Mike Arrington is wrong about Google search

Mike Arrington, founder of the famous tech blog TechCrunch, hates the new Google search features. They even tell you how to kill the new wiki-style features using GreaseMonkey on Firefox. Mike does take the time to explain the new features here, though.

The problem is, Mike is wrong.

These features rock. They let me add notes to entries in Google. They let me tell the search engine which entries are better for me and they help Google’s business BIG TIME.

See, truth is Google is too perfect lately.

Eye track research shows that most of us aren’t going past the first link. That is a HUGE change from five years ago when we didn’t trust Google that much so we’d look down the first page looking at all the links and we’d probably even click on the second page to see what’s there.

Tell me, when is the last time you’ve clicked on the second page. I can’t remember anymore and I use Google dozens of times a day.

So, Google has a problem. It is an advertising-supported service and we’re just not sticking around on its pages very long. It NEEDS to increase the time we spend interacting with it.

I’m sure Google’s leaders are looking at FriendFeed and Facebook’s news feed and seeing all the time that their members are interacting and spending time on the page and are saying “we could do that.”

These features already are dramatically increasing the time I’m spending on Google search pages. That’s a HUGE win for Google.

Personally, I think Google is right to put these features in and I already am enjoying using them. By the way, when you search for TechCrunch can you see the note I left on TechCrunch’s entry?

Mike, you’re wrong about this one.

88 thoughts on “Mike Arrington is wrong about Google search

  1. I’m with you. I rarely look past the first page of Google results. I sometimes stray to page two. But rarely. But when I look at the results in analytics for my really rather small blog I see a ‘long tail’ of clicks to old posts from Google result pages for 49, 100, 200 results etc so I wonder if Google know something we don’t.

    That said. Be careful criticising those Techcrunch chaps. I made a minor criticism of Techcrunch UK’s Mike Butcher (yup, I’m lime side) last week and he had a little hissy fit. Although I strongly suspect Arrington would think ‘unusually self-important’ to be too mild a compliment. ;o)

    http://www.wilsondan.co.uk/2008/11/20/what-has-the-bnp-ever-done-for-us/

    Keep on truckin’.

  2. I’m with you. I rarely look past the first page of Google results. I sometimes stray to page two. But rarely. But when I look at the results in analytics for my really rather small blog I see a ‘long tail’ of clicks to old posts from Google result pages for 49, 100, 200 results etc so I wonder if Google know something we don’t.

    That said. Be careful criticising those Techcrunch chaps. I made a minor criticism of Techcrunch UK’s Mike Butcher (yup, I’m lime side) last week and he had a little hissy fit. Although I strongly suspect Arrington would think ‘unusually self-important’ to be too mild a compliment. ;o)

    http://www.wilsondan.co.uk/2008/11/20/what-has-the-bnp-ever-done-for-us/

    Keep on truckin’.

  3. You do not read the second link?

    Try to find the review of a product you want to buy…. first results are always from shops…

    Looking for code (programing) exemples is also a pain… I always get outdated/poor quality explanations from the first results….
    Generalists’ articles are always first and real experts’ are always down in the list…

  4. You do not read the second link?

    Try to find the review of a product you want to buy…. first results are always from shops…

    Looking for code (programing) exemples is also a pain… I always get outdated/poor quality explanations from the first results….
    Generalists’ articles are always first and real experts’ are always down in the list…

  5. Wiki Search has tremendous potential. However, by limiting the Wiki impact to just MY results they aren’t really helping me out. If the Wiki edits impacted all search results for that term, well then we’d have REAL wiki impact. Until Google makes that happen Arrington is right.

  6. Wiki Search has tremendous potential. However, by limiting the Wiki impact to just MY results they aren’t really helping me out. If the Wiki edits impacted all search results for that term, well then we’d have REAL wiki impact. Until Google makes that happen Arrington is right.

  7. I think adding some human overlay to Google is super powerful. I love the features. I can see how they might be gamed. I am watching to see how people will pervert it, actually. I think the good folks will do good things. But what will the bad people or ad people do?

  8. I think adding some human overlay to Google is super powerful. I love the features. I can see how they might be gamed. I am watching to see how people will pervert it, actually. I think the good folks will do good things. But what will the bad people or ad people do?

  9. 1) People click on the advertising because its quality is better than the search result.

    What will be the impact on google’s revenue?

    2) SEO entousiasts, scammers, etc. have a new playing field to distort the result. They will enjoy the opportunity to “act” directly on the result page. When you see the troubles on a “small” site like DIGG, let’s imagine on google…

  10. 1) People click on the advertising because its quality is better than the search result.

    What will be the impact on google’s revenue?

    2) SEO entousiasts, scammers, etc. have a new playing field to distort the result. They will enjoy the opportunity to “act” directly on the result page. When you see the troubles on a “small” site like DIGG, let’s imagine on google…

  11. I agree with you, Robert, and Arrington doesn’t “get it”. I’m sure you can argue with him about it at LeWeb3 (which I’m not going to this year – sounds like this year is going to be better than last, though).

    Don’t know why Michael doesn’t get it, you’d think it’d be the other way around, if anything – that he, of all people, would understand why Google needs the Search Wiki.

    Amazing how, when Google actually does make Search “Social” Michael Arrignton and Andrew Goodman attack it – you got to wonder, I do, if Micheal is old school. I know Andrew Goodman is old school.

  12. I agree with you, Robert, and Arrington doesn’t “get it”. I’m sure you can argue with him about it at LeWeb3 (which I’m not going to this year – sounds like this year is going to be better than last, though).

    Don’t know why Michael doesn’t get it, you’d think it’d be the other way around, if anything – that he, of all people, would understand why Google needs the Search Wiki.

    Amazing how, when Google actually does make Search “Social” Michael Arrignton and Andrew Goodman attack it – you got to wonder, I do, if Micheal is old school. I know Andrew Goodman is old school.

  13. Google doesn’t need people to hang around it’s website any longer than they already do. the way google’s advertising based business model and search application is build, and should be – because it works, is that people can find what they are looking for and get there, fast.

  14. Google doesn’t need people to hang around it’s website any longer than they already do. the way google’s advertising based business model and search application is build, and should be – because it works, is that people can find what they are looking for and get there, fast.

  15. Adrian: I don’t click on the ads, most of the ads are over on the right. But, even if I did, if Google trained me to click on more things on the page then they’ll get more clicks per page and a higher liklihood that I’ll click on the ads too.

  16. Adrian: I don’t click on the ads, most of the ads are over on the right. But, even if I did, if Google trained me to click on more things on the page then they’ll get more clicks per page and a higher liklihood that I’ll click on the ads too.

  17. Google doesn’t care how long you spend on the search results page – they earn money only when you click on links. The faster you click on the first link and leave the better given that the first link or two are quite often ads. The further you look down the page, the less likely that Google will make money from you because all their ads are at the top of the page.

  18. Google doesn’t care how long you spend on the search results page – they earn money only when you click on links. The faster you click on the first link and leave the better given that the first link or two are quite often ads. The further you look down the page, the less likely that Google will make money from you because all their ads are at the top of the page.

  19. totally agree robert

    the minute i saw those engagement points, i was super psyched

    i think its a big innovation that’s going to be good for users and google

  20. totally agree robert

    the minute i saw those engagement points, i was super psyched

    i think its a big innovation that’s going to be good for users and google

  21. I agree that Google is looking to increase the length of time on it’s search results, that totally makes sense from a revenue point of view.

    However from a user point of view, personally I’m using google to find something and to find it fast. The last thing I want to do is sit there for 30 minutes looking at 1000 comments posted about a link. It kills productivity similar to what Friendfeed, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Scobleizer.com, TechCrunch.com, Engadget.com, etc etc.

    I have very little time, so wasting it even more on looking at more clutter on google’s results is bad bad bad.

    One reason people like Google search is because it’s uncluttered, google.com homepage has changed very very little since it launched. Jump over to Yahoo.com, MSN.com and you have lots and lots of clutter (more important clutter if you ask me), Google simply is adding “mostly” unhelpful clutter.

  22. I agree that Google is looking to increase the length of time on it’s search results, that totally makes sense from a revenue point of view.

    However from a user point of view, personally I’m using google to find something and to find it fast. The last thing I want to do is sit there for 30 minutes looking at 1000 comments posted about a link. It kills productivity similar to what Friendfeed, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Scobleizer.com, TechCrunch.com, Engadget.com, etc etc.

    I have very little time, so wasting it even more on looking at more clutter on google’s results is bad bad bad.

    One reason people like Google search is because it’s uncluttered, google.com homepage has changed very very little since it launched. Jump over to Yahoo.com, MSN.com and you have lots and lots of clutter (more important clutter if you ask me), Google simply is adding “mostly” unhelpful clutter.

  23. Yes, Mike made a mistake alright. I have pointed it out via comments (check his post):

    “There’s nothing wrong about Google SearchWiki, it is an excellent idea really. It gives internet users the power to moderate search results that have been abused by social bookmarkers (Digg, StumbleUpon etc). Besides, we’re sick and tired of finding those same old authority blogs at the top of search results.

    Google SearchWiki must go forward, at all costs.”

    Here’s what Mike said in response to my comment:

    ““Google SearchWiki must go forward, at all costs.”

    I guess you feel pretty strongly about it. ”

    I just have to make him see the whole picture and this is what I had replied:

    “Of course.

    Take a look at Google search results these days. Do you really see quality there?

    Come on people, such authority sites/blogs (I’m not saying TechCrunch but I hope you folks are clean) have despicably gamed Google to get high pageranks and top search results. They purposely abused the power of social networking and social bookmarking.

    You think people don’t know that social networkers and social bookmarkers can be bought? Hey, we all know about it.

    We all know what they have done to Google. As matter of fact, many said that social networkers and social bookmarkers have screwed up Google (other search engines as well).”

    I really hope he understands what the whole problem is now.

  24. Yes, Mike made a mistake alright. I have pointed it out via comments (check his post):

    “There’s nothing wrong about Google SearchWiki, it is an excellent idea really. It gives internet users the power to moderate search results that have been abused by social bookmarkers (Digg, StumbleUpon etc). Besides, we’re sick and tired of finding those same old authority blogs at the top of search results.

    Google SearchWiki must go forward, at all costs.”

    Here’s what Mike said in response to my comment:

    ““Google SearchWiki must go forward, at all costs.”

    I guess you feel pretty strongly about it. ”

    I just have to make him see the whole picture and this is what I had replied:

    “Of course.

    Take a look at Google search results these days. Do you really see quality there?

    Come on people, such authority sites/blogs (I’m not saying TechCrunch but I hope you folks are clean) have despicably gamed Google to get high pageranks and top search results. They purposely abused the power of social networking and social bookmarking.

    You think people don’t know that social networkers and social bookmarkers can be bought? Hey, we all know about it.

    We all know what they have done to Google. As matter of fact, many said that social networkers and social bookmarkers have screwed up Google (other search engines as well).”

    I really hope he understands what the whole problem is now.

  25. The really interesting part will be if they integrate the data with the algorithm. Google is not one to ignore a data stream – I really am interested to see if users will play a role in defining the results Google gives me.

    Google also has to be SURE groups of people cannot “game” the system – I tend to trust their algorithm *because* of the fact that it is based on a system that is pretty hard to game (PR). We will see how this plays out – good on Google to try something new IMO.

  26. The really interesting part will be if they integrate the data with the algorithm. Google is not one to ignore a data stream – I really am interested to see if users will play a role in defining the results Google gives me.

    Google also has to be SURE groups of people cannot “game” the system – I tend to trust their algorithm *because* of the fact that it is based on a system that is pretty hard to game (PR). We will see how this plays out – good on Google to try something new IMO.

  27. Funny thing is, I actually don’t click on the first or first couple of links right off anymore. I actually look through the results. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I have gotten a lot better at odd searches because of a need to really get into the data.

  28. Funny thing is, I actually don’t click on the first or first couple of links right off anymore. I actually look through the results. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I have gotten a lot better at odd searches because of a need to really get into the data.

Comments are closed.