Are We Seeing the End of the Googleverse? | #whatsapp | #lovescams | #phonescams

The Verge argues we’re seeing “the end of the Googleverse. For two decades, Google Search was the invisible force that determined the ebb and flow of online content.

“Now, for the first time, its cultural relevance is in question… all around us are signs that the era of ‘peak Google’ is ending or, possibly, already over.”

There is a growing chorus of complaints that Google is not as accurate, as competent, as dedicated to search as it once was. The rise of massive closed algorithmic social networks like Meta’s Facebook and Instagram began eating the web in the 2010s. More recently, there’s been a shift to entertainment-based video feeds like TikTok — which is now being used as a primary search engine by a new generation of internet users…

Google Reader shut down in 2013, taking with it the last vestiges of the blogosphere. Search inside of Google Groups has repeatedly broken over the years. Blogger still works, but without Google Reader as a hub for aggregating it, most publishers started making native content on platforms like Facebook and Instagram and, more recently, TikTok. Discoverability of the open web has suffered. Pinterest has been accused of eating Google Image Search results. And the recent protests over third-party API access at Reddit revealed how popular Google has become as a search engine not for Google’s results but for Reddit content. Google’s place in the hierarchy of Big Tech is slipping enough that some are even admitting that Apple Maps is worth giving another chance, something unthinkable even a few years ago. On top of it all, OpenAI’s massively successful ChatGPT has dragged Google into a race against Microsoft to build a completely different kind of search, one that uses a chatbot interface supported by generative AI.
Their article quotes the founder of the long-ago Google-watching blog, “Google Blogoscoped,” who remembers that when Google first came along, “they were ad-free with actually relevant results in a minimalistic kind of design. If we fast-forward to now, it’s kind of inverted now. The results are kind of spammy and keyword-built and SEO stuff. And so it might be hard to understand for people looking at Google now how useful it was back then.”

The question, of course, is when did it all go wrong? How did a site that captured the imagination of the internet and fundamentally changed the way we communicate turn into a burned-out Walmart at the edge of town? Well, if you ask Anil Dash, it was all the way back in 2003 — when the company turned on its AdSense program. “Prior to 2003-2004, you could have an open comment box on the internet. And nobody would pretty much type in it unless they wanted to leave a comment. No authentication. Nothing. And the reason why was because who the fuck cares what you comment on there. And then instantly, overnight, what happened?” Dash said. “Every single comment thread on the internet was instantly spammed. And it happened overnight….”

As he sees it, Google’s advertising tools gave links a monetary value, killing anything organic on the platform. From that moment forward, Google cared more about the health of its own network than the health of the wider internet. “At that point it was really clear where the next 20 years were going to go,” he said.

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