Recently Google has faced an extensive amount of negative publicity due to its failure in tackling web spam. At the forefront of the battle is Matt Cutts who took part in a debate with Bing and Blekko at Farsight 2011. The event was intended to be a debate about the quality of search results in general or perhaps not in general as Google is market leader. Instead of answering questions directly, Matt Cutts started his argument by accusing Bing of plagiarism. Of course Bing totally denies the accusation by saying:
“We do not copy results from any of our competitors. Period. Full stop. We have some of the best minds in the world at work on search quality and relevance, and for a competitor to accuse any one of these people of such activity is just insulting.
We do look at anonymous click stream data as one of more than a thousand inputs into our ranking algorithm. We learn from our customers as they traverse the web, a common practice in helping to improve a wide array of online services. We have been clear about this for a couple of years (see Directions on Microsoft report, June 15, 2009).”
Bing’s Yusuf Mehdi went further with his argument by stating:
“We have brought a number of things to market that we are very proud of ” our daily home page photos, infinite scroll in image search, great travel and shopping experiences, a new and more useful visual approach to search, and partnerships with key leaders like Facebook and Twitter. If you are keeping tabs, you will notice Google has “copied” a few of these. Whether they have done it well we leave to customers. But more importantly, we take no issue and are glad we could help move the industry to adopt some good ideas.”
Google is definitely feeling the full heat of the recent debate amongst the SEO community, however instead of owning up to its failure it is taking on a defensive stance which is not really suitable for a company that a lot of people look up to.
Surely, it would be better and far more suitable for a industry leader to admit that they diversified very quickly and by doing so they lost sight of their search quality. It’s hard to make out what Google is these days? Is it a mobile phone company? Is it a TV company? Or is it Google – the search engine?
Today Matt Cutts wrote another defensive blog post titled Google 2000 vs. Google 2011 stating:
“But it’s a misconception that there was no spam on Google back then. Google in 2000 looked great in comparison with other engines at the time, but Google 2011 is much better than Google 2000.”
Of course Google’s technology is much better than what it used to be back in 2000, that is what is expected of any technology! I think it is about time Google owns up and starts working closely with the search community and other search engines to contain web spam. With all the defensive talk and no cure for the current spam issues, Google risks becoming jack of all trades master of none.
I think Google should concentrate on search far more than anything else (and perhaps Android because I love it) and bring us back the search engine that we all love.