Recently, Google gradually changed its search algorithm to fight spam and improved its search results to become cleaner, more informative and more relevant. “Overly optimized”-Google defined it as keyword stuffing and link schemes. Although Google update its search algorithm to make its searchbot smarter, more people doubted that the revolution result is better or worse.
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Viagra: Missing Official Site & Many Other Problems
One of the first queries I did to check on the new algorithm’s impact was for “viagra,” because that search is a natural magnet for the type of spam that Google seeks to wipeout with this update. If that was the goal, Google had a big miss here:
Most glaringly, Google fails to list the official Viagra site in the top results, something that Bing gets right.
Overdose Advice? Bing Beats Google
Another example from a comment on our original story was about “how many pills does it take to overdose,” where Google is taken to task for featuring Q&A sites, places like Yahoo Answers, where anyone rather than an actual expert can give advice.
Here’s the side-by-side, Google on the left, Bing on the right. Again, I spaced things out a bit, but the ranking order is the same:
As you can see, both Google and Bing favor Q&A sites. I’d agree, that’s not optimal for this type of search. You’d rather get information from respected medical web sites, and not information on how to commit an overdose but what to do if you suspect you’ve accidentally done that. Neither deliver.
One of the biggest reasons for this failure is probably that the medical web sites simple don’t have content written in this type of plain language. If there’s nothing but garbage out there, garbage is what you’re going to get back.
Still, Bing gets the edge because Google has three completely irrelevant answers coming up, pages with nothing to do with the search topic. It was also disappointing not to see Google kick in the special suicide prevention information that it does offer for some searches.