top rankings in record time and search engines who didn’t like this at all. They declared war on these webmasters and that’s why we are facing a major problem with search engines today. To make matters worst. This is not the only problem every webmaster has to be aware of these days.
Did you notice that the search results page of every major search engine looks more and more like a billboard ad? Ever since they realized that webmasters are willing to pay for top listings, they increased the space of their sponsored ads. Google places them on the top and right, and Yahoo on the top, right, and bottom sides of their results page. Sooner or later the majority of the search results will be paid inclusions, which completely contradicts the original intent of the search engines, accurate results.
Don’t get me wrong, search engines will always be a part of the internet and they will play a vital role in accessing information. However, I don’t think that they will remain the gatekeeper of global information transfer. Both Google and Yahoo build their success on this assumption.