Last Updated on January 31, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
When Google first launched its service, it was supposed to create a better user experience for search engines and find the pages people were truly looking for. But the reality has not been as smooth as the promotion talk. Even though Google has been around for over 20 years, and has spent billions of dollar on improving its algorithms, the results are still far from perfect. Here are a few big mistakes that we still see in 2021.
Did you know it’s possible to rank for keywords you don’t even use in the text?
I was recently searching “godaddy bitcoin” to find out if you can pay with Bitcoin at GoDaddy. Unsurprisingly, the first result was GoDaddy’s payment options page: https://uk.godaddy.com/help/payment-methods-we-accept-for-purchases-8061
The only problem with this is that there’s not a single mention of “bitcoin” on that page. So basically this page ranks even though there’s no such keyword on it. Kind of the opposite what your SEO consultant has told you. But don’t get excited and throw all SEO manuals in the garbage. This will not work for your website unless of course, your website is as popular as godaddy.com.
To be fair, the same page ranked first for the same keyword also on Bing and Yahoo search engines, so it’s not only Google’s problem.
There’s a lot of signs that Google and other search engines treat websites unfairly. They don’t just take into account backlinks and content as we are all told. They emphasize authority way too much. So much that high authority website can apparently rank for keywords that they don’t even have on the page. Such practise is against the whole philosophy of the Internet search.
Compulsory editing of long-tail keywords
A similar thing happens with long-tail keywords. As an example, I used “honestproscons stock broker bitcoin cryptocurrency” as a keyword. FYI, there is a page with all those keywords mentioned on it: https://honestproscons.com/top-10-stock-simulators-for-you
But, when you search with that keyword, instead of showing this page, Google offers you other pages of high authority websites that do not have all those keywords.
Unlike with GoDaddy example, here Google tells you that the pages do not contain some keywords, in this case, “Missing:
honestproscons“. But the outcome is the same: you don’t find what you were looking for.
However, if you, press “Must include: honestproscons” Google will find the site that we were looking for originally along with another page that also has the same keywords, but was not included in the original result.
Authority over Content
It’s clear that Google and other search engines favour website authority over content. You can have superb content that matched search results perfectly, but Google will still not show it. Instead, Google will show pages that are only vaguely related to your search query but are of high authority websites.
The situation has not actually changed much since the 90s when no matter what you were searching for, you got porn among the results. The reason why porn-websites ranked so well, was because they had a huge amount of backlinks and thus were seen as high authority websites. The only difference today is that porn-websites were replaced with other high authority websites. But the outcome is still the same: search engine experience is negative.
Hard and ugly censorship
Some of you may not know it, but Google censors content as hard or maybe even harder than Facebook and other social media network. The only difference is that unlike on social media, this often goes unnoticed.
If you Google any disputed topic, and compare search results with DuckDuckGo, you will see that Google has censored all search results that are not compatible with what mainstream media tells us. As an example, let’s examine “5g harmful” keyword.
Google only shows government organization and mainstream media pages that even though mention the specific keywords, are not specifically optimized for it.
DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, shows results on exactly that topic, but of websites that conduct independent investigations, results that government and telecommunication companies may not want us to know. Thus, in this case, DuckDuckGo serves the users better because they find exactly what they were looking for, and not censored material that only dictates what they are allowed to think.
Censorship is a violation of freedom of speech and is always wrong. It doesn’t matter if health-related claims about 5g are true or false. It’s not Google’s job to decide what is the truth and how people should think. Everyone has the right to review the information and make their own mind.
We all know that Google uses so-called fake-news as an excuse to violate freedom of speech, but even if that was the case, what Google does is actually worse than spreading fake-news. Instead of letting people read those articles and understand themselves that they are false, due to Google’s actions, people actually begin to believe more in these conspiracy theories, for the sole reason that Google is censoring them. Because as the old saying goes: if the government is trying to hide something, it’s probably true. Google significantly underrates the public by thinking that if it hides some information, people will not be able to find it. This is especially funny when we have access to other unbiased search engines. Best way to kill the conspiracy theory is to allow the public to read it and see that it’s not based on facts. Censorship only fuels suspicion, and is therefore not just unlawful, but also incredibly stupid.