While I understand that no one wants to be left behind when a competitor takes a step forward, Yahoo! is apparently missing the point. Really Yahoo!, if Google takes a step in the wrong direction, you’d do best not to follow.
Everyone has been abuzz about Google’s real time search results, aka Google’s real time spam results. If you haven’t noticed, thanks to Google now anyone can show up on the first page of search results, even for just a few seconds, with whatever spam they like. For example, say your child (or your boss) is looking up Santa on Google to find his email address since it’s probably too late to get mail to the North Pole: new real time search results can ruin their dreams in an instant.
After seeing these real time results, I tweeted on believing more in Santa than the lasting value of real time results but was not quick enough to screencap it, so a reply that popped up will have to do.
The great thing about Twitter is that you only have to follow who you want to and maybe not someone as charming as @AllStarBatman; nevertheless, now Google lets everyone be privy to any tweet on a subject (and think about how high quality some of those tweets about trending topics are. . .).
SEOs all recognize the creepy spam possibilities as well as the horrifying reputation management implications of the idea, and haven’t been shy in expressing their grievances about it. However. Yahoo! still announced yesterday that they want to jump on the spam-wagon.
The irony lies in their statement on the Yahoo! Search Blog:
“By presenting the latest Twitter discussions about buzzing topics, we are bringing you a wider variety of voices on the Web. We are constantly trying to improve search to bring you better results. We hope you like this new experience, so please go to Yahoo! Search to try it out.”
By adding all of these “voices”, search engines are all drastically weakening the value of the results on the first page. My coworker Rusty came up with a brilliant comparison: real time results are like the writing on a bathroom stall – anyone can leave an opinion, no matter how bad (or invalid, or misspelled, or raunchy) it may be. It’s elevating common everyday scum into the leagues of high brow businesses.
This is me shaking my head at you, Yahoo. I even have to leave the exclamation point off your beloved brand to express my disappointment.
Do we really believe that real time results on SERPS are here to stay? Will Google realize the error of its ways and remove real time results before the front page becomes a playground for the dark, undesirable results it has done a fine job of restraining up unto this point?
If Google jumped off a cliff, would you, Yahoo!?