weeks - 2:28 am on Jan 23, 2011 (gmt 0)
Elsewhen, righto! Well said.
"Quality" aside, where does their economic incentive lie?
Jonathan, welcome to WW. Good point, but I think this move by Google goes to the heart of their economics. The better the results, the more people will depend on their service, and thus it snowballs. And, once people get burned more than twice, they'll start looking elsewhere.
Tonight we had a bit of a medical crisis here. One member of the family to go to the emergency room with problem with their right eye. Very upsetting.
Naturally, we turned to the web for some information. Finally found what we needed to know at the National Institute of Health (a US federal agency). But, it took some very, very aggressive searching, with some key terms from our specialist's website, to find out what we needed.
And, it shouldn't have been difficult. It was a straightforward question and a common-enough medical event. But what Google and Bing offered with the common terms was results from content farms offering very brief one or two sentences and "see your doctor." eHow among the worse.
I have been among the voices who have stressed getting sponsorships outside of Google and building relationship where you don't live or die by search engine traffic. That said, Google's impact cannot be ignored. I have one client where the search engine rank is vital to the enterprise (and it ranks high) so I'm going to be watching this. They must do better and those of us who are offering quality information should wish them well. But, please Google, be careful.