Are Google SERPs Rubbish?

Rant from Aaron over at TW about the “quality” of the current Google SERPs:

The SERPs are full of off topic trash (wrong page from an authority site or just the home page of a site that has a relevant subpage) and spam and Google’s basic search operators don’t even work. Lame. Aren’t you embarrassed about this Google? Why not clean up the current mess before adding more shit to the SERPs?

I wasn’t on the WWW when Altavista went to shit, but is this the beginning of the end for Google?

Heh heh. Well, I was – and I recall it was due to AltaVista trying, rather unsuccessfully, to combat spam. All they managed to do was provide irrelevant results, so there may be some parallels.

The question is: are Google’s results noticeably bad? After all, webmasters often complain, but does the average joe surfer also feel the results are bad? It’s pretty hard to judge given that any sample I use will be too small to make any meaningful conclusions. Also, there’s very little buzz on the topic, except within SEO/Webmaster communities.

What I can say is that I’m glad I like Wikipedia – because Wikipedia is coming up under everything! I think there’s something to be said for Aarons theory that this has a lot to do with the recent heavy weighting towards authorities.

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