I’ve noticed something that I do so often lately I thought I’d write about it.
Whenever I want to get information on something, I append my Google Search with Reddit at the end of it. A cursory glance at my own web history reveals this is the case, and with startling consistency.
- “sony wf-1000xm4 reddit”
- “tears of the kingdom nachoya shrine reddit”
- “Suitcase Tracker reddit”
It’s a habit that seems to have snuck up on me, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. It’s because Google Search is dying, if not outright dead.
When was the last time you tried to search up a review for a product on Google? When I try to search about the Sony WF-1000XM4s on Google, all I get after sifting through the first ad results are trash. SEO-optimized sites filled with garbage links, what feels like machine-generated text, and a slew of advertisements.
It’s the same when I’m trying to figure out how to do something in a game I’m having trouble with.
So you’re looking for information on how to complete the Nachoya Shrine in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Tears of the Kingdom is a new Zelda game released in 2023 that has been hotly anticipated by gamers……….unfortunately, we don’t have a guide on the Nachoya Shrine just yet, but check back soon for this and more tips on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
This was inevitable. It started with ads, which are completely at odds with the concept of a search engine in the first place.
Then there's SEO, a concept so prolific in search engines that it’s the sole job of some people to get websites to the top of Google.
And most recently of course is Google - and the rest of the tech world’s - obsession with AI. As a result, Google is not interested in giving you the result you want anymore. It’s more interested in figuring out what you “really meant.” It wants to use all the data it’s ripped from you throughout the years in the name of “personalization.”
You might be too young to remember this, but in the before times, there was a website called Ask Jeeves, which came out in 1997. The idea was that you’d type a natural-language query into a box, and Jeeves would give you an answer. Google Search overtook Ask Jeeves because it allowed for boolean operators that Ask Jeeves couldn’t.
And now it’s just. Becoming Ask Jeeves, which is super cool. It’s especially cool that this is where Google is headed given that its own CEO tried to search for products in Bard, Google’s AI tool, and got a URL to buy the product...except the URL literally doesn’t exist. Hell yes. Future of the Internet. Perfect product. 👍🏾
It’s not news that Google Search has become trash and is becoming more trash by the day — Pinterest inexplicably showing up at the top of every search is obvious proof of that. And I’m of course being hyperbolic: Google and Google Search aren’t really dying, because it’s a gigantic corp. But I do think that intrinsically, my trust in it — and by association, the trust of people at large — is slowly going to degrade as Google continues to go down the path it has.
And thus, google search + Reddit. As search results have gotten worse, I pine for the opinions of humans who can tell me how good the noise cancellation is on the Sony WF-1000xm4s (side-note: what a name, Sony. Incredible stuff). If I search for the solution to a shrine in Tears of the Kingdom on Reddit, someone has pretty much always given it in a comment or mega-thread. An anecdote on Reddit is what convinced me to get Tiles as suitcase trackers for my upcoming international trip.
Don’t get me wrong: Reddit can be garbage pretty often too. But I believe that the rise of AI-written nonsense is only going to make human interaction on the internet more valuable than ever. Human discussion, research, and curation will be more valuable than ever.
So yeah! Just some thoughts, lemme know what you think too!