ColourOfSpring - 9:42 pm on Jun 12, 2013 (gmt 0) [edited by: ColourOfSpring at 10:39 pm (utc) on Jun 12, 2013]
Your analogy is apt, it is precisely how many of us feel. In the end your ranking should reflect the quality of information you offer.
First off hitchhiker, great post.
I'm sorry to pick on this point however, but it's actually not your fault. I pick on this quote because Google have become obsessed with content (as you mention, "quality of information"), simply because that's the only yardstick they have. ALL (ALL, yes ALL) of my 500+ clients sell DIRECTLY product(s) or service(s). The people using Google's search engine to find such products and services care very much about the quality of the products and services they're looking for. An informative, well-written brochure (website) is one thing, but many of these people/businesses selling these products and serivces aren't really big on that side of things, but they're....wait for it.....AUTHORITIES in the very thing they sell/provide. So there might be a gap here. A gap between what Google deems "quality" (the brochure), and the ACTUAL quality Google's CUSTOMERS (searchers) are looking for (the actual quality of the product or service).
Here's my point:
Google have proven beyond all doubt that a search engine is NOT the best tool to find the best product or service you're looking for, because search engines obsess far too much on the abstract layer that exists BEFORE your service or product - that is, the presentation of your service or product. In fact, that layer has become the "proxy" quality signal to the ACTUAL quality of your service or product.
The situation is less than ideal. A search engine should give the searcher the best service or product the searcher wants, not the best presentation of a product or a service. It's the actual product or service ITSELF that counts to the searcher. In other words, the search engine - by its very nature - cannot give the searcher what he/she wants! They can only use a proxy (presentation) to best guess what they want!.
Offline, people use word of mouth as the perfect conduit to describe quality of ACTUAL service or product. People telling other people - in detail - just how great such-and-such a service or product is, in genuine terms. They hear about it first hand. Not from a review site that may or may not be "faked" that Google's dumb blind algo may or may not trust, but simple word of mouth, in genuine terms, from a source far more trusted than how Google's blind and dumb algo deems "trusted".
My most basic point is this: the whole premise of judging the quality of a service or product on its presentation layer is fundamentally flawed, and does searchers a great disservice. There needs to be a complete overhaul on how businesses are assessed online to give searchers what they truly are looking for.
The internet seems to be losing a significant amount of SMEs and hobbyists. Those that could otherwise contribute to the next-great-iteration of the internet experience.
hitchhiker, 100% agree. This is the saddest thing. The spirit of the internet is the natural voice of the enthusiast and the hobbyist. I don't want to see an internet that consists only of savvy marketers who are only in a certain niche because it's been well researched and they believe it's got low competition and is profitable, yet aren't really into what they do. Do Google's actual customers (you know, searchers) want such drones to replace the true enthusiasts and hobbyists? Of course not.
[edited by: ColourOfSpring at 10:39 pm (utc) on Jun 12, 2013]