The Prices of the Free Web

Google search isn’t as good as it used to be—I suspect foul play through SEO

Rene van Belzen

These days we’re often looking for a search engine that provides high quality results for specific questions, for free.

The problem here is that Google has sold everybody the complete lie that this is possible. Their results, their service, their websites, are all worse because products built on the back of money-free business models inevitably trend to that point.

Here are the different prices:

  • money
  • work
  • attention

The more you leverage the third one – the one that the mainstream web is now built upon – the worse your product becomes over time.

Of course, Rene has put some work in – two hours no less! – and he still has to deal with an inferior product. It’s as if a bad standard has spread throughout all of Google Search. When the foundation of a platform is built with rotten ingredients, the rest is doomed to crumble into useless crap.

We have to change the way we think about things. It’s one of the lessons I learned thanks to; the perception we had of the web as a result of the monopolistic behemoths, is false. Much of it is false, with very little effort put towards sustainability or any of the necessary energy required to build a healthy environment.

In a lot of ways it the web works better for you if you take on an older mindset; say, 5 to 10 years back, and spend less energy relying on whatever marketing spin comes from your behemoth service provider. I do this for every piece of tech I own and it serves me well.

Oh, as for Rene and his question, unfortunately I don’t have the answer. I only know that it isn’t so simple, or at least not as simple as a mega-corp’s marketing department would have you believe.

Simon Woods @SimonWoods