There is a big problem with ranking websites based on how much time people spend on an article after they click on it from the search results.
Let me elaborate with an example you will recognize – I bet what I am talking about has caused most of you to curse at a website who are currently abusing this flaw in how Google operates.
You see, I have already begun the demonstration. And I bet it is pissing you off right now. And the best part is that there is nothing you can do about it, except go back to the search results and scroll past 20-30 pages to find a website that doesn’t abuse this flaw in Google’s algorithm (or really any other search engine).
I bet you can identify the problem without me having to spell it out. If you’re still not getting it, then perhaps I need to continue the demonstration by telling you about me. Because that’s obviously very important and I can get away with it by claiming it is relevant – umm – well, technically it IS relevant to this post.
If we were in court right now, I would actually get away with this nonsense too! That’s how easy it is to abuse the aforementioned algorithm search engines use.
My name is Ahmad Wehbe, which is obvious. But hey, I thought I should mentioned it!
I live in Sweden. Hey, this is relevant information as well.
But you know what. Enough about me. Let’s actually talk about the topic at hand – namely the Google Algorithm that is currently being abused by thousands, if not millions, of websites.
But first, let’s talk about Google. In case you have never heard about them before. Google is a super big IT company that started back in 1998.
Now, I could just place a link to Google’s wikipedia page so you can have the OPTION of just going there IF YOU WANT. But nah, I think I will just steal some content from the wikipedia page in the form a of a quote:
“Google was founded on September 4, 1998, by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University in California. Together they own about 14% of its publicly-listed shares and control 56% of the stockholder voting power through super-voting stock. The company went public via an initial public offering (IPO) in 2004. In 2015, Google was reorganized as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.. Google is Alphabet’s largest subsidiary and is a holding company for Alphabet’s Internet properties and interests. Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google on October 24, 2015, replacing Larry Page, who became the CEO of Alphabet. On December 3, 2019, Pichai also became the CEO of Alphabet.” – Quote from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google
But wait, I can do better. Why not quote the quote inside an actually quote-text-layout to increase the page size so you have to spend more time scrolling through this article?
Google was founded on September 4, 1998, by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University in California. Together they own about 14% of its publicly-listed shares and control 56% of the stockholder voting power through super-voting stock. The company went public via an initial public offering (IPO) in 2004. In 2015, Google was reorganized as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.. Google is Alphabet’s largest subsidiary and is a holding company for Alphabet’s Internet properties and interests. Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google on October 24, 2015, replacing Larry Page, who became the CEO of Alphabet. On December 3, 2019, Pichai also became the CEO of Alphabet.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google
Anyways, enough is enough. Let’s actually get to the point of the article already. So I’m now going to give you the answer to the whole reason for why you clicked on this article.
But first, some ads.
Hopefully by now you are warmed up for the answer! The whole reason for why you clicked on this article.
The actual article
So how are these thousands, if not millions, of websites abusing Google’s ranking algorithm?
They intentionally convolute/gatekeep the content you’re looking for by filling all their articles with “related nonsense”.
This increase the time it takes for you to finish reading the article and find the information you’re looking for.
The more time you spend reading an article, the more points the website gets by Google’s Algorithm.
Let me break it down step by step:
YOU make a search. Such as a cookie recipe.
GOOGLE shows you top ranked results.
YOU click on one of the top search results.
THE ARTICLE contains a lot of unnecessary information that you have to go through (it captures you attention, and drags you along lengthy information and stories).
After 3-5 minutes, you finally get to the actual cookie recipe.
YOU grab the recipe, but also complain to yourself about how annoying it was having to go through all that text just to get the recipe.
If the article didn’t contain all that extra information, then you would have had spent 10-20 seconds on that page max!
So what difference does it make, 20 seconds vs 5 minutes, why does it matter?
Here is why it matters and why it is a big problem.
When you click on a google search result, google will register that. And if the website is using google analytics, then google will also know how much time you spent on that website.
If you click on a search result, and leave after 1-10 seconds, Google’s algorithm will think the website is bad, or the Google’s algorithm gave you bad results, so it improves itself by pushing the website further down the search results. EVEN if the website was super great and gave you exactly what you were looking for!
Now, if you had clicked on a search result and you spent 5-10 minutes on the website. WOW, that website hit the jackpot. The Google algorithm will see that and give that website an even higher ranking. So THAT website shows up higher and higher up in the search results.
So, this is why thousands (if not millions) of websites are stuffing their articles with a lot of non-essential information (yet related).
Space is related to astronauts, but if you search for astronauts, you don’t want to read 1000-2000 word introduction about space , right?
All these websites could easily have presented you with a link that allows you the option, at your own leisure, to read all that extra information, if that’s what you want. But by stuffing the articles with introductions, background info, info-dump and other stuff, they can force you to stick around, which increases your time spent on their website, which in turn leads to better ranking in the search results.
Honest and straight-to-the-point websites are getting pushed down the search rankings, while abusers who use cheap SEO tactics to rank higher, take a big dump on us all, AND get rewarded for it by the search engines.
There really is no way around this either. There is no fix.
The only fix I can think of is if everybody, when they stumble upon abusive websites, scroll right past all the nonsense, get the info they need and then leave the abusive website immediately.
This is a serious problem, because these abusive websites are making the Internet a very messy place. Thousands of websites are doing this, they are hogging up the search results across hundreds of topics. It’s almost becoming impossible to find websites that don’t do this.
So what is their incentive?
It’s all about the money!
It’s not about YOU getting the information you need. NO. It is about you generating ad revenue for them.
Also, did you know that all of these websites can easily include a Table of Contents so you can jump immediately through their articles straight to the information you’re looking for?
If you didn’t know, well then, now you know!
So how do we use this knowledge to protect ourselves and create a better Internet for everyone?
The answer is simple:
If you visit a website and you don’t get the information you’re looking for within 10 seconds. Then THAT website is trying to abuse you.
Leave it immediately!
Force all these abusive websites to change their ways.
Vote with your money and TIME !
Thank you for reading, I hope you found this article useful. Please educate others about this issue so we can prevent the Internet from turning into a pile of gibberish.
Peace & GOD bless
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