Woman using her phone on google while having her computer open

Google's search algorithms and the efficacy of search engines have recently been called into question by a collaborative study by Leipzig University, Bauhaus-University Weimar, and the Center for Scalable Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.

The study has shed light on the troubling prevalence of low-grade content lacing our search results. It focused on Google's search engine, but others, such as Bing and DuckDuckGo, were also taken into account.

The Study And Its Findings

The research scrutinized over 7,000 product review queries across Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. It found significant amount of SEO product review spam and these spam sites frequently secure top spots in Google's search results.

Search engines seem to be losing the battle against SEO spam, which may become complex and cyclical, with search engines and spammers locked in a relentless cycle of adjustments.

Despite the efforts of Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo to counteract spam, the improvements in search results have been short-lived.

Other analysts have also spotlighted the spam issue on Google: The Search Engine Journal reported a significant spam attack on Google in December 2023 that spanned several days. It underlines the need for effective strategies to combat SEO spam and ensure the reliability and relevancy of search results. It calls for a more comprehensive and proactive approach to SEO spam, as the quality and integrity of online information are at stake.

Google's Response To The Study

A Google representative contested the study findings, arguing that it did not accurately portray the quality of Search, which handles billions of queries daily. Their point was that the study focused solely on product review content, which allegedly does not reflect the broader range of other query types.

The representative also noted that the study acknowledges Google's improved performance over the past year, surpassing other search engines.

Overall Quality Decline

The researchers concluded that the overall quality of text in search results is declining across all three search engines and warned that it could potentially worsen with AI-generated spam and emphasized that it necessitates even greater attention.