A combination of constantly-moving search engine optimisation algorithms, gamified content marketing, and Google's monopoly on search engine advertising means we're worse off trying to find what we're looking for online.

In the latest Byteside newsletter, Seamus Byrne breaks down the 20-year war between search engines and those trying to game the system. Have you recently tried to find a specific local business on Google, only to be greeted with dozens of unhelpful suggestions? It's only getting worse, according to the Byteside boss.

Those page one Google results are not really what they used to be. The best example is a search for the actual website of a specific hotel you want to stay at. The first 20-30 results are usually hotel deals websites, most of which don’t actually link to the websites of the hotels they’re selling deals to. You often need to go search Google Maps or use some clever wording to escape the optimiser trap and find the direct link you were looking for.Seamus Byrne

It all comes down to Google earning its bread through advertising, leaving little incentive to make organic search better for users than making the ads the most useful link to click on to go somewhere useful. It's time for a Google-killer to emerge and have the users' best interests at heart. Seamus suggests Neeva looks like a promising contender.

Read the full column over at Substack.

In other news

There's plenty of interesting tech stuff happening in the world right now, including a pixel battle on Reddit, how a TikTok musical based on horny Netflix period series Bridgerton won a Grammy, and Coca-Cola launching a drink aimed at... gamers?

Oh, and Epic Games' Fortnite fundraiser raised a whopping US$144 million for humanitarian aid in Ukraine. Awesome stuff.

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