At Netvantage, we do a lot of searches every day, or even every hour. We know how Google works and we can find the search results very frustrating at times. Here are just a few ways Google annoys us.
An annoying Google search result that happens quite often to me is when I am online shopping for a specific brand and ads for stores show up that don’t even sell the brand. For example, I recently searched for “Women’s Birkenstocks” and a Target ad showed up literally stating: “Target – Birkenstock – Orders Over $25 Ship Free”. Well, when I clicked on the ad it didn’t even direct me to the women’s shoes category on Target’s website. My landing page was the Movies, Music & Books department displaying a book by the author: Eva Birkenstock. So, I did a quick search on Target’s website to see if they even sell authentic Birkenstocks and they don’t.
I have a love/hate relationship with answer boxes but more recently I’m veering more and more to the dark side because of needless redundancy. I love to cook, so when I’m fishing for a recipe few things or more useless than a search result for something like “mayonnaise free creamy cole slaw recipe”. I get an answer box that gives me partial instructions followed by a standard result of the exact same recipe. So I get an answer box that doesn’t provide full instructions (that’s not an answer) and then a duplicate listing of the answer box links. This isn’t helpful, it’s just annoying.
I want to “upvote” Abbey’s answer above because that’s annoying as hell. As a corollary to that, it drives me batty when one or two vendors dominate the first two pages of the SERP. As an example, I’m currently in the market for a closet organization system. Google some variation of that and Home Depot and Lowes will be every other link in the first 20 results…and half the links take you to the brand homepage, not a specific product or even a category page. Frustrating.
I am actually not going to give an example result – we all get SERPs through the course of our week that are frustrating or don’t make sense. My infuriating result is actually one that I will predict will happen in the future. I would guess that like product ads and mapped results, we are going to see the monetization of answer box snippets. They take up too much valuable real estate and get too much CTR right now, we will see a day soon when those results will be provided as an ad… which will also be infuriating.
Similarly to my coworkers, I’m frustrated with the answer boxes and snippets that Google shares, especially when the information isn’t valuable. Prior to a recent trip I took to San Diego, I did a Google search for things to do while there. The picture below is what I got as the result. Thanks for letting me know that San Diego is on the Pacific coast of California, Google. You wasted valuable space by telling me something I already knew.
Google became the most used search engine for many reasons, but the big ones were A. It had the best algorithm, therefore returned the best results. B. A clean and simplified search result structure and C. Limited advertisements, giving users a choice between clicking on an advertisement or an organic listing. Today, Google’s one for three on those points. Nearly every search result has four ads at the top, forcing users to scroll before being able to click on any organic listing. I personally never thought this would happen. The presence of ads in search results has grown throughout the years and I have no reason to believe that Google will stop finding ways to squeeze money out of user experience. Google: “What are you gonna do? Use Bing? HAA! Wait what? No, don’t use an ad blocker. Stop that!”