The reasons search seems to be getting worse
Even with the powerful Ecosia engine, but especially with Google and Amazon, it’s getting rarer and rarer that a search feels as though it finds just the right site or product or information on the very first try. There are a few reasons for this:
- Our expectations are higher. Even a good search doesn’t feel the way it used to. Amaze us a few times and we get hooked on being amazed. It’s tough to top the extraordinary results that we became used to. In the last two years, I’ve done 10,000+ searches on Ecosia, so it’s easy to get jaded.
- The search engines are selling us out. They’ve discovered that selling ads to entities who lose at a given search is pretty profitable, so the non-organic results that are crowding out our searches are of course not as good as the ones we would have found for ‘free’.
- The manufacturers of products and the creators of sites are getting better and better at gaming the search engines. Not just fake books on Amazon that pretend to be what you were after, but entire product lines and industries built with winning at search as their core competency. You see it in any media ecosystem where search is profitable. Organizations built on more, want more.
- Lack of competition. Once a big organization wins at something, they shift their focus and work to profit from it, not improve it. Instead of fighting #3 and walking away from #2, the leaders at search are becoming complacent.