How Google is killing independent sites like ours::And why you shouldn’t trust product reviews from big media publishers ranking at the top of Google.

  • thehatfox@lemmy.world
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    5 months ago

    SEO has been a plague in search engines for almost as long as they have existed. Unfortunately combatting it is an endless cat and mouse game, as there will always be some who will devise new ways to game the system. With how commercialised the web has become there’s enormous incentive to do so.

    I’m also not convinced Google has much intention of really fixing it. They already have a monopoly on search, and as an advertising company are unlikely to want to upset the big media companies exploiting their search engine.

    • TheGrandNagus@lemmy.world
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      5 months ago

      Google actually has an incentive not to make search too good. That means less time looking through search results, seeing ads, and less time hopping between 5 different sites trying to find what you need, seeing ads on each one.

      Ad networks are a plague.

      • don@lemm.ee
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        5 months ago

        Google actually has an incentive not to make search too good.

        This is sometimes ominously referred to as perverse incentive.

    • Burn_The_Right@lemmy.world
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      5 months ago

      They don’t have a monopoly on good search results. I rarely use Google anymore and I do not miss it at all.

    • Zerfallen@lemmy.world
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      5 months ago

      I moved from Google Search to Kagi, and I really like it. It’s a bit expensive though the experience is really nice, and you know where you stand with them as a customer, regarding their priorities/motivations.

      • Refurbished Refurbisher@lemmy.sdf.org
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        5 months ago

        I’d use Kagi, but anonymous searching is impossible because you need an accoint to use the search, due to it being a paid service. I just have to take their word that they maintain privacy. I don’t trust any company’s word for shit. Also AFAIK it’s not open source, so I can’t self host it either.

        Also, it’s quite expensive when other options are free. I get why they do it this way, but it’s just not for me.

    • Melt@lemm.ee
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      5 months ago

      And Google is still better at getting me what I want than their competitor. I get what I want from Bing 2/10 times and Bing fails every time it’s a deeper topic

  • Makeitstop@lemmy.world
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    5 months ago

    Lying about testing a product in order to get people to buy it so you can get your affiliate revenue sounds like fraud to me. Seems like the kind of thing that should lead to lawsuits and potentially criminal charges. Not that anyone would actually try to do something about this or most other problems facing consumers.

    • lad@programming.dev
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      5 months ago

      Except they may not even get affiliate payments, just have an agreement and get income from traffic

  • randomaside@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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    5 months ago

    When you make a website and perform SEO tactics like the ones in this article, Google isn’t providing a service to you, you’re providing the service to Google.

  • inverted_deflector@startrek.website
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    5 months ago

    Part of this is also our fault for how we allowed our browsing habits to change and adjust and make the issue worse. Like how many of us will just search random things even if we want to search in or go to a specific website as a goto?

    In the old days we might search once or find the website through word of mouth or links on other affiliated websites, and then bookmark good website and search there first before turning to google. Now? Lord knows I immediately google even if I know I can go to another website. Instead of browsing websites directly we sit on social media, be it reddit twitter facebook and are spoonfed our content without actually going to the original source or if we do just to the page and never to check. g like rolling stone reviewing air purifiers.

    Some of this is the result of convenient access, some of this is thanks to addictive predatory design, and for those who held out as long as possible the companies in charge of content sites would pivot to cater towards social media and search algorithms and enshitify their homepage making it harder to bother.

  • anon6789@lemmy.world
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    5 months ago

    It’s frustrating there are so many bad reviews when it’s not like basic material testing is that complicated. If a few of these media conglomerates just ripped off the things Project Farm does to branch out what products are tested, that would be immensely helpful. As a bonus, much of his testing is actually interesting to watch, so you’d actually be generating double the content, the review and the test itself.

    I do enjoy Project Farm is testing more household items these days. The trashbag torture tests this week were good. He tests enough catagories that with whatever item he’s testing, you can see what is the best value for daily use or what to get when you really need something to work no matter what you throw at it.

    • OminousOrange@lemmy.ca
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      5 months ago

      I’ve purchased a few things after listening to him yell at me for 20 minutes. The reviews are useful, but I wouldn’t watch for pleasure.

      • anon6789@lemmy.world
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        5 months ago

        Lol he is loud I guess. I’m surrounded by louder people, so I don’t notice. 😁

        You can always skip to the results chart at the end. I do that for things I’m kinda interested in but will probably never buy.

  • SomeGuy69@lemmy.world
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    5 months ago

    Just add “Reddit” tag to everything and cross link multiple posts talking about that content. Basically do the work for me of having to filter through so many threads and answers. Yeah sucks to be this co depending but this would generate clicks and catch people who search for “product x Reddit”. Of course you lose those who filter by site:reddit.com. I also hope Lemmy gets big to get rid of this Reddit codependency, because I want way less manipulated information but not from Reddit which becomes more and more astroturfed. I think it’s a pipedream to get completely rid of it but at least these responses are useful most of the time and not SEO optimized.

    • CatTrickery@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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      5 months ago

      It is worth noting that marketing companies have picked up on this and they will often create oddly specific questions on Reddit then answer them with a bought account.

      • SomeGuy69@lemmy.world
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        5 months ago

        Yeah there are multiple ways. Nevertheless it’s public, so people can vote on stuff and reply when the response is bullshit. That’s why I think visible downvotes are very important. If you have an answer botted to be on spot one of the replies but it has like 200% the downvotes, it’s possible that there’s something fishy going on and one can evaluate. That’s not possible if you can’t see this addition info and only the sum of votes.

      • Typhoonigator@lemmy.world
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        5 months ago

        This is illustrated pretty nicely at the end of the article; where they highlight just such a comment, the link it posted, and the suspended account page for the user.

      • inverted_deflector@startrek.website
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        5 months ago

        Picked it up years ago too. Its worth it to check multiple threads, and read multiple comments, and then do an additional deeper dive from there, but the amount of guerilla marketing and astro turfing on social media is astounding. I do miss those early days when the old farts in charge of marketing didnt pay attention to message boards.

    • BlanketsWithSmallpox@lemmy.world
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      5 months ago

      Which is why anyone who’s ever helped on reddit should’ve sucked it up and FullDeleteSuited their account.

      I lost so much, but did it anyway.

      Then again I’ll be sucking it up and going back soon for anime and media discussions soon. Unfortunately there’s nowhere populated enough.

      • AngryCommieKender@lemmy.world
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        5 months ago

        They stored all the edits, from before the API changes. They can and have undeleted entire accounts. I agree that deleting the account would be nice, but they acted in bad faith from the Digg migration that I saw. I don’t believe that deleting the accounts worked, cause I did and I can find my old posts again.

  • tsonfeir@lemm.ee
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    5 months ago

    I don’t disagree that Google is crap, but who the fuck is House Fresh?

      • tsonfeir@lemm.ee
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        5 months ago

        It appears their content starts in 2022, and they have less than 100 articles. Most of it trash. I’m pretty sure Google isn’t the reason they suck.

  • Landless2029@lemmy.world
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    5 months ago

    I don’t check out these sites…

    I just buy the top 5 in a category. Test em. Return 4.

    EZPZ

    /s

  • GBU_28@lemm.ee
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    5 months ago

    I only trust impassioned long form comments from people who are either livid or in love.

    Nobody is gonna spoof a review where a given air conditioner let’s them sloppy fuck their overweight cougar hookup more comfortably, or how a shitty frying pan got them closer to bludgeoning their loud neighbors with it, and perhaps it’s only redeeming value would be as said blunt instrument of violence.

    When you find those reviews you know you are on it.

  • deafboy@lemmy.world
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    5 months ago

    Does anybody even open articles like “N best X of YYYY!”, or “N things that will X your Z!”

    • MTK@lemmy.world
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      5 months ago

      When you are desperate to find the best X of YYYY and there is nothing else, but even then, if it looks too generated I skip it

    • don@lemm.ee
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      5 months ago

      No, but then again, no one these days ever falls for hoaxes, either.

    • inverted_deflector@startrek.website
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      5 months ago

      Top 10 lists have always been popular. Even before the internet you’d see it in magazines and on tv. Honestly if it’s well done I dont think theyre inherently bad especially if it’s clear the list is just a rough list and not a scientific ranking. I enjoy seeing articles listing movies of a type of genre or from an actor or from a director or etc in order to add to my movies to watch list for example.

      The problem lies when its half assed or especially when its unrelated. Like how in the OP link rolling stones air purifiers. Or if you try and look up info on a game that happens to be or have had recently trended and you get flooded by sites that arent even game related.