Then, last October, Google changed their algorithm. Since then, "21 Facts" has gotten no referral traffic from Google. And I mean zero. If you do a Google search for Missy Manners Orrin Hatch, you’ll get about 746,000 results, including links to one of my Twitter posts and one of my Facebook posts, but even if you scroll down ten pages, you’ll find no links to this blog.
Recently, I used Google’s advanced search feature to try to find an old blog post. I knew the exact title but couldn’t remember when I posted it. “Your search did not match any documents,” Google told me. I thought the post had disappeared, but after scrolling through about two-dozen blog pages, I found it. That’s when I realized that the once reliable Google advanced search no longer worked the way it should.
Which brought to mind a guest post, “The Google Myth,” by SEO expert Ladyjean, that I ran here soon after I began experiencing problems with Google. “The idea that Google is this great, amazing search engine is a myth,” Jean said. “You DO NOT get the best results.”
I had no doubt this was true when I posted it four months ago. But based on what happened with the advanced search, I’d now like to suggest that the superiority of Google search may be the single biggest Internet fraud perpetrated on humanity in the 21st century.
Theories abound as to why Google is doing whatever it is they’re doing. Many of them have to do with Google ads—if a site doesn’t carry them, then Google won’t direct you there. But nobody outside Google knows exactly what’s going on.
The questions people should be asking are: What, if anything, can be done about Google? And where do you go for reliable information? Unfortunately, there are no answers, though one can hope that there will be, sooner rather than later. And all anybody can do until then is be aware that when you’re searching for information on Google, the results often leave a lot to be desired. Fortunately, some cities still have brick-and-mortar databases. They're called libraries.