NovaXyon Affiliate Marketing Google Seek Actually Has Gotten Worse, Researchers In finding

Google Seek Actually Has Gotten Worse, Researchers In finding




Google search really has been taken over by low-quality SEO spam, according to a new, year-long study by German researchers.

The researchers, from Leipzig University, Bauhaus-University Weimar, and the Center for Scalable Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, set out to answer the question “Is Google Getting Worse?” by studying search results for 7,392 product-review terms across Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo over the course of a year. 

They found that, overall, “higher-ranked pages are on average more optimized, more monetized with affiliate marketing, and they show signs of lower text quality …  we find that only a small portion of product reviews on the web uses affiliate marketing, but the majority of all search results do.” 

They also found that spam sites are in a constant war with Google over the rankings, and that spam sites will regularly find ways to game the system, rise to the top of Google’s rankings, and then will be knocked down. “SEO is a constant battle and we see repeated patterns of review spam entering and leaving the results as search engines and SEO engineers take turns adjusting their parameters,” they wrote.

They note that Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo are regularly tweaking their algorithms and taking down content that is outright spam, but that, overall, this leads only to “a temporary positive effect.”

“Search engines seem to lose the cat-and-mouse game that is SEO spam,” they write. Notably, Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo all have the same problems, and in many cases, Google performed better than Bing and DuckDuckGo by the researchers’ measures.

The researchers warn that this rankings war is likely to get much worse with the advent of AI-generated spam, and that it genuinely threatens the future utility of search engines: “the line between benign content and spam in the form of content and link farms becomes increasingly blurry—a situation that will surely worsen in the wake of generative AI. We conclude that dynamic adversarial spam in the form of low-quality, mass-produced commercial content deserves more attention.”

The role that search engine optimization has played in the general destruction of the web and search itself has been the topic of much controversy over the last few months, on the heels of several investigations by The Verge that have blamed it for ruining the internet. At the end of December, Search Engine Land found that Google was “overwhelmed by a massive spam attack” that lasted days. The broader SEO industry, meanwhile, is now filled with companies that are using or intend to use generative AI to further optimize types of content that already feel formulaic even when written by humans. Bing and Google are now themselves rolling out AI-generated search results. The possible end result of all of this is that robots will continue writing a huge number of articles to please other robots, and that search will become even less usable than it already is.

“A noticeable number of social media users are sharing their observation that search engines are becoming less and less capable of finding genuine and useful content satisfying their information needs,” the researchers wrote. “Reportedly, a torrent of low-quality content, especially for product search, keeps drowning any kind of useful information in search results.”

The researchers found that this is indeed the case. Many searches have been taken over by low quality, trashy SEO content, and lots of it seems potentially AI assisted or AI-generated.

“We find that the majority of high-ranking product reviews in the result pages of commercial search engines use affiliate marketing, and significant amounts are outright SEO product review spam,” they wrote. “We also find strong correlations between search engine rankings and affiliate marketing, as well as a trend toward simplified, repetitive, and potentially AI-generated content.”

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