Covid-19 Pandemic has become an Excuse for Google ‘s Shortcomings
Although Google is a valuable resource being the largest search engine available, there are issues with the news service and knowledge panel they provide. Changes to the Google search engine are normally announced using outside news sources. This can be problematic because many of these sources use secondhand information that may be speculation and not accurate reporting.
What makes this issue so annoying is that Google makes an incredible profit yet chooses not to have its own news organization. I am not talking about Google news site. Why it does not have public announcements that details changes in its algorithm so there is no confusion as to what is happening? Instead, those who have created online businesses that rely on full knowledge of Google’s algorithms must learn from second or thirdhand sources that may or may not contain complete information.
It is understandable that Google does not want its competitors to gain information about its company’s processes. But when such changes to its algorithm are made, then it becomes an issue of public trust. For Google to maintain the public trust, it must start putting out news about its changes to everyone. Google does not broadcast changes that really impact on search engine performance. We certainly see news on Google analytics and Google ads’ new products along with the other Google apps through its Gmail marketing, but real changes in search engine are hidden from users. Why being so secretive? If Google announces the real changes, users will be able to adjust their campaigns and websites’ performance based on the new Google algorithm update and as a result, it has a great impact on search engine performance.
Currently, there is the Google Knowledge Panel which is designed to assist with search result improvement. However, the performance so far is spotty at best because there is no authority within Google itself to answer pertinent questions.
Instead, the answers are being sent by customer service reps from India who simply cut and paste from its FAQ that seem the most relevant to the questions being asked. It makes little sense to pay people good money for something a FAQ page or a robot can do on its own. It’s only a matter of time before enough people become fed up with the lack of performance out of the Google Knowledge Panel for something to be done.
Google Needs to Create a Proper News Source
When you consider that Yahoo offers its own news and Yahoo finance the most trusted business news source, it seems quite striking that Google which is many times larger currently has low quality news service of its own. What Google has done is launch a $1 billion initiative to acquire content from other sources. Unfortunately, this only means that Google is trying to keep its own skirts clean and not take in the responsibility of forming a proper and powerful news source from within its own company.
Currently, hundreds of media outlets from across the UK, Europe, and even Brazil have signed up to be part of this news venture from Google. But despite having enormous amounts of cash, Google will still not take the proper step of forming its own news authority from within. For example changes within Google algorithm comes from websites which curate nothing but speculative information ( it has being like this since 2000) and appear in Google news feed. SEOs buy it and live with it. The reason? Google is afraid of its competitors finding out the algorithm and outrank it. This is is why they do not reveal the real changes. So SEOs keep guessing and trying to find out what SEO method really works and what does not. Google blog reflects some hints on algorithm changes but these are ambiguous, faulty news and given that a proper public relations department combined with experts from inside Google could at least provide the public with timely news generated by its own company.
Instead, it’s trying to pawn off the issue by paying off other companies to do news for it. But that will not suffice as the current Google Knowledge Panel is a joke.
The excuse of the COVID-19 pandemic as being a stopping point for putting out more information is fading fast. And with more people demanding information that is timely and accurate, Google will soon reach a crisis point that it may not be able to adequately address.